The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE launched recently, and many of you are probably wondering if it’s worth getting over other Galaxy S21 handsets. We’ve already compared this phone with the Galaxy S21. In this article, we’ll compare the Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. The Galaxy S21+ is a bit larger than the Galaxy S21 FE, and it comes with a larger display, so it could be a great alternative for some of you.
The two phones look extremely similar, though there are some differences here. That goes for not only their designs, but their specifications as well. First, we’ll list their specifications, and will then move to a number of categories to compare the two phones. We’ll leave you to decide whether it’s worth getting one over the other, but the Galaxy S21 FE is the more affordable option. Let’s compare the Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.
|Samsung Galaxy S21+||Samsung Galaxy S21 FE|
|Screen size||6.7-inch FullHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate)||6.4-inch FullHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate, LTPS)|
|Screen resolution||2400 x 1080||2400 x 1080|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 or Samsung Exynos 2100|
|RAM||8GB (LPDDR5)||6GB/8GB (LPDDR5)|
|Storage||128GB/256GB, non-expandable||128GB/256GB, non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 1.8um pixel size, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF)|
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.4um pixel size, 120-degree FoV)
64MP (f/2.0 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, OIS, PDAF, Hybrid Optic 3X, 30X Space Zoom)
|12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 1.8um pixel size, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF)|
12 MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.12um pixel size, 123-degree FoV)
8MP (telephoto, f/2.4 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, OIS, PDAF, 3x optical zoom)
|Front cameras||10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 80-degree FoV, Dual Pixel AF)||32MP (f/2.2 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, 26mm lens)|
|Battery||4,800mAh, non-removable, fast battery charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare||4,500mAh, non-removable, 25W wired charging, 15W Qi wireless charging, Wireless PowerShare|
|Dimensions||161 x 75.6 x 7.8mm||155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm|
|Weight||202 grams||177 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)||In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)|
One UI 3.0
One UI 4.0
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Design
When it comes to the design, these two phones look very similar. Both have a centered display camera hole on the front, and flat displays. Their bezels are really thin, while the back side of the two devices is also similar-looking. It is not the same, though. The Galaxy S21+ utilizes glass on the back, while its camera housing protrudes from the metallic frame. The Galaxy S21 FE has a plastic backplate, and its camera housing looks as if it’s protruding from the frame, but it doesn’t.
The button placement is very similar on the two devices. Both phones have physical buttons only on their right side. Samsung’s logo is also placed in the same spot on the back. The Galaxy S21+ is considerably taller, and slightly wider than the Galaxy S21 FE. The two phones are similarly thick, while the Galaxy S21 FE is noticeably lighter. It weighs 177 grams, compared to 200 grams of the Galaxy S21+.
The Galaxy S21 FE is easier to handle. It’s easier to use this phone with one hand, due to its size, mostly. Both phones are quite slippery in the hand, though, and you may consider getting a case regardless of which you end up using. The Galaxy S21+ does feel more premium in the hand, though, if that’s something you’ve been wondering about. Both phones do have that quality feel, though, and the plastic on the back of the Galaxy S21 FE doesn’t feel like plastic at all.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Display
The Galaxy S21+ features a 6.7-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate. That display supports HDR10+ content, and it has a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. It is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus, and it’s flat. The Galaxy S21 FE’s display, on the other hand, measures 6.4 inches, and it’s a fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) panel as well. That is also a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+ support. It’s also flat, and it is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus.
These are essentially the same panels, but they’re different in terms of size. Both of these displays are excellent, to say the least. They are amongst the best fullHD panels that you can get on the market at the moment. Not only do they get plenty bright, but the colors are excellent. The displays are vivid, and they offer excellent viewing angles. On top of that, the blacks are as deep as you’d expect out of a quality AMOLED display.
Truth be said, you won’t notice these aren’t QHD panels, that’s for sure. QHD is often overkill when it comes to smartphones, and these two phones are actually excellent examples. You won’t notice pixeling no matter how you look at these two displays. So, as far as displays are concerned, there’s nothing to worry about. Simply decide what display size fits you better, and go for it.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Performance
When it comes to performance, both of these phones have a lot to offer. That is to be expected, as they’re both high-end devices. The two phones are fueled by the same SoC. In some markets, that is the Snapdragon 888, in others, the Exynos 2100. The performance is, for the most part, the same. They can perform regular, everyday tasks without a problem. No matter if we’re talking about opening apps, closing apps, multitasking, media consumption, taking pictures, or something else entirely.
Even if you put some strain on their internals, they’ll deliver. Both of these phones can handle games without a problem, and that goes for graphically-intensive ones as well. The Exynos 2100 variants will get a bit warmer, but that won’t affect the performance. You can also do some video editing on these, and whatever else you can think of. An occasional stutter may occur, but the lag is not present here. They will essentially offer the same power as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as their core specs are the same.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Battery
The Galaxy S21+ includes a 4,800mAh battery. The Galaxy S21 FE, on the flip side, sports a 4,500mAh unit. That difference is to be expected, as the Galaxy S21+ has a larger display. Do things even out? Well, yes, for the most part. We managed to get fairly good battery life with both phones, though nothing extraordinary. You should be able to get around 5.5-6 hours of screen-on-time, as long as you’re not pushing the two devices to the max.
If you end up playing games, doing some video editing, or taking a lot of images, that will affect the battery life here. That goes for a number of other things, of course. Your signal will play a huge part as well. What I’m trying to say is, your mileage may vary, as is always the case when it comes to battery life. Also, we don’t know what’s the battery life like on the Exynos 2100 variant of the Galaxy S21 FE, we’re talking about Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 models here.
Both of these phones do offer fast charging. Well, not as far as many other phones in the market, but their 25W wired charging will be fast enough for most of you. On top of that, you do get access to 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging as well. So, as far as charging goes, the two devices are on the same level. Do note that neither comes with a charger, though.
Samsung Galaxy S21+ vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: Cameras
The main camera is the same on these two smartphones. Both devices use a fairly capable main sensor, backed by ultrawide and telephoto cameras. Those two cameras are different in comparison. When it comes to images from the main sensor, they turn out pretty much the same. That’s not surprising at all, considering the fact the hardware is the same, and the camera software as well.
Both phones can provide really detailed shots in good lighting, with excellent dynamic range, and more than enough details. Those images also tend to look slightly more saturated than you’d expect, which is not necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to telephoto cameras, the Galaxy S21+ is supposed to do a better job, on paper, but that’s not always the case. It’s actually the case half the time, that 8-megapixel camera inside the Galaxy S21 FE does a great job. Both ultrawide cameras are fairly capable.
In low light, both phones do a really good job. They can light up a scene quite a bit, and also preserve quite a bit of detail. They’re not on the same level as the Galaxy S21 Ultra or Pixel 6, but they do a good job in such conditions. The Galaxy S21 FE’s selfie camera is actually superior to the unit on the Galaxy S21 FE, especially if you take selfies in low light conditions.
When it comes to sound output, these two phones are very similar. Both can output 32-bit/384kHz audio, thanks to their stereo speakers. Do note that neither of the two phones has a 3.5mm audio jack, though. If you plug in a pair of good headphones, or connect them via Bluetooth, you’ll get a really good sound coming out of them. All in all, there’s not much to complain about here when it comes to audio. Voice calls are also excellent on both smartphones. The earpiece is good, and so are the microphones.