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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs S20 FE

The “leaked” info of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE released in last October 2020 is another heavily speculated topic on the internet.

The reason for speculating is that users are deciding when and which model to pick for their next upgrade. Should they wait for the next launch, or does the next model have the features that I always wanted but at the same price? There is no right and wrong in design specifications, and everyone picks a model based on their need and budget.

This does not always mean well for the brands, because when there is a lack of information, some users may simply buy whatever is available instead of waiting. Whereas if brands like Samsung provide earlier marketing material in advance, users may decide to wait for the launch instead.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the New Galaxy Note

For example, if we did not dig out the news about Samsung Galaxy Ultra being the new “Galaxy Note” that supports the stylus, we would have bought other non-stylus phones instead, thinking there is none available on the horizon.

Below are some heavily speculated information from various websites, which we filtered out some information that is quite unlikely. For example, some posts speculated that the front camera could have a reduced resolution from 32MP to 12MP, which may happen, but is a step backwards.

Some questions that we ask that may decide if we should wait for new Galaxy S21 FE:

Corning Gorilla Glass Type

Will it have the latest Gorilla Glass Victus like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, or use back the Gorilla Glass 3 in Samsung Galaxy S20 FE? The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is the 3rd generation and rather old model released in January 2013, whereas the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus is the 9th generation, and is the latest at this time of writing.

We would expect the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE to have an upgraded Corning Gorilla Glass between 4 and Victus, which may be one of the following:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Corning Gorilla Glass SR+
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • Corning Gorilla Glass DX/DX+
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus

Ideally, it should get the Gorilla Victus so that is on par with the rest of the S21 series smartphones.

Screen Size

The expected screen size for the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is 6.41 inch based on gsmarena‘s speculation, and falls in between the 6.7 inch plus, and the 6.2 inch mini. We feel that this display size and weight of between 170 to 190 grams is a sweet spot between the two extreme sizes.

The speculated display size of 6.41 inch is slightly smaller than last year’s S20 FE which is 6.5 inch.

For runners who carry smartphones in their waist pouch for running, their pouch may not fit the bigger phone. The best size to fit most pouches should be between 150 to 160mm length, but we recommend checking before buying the phone.

Fast Charging, Wireless Charging and Battery Life

At the very minimum, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE must have the same, if not better, battery life and fast charging capability as the Galaxy S20 FE. We see little likely changes in these specifications as they are on par also with the current S21 Galaxy series.

Tech SpecsGalaxy S21 FEGalaxy S20 FEGalaxy S21 5G
Capacity4500mAh (typ), non-removable.4500mAh (typ), non-removable.4000mAh (typ), non-removable.
TypeLithium IonLithium IonLithium Ion
Wired ChargingFast Charging 25WFast Charging 25WFast Charging 25W
Wireless ChargingFast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15WFast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15WFast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
Reverse Wireless
Charging
4.5W4.5W4.5W
Charging TechnologyPD 3.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
PD 3.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
PD 3.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0

Finger Print Sensor, Ultrasonic or Optical

If there is any reason not to buy the Samsung Galaxy FE series, this will be the major reason.

All the current Samsung Galaxy S20 and S21 series, non-FE models, use the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that is more robust than the optical sensor used in Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. The ultrasonic sensors send ultrasonic pulses to detect the 3D ridges and valleys of your unique fingerprint to quickly and accurately recognize the user. This is unlike optical sensors that rely on light and digital imaging, which are easily affected by dirt and smudges.

There is only one primary concern with ultrasonic sensors, which is to use the right type of screen protector to avoid any air gaps in between. The Whitestone brand of tempered glass shield are designed specifically for smartphones using ultrasonic fingerprint sensors.

We are uncertain if Samsung will continue to use optical fingerprint sensor for the FE series, and this will be one of the key design specs to look out for.

Comparison Table of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs S20 FE

Tech SpecsGalaxy S21 FEGalaxy S20 FEGalaxy S21 5G
Release DateQ1 2022 (Speculated)October 2020January 2021
Physical Specs
Size155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm
6.13 x 2.93 x 0.31 in
159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm (6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33 in)151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm
5.97 x 2.80 x 0.31 in
Weight177g (6.94 oz)190 g (6.70 oz)169 g (5.96 oz)
IP RatingIP68 (1.5m for 30mins)
IEC standard 60529
IP68 (1.5m for 30mins)
IEC standard 60529
IP68 (1.5m for 30mins)
IEC standard 60529
MaterialFront: Corning® Gorilla® Glass ?Front: Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3Front & Back: Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™
Aluminum frame
ColorsNavy, white, lavender, mint, red, orangeNavy, white, lavender, mint, red, orangePhantom black , silver, navy, titanium, brown.
Display
Screen TypeDynamic AMOLED 2X, HDR10+Super AMOLEDDynamic AMOLED 2X
flat FHD+
Screen Size6.41″ (99.2 cm2)6.5″ (101 cm2)6.2″ (94.1 cm2)
Resolution2400 x 1080 pixels, 20:9 ratio,
411 PPI
2400 x 1080 pixels, 20:9 ratio,
407 PPI
2400 x 1080 pixels, 20:9 ratio,
421 PPI
Brightness MaxTBC680-800 nits1300 nits peak (typ)
Refresh Rate120Hz120Hz120 Hz
Screen-to-bodyApprox. 85%Approx. 85%Approx. 87%
Hardware & OS
OSAndroid 11, One UI 3.1Android 11, One UI 3.1Android 11, One UI 3.1
SIM CardSingle or Dual Nano SIMSingle or Dual Nano SIMDual Nano SIM or
Single Nano SIM and eSIM
ChipsetQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888
5nm power-efficient?
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 865
7nm (2nd gen)
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888
5nm power-efficient
GPUAdreno™ 660 GPUAdreno™ 650 GPUMali-G78 MP14 – Global
Adreno™ 660 GPU – China/USA
RAM/Storage8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB
(LPDDR5/UFS 3.1)
Expansion CardTBCYes, 1TB MicroSD
Shared with Nano SIM tray
No
3.5mm Ear JackNo (USB-C)No (USB-C)No (USB-C)
Audio Dolby Atmos stereo speakers tuned by AKGDolby Atmos stereo speakers tuned by AKG24-bit/192kHz audio
Security2D Face unlock,
In-screen fingerprint (optical?)
2D Face unlock,
In-screen fingerprint (optical)
2D Face unlock,
In-screen fingerprint (Ultrasonic)
Stylus SupportLikely noNoYes, S Pen
SensorsAccelerometer
Fingerprint Sensor (Type?)
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Hall Sensor
RGB Light Sensor
Virtual Proximity Sensing
Accelerometer
Fingerprint Sensor (Optical)
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Hall Sensor
RGB Light Sensor
Virtual Proximity Sensing
Accelerometer
Fingerprint Sensor (Ultrasonic)
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Hall Sensor
Light Sensor
Proximity Sensor
Barometer
Battery
Capacity4500mAh (typ), non-removable.4500mAh (typ), non-removable.4000mAh (typ), non-removable.
TypeLithium IonLithium IonLithium Ion
Wired ChargingFast Charging 25WFast Charging 25WFast Charging 25W
Wireless ChargingFast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15WFast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15WFast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
Reverse Wireless
Charging
4.5W4.5W4.5W
Charging TechnologyPD 3.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
PD 3.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
PD 3.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Rear Camera
ResolutionTriple Camera (TBC)
12 MP(wide) 26mm, f/1.8, , 1/1.76″, 1.8µm
12 MP(ultrawide) 13mm, f/2.2, 1.12µm, 123 deg FOV
8 MP(telephoto) 76mm, f/2.4, 1/4.5″, 1.0µm
Triple Camera:
12 MP(wide) 26mm, f/1.8, , 1/1.76″, 1.8µm
12 MP(ultrawide) 13mm, f/2.2, 1.12µm, 123 deg FOV
8 MP(telephoto) 76mm, f/2.4, 1/4.5″, 1.0µm
Triple Camera:
12 MP(wide) 26mm, f/1.8, , 1/1.76″, 1.4µm, 79 deg FOV
12 MP(ultrawide) 13mm, f/2.2, 1.4µm, 120 deg FOV
64 MP(telephoto) 29mm, f/2.0, 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, 76 deg FOV, 3xhybrid zoom
Front Camera
Resolution32MP32MP10 MP(wide) 26mm, f/2.2, 1/3.24″, 1.22µm
Connectivity
Bluetooth Ver5.2, A2DP, LE5.0, A2DP, LE5.0, A2DP, LE
Wi-Fi Ver802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax* 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax* 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAMWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM
Up to 1.2Gbps (Up/Down)
ConnectorUSB Type-C 3.2USB Type-C 3.2USB Type-C 3.2
GPSGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, GalileoGPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
NFCYesYesYes
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