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Galaxy S21 FE rumors: Samsung’s cheaper high-end phone could be coming back – CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE hit the sweet spot for low price and cool features last year, and it’s looking likely the phone maker will attempt to repeat that success with a rumored Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

The device might get its first official reveal at Samsung’s upcoming Unpacked event on Aug. 11. More expensive, foldable phones like sequels to the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G are likely to be among the bigger highlights, but a more affordable phone could still share the spotlight.

Additionally, there have been a few leaks and other tidbits floating around regarding the possible phone’s specs and availability, so let’s dive into what we know so far. We’ll keep updating as the Aug. 11 event approaches and we learn more.

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Galaxy S21 FE specs

The Galaxy S21 FE’s specs list was reportedly listed on China’s TENAA Certification site (via MyFixGuide). According to the listing, the phone will purportedly include a 6.4-inch screen at a 2,340×1,080p resolution, a 4,370-mAh battery, three cameras with a 32-megapixel main lens along with a 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel, a 12-megapixel front-facing camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor and support for 45W fast charging. The phone would also include 8GB of RAM as well as 128GB and 256GB storage options.

If true, a 6.4-inch screen would make the phone a bit taller than the 6.2-inch screen on the higher-end Galaxy S21, while being slightly smaller than the 6.5-inch screen on last year’s Galaxy S20 FE. However, this purported camera would be both a step up from the Galaxy S20 FE’s main 12-megapixel lens and a step down from the S21’s 64-megapixel camera.

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A sequel to the Galaxy S20 FE is rumored to be coming soon.

Angela Lang/CNET

What will it look like

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Noted leaker Evan Blass posted images that may be the Galaxy S21 FE.

Screenshot of Twitter/@evleaks

Noted leaker Evan Blass tweeted out various purported Samsung renders earlier this month, which included a possible look at the Galaxy S21 FE. According to the renders on his account, the phone could have a similar appearance to the Galaxy S21, including a punchout for the front-facing camera and three cameras on the back.

The similarity to the S21 makes sense: The Galaxy S20 FE kept much of the S20’s design language while making cuts to the screen resolution and cameras that likely helped bring down the price. And according to a leak reported by SamMobile, the S21 FE will reportedly come in at least five colors.

What will it cost?

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE’s price started at $699 in the US, which was a substantial discount from the Galaxy S20’s $999 starting price. That price also undercut rival OnePlus 8T’s $749 starting price.

However, the Galaxy S21’s starting price of $800 was notably lower than the Galaxy S20, and it seems unlikely that a Galaxy S21 FE would receive a similar $300 discount — as the Galaxy A series of phones occupies that sub-$500 price range.

While we do not have any concrete details on price, a report from GizChina hypothesizes that $699 could be the price the S21 FE line launches at, which was the same starting price point for the Galaxy S20 FE. That price would still be about $100 lower than the Galaxy S21, positioning it as a higher-end value option.

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If the tweeted images are indeed the Galaxy S21 FE, the phone looks to have a design similar to the more expensive Galaxy S21.

Screenshot of Twitter/@evleaks

When will it be announced and released?

While it’s possible that the Galaxy S21 FE will get its debut at the August foldables event, it’s also possible that it will follow last year’s pattern of getting a stand-alone announcement. The Galaxy S20 FE had its own Unpacked event in September 2020; the phone’s reveal was touted as “a tribute to its Galaxy fans.”

However, that phone’s announcement and release was very close to the release of the Z Fold 2, which also took place in September. Perhaps they will get combined or get a similar amount of space.

We will keep updating this roundup as we hear more about the rumored Galaxy 21 FE. Do you currently have the Galaxy 20 FE and have thoughts about what should come next? Or have heard other rumors about the phone we should check out? Add them to the comments.