The Galaxy S21 FE (or “Fan Edition”) has been mooted since June, and will reportedly follow the model of the S20 FE and S10 Lite before it: a cut back version of Samsung’s most recent flagship with the core specs kept intact.
Given so much was leaked in June, you might expect a release date to be just around the corner – possibly at the same time as the upcoming foldable Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 – but SamMobile reckons a delay pushes things back to any point between October and December 2021. The reasoning, as you may have guessed, is the ongoing chip shortage affecting everything from consoles to cars.
While a delay to Q4 clearly isn’t happy news for anyone looking for flagship speeds on the cheap, this is at least more positive than the last big rumour, which was that Samsung had been forced to scrap the handset entirely in order to funnel limited chip supply towards its flagship foldables.
Assuming the device isn’t perpetually delayed, the specs we’ve heard have sounded pretty promising. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will apparently retain the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor found in the original S21, supported by a slightly cut down 6GB RAM. Although set to look similar at a glance, the frame will likely be a more plasticky affair, meaning an end to the attractive two-tone design as the previously metal camera hump joins the main body.
While the Galaxy S20 launched at £799, the cuts on the FE version were enough to slash £200 from the RRP. You’d imagine Samsung has similar plans for the S21 FE, although the chip shortage may ensure the price isn’t quite as competitive this time around.
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If a possible delay to Q4 is too long for you, then cheaper Snapdragon 888 packing alternatives are available. Most recently, the Realme GT went on sale in Europe for just €450, although we had concerns about the macro and zoom photography when we reviewed it.
We’ve reached out to Samsung to ask whether Q4 is a possible launch window for the Galaxy S21 FE, and will update this when we hear back from the company.