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5 important things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

After a journey to launch that included rumours of a complete cancellation, Samsung has finally unveiled the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Coming a month before many expect the Galaxy S22 to land and on the eve of CES 2022, the Galaxy S21 FE is the first notable phone launch of the year – but does it kick 2022 off in style?

To get you up to speed on Samsung’s latest attempt to build one of the best Android phones, we’ve rounded up five key things you need to know.

1. The screen size sits perfectly between the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus

One of our favourite things about the Galaxy S21 FE is the size and build. It’s a light phone (177g) and sits between the Galaxy S21 (6.2-inches) and S21 Plus (6.7-inches) with its 6.4-inch screen. This feels like the ideal balance between being small enough for many to use in one hand and being big enough to enjoy games and streaming.

2. The Galaxy S21 FE retains some features often left out on anything but a flagship

It’s not a surprise to look down the spec sheet of many phones that retail for £699-£799 and see a few notable missing features. These typically include an official IP rating for some protection from water and dust along with a lack of wireless charging.

While neither of these features is a dealbreaker, they’re certainly nice to have and both are found on the Galaxy S21 FE. The phone has an IP68 water resistance rating, along with support for Qi wireless charging up to 15w.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE front and screen

3. You’ll need to provide your own charger

Samsung ditched the chargers from its flagship phones last year and while many of its cheaper A-series devices still ship with the plug, the S21 FE does not.

This is fast becoming the norm for devices that don’t boast seriously nippy charging as a headline feature and it won’t be an issue for anyone who is upgrading from a USB-C phone. There’s a cable included in the very thin box, so you don’t need to provide that.

As we mentioned above, you can use wireless charging if you’ve got a Qi pad. If you want to get the fastest possible charging, you’ll want a charging block capable of 25w speeds. Samsung sells one of these, or you could use a third-party option.

4. Unlike the Pixel 6, there’s a dedicated zoom camera

Aside from Samsung’s own devices, the biggest competition to the Galaxy S21 FE feels like the Google Pixel 6. Spec-wise, the two phones are fairly similar with powerful chipsets, OLED displays and a focus on cameras.

One trick the Galaxy S21 FE has the Pixel 6 doesn’t is a dedicated telephoto camera. Here it’s an 8MP unit, making the rear setup a three-sensor array.

5. Some of the features from the regular S21 series have been ditched

The FE range is all about offering some higher-end features for a lower price, and that means a number of things are going to be ditched along the way. The good news is that the S21 FE doesn’t sacrifice too much, but there are a few notable omissions.

The telephoto camera, for instance, has been downgraded from the 64MP sensor found on the S21 and S21 Plus to an 8MP unit. You also lose out on the adaptive display, with the S21 FE sticking to either 120 or 60Hz.

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