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Do the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, OnePlus 9RT define what could be the best flagship phone in 2022?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and OnePlus 9RT are two highly anticipated smartphones that debuted in India this week. While the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE was launched as a successor to last year’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G, the OnePlus 9RT was an update to the OnePlus 9R that the Chinese company brought to the country to provide an affordable yet flagship experience. Even though their manufacturers position them differently, both new phones share some common features that make them comparable. So, is this the best flagship phone you can buy today?

We’ll discuss this and more in this week’s episode of the Gadgets 360 Orbital podcast. Host Ahil Arora chats with Associate Review Editor Roydon Serejo and Senior Reviewer Sheldon Pinto to talk about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and OnePlus 9RT. Roydon has review devices of both models for testing, and Sheldon reviewed the Galaxy S21 FE’s predecessor, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, last year.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE price in India starts at Rs. 54,999 for the 128 GB storage option. The phone also offers a 256GB model priced at Rs. 58,999. Samsung is currently offering cash back whereby customers using an HDFC bank card can earn Rs. 5000% off the price of the Galaxy S21 FE – no matter which option you choose. This effectively reduces the cost of the phone to Rs. 49999.

In contrast, the OnePlus 9RT debuted at Rs. 42,999 for the 8GB + 128GB base model and Rs. 46,999 for the 12GB + 256GB variant.

In terms of specifications, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is not a significant upgrade over the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. The phone features a 6.4-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate, an octa-core Exynos 2100 SoC, and 8GB of RAM as standard. It features a triple rear camera setup that has a 12MP main sensor with an f/1.8 wide-angle lens, as well as a 12MP ultra-wide shooter and an 8MP telephoto lens.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G First Impressions: On the Wave

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is powered by a 4500mAh battery that supports 25W ultra-fast wired charging and 15W fast wireless charging. There is also support for reverse wireless charging. In addition, the phone has an IP68 certified dust and water resistant housing.

It all sounds similar if you look at the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G. In fact, last year’s phone had a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC, which practically delivers performance on par with the latest Exynos chip. This model also features a slightly larger 6.5-inch AMOLED display.

In the case of the OnePlus 9RT, the smartphone has a couple of the most notable improvements over the OnePlus 9R. It comes with the Snapdragon 888 SoC, which outperforms the Snapdragon 870 chip available in last year’s model. The new chip is also used in OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro.

The OnePlus 9RT also has an upgraded triple camera main sensor compared to the OnePlus 9R. This is essentially the 50MP sensor that was available as a secondary camera on the OnePlus 9 Pro.

OnePlus 9RT first impressions: a beautiful powerhouse

It’s worth noting here that the OnePlus 9RT has arrived in India just a few days after the company launched the OnePlus 10 Pro as its next flagship in China. The new model is expected to debut in India in the near future.

Similarly, Samsung is currently busy preparing to launch the Galaxy S22 series as its new top offering. It will arrive in India shortly after its global debut.

We debate whether the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and OnePlus 9RT are worth the price they are available for. We will also touch on the fact that since the Galaxy S20 FE 5G and OnePlus 9R are still available on the market, are they better than the new models? You can catch it all by pressing the play button in the Spotify player embedded above.

If this is your first time on our site, you can find the Gadgets 360 podcast at Amazonian music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Gaana, GioSaavn, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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New episodes of Orbital come out every Friday, so be sure to check back every week.

Get the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show at Gadgets 360 at our CES 2022 hub.

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