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Samsung should have jumped right into the Galaxy S22 FE.

OPINION: After months of leaks, teasing, and even rumors of a complete cancellation, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S21 FE this week at CES 2022.

I’ve been using my phone for a week or so and I like it; I also think that many other people who buy it will also like it. Samsung makes some of the best phones out there, and the S21 FE meets those demands in several areas. The screen is fast and clear, the processor is nimble, and the cameras are reliable.

However, it looks a lot like a phone that was due out last summer – a year after the original S20 FE. The reported severe delay that pushed the S21 FE towards 2022 means some features aren’t showing up with the buzz they used to do.

The processor, for example, is the Snapdragon 888. If the S21 FE appeared last summer, it would be the flagship chipset. Now, although it has been replaced by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, I wouldn’t be surprised if phones with this silicon appear very soon that are at the same price or even cheaper than Samsung’s efforts. Most likely, these will be Realme, Xiaomi and OnePlus.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE back and cameras

Then there is the camera. On the back, you have the same main camera as the S21, plus an ultra wide angle and TV camera. The shots taken with the main 12MP camera are good: bright, detailed and typical of all Samsung phones are bright. However, they are nowhere near as good as the Pixel 6 shots – a phone launched in October 2021 that costs £ 100 less than the S21 FE.

Having used both of these phones, I think I would recommend Google’s efforts over Samsung to everyone, except perhaps those who can’t live without a 120Hz display.

And then there’s the Galaxy S22

The launch of the Galaxy S21 FE now means it will be out just a month before leaks suggest Samsung is announcing its next flagship, the Galaxy S22. It’s a weird time, and buyers might get the impression that the S21 FE is outdated.

For me, a better approach would be to turn the Galaxy S21 FE into an S22 FE and position it as a more affordable model in the S22 lineup alongside the regular S22, S22 Plus and the high-end Ultra model. This would give the S22 line a broader price appeal and allow it to completely replace the S21 line, rather than leave it a little confusing.

So far, there have been no rumors about the Galaxy S22 FE and at this stage we do not know if it is in development. So we don’t know if the January release window will persist or will return to the summer launch of the first iteration.

As I said, the Galaxy S21 FE is a good phone, but the strange release dates make it a little confusing.


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