Samsung Galaxy S21 FE may arrive in August — here's what we know

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Samsung's Galaxy S20 FE was a surprise release from the company in 2020 and one of the best smartphones of the year, delivering flagship-level specs at a remarkably affordable price. 

With Samsung dropping the price of the Galaxy S21 lineup, there was some question as to whether there was still room for a Galaxy S21 FE. However, an alleged Samsung product roadmap leaked by Evan Blass suggests that the company does indeed have a follow-up planned for later this year (via Android Authority). 

The roadmap gives August 19 as the date for the "FE Unpacked" event, which Blass interprets as being for the Galaxy S21 FE. It's worth noting that there have also been rumors of a Galaxy Z Fold FE floating around, so it's possible this FE event would have more in store than just the Galaxy S21 FE.

With the Galaxy S21 FE Samsung finds itself in a much more difficult position than last year due to the aforementioned $200 price drop to the Galaxy S21 models. The Galaxy S20 FE launched at $699, just $100 shy of the MSRP for the Galaxy S21, but that phone can already be regularly found for $699. 

So Samsung really needs to bring the Galaxy S21 FE in at $549-$599 for it to have some meaningful separation. The question is what cuts can Samsung make for the Galaxy S21 FE hardware from the already stripped down Galaxy S21 while still maintaining any of what made the Galaxy S20 FE a hit. Sacrificing on the processor or dropping the telephoto lens would certainly do it, but at that point, the company runs into its own Galaxy A52 5G which is expected to come in around $499 when it launches in the U.S.

The Galaxy S20 FE received an Editor's Choice from us last year and remains one of my top recommendations for anyone looking for a high-end phone on a budget, but I'm definitely worried that the Galaxy S21 FE could be a sophomore slump.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.