the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has one problem – its price. Despite this budget alternative to the Galaxy S21 Due to the devaluation of technology over time, the older, more powerful handset is now the cheaper.
S21 FE starting price: $ 699 / £ 699 / AU $ 999
S21 starting price: $ 799 / £ 769 / AU $ 1,249
S20 FE starting price: $ 699 / £ 699 / AU $ 1,149
S20 starting price: $ 999 / £ 899 / AU $ 1,499
As a result, after debuting at CES 2022– Reactions from tech journalists to the Galaxy S21 FE have been lukewarm; In our review, we said, “At its introductory price, it’s hard to recommend.” And our sister site Tom’s instructions said: “Samsung should have just preserved this and saved all the fanfare for the Galaxy S22.”
So it’s easy to ignore that afterthought of a smartphone, but there’s actually a way Samsung could save it – and it all comes down to that Galaxy S22which we expect to publish shortly.
A new S22
We were pretty impressed with the price of the Samsung Galaxy S21 when it launched, as its $ 799 / £ 769 / AU $ 1,249 cost was representative of a larger price drop for the family – the S20 phones cost quite a bit more.
That’s part of the problem with the Galaxy S21 FE. Its siblings were so cheap that considering its price it is not suitable as a cheaper alternative.
But Samsung could fix all of that. Depending on the price of the Galaxy S22 phones, the S21 FE could serve better as an inexpensive companion to the new line instead of the S21 family.
The timing works – it will basically start, give, or take a couple of weeks along with you.
The difference between the specs and features is probably not a big problem either. Samsung phones usually only get a small update every year, and we don’t expect the S22 devices to be much different from their S21 predecessors. So the S21 FE won’t feel like a downgrade to the S22 models any more than the price would cause.
In addition, the S21 FE also runs Android 12, in contrast to the supplied S21 family Android 11 (although they can now be updated). On the software side, the S21 FE is closer to the S22 than the S21 devices.
A climbing prize
If the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE were positioned as the cheaper brother of the S22, this would have an obvious and potentially problematic implication: Such a step would only work if the Galaxy S22 series were a bit more expensive. We could see a return to the S20’s starting price of $ 999 / £ 899 / AU $ 1,499, or at least at this ballpark.
That high price tag would make the Galaxy S22 a little more difficult to afford for most average buyers, especially the Plus and Ultra models, which would end up being even more expensive.
This is a problem not only for buyers but also for Samsung as the phones would be less tempting when compared to alternatives from competitors like that Xiaomi 12, OnePlus 10, Oppo Find X4 and Realme GT 2, and later also the iPhone 14.
The premium smartphone class is competitive with many high-performance phones coming out at similar prices, and Samsung would be at a big disadvantage if it significantly increased the price of its phones.
If Samsung made the starting price of the S22 higher than the S21, the S21 FE might seem like a more tempting option, but at the expense of the sale and appeal of the S22 models. There’s no perfect answer, but we’ll likely find out which choice the company makes soon, as the new Samsung Galaxy phones are slated to hit the market around the end of January.