Samsung Electronics has unveiled a new, lower-cost version of its Galaxy S21 smartphone, the S21 FE 5G, at the annual CES conference in Las Vegas.
The new FE phone, which stands for Fan Edition, costs US$699 (R11 100 on a direct currency conversion, before taxes), which is $100 less than the normal S21. The new handset has a slightly larger screen than the standard model, but less-powerful camera features, security tools and memory. The screen is 6.4 inches compared to 6.2 inches on the regular S21, though the new model it has a lower pixel density.
The $699 starting price for the FE gives the South Korean technology giant a more competitive offering in its rivalry with Apple. The Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker sells an iPhone 13 mini and standard iPhone 12 for that same price. Apple is working on a new iPhone SE, its low-end smartphone, with 5G for this year.
The new FE, which goes on sale on 11 January, also has three cameras — 12-megapixel main and wide-angle cameras and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. The wide-angle and main camera sensors are similar to those on the standard S21, which has a far stronger, 64-megapixel telephoto system.
The new model has the same processor as the original S21 phones, but has a higher capacity battery. The phones are offered in the same 128GB and 256GB storage options, but the lower capacity version has 6GB of RAM, compared to 8GB on the regular S21 with the same capacity. The FE has a simpler optical fingerprint sensor than the ultrasonic sensor on the pricier phone. — (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP