SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Galaxy S21 FE vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Budget-friendly vs no-compromise


Last updated: January 4th, 2022 at 10:12 UTC+02:00

After Galaxy Unpacked at CES, the Galaxy S21 FE became the most affordable model in the entire Galaxy S21 series. At the other end of the spectrum, the Galaxy S21 Ultra remains the most expensive device in the lineup, thanks to a combination of advanced technologies and exclusive features. So, how does the cost-effective Galaxy S21 FE compare to Samsung’s greatest, no-compromise “candy bar” mobile phone yet? Let’s have a look.

Galaxy S21 FE vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Displays and cameras

Quite obviously, the Galaxy S21 FE has a smaller 6.4-inch display, whereas the Galaxy S21 Ultra is equipped with a 6.8-inch panel.

More importantly, the Galaxy S21 FE has a lower resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, and the panel doesn’t have a built-in digitizer for the S Pen. In fact, the Galaxy S21 Ultra remains the only Galaxy S phone to offer S Pen support, at least for a few more weeks until the Galaxy S22 Ultra becomes official.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s AMOLED panel can top a higher peak brightness level of 1,500 nits, up from the FE model’s 1,200 nits. So, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a superior display, but the Galaxy S21 FE’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel can certainly hold its own, especially at its lower price point.

As for the cameras, the Galaxy S21 FE is similar to the base Galaxy S21 model, save for the fact that it has an 8MP telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom and a higher-resolution 32MP selfie sensors. So how does this hold up against the top-tier variant? Needless to say, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a vastly superior camera phone next to the Galaxy S21 FE, as it boasts four main shooters, 10x optical zoom, and a 40MP selfie shooter with PDAF.

Galaxy S21 FE vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Cheaper vs pricier

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is, without a doubt, better in virtually every category, save for the fact that it ships with Android 11 instead of Android 12 and One UI 4.0. Thankfully, Galaxy S21 Ultra customers can grab the One UI 4.0, but as far as future-proofing is concerned, the Galaxy S21 FE should benefit from one extra Android OS update roughly three years from now.

Firmware aside, the Galaxy S21 Ultra model has a larger battery, more powerful cameras, a bigger, brighter, higher-resolution display with S Pen support, UWB, a higher build quality, and more.

Then again, the Galaxy S21 FE offers similar performance levels because it uses the same Exynos 2100 / Snapdragon 888 chipset. Despite this, the Fan Edition model costs almost half the price of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and it should be obvious why. The Ultra model is a no-compromise phone, whereas the Galaxy S21 FE works the other way around.

If you’re looking for a budget Samsung flagship, you already know that the Galaxy S21 Ultra isn’t it because it never was. As to whether or not the higher price of the Galaxy S21 Ultra is worth it over the Galaxy S21 FE, that’s for you to decide. It all comes down to how much you use mobile cameras, whether or not you need an S Pen and UWB, whether you’ll care about firmware support a few years down the line, and other factors.

Galaxy S21 Ultra review

Galaxy S21 FE

Buy Full specs

Galaxy S21 Ultra

Buy Full specs

General Information

  • Model Name

    Galaxy S21 FE

    Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • Model type



  • Colors

    Graphite (Graphite)Lavender (Lavender)Olive (Olive)White (White)

    Black (Black)Silver (Silver)Brown (Brown)Navy (Navy)Titanium (Titanium)

  • Announced

    2022, January

    2021, January

  • Released

    2021, January

Physical specifications

  • Dimensions

    Bar: 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm

    Bar: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm

  • Weights



  • IP rating



Operating system

  • Operating system

    Android 12

    Android 11

  • One UI version




  • SIM

    Dual SIM model

    Dual SIM model

  • SIM card sizes

    Nano-SIM (4FF)

    Nano-SIM (4FF)

  • Networks



  • eSIM support




  • Kind

    Main Display

  • Name

    Infinity-O Display

  • Technology

    Dynamic AMOLED 2X

  • Size

    6.8 inch / 172.72 mm

  • Resolution

    WQHD+ / 3200x1440 pixels

  • Pixel density

    515 PPI

  • Screen to body ratio


  • Refresh rate


Join SamMobile’s Telegram group and subscribe to our YouTube channel to get instant news updates and in-depth reviews of Samsung devices. You can also subscribe to get updates from us on Google News and follow us on Twitter.

Phone Galaxy S21 FEGalaxy S21 Ultra
Load 4 comments

You might also like

New Galaxy S21 FE listed as a 5G device on Google Play

While rumors were making the rounds that Samsung was working on a new mid-range Galaxy S21 FE 4G, it turns ou …

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 2 days ago

Exclusive: Samsung Galaxy S22 FE may end up being cancelled

It was a big deal when Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 FE or Fan Edition back in September 2020. It had been a …

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 1 week ago

Galaxy S21 FE gets better stability and security through June 2022 upd …

The Galaxy S21 FE is joining the rest of the S21 series and is now getting the June 2022 security patch. As us …

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 1 week ago

Galaxy S21 FE with a less powerful processor on the way

Samsung may be planning to release a cheaper version of the Galaxy S21 FE this summer. A new S21 FE variant go …

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 1 week ago

Get the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for $125 less this Father’s Day

If you were looking for a gift for your old man this Father’s Day, then you should check out the great d …

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 2 weeks ago

Galaxy S21 gets support for Vo5G calls on T-Mobile’s network in …

Last week, the Galaxy S22 became the first phone in the world to receive support for Vo5G (Voice Over 5G) cal …

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 2 weeks ago