Galaxy Unpacked brought us a couple of shiny new foldable phones, two new smartwatches powered by an upgraded version of Wear OS, and a pair of wireless earbuds. The Galaxy S21 FE was nowhere to be found at Galaxy Unpacked. And with the phone’s official release still hanging in the air, we’re beginning to wonder if it even makes sense anymore for Samsung to be releasing the Galaxy S21 FE. Could it be too late for the Galaxy S21 FE to make a difference?
We loved the Galaxy S20 FE last year, and every leak got us more and more excited about the sequel. But at this point, even if we imagine Samsung releasing the Galaxy S21 FE tomorrow, it might be too little, too late. The Galaxy S22 is four-five months away — assuming Samsung will follow a January launch schedule — and on top of that, the Galaxy S21 5G is already available at Fan Edition prices.
And herein lies the big difference from last year. The Galaxy S20 FE made a lot more sense when it was released in October for $699 because the Galaxy S20 5G was selling for $999 at that time. Meanwhile, at the moment of writing, the Galaxy S20 FE maintains its $699 price and the Galaxy S21 5G costs $799, or $699 after an ongoing $100 discount.
And all of this is happening while Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 pre-orders hit an all-time high and break sales records. In this climate, Samsung might not want to even mention the launch of another smartphone — not for a while. The spotlight is on its new foldable phones, and the company might want to keep it there for the rest of the year.
There’s hope left for the Galaxy S21 FE
The Galaxy S21 FE has to do a lot better than $699 at launch if it wants to stand a chance against Samsung’s own lineup. Otherwise, we don’t see a lot of people picking the FE model over the regular Galaxy S21 5G. But if priced correctly, it could guarantee its success.
There were rumors about Samsung supposedly wanting to release the Galaxy S21 FE for a lower price than the S20 FE in South Korea, but time will tell. A lower-than-$699 launch price would certainly help its case, but only Samsung knows if it’s possible.
One thing’s certain; the Galaxy S21 FE’s chances of succeeding would be a lot higher if Samsung could somehow release it for something like $549, give or take. It would narrow the price gap between the Galaxy A52/A72 and the base Galaxy S flagship model and give prospective buyers even fewer reasons to doubt the FE brand. Then again, perhaps Samsung will want H2 2021 to be all about its new foldables.