These are the Best Samsung Galaxy S21 FE alternatives in 2022
While we prepare for the flagship Samsung Galaxy S22 series to launch in a couple of weeks, Samsung has announced the more affordable Galaxy S21 FE. It’s a good phone for people who are looking for a flagship experience at a not-so-flagship price. Samsung’s brand value and their feature-rich OS might compel some people to pick the Galaxy S21 FE. However, if you’re open to other options, here are the best Galaxy S21 FE alternatives that you can buy that are either better than the phone or provide better value. If you still plan on going with Samsung’s offering, take a look at the best Galaxy 21 FE deals to save some money.
1. Google Pixel 6
This should be the most obvious choice if you’re looking for an alternative to the Galaxy S21 FE. The Pixel 6 slots in right below the Pixel 6 Pro and is an excellent value offering which is why a lot of people may even opt for the Pixel 6 over the Pixel 6 Pro. It’s got the same new Tensor chip with all the AI and ML capabilities. The display has been slightly toned down with the Pixel 6 compared to the Pro. It’s still a good display though with a 90Hz OLED panel. The rear houses the same two cameras — a 50MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide but misses out on the telephoto lens from the Pixel 6 Pro.
The camera on the front isn’t as wide as the one on the Pro and also drops the resolution to 8MP. Other than that, there’s not a lot you’re missing out on with the standard Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 is also slightly smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro which a few people may prefer. You get the same sort of software support on the Pixel 6 too. The battery is slightly smaller at 4600mAh but the smaller screen and lower refresh rate mean that the battery life is going to be as good as the Pro if not better. Starting at just $599, the Pixel 6 is a great value offering and should be the phone most people should get if you want the best value flagship.
If you play a lot of games on your phone, The Galaxy S21 FE with the Snapdragon 888 is going to perform slightly better but there won’t be any noticeable difference in day-to-day usage. The build quality is better on the Pixel 6 and while you lose out on a telephoto lens and a 120Hz display, Google’s software magic on the Pixel 6 makes up for it. If you take a lot of photos especially, you’re going to love the Pixel 6.
2. OnePlus 9
The OnePlus 9 is a proper flagship smartphone making it a perfect alternative to the Galaxy S21 FE. OnePlus has been all about speed right from the beginning and the OnePlus 9 is no different. It’s got the might Snapdragon 888 chipset under the hood, the same as the one found in the Galaxy S21 FE in the US, and better than the Exynos 2100 on international variants. If you want a phone that runs fast and can play heavy games, look no further.
Just like the Galaxy S21 FE, the OnePlus 9 also has a Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The rear houses cameras that are tuned by Hasselblad and while there’s no telephoto camera on the OnePlus 9, the good battery life and extremely fast 65W charging more than makeup for it. The Galaxy S21 FE can only charge at up to 25W which is no comparison to OnePlus’ Warp Charge tech.
At the time of writing, the Oneplus 9 is also a good $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S21 FE making it a no-brainer. OnePlus will also update the device for three years just like Samsung.
3. Apple iPhone 13 Mini
This could have been the iPhone 13 instead of the Mini, but the iPhone 13 Mini is closer to the Galaxy S21 FE in terms of price which is why the recommendation. The iPhone 13 Mini is better than the Galaxy S21 FE in just about every aspect except for the display. Apple’s A15 Bionic is a fantastic CPU that beats the Snapdragon 888 or the Exynos 2100 both in terms of performance as well as efficiency. The iPhone 13 Mini also has a glass back in place of the plastic one on the S21 FE.
While the Galaxy S21 FE may have an extra telephoto camera lens, the quality of images and videos captured by the iPhone 13 Mini is better. One area where you will be making a compromise with the iPhone 13 Mini is in terms of the display. The Galaxy S21 FE has a larger display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The iPhone 13 Mini, as the name suggests, has a small 5.4-inch display with a 60Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy S21 FE’s display just feels more modern and would be better for content consumption.
That being said, if you can extend your budget, we suggest picking up the standard iPhone 13 for a larger display and for an overall better package. The battery life on the iPhone 13 Mini has also improved considerably from last year’s 12 Mini and it only gets better on the standard iPhone 13. Of course, all this is prevalent only if you’re willing to make the switch to iOS. If you’re an ardent Android fan, you might be hesitant but if you don’t mind iOS, the iPhone 13 or the iPhone 13 Mini are great alternatives depending on your budget.
4. Asus Zenfone 8
The Asus Zenfone 8 is a compact smartphone that packs powerful specifications. It’s got the Snapdragon 888 just like the Galaxy S21 FE but the biggest difference comes in terms of the overall form factor. If you’re a fan of small and compact devices, the Zenfone 8 is for you. It comes in at a similar price point as the Galaxy S21 FE with the rest of the specs also being quite similar. The display is smaller but it has got the same AMOLED tech and 120Hz refresh rate ensuring smooth scrolling and performance.
The Galaxy S21 FE has an extra telephoto camera on the rear and a larger battery compared to the 4,000mAh battery cell on the Zenfone 8. Of course, not everyone likes smaller displays with so much of content to consume online of late. However, if you are one of those people who like smaller devices, you should surely consider the Asus Zenfone 8. It’s currently retailing for slightly lesser than the Galaxy S21 FE at $629.
5. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Surprise surprise! The Galaxy S20 FE 5G from last year is still an excellent option and provides better value than the new Galaxy S21 FE. It’s got a powerful Snapdragon 865 SoC, a 120Hz AMOLED display, a similar set of cameras as the Galaxy S21 FE, and a good overall package with a 4,500mAh battery and support for wireless charging. Given that it belongs to Samsung’s premium range of phones, you will also get three years of Android version updates.
Granted the Galaxy S21 FE is newer, it will receive an extra year of updates but that’s something you can look past especially if you plan on using the phone for 2-3 years only. 5G support on the Galaxy S20 FE means that you won’t miss out on the latest networking tech either. You can get the Galaxy S20 FE for at least $100 lesser than the Galaxy S21 FE and if you look for deals or used/refurbished devices, you can get it for much cheaper too. If you want to save some money while getting a similar experience from the same brand, the Galaxy S20 FE still makes sense in 2022.
6. Best Alternative for India: OnePlus 9RT
The OnePlus 9RT is the newest launch from OnePlus in India and the specifications are quite similar to that of the Galaxy S21 FE. The rear houses triple cameras on both phones but the Galaxy S21 FE gets a more useful telephoto camera. The display on both phones is also similar — a Full HD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera. However, there are a few key differences that make the OnePlus 9RT a better pick when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.
For starters, the chipset on the Galaxy S21 FE sold in India is the Exynos 2100 which is powerful, but not that great when it comes to mobile gaming. If you play a lot o heavy games like BGMI and Genshin Impact, you will notice a dip in performance. On the other hand, the OnePlus 9RT packs the Snapdragon 888 chipset which is more powerful and can handle heavy tasks with ease. Another aspect going to the OnePlus 9RT is the 65W Warp Charging which trumps the 25W charging support present on the Galaxy S21 FE.
Overall, the OnePlus 9RT just seems like a more well-rounded phone and also provides better value compared to the Galaxy S21 FE.
These were some of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 FE alternatives that you can purchase at a similar price point of around $600-700. All phones mentioned in this list are very well worth their price tags so you can pick the one that interests you the most. If you want the best set of cameras, you can pick the Pixel 6. If you want solid performance with fast charging, the OnePlus 9 is a great option. if you don’t mind switching to iOS and want a compact device, the iPhone 13 Mini should be your pick. And if you want to stick with the Galaxy S21 FE, we recommend picking up a case for it.
Which of these devices do you think is the perfect alternative to Galaxy S21 FE? Let us know in the comments below!