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On Amazon Prime Day, Samsung's Galaxy S21 FE Is Just the Right Price

The Galaxy S21 FE is usually overshadowed by the S22 lineup at its normal price. But not on Prime Day.

three-quarter view of Samsung's Galaxy S21 FE on a blue background
Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Amazon Prime Day has changed my opinion on the Galaxy S21 FE -- at least for now. Samsung's middle-tier phone has a lot going for it, but the Galaxy S21 FE also feels overpriced at its usual price of $700. Now, Amazon is selling it for $490 on Prime Day, a price that finally sets it apart from the Galaxy S22 lineup in a meaningful way. 

That's a discount of $210 compared to its usual price. Not too long ago, I wrote about why the Galaxy S21 FE failed to stand out the way its predecessor did. The Galaxy S20 FE was $300 less expensive than the Galaxy S20 was when it launched, making it feel like a notable bargain. But the Galaxy S21 FE was only $100 cheaper than the Galaxy S22, which didn't feel like a big enough difference to justify buying what is essentially a previous-generation phone. 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed using the Galaxy S21 FE thanks to its relatively long battery life, crisp triple-lens camera and spacious screen. It just didn't seem like a great value when weighed against the $800 Galaxy S22 and other competitors like the $600 Google Pixel 6, both of which are also on sale for Prime Day.

At this price, the Galaxy S21 FE is a no-brainer, particularly for shoppers who just want a reliable, affordable Android phone. It's only $40 more expensive than the Galaxy A53 5G, which has an inferior camera and slower performance. Check out our additional coverage to learn more about the Galaxy S21 FE and how it compares to the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy A53 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs. Galaxy S22


Galaxy S21 FE Galaxy S22
Display size, resolution, refresh rate 6.4-inch AMOLED; 2,400x1,080; 120Hz 6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340x1,080; 120Hz
Pixel density 401 pixels per inch 425 pixels per inch
Dimensions (millimeters) 74.5 x 155.7 x 7.9 mm 70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm
Weight (grams) 177g 167g (168g for mmWave model)
Mobile software Android 11 Android 12
Camera 12-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 8-megapixel (telephoto) 50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 32-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video capture 4K at 60 fps 8K at 24 fps
Processor Snapdragon 888 (in the US) Snapdragon 8 gen 1
RAM/Storage 6GB, 128GB; 8GB, 128GB; 8GB, 256GB 8GB, 128GB; 8GB, 256GB
Expandable storage None None
Battery/Charger 4,500 mAh (no bundled charger) 3,700 mAh (25W wired charging)
Fingerprint sensor In-display In-display
Connector USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None No
Special features 5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave), IP68 rating, 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging 5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave), IP68 rating, 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging

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