This story is part of, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Samsung's most popular products.
The in January. Although Samsung is set to hold a preshow keynote on Jan. 4, we'll have to wait and see what that means for the Galaxy S21 FE (and the ). In the meantime, rumored leaked specs from German news site Win Future have .offered a balanced combination of helpful features for a , but when will its successor, the rumored Galaxy S21 FE, make its debut? Some say we could see the company's affordable smartphone
Samsung showed off the expensive foldable August event and more in October. Although upgrades to other phones in the are also on their way in the near future -- here's so far -- Drew Blackard, Samsung Electronics America's vice president of product management, previously said in an interview with CNET that .and at its
There have been many leaks and other tidbits floating around regarding the Galaxy S21 FE's possible specs and availability, so let's dive into what we know so far. We'll keep updating this as the release date approaches and we learn more.
Galaxy S21 FE specs
The Galaxy S21 FE's specs list reportedly appeared on China's TENAA certification site (via MyFixGuide). According to the listing, the phone would have a 6.4-inch screen with 2,340x1,080-pixel resolution, a 4,370-mAh battery, three cameras (a 32-megapixel main lens, a 12-megapixel front-facing and an 8-megapixel), an in-display fingerprint sensor and support for 45-watt fast-charging. The phone would also include 8GB RAM as well as 128GB and 256GB storage options.
If true, a 6.4-inch screen would make the phone a bit taller than the 6.2-inch screen on the higher-end Galaxy S21, while being slightly smaller than the 6.5-inch screen on last year's Galaxy S20 FE. However, this camera would be both a step up from the Galaxy S20 FE's main 12-megapixel lens and a step down from the S21's 64-megapixel camera. The Galaxy S21 FE could also have a Snapdragon 888 chip, according to MyFixGuide.
Many of these specs appeared in Win Future's recent leak as well. This includes the Galaxy S21 FE's rumored 6.4-inch screen, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, and 128GB or 256GB storage options. Win Future adds that the Galaxy S21 FE will sport a 4,500mAh battery with fast charging support, contradicting MyFixGuide's previously rumored 4,370-mAh battery.
As for the camera, the Galaxy S21 FE is said to have three rear-facing lenses, including a 12-megapixel wide-angle, 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle and a 3x optical telephoto 8-megapixel camera. The front-facing camera could have a 32MP lens, Win Future's report said. These specs are also different from MyFixGuide's previous speculation.
Win Future also hypothesizes Samsung's next Galaxy FE model will feature Android One with Samsung One UI 3.1. Earlier reports from SamMobile, however, say the Galaxy S21 FE will ship with and .
The phone could also include four free months of YouTube Premium, as SamMobile reports that Samsung France's website briefly listed that perk as coming with the purchase of a Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus or Galaxy S21 Ultra.
A leaked user manual for the Galaxy S21 FE, obtained by SamMobile, supported some of the previously rumored features, including an in-display fingerprint sensor. It also showed the new phone could offer reverse wireless charging support, IP68 dust and water resistance, and Dolby Atmos support. The manual didn't mention a microSD slot, which appeared on last year's Galaxy S20 FE.
What will the S21 FE look like?
Noted leaker Evan Blass tweeted out various purported Samsung renders in July, which included a possible look at the Galaxy S21 FE. Blass later revealed what he said were 3D renders of the upcoming smartphone on Twitter in August.
According to the renders on his account, the phone could have a similar appearance to the Galaxy S21, including a punch-out for the front-facing camera and three cameras on the back.
The similarity to the S21 makes sense: The Galaxy S20 FE kept much of the S20's design language while making cuts to the screen resolution and cameras that likely helped bring down the price. And according to a leak reported by SamMobile, the S21 FE will reportedly come in at least five colors. But the leaked user manual for the upcoming phone, also from SamMobile, showed that the Galaxy S21 FE would come in four color options, white, black, green and purple. Win Future shows the phone in four colors as well with black, white, pink and green options.
We may have gotten a peek at the Galaxy S21 FE in a back-to-school promo image briefly posted to Samsung's official Instagram account in August. The phone is shown in a backpack beside a laptop and a pair of. It looks similar to the from behind, but is shown in a lilac color that isn't currently one of the color options for the Galaxy S21. The post has since been deleted from Samsung's account.
Leaked photos of the Galaxy S21 FE's back panel were posted to Twitter by Quandt last month. Although none of the photos show the phone fully assembled, they do reveal the Galaxy S21 FE's camera layout with room for three lenses and an LED flash.
Marketing images of the Galaxy S21 FE were also leaked by Coinbrs giving us another look at the phone before its debut. The upcoming phone appears to sport a similar look to the Galaxy S21, and the pictures show us many previously rumored features. Coinbrs also hypothesized many of the device's specs, including its 6.4-inch screen, hole-punch display with a 32-megapixel selfie camera and in-display fingerprint scanner.
What will the S21 FE cost?
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE's price started at $699 in the US, which was a substantial discount from the Galaxy S20's $999 starting price. That price also undercut rival OnePlus 8T's $749 starting price.
However, the Galaxy S21's starting price of $800 was notably lower than the Galaxy S20's, and it seems unlikely that a Galaxy S21 FE would receive a similar $300 discount -- as theof phones occupies that sub-$500 price range.
While we don't have any concrete information on price, a report from GizChina hypothesizes that the S21 FE line could launch with a starting price of $699, the same as the starting price at launch for the Galaxy S20 FE. That price would still put it about $100 lower than the Galaxy S21, positioning it as a higher-end value option.
When will it be announced and released?
Although the Galaxy S21 FE was not unveiled at the August foldables event or Samsung's October event, it's possible that it will follow last year's pattern of getting a stand-alone announcement -- if it's announced at all.
Thein September 2020; the phone's reveal was touted as "a tribute to its Galaxy fans." That phone's release, however, was very close to the release of the , which also took place in September.
A September report from prolific leaker and Front Page Tech founder Jon Prosser suggested that the Galaxy S21 FE's launch date would be in October, which didn't pan out. Now, he speculates the Galaxy S21 FE will be revealed on Jan. 4, and the will be announced at a separate event on Feb. 8.
Prior to recent rumors about the phone's launch date, speculation from South Korean publication DDaily says the company has considered canceling the Galaxy S21 FE and had reportedly removed the support pages for the phone. The company previously added support pages for the smartphone under its model number, SM-G990B, that were removed following rumors of the phone's cancelation, but the pages have now been reuploaded to Samsung's websites.
Leaker @IceUniverse has said that it's "reasonable" for Samsung to cancel the Galaxy S21 FE if the company releases the in December.
For more, take a look at how the. You can also check out CNET's and .
We will keep updating this roundup as we hear more about the rumored Galaxy 21 FE. Do you currently have the Galaxy 20 FE and have thoughts about what should come next? Or have heard other rumors about the phone we should check out? Add them to the comments.