Which one should you buy?

Posted on |


Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE front on carpet

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Fan Edition arrived behind schedule this year. It barely beat the Galaxy S22 series to market, so is it worth investing in the more affordable alternative? The designs may look quite similar, but some critical differences are under the hood. Let’s compare the Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21 FE to help you pick your next phone.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S22 buyer’s guide | Galaxy S21 FE buyer’s guide

Note: We’ll include the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus in the comparison but omit the Galaxy S22 Ultra, as it’s aimed at a slightly different group of users.


Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21 FE


Specs

Galaxy S22 Galaxy S22 Plus Galaxy S21 FE

Display

Galaxy S22

6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate

Galaxy S22 Plus

6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate

Galaxy S21 FE

6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED
FHD+ (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz refresh rate
240Hz touch sampling in gaming mode

Processor

Galaxy S22

US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200

Galaxy S22 Plus

US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200

Galaxy S21 FE

US: Snapdragon 888
Global: Exynos 2100

RAM

Galaxy S22

8GB

Galaxy S22 Plus

8GB

Galaxy S21 FE

6GB or 8GB

Storage

Galaxy S22

128 or 256GB
No microSD card support

Galaxy S22 Plus

128 or 256GB
No microSD card support

Galaxy S21 FE

128GB or 256GB
No microSD card support

Power

Galaxy S22

3,700mAh battery
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box

Galaxy S22 Plus

4,500mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box

Galaxy S21 FE

4,500mAh
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
No charger in box

Cameras

Galaxy S22

REAR:
– 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
– 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
– 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
– 40MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)

Galaxy S22 Plus

REAR:
– 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
– 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
– 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
– 40MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)

Galaxy S21 FE

Rear:
-12MP primary (ƒ1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, 79-degree FoV)
– 12MP ultrawide (ƒ2.2, 123-degree FoV)
– 8MP telephoto (ƒ2.4, 3x optical zoom, OIS, 32-degree FoV)

Front:
– 32MP single (ƒ2.2, 81-degree FoV)

Connectivity

Galaxy S22

5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6 (ax), Dual Band
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support

Galaxy S22 Plus

5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)

Galaxy S21 FE

5G (mmWave + Sub6)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC support

Security

Galaxy S22

Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size

Galaxy S22 Plus

Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size

Galaxy S21 FE

In-display optical fingerprint sensor

Software

Galaxy S22

Android 12
One UI 4.1

Galaxy S22 Plus

Android 12
One UI 4.1

Galaxy S21 FE

Android 12
One UI 4

S Pen support

Galaxy S22

No

Galaxy S22 Plus

No

Galaxy S21 FE

No

Materials

Galaxy S22

Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame

Galaxy S22 Plus

Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame

Galaxy S21 FE

Gorilla Glass Victus front
Metal frame
Plastic rear panel

Durability

Galaxy S22

IP68 certified

Galaxy S22 Plus

IP68 certified

Galaxy S21 FE

IP68 certified

Dimensions and weight

Galaxy S22

70.6 x 146 x 7.6mm
168g

Galaxy S22 Plus

75.8 x 157.4 x 7.6mm
196g

Galaxy S21 FE

155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm
177g

Colors

Galaxy S22

Phantom Black, Phantom White, green, Pink Gold

Galaxy S22 Plus

Phantom Black, Phantom White, green, Pink Gold

Galaxy S21 FE

White, Graphite, Olive, Lavender

Design

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus pink vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE black rear on bench

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

One look at the Galaxy S22 or S22 Plus next to the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, and you might not be able to tell them apart. Yes, the sizing is slightly different, but Samsung’s Contour Cut design makes its return once again. The camera bump blends into the corner on both models and matches the frame color. You’ll also find a trio of lenses on both series, covering the wide, ultrawide, and telephoto trifecta — but more on that later.

Once you move away from the camera bump, you’ll notice what might be the most significant difference between the devices — the materials. Samsung carried its “glasstic” finish to the Galaxy S21 FE, but the Galaxy S22 series marks the return of a glass panel on the back. Despite the different rear materials, both the Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S22 carry aluminum frames, offering better durability.

The Galaxy S22 series marks the triumphant return of glass, while the Galaxy S21 FE offers a glasstic alternative.

Taking the similarities a step further, all three devices offer flat AMOLED displays with 120Hz refresh rates and Full HD+ resolutions. Once again, the best way to tell them apart is the size. Samsung’s vanilla Galaxy S22 is the baby of the bunch at 6.1-inches, while the Galaxy S21 FE lands in the middle at 6.4-inches. The Galaxy S22 Plus comes out on top at 6.6-inches, and both of the newer handsets sport Gorilla Glass Victus Plus compared to the standard Victus of the Galaxy S21 FE.

All three panels offer Infinity-O designs, with a single, central-mounted selfie camera. This time, the Galaxy S21 FE comes out on top with its impressive 32MP shooter compared to just 10MP on both the S22 and S22 Plus.

We loved the Phantom finishes on the Galaxy S21 series, and it’s nice to see a few options return. The new Galaxy S22 series comes in Phantom Black, Pink Gold, green, and white. Over on the Galaxy S21 FE, your color options include white, Graphite, Lavender, and Olive, but the matte finish doesn’t catch light quite as well as the Galaxy S22 series.

Complete your setup: Our guide to all the phone accessories you’ll ever need

Features

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus in blue angled camera closeup

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

We’ve pretty well established that the Samsung Galaxy S22 series and Galaxy S21 FE look an awful lot alike, but now it’s time to go under the hood. While the Galaxy S21 FE can hold its own with 2021’s Snapdragon 888 processor, the Galaxy S22 series has a slight advantage thanks to the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. You can grab up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage on any of the three models, and there’s no microSD slot in sight.

We briefly mentioned that the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus, and Galaxy S21 FE carry three rear cameras, but not all trios are created equal. Where the Fan Edition device offers a 12MP wide, 8MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide lens, the S22 duo packs far more megapixels. The phones swap to a 50MP wide lens and a 10MP telephoto lens and record up to 8K video at 24fps.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Samsung Galaxy S22 offers the smallest battery of the three. However, it makes the curious decision to carry a smaller battery than the Galaxy S21. Samsung’s small flagship offers just a 3,700mAh cell, while the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S21 FE offer 4,500mAh options. The Galaxy S22 Plus is the only way to go if you’re worried about charging. It tops out at 45W wired speeds, while the others stop at 25W. No matter which way you go, you’ll get 15W wireless charging.

See also: The best Samsung Galaxy chargers

While all three devices pack fingerprint readers in their displays, the Galaxy S21 FE once again lags behind a bit. It offers an optical fingerprint reader compared to the ultrasonic option on Samsung’s flagships.

Yet another similarity to consider is the software support. All three devices arrived with Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI skin onboard. The Galaxy S22 duo comes out slightly ahead with One UI 4.1 compared to 4, but the difference is minimal. Samsung’s update policy actually tops Google with four major Android OS updates and five years of security patches. That means we should see up to Android 16 and patches through early 2027.

Price

  • Samsung Galaxy S22: $799
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: $999
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: $699/£699/€759

Samsung hasn’t changed its flagship pricing structure from last year — the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus start at $799 and $999, respectively. However, the Galaxy S21 FE with 128GB of storage undercuts them at $699. If you want additional storage, the Galaxy S21 FE will cost $769 for 256GB. Over on the Galaxy S22 series, the 256GB version of the Galaxy S22 will set you back $849, while the S22 Plus comes in at $1,049.

Galaxy S21 FE Green Back RGB

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung’s 2021 flagship finally gets a “fan edition”

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is very similar to the vanilla Galaxy S21. However, it pares things down a bit in order to slash $100 from the MSRP.

Samsung Galaxy S22

The gold standard for Android smartphones.

The vanilla Samsung Galaxy S22 is subtly tweaked from its predecessor, the Galaxy S21. It has a glass back again (nice!) and features the latest 2022 silicon. It also has an upgraded camera system that should be much better than the 2021 model.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The bigger and better (but not best) Galaxy S22.

The Galaxy S22 Plus is bigger than the vanilla Galaxy S22. It has a larger display, a larger battery, and charges faster with a wired connection. However, its cameras, processor, RAM, and internal storage options are the same as its little brother’s.


Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21 FE: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Pink vs Samsung Galaxy S21 FE front on table

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE offers a great way to get your hands on Samsung’s latest hardware and software at a slightly lower cost. However, $100 goes a long way for the Galaxy S22 series. The newer devices carry updated processors, better build materials, and significantly improved rear cameras — even if the selfie cameras take a step back.

That said, there are a few features that you’ll have to drop $1,000 to match on a Galaxy S22 device. The Galaxy S21 FE tops the vanilla model in battery size and display size, even if the Galaxy S22 Plus offers the fastest charging and largest display of the three.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21 FE: Which one should you buy?

26 votes

If we rule out the similar design languages and identical RAM and storage options, it makes your decision a lot easier. Those looking to load up on selfies should choose the Galaxy S21 FE, while users hoping for a rear camera experience should drop the extra $100 for the Galaxy S22 series. We’ve given you our thoughts, but now it’s up to you to vote in our poll above and choose your next device.

Save some money: The best Samsung Galaxy deals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *