Samsung released the Fan Edition of its Galaxy S21 series in January 2022, with aim of creating an all-in-one type of phone that can appeal to a “gaming guru or social media star” alike. Powered by Qualcomm’s 888 Snapdragon chipset, the 6.4-inch Galaxy S21 FE 5G lands in our Premium ($600-$799) segment and comes in four different colors, including a new olive color made especially for this model.
We put the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (Snapdragon) through our rigorous DXOMARK Audio test suite to measure its performance both at recording sound using its built-in microphones, and at playing audio back through its speakers. In this review, we will break down how it fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases.
Key Audio specifications include:
- Two speakers (up front-firing, and bottom side-firing)
- Audio zoom
- Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology
- Dual Audio (user can connect two Bluetooth devices for simultaneous playback)
About DXOMARK Audio tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone audio reviews, DXOMARK engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled lab conditions. This short review highlights the most important results of our testing. Note that we evaluate both Playback and Recording using only the device’s built-in hardware and default apps.
(For more details about our Playback protocol, click here; for more details about our Recording protocol, click here.)
Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (Snapdragon)
- Overall correct performance
- Correct balance and localizability, despite some flaws
- Dynamics performance at low volume
- Loudness at maximum volume.
- Almost no artifacts perceived in playback
- Good tonal balance at high SPL
- Few artifacts
- Good SNR across tested use cases
- Excellent wideness and good localizability in life videos.
- Good directivity when recording selfies.
- Mono recording of the memo app that impairs wideness and localizability
- Tonal balance, hindered by lack of treble and bass in life video recording
- Unrealistic background noise
With an overall Audio score of 70, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (Snapdragon) matches the scores of the other models in the Samsung S21 series. As with the other models, the S21 FE 5G showed outstanding management of artifacts. The S21 FE 5G only had minor one-point differences in timbre and volume results for both playback and recording. Its audio performance in the Premium segment, however, was still far from the top-ranked Black Shark 4 Pro and 4S Pro, which both achieved overall scores of 81.
The Galaxy S21 FE 5G’s results indicate Samsung has kept audio specs and tuning nearly the same across all the S21 versions.
Because of S21 FE 5G’s mostly identical results, we invite you read the full Audio review of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos) for more details on its sound performance.
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