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Galaxy S21 FE
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Xperia 1 III
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What we think

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The PerfectRec phone team Learn more
Updated January 10, 2024·

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE offers a good balance with its midrange price, decent camera quality, and a plastic back that might be less premium feeling compared to glass. The battery life is slightly better, and it also has a marginally larger screen than the Sony Xperia 1 III. On the flip side, if camera quality is a high priority for you, the Sony Xperia 1 III could be a better choice despite its premium price; it offers robust camera features including a telephoto lens with a high focal length and the ability to record higher quality video. However, keep in mind that you'd be paying more for these additional camera capabilities and a glass back design. Both phones run on Android and have similar processors, so performance should be fairly comparable. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs and product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars and the variant with some specs cost some dollars.
Advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
  • The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has no clear advantages over the Sony Xperia 1 III.
Advantages of the Sony Xperia 1 III
  • Best in class display quality
  • Good performance

Key differences

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Overall Camera Quality

7.0
Galaxy S21 FE
Xperia 1 III
6.0
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has good overall camera quality, while the Sony Xperia 1 III has only fair overall camera quality.

Photo Quality

6.9
Galaxy S21 FE
Xperia 1 III
5.9
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE takes only fair photos, while the Sony Xperia 1 III takes poor photos.

Battery

6.7 Hours
Galaxy S21 FE
Xperia 1 III
5.6 Hours
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has 6.7 hours of battery life. The Sony Xperia 1 III has 5.6 hours of battery life.

Screen Size

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a screen size of 6.4 inches and the Sony Xperia 1 III is 6.5 inches.

Cost

$600
Galaxy S21 FE
Xperia 1 III
$1,305
Product image
Product image

$200

$400

$600

$800

$1,000

$1,200

$1,400

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a price of $600 and the Sony Xperia 1 III costs $1,305.
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Key similarities

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Video Quality

5.9
Galaxy S21 FE
Xperia 1 III
6.0
Although they have very similar scores, PerfectRec considers Sony Xperia 1 III to have only fair videos, while the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE takes poor videos.

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How the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and the Sony Xperia 1 III compare to other phones

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Spec Comparison

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FESony Xperia 1 III
Samsung Galaxy S21 FESony Xperia 1 III

GENERAL

Price
$600
$1,305
Brand
SamsungSony
Operating System
AndroidAndroid
Release Date
January 29, 2022August 25, 2021

SCREEN

Screen Size
6.4"6.5"
Resolution
2400 x 10803840 x 1644
Variable refresh rate
NoNo
Pixels Per Inch
401643
Display Type
OLEDOLED

INTERNAL

Processor
SD888SD888
Internal Storage
128 GB256 GB
RAM
6 GB12 GB

CAMERA

Overall Camera Quality Score
7.1/106/10
Photos Score
6.9/105.9/10
Videos Score
5.9/106/10
Rear Cameras
Main, Ultrawide, TelephotoMain, Ultrawide, Telephoto
Main Camera
12 megapixels + OIS12 megapixels + OIS

BATTERY

Battery Life
6.7 Hours5.6 Hours
Battery Capacity
4500 mAh4500 mAh
Wireless Charging
YesYes
Wireless charging Speed
15 W15 W
Reverse wireless charging
Yes (4.5 watts)No

PHYSICAL

Size
6.13" x 2.93"6.5" x 2.8"
Weight
6.24 oz5.93 oz
Back Material
PlasticGlass
Stereo Speakers
NoYes

CONNECTIVITY

Dual SIM
YesYes
Bluetooth Version
5.05.2
A2DP
YesYes
WiFi Version
66
NFC
YesYes
US 5G Bands
(SA/NSA/Sub6/mmWave)41, 66, 71, 260, 261(SA/NSA/Sub6)1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 66, 71, 77, 78

OTHER FEATURES

Biometric unlock
Face unlock, Fingerprint sensor: Under DisplayFingerprint sensor: Side
Unlockable Bootloader
NoNo
Color
Graphite, Lavender, Olive, White, Navy BlueBlack
Stock Android
NoYes
SD Card
NoYes

Shopping

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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

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Dig into reviews and images

Tom's Guide

Philip Michaels | March 2022
"The Galaxy S21 FE is a fine addition to Samsung's S21 lineup, retaining the very best features of those flagship phones for a more modest price. This is a solid phone, matching the performance of the top Android flagships from a year ago and delivering photos that hold their own against some of the best camera phones we've tested."

Sony Xperia 1 III

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Dig into reviews and images

TechRadar

James Peckham | August 2021
"For those who enjoy Sony’s Android phones, or who want a top-tier smartphone with a versatile camera, a beautiful screen and strong battery life, this is a great choice. If your budget can stretch to it, and you're a fan of its looks, it could be a great option."

Get a great deal on the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE or the Sony Xperia 1 III

About Samsung

Samsung is one of the most recognizable names in the smartphone industry, standing as the undisputed best-selling brand of Android smartphones in the United States for many years now. Samsung is known for offering a variety of smartphones in all available price points, as well as for implementing cutting-edge technology and innovative features in their flagship devices, ones that often shape the market going forward. The company offers its own unique spin on Android, called One UI, which focuses on offering a multitude of features and is heavily customizable, according to user preference.

About Sony

Sony has had a long history in the mobile market, entering the scene all the way back in 1993 with its first commercially available phone, the CM-H333. Nowadays, their Xperia line of phones provide well-rounded and sometimes expensive devices with a focus on camera software that includes extensive support for manual tweaking of settings. Sony's dedication to audio quality is also evident in its smartphones, which often feature high-resolution audio support while also being one of the few remaining manufacturers that consistently provide headphone jacks in their phones. The company's version of Android is also considered to be close to stock, enabling a bloatware-free experience for its users.

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Why trust us

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This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec phones team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest phone information and makes it digestible for you.

By the numbers

68
Phones evaluated
7,820
Phones stats compiled
8
Proprietary Phones ratings developed
105,300
Recommendations made
59,670
Consumer hours saved

About the phone team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

CEO and Phones Editor
Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Jason Lew

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

Chandradeep Chowdhury

Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Chandradeep is a staff expert and software engineer and expert in televisions and monitors. He’s been making monitor recommendations for ten years.

Seth Peoples

Phones Expert
Seth is a US-based product expert focusing on smartphones and he is a moderator of one of the largest smartphone subreddits. His tailored recommendations have helped him earn over 87k comment karma, putting him in the top 1% of Redditors.

Efthimis Kotanidis

Phones Expert
Efthimis is a Greece-based product expert focusing on smartphones. He has been recommending phones for 4 years and his recommendations on Reddit have earned him over 35k karma.

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