Samsung Galaxy S9 vs S21 FE 5G

Here we compared two flagship smartphones: the 5.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S9 (with Exynos 9 Octa 9810) that was released on February 25, 2018, against the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G, which is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and came out 47 months after. On this page, you will find tests, full specs, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the gadgets.

Key differences

An overview of the main advantages of each smartphone
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S9
  • 42% higher pixel density (568 vs 401 PPI)
  • Expandable storage via MicroSD card up to 400GB
  • Better grip in hands – the body is 5.8 mm narrower
  • Weighs 14 grams less
  • Includes a 3.5 mm headphone audio jack port
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
  • The rear camera has a 3x optical zoom
  • Higher display refresh rate – 120 Hz
  • 2.1x better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (757K versus 367K)
  • Comes with 1500 mAh larger battery capacity: 4500 vs 3000 mAh
  • Has a 0.6 inch larger screen size
  • Shows 29% longer battery life (26:34 vs 20:36 hours)
  • Better camera quality (According to DxOMark rating)
  • Compatible with the latest Wi-Fi 6 wireless networks
  • More recent OS version: Android 13 versus 10
  • More energy-efficient CPU – Snapdragon 888
  • Uses a faster type of memory: LPDDR5 2750 MHz
  • The phone is 3-years and 11-months newer
We may receive a commission from Amazon for purchases made using the links below, but this has no bearing on our assessment methodology.

Review

Display
Screen quality, color accuracy, brightness
Performance
CPU/GPU performance in apps and games
Battery
Battery life, charging type and speed
Camera
Photo and video recording quality
Connectivity
Networks, ports, data transmission
NanoReview score
Final comparison evaluation

Value for money

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Price

Tests and specifications

Comparison table of technical specifications and tests

Display

Type Super AMOLED Dynamic AMOLED
Size 5.8 inches 6.4 inches
Resolution 1440 x 2960 pixels 1080 x 2340 pixels
Aspect ratio 18.5:9 20:9
PPI 568 ppi 401 ppi
Refresh rate 60 Hz 120 Hz
Max rated brightness 658 nits 420 nits
Max rated brightness in HDR - 1200 nits
HDR support Yes, HDR10 Yes, HDR10+
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Gorilla Glass Victus
Screen-to-body ratio 83.6% 89.6%
Display features - Always-On Display - DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
Display tests
RGB color space - 97%
PWM 240 Hz 247 Hz
Response time 7 ms 6 ms
Contrast ∞ Infinity ∞ Infinity
Peak brightness test (auto)
656 nits
792 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [3], [4]

Design and build

Height 147.7 mm (5.81 inches) 155.7 mm (6.13 inches)
Width 68.7 mm (2.7 inches) 74.5 mm (2.93 inches)
Thickness 8.5 mm (0.33 inches) 7.9 mm (0.31 inches)
Weight 163 g (5.75 oz) 177 g (6.24 oz)
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Rear material Glass Plastic
Frame material Metal Metal
Colors Black, Gold, Gray, Blue, Purple White, Gray, Green, Purple
Fingerprint scanner Yes, rear Yes, in-display
Screen-to-body ratio
83.6%
89.6%

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 9 Octa 9810 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Max. clock 2700 MHz 2840 MHz
CPU cores 8 (4 + 4) 8 (1 + 3 + 4)
Architecture - 4 cores at 1.9 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 4 cores at 2.9 GHz: Exynos M3
- 4 cores at 1.8 GHz: Kryo 680 Silver (Cortex-A55)
- 3 cores at 2.42 GHz: Kryo 680 Gold (Cortex-A78)
- 1 core at 2.84 GHz: Kryo 680 Prime (Cortex-X1)
L3 cache 4 MB 4 MB
Lithography process 10 nanometers 5 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G72MP18 Adreno 660
GPU clock 572 MHz 840 MHz
FLOPS ~658 GFLOPS ~1720 GFLOPS

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
567
1105
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
1802
3027
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
367228
757753
CPU 106403 194989
GPU 131325 281856
Memory 59895 133252
UX 69985 147872
Total score 367228 757753
3DMark Wild Life Performance
2270
5787
Stability 93% 69%
Graphics test 13 FPS 34 FPS
Graphics score 2270 5787
PCMark 3.0 score 6266 12363
Sources: 3DMark [3], [4]

Memory

RAM
RAM size 4 GB 6, 8 GB
Memory type LPDDR4X LPDDR5
Memory clock 1794 MHz 2750 MHz
Channels 2 2
Storage
Storage size 64 GB 128, 256 GB
Storage type UFS 2.1 UFS 3.1
Memory card MicroSD No
Memory card max. size Up to 400 GB -

Software

Operating system Android 8.0 (Can be upgraded to Android 10) Android 12 (Can be upgraded to Android 13)
ROM One UI 2,1 One UI 5.0
OS size 14 GB 17.5 GB

Battery

Specifications
Capacity 3000 mAh 4500 mAh
Charge power 15 W 25 W
Battery type Li-Po Li-Ion
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging Yes, Qi/PMA (10 W) Yes (15 W)
Reverse charging No Yes, (wireless)
Fast charging Yes (40% in 30 min) Yes (51% in 30 min)
Full charging time 1:35 hr 1:15 hr
Battery life tests
Web browsing 06:04 hr 07:42 hr
Watching video 10:57 hr 13:05 hr
Gaming 02:42 hr 05:29 hr
Standby 70 hr 91 hr
General battery life
20:36 hr
26:34 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Image resolution 4000 x 3000 4032 x 3024
Zoom Digital Optical, 3x
Flash Dual LED LED
Stabilization Optical Optical
8K video recording No No
4K video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
1080p video recording Up to 240FPS Up to 60FPS
Slow motion 960 FPS (720p) 960 FPS (720p)
Angle of widest lens - 123°
Lenses 1 (12 MP) 3 (12 MP + 8 MP + 12 MP)
Wide (main) lens - 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.5 - 2.4
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.4 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.55", Samsung SAK2L3 (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
- Optical stabilization
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.76", Sony IMX555 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
Telephoto lens - - 8 MP
- Aperture: f/2.4
- Focal length: 76 mm
- Pixel size: 1 micron
- Sensor: 1/4.5", Hynix Hi847 (CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
- Optical stabilization
Ultra-wide lens - - 12 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 13 mm
- Pixel size: 1.12 micron
- Sensor: 1/3.0", Sony IMX258 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
Samples - Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G from DxOMark
Selfie camera
Megapixels 8 megapixels 32 megapixels
Image resolution 3264 x 2448 6464 x 4864
Aperture f/1.7 f/2.2
Focal length 25 mm 26 mm
Pixel size 1.22 microns 0.8 microns
Sensor type ISOCELL CMOS Exmor-RS CMOS
Sensor size 1/3.6" 1/2.74"
Video resolution 1440p at 30 FPS 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS

DxOMark camera tests

Photo quality
Video quality
Generic camera score

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
Wi-Fi features - Dual Band
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Dual Band
- Wi-Fi MiMO
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth version 5 5
Bluetooth features PBAP/PAB, PAN, OPP, MAP, LE, HSP, HID, HFP, DIP, AVRCP, A2DP LE
USB type USB Type-C USB Type-C
USB version 3.1 3.2
USB features - Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- OTG
- Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- OTG
GPS GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
NFC* Yes Yes
Infrared port No No
Network
Number of SIM* 2 2
Type of SIM card Nano Nano
Multi SIM mode Standby Standby
eSIM support* No No
Hybrid slot Yes No
LTE Cat* 18 19
5G support No Yes

Sound

Speakers Stereo Stereo
Headphone audio jack Yes No
FM radio No No
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Speakers test
Max. loudness
86 dB
88.9 dB

Other

Category Flagship Flagship
Announced February 2018 January 2022
Release date March 2018 January 2022
SAR (head) 0.362 W/kg 0.95 W/kg
SAR (body) 1.18 W/kg 1.48 W/kg
Sensors - Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
*Disclaimer! NFC, GSM network support, and some other specs can be different depending on the country.

Conclusion

After analyzing all the data, we think that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G is definitely a better buy.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
12 (27.3%)
32 (72.7%)
Total votes: 44

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