When Apple started releasing SE models (those that use an older frame with newer technology at a cheaper price), they had a surprise hit on their hands. It turns out that people always like good value for money, especially in the hyper-competitive smartphone realm. Samsung has started rolling out its own value and mid-range offerings.
Apple released this year’s SE budget beater in the spring Peek Performance Event Tuesday. Samsung’s own Galaxy S21 FE was released in January – with a more middling price tag.
CRN takes a look at the budget offerings from the two biggest smartphone makers.
First up: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, a bigger package with a smaller price tag
The Galaxy S21FE followed the success of the S20 FE. It offers upgrades and a reasonable price starting at $1099. With the same processor as the S21, the FE lacks some of the bells and whistles of the more expensive model, despite being 5G compatible, but increasing the screen size.
It was a bit of a head-scratching release, with the launch of the S22 models just around the corner. The previous generation phones seem a bit odd to have a ship date so close to their newer siblings. But for those who didn’t want to wait for the new version and liked the price of the FE, it was a good time to get the best features of the S21 in a budget package.
The S21 FE is a bit larger and a bit heavier than the S21, with a 6.4-inch screen (compared to the S21’s 6.2-inch screen). It’s 7.9 millimeters thick and uses Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED technology with FHD Plus resolution, just like its more expensive sibling, the S21.
The iPhone SE 2022: the heart of an iPhone 13 beats inside the body of an iPhone 8
Apple fans are a nostalgic bunch. They can tell you all about the first iPhone they owned, the first iPad, the first iPod, and more. So a chance to pick up a phone with the latest features housed in a familiar frame is going to be very appealing. Apple bets on this trend every year and this spring was no different.
Priced at an attractive $799, the latest entry-level iPhone plays to its strengths. It packs the zippy A15 Bionic processor, 64GB of storage – essentially the same specs found in the iPhone 13 range. But what you gain in performance, you lose in display – the SE uses the wide-bezel retina display 4.7 inches that may have a few squints to read their texts. Still, a smaller phone is still appealing to many people, especially one that’s 5G-enabled. And you can always shell out the extra cash for the iPhone 13 lineup. But that’s not what you’re here for, is it?
A throwback might impress fans of older phones. The SE gives you the convenience of a home button again, with that nifty fingerprint scanner technology.
Both models feature power-hungry 5G capability. So you’ll need every bit of the Samsung S21 FE’s 4,500mAh battery, which is larger than that of the more expensive S21. The S21 FE also supports refresh rates of up to 240Hz for a better gaming experience, also at the expense of battery life.
On the iPhone SE, Apple boasts of longer battery life than its predecessors due to the efficiency of the A15 chip. Of course, the company is secret about the actual battery size. But early tests show excellent battery performance that matches competitors.
That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? The bottom line? Well, we have to give this one to Apple and not just to be cheaper. But they do it with style and a nod to their older models, keeping some fun and familiar features from retirement. The S21 FE is fine. But honestly, at this price, why not just upgrade to the new S22 line and go broke?