Samsung is thought to be preparing the launch of the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition (FE) in a matter of weeks. Now, a new report from enthusiast site SamMobile says the phone will run Android 12 and One UI 4 out of the box, making it the first new Samsung device to come with the new OS, potentially beating out other members of the S21 series in terms of software support.
While what software version a phone launches with is ordinarily trivial, a few things make this release noteworthy. The S21 FE was first supposed to launch in 2021 with One UI 3 and Android 11 on board, and Samsung offered to deliver three software updates and four years of security updates to the device. Initially, because of the delayed release, Samsung would only have had to update the S21 FE to Android 12, Android 13, and Android 14.
But since the S21 FE will now launch with Android 12, we could see support up to Android 15. If Samsung does launch the S21 FE, it’ll stand out quite a bit next to other Android manufacturers. It’s common practice for Android phone makers to deliver an outdated build of Android on a new model — see HMD Global launching the Nokia 8.3 with Android 10 shortly after Android 11 launched, or even Samsung’s recent Galaxy A13 launch.
It would have been understandable, though blameworthy, if Samsung had pushed out the S21 FE with the old Android version as long as it offered an update down the line. Fortunately, the company appears to be doing the right thing here, meaning the Galaxy S21 FE will likely be supported through 2025 for software updates, and 2026 for security updates.
Other than that, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE has been a thoroughly leaked phone. It has a 6.5-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a triple-camera layout, 128GB of storage with 6GB of RAM, and it’s all powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor. It is said to come in a selection of four colors and will be priced at $700 — about $100 over the capable Google Pixel 6.