Do Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, OnePlus 9RT Define What the Best Value Flagship Phone Can Be in 2022?


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and OnePlus 9RT are two hotly-anticipated smartphones that debuted in India this week. While the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has been launched as the successor to last year’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G, the OnePlus 9RT has come as an upgrade to the OnePlus 9R that the Chinese company introduced in the country to deliver an affordable yet flagship-like experience. Despite being positioned differently by their makers, both new phones have some major similarities that make them comparable. So, are they the best value flagship phone you can buy today?

We discuss this and more on this week’s episode of Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital. Host Akhil Arora speaks with Deputy Reviews Editor Roydon Cerejo and Senior Reviewer Sheldon Pinto to talk about the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and OnePlus 9RT. Roydon has review units of both models for testing, while Sheldon reviewed the predecessor of the Galaxy S21 FE — the Galaxy S20 FE 5G last year.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE price in India starts at Rs. 54,999 for the 128GB storage variant. The phone also offers a 256GB model that is priced at Rs. 58,999. Samsung is currently running a cashback offer under which customers using an HDFC Bank card can get a Rs. 5,000 discount on the Galaxy S21 FE price — irrespective of the variant they pick. It effectively brings the phone to as low as Rs. 49,999.

In contrast, the OnePlus 9RT has debuted at Rs. 42,999 for the base 8GB + 128GB model and Rs. 46,999 for the 12GB + 256GB option.

Specifications-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is not a significant upgrade over the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. The phone comes with a 6.4-inch full-HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display with a 120Hz refresh rate and is powered by an octa-core Exynos 2100 SoC, along with 8GB of RAM as standard. It carries a triple rear camera setup that has a 12-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 wide-angle lens, along with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide shooter and an 8-megapixel telephoto shooter.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G First Impressions: Riding the Wave

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE packs a 4,500mAh battery that supports 25W Super-Fast wired fast charging and 15W wireless fast charging. There is also reverse wireless charging support. Furthermore, the phone has an IP68-certified dust- and water-resistant build.

All this sounds similar if you look at the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G. Last year’s phone, in fact, had the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC that practically delivers performance at par with the latest Exynos chip. That model also came with a slightly bigger 6.5-inch AMOLED display.

In the case of the OnePlus 9RT, the smartphone has a couple of most notable upgrades over the OnePlus 9R. It comes with the Snapdragon 888 SoC that is an uplift over the Snapdragon 870 chip available on the last year model. The new chip is also the one that is powering the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro.

The OnePlus 9RT also has an upgraded primary sensor in its triple camera setup when compared with the OnePlus 9R. It is essentially the 50-megapixel sensor that was available as the secondary camera on the OnePlus 9 Pro.

OnePlus 9RT First Impressions: A Beautifully Crafted Powerhouse

It is worth noting here that the OnePlus 9RT has arrived in India just days after the company launched the OnePlus 10 Pro as its next flagship in China. The new model is also expected to debut in India in the near future.

Similarly, Samsung is currently busy preparing the launch of the Galaxy S22 series as its new top-end offering. It would come to India shortly after the global debut.

We discuss whether the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and OnePlus 9RT are worth the price they are available at. We also touch upon the fact that since the Galaxy S20 FE 5G and OnePlus 9R are still available in the market, are these better over the new models? You can catch this all by hitting the play button from the Spotify player embedded above.

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