Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20 comparison: devil in the details

With the launch of Samsung's new Galaxy S20 FE, you may be faced with the question: "what's the difference with the Galaxy S20?" The devices do not differ much from each other in terms of price. With the comparison below you can make an informed choice.

Comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and the S20
Tip: do you want to save yourself a lot of technical considerations? Then just scroll straight to the conclusions!

Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20

If you want to compare the Galaxy S20 with the Galaxy S20 FE, you actually have to make a choice right away. The S20 FE is available in two models, which are not exactly the same. Of course we mean the 4G and 5G variants. Here we will first compare the models 'general'. And then we devote a separate paragraph to the significance of the choice of the Galaxy S20 FE with 4G or 5G, and the corresponding different (yes, the processor).

Design

Before that, we first want to sketch the general pictures, starting with the design. The Galaxy S20 and S20 FE differ a bit here. For the Galaxy S20, Samsung opted for the typical, "luxury" materials: glass and metal. The S20 FE does have the metal frame – the edge around the device – but the back is made of plastic.

This has consequences. For example, the matte finish of the plastic of the Galaxy S20 FE is less sensitive to fingerprints. But more importantly: in a recent comparison of the build quality, it was striking how sturdy the Galaxy Note 20 with its plastic body is.

galaxy s20 fe waterproof
Galaxy S20 FE: water resistant

Another practical point is that the Galaxy S20 FE has a completely flat screen, and therefore slightly thicker screen edges. The edges of the S20 are slightly rounded, and a bit thinner. The latter is (some say) nicer, but the S20 FE wins on ease of use – precisely because of the wider screen edges.

All in all, you could say that the Galaxy S20 has a slightly more luxurious appearance, but the S20 FE is more practical and – at least in terms of the back – more robust. And: you can choose from more and other colors.

Cameras

The second area in which the Galaxy S20 FE and S20 differ significantly is the camera. Both devices have four cameras: main, wide angle, telephoto and front. The last two in particular are not the same. The S20 has a telephoto camera with a 64 MP sensor (f / 2.0), which thanks to the high resolution can zoom in without loss of quality.

The zoom lens of the Galaxy S20 FE has an 8 MP sensor (f / 2.4). It catches less light, but can zoom in 3x optically. Ultimately, with the S20 you make telephoto photos with a higher resolution and better lighting. In other words: on the S20 FE, this camera is simply a bit more modest.

samsung galaxy s20 one ui 2.5
Galaxy S20: Minimal bezels

The same goes for the wide angle lens. On both phones it has a 12 MP resolution, but the sensor of the Galaxy S20 is clearly better here thanks to the sensor with considerably larger pixels.

On the front, the roles are reversed on paper. The Galaxy S20 FE has a 32 MP sensor, whereas the S20 has to do with a 12 MP camera. But you know just like us that the number of megapixels is a moderate indication of the quality. And so we just have to wait before we know which device has the better front camera.

The main camera has a 12 MP resolution and an f / 1.8 aperture on both phones. Because – as far as we can tell – it also has the same pixel size and sensor size, we assume that they are the same cameras.

To summarize the above again: for the home, garden, and kitchen photo work, the Galaxy S20 FE is just as good as the S20 thanks to the main camera. For more specific shots – wide angle, zoom – you can work a lot better with the Galaxy S20. Ergo: S20 FE for the basics, S20 for the more creative work.

s20 fe camera
Galaxy S20 FE: good, but simple camera

Performance and battery life

And now we end up at the "Processor" section, disguised as the "Performance and battery life" section. Because here makes a difference which Galaxy S20 FE you buy. The 4G variant has Samsung's own Exynos 990 chip – just like the Galaxy S20.

It performs the same in both phones and consumes the same amount of energy. You do have a 4500 mAh battery capacity in the S20 FE. For comparison, the Galaxy S20 has a 4000 mAh, the S20 Plus 4500 mAh. The S20 FE 4G therefore takes a little longer with a battery charge than the S20, and roughly the same time as the S20 Plus.

However, if you choose the Galaxy S20 FE with 5G, you will get a device with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 chip. It is known that it is better optimized, so that it performs (slightly) better and uses less energy. Not only is the S20 FE (on paper) a bit faster, but it lasts longer with a full battery – longer than the S20, and longer than the S20 Plus.

Is it that simple? Well no. Because if you still opt for 5G, you should know that the S20 with 5G has one and a half times as much RAM: 12 versus 8 GB in the S20 FE 5G. That partly cancels out the speed difference, for example because you can have more apps in memory at the same time, which you can switch between faster.

In the end, it comes down to this: if you want to buy the Galaxy 4G S20 FE, you get about the same hardware as with an S20, and a larger battery. The latter does have an advantage due to the larger working memory. If you buy S20 FE with 5G, you have a device with a faster processor and some extra advantage in terms of battery life. But: the S20 with 5G compensates for the performance with more memory.

Galaxy S20 FE

And further?

With the above, we have not touched on all the differences between the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S20, but – in our opinion – the most important. In other areas the differences have less influence. For example, all S20 models are IP68 certified water-resistant and dust-proof. Both devices have a fingerprint sensor in the screen. Okay, the ultrasonic sensor of the Galaxy S20 is a bit faster, but Samsung has now also properly organized the operation of its optical scanners.

Both the S20 FE and the S20 can with 25 Watt fast charging, wireless charging, and with Wireless Powershare also charge other accessories themselves. A 3.5 mm headphone jack is also missing on both devices. You do have stereo speakers, regardless of your choice.

With both phones you also get a great AMOLED screen with a mode with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Only the Galaxy S20 has the option to use a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels (at 60 Hz). The Galaxy S20 FE is "limited" here to a full HD resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels.

Okay, one thing might still be good to know. Thanks to the 6.2-inch screen and thinner bezels, the Galaxy S20 is a bit more compact than the S20 FE. It measures 69 by 152 millimeters, while the S20 FE is 75 by 160 mm. For the sake of completeness: the Galaxy S20 Plus offers a 6.7-inch screen in a housing measuring 74 by 162 mm.

samsung galaxy s20 fe buy
Galaxy S20 FE: lots of choice in terms of colors

Galaxy S20 FE vs S20: conclusions

Based on everything we have outlined above, you can draw the following conclusions.

In terms of design, the Galaxy S20 FE is a bit more practical – firmer, easier to hold – than the Galaxy S20, which has a more luxurious appearance. However, the S20 is slightly more compact than the S20 FE.
The Galaxy S20's cameras are better, unless you only take straightforward photos with the main camera. Then the S20 FE is just as good.
If you buy the S20 FE with 4G, the performance is comparable.
If you opt for the more expensive Galaxy S20 FE with 5G, all of the above applies, and the processor is just a bit faster than the one in the S20. But: the difference in performance between the Exynos and Snapdragon is partly canceled out in daily life by the difference in working memory.
In terms of battery, the Galaxy S20 FE is ahead of the S20. This applies even more to the 5G version as it does to the 4G variant. Do you want a comparable battery, but rather not the FE? Then check out the S20 Plus, with which the difference is not that big.

It is the Galaxy S20 FE that is ultimately labeled "most practical S20" here. The other variants offer more luxury and better cameras, but less battery. We couldn't make it any simpler – but now you know exactly why 😉.

Offers

The Galaxy S20 has, of course, been in all stores for a long time – see below for the best deals. The Galaxy S20 FE is immediately available in the Netherlands from October 2. You can pre-order it now from € 649 and choose from a number of pre-order gifts. Check the order options at:

SHOPS
PROVIDERS

Samsung Shop
T-Mobile

Media market
Tele2

Mobiel.nl
KPN

Coolblue

Bol.com

Galaxy S20 deals

Galaxy S20 by carrier
Galaxy S20 loose
Galaxy S20 + by carrier
Galaxy S20 + loose

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