The Google Pixel 5 is the newest smartphone from the people behind Android. It offers 5G support in a mid-range device and continues the Pixel tradition of having great cameras and innovative features. That’s all in a phone that costs $ 699. However, less than two weeks ago, we were introduced to another mid-range smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition). It shares many of the flagship hardware and features found on the previous Galaxy S20 line of phones. However, Samsung has made some changes to the Galaxy S20 FE. The end result is that it costs the same as the Pixel 5. So what are the main differences?
In this article, we’re going to compare and contrast both phones and give our opinion on which of yours is worth $ 699. We haven’t fully reviewed both devices yet, but there is a lot we can look at if we look at the two affordable flagships on paper. Here’s our early look at Google Pixel 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
Google Pixel 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
|Google Pixel 5||Samsung Galaxy S20 FE|
|display||6 inch OLED
Resolution of 2,340 x 1,080
90Hz refresh rate
19.5: 9 aspect ratio
> 1,000,000: 1 contrast ratio
|6.5-inch flat Super AMOLED
FHD + (2,400 x 1,080) resolution
120Hz refresh rate
Gorilla Glass 3 cover
|processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Titan M security module
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Samsung Exynos 990
|GPU||Adreno 620||5G models:
No microSD slot
microSD support up to 1TB
Main: 12.2 MP, aperture 1.7, 1.4 µm pixels, optical + electronic image stabilization
Secondary: 16 MP, f / 2.2 aperture, 1 micron pixel, ultra wide (107 degrees FoV)
12 MP wide-angle dual pixels, OIS ƒ 1.8, 1 / 1.76 inch, 1.8 μm
12 MP ultra-wide ƒ2.2, 1 / 3.06 in, 1.12 μm
8MP Tele 3x optical zoom, OIS 30x digital “Space Zoom” ƒ2.4, 1 / 4.4in, 1.0μm
12W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
15W wired charging (in-box adapter)
25W wired charging (additional adapter required)
15W wireless charging
|software||Android 11||Android 10|
|Dimensions and weight||144.7 x 70.4 x 8 mm
|74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4 mm
|Colours||Just black, Sorta Sage||Cloud Navy, Cloud Red, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud White, Cloud Orange|
The Google Pixel 5 has a 6-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a much larger 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 and a higher refresh rate of 120 Hz. Both also have cutouts for the selfie camera and minimal bezels. The Pixel 5 uses the stronger Gorilla Glass 6 on its display, while the Galaxy S20 FE has the older Gorilla Glass 3.
See also: Google Pixel 5 Vs Pixel 4a 5G Vs Pixel 4a – Which Should You Buy?
The Pixel 5 uses aluminum for the back of the phone. This is interesting because the phone supports wireless charging. The Pixel 5 adds this feature through a hole in the case that is covered with a bio-resin material. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE uses a plastic material for the back and an aluminum frame. The Pixel 5 has an old-fashioned fingerprint sensor on the back. The Galaxy S20 FE uses a more modern fingerprint reader in the display. Both phones have IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, and both do not have a headphone jack. Both also have stereo speakers.
The Pixel 5 is available in the colors Just Black and Sorta Sage. Samsung has given everything with many color options for the Galaxy S20 FE. You can choose between Cloud Navy, Cloud Red, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud White or Cloud Orange.
Google decided not to use the fastest processor available for the Pixel 5. Instead, you get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip, while the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has the much faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. Outside the USA, there is also a cheaper 4G version with Samsung’s own Exynos 990. Both chips have proven to be much faster than the Snapdragon 765G in our own tests.
Continue reading: Snapdragon 765G vs Snapdragon 865: How will the Pixel 5 stack up?
In terms of storage and storage, the Pixel 5 has 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM compared to 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM in the Galaxy S20 FE. Both phones have 128GB of onboard storage, but the Galaxy S20 FE allows up to 1TB of storage expansion with its microSD card slot, which the Pixel 5 lacks.
The Pixel 5 has a 4,080 mAh battery compared to the 4,500 mAh battery on the Galaxy S20 FE. Google put the Pixel 5 into extreme battery saving mode. It is claimed that it gives the phone up to 48 hours of extra battery life by allowing users to pause some apps that they currently do not want to use. We’ll have to see if these claims are warranted when we get our hands on one.
In terms of wired charging, the Pixel 5 supports 18W speeds. The Galaxy S20 FE has 15W wired charging. However, if you buy an optional adapter it can be up to 25W. Both phones support wireless charging, with the Pixel 5 supporting 12W and the Galaxy S20 FE supporting 15W. Both phones also support wireless reverse charging of other devices.
The Pixel 5 has the same 12.2-megapixel main camera we’ve seen in previous Pixel phones for the past two years. However, the secondary camera is a 16-megapixel ultra-wide shooter that dumps the Pixel 4 series telephoto sensor. We expect some software improvements for the cameras as well as for our full test. For example, the phone’s portrait mode adds Google’s low-light night vision feature, and adds locked, active, and cinematic panning modes for better video clips. There is also an 8MP camera in the front.
The Galaxy S20 FE has three camera sensors on the back: a 12-megapixel standard camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera. You also get a 32MP front camera. Again, we need a full review to evaluate the camera’s hardware and software on the S20 FE.
Since it is made by Google, the Pixel 5 comes with the new Android 11 operating system. The Galaxy S20 FE ships with Android 10, and there’s no word on when it might get the Android 11 update. Both phones are also said to receive at least three major software updates for Android operating systems.
- Google Pixel 5 – $ 699 / £ 599 / € 629
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE – $ 699 / £ 699 / € 759
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (4G only) – £ 599 / € 659
Pre-orders for the Pixel 5 are available now in the US for $ 699 through the Google Store, Google Fi, Verizon, and retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. Prices are around £ 599 in the UK and EUR 629 in other parts of Europe. Shipping is expected to begin in late October. One nice thing about pre-ordering the phone is that you get a range of freebies. That includes three months of Google’s Stadia Pro game streaming service (typically $ 30) and three months of YouTube Premium (typically $ 36). You also get 100GB of Google One cloud storage (typically $ 6) for three months. If you live in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany, get free Bose QC 35 II wireless headphones if you pre-order before October 19th.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is also priced at $ 699 in the US, and only the 5G version is available. Verizon Wireless sells its own variant, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW, which costs $ 749 and can connect to the carrier’s 5G broadband network. You can get the 5G model in the UK for £ 699 and the 4G version for £ 599. In Europe, the 4G model costs 659 euros and the 5G version 759 euros.
Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Which Should You Buy?
On paper, the Galaxy S20 FE beats the Pixel 5 in many categories. Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and Samsung Exynos 990 are much faster than the Snapdragon 765G. The display of the Samsung phone is not only larger, but also supports refresh rates of 120 Hz. If you want to play a lot of graphically intensive games, the Galaxy S20 FE is the easy choice.
In terms of battery, the Galaxy S20 FE seems to be the champion in terms of its size. However, the battery must power a larger display than the Pixel 5. Google also claims that its extreme battery saver mode extends the phone’s charging time. We shall see again whether these claims are true.
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The Google camera team always has a few tricks ready. While the main camera on the Pixel 5 is the same as on previous Pixel phones, Google has always proven that its photography magic resides in its software. The fact that the Samsung phone includes both an ultra-wide sensor and a telephoto lens seems to put the S20 FE at the top, although it will be interesting to see what Google do with an ultra-wide camera can and whether Super Res Zoom can compensate for the missing telephoto lens.
The Pixel 5 also has the early advantage of offering Android 11 right away. As you’d expect, Google’s track record of providing regular operating system and security updates for its Pixel devices is also great. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE may receive three Android operating system updates, but will ship with the now one-year-old Android 10. We don’t know when Android 11 will come to the phone. If your biggest concern when buying a phone is getting the latest operating system updates, the Pixel 5 is for you.
There is close contact between the Pixel 5 and the Galaxy S20 FE and we won’t know for sure until we test both of them. Please check back soon for more detailed practical thoughts.
That’s our early look at Google Pixel 5 versus Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Which are you considering