Pixel 5 takes better pictures than Galaxy S20 FE

The Google Pixel 5 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition are two of the lower-priced high-end phones right now. Thanks to this flagship processor, a higher refresh rate and a triple rear camera, the Samsung phone offers better value for money on paper.

Is a triple rear camera setup and a top-end processor enough to overcome the dual rear camera and algorithmic photography of the new pixel? We pitted the Pixel 5 against the Galaxy S20 FE in a camera shootout and asked you to pick a winner.

Horizontal photo from Google Pixel 5 of Ocean 1
Google Pixel 5 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition

Which phone takes better photos: Pixel 5 or Galaxy S20 FE?


A total of 8,191 votes were cast after the poll was published on October 16, and 78.4% of those polled here picked Pixel 5 as the winner. 21.6% of them felt that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE performed better.

We thought the two phones would fit together pretty evenly in daylight and medium-light conditions, but felt the Pixel 5 pulled up in low-light conditions. This seemed pretty obvious in the pictures showing our own David Imel, with Samsung’s phone giving darker, louder results.

However, we thought that the Samsung phone might displace the Pixel in some scenarios, while the presence of a telephoto camera means it has better zoom capabilities than the Pixel 5 – even when shooting at night.

It’s also worth noting that the Pixel 5 still uses the IMX363 main camera sensor (1 / 2.55-inch size, 1.4 micron pixels) that first appeared on the Pixel 3 and is a negligible improvement over the IMX362 sensor that can be seen on Pixel 2. The FE’s 12MP main camera sensor, on the other hand, is larger and has larger pixels for better theoretical light gathering functions. On the one hand, after all this time, this is again proof of Google’s software competence.

On the other hand, one really wonders what Google could do if it used the main sensor on the S20 FE and adjusted the software accordingly. We think Google’s phones are overdue to upgrade their camera hardware.

Your comments

  • Simon: The takeaway for me is how much Samsung has filled the void. It could now only be about a year for the pixel line to advance. However, we may have seen declining returns on phone cameras.
  • MrNobody: I ​​was a little disappointed with both cameras. Given the praise for Google’s photo skills over the past several years, I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised as they haven’t really updated their hardware. On the other hand, the price is reasonable for what you are going for. Samsung is … well, Samsung.
  • Tom23: Samsung just can’t take decent shots of human subjects. Faces always look terrible. This is the only reason I don’t use their phones. I’m stuck with my pixel, which is inferior in many other departments. So when I take photos of my family, I know they are usable.
  • Patrick PB21: Mmmm, it’s really hard to choose here. Both have good points one way or another, and I think it’s a tie for the review camera. For the other technical points, I think Samsung is a better choice (Google, the fingerprint sensor on the back of a flagship is not possible in 2020!).
  • Donald Seguin: Both are a huge disappointment. The reality is that Samsung’s entire S20 lineup has been a disappointment. I mean, come across a phone that can’t focus on over $ 1000 (both ultras) combined with questionable software. In Google cases basically the same low-end hardware for 3 generations and basically little to develop and these 2 are the Android guides … how will they look against the I-Phone-12 lineup that actually isn’t is so expensive …
  • Nnaemeka Nwokocha: Pixel has the better cameras, yes, but I would buy the Samsung if I had to wear one. Overall, it’s just a better phone.
  • MatteBlack: There are a couple of pictures I like better from the FE – mostly color in the night because night vision highlights the colors too much to look more like a day – otherwise for me it’s the pixel by a mile. Just my opinion.

That’s it for our poll between Pixel 5 and Galaxy S20 FE! Thank you for voting and leaving comments. What do you think of the results and the comparison? Let us know in the comments below.

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