Oct 03, 2020 Reviews
Some time back, we got the Pixel 5 released by Google as their latest addition to their “flagship” lineup of smartphones - as it was released at a price point of $699, something which previous Pixel phones didn’t have and were usually more expensive. However, with the newest Pixel 5 in the market, Google has tried to penetrate a different market point, and to target a different audience. But, that’s not where things end - because there’s a new sheriff in town as well, with the recently released Samsung S20 FE - fans edition, as it’s being considered as one of the best releases by the Korean company in a long time.
Both phones look pretty good when you take an initial look - with decent levels of premium-ness coming from both devices. The S20 FE boasts a 6.5” Super AMOLED display which supports upto 120Hz refresh rate - whereas the Pixel 5 has a smaller display, with a 6” AMOLED display and supports only 90Hz refresh rate. The display definitely seems to be better on the S20 FE, as it’s not only bigger - which would be great for media consumption and gaming - but it also has a higher refresh rate in its bag with 120Hz compared to only 90Hz on the Pixel.
The overall better build of the phones will have to go to the Google device though, as it relies on an aluminium frame at the back, along with the ability of wireless charging. The S20 FE uses only plastic in the back, with an aluminium frame, and there’s no wireless charging as well in it. However, this compromise made by Samsung seems to be exchanged for something generally more important for most users.
This is a place where the S20 FE blows the Pixel 5 out of the water, as there’s a pretty obvious mismatch in the ring. The S20 FE boasts a Snapdragon 865, and the Exynos 990 in some global variants - both of which are much faster and powerful than the Snapdragon 765G on the Pixel 5. However, it is to be noted that even the 765G is a perfectly capable chipset, and will do most tasks and run all heavy games without any hiccups - however, we’re doing a comparison here, and we have to take into account that the FE just has a more powerful chipset.
Even in the battery department, the S20 is a better performer. The Samsung device comes with a 4,500mAh unit with support of upto 25W fast charging - pretty decent. The Pixel on the other hand, comes with only 4,080mAh battery, and the fast charging tops up at 18W too.
The Pixel 5 does excel in one department, which is the software side - considering it’s a Google phone, and Google basically owns Android. You’ll get the latest Android 11 with the Pixel 5, but we still don’t know when the Android 11 update will come to the S20 FE, and for now you’ll have to do with Android 10.
This is a difficult one to assess, as both phones are great performers in this region, but we’ll try our best.
So the S20 FE has more cameras, and also has a telephoto lens in its camera setup, which is always a positive to have by your side - and something that the Pixel 5 doesn’t have in its arsenal. The Pixel 5 does have an ultrawide lens though, something which they added as a replacement for the telephoto lens which used to be present on previous Pixels. One major point going towards the Pixel is the computational processing power of Google - which is what makes pictures look amazing from Pixel phones. So if you like to take point-and-shoot pictures, then Pixel would probably be the better option. However, if you’re a fan of selfies, then the S20 FE would be a better choice, as it has a 32MP camera in the front, as compared to the 8MP one in the Google device.
So, which phone should you go for, considering both are priced the same?
Well, if you’re into media consumption, gaming and just a plethora of different features - then the S20 FE is the better choice for you. However, if you just want a pure experience with stock Android in your phone, and regular updates along with a great camera - then go with the Pixel 5.
For us, both phones are top-notch, but we’d personally pick the S20 FE if we had to.