FE or not FE? That is the question if you're looking for a cheaper Samsung flagship phone right now.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and the regular Galaxy S20 are near-identical phones. The S20 FE is designed to offer all of the most important features that consumers care about when shopping for the best phone at an affordable price. This includes a big 6.5-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a powerful triple camera system along with a 32MP selfie shooter and a 4,500 mAh battery that's bigger than the one in the regular S20.
On the other hand, the Galaxy S20 has a more premium design, double the RAM and a sharper screen. The S20 also features a more compact chassis if you prefer to use your phone with one hand. Our Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20 face-off will show you how these two handsets stack up.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Specs
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE||Samsung Galaxy S20|
|Display||6.5 inches (2400 x 1800) 120Hz||6.2 inches (3200 x 1440)|
|Colors||Mint, Navy, Lavender, Red, Orange, White||Gray, Blue, Pink, White|
|Processor||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865|
|Rear cameras||12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto (3x zoom)||12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 64MP telephoto|
|Battery||4,500 mAh||4,000 mAh|
|Size||6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33 inches||5.9 x 3 x 0.31 inches|
|Weight||6.7 ounces||5.7 ounces|
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Price
On paper the Galaxy S20 FE wins this round easily. The Galaxy S20 FE has a list price of $699, and you can already find it for as low as $599. The regular Galaxy S20 has a list price of $999, which is $300 more.
However, you can often find the Galaxy S20 on sale for $799 or even under $700, so it pays to shop around. Check out our Galaxy S20 deals page for the latest discounts.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Design and colors
The Galaxy S20 FE has aluminum sides but a polycarbonate (plastic) back, so it doesn't look or feel quite as premium as the glass Galaxy S20. In addition, the bezels on the Galaxy S20 FE are slightly larger than they are on the S20.
Still, the Galaxy S20 FE gives you more color options with your choice of six hues. You can take your pick from mint, navy, lavender, red, orange and white. The regular Galaxy S20 has just four options with gray, blue, pink and white.
Because of its larger display, the Galaxy S20 FE has bigger dimensions and more weight to watch. It measures 6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33 inches and weighs 6.7 ounces, compared to 5.9 x 3 x 0.31 inches and 5.7 ounces for the Galaxy S20.
Both the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S20 are IP68 rated for water and dust resistance.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Display
The Galaxy S20 FE features a fairly larger 6.5-inch OLED display with a full HD+ resolution of 2400 x 1800. The regular Galaxy S20 sports a smaller but sharper 6.2-inch screen with 3200 x 1400 pixels.
Both handsets offer smooth scrolling and animations, as the Galaxy S20 FE offers the same 120Hz refresh rate as the Galaxy S20. Overall, we don't think most people will mind the lower resolution.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Cameras
This is where the Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy 20 comparison gets really interesting. The Galaxy S20 FE features a triple rear camera setup just like the Galaxy S20, but with different lenses.
The Galaxy S20 FE features a 12MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 8MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom. The Space Zoom (digital) goes up to 30x.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S20 packs a 12MP main shooter, a 12MP ultrawide lens and a sharper 64MP telephoto lens that crops in to achieve a 3x optical zoom. Its Space Zoom also goes up to 30x.
Up front, the Galaxy S20 FE has a higher-res selfie camera at 32MP, compared to 10MP for the Galaxy S20. This makes sense, as Samsung is targeting a younger audience with the Galaxy S20 FE.
Both the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S20 share the same top camera features, such as Night Mode, Super Steady and Single Take.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Performance
The Galaxy S20 FE features the same processor as the Galaxy S20 with its Snapdragon 865 chip, but the FE makes do with just 6GB of RAM. The regular Galaxy S20 offer 12GB of RAM, so we would expect its multitasking performance to be stronger.
In Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy S20 FE scored 2,928 in the multi-core test. That's lower than the Galaxy S20, which notched 3,147.
Both phones ship with 128GB of storage, and you can add up to 1TB more via the microSD card slot on the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S20.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Battery life and charging
The Galaxy S20 FE features a 4,500 mAh battery, which is the same size as the Galaxy S20 Plus. The Galaxy S20 has a smaller 4,000 mAh battery.
On our web surfing battery test, the Galaxy 20 FE lasted 8 hours and 58 minutes over AT&T's network and 9:03 on Verizon. The Galaxy S20 surprisingly lasted a longer 9:31 over T-Mobile's network, but results can vary by carrier.
Don't expect the S20 FE to charge as fast as its more premium cousin. While the Galaxy S20 FE supports 25W charging, it ships with a 15W charger. The regular Galaxy S20 has a 25W charger in the box.
Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20: Bottom line
The winner of Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20 really comes down to what you're looking for in your next phone and what you're willing to pay. If you're on a budget and prefer a larger display, the Galaxy S20 FE seems like a no-brainer. You get nearly the same cameras and performance and more color options for $300 less, plus a bigger battery.
However, the Galaxy S20 remains a great choice, especially if you want a more compact design. Other perks include narrower bezels, more RAM and a sharper quad HD display. The Galaxy S20 is especially compelling if you can find it on sale for less than $700.
Overall, the Galaxy S20 FE is a great alternative to the regular Galaxy S20.