Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S20 FE

Here we compared two flagship smartphones: the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S21 (with Exynos 2100) that was released on January 14, 2021, against the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which is powered by Exynos 990 and came out 4 months before. On this page, you will find tests, full specs, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the gadgets.

Key differences

An overview of the main advantages of each smartphone
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S21
  • 17% better performance in AnTuTu Benchmark (694K versus 593K)
  • Delivers 16% higher maximum brightness (860 against 744 nits)
  • More energy-efficient CPU – Exynos 2100
  • Weighs 21 grams less
  • 14% faster in single-core GeekBench 5 test: 1039 and 911 points
  • Ready for eSIM technology
Reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
  • The rear camera has a 3x optical zoom
  • Expandable storage via MicroSD card up to 1024GB
  • Has a 0.3 inch larger screen size
  • Comes with 500 mAh larger battery capacity: 4500 vs 4000 mAh

Review

Display
Screen quality, color accuracy, brightness
Performance
CPU/GPU performance in apps and games
Battery
Battery life, charging type and speed
Camera
Photo and video recording quality
Connectivity
Networks, ports, data transmission
NanoReview score
Final comparison evaluation

Value for money

You can enter your local price of these phones (in USD or any other currency) and click on the "Calculate" button to see which one has a better value for money.
Price

Tests and specifications

Comparison table of technical specifications and tests

Display

Type Dynamic AMOLED Super AMOLED
Size 6.2 inches 6.5 inches
Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels 1080 x 2400 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9 20:9
PPI 421 ppi 407 ppi
Refresh rate 120 Hz 120 Hz
HDR support Yes, HDR10+ Yes, HDR10+
Screen protection Gorilla Glass Victus Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Screen-to-body ratio 87.2% 84.8%
Display features - DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
- DCI-P3
- Always-On Display
Display tests
RGB color space 99.5% -
PWM 240 Hz -
Response time 5 ms -
Contrast ∞ Infinity -
Max. Brightness
Galaxy S21 +16%
860 nits
744 nits
Sources: NotebookCheck [3]

Design and build

Height 151.7 mm (5.97 inches) 159.8 mm (6.29 inches)
Width 71.2 mm (2.8 inches) 74.5 mm (2.93 inches)
Thickness 7.9 mm (0.31 inches) 8.4 mm (0.33 inches)
Weight 169 gramm (5.96 oz) 190 gramm (6.7 oz)
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Rear material Plastic Plastic
Frame material Metal Metal
Colors White, Gray, Pink, Purple White, Blue, Green, Red, Orange, Purple
Fingerprint scanner Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Screen-to-body ratio
87.2%

Performance

Tests of Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in the benchmarks
SoC
Chipset Samsung Exynos 2100 Samsung Exynos 990
Max. clock 2900 MHz 2730 MHz
CPU cores 8 (1 + 3 + 4) 8 (2 + 2 + 4)
Architecture - 4 cores at 2.2 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 3 cores at 2.8 GHz: Cortex-A78
- 1 core at 2.9 GHz: Cortex-X1
- 4 cores at 2 GHz: Cortex-A55
- 2 cores at 2.5 GHz: Cortex-A76
- 2 cores at 2.73 GHz: Exynos M5
L3 cache - 2 MB
Lithography process 5 nanometers 7 nanometers
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Mali-G77 MP11
GPU clock 760 MHz 800 MHz
FLOPS - ~1196 GFLOPS
Memory
RAM size 8 GB 6, 8 GB
Memory type LPDDR5 LPDDR5
Memory clock 2750 MHz 2750 MHz
Channels 2 2
Storage
Storage size 128, 256 GB 128, 256 GB
Storage type UFS 3.1 UFS 3.1
Memory card No MicroSD
Memory card max. size - Up to 1024 GB

Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 (Single-Core)
Galaxy S21 +14%
1039
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core)
3251
3310
AnTuTu Benchmark 9
Galaxy S21 +17%
694364
593449
CPU 190831 164667
GPU 245573 185737
Memory 124639 113876
UX 130708 125107
Total score 694364 593449
3DMark Wild Life Performance
Galaxy S21 +46%
5605
Stability 66% 49%
Graphics test 33 FPS 22 FPS
Graphics score 5605 3829
PCMark 3.0 score 13938 11424
AnTuTu Android Ranking List (99th and 143rd place)
Sources: 3DMark [3], [4]

Software

Operating system Android 11 (Can be upgraded to Android 12) Android 10 (Can be upgraded to Android 12)
ROM One UI 4.0 One UI 4.1
OS size 28.1 GB 24 GB

Battery

Specifications
Capacity 4000 mAh 4500 mAh
Charge power 25 W 25 W
Battery type Li-Ion Li-Po
Replaceable No No
Wireless charging Yes (15 W) Yes (15 W)
Reverse charging Yes, (wireless) Yes, (wireless)
Fast charging Yes (55% in 50 min) Yes (50% in 45 min)
Full charging time 1:35 hr 1:39 hr
Battery life tests
Web browsing 07:17 hr -
Watching video 12:26 hr -
Gaming 04:20 hr -
Standby 92 hr -
General battery life
25:31 hr

Camera

Specs and camera test of smartphones
Main camera
Matrix 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Image resolution 4000 x 3000 4032 x 3024
Zoom Optical, 1.1x Optical, 3x
Flash Dual LED Dual LED
Stabilization Optical Optical
8K video recording Up to 24FPS No
4K video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
1080p video recording Up to 60FPS Up to 60FPS
Slow motion 960 FPS (720p) 960 FPS (720p)
Angle of widest lens 120° 123°
Lenses 3 (12 MP + 64 MP + 12 MP) 3 (12 MP + 8 MP + 12 MP)
Wide (main) lens - 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.76", Sony IMX555 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/1.8
- Focal length: 26 mm
- Pixel size: 1.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.76", Samsung S5K2LD (ISOCELL CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
Telephoto lens - 64 MP
- Aperture: f/2.0
- Focal length: 28 mm
- Pixel size: 0.8 micron
- Sensor: 1/1.72", Samsung Bright S5KGW2 (ISOCELL Plus CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- Optical stabilization
- 8 MP
- Aperture: f/2.4
- Focal length: 76 mm
- Pixel size: 1 micron
- Sensor: 1/4.5" (CMOS)
- Phase autofocus
- Optical stabilization
Ultra-wide lens - 12 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 13 mm
- Pixel size: 1.4 micron
- Sensor: 1/2.55", Sony IMX563 (Exmor-RS CMOS)
- Phase autofocus (Dual Pixel)
- 12 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Focal length: 13 mm
- Pixel size: 1.12 micron
- Sensor: 1/3.0" (CMOS)
Camera features - Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
- Bokeh mode
- Pro mode
- RAW support
Samples Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S21 from DxOMark Photo samples of Samsung Galaxy S20 FE from DxOMark
Selfie camera
Megapixels 10 megapixels 32 megapixels
Image resolution 3872 x 2592 6528 x 4896
Aperture f/2.2 f/2.0
Focal length 26 mm 26 mm
Pixel size 1.22 microns 0.8 microns
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size 1/3.24" 1/2.74"
Video resolution 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS 2160p (4K) at 60 FPS

DxOMark camera tests

Photo quality
Video quality
Generic camera score

Connectivity

Wi-Fi standard Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
Wi-Fi features - Dual Band
- Wi-Fi MiMO
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
- Dual Band
- Wi-Fi MiMO
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Wi-Fi Display
Bluetooth version 5 5
Bluetooth features LE, A2DP LE, A2DP
USB type USB Type-C USB Type-C
USB version 3.2 3.2
USB features - Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- USB-Host mode
- OTG
- Charging
- USB-Storage mode
- OTG
GPS GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
NFC* Yes Yes
Infrared port No No
Network
Number of SIM* 2 2
Type of SIM card Nano Nano
Multi SIM mode Standby Standby
eSIM support* Yes No
Hybrid slot No Yes
LTE Cat* 24 19
5G support Yes No

Sound

Speakers Stereo Stereo
Headphone audio jack No No
FM radio No No
Dolby Atmos Yes Yes
Speakers test
Max. loudness

Other

Category Flagship Flagship
Announced January 2021 September 2020
Release date February 2021 October 2020
SAR (head) 0.46 W/kg 0.341 W/kg
SAR (body) 1.51 W/kg 1.447 W/kg
Sensors - Hall-effect sensor
- Barometer
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
- Hall-effect sensor
- Proximity sensor
- Gyroscope
- Accelerometer
- Ambient light sensor
- Compass
- Fingerprint
*Disclaimer! NFC, GSM network support, and some other specs can be different depending on the country.

Conclusion

If the performance, connectivity, and design are more important to you, then choose the Samsung Galaxy S21. But if the battery life is more of a priority – go for the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

Cast your vote

So, which phone would you choose?
197 (22.9%)
664 (77.1%)
Total votes: 861

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