- Samsung on Tuesday launched the Galaxy S20 FE in India.
- The Galaxy S20 FE has been priced at Rs 49,999 in India.
- The Galaxy S20 FE competes with the OnePlus 8 Pro, which has a price of Rs 54,999.
Samsung says that the Galaxy S20 FE, launched in India on Tuesday, is a phone designed by the Galaxy fans for the Galaxy fans. Well, maybe. However, one look at it and it is easy to see that the Galaxy S20 FE with its India price of Rs 49,999 is a phone designed for one purpose only: to help Samsung compete with the OnePlus 8 Pro, a phone so good that it matches or beats Samsung's more expensive S20 phones.
In fact, so good is OnePlus 8 Pro, at its price of Rs 54,999, that here at the India Today Tech, we called it the best Android phone right now in the market. So, can the Galaxy S20 FE take on the OnePlus 8? It can try.
The intent from Samsung with the Galaxy S20 FE is clear. The target is the OnePlus 8 Pro. This is one reason why the company has not launched the 6GB variant of the Galaxy S20 FE in India. Only the 8GB variant has been launched, so it matches the specs of the OnePlus 8 Pro base variant, which too comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.
How do the two phones OnePlus 8 Pro and the Galaxy S20 FE compare? It's quite simple. Both are capable phones. But when you are close to Rs 50,000, or in the case OnePlus 8 Pro slightly more, you don't just want capable phones. You want something extra and it is extra where the OnePlus 8 Pro edges out the challenger.
OnePlus 8 Pro vs Galaxy S20 FE: Quick look
See it like this: The OnePlus 8 Pro is a phone in league with more expensive phones like the S20 and the iPhone 11. The Galaxy S20 FE is a cut-down variant created as an attempt to woo consumers away from other premium phones. And like all cut-down variants it comes with its own set of "some" compromises.
But about compromises in a while. Before that, let's do a quick feature comparison.
-- Both the OnePlus 8 Pro and Galaxy S20 FE use AMOLED screens. Both have a punch hole for the camera in the front. Both use metal frames but the material of the back cover is different. OnePlus 8 Pro uses premium glass bodies while the Galaxy S20 FE is using something plastic. The term apparently is glastic, which is a term for material that mixes plastic and glass fiber. It is easy to conclude that the finish and materials on the OnePlus 8 Pro looks more appealing and subtly graceful.
-- Both the phones have screens that come with 120Hz refresh rate.
-- One big difference is in the screen resolution. The Galaxy S20 FE has a screen resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, which is more commonplace and regular. The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a screen with a resolution of 3168 x 1440 pixels, which is more upmarket and flagship class. The resolution matters.
-- Both phones have dust and water-proof design.
-- Both we believe offer good enough performance, although because of Snapdragon 865 we feel more confident of the OnePlus 8 Pro here.
OnePlus 8 Pro vs Galaxy S20 FE: Any comparison?
By now you must be sensing a pattern here. The Galaxy S20 FE looks like a good phone, but it also seems to be making a lot more compromises compared to the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is a through flagship phone like Samsung's own Galaxy S20.
One compromise is in the build material. The glastic vs glass. Another part that holds somewhat back the Galaxy S20 FE is its Exynos 990 processor. Compared to the global variant which has Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, arguably a better processor, the Indian variant of the S20 Fan Edition comes with the Exynos 990. If the choice is between the two phones running Exynos 990 and Snapdragon 865, we suggest the Snapdragon one.
Then there are the cameras. The Galaxy S20 FE comes with a different set of cameras compared to what we see in the Galaxy S20. The rear camera in the S20 FE uses a 12-megapixel sensor. Then there is another one, using another 12-megapixel sensor but paired with a wider lens. And then there is the 8-megapixel sensor paired with a telephoto lens. In comparison, the OnePlus 8 Pro uses a 48-megapixel main camera, another 48-megapixel wide-angle camera and an 8-megapixel camera with telephoto lens. Apart from the amount of pixels that the OnePlus 8 Pro camera captures, the phone also captures better pixels with its main camera. This is because the main sensor in the OnePlus 8 Pro is physically -- 1/1.43 compared to 1/1.76 bigger.
In other words, while the cameras in the OnePlus 8 Pro and this is something that has been tested well by now are flagship class, for the S20 FE, Samsung is comparing its camera with Galaxy S10 camera, which is almost two years old now.
Finally, there is the software. Both the Oxygen OS and the Samsung One UI have their fans and detractors. Some people like this and some people like that. But given that this is close to the end of 2020, we would have liked to see the S20 FE software powered by Android 11. That is not the case. It currently runs Android 10. On the OnePlus 8 Pro side it is no different at the moment. But there is one advantage the OnePlus 8 Pro has: The Oxygen OS 11 beta is already out and in a several weeks from now the OnePlus 8 Pro will be updated to Android 11.
OnePlus 8 Pro vs Galaxy S20 FE: One is a flagship, one is not
The difference between the two phones, capable as they are, boil down to this one bit: The OnePlus 8 Pro is the best that OnePlus offers. And this best from OnePlus is as good as, if not better, than any other smartphone out there. The Galaxy S20 FE is an attempt by Samsung to make a mark for itself around the price point of Rs 50,000 and to hit this point, and keep the distance between the FE and the regular S20, the company has made some compromises with the phone. So if you need a flagship phone, go with the OnePlus 8 Pro. And if you don't need a flagship phone, why spend Rs 50,000 on the device. You can easily get a fantastic phone for less.