Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12: Which should you buy?

Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12
Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12 (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Galaxy S20 FE Cloud Mint

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Thanks to outstanding hardware and great value, the Galaxy S20 FE is one of the best Android phones you can buy today. Samsung nailed the basics here, with the phone offering a 120Hz AMOLED panel, the same primary camera as the Galaxy S20, IP68 rating, wireless charging, and all-day battery life.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Best of Android

Fluid 120Hz AMOLED display
Snapdragon 865 with 5G connectivity
Same 12MP camera as regular S20
IP68 dust and water resistance
15W wireless charging
Three Android version updates
Polycarbonate back
No 3.5mm headphone jack

iPhone 12

iPhone 12

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Even if iOS isn't your cup of tea, there's no denying just how good the iPhone 12 is. Apple's continued refinement of its familiar formula hit a new high this year, with the iPhone 12 touting a gorgeous OLED display, great cameras, and the unmatched A14 Bionic chipset.

iPhone 12

Best of iOS

Gorgeous OLED panel
Fastest internal hardware available today
One of the nicest iPhone designs ever
Five years of guaranteed updates
Excellent cameras
MagSafe has tons of potential
60Hz panel with wide cutout
No charger in the box
Still uses Lightning

Samsung and Apple — two of the largest phone brands on the planet — launched outstanding handsets this year with the Galaxy S20 FE and iPhone 12, respectively. Both phones have the same goal of delivering a high-quality user experience for their respective ecosystem at a great price, meaning you can look forward to a flagship-like smartphone without going completely broke. There are pros and cons to each one, but at the end of the day, you really can't go wrong either way.

Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12 Price and availability

Right off the bat, let's talk about how much it'll cost you to own either of the phones. The Galaxy S20 FE has a starting price of $700 for 128GB of storage, and if you want to step up to 256GB, you'll spend $770. It's worth noting that the 256GB variant is only available in the Cloud Navy color, which is a bummer considering how many other color choices there are if you go with 128GB. No matter which size you pick, you can always add more storage after the fact with a microSD card.

Looking at the iPhone 12, Apple gives you three models to choose from. These include:

  • 64GB costs $799
  • 128GB costs $749
  • 256GB costs $849

These are good prices considering everything you get with the iPhone 12, but if your main goal is getting the best bang-for-your-buck, Samsung takes the lead with the Galaxy S20 FE here.

Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12 Specs

Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Both the Galaxy S20 FE and iPhone 12 deliver the latest internal hardware money can buy, whether it be high-end processors or quality displays. Here's a quick breakdown of all the technical and spec differences between the phones:

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CategorySamsung Galaxy S20 FEiPhone 12
Operating systemAndroid 10
One UI 2.5
iOS 14
Display6.5-inch 120Hz AMOLED
2400 x 1080 (20:9)
HDR10+
Gorilla Glass 5
6.1-inch 60Hz OLED
2532 x 1170 (19.5:9)
Dolby Vision
Ceramic Shield
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 865Apple A14 Bionic
RAM6GB4GB
Storage128GB/256GB64GB/128GB/256GB
MicroSD slotYes (Up to 1TB)
Rear camera 112MP, f/1.8
1.8um, OIS
8K at 24fps
12MP, f/1.6
1.4um, OIS
4K at 60fps
Rear camera 212MP, f/2.2
1.12um, 123-degree wide-angle
12MP, f/2.4
120-degree wide-angle
Rear camera 38MP, f/2.4
1um, OIS, telephoto
3x optical zoom
Front camera32MP, f/2.2
4K at 60fps
12MP, f/2.2
4K at 60fps
AudioUSB-C
Stereo speakers
Lightning
Stereo speakers
Battery4500mAh
Non-removable
Up to 17 hours of video playback
Non-removable
ChargingUSB-C PD 3.0
25W fast charging
15W Qi wireless charging
Lightning
Up to 20W fast charging
7.5W Qi wireless charging
15W MagSafe charging
Water resistanceIP68IP68
SecurityIn-display fingerprint (optical)Face ID
Dimensions159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm
190g
146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4mm
164g
ColorsCloud Mint, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, Cloud Navy, Cloud WhiteBlue, Green, (PRODUCT) RED, Black, White

Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12 Powerful hardware for both phones

Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

There are key differences when comparing an Android handset against an iPhone, but in the case of the Galaxy S20 FE versus the iPhone 12, there are plenty of similarities. Take the processor, for example. While Apple's A14 Bionic is technically more powerful than the Snapdragon 865 inside the S20 FE, both phones deliver excellent performance for virtually every task. Whether you're juggling multiple tabs in a browser, playing graphically-intense games, or just scrolling through Twitter, the S20 FE and iPhone 12 can handle everything without breaking a sweat.

We see something similar when it comes to the display. You're getting a Full HD+ OLED panel, whether you get the Galaxy S20 FE or iPhone 12, and both look fantastic. The Galaxy S20 FE benefits from a smoother 120Hz refresh rate, and while the iPhone 12 makes up some ground given all of the buttery animations present in iOS 14, the experience is technically better on the Samsung phone.