Comparison: Galaxy S20 FE or iPhone 12 Mini; which one to buy? | Cell

O Galaxy S20 FE it’s the iPhone 12 Mini are the “least expensive” models of the premium smartphone crops from Samsung and the Apple, launched at the end of 2020. Both deliver advanced performance and state-of-the-art features, leaving aside some of the novelties present in the most expensive models in each line.

But after all, which cell phone has what you need? We compare cameras, design and functions to help you decide. Follow the lines below.

Galaxy S20 FE vs iPhone 12 Mini (Image: Vitor Pádua / Tecnoblog)

Galaxy S20 FE vs iPhone 12 Mini (Image: Vitor Pádua / Tecnoblog)

Fact sheet – Galaxy S20 FE vs iPhone 12 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Launch in Brazil November 2020 November 2020
Launch price R $ 4,499 R $ 6,999
Screen 6.5-inch Super AMOLED (2400 × 1080 pixels) with 120 Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 6 protection 5.4 inch Super Retina XDR (OLED), 2340 × 1080 pixels, Ceramic Shield protection
Processor Exynos 990 Apple A14 Bionic
RAM memory 6 GB or 8 GB 4 GB
Storage 128 GB or 256 GB (expandable up to 1 TB via microSD) 64 GB, 128 GB or 256 GB
Back camera
  • Main: 12 megapixels (f / 1.8);
  • Telephoto: 8 megapixels (f / 2.4) with 3x optical zoom;
  • Ultrawide: 12 megapixels (f / 2.2) with a 123 degree field of view;
Main: 12 megapixel, f / 1.6, optical image stabilization

Ultrawide: 12 megapixel, f / 2.4, 120 degrees

Films in up to 4K @ 60 fps up to 4K @ 60 fps
Frontal camera 32 megapixel (f / 2.2) TrueDepth, 12 megapixels (f / 2.2)
Factory operating system Android 10 iOS 14
Drums 4,500 mAh, 25 watt fast charge 2,227 mAh, 20 watt fast charging
Wireless charging Yes, 15 W Yes, 12 W (MagSafe)
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 3G, 4G, NFC, MST Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, 3G, 4G, 5G, NFC
Dimensions and weight 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm, 190 grams 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm; 135 grams
Colors red, orange, lavender, mint, blue and white black, white, red, green, blue and purple

Canvas and Design

Compact or big screen? You decide

In this section, we have two opposites. While the Galaxy S20 FE is made for those consumers who like the big screen to watch movies and series, and play games on their cell phones, the iPhone 12 Mini is the option for those who go against the grain of the industry and miss the more compact models, that fit in your pocket and are as light as a toy cell phone (see measurements in the table above).

The Samsung phone has a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display and the Apple phone has a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR (OLED) display. Both have Full HD + resolution. In practice, we have great contrasts, vivid colors and good brightness intensity on both phones.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

The use ends up being greater in the Galaxy S20 FE, which has only one hole in the screen to house the front camera. The iPhone 12 Mini still has that rectangular notch that has been on the brand’s phones since the iPhone X.

In addition to the measurements, there is an asset on the Galaxy S20 FE screen: the 120 Hz refresh rate, which provides that smoother feeling when changing screens and navigating the system.

iPhone 12 Mini compared to an iPhone XR (image: Emerson Alecrim / Tecnoblog)

iPhone 12 Mini compared to an iPhone XR (image: Emerson Alecrim / Tecnoblog)

Colors, construction and finishing

In terms of colors, users will be “well served” with any choice: the iPhone 12 Mini is available in black, white, red, green and blue, and has even won a purple version later. The Galaxy S20 FE can be purchased in red, orange, lavender, mint, blue and white.

iPhone 12 Mini (image: Emerson Alecrim / Tecnoblog)

iPhone 12 Mini (image: Emerson Alecrim / Tecnoblog)

Apple’s peculiarities still apply in other details: the iPhone 12 Mini is charged by a Lightning port, while the S20 FE has a USB-C port. The finish is more sophisticated on the iPhone 12 Mini, which has a glass back and an aluminum bezel. The Galaxy even has metal edges, but the rear is plastic, which refers to cheaper models. Both are IP68 certified against water and dust.

Hardware and features

Advanced processors and up to 256 GB of storage

The Galaxy S20 FE brings the same processor present in the most expensive phones in the line here in Brazil, the Exynos 990. Although it is not a high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon, it is capable of running any application without problems, and it does very well in multitasking in conjunction with 6 GB or 8 GB RAM, depending on the model.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Apple also brings the best for the iPhone 12 Mini, the A14 Bionic (5 nm) works with 4 GB of RAM to provide impeccable performance when running the most demanding apps. In Tecnoblog tests, the Apple phone ran titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and Real Racing 3 without dropping the frame rate.

In storage, the two devices have options of 128 GB or 256 GB internal. Apple also offers a 64 GB version for the iPhone 12 Mini. The Galaxy S20 FE supports microSD cards up to 1 TB to expand memory.

iPhone 12 Mini is compatible with 5G

Like all other phones in the iPhone 12 line, the Mini is also compatible with 5G. It is true that at the time of publication of this comparison (04/2021), technology is still in its infancy in Brazil. But considering the behavior of the Brazilian consumer, who purchases iPhones even after a few years of its launch, it is possible that this may make a difference in the future. The Galaxy S20 FE that arrives in the national market does not support 5G.


Point for Galaxy S20 FE

Let’s start on the bright side: the Galaxy S20 FE has a 4,500 mAh battery, the same capacity as the Galaxy S20 +, and can withstand a whole day well for most users. The iPhone 12 Mini… Well, it has only 2,227 mAh, because Apple wanted to deliver a really compact, thin and light phone. This has an impact here, since in terms of autonomy, the cell phone may end up leaving you in the hand before the end of the day, if you have a profile of intense use.

Galaxy S20 Fan Edition charging battery (Image: Disclosure / Samsung)

To complete the bucket of cold water, the iPhone 12 Mini comes without a charger in the box – the device supports fast charging of 20 watts. In turn, the Galaxy S20 FE comes with a 15-watt power supply, but supports charging up to 25 watts, so you might consider buying a better accessory after all.


How much do you need to zoom?

The Galaxy S20 FE is not as exaggerated as the most robust models in the line. It has a triple camera, with a 12 megapixel main sensor, a telephoto lens with an 8 MP sensor, which allows 3x optical zoom, and an ultrawide with a 12 MP sensor and 123 degrees field of view. However, here we have no problem with the quality of the photos, which with the main camera deliver high definition and great dynamic range, dealing well with the balance between shadows and highlights. The optical zoom is excellent, but in favorable light conditions.

The iPhone 12 Mini also does a great job, as expected, considering the Apple standard. However, the smartphone has a dual rear camera of 12 MP, leaving out the telephoto lens for zoom (you have a primary camera and an ultrawide secondary camera). In terms of resources, it is also less versatile: the Galaxy, for example, has some perfumery when bringing video with an unfocused background and Single Take.

Still, the f / 1.6 lens aperture on the iPhone 12 Mini’s main camera makes for even better shots in darker settings. In addition, with the help of Deep Fusion and Smart HDR, the iPhone 12 Mini practically leaves no noise in the images.

The dynamic range is very good and the colors are vivid even in night scenes, with slightly cooler tones in the ultrawide lens. During the day, dark spots in the photos can end up becoming more saturated than expected – just a detail, which can be adjusted manually.

Forget 8K

If you were minimally excited about the ability to record in 8K present in more expensive models of the Galaxy S20 line, you can let go: this is not a possibility here. The Galaxy S20 FE records at up to 4K @ 60 fps, just like the iPhone 12 Mini.


The iPhone 12 Mini also features a 12 MP sensor on the TrueDepth front camera. It delivers selfies with a high level of detail (yes, the pores of your face will be exposed!), Very little noise and colors true to reality. Night mode also works on the front camera, delivering “postable” photos at night.

The Galaxy S20 FE, on the other hand, has a 32 megapixel front sensor, and saves selfies at 10 MP by default, although it lacks a bit of sharpness and definition.

Operational system

At the end of the day, a lot comes down to that choice: Android or iOS? At this point in the championship, it is not my intention to name an operating system as “the best”. You, dear reader, probably already have your favorite.

But there are some considerations to make on some points, such as the factory version and the guarantee of updates.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (Image: Paulo Higa / Tecnoblog)

Well, the Galaxy S20 FE arrives with Android 10 (not 11, the latest version available at launch) with One UI 2.5, Samsung’s interface that has evolved a lot over time, and is quite pleasant considering the Android ecosystem. Samsung promises up to three years of updates, which means that the phone can reach up to Android 13, which is expected to be announced in 2022.

iOS on iPhone 12 Mini (image: Emerson Alecrim / Tecnoblog)

As for the iPhone 12 Mini, it leaves the factory with iOS 14.1, as usual, the latest version available at the time of launch. Apple generally updates its phones for up to 4 or 5 years. Even though the “Mini” is a new edition, and we are not sure about the future of this variant, the probability of a long service life is high.

Price: how much are you willing to spend?

The time has come to put your foot down and think about the budget.

Without a doubt the Galaxy S20 FE is the right model for those who need to spend less. The smartphone was launched for R $ 4,499, but is now available in e-retail for much more inviting prices – around R $ 2,200 *, in the most basic version (128 GB + 6 GB). A bargain, considering the current market.

The iPhone 12 Mini already drinks from the source of the dollar Apple. It was announced for R $ 6,999 and is now found for R $ 4,600 *, on average, in the 64 GB version. It is worth remembering that iPhones generally devalue less, especially considering that it supports 5G. So, if you think about reselling the device later to get a newer one, the price may be worth it in the long run.

* Prices collected on April 29, 2021

With information: Apple and Samsung

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