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Galaxy S20 FE vs A52 (2021): Which Samsung Galaxy Phone Is Better?

While Samsung flagship phones can set you back four figures, there are affordable alternatives. The Galaxy S20 FE, for instance, is a premium device sold at a more accessible price point. Those on a tighter budget can look at the midrange Galaxy A52 as well. Despite being value smartphones, both devices are packed with enough flagship-tier features that should make them compelling purchases. Which phone is better? Read our comparison below to find out.

Galaxy S20 FE vs A52 Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20 FE 4GSamsung Galaxy A52 4G
 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE G780G 4G Dual 128GB 8GB RAM Factory Unlocked (GSM Only | No CDMA - not...Samsung A52 SM-A525M/DS, 4G LTE, International Version (No US Warranty), Awesome Black - Unlocked...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Display6.5″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED, HDR10+6.5″ FHD+ Super AMOLED
Screen Refresh Rate120Hz90Hz
Resolution1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio
Operating SystemAndroid 10 (Android 11 update available), One UI 3.1Android 11, One UI 3.1
ChipsetExynos 990Qualcomm SM7125 Snapdragon 720G
CPUOcta-coreOcta-core
GPUAdreno 650Adreno 618
Camera SystemRear: 12MP f/1.8 (wide), 8MP f/2.4 (telephoto), 12MP f/2.2 (ultrawide)

Front: 32MP f/2.2 (wide)
Rear: 64 MP f/1.8 (wide), 12 MP f/2.2 (ultrawide), 5 MP f/2.4 (macro), 5 MP, f/2.4 (depth)

Front:32MP f/2.2 (wide)
Storage128GB/6GB RAM, 128GB/8GB RAM, 256GB/6GB RAM,256GB/8GB RAM128GB/4GB RAM, 128GB/6GB RAM, 128GB/8GB RAM, 256GB/6GB RAM, 256GB/8GB RAM
Expandable MemoryMicroSD up to 1TBMicroSD up to 1TB
Water ResistanceIP68IP67
Fingerprint SensorsUltrasonicOptical
BatteryLi-Ion 4500 mAhLi-Po 4500 mAh
Fast ChargingYesYes
Wireless ChargingYesNo
Samsung PayYesNo
3.5mm JackNoYes
Dimensions6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33 in6.30 x 2.96 x 0.33 in
Weight190g189g

Design and Display

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a slightly better build and display than the Galaxy A52.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs A52 Design and Display
Here’s a front and rear view of the Galaxy S20 FE (left) and Galaxy A52 (right).

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and A52 are both well-designed devices that brandish a sleek aesthetic. For their price point, however, the phones do away with fancy build materials. The A52, for instance, uses a plastic frame and back, along with a Gorilla Glass 5-protected glass front.

You get a plastic back with the Galaxy S20 FE, too, but the phone features an aluminum frame similar to Samsung flagships. Like the A52, the S20 FE also sports a glass front. While its Gorilla Glass 3 protection is not as shatterproof as the 5th Gen, the material is more scratch-resistant. Nonetheless, both Samsung phones are certified as dust and water-resistant.

Looking at the back of the phones, the A52 has a more prominent rear camera setup. With four lenses to accommodate, the panel bulges a bit more compared to the sleek S20 FE. Although the S20 FE’s rear panel is stylish, it still looks plain next to the Galaxy S21. You can read more about it in our Galaxy S20 FE vs S21 review.

Unlike the S21 range, you don’t get curved screens on the S20 FE and A52. But the flat displays are still vibrant and immersive. On both devices, you get 6.5-inch Super AMOLED displays with a 1080 x 2400p resolution. They feature the same punch-hole selfie camera, too.

The slightly taller A52, however, comes with a smaller screen-to-body ratio, which is obvious in its thicker bottom bezels. The Galaxy S20 FE also boasts a higher 120Hz screen refresh rate compared to the 90Hz on the Galaxy A52. Plus, it supports an always-on display.

Camera and Audio

The Galaxy S20 FE’s triple rear camera have an edge over the A52’s quad rear cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs A52 Camera and Audio
A look at the Galaxy S20 FE rear camera system (left) and the Galaxy A52’s video mode (right).

Similar to the Galaxy S20 5G, the S20 FE has a triple rear camera setup. This includes a 12MP main camera (wide) with an f/1.8 aperture, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. Both the wide and telephoto lenses come with optical image stabilization (OIS), with the latter also delivering 3x optical zoom. Moreover, you get LED flash and auto-HDR.

In contrast, the Galaxy A52 boasts a quad rear camera system. At its core, you’ll find an impressive 64MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS. You also get a comparable 12MP ultrawide lens sans the OIS. Where the A52 differs from the S20 FE, however, is the absence of a telephoto component. Instead, you get two 5MP cameras โ€” one macro and one depth.

When talking about the S20 FE and A52 cameras, however, more isn’t always better. The 5MP macro and depth lenses on the A52 offer limited advantages. You’re bound to use the wide and ultrawide lenses more, which are good on their own. If you get the S20 FE, however, you at least reap the benefits of OIS, auto-HDR, and a reliable optical zoom.

In terms of front cameras, you’re getting the same gear. Both the Galaxy S20 FE and A52 sport 32MP selfie cameras with an f/2.2 aperture. The specs are reasonable and should give good-enough selfies with filters and bokeh effects. Meanwhile, headphone jack loyalists will appreciate that the A52 has kept the feature. To make up for its absence, however, the S20 FE offers better AKG-tuned stereo speakers.

Performance

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE performs better than the Galaxy A52 but not by a huge margin.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs A52 Performance
Both Galaxy devices offer plenty of storage underneath their durable body.

If you’re opting for the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, keep in mind you’re also getting the Exynos 990 chipset. On the 5G variant, it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. According to Geekbench 5, the Exynos phone scores 899 and 2579 in single-core and multi-core tests respectively. While slightly lower than the Snapdragon phone, it’s still offered with the same 6GB of RAM for the 128GB model and 8GB for the 256GB variant.

These numbers are better than the Galaxy A52, which runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G. The latest benchmarks give Samsung’s mid-range phone 464 and 1712 scores for single-core and multi-core tests as well. Capacity will also vary per country. At a minimum, you’re getting 4GB of RAM for the 128GB model, although the highest end still gives you 8GB of RAM for the 256GB variant.

Given these specs, the S20 FE is the faster of the two devices. Samsung’s ‘lite’ flagship phone simply feels speedier and snappier. Nanoreview shares the Exynos 990 supports 216% higher-memory bandwidth and offers 19% higher CPU clock speeds than the Snapdragon 865. While games are more often optimized for Snapdragon processors, the S20 FE handles most other applications well. The Exynos phone, after all, has also been paired with the Mali-G77 MP11 GPU.

Battery Life and Charging

Outside of gaming, Samsung’s Galaxy A52 will offer a better battery performance than the Galaxy S20 FE.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs A52 Battery Life and Other Features
The battery specs of the Galaxy S20 FE (left) and a Galaxy A52 in use (right).

The Galaxy S20 FE and A52 both come with 4500mAh battery capacities. Given the lower-spec hardware of the phones, heavy-duty applications like games do take a toll on power. But outside of gaming, battery performance is reasonable for both.

The A52 will have a bit of an advantage, though. Samsung’s A-series phone maxes out with a 90Hz refresh rate. If you’re on the 120Hz on the S20 FE, that will impact battery life as well. Fortunately, you can lower it to 60Hz if you want to reduce battery drain.

With the S20 FE, however, you have more charging options. Unlike the Galaxy A52, the S20 FE offers 15W fast wireless charging. It also boasts the 4.5W Wireless PowerShare features, great if you need to charge other phones or even wearables like the Galaxy Buds. The A52 supports 25W fast charging, like the S20 FE. Unfortunately, both devices are shipped with a 15W charger instead.

Verdict

It’s better to spend more on the Galaxy S20 FE than save on the Galaxy A52 unless you’re really on a tight budget.

Between these two Samsung value smartphones, the Galaxy S20 FE is a more compelling purchase. Even though the Galaxy A52 has similar specifications, Samsung treats the S20 FE as an almost-flagship device. As such, you get more of the features that have practical use โ€” wireless charging and a better chipset, for instance.

With the Galaxy A52, the Korean tech-giant cuts corners on the build quality and slightly slower performance. Now, the S20 FE’s margin over the A52 isn’t wide by any means. But given how narrow the gap is with their price points, what you save on the Galaxy A52 is better spent on the Galaxy S20 FE.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Samsung Galaxy A52 camera system come with optical zoom?

No, the quad rear camera of the Galaxy A52 doesn’t come with optical zoom. Its 64MP camera uses digital zoom instead.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE worth it?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is worth it. It’s a competitively priced smartphone that offers many flagship-tier features. While it doesn’t have the premium feel of the glass-backed Samsung flagship models, it’s still made from a durable aluminum frame.

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the available colors for the Galaxy S20 FE?

Users can get the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in six colors. They are Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy, Cloud White, Cloud Red, and Cloud Orange.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy A52?

Samsung claims that when fully-charged, the Galaxy A52’s battery life is equivalent to 37 hours of talk time.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.