Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs Google Pixel 6

We didn’t show any displeasure in naming $599 Pixel 6 and $899 Pixel 6 Pro the best Android phones you can buy. Four months have passed, but another mid-range phone has arrived – the $699 Galaxy S21 FE.

Samsung phones are generally great Android devices, and the S21 FE is no exception. But at a price that’s $100 more than Pixel 6to be Galaxy S21 FE the cost? Or does the Pixel 6 still get the job done? These are all great questions and we’re unpacking those and more.

Jacob Krol / CNN

You already own a lot of Samsung products

One thing all the big tech companies do well is keeping you in their own ecosystem. Google has Pixel phones and Pixel Buds. and Samsung’s way is similar. It has a little bit of everything for the customer and thus makes it easier to seamlessly use multiple devices. For example, you can quickly pair Galaxy Buds 2 with your Galaxy S21 FE, also easy to pair and work with Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. It is designed to be easy and rightly so.

You just need to have Space Zoom

A few years ago, Samsung launched Space Zoom and it allows you to use your camera to zoom in to impressive levels. With S21 FE, you’ll get an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom or 30x spatial zoom. It is true that the quality after 10x starts to degrade, but we believe you will still be impressed by the ability to zoom in to close to the action from nosebleed chairs at the next concert or sporting event. your. It also beats the likes of the Pixel 6 here.

Do you prefer Samsung’s more traditional design approach?

Google’s Pixel phones – the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro in particular – have a unique look to them. What sets them apart is the camera bar on the back of the phone and a dual color palette; it’s not for everyone though. The Galaxy S21 FE looks like a traditional phone doesn’t try to reinvent what smartphones should look like (that’s Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip).

Jacob Krol / CNN

You don’t like Samsung’s software changes

Samsung is known for being a bit heavy-handed when it comes to changing the look and performance of Android. For some Android fans, it’s too much. With Pixel 6 you’ll get a phone running Android 12 with some Pixel-only features and tweaks (call screening was at the top of the list for us). And you’ll also receive quarterly Pixel Drops that bring new features to your Pixel phone.

You really care about timely software updates

Before Galaxy fans get upset, we want to make it clear: Samsung received a lot of better about releasing timely software updates for your phone. That said, no one can compete with the blazing speed of Pixel phones – including the Pixel 6 – which receive monthly security updates and bug fixes, and they’re also among the top phones in the market. receive major software updates first. For example, Pixel phones were the first to receive the update to Android 12 while companies like Samsung released the update a few months later.

In addition to getting major updates first, you can also participate in early testing of the next Android version. This year, we expect Google to make Android 13 available to Pixel phones this spring before an official launch in late 2022.

You want more battery

When it comes to battery life, the Pixel 6’s battery beats the Galaxy S21 FE’s battery. It’s not much, but there’s definitely a difference. In our testing, both phones get through a full day of use, but the Pixel 6 still has a lot to spare while the Galaxy S21 FE will have us anxiously searching for a charger if we ever had a plan. Plan to go out at night.

You want the best Android camera

Google’s Pixel phones always have one of these the best, the camera when it comes to smartphones. And with Pixel 6, that doesn’t change. If anything, Google is once again regaining its crown thanks to the impressive performance of the Pixel 6’s dual-camera setup. You won’t get the fancy Space Zoom feature of the S21 FE, but you will. get a reliable, consistent, and fast camera setup on the Pixel 6. And like most phones in this price range, you get wide and ultra-wide lenses to shoot with.

If cost is your main deciding factor, you will surely be satisfied with Pixel 6. It’s a well-rounded phone, with great battery life, timely software updates, and an impressive camera. For another $100, you’re getting a Samsung phone with an impressive camera paired with deep integration with the rest of Samsung’s products.

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