Galaxy A series vs. Galaxy S20 FE vs. Galaxy S21: Samsung’s affordable phones compared

March 19, 2021 0 By boss


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Galaxy A Series


Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

After a low-key launch in the United States last year, Samsung pulled out all the digital stops this week for the announcement of its new Galaxy A family members. The South Korean smartphone giant unveiled the Galaxy A52, Galaxy A52 5G, and Galaxy A72 on Wednesday at a virtual Unpacked event, declaring it’s “bringing Awesome to everyone.” 

If you’re a Samsung fan and you want to upgrade to a phone that won’t break the bank, you’re probably eyeing the newest members of the company’s midrange A series. But it might be a good idea to consider the $700 Galaxy S20 FE (winner of CNET’s Editors’ Choice Award) and even the $800 Galaxy S21.  

Samsung hasn’t revealed US pricing for the Galaxy A series yet, but European prices converted to US dollars have the Galaxy A phones ranging from approximately $410 to $530. For international prices, scroll down to our specs chart at the bottom of this page. Of the newest Galaxy A phones, the A52 5G is the only one with 5G, whereas the highest-end A72 has the best camera system. It comes with a telephoto lens capable of 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE comes in a range of vibrant and pastel colors. 


Angela Lang/CNET

The Galaxy A52, A52 5G, and A72 share a series of premium features including AMOLED displays, speedy refresh rates, big batteries and fast-charging support. They aren’t all as high-end as those found on the Galaxy S21 or the Galaxy S20 FE, but some are on par. For instance, the A52 5G has a 120Hz display, the same refresh rate seen on the S21, S20 FE and the $1,200 Galaxy S21 Ultra. By comparison, the entire iPhone 12 line relies on a 60Hz screen.

Keep in mind that even though the new Galaxy A phones run cheaper than the Galaxy S21, each packs popular features that have been eliminated from the S21 line, including a bundled charger and expandable storage. 

For the extra cost of the S21, you get things like a top-of-the-line processor, an all-round better camera system and 5G support. That covers both the slower but more reliable sub-6 and superfast but patchy mmWave versions of 5G, so in the US you’ll have you choice of the three major carriers. 

To learn more of the differences between these phones, take a look at our spec-by-spec comparison below.

Samsung Galaxy A series vs. Galaxy S20 FE vs. Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy A52 Samsung Galaxy A52 5G (LTE only) Samsung Galaxy A72 (LTE only) Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Samsung Galaxy S21
Display size, resolution 6.5 inch FHD Plus Super AMOLED, Infinity-O Display (1,080×2,400 pixels) 6.5 inch FHD Plus Super AMOLED, Infinity-O Display (1,080×2,400 pixels) 6.7 inch FHD Plus Super AMOLED, Infinity-O Display (1,080×2,400 pixels) 6.5-inch super AMOLED; (2,400×1,080 pixels) 6.2-inch Flat FHD Plus Dynamic AMOLED 2x, (2,400×1,080 pixels)
Pixel density 407ppi 407ppi 394ppi 405ppi 421ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 2.95×6.29×0.33 inches 2.95×6.29×0.33 inches 3.04×6.49×0.33 inches 6.29×2.97×0.33 inches 2.80×5.97×0.31 inches
Dimensions (Millimeters) 75.1×159.9×8.4mm 75.1×159.9×8.4mm 77.4×165.0x8.4mm 159.8×75.5×8.4mm 71.2×151.7×7.9mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 189g 189g 203g 190g 171g
Mobile software Android 11 Android 11 Android 11 Android 10 Android 11
Camera 64-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 5-megapixel (depth), and 5-megapixel (macro) 64-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 5-megapixel (depth), and 5-megapixel (macro) 64-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 8-megapixel (telephoto), and 5-megapixel (macro) 12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 8-megapixel (3x telephoto) 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)
Front-facing camera 32-megapixel 32-megapixel 32-megapixel 32-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K 4K 8K
Processor Octa-Core (2×2.3GHz + 6×1.8GHz) Octa-Core (2×2.3GHz + 6×1.8GHz) Octa-Core (2×2.3GHz + 6×1.8GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (5G) Samsung Exynos 990 (4G) Snapdragon 888 64-bit octa-core processor 2.8GHz (max 2.4GHz+1.8GHz)
Storage 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB 128GB 128GB/256GB
RAM 4/6/8GB 6/8GB 6/8GB 6GB 8GB
Expandable storage Yes, up to 1TB Yes, up to 1TB Yes, up to 1TB Yes, up to 1TB None
Battery 4,500 mAh 4,500 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,500 mAh 4,000 mAh
Headphone jack Yes Yes Yes No No
Special features 90 Hz display, IP67 rating, stereo speakers, 25W Fast Charging 5G-enabled, 120Hz display, IP67 rating, stereo speakers, 25W Fast Charging 90Hz, IP67 rating, stereo speakers, 25W Fast Charging 120Hz screen refresh rate, support for 30W fast charging and 15W fast wireless charging IP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 30x Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging, 120Hz display
Price off-contract 349 euros, converts to approximately $415 429 euros converts to approximately $510 449 euros converts to approximately $534 $699 (128GB) $800 (128GB)
Price (GBP) 349 euros, converts to approximately £298 429 euros converts to approximately £366 449 euros converts to approximately £383 £599 (4G) £699 (5G) £769
Price (AUD) 349 euros converts to approximately AU$540 429 euros converts to approximately AU$660 449 euros converts to approximately AU$690 Converts to approximately AU$975 AU$1,249



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