Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a glut of ‘affordable flagships’ announced that bring a smattering of premium features and hardware that cost around $600 to $750. With Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Google’s Pixel 5, and the OnePlus 8T to choose from, all of which offer something that the other doesn’t, how do you pick which is the right one for you?
Join us after the break to compare the hardware on offer, and some thoughts of my own on why each of the phones in question could be right for your needs.
|Pixel 5||OnePlus 8T||Galaxy S20 FE 5G|
|Software||Android 11||Android 11, OxygenOS 11||Android 10, One UI|
|Display||6-Inch OLED, 2340 x 1080 Resolution, 90Hz Refresh Rate, 432ppi||6.55-Inch Fluid AMOLED, FHD+ Resolution (2400 x 1080), 402ppi, 20:9 Aspect Ratio||6.5-inch AMOLED; 2,400 x 1,080 Resolution, 405ppi|
|Display Refresh Rate||90Hz||120Hz||120Hz|
|Processor||Snapdragon 765G||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865|
|MicroSD Card||No||No||Yes, upto 1TB|
|Rear Camera/s||12.2MP Main Camera, 16MP Ultra-wide Lens||48MP Main Sensor; 16MP Ultra-wide lens; 5MP Macro Lens, 2MP Monochrome Sensor||12MP Main, 12MP Ultra-wide, 8MP Telephoto|
|Fingerprint Sensor||Rear Panel||In-display||In-display|
|Charging Speed||18W||65W Warp Charge||15W|
|Wireless Charging||Yes, and Reverse Wireless Charging||No||Yes, and Reverse Wireless Charging|
|Dual SIM||Yes, nano-SIM and e-SIM||Dual Nano-SIM||SIngle or Dual (depends on region/variant)|
|Dimensions||144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0mm||160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm||74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm|
That’s the hardware bit, which may or may not make the choice easier for you. But what about the software, I hear you ask?
Taking a broader perspective, it’s an obvious yet important point to mention that the Pixel 5, with Google’s promise of three years of OS updates, is the best option for you if you want access to Android’s newest features and monthly security updates. Samsung has improved beyond recognition in its efforts to roll out timeous updates to its flagship smartphones, sometimes even beating Google to the punch when releasing security patches. OnePlus also has a good reputation for software updates, and regularly takes part in Google’s Open Beta programs.
And the software experience?
Well, there’s no getting around the fact that if its a ‘stock’ Android experience that you are looking for, the Pixel 5 is the one and only choice. Besides the regular updates, you’ll also gain access to the newest features that Google adds to the Android OS before any non-Google device. Plus, you’ll get the Google camera magic that is better than ever thanks to the addition of the new 16MP ultra-wide lens.
It could be argued that Samsung’s One UI and the OxygenOS 11 software offer more built-in features, customizations, and options than what you’ll find on the Pixel 5, although Google itself has moved away from the barebones stock experience of old. So much of the decision on software is subject to personal preference, what is good for me may not be great for you, and vice versa.
With some OnePlus users upset that OxygenOS 11 has stepped back from offering a stock-like software experience to taking inspiration from Samsung’s One UI, there may be more similarities between them than either care to admit.
All three handsets are available in a range of colors, with the Galaxy S20 FE having the most choices. People are raving about the Sage Green colorway of the Pixel 5, while I’m a big fan of the OnePlus 8T’s Aquamarine Green finish. The OnePlus 8T has a glass and metal frame design, the Pixel a metallic finish (with its ‘transmission hole’ that allows for wireless charging), while the Galaxy S20 FE has a plastic construction. Speaking of wireless charging, the OnePlus 8T doesn’t support it, so that’s a strike against it if it’s a feature you need.
We’ve spoken about how the addition of an ultra-wide lens to the Pixel 5’s renowned 12.2MP main lens will only improve the already incredible camera experience. The Galaxy S20 FE boasts a 12MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and an 8MP telephoto camera, while the OnePlus 8T has a complement of a 48MP main camera, 16MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro lens, and 2MP monochrome sensor. The S20 FE perhaps wins with overall versatility thanks to it featuring a telephoto lens which is absent on its two rivals, although again we must mention that the Pixel 5, with the help of Google’s post-processing software, will produce stunning images.
So, which one are you going to buy? Google’s Pixel 5, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE, or the OnePlus 8T? Let us know your decision in the comments below.