Apple iPhone 13 vs. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE might have had a delayed launch, however it has made the reasonably priced flagship smartphones’ area fairly a bit extra fascinating. Not solely does it compete towards reasonably priced flagships just like the Google Pixel 6 and the OnePlus 9, however the S21 FE’s launch value of $699 additionally inevitably pits it towards a number of telephones which are positioned above it — together with its stablemate — the Samsung Galaxy S21 and to not point out, the Apple iPhone 13. These two handsets will certainly be on the listing of individuals meaning to spend round $700 on a brand new telephone.

Does Samsung’s reasonably priced flagship actually have an opportunity when pitted towards Apple’s mid-tier iPhone mannequin, the mightly iPhone 13? That’s exactly what we are going to examine on this article.


Samsung Galaxy S21 FE iPhone 13
Measurement 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm (6.12 x 2.93 x 0.31 inches) 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm (5.78 x 2.81 x 0.30 inches)
Weight 177 grams (6.24 ounces) 174 grams (6.14 ounces)
Display measurement 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X capacitive touchscreen (120Hz) 6.1-inch Tremendous Retina OLED
Display decision 2400 x 1080 pixels (411 pixels per inch) 2532 x 1170 pixels (460 pixels per inch)
Working system Android 12, One UI 4.0 iOS 15
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Faucet-to-pay companies Google Pay Apple Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Apple A15 Bionic
Digital camera 12-megapixel extensive, 12MP ultra-wide, 8MP telephoto rear, 32MP entrance Twin-lens 12-megapixel extensive and 12MP ultrawide rear, 12MP TrueDepth entrance
Video 4K at 60 frames per second 4K at as much as 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps
Bluetooth model Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C, 3.1 Lightning connector
Fingerprint sensor Sure, in-display No, FaceID as an alternative
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,500mAh

Quick charging (25W)

Quick wi-fi charging (15W)

Quick charging (20W charger bought individually)MagSafe wi-fi charging (15W)Qi wi-fi charging (7.5W)
App market Google Play Retailer Apple App Retailer
Community Help AT&T, Verizon All main carriers
Colours Olive, Lavender, White, Graphite Black, blue, inexperienced, white, and crimson
Costs $699+ $799+
Evaluation rating Information 4.5 stars out of 5

Design, show, and sturdiness

The design of the iPhone has largely remained unchanged because the days of the iPhone 11 — aside from the smaller notch and the rear digital camera alignment on the iPhone 13. Whereas this may not fear somebody shopping for their first iPhone, for these of you upgrading from an older iPhone, having to take a look at the identical previous design may really feel a bit repetitive.

Regardless that the Galaxy S21 FE seems to be fairly a bit totally different from its predecessor  — the Galaxy S20 FE — the telephone shares the identical design traits because the Galaxy S21 sequence — maybe finest exemplified by the design of the digital camera module. The telephone additionally will get a polycarbonate again panel – an apparent cost-cutting measure to maintain costs in examine.

The iPhone 13, then again, will get a glass-clad rear panel and a steel physique, which makes it look extra premium than the Galaxy S21 FE. The foremost distinction between the 2 telephones, nonetheless, must be their respective sizes, with the iPhone 13 being significantly smaller in measurement than the S21 FE. The distinction between the weights, nonetheless, isn’t an excessive amount of, with each telephones simply shy of the 180g mark.

The iPhone 13’s 1170 x 2530-pixel OLED show measures 6.1-inches throughout and helps HDR10 content material. Sadly, it misses out on the excessive refresh charge choice, which Apple has solely reserved for the iPhone 13 Professional and Professional Max fashions.

Compared, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will get a 6.4-inch, 1080 x 2400-pixel AMOLED 2X panel which is arguably among the many finest smartphone shows at present in existence. Moreover, this panel is HDR10+ prepared and helps a 120Hz refresh charge. As well as, Samsung additionally provides Corning’s newest scratch resistance know-how with Gorilla Glass Victus on the S21 FE whereas additionally integrating an in-display fingerprint scanner.

Each handsets are IP68 rated for water and dirt resistance, however Samsung’s plastic rear panel and superior Gorilla Glass safety assist it rating over the iPhone 13 within the sturdiness division.

Regardless that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE trumps the iPhone 13 in terms of show high quality and sturdiness, the iPhone 13 features factors in the appear and feel division. There is no such thing as a clear winner right here, and chances are high, you’ll choose both of those units primarily based on what actually issues to you. Followers who love excessive refresh charge panels will choose the S21 FE over the iPhone — whereas somebody looking out for a handsome, premium smartphone will go for the iPhone 13.

Winner: Tie

Efficiency, battery life, and charging

The rear panel of the iPhone 13 showing its cameras up close.
Dan Baker/Digital Developments

Within the U.S., the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE comes powered by Qualcomm’s 2021 flagship chip — the Snapdragon 888. Although outmoded by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the SD888 continues to be a potent performer and is each bit a flagship chip able to dealing with virtually any activity you ask it to carry out. Furthermore, with as much as 8GB of RAM on supply (there’s a 6GB RAM choice as properly), multitasking on the Galaxy S21 FE ought to be the least of anybody’s issues.

With the highly effective A15 Bionic chip at its core, the iPhone 13 isn’t any slouch and exceeds the efficiency benchmarks set by the Snapdragon 888. Including Apple’s optimized software program to the combo, and you’ve got a telephone that performs like a beast and is second to none so far as multitasking goes.

Regardless that the 4,500mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is kind of a bit greater than the iPhone 13’s 3240mAH battery, the iPhone 13, with its confirmed battery lifetime of over a day and a half, ought to simply match up towards what the S21 FE can supply. Whereas we are going to reserve a last judgment on this after reviewing the Galaxy S21 FE, nobody right here expects Apple to lose this battle with out giving a combat.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 helps wired charging speeds of as much as 25W utilizing Samsung’s personal quick charger, whereas wi-fi charging tops out at 21W. The iPhone 13, then again, tops out at 20W for wired charging and 15W for wi-fi charging. Even with iPhone’s slower charging speeds, we count on it to cost sooner than the Galaxy S21 FE due to its decrease battery capability. Sadly, each telephones don’t ship with a charging adapter, and also you’ll have to spend additional to purchase one if you don’t have already got one mendacity round.

Total, we really feel that the iPhone greater than matches the Galaxy S21 FE’s efficiency whereas additionally providing wonderful battery life and good charging speeds. And for a similar purpose, we have now to present this spherical to the Apple iPhone 13.

Winner: Apple iPhone 13


The rear panel of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE with its triple rear cameras.

The iPhone 13’s dual-camera setup has largely remained unchanged over its predecessor and features a 12MP main digital camera and a 12 MP ultra-wide digital camera. The foremost change this time round is the addition of OIS — which was solely out there on the Professional and Professional Max fashions with the iPhone 12 sequence. This inevitably means higher pictures in tough situations comparable to fast-moving topics and low-light pictures. For selfies, the iPhone 12 will get one other 12MP digital camera that additionally helps 4K video recording.

In our evaluation, the iPhone 12 captured photos that rivaled the likes of the Google Pixel 5 and the costlier iPhone 13 Professional. Evidently, this is likely one of the finest cameras you will discover on a smartphone in its value section.

The Galaxy S21 FE will get a triple digital camera array that features twin 12MP sensors for main and ultrawide cameras. The third digital camera — which is mated to a telephoto lens — will get an 8MP sensor. The S21 FE helps OIS on the first digital camera and the telephoto lens as properly. On the entrance, the telephone will get a 32MP selfie digital camera which ought to let it seize some excellent self-portraits.

Whereas we’re but to check the Galaxy S21 FE, provided that even the Galaxy S21 struggled to compete towards the iPhone 13 in our comparability from final yr, we predict this can be an uphill battle for the S2 FE — which is basically a toned-down S21. However, we are going to reserve a last judgment as soon as we correctly check the S21 FE, however for now, it appears the iPhone edges it.

Winner: Apple iPhone 13

Software program and updates

The OLED display of the Apple iPhone 13.
Dan Baker/Digital Developments

The iPhone 13 runs iOS 15, which is the most recent model of Apple’s smartphone OS that provides a bunch of recent options. A number of the newer options on the iPhone 13 embody enhanced notifications, a model new ‘Focus’ function, and enhancements to Facetime. Aside from these, iOS is thought for its pace, ease of use, and safety.

The Galaxy S21 FE, by advantage of its delayed launch, runs Android 12 beneath a layer of Samsung’s personal OneUI 4.0. Being on the most recent model of Android and Samsung’s promise of three-year Android updates imply you may count on the telephone to comfortably final for the following three years. If that wasn’t all, Samsung guarantees safety updates for a further yr — thereby giving the S21 FE an opportunity to remain related even in 2026.

In comparison with iOS, nonetheless, Samsung’s stellar 4-year replace promise doesn’t appear ok. It is because Apple’s tight management over {hardware} and software program primarily means its smartphones final and state related for for much longer than comparable Android smartphones. For instance, iOS 15 is appropriate with the iPhone 6S, launched practically seven years in the past. So for the Galaxy S21 FE to even compete, Samsung might want to assist the telephone till 2029.

Whereas it’s okay to choose Android or iOS, for somebody trying to make use of certainly one of these units for a extremely very long time, they’re higher of with the iPhone 13. However Samsung’s four-year software program assist is great by Android requirements, and for a similar purpose, we’ll name this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Particular options

The camera UI of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

Each handsets in query right here include their very own set of distinctive options. So selecting between them actually boils right down to what you really need from every of those units. For instance, the iPhone 13 would make good sense for folks already invested in Apple’s ecosystem and use iMessage rather a lot.

However Samsung clearly wins the particular options battle right here due to a repertoire of unique options. This contains assist for Samsung DeX, which permits customers to attach the telephone to a monitor and use it in ‘desktop mode’ — virtually turning it right into a PC. Then there are particular camera-centric options like Single Take and Twin Recording mode — the latter permitting you to seize simultaneous movies utilizing the entrance and rear cameras.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Worth and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is available in two choices, beginning with a 6GB and 128GB base variant that prices $699. Then, there’s a pricier 8GB and 128GB variant that goes for $769. The telephone is obtainable through Verizon and AT&T and is available in 4 coloration choices: white, graphite, olive, and lavender. The telephone went on sale beginning January 11, 2021.

At $799, the bottom 128GB iPhone prices (barely) greater than the bottom variant of the S21 FE. In the event you want to go additional up the worth ladder, you’ve gotten the choice to get the 256GB variant for $899 and the top-end 512GB variant for $1099.

Total winner: iPhone 13

Regardless that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is an excellent telephone, its delayed launch and peculiar pricing put it in an odd place. The telephone not solely competes towards genuinely reasonably priced flagships just like the Google Pixel 6 and the OnePlus 9 — the $699 price ticket places it tantalizingly near flagship units just like the Galaxy S21 and the iPhone 13. Given an choice to decide on between a correct flagship and an reasonably priced flagship by paying a slight premium, most customers will virtually at all times go for the pricier flagship.

Maybe, we are going to revisit this comparability as soon as the Galaxy S21 FE settles in. However till then, as issues stand now, we have now to award this one to the iPhone 13.

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