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It's the midrange that made Samsung the biggest phone company in the world, not the S or Note lines, and this is true for every major player in the field. Perhaps the most important battle in the Android midrange here in the US is shaping up to be Samsung's best value-for-money warriors, the excellent Galaxy S20 FE, against the upcoming Galaxy A72 that has gotten all the important upgrades.
Last year, the Galaxy A51 and A71 were responsible for the largest share of its sales, and the upcoming Galaxy A52 and A72 may not be an exception despite that Samsung cut the launch prices of its S21 series with $200 compared to their predecessors.
While everyone's talking about and looking into flagships like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, when the time to shell out way north of a grand comes, people choose wisely and settle for a step or two below. This is why we will try to gauge whether the Galaxy A72 has a chance to dethrone Samsung's value champ the Galaxy S20 FE.
Main Samsung Galaxy A72 vs S20 FE 5G differences to expect:
6.7" 90Hz vs 6.5" 120Hz 1080p OLED displays
5000mAh vs 4500mAh batteries
64MP vs 12MP main cameras
25W vs 15W fast charging
Samsung Galaxy A72 5G vs Galaxy S20 FE pricing and colors
$549 (est.) vs $699 MSRP price
Black, White, Violet, Blue vs Navy, Red, Lavender, Orange, White, or Mint
Intended to be a cheaper version of the S20 series, with all the right compromises and corners cut, the Galaxy S20 FE is priced at just $699 at Samsung, and can often be found for way less at promos, though if you want the exclusive red version you'd have to shop at Samsung.
The 4G LTE version of the Galaxy A72, on the other hand, is expected to cost €449 for the 6/128GB model and €509 for the 8/256GB variant in Europe. Transform these into dollars and add a Benjamin for the eventual A72 5G version here in the US, and you get a very competitively prices $549 handset to take on the S20 FE.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Excellent value for the money
Impressive two-day battery life
Bright and flat display with high 120Hz refresh rate
3 years of Android version updates and up to 3 years warranty
Good pictures and video quality
Very good stereo sound recording and playback
Durable housing in a variety of matte colors to choose from
Quick optical in-display fingerprint scanner
The 5G model is only available in a 6GB RAM/128GB storage version
The screen colors are a bit on the cold and saturated side
Display is Gorilla Glass 3 only but it does come with protector pre-installed
If someone had told us a few years ago that we would be longing for the days of plastic phones, we'd call them nuts, but now that metal phones mostly went the way of the Dodo because of wireless charging, our only premium material option left seems to be glass or ceramic.
That is why we welcome Samsung's decision to house the Galaxy A72 and S20 FE in the "glasstic" body that it also uses for the Note 20. They are at once cost-saving, make the phone one you don't always have to baby, and, a third added bonus - often lighter than glass phones with similar screen sizes. Samsung has painted the phones in a rainbow of colors to choose from for every taste. The matte finishes are a bit slippery and a fingerprint magnet, though.
If there is something we don't quite like about both phones visuals, it's the relatively thick bezels around the sides, making them too wide, and, when it comes to handling that 6.7-incher, well, it'd be even wider and more unwieldy than the S20 FE.
As for the 1080p displays, they are flat, which throws off our back gesture navigation game a bit compared to Samsung's curved Edge panels, but that makes them cheaper to replace, and much easier to install a protector on. The S20 FE display has support for the wide DCI-P3 color gamut needed for the screen's HDR certification, but the colors are а bit on the cold and oversaturated side, and that's about the only gripe with the display's presentation.
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
It is otherwise very bright and comfortable to view outside, and the screen has a 120Hz refresh rate mode that makes scrolling and interface animations appear smoother and easier on the eyes, and that it the default screen mode, indicating that Samsung is now pretty confident it won't be killing the battery. The A72 would likely make do with a 90Hz refresh that should be gentler on the battery, plus the upper A-series screens have always been a delight in terms of brightness and quality.
Samsung Galaxy A72 5G vs Galaxy S20 FE specs performance and battery life
With the Galaxy S20 FE, Samsung is again pulling off what it has been chastised about for a good while now - different chipsets for different markets. While the US gets the good stuff - Snapdragon 865 - the global S20 FE makes do with Exynos 990. That problem isn't valid for the Galaxy A72 which will come with a 5G-capable Snapdragon 750 chipset. Still, its features and performance sit below the S20 FE's Snapdragon 865 on the mobile processors totem pole.
Samsung not only did split the European Galaxy S20 models into a cheaper LTE-only, and 5G versions, but also provided a middle LTE option with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. The A72 could suffer the same fate, as the 4G LTE variant for Europe already leaked out. An A72 5G is conspicuously absent, though, both in the rumor mill, and at the FCC regulatory filings, so maybe that model is happening at a later date indeed, just like with the Galaxy A71 5G.
Here are the dry Galaxy S20 FE benchmarks - not record-shattering, but excellent performance nonetheless, and certainly beating the Galaxy A72 if it ships with a 7-series Snapdragon like the A71 before it:
AnTuTu is a multi-layered, comprehensive mobile benchmark app that assesses various aspects of a device, including CPU, GPU, RAM, I/O, and UX performance. A higher score means an overall faster device.
If the T-Rex HD component of GFXBench is demanding, then the Manhattan test is downright gruelling. It's a GPU-centric test that simulates an extremely graphically intensive gaming environment that is meant to push the GPU to the max. that simulates a graphically-intensive gaming environment on the screen. The results achieved are measured in frames per second, with more frames being better.
Still, this will be enough to power through Android 11 and One UI 3.1 interface of the phones, plus Samsung has also promised 3 years worth of software updates for the phones in its upper midrange category, too, keeping them relevant for longer.
The high display refresh modes don't take nearly the toll on battery life of Samsung phones as they did with the S20 series, and the S20 FE managed to survive over ten hours of browsing and scrolling with the maxed-out refresh rate. Not Galaxy S21 Ultra level good, but a pretty good sign that the phone can last you until noon the next day with normal usage, and the 90Hz refresh plus a bigger 5000mAh unit combo of the Galaxy A72 would perform even better in the battery life department.
Moreover, the A72 may very well ship with Samsung's 25W charger in the box, if the FCC filings are correct, while the Galaxy S20 FE ships with Samsung's 15W brick, and will likely charge slower than the A72, despite the latter's bigger battery.
Samsung Galaxy A72 vs Galaxy S20 FE camera
Samsung has equipped the S20 FE with a triple camera kit that includes 12MP main and ultrawide shooters, and an 8MP 3x telephoto optical zoom camera as well. The Galaxy A72 is said to land with a quad camera but one of its units could be a near useless 2MP "macro" sensor, plus its rumored 64MP main sensor has pixels so tiny they have to be binned together for a 16MP shot, while the S20 FE has a main sensor with very large pixels that collect more light.
The alleged 8MP telephoto cam on the A72 also does 2x telephoto zoom against the S20 FE's 3x magnification. At least the 12MP ultrawide and 32MP front cameras are said to be identical, otherwise we'd have given the camera round to the S20 FE already, despite its lower main camera resolution on paper, as it is capable of some excellent photos as you can see from the samples below.
Galaxy S20 FE ultrawide, zoom, selfie and macro samples
Long story short, barring any surprises from Samsung, the rumor mill hasn't yet pegged the Galaxy A72 as a Galaxy S20 FE killer in anything but the battery life and pricing departments.
We have to admit that those are pretty important to bag on your side, though, so we'll have to see how the camera and performance pan out against the S20 FE when Samsung releases the A72 a few short weeks from now.
Colora visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflectMore (Definitions, Synonyms, Translation)
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