For years, we have regularly complained about the fate that Samsung reserves to its smartphones sold in Europe. With us, it is an Exynos chip that is used by the Korean manufacturer rather than a Snapdragon, from Qualcomm, as in the United States and other countries. We have often suspected the Exynos processors to be the cause of the autonomy problems of some high-end Galaxy, especially with the S20 and Note 20 series.
For the first time, Samsung has decided to listen to its European customers. The new Galaxy S20 FE, available in a 4G version and a 5G version, allows you to choose between an Exynos 990 (4G model) and a Snapdragon 865 (5G model). Our laboratory received the second model and can now confirm it: a Galaxy with a Snapdragon processor is much more enduring.
Two hours longer than the S20 +
To be the most representative of reality, we must compare the S20 FE to the S20 +. The panels of the two devices have only 0.2 inches of difference (6.5 and 6.7 inches) and support a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Both devices have a battery of identical capacity (4500 mAh). The maximum brightness of their screens is also very close according to our measurements (792 cd / m2 against 840 cd / m2) even if, in the interests of fairness, we voluntarily set the devices to the same level during our tests (200 cd / m2). All devices tested in our laboratory are configured in this way.
The test carried out by the 01net.com laboratory measures what we call a “Versatile autonomy”. This is a program developed in-house capable of automatically linking several daily tasks until the smartphone runs out. We start by watching a video, we then go on the Web, we then navigate in our photo library, we then stimulate the CPU, etc. All smartphones are subjected to the same test, which allows us to create precise comparisons.
At 01net.com lab, Galaxy S20 FE 5G held up 13:33 to our versatile autonomy test … against 11:40 am for the Galaxy S20 +. Neither of these two results is exceptional, the Galaxy S20 FE is just below average. On the other hand, his result is far superior to that of his big brother who, for once, was frankly not enduring. These two hours of difference could prove to be crucial on a daily basis if you come home late from the evening, for example.
On the other hand, it is by comparing the S20 family to the competition which is also equipped with a 120 Hz screen that we see the difference. For the first time, Samsung is at the level of an Oppo, a OnePlus or a Xiaomi. The Exynos seems to be Samsung’s weak point.
A drop in video streaming
Unfortunately, this test allows us to validate another hypothesis: the Exynos are better optimized than the Snapdragon to watch movies and series in streaming. In recent years, Samsung smartphones have stood out in our laboratory as the only ones with a video autonomy greater than their versatile autonomy. The S20 FE and its Snapdragon breaks this tradition with a video autonomy of 11:59 am. It is for the moment less good than the S20 + (12h59). Fortunately, no one uses their smartphone for anything other than watching videos.
In conclusion, we can only hope that Samsung will continue to bet on Snapdragon processors for its high-end smartphones next year. Will we finally have a Galaxy S21 as powerful as it is enduring? For information, an S20 FE is 13% more powerful than a European S20 +, according to the benchmark tool AnTuTu 8. In short, there is no real reason to prefer the Exynos processor.