We compared the two manufacturers to discover whether one has a price, performance, and feature advantage over the other. We hope you'll have decided on which product to buy.
Price and Availability
On January 7, 2022, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE was released a year after the rest of the S21 line. The 6GB RAM/128GB storage model costs £699 / $699 / AU$999, while the 8GB/256GB model costs £749 / $769.99 / AU$1,099
On October 28, 2021, the Google Pixel 6 was released a few months earlier. The Pixel 6 starts at $599 / £599 / AU$999 for a 128GB model. In the US and Australia, a 256GB variant is also available for $699/AU$1,129.
In our review, we called the Galaxy S21 FE "far too costly." Its competitor, the Pixel 6, is around $100/£100 cheaper.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE resembles the Galaxy S21 and, by extension, the Galaxy S22 in appearance. The company's 'Contour Cut' camera module design distinguishes all of these Samsung phones.
Google's Pixel 6 design is new, with a striking full-width camera module. We also like the two-tone color palette. The Pixel 6 (together with the Pixel 6 Pro) is probably Google's best-looking phone.
The Galaxy S21 FE is available in four colors: White, Graphite (black), Lavender, and Olive (green). Stormy Black, Sorta Seafoam, and Kinda Coral are the color options for the Pixel 6.
The Galaxy S21 FE is the more compact and lightweight device in this comparison.
Both phones are IP68 rated, which means they are dust and water-resistant to the same extent. However, the Pixel 6 outperforms the S21 FE in the overall design.
Both of these phones have 6.4-inch FHD+ OLED panels. Because of its 120Hz refresh rate, the Galaxy S21 FE has a modest advantage over the Pixel 6. The phone from Google only runs at 90 Hz.
While scrolling through websites and emails, the Galaxy S21 FE screen is smoother.
The Galaxy S21 FE's screen was hailed as its "strong feature" in our assessment. The Pixel 6's display, on the other hand, is a significant improvement over the Pixel 5.
Many competitors place their camera cut-outs in the corners. The S21 FE and the Pixel 6 put theirs in the center of the top. We don't have a preference, but that design choice creates a lovely sense of symmetry in these phones.
Each phone has its own set of photographic features. The triple-camera setup on the Galaxy S21 FE includes a dedicated telephoto lens. The Pixel 6 has a dual-camera setup but no optical zoom.
Samsung chose a 12-megapixel wide sensor. The latter allows you to take photos with a 1.1x optical zoom and a 3x hybrid zoom.
Google's phone has a 50-megapixel wide sensor and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor. You can get 2x zoomed images, but these are cuts from the pixel-dense broad sensor.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE camera performance is identical to that of the S21. That means the S21 produces crisp, brilliant images with oversaturated colors.
In most situations, though, the Pixel 6 takes superior photos. Compared to photos captured on the Galaxy S21 FE, the nuance in the colors and shadows is on another level. The photos on the Google phone have a more natural tone and are crisper at night.
The one area where Samsung outperforms the Pixel 6 is in magnified images. It features a telephoto lens that the Pixel 6 lacks.
Both camera systems make use of software trickery. Samsung offers Single Take. It records 5- to 15-second video clips and selects the best stills and recordings. Face Unblur and Magic Eraser, which removes photo-bombers with a tap, are two Google apps.
Specs and Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE uses the Snapdragon 888. However, it's still faster than the proprietary Tensor chip that drives the Google Pixel 6. The Galaxy S21 FE has a Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 2837, lower than the Galaxy S21 FE's average of 3100.
Google will tell you that its Tensor processor is all about machine learning. Thanks to these extra smarts, the Pixel can pull off its unique camera trickery.
When it comes to playing games, both handsets are quick. On both devices, high-end games operate nicely.
Both phones come with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage, depending on your area.
When it comes to software, there is a significant difference. Samsung's One UI 4 fork is installed on Android 12 on the Galaxy S21 FE. As Google intended, the Pixel 6 runs Android 12 in its purest form.
Furthermore, many software functions are only available on Google's phone. We also like Google's Material You color palette coordination system. It allows widgets and UI icons to be synced to a certain color theme.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has a battery capacity of 4,500mAh, while the Pixel 6 has a capacity of 4,612mAh. Those are similar.
Through a larger battery and a somewhat less demanding 90Hz display, the Pixel may offer the tiniest of advantages. However, neither of these phones is a powerhouse.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE offers 25W charging, while the Pixel 6 only supports 21W. Both lack a charging brick, putting them behind phones like the Xiaomi 12 and the OnePlus 10 Pro.