Galaxy S21 FE 5G and Poco F5 Pro are two good options for those looking for a powerful cell phone at a lower price. Both are under R$ 3,500, and deliver a good screen, high processing speed, high quality photos and good battery life.
But which one to choose? What changes from Samsung’s cell phone to Xiaomi’s that can make one more worthwhile than the other? That’s what I’m going to explain in this comparison. In the end, you should be able to consciously make your choice between Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and Poco F5 Pro.
Design, build and screen
The idea of these two phones is to deliver premium aspects with some cost cuts. One of these cuts is in the finish: the Galaxy S21 FE has a plastic back, and compensates with an aluminum side frame. The Poco F5 Pro has a glass back, but a plastic side frame.
The build itself is good on both. But there is an advantage in the Samsung model, which has IP68 certification. That is, it supports submersion in up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. The Poco F5 Pro can only withstand splashes of water, with IP53 certification.
For those who care about size and weight, the Galaxy S21 FE is smaller and lighter. The Samsung device is 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm and 177 grams, against 162.8 x 75.4 x 8.6 mm and 204 grams of the Poco F5 Pro.
The difference in size is mainly explained by the size of the screen. They are 6.4 inches in the S21 FE, against 6.67 inches in the rival of this comparison. However, the model from the subsidiary of Xiaomi has a higher resolution, Quad HD, against the Full HD of the Samsung device.
Other than that, the screens are pretty similar in quality, with peak brightness good for outdoor use. And both have 120Hz refresh rate on both. And both support HDR10+, which improves contrast in compatible content.
configuration and performance
The two cell phones are very competent for heavy tasks. However, the Galaxy S21 FE has a chip that hit the market before the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus. That is, its processor is a little outdated compared to the Poco F5 Pro, despite being a difference that, in everyday life, will barely be noticed.
Is that the Exynos 2100 present in the S21 FE is already quite fast and handles all tasks today. And it holds up well to heavy gaming. However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus present in the competitor has a bigger surplus, and will deliver good performance for longer.
And this is evident in the difference in scores of the two devices in the AnTuTu benchmark. Samsung’s device scored around 750,000 points, while the Poco F5 Pro surpassed 1 million points in the same test. You can see the full results in the chart below.
There’s still the question of memories. The base model of the Galaxy S21 FE has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Poco F5 Pro starts with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, the maximum available on Samsung’s competitor here in Brazil. The Xiaomi device still goes up to 12/512 GB.
That is, in the more affordable version, the Poco F5 Pro already has more space for multitasking and files. But you can find a similar version of the S21 FE, which will cost a little more. It’s something to take into account, despite being a circumventable problem.
Samsung and Xiaomi use Android on their phones, but modify the system with their own features and appearance. The Galaxy S21 FE’s One UI 5.1 is a little more intuitive and brings some very interesting extras, such as DeX mode. This feature allows you to turn your cell phone into a kind of portable computer.
The MIUI 14 that runs on the Poco F5 Pro is more similar to iOS. You have a notification center and a control center, both accessed by swiping down. One appears when swiping further in the left corner, and the other in the right side.
Both run Android 13, and the S21 FE is promised to reach Android 16. The Poco F5 Pro, on the other hand, has no guarantee of being updated in the system version. But it must have at least two or three years of MIUI updates.
NFC is present in both, that is, it is possible to use these models for approximation payments. But beware of the Poco F5 Pro: in some markets the feature is unavailable. If you are going to import, make sure the purchased version has NFC enabled.
Despite being top of the line with cost cuts, the two phones in this comparison have good cameras. However, of course, they are below the most powerful models. Including the S21 FE, which doesn’t have the same quality as the Galaxy S21 line — but is pretty close overall.
The main cameras are good for most scenarios, including low light. Of course, they are not photos that compete with the best top of the line cameras today, but both are worth the expense. They are capable of correcting shakiness, at least.
Galaxy S21 FE: photo examples
Poco F5 Pro: photo examples
The Poco F5 Pro lacks in quality in auxiliary cameras. The Galaxy S21 FE, on the other hand, is quite competent at both ultrawide and telephoto. But, of course, the quality is somewhat inferior to the main sensor of the S21 FE itself.
In the front camera, some people may even prefer the results of the Poco F5 Pro, but the S21 FE is superior, in my opinion. First, because smoothing can be turned off or reduced. Then because, even with smoothing turned on, it picks up more details, has better dynamic range and sharpness.
The Galaxy S21 FE has a 4,500 mAh battery. Less than the 5,160 mAh of the Poco F5 Pro. But Xiaomi’s phone has a bigger screen than Samsung’s, so who knows the battery life isn’t balanced? Well, it’s not, and it has a model whose duration is considerably better.
Samsung’s cell phone manages to deliver an average of one day of use, and may have a surplus for the second day. Xiaomi’s already manages two days of use without major problems. These times are test-based estimates and may vary based on usage.
Another advantage of the Poco F5 Pro in terms of battery life is its recharge time, both wired and wireless. The supported power is much higher than the Galaxy S21 FE, since the Samsung device goes to 25 W in cable recharges and 15 W in wireless bases. Xiaomi’s can handle up to 67 W wired and 30 W wireless, which allows its battery, despite being larger, to be fully charged in less time.
Galaxy S21 FE vs Poco F5 Pro: which one is worth it?
The Galaxy S21 FE has better water and dust protection, better cameras, and superior upgrade longevity. The Poco F5 Pro is faster and has a longer battery life. It seems to be a more interesting option, especially for those who value battery life.
But you also need to think about the price. And then the S21 FE seems like a more interesting option, since it costs around R$ 1,900, while the F5 Pro is around R$ 3,300. It’s a bit high to invest more just thinking about a battery that lasts longer.
After all, the Galaxy S21 FE is less fast, but still delivers satisfactory performance for most users. And it still has the other advantages over the Poco F5 Pro. In addition, the values quoted for the Xiaomi model are from importers that only offer a three-month warranty.
I understand if you still opt for the Poco F5 Pro. It’s your choice and you’ve made it aware that the S21 FE has more advantages overall. In any case, they are two great phones in all respects.
🛒 See the Galaxy S21 FE price on Magalu
🛒 See the price of the Galaxy S21 FE at Mercado Livre
🛒 See the price of the Poco F5 Pro on AliExpress
🛒 See the price of the Poco F5 Pro on Amazon