Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review: So today I even have got the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE with me certain review, which was launched sort of a month ago. Samsung says it’s the company’s flagship phone for the fans. From the highest of the road hardware to flagship features just like the IP rating and wireless charging, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has it all—although there are definitely some compromises to stay the worth in restraint.
Regardless, when it had been initially announced, I assumed it might be more sort of a lite version of the S20 series, almost like last year’s S10 Lite. But, it’s not. As a matter of fact, Samsung says the most reason for the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was to make a less expensive flagship for people not willing to spend over thousand dollars amidst the present economic downturn due to Covid 19, which are some things I actually appreciate. Keeping the appreciation aside, does this cheaper Samsung flagship continue with the “Fan Edition” tag? Let’s dig deeper to seek outcall at this review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Specifications:
|Body:||6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33-inches, 190gm|
|Display:||6.5-inches Super AMOLED panel, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 120Hz Refresh Rate, 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate, 84.8% screen-to-body ratio, 407 PPI, Always-on Display (AoD), IP68 dust/water resistance|
|Resolution:||FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio|
|RAM:||6/8GB LPDDR5 RAM|
|Storage:||128/256GB UFS 3.1 internal storage (expandable)|
|Software & UI:||One UI 2.5 on top of Android 10|
|Front Camera:||32MP, f/2.2 lens (punch-hole)|
|Security:||In-display Fingerprint Scanner (optical)|
|Audio:||Stereo speakers, No headphone jack|
|Connectivity:||Hybrid Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / A-GPS / Glonass / BDS / Galileo, USB Type-C, 4G LTE/5G|
|Sensors:||Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, Barometer|
|Battery:||4500mAh with 25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse-wireless charging|
|Colours:||Cloud-Lavender, Mint, Navy, White, Red, Orange|
|Price in Nepal:||Rs. 69,999 (4G, 8/128GB)|
|Price in India:||8GB + 128GB = 49,999INR|
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review:
Design & Build
- Aluminium frame, plastic back
- IP68 dust/water resistance
Alright, let’s address the elephant within the room first. Yes, plastic backs on flagship phones are a thing now, all because of Samsung. It started with the Galaxy Note 20 then got handed over to the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. it’d sound like I’m complaining, but trust me I’m not! Certainly, once you hear plastic you assume the device to feel flimsy and cheap. But this one’s nothing of that kind. In fact, it’s a really good feel and therefore the proper of heft.
Also, what makes me like this design, even more, is that it doesn’t register scratches or fingerprint smudges as easily as glass backs do. I’ve used this phone for quite a month without a canopy and it still looks good as new. But, I do encourage you to urge a back cover or a skin since plastic might get scratched or washed out over time.
Similarly, the front of it only has the Gorilla Glass 3 protection, which isn’t as scratch and drop resistant because the latest Gorilla Glass Victus or the Gorilla Glass 6 we’ve seen on Samsung’s recent flagship phones. So, if you’re one among the careless ones like me, you’d better get an honest screen protector. The frames are, however, made from an aluminium a bit like the S20+.
Plus, I feel Samsung has finally got the colour availability right. The phone is out there in multiple colour options, which isn’t something new for them. But this point, Samsung is making of these colours available within the majority of the markets.
- 6.5-inches FHD+ Super AMOLED panel (flat)
- Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate
Moving on to the display, it’s a classic Samsung Super AMOLED panel, so little question it’s one among the simplest you smartphone screen you’ll lay your eyes on. Still, it doesn’t have a sharper QHD resolution just like the S20+, but honestly, I’ve never practically turned that option on in any of the Samsung flagships I’ve ever used.
The important thing about this display is it refreshes at 120Hz which makes for an excellent smooth experience. I feel this feature alone has made the $1000 Galaxy Note 20 look pale and unjustifiably priced as compared. The bezels on the opposite hand are slightly pronounced as against what we usually see on flagship offerings from Samsung. Likewise, the gentle curves are gone too and you get this super flat display, which I’m okay with actually!
The issue with S20 FE’s display
However, there are some underlying issues sometimes with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE’s display. For starters, scrolling would be jittery all of a sudden and that I even experienced some ghost touches. I turned to the community to see if others were browsing an equivalent thing and seems this was the difficulty faced by many others too.
Samsung, in its October update, did fix the difficulty to some extent but it’s not completely gone. In my opinion, this looks more sort of a software issue instead of hardware and that I hope Samsung fixes it ASAP.
Optical in-display fingerprint sensor
On a special note, this display houses an in-display fingerprint sensor—not the ultrasonic kind like within the company’s premium “S” and “Note” series of phones, but the quality optical one. Nonetheless, it works flawlessly. I used to be a touch worried that it might be slower a bit like those in Samsung’s A-series phones, but it’s not like that in the least.
The brightness of this display is additionally excellent, not nearly as good because the Note 20 Ultra but will get you thru even during a sunny environment. the small punch hole up top is non-obtrusive and its diameter is actually smaller than the one on the Note 20 Ultra.
- Two variants: 4G (Global, including Nepal), 5G (US, S. Korea)
- 4G: Octa-core Samsung Exynos 990 SoC (7nm+)
- 6/8GB LPDDR5 RAM with up to 256GB UFS 3.1 storage (expandable)
Anyway, let me mention the foremost criticized feature of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which is that the Exynos 990 chipset. Really makes me wonder: why did Samsung include the foremost criticized feature of the Galaxy S20 and therefore the Note 20 Ultra on a tool that’s meant for the FANS?
Not that the Exynos 990 may be a bad chipset or anything, it’s still a strong chipset but it certainly isn’t within the same league with its direct Snapdragon counterpart. And since I’m also using the OnePlus 8T immediately, which retails at an equivalent price, it’s not difficult to point which one’s better in terms of sheer performance. Moreover, the Exynos 990 isn’t only inferior to the Snapdragon 865 when it involves performance, but it’s more battery hungry and toastier too.
Anyways, all the negativity aside, Samsung’s upcoming Exynos 1080, 2100 are the important deal. If the first leaks are to be believed, these silicons can reportedly outperform the next-gen SoCs from Qualcomm, namely the Snapdragon 875. In terms of memory, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has DDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 storage. The RAM options are either 6 or 8GB, whereas storage is either 128 or 256GB.
Moving on, with my real-life usage, the experience on this phone has been buttery smooth. There’s not a touch of lag, apps open fast, and multitasking may be a breeze. But again, I’m using the Oneplus 8T immediately, and it definitely feels more optimized and faster than the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
Similarly, gaming, especially those high demanding titles, are inferior thereto of the OnePlus 8T. as an example, the max you’ll attend PUBG is smooth graphics and extreme frame rates with a touch little bit of choppiness here and there. With the Oneplus 8T, there’s an exclusive 90 fps mode also, which is far smoother.
About the heating, I’ve noticed that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE doesn’t heat up easily just like the S20+ which are some things I actually appreciate because shooting 4K videos and heavy gaming on the S20+ would end in the phone getting considerably warm after a short time. So, Samsung has improved the thermals on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which is great.
- One UI 2.5 on top of Android 10
Talking about the software, the phone runs on Android 10 with One UI 2.5 out-of-the-box. It also includes the support for Samsung DeX, which I particularly don’t find that useful, but a number of you would possibly. However, a touch sad news is that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE isn’t up for One UI 3.0 Beta testing as other S20 Flagships yet, although it’s bound to receive Android 11 any day now.
Samsung has also promised to offer 3 years of OS upgrade on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Its follow abreast of monthly security updates has also been specialized so far. As of now, my phone runs on October’s security patch and that I should be receiving the November patch anytime soon.
- Triple-cameras at the back
- (12MP primary, 12MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto)
- 32MP front-facing camera inside the punch-hole cutout
S20 Fan Edition features an equivalent 12MP primary and ultrawide angle lens because the S20+, followed by a replacement 8MP zoom lens capable of 3x optical zoom. needless to say, this phone has stellar camera capabilities for photos, and even concerning videos, you’ll go up to 4k 60fps with OIS—both from the front and back cameras with none compromises on the standard as compared to the S20+.
In fact, in many cases, the S20+ overcompensates the colours while the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE tones it down and makes the image more natural.
Details, dynamic range, and everything else look an equivalent in both the phones, so I couldn’t be happier with the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE doesn’t shoot portraits with the zoom lens just like the S20+ but rather uses the first lens. the sting detection is slightly flawed as you’ll see in these pictures, but overall they’re great.
Although, I might choose the portraits of the S20+ because the subjects look more pronounced in it and therefore the depth looks more natural.
The 8MP Telephoto telephoto lens, however, gives you slightly better results than the S20+ with its 3x Optical zoom capability as against the 3X hybrid zoom on the S20+.
The ultra-wide-angle images equally impress with outstanding colours and details.
As you’ll see from this comparison, both the S20+ and FE are nearly identical.
Even the already dark shots from the FE are almost like the S20+ in both normal and night mode.
But, nighttime images in ultra-wide mode are riddled with grains although you’ll toggle to nighttime mode to catch up on the noise and exposure management to some extent.
Also, while shooting in night mode, the camera takes over 5 sec to process the image, which I feel Samsung must improve upon.
About the videos, as mentioned earlier, you’ll record up to 4k 60fps with full Optical image stabilization from the most lens. And since it doesn’t have a 64MP zoom lens because the S20+, there’s no 8k shooting with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
You can shoot stabilized videos within the Ultra-wide angle mode too but, just like the S20+, there’s no 60fps mode here. Likewise, the slow-mo and super slow-mo video modes are always fun to fiddle with.
During my review, the selfie camera of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, unfortunately, didn’t meet my expectation. It’s a 32MP shooter as against the 10MP one on the S20+.
But even with the upper resolution, it’s not nearly as good as its flagship sibling which is clearly noticed in these pictures here. to form matters clearer, the S20 FE’s selfies are a sort of Galaxy A71-ish instead of a flagship level.
Overall, though, I’m really satisfied with the cameras of the S20 FE. Samsung’s decision to not include a gimmicky macro or depth camera is spot on, unlike its closest competitors the Oneplus 8T—and frankly should be a lesson to all or any the smartphone manufacturers who purposefully sham their high-end devices with unworthy image sensors.
- 4500mAh battery with 25W wired charging
- Only a 15W charger provided inside the box
- 15W wireless and 4.5W reverse wireless charging
In regards to the battery life, the S20 FE has kind of met my expectations. I used this phone with the 120Hz refresh rate and therefore the always-on display turned ON, and thereupon, I strictly got a days’ battery life. Now, I’m someone who is into watching Netflix and Amazon Prime Video at almost every chance I buy. And with all the social media, texting, clicking pictures and videos that I do all day, I might need to charge the phone as I reach home at around 8 PM.
Talking about charging, you don’t get a faster 25W charger inside the box just like the S20+ although it does support it. Obviously, Samsung had to form some compromises to realize the lower cost, like skimping on accessories like chargers and earphones inside the box.
But unlike Apple, Samsung has been generous enough to incorporate a 15-watt fast charger inside the box, which takes around an hour and a half to urge the phone completely juiced up. So, if slow charging frustrates you because it does to me, you’re gonna need to cash-in around $30 and obtain a real 25-watt fast charger.
As for other things, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has 15W wireless charging support, IP68 rating, and stereo speakers to offer you a more flagship experience. But hold on, mark that these speakers aren’t true stereo because the earpiece is a secondary channel, but they are doing a tremendous job. It produces balanced and rich output and there’s Dolby Atmos support just like the S20+.
So, that was all about my experience with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Do I like to recommend this phone? Definitely! it’s one among the simplest value flagships at the instant and If you’re within the marketplace for a replacement smartphone immediately, and don’t want to take advantage top dollars, the S20 FE would be a perfect choice.
In fact, it sits above the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro and therefore the OnePlus 8T in my rank for the simplest value flagship phone immediately. Moreover, it’s not even a debate, or a contest if your region ships the Snapdragon variant for the phone.
And with Samsung’s brand recognition and unmatched distribution and availability, I feel this phone will certainly take a number of the market shares of the OnePlus 8T. Plus, Samsung has already confirmed that it’s getting to be releasing the Fan Edition version of the S series per annum. So, it’s getting to be a stimulating battle within the coming days too.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review: Pros & Cons
- Terrific value for money—an easy recommendation
- Impressively well-built for a phone with a plastic back
- Flat Super AMOLED display is stunning
- Flagship-grade performance
- Excellent camera capabilities
- Decent battery life
- Should’ve gone with the SD865 in all variants
- The selfie camera isn’t that great
- No 25W charger inside the box
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