Samsung Galaxy S20 FE assessment: The brand new flagship killer

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Red

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud RedSupply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

For years, there’s been a stigma round utilizing plastic designs in high-end, costly telephones. Customers have come to anticipate extra luxurious supplies like steel and glass which, regardless of being extra fragile than plastic, usually have a extra “premium” really feel.

I am positively responsible of shying away from gadgets whose spec sheets characteristic the phrase polycarbonate. I used to be reluctant to strive the Galaxy Notice 20 for precisely that purpose. However as soon as my assessment unit got here in, my considerations surrounding creakiness and an inexpensive in-hand really feel disappeared. Construct high quality basically has, in fact, massively improved for the reason that days when plastic flagships have been commonplace, and the Notice 20 felt simply as strong as every other cellphone I might examined in latest reminiscence.

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The story is similar with the Galaxy S20 Fan Version — higher often known as the S20 FE. This cellphone is the most recent in Samsung’s campaign to dominate each pricing tier with a well-rounded system that makes the suitable sacrifices whereas sustaining the corporate’s requirements for high quality and efficiency. Briefly, it is like every other cellphone within the S20 lineup, save for a plastic again and a flat show that deliver it to a considerably cheaper price.

Meaning hassle for different reasonably priced flagship producers like Google and OnePlus, however for the remainder of us, the S20 FE is among the finest Android telephones round at an unbelievable worth.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Backside line: The Galaxy S20 FE affords practically the whole lot you’d discover on the costlier S20 variants, with high-end specs and spectacular cameras. The display is completely flat, which suggests fewer unintended touches, and the again of the cellphone is manufactured from a sturdy plastic.

The Good

  • Flat 120Hz show is terrific
  • All-day battery life
  • Promised three years of software program updates
  • Spectacular cameras with 3x optical zoom
  • Sturdy design with enjoyable coloration choices

The Dangerous

  • Not each coloration choice is on the market all over the place
  • Digital camera may be sluggish to load

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Pricing & availability

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

The Galaxy S20 FE launched on October 2, with a single configuration within the U.S. providing 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM for $699.99. It is already been discounted by 100 {dollars} by most main retailers, nonetheless, and whereas Samsung nonetheless sells the S20 FE at full value on its web site, the corporate is providing excessive trade-in values that may deliver the worth right down to as little as $249.99.

There are six coloration choices accessible, together with Cloud Navy, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Orange, Cloud Purple, and Cloud White. In the meanwhile, Cloud Orange is being supplied as an internet unique by, whereas Cloud Purple is reserved for Verizon and U.S. Mobile clients. It seems that Cloud White is not at the moment accessible to U.S. patrons.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE What I like

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Lavender

Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

Anybody who’s used an S20 sequence system earlier than will really feel proper at dwelling on the S20 FE. It is a bit bigger than the baseline S20, however it’s nonetheless an inexpensive measurement with roughly the identical footprint because the S20+, and a virtually equivalent design language. After all, the principle distinction is the polycarbonate (learn: plastic) backing, which encompasses a matte texture and is available in quite a lot of vibrant, nearly pastel colours.

This alerts hassle for Google and OnePlus.

This is not the identical flimsy plastic we noticed on the Galaxy S5 years again. The S20 FE would not creak or give below stress; it feels simply as strong as the remainder of the S20 lineup, thanks in no small half to the aluminum body, and certain will not crack if dropped. With what number of matte gadgets Samsung has launched as of late, it is also straightforward to overlook that the S20 sequence was completely shiny — this can be a very welcome change.

I actually love the colour choices on the S20 FE, too. In lieu of a bodily briefing, Samsung despatched over one in all each coloration for photograph functions, which gave me an opportunity to actually recognize every shade with out the guesswork of counting on closely touched up images. The Cloud Mint is by far my favourite — it matches my guitar! — however they’re all beautiful, muted colours that add a enjoyable factor to the cellphone.

Similar to the on the Notice 20, Samsung additionally ditched the curved glass on the entrance of the S20 FE, as an alternative choosing a very flat show that, whereas a bit much less flashy, is an enormous useful enchancment in the event you ask me. This implies barely bigger bezels across the perimeter of the display, however in trade, you will expertise zero unintended touches. Like the remainder of the S20 sequence, the FE encompasses a 120Hz refresh fee that makes each motion on-screen really feel buttery easy.

Class Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Working System Android 10
Show 6.5 inches, 20:9 side ratio, 2400×1080 (407 ppi) decision, Tremendous AMOLED
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Reminiscence 6GB RAM
Storage 128GB
Expandable Storage Sure (as much as 1TB)
Rear Digital camera 12MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.8μm (huge)
12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.12μm (ultra-wide)
8MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.0μm (telephoto)
Entrance Digital camera 32MP, ƒ/2.2, 0.8μm
Safety Optical fingerprint sensor
Battery 4500mAh
Water Resistance IP68
Dimensions 159.Eight x 74.5 x 8.4mm
Weight 190g
Colours Cloud Navy, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Orange, Cloud Purple, Cloud White

There’s just one specs configuration of the S20 FE, no less than within the States, with 128GB of expandable storage and 6GB of RAM, although Verizon sells its personal variant (with the completely consumer-friendly title of Galaxy S20 FE 5G UW) that is optimized for its Extremely Wideband community. I feel 128GB is completely fantastic for most individuals, particularly since you may develop it with microSD, although it is price noting that the 6GB of RAM is a slight step down from the 8GB and up on the remainder of the S20 sequence.

It is actually fairly outstanding how a lot Samsung was capable of make the Fan Version slot in with the remainder of the S20 lineup, regardless of a beginning value that is $300 under the retail worth of its friends. You get the identical Snapdragon 865 processor, the identical Android 10 software program with One UI 2.5 (although it is unclear whether or not the FE will likely be included within the preliminary S20 sequence Android 11 rollout), and the identical beautiful Tremendous AMOLED show tech.

I’ve spent a lot of time with Samsung gadgets this 12 months, and this one feels no completely different from the remaining; efficiency is top-notch, and there are many software program perks like Edge Panels and even Wi-fi DeX — a comparatively new characteristic that first debuted on the Notice 20 and Notice 20 Extremely.

Battery life has been nice on the S20 FE, as effectively. Within the 10 days I have been testing the cellphone, the 4500mAh cell has been greater than sufficient to final by every day with no drawback, averaging round 5 to 7 hours of screen-on time. The S20 FE helps 25W Quick Charging, although Samsung solely features a 15W brick within the field.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Cameras

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Mint

Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

The S20 FE options three rear cameras within the de facto normal grouping of huge, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. The principle sensor is similar one discovered on the usual S20: a 12MP ƒ/1.Eight digital camera with the entire typical Samsung qualities you’d anticipate, each good and dangerous. Deeply saturated colours, a robust tendency to carry shadows, and a choice for heat tones.

Unsurprisingly, that signifies that it is nice for probably the most half, and the overwhelming majority of customers will love the images it takes. When you’re a pickier photographer, you may take subject with the usually very harsh haloing impact in shiny outside lighting, or the robust HDR impact that overly flattens daytime pictures, however in fact, you may take a little bit of management over these issues by switching over to a handbook taking pictures mode in the event you choose.

Samsung appears to have modified up its telephoto lens selection with each new launch this 12 months, and on the S20 FE, meaning a real 3X sensor that may attain as much as 30X by Area Zoom, Samsung’s coined time period for its mixture of optical and digital zoom.

After all, the telephoto sensor is not fairly as sharp as the principle one, however I’ve nonetheless been very proud of it total. It is nice for snapping a more in-depth shot with no second thought, and naturally, digital zoom on the principle sensor helps fill out the 2X hole between cameras.

The ultra-wide appears to be practically equivalent in efficiency to that of practically each different high-end cellphone Samsung has launched this 12 months — which is not a nasty factor by any stretch. The S20 FE does a terrific job at minimalizing barrel distortion, although haloing is even worse on the ultra-wide.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE What I do not like

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Red

Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

It is spectacular simply how a lot the S20 FE looks like every other S20 mannequin, however it is not with out its faults. The decreased 6GB of RAM is loads for many duties, however it might probably dangle up at instances if you’re working a number of heavy apps in split-screen view. I’ve additionally discovered that the S20 FE is pretty sluggish to launch the digital camera, and all the time appears to lag a bit for the primary second or two. That will not sound like a lot, however a second is all it takes typically to overlook your shot.

It is a bit odd that the S20 FE solely features a 15W charger within the field, as effectively. Even the utmost supported 25W is a bit slim by as we speak’s requirements (although it is according to the remainder of Samsung’s choice), however I am uncertain that there was really an enormous value financial savings in decreasing the in-box charging speeds.

After all, in the event you’re a fan of glass backs and curved screens, the S20 FE will really feel like a downgrade in that regard from even the baseline S20. I feel most individuals will likely be completely proud of the construct high quality of the S20 FE, although. Switching over from gadgets just like the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2, I by no means as soon as discovered myself wishing the S20 FE had used completely different supplies.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE The competitors

Google Pixel 4a

Supply: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

The S20 FE’s aggressive pricing places it in direct competitors with gadgets just like the OnePlus Eight and the upcoming Pixel 5. Particularly with its $100 low cost by most retailers, the S20 FE has a definite benefit over the OnePlus Eight with its total higher cameras and wider availability within the U.S., although the OnePlus Eight affords the choice for the next storage tier, together with the extra broadly accepted curved glass and steel design and OnePlus’s common OxygenOS software program.

The scenario is analogous for the S20 FE in opposition to the Pixel 5, however it faces even stronger competitors from the Pixel 4a, which is available in at half the retail value of the S20 FE and options the identical unbelievable digital camera discovered on the Pixel 4. If imaging is your primary precedence, the Pixel 4a is extraordinarily tempting — particularly since each telephones are assured to obtain years of software program updates.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Must you purchase it?

Galaxy S20 FE in Cloud Mint

Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

You should purchase this if …

You do not want fancy construct supplies

The Galaxy S20 FE is a improbable cellphone at a terrific value, however in the event you’re after a curved glass design like Samsung’s higher-end fashions, you will not discover it right here. The S20 FE as an alternative makes use of polycarbonate for its again panel, although it nonetheless depends on an aluminum body for sturdiness.

You need the S20 expertise with out spending 4 figures

Samsung designed the S20 FE as a flagship-tier system for a barely tighter finances. You may nonetheless get the entire similar nice options you’d anticipate on an S20, together with nice cameras, 5G assist, and a beautiful 120Hz show, with out having to spend an arm and a leg to get there.

You need all-day battery life

The S20 FE comes geared up with a 4500mAh battery, which is greater than sufficient to supply all-day longevity, even with the 120Hz refresh fee enabled. You may want to supply your individual charger to achieve the complete 25W charging speeds, however the 15W brick included within the field will preserve you topped up with no drawback.

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

You need the most effective of the most effective

There are few compromises with the S20 FE, however at practically half the worth of the Notice 20 Extremely and S20 Extremely, it is nonetheless lacking some premium options like S Pen assist, Samsung’s huge new cameras, and even foldable show tech.

out of 5

All in all, the Galaxy S20 FE makes few concessions to achieve its cheaper price level, providing the identical stage of high quality and efficiency you’d anticipate from a contemporary Samsung system. It is a improbable worth priced a whole bunch under Samsung’s different flagship gadgets, and when you have a reasonably latest system already, you may get it for pennies to the greenback by Samsung’s trade-in packages.

I feel individuals who desire a easy cellphone that takes nice images and lasts all day can nonetheless lower your expenses by choosing the Pixel 4a as an alternative, however customers that need the additional energy and show prowess of a flagship have a terrific new choice to contemplate.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Backside line: The Galaxy S20 FE affords practically the whole lot you’d discover on the costlier S20 variants, with a extra reasonably priced plastic design. It options three nice cameras, glorious battery life, and years of assured software program updates.

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