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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review

Samsung spins the brand new Galaxy S20 FE, or “Fan Edition”, as a mannequin that provides all of the options that followers care most about in a extra reasonably priced package deal. As the costs of flagship telephones have skyrocketed to properly over Rs. 1,00,000 over the previous few years, the “flagship killer” phase at round Rs. 40,000 to 50,000 has turn into increasingly more essential. Rather than let opponents corresponding to OnePlus and Xiaomi eat its lunch, the Korean big has determined to battle again with a watered-down model of the Galaxy S20.

Samsung has dabbled with a number of methods to promote extra reasonably priced variations of its flagship telephones with out cannibalising gross sales. Last yr, we had the bodily smaller Galaxy S10e (Review) which proved to be successful in the identical vein because the “mini” versions of some older fashions. The firm additionally later launched the Galaxy S10 Lite (Review) which was a considerably complicated however nonetheless first rate mid-range possibility. We’ve additionally seen premium A-series models trying to serve the identical market.

Now that the OnePlus 8T (Review) has been launched and a number of other flagships are dropping in worth, can the brand new Galaxy S20 FE entice an viewers of its personal? Read on to seek out out.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE worth and competitors

Only one configuration of the Galaxy S20 FE in India, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, was announced at launch time, priced at Rs. 49,999. However, when this mannequin went on sale, a 256GB variant priced at Rs. 53,999 also appeared. Oddly, it is bought solely in a single color, Cloud Navy, slightly than the complete vary.

A 5G version is bought in different nations, however the Galaxy S20 FE is just out there with 4G community compatibility in India. The apparent goal is the OnePlus 8T, which is priced beginning at Rs. 42,999. Other doubtless opponents are the brand new Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G, gaming telephones such because the Asus ROG Phone 3 (Review), and even the iPhone 11 (Review).

However, what makes the Galaxy S20 FE stand out for all of the flawed causes is the truth that the way more premium Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ (Review) now promote for a lot lower than their official launch costs. In truth, Samsung is presently discounting the incredible Galaxy S20+ to precisely Rs. 49,999 by itself web site, and it has been out there for that a lot throughout ongoing online festive sales.

This is tough to know, because it undercuts the model new Galaxy S20 FE and even the Galaxy S20. In an effort to reconcile its vary, Samsung has simply recently announced price cuts right down to Rs. 44,999 and Rs. 48,999 (plus financial institution gives) for the 128GB and 256GB variants. This will undoubtedly annoy early adopters, coming lower than two weeks after the Galaxy S20 FE first went on sale. As far as providing customers worth for cash, that is hardly essentially the most conducive atmosphere by which to advertise a mannequin with extra modest specs.

The Galaxy S20 FE has a 4500mAh battery and Samsung Exynos 990 SoC


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE design

The Galaxy S20 FE does slot in with its siblings. It has the identical fundamental proportions however curiously is bigger than the Galaxy S20 because of its 6.5-inch display screen. You do not get curved edges on the display screen, which in my view is definitely a great factor. The body is shiny and metallic, whereas the rear panel is made from a matte polycarbonate. The 128GB model of this cellphone is obtainable in 5 colors, starting from the daring Cloud Red and Cloud Navy to the a lot softer pastel Cloud Mint and Cloud Lavender, plus a impartial Cloud White.

The rounded sides of the rear panel make the Galaxy S20 FE very simple to carry, and the non-slip texture is way appreciated. You additionally haven’t got to fret in any respect about fingerprints, however gentle smudges might be seen after use. You do not get any type of case within the field with this cellphone.

Contributing to the premium really feel, the display screen borders are fairly slim. The earpiece is so slender it will probably barely even be seen. The entrance digicam is embedded proper within the centre of the highest – it is pretty small however remains to be a bit distracting not solely due to its place but in addition as a result of there is a extremely reflective silver ring round it. Samsung will ship this cellphone with a display screen protector pre-applied, and the one on my evaluation unit was barely misaligned.

The energy and quantity buttons are on the left, and are inside simple attain. Samsung has dropped its devoted Bixby button and I do not miss it in any respect. There’s a USB Type-C port on the underside and no 3.5mm audio socket. The tray on the highest can accommodate both two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card.

Measuring 8.4mm thick and weighing 190g, the Galaxy S20 FE is pretty simple to deal with and reside with. It’s rated IP68 for water and dirt resistance, so it ought to be capable to face up to publicity to the weather. Despite being not precisely flagship-level, development high quality is superb and there is not any doubt that this looks like a premium cellphone.

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The ring across the entrance digicam is distracting, however the earpiece is hidden neatly


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs and software program

The Galaxy S20 FE will get the identical top-tier Exynos 990 processor as its siblings within the S20 household. This is an octa-core SoC with two customized Samsung efficiency cores operating at 2.73GHz, two extra ARM Cortex-A76 cores operating at 2.5GHz, and 4 extra power-efficient 2GHz Cortex-A55 cores.

There’s 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, plus assist for as much as a 1TB microSD card utilizing the hybrid slot. The battery capability is 4500mAh and wi-fi charging is supported in each instructions. You solely get a 15W adapter within the field, although this cellphone can make the most of as much as 25W chargers.

Samsung has gone with a 6.5-inch 1080×2400-pixel Super AMOLED display screen. There’s no official point out of HDR nevertheless it does appear to be supported. There can be an always-on mode that is disabled by default. One nice shock is a 120Hz refresh fee, although there would not appear to be any strategy to allow this dynamically – it is both 60Hz or 120Hz on a regular basis. A workaround is to allow Adaptive Power Saving, which can toggle the refresh fee together with a number of different settings primarily based in your utilization patterns.

Speaking of energy saving, Samsung permits you to select between 4 efficiency ranges. The Medium and Maximum modes restrict CPU efficiency to 70 p.c and cut back the utmost display screen brightness by 10 p.c. The Maximum mode additionally locks you right down to just a few apps and forces darkish mode. Background knowledge is restricted and the always-on show and all biometrics are additionally disabled.

These are only a few of the huge variety of options you may discover all through Samsung’s One UI 2.5, which runs on prime of Android 10. My unit obtained an replace to the October Android safety patch in the course of the evaluation interval, which was good to see. The Bixby button could be gone however the assistant can nonetheless be referred to as up utilizing the ability button. You can use your SIM for calls and textual content messages by different linked Samsung units, and Samsung’s latest partnership with Microsoft for Windows 10 integration can be supported on the Galaxy S20 FE.

There are varied shortcut gestures, a Game Launcher with optimisations, UI themes, a Dual Messenger characteristic for utilizing two accounts with sure apps, a display screen recorder, expandable notification bubbles, and loads of choices for dwelling display screen customisation. Edge Panels offer you fast entry to numerous shortcuts and mini apps with a swipe in from both fringe of the display screen, and you may obtain many extra free and paid panels from the Galaxy Store.

On the draw back, there are fairly a couple of Samsung apps preloaded, together with a pointless Web browser and tie-in apps for the corporate’s AR, wearables, and IoT merchandise. Samsung Health and Samsung Pay are probably helpful, however however, the My Galaxy app spawned annoying notifications a number of occasions per day.

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There’s a USB Type-C port on the underside, however no 3.5mm socket


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE efficiency

As anticipated, there is not any lag by any means when swiping by the One UI interface and when multitasking between apps. The Galaxy S20 FE felt snappy, because of the excessive refresh fee panel in addition to the succesful SoC and great amount of RAM. The in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition aren’t as fast as I’d have preferred, however this should not be a lot of an issue. This is the type of cellphone that you simply’d be more than pleased to make use of for on a regular basis apps and duties.

The display screen is crisp and vibrant. Other than the distracting digicam gap, movies and video games look nice. The expertise is helped by this cellphone’s stereo audio system, which really feel fairly properly balanced. Sound is a bit skinny and missing in bass, however that is to be anticipated.

Coming to benchmark checks, AnTuTu reported a rating of 4,62,330, and Geekbench’s single- and multi-core outcomes had been 517 and a couple of,573 respectively. 3DMark’s Slingshot Extreme graphics check managed 6,649, whereas GFXBench’s Manhattan 3.1 and Car Chase scenes ran at 55fps and 33fps respectively. These scores are a bit decrease than what the Galaxy S20+ (Review) and Galaxy S20 Ultra (Review) achieved.

Modern video games together with Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends had been completely easy at their default graphics high quality settings. However, the higher rear of the Galaxy S20 FE did get fairly heat after simply 5 minutes or so of play. This grew to become barely uncomfortable over longer gaming classes.

Battery life wasn’t notably spectacular. I used to be capable of get a full day’s use out of a cost, however I would not anticipate greater than that. Our HD video loop check ran for 12 hours, 44 minutes, which is under common. Using the bundled charger, I used to be capable of stand up to 17 p.c in 15 minutes and 61 p.c in an hour.

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All three of the cameras on the Galaxy S20 FE are helpful and sensible


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE cameras

Considering how closely Samsung emphasised digicam high quality because the defining characteristic of the Galaxy S20 household, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see how this lower-priced mannequin matches in. The Galaxy S20 FE has a scaled-down set of cameras, beginning with a 12-megapixel f/1.Eight main digicam with OIS. There’s additionally a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide digicam and an 8-megapixel f/2.Four 3X optical telephoto digicam. For selfies, you get a 32-megapixel f/2.2 digicam.

Unsurprisingly, the digicam app is jammed with options and choices. Modes embrace Samsung’s Single Take composition software, professional mode, meals mode, evening mode, reside focus for stills and video, gradual movement and tremendous gradual movement, and hyperlapse. You can obtain extra filters or create your individual primarily based on the color profile of any picture, if the default choice ever will get boring. The Scene Optimiser characteristic is on by default and can show a shortcut to allow Night Mode rapidly if it thinks it’s a necessity.

The Galaxy S20 FE locked focus rapidly and metered scenes fairly properly in the course of the day. Colours had been vibrant, verging on oversaturated in some cases. Shots got here out wanting sharp and topics had been properly outlined. Detail on objects at a distance was additionally fairly good. Close-up pictures had been wonderful, with minute particulars reproduced very properly and a really nice pure depth of area.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE daytime picture samples. Top to backside: Ultra-wide, customary, 3X zoom (faucet to see full dimension)


In truth, close-ups taken within the default Photo mode had been typically higher than when utilizing the Live Focus mode, which requires you to face again fairly a distance out of your topic. If you do use this mode although, you’ll be able to refocus pictures, alter the blur depth and kind, and take away all color apart from the article in focus.

The wide-angle digicam does introduce important distortion and high quality is just not dangerous in the event you’re simply checking your pictures on the cellphone’s display screen. Colours aren’t drastically completely different due to the re-framing. The 3X optical telephoto digicam additionally captures wonderful element, and pictures maintain up even when seen totally magnified on a big monitor. The three cameras that Samsung has chosen are all genuinely helpful with out being gimmicky, and will all turn out to be useful usually.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE daytime picture samples (faucet to see full dimension)


Things get rather less passable at evening – focus was generally inaccurate however tapping the display screen manually will lead to a fast lock. The excellent news is you could seize first rate pictures even when it is too darkish to see your topic within the viewfinder, if the place to faucet. The Scene Optimiser will pressure a gradual shutter by default, however this is not the identical as Night Mode, and outcomes did differ barely.

Low-light pictures had been a bit grainy and colors had been generally off relying on the type of lighting round. The wide-angle and telephoto cameras do endure because of their narrower apertures however pictures are nonetheless usable. Using Night Mode did normally lead to higher color copy and barely improved element.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Night Mode picture samples (faucet to see full dimension)


The entrance digicam takes 8-megapixel binned pictures by default. A large-angle mode primarily reverse-crops the body, however the distinction may be very slight. Selfies got here out wanting crisp with good element and publicity, however beautification is turned on by default and it takes a number of faucets to disable it. Night mode works right here as properly, and may positively assist when there is not sufficient mild falling in your face.

As for video, the Galaxy S20 FE was capable of seize easy 1080p footage with all three cameras within the daytime. Whether standing nonetheless, panning, or strolling, video seemed good and there was no jerkiness. At 4K, movement was rather less easy particularly with the telephoto digicam. Low-light video shot with the first digicam was ok, however high quality suffered with the telephoto and wide-angle cameras. There was noticeable judder at 4K when transferring whereas recording, and stabilisation artefacts had been additionally a problem at 1080p. You can change between cameras whereas recording, and the transitions are slick.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE selfie samples. Top: daytime, backside: Night Mode (faucet to see full dimension)


Slow-motion video got here out wanting nice. In super-slow-mo mode, video is captured at 720p. The starting and finish of clips play again at regular pace, and you may alter the factors between which footage is dramatically slowed down. You may also reverse and loop it for inventive impact.


Samsung used the “Fan Edition” suffix when it tried promoting refurbished Galaxy Note 7 units in South Korea with smaller, safer batteries. The transfer may need helped Samsung recoup a few of the losses it suffered following the catastrophic and embarrassing world launch (and subsequent global bans) of the Galaxy Note 7, however this was by no means going to be a mass-market cellphone. “Fan edtion” principally acknowledged that solely these people who find themselves fervently devoted to the Samsung model would really purchase it.

That’s why it is a bit stunning to see a model new mannequin launch in a number of nations with the identical branding – that too one aimed toward a way more mainstream viewers than its siblings. You do not must be a fan of the model to love this cellphone.

What Samsung has acquired proper although is the stability of value and options. You do not get the complete flagship expertise, but when individuals are pleased with so-called flagship killers, you now have a reasonably sensible choice throughout the Samsung lineup. What works for the Galaxy S20 FE is its match and end, high-quality display screen, and helpful cameras.

Pricing is an unavoidable situation, although. People who pre-ordered or purchased the Galaxy S20 FE early are going to be justifiably upset due to the quickly decreased worth and 256GB storage possibility. The larger situation is Samsung now promoting the far superior Galaxy S20+ at precisely the identical worth that the Galaxy S20 FE launched at. No matter how good this new cellphone appears and the way a lot it will get proper, Samsung itself gives stronger competitors so long as costs keep the place they presently are.

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