When Samsung selected the Galaxy S20 FE’s title (FE stands for Fan Version), it did so as a result of FE examined higher in focus teams in comparison with different tags like “Lite” that usually get slapped on barely cheaper funds flagship units. However what? I’m sort of OK with that slice of company nonsense as a result of it’s simply two letters. And extra importantly, for individuals who have been scared off by the $1,000+ value tags of Samsung’s different high-end telephones, the S20 FE retains loads of the premium options present in its dearer siblings, all for simply $700.
That’s the identical value because the 2016 Galaxy S7 at launch and $50 lower than final yr’s woefully underappreciated Galaxy S10e. So despite the fact that I’m not an enormous fan of its title, I’m a fan of the Galaxy S20 FE’s worth.
In comparison with telephones just like the Galaxy S20 Extremely, the S20 FE is refreshingly easy. That mentioned, you do get a variety of coloration choices together with navy (seen right here), lavender, mint, purple, orange, and white. You additionally get a flat 6.5-inch OLED display screen with 32-MP hole-punch selfie digital camera up entrance, triple cams in again, and a USB-C port down beneath—all in a physique that’s about the identical measurement because the Galaxy S20+.
The S20 FE even comes with wi-fi charging with help for Wi-fi Powershare, so you’ll be able to lend some further juice to a good friend in want or recharge a pair of Qi-compatible earbuds on the go. The one miss is that whereas some producers are nonetheless equipping their extra reasonably priced handsets with a headphone jack, the S20 FE doesn’t have one, which suggests the following least expensive Samsung cellphone with an precise 3.5mm port is the Galaxy A71.
Of course, to hit this value, Samsung has made just a few concessions by way of the S20 FE’s design and specs, however they’re ones I can reside with. So as a substitute of a QHD+ display screen decision, the S20 FE options an FHD+ 2400 x 1080 show. And whereas the S20 FE does help a 120HZ refresh price that makes issues look further easy, it’s not certainly one of Samsung’s new VRR screens such as you get on the Observe 20 Extremely. Lastly, instead of a glass rear panel, the S20 FE has what Samsung calls a “glasstic” again, which is a pleasant means of claiming high-quality polycarbonate—plastic. It’s received a pleasant matte end, however between being a lot much less dense and conducting warmth in a different way, there’s no mistaking it for actual glass. There may be an upside to this although, as a result of in comparison with the Galaxy S20+, the S20 FE is noticeably lighter.
Fortunately, Samsung didn’t make any compromises relating to the S20 FE’s processor, because it will get the identical Snapdragon 865 chip utilized in its dearer siblings—which means you don’t have to fret about getting hit with lag or stutter—together with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of base storage, and a microSD card slot. So regardless of its cheaper price, it’s good having full flagship efficiency on the S20 FE.
The S20 FE’s robust efficiency doesn’t cease there both, as a result of it options a 4,500 mAh battery that’s simply as massive as what you get within the S20+ and Observe 20 Extremely. The S20 FE’s battery life is implausible. On our video rundown take a look at, the S20 FE lasted simply shy of 16 hours (15:52), which is means higher than our 12-hour common and higher than something on this value vary apart from the OnePlus 8 (16:09).
The one small wrinkle is that unlocked fashions of the S20 FE don’t have help for mmWave 5G (or AT&T’s particular wifi calling protocol), simply sub-6GHz 5G. So if you’d like a S20 FE that works correctly in your community, you’ll have to purchase one immediately out of your service, with Verizon’s particular mmWave 5G-enabled S20 FE commanding a $50 premium over a typical mannequin.
The S20 FE sports activities a well-rounded trio of rear cameras, together with a 12-MP predominant cam, a 12-MP ultra-wide cam, and an 8-MP telephoto cam with a 3x optical zoom. Whereas the S20 FE’s cams exhibit loads of the identical traits seen on different Galaxy telephones, like wealthy colours and stable publicity, it additionally has loads of the identical shortcomings, like a bent to be just a little over-aggressive relating to sharpening, and a low-light mode that’s fairly respectable, however not fairly pretty much as good as Google’s Night time Sight.
The one con (and it’s a reasonably minor one) I’ve discovered on the S20 FE is its in-screen optical fingerprint reader. It completely works and is usually fairly correct, however I discover it’s not fairly as quick as what you get on an everyday Galaxy S cellphone, and the sunshine it must shoot out to learn your digits generally is a bit jarring at evening.
Look, the S20 FE isn’t fairly as eye-catching as a few of Samsung’s different dearer telephones, and I nonetheless kinda cringe on the notion that anybody would purchase a second cellphone in lower than a yr just because they’re a fan. However should you lengthy for the times when a very good flagship cellphone value round $700 as a substitute of $1,000 or extra, the S20 FE is a delight. It’s received a brilliant, colourful display screen, a easy construct with plenty of coloration decisions, nice efficiency, and a stable assortment of cameras with out something even approaching a significant flaw. The S20 FE has just about every little thing you really need with out punishing your pockets, and that’s at all times a components I can get behind.
- The S20 FE helps as much as 25-watt wired charging, however to get that you just’ll want to purchase a brand new energy brick since you solely get a 15-watt quick charger within the field.
- Not like loads of dearer Galaxy telephones, the S20 FE has a flat display screen. No rounded edges.
- For folks on Verizon, there’s a particular Verizon S20 FE that helps each sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G, however it has a barely greater $750 MSRP.
- The S20 FE’s “glasstic again” makes the cellphone a bit lighter and fewer dense in comparison with actual glass, which can be good or dangerous relying in your tastes.
- Like different Galaxy S and Observe telephones, Samsung says the S20 FE will get three years of safety and Android updates.