According to Samsung, the Galaxy S20 series phones were so popular that it justified creating a variant just for fans. Thus, the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) was born.
In Singapore, the Galaxy S20 FE comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, when we’d typically get Samsung phones with Exynos processors instead. The phone itself sits somewhere between a regular S20 and S20+ with a 6.5-inch screen size, and the AMOLED display doesn’t come with HDR support nor 1440p resolution. S20 FE may share the same triple rear camera configuration, but the telephoto lens isn’t quite at 64MP - no, it’s actually 8MP.
It does, however, retain its IP68 water resistance rating, comes with a slot for expandable storage, and has a battery capacity (4,500mAh) bigger than the normal S20’s, replete with fast-charging technologies for both wired and wireless replenishment. It also has 5G connectivity support, so the S20 FE is also 5G-ready.
The most unique selling point, however, is its price. At just S$1,068 and S$1,168 for the respective 128GB and 256GB models, this is Samsung’s most affordable flagship smartphone in a while.
Samsung adopted what they call Haze finish on the S20 FE’s material, which gives the plastic device some sort of frosted glass look.
While Samsung kept the Galaxy S20 design language on their Fan Edition device, the phone no longer uses the glass-and-aluminium mix to keep costs under control. Samsung adopted what they call Haze finish on the S20 FE’s material, which gives the plastic device some sort of frosted glass look.
This is great on two counts - one, it looks as if it’s glass, but it’s not as fragile. Two, frosted appearances are great at cutting back on fingerprint smudges, making the S20 FE lower maintenance in looks than its peers. Sure, it’s still not as sophisticated as a regular Galaxy S20 or Note20 device, but S20 FE does a good job in living up to the flagship reputation despite the materials used.
It’s odd that a flagship device still has bezels, but that’s the trade-off Samsung made when they opted for a flat display instead of the typical curved glass on the sides. As a result, the S20 FE has visible bezels on the sides. It frames the display neatly, but it’s still an obvious downgrade from the premium look-and-feel offered via its other flagship models.
The Galaxy S20 FE uses a triple camera configuration on its rear, led by a 12MP shooter with 1.8μm pixel size and f/1.8 aperture. With the downgraded telephoto lens, we expected some difference in the S20 FE’s long-distance shooting. Regardless, the S20 FE took flagship-worthy shots via the Main Camera - Details are intact and colours are vibrant.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. That’s one of the most up-to-date flagship-tier processors you can get, aside from the Snapdragon 865+ that resides in Samsung’s luxury-flagship tier Z Fold2. With a chipset like that, the benchmark scores of the S20 FE were unsurprisingly dominant, clinching top three scores in just about every department.
While Samsung kept the Galaxy S20 design language on their Fan Edition device, the phone no longer uses the glass-and-aluminium mix to keep costs under control.
At 4,500mAh, the Galaxy S20 FE is more generous than S20’s 4,000mAh capacity, while being on par with the S20+’s. Battery life performance is anything but identical. The S20 FE clocks in at least a hundred minutes more than either model. We can chalk it up to a few factors - the better battery life could be credited to the lack of 1440p resolution on S20 FE, or the fact that the Snapdragon chipset is simply more efficient than the Exynos equivalent of the SD865. The battery on the S20 FE offers 25W Super Fast Charging while wired, and 15W Wireless Fast Charging. That’s the same wireless charging profile on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra.
The Galaxy S20 FE uses a triple camera configuration on its rear, with the main diﬀerence being the telephoto lens when compared to the regular S20 and S20+.
We expected several corners to be cut when it came to the S20 FE’s overall offering. At $1,068 and $1,168 for the respective 128GB and 256GB models, some thing’s got to give. I’m glad to say Samsung chose the right corners to cut. In the budget flagship category, the Galaxy S20 FE is the 2020 phone to beat - from its usage experience, to its customisation, its performance, and price point.
FROM USAGE TO CUSTOMISATION, PERFORMANCE, AND PRICE POINT, THIS IS THE 2020 BUDGET FLAGSHIP TO BEAT.
AT A GLANCE
PROCESSOR Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
DISPLAY 6.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Infinity-O, 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate
CAMERA 12MP, f/1.8, wide-angle with Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS 12MP, f/2.2, ultra-wide 8MP, f/2.4, telephoto
STORAGE 128GB or 256GB internal storage microSDXC up to 1TB
PRICE $1,068 (128GB), $1,168 (256GB)