At first I thought it didn’t make sense. That he is too weak, too expensive and, above all, too late. However, the longer I use the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, the more I realize how great a smartphone it is.
Until recently, Samsung’s publishing cycle was clear and transparent. The S series debuted in February or March, and the Note series usually around September. This was also the case in 2020, but unexpectedly, just after the premiere of the new Notes, we saw a new model of the S series, i.e. the Galaxy S20 FE.
FE. Fan Edition. what does it mean? Nobody knows the correct answer, but for me the S20 FE is a S20, but enriched with several months of market experience. It’s as if Samsung listened to the opinions of S20 users and the wishes of the brand’s fans, collected it all for a new project and, as a result, implemented the remarks by showing the Fan Edition.
Samsung The Galaxy S20 FE does not look like a premium smartphone and this is one of its few disadvantages.
Plastic backs, a flat screen and the painfully well-worn design of the front show that the Galaxy S20 FE does not have and never intended to shock with its design. If someone showed me the front of the S20 FE, Note 20 and any smartphone from the higher A series, I would have to think for a long time to recognize specific models.
The Samsung Galaxy S20FE isn’t badly made, and it doesn’t look bad. It is modern and large, but at the same time very bland. The appearance of the flagship model was missing.
This bad feeling disappears the moment the screen is turned on. Galaxy S20 FE is a full-fledged, modern Samsung.
The screen has a diagonal of 6.5 inches and Full HD + resolution (1080 x 2040 px). It is a beautiful Super AMOLED panel with HDR10 + support, amazing colors, deep blacks, great contrast and all this with a high refresh rate at 120 Hz. The screen is an absolutely top shelf design, not only in the smartphone segment. With a high degree of probability, the S20FE display will be the best screen you have at home.
Interestingly, we don’t have an adaptive refresh change here. Instead, we can choose a rigid 60 or 120 Hz. And if we’re on the technical side, you may have noticed the lack of 1440p resolution, the hallmark of Samsung’s flagship smartphones. I will write it straight: apart from tests, I have never used this setting in Galaxy smartphones. In older models, I switched to 1080p to extend the working time on a single charge, and in newer models I choose 1080p, because only with this resolution I have a 120 Hz refresh.
Besides, I think 1080p on a smartphone is more than enough. Let’s not go crazy, in the case of the Galaxy S20 FE it means a pixel density of 407 ppi, so more than very good. Taking all this into account, I cannot say a bad word about the Galaxy S20FE screen. It is brilliant. It is worth adding that there are stereo speakers above and below the screen, which are really good for movies watched on the large smartphone display.
There is a fingerprint reader under the screen, which is quite a surprise. The ultrasonic readers on the S20 series were very mediocre as they were slow. In turn, in the S20 FE we deal with an ordinary optical reader that works much faster and more reliably. In theory, this is a much less technically advanced method, which turns out to be simply more convenient.
The components are another surprise in the Samsung Galaxy S20FE.
If you remember the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, you will definitely also remember its overheating problems. They were caused by the use of the Exynos 990 processor. Good news: GalaxyS20FE has a Snapdragon 865 processor, if we choose the more expensive model, operating in the 5G network. This is my own model I am testing. There is also a variant with 4G support and the infamous Exynos 990.
The smartphone I tested has 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of data memory with the possibility of expanding with microSD cards. There is also a version with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB for data. My copy behaves perfectly in action, and there are no problems with overheating. The whole works perfectly smoothly and there is no problem with performance even in resource-hungry games, e.g. in Genshin Impact at the highest graphics level.
I haven’t had the chance to test 5G connectivity and I expect that if you buy a smartphone with the fifth generation of the network in mind, you will be disappointed. Not with a smartphone, but with the current infrastructure. I suspect that you will change the device to a new one faster than you will see a real 5G network in Poland with a reasonable coverage. Outside the network, the smartphone easily supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC for payments.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will not disappoint with its working time.
It’s not record breaking, but it’s better than very good. If you don’t use your smartphone enough, the Galaxy S20 FE will last you up to two days of work. I ended a rather intense day with a margin of around 30 percent. the battery. At weekends it was about 40 percent. The cell has a capacity of 4500 mAh and we can charge it via the USB-C port with fast 25 W charging, but the included charger only supports 15 W. Well, the fact is that there is one in the box.
The Galaxy S20 FE supports 15W wireless charging as well as wireless reverse charging (4.5W). The last option is great for recharging accessories, e.g. headphones or a watch.
What about the cameras in the Galaxy S20 FE?
Looking at the specs, lame. There is no 8K. There is no x100 zoom. There are 108 megapixels. Does it take pictures at all?
Well, as usual, it turns out that numbers are not everything. The Galaxy S20 FE has cameras that are by no means groundbreaking, but are simply solid and give great quality photos, just like the flagship model from 2020. We have a set of three cameras:
- main: 12 MP matrix with a diagonal of 1 / 1.76 “and a pixel size of 1.8μm, lens f / 1.8, 26mm, Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS,
- tele x3: 8 MP matrix with a diagonal of 1 / 4.5 “and a pixel size of 1.0μm, lens f / 2.4, 76mm, PDAF and OIS,
- ultra wide: 12 MP matrix with a diagonal of 1 / 3.0 “and a pixel size of 1.12 µm, lens f / 2.2 123˚, 13mm.
So there is everything you need. The quality of the photos from each of these lenses is very, very good. Night mode works even better than the S20 Ultra. The overall photo quality is slightly lower than the Galaxy S20 Ultra I tested, but it’s not a significant difference. Certainly not as it seems when looking at the prices of the devices. I only have one comment: the autofocus in the telephoto lens. Something is clearly wrong, because as many as 1/3 of the telephoto photos are out of focus. You often have to retake the shot.
In turn, the front camera in the S20 FE has 32 megapixels and f / 2.2 light. The smartphone records videos in 4K at 60 fps, stabilized using a gyroscope.
Every day Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is… Samsung.
In terms of software, you won’t find any surprises here. If you’ve already had a modern Samsung with One UI, you know exactly what you’ll get. A polished and very useful system with – in my opinion – the best Android add-on. Years of experience make it a bit boring, but it is very stable and fast. Android in samsung the release follows a path similar to iOS. In both cases, we have mature systems that are simply refined every year.
Samsung Galaxy S20FE is for me the equivalent of this year’s Note 20.
Note 20 was weird. It had a flat screen, quite average design, plastic backs, top performance and great cameras. It’s exactly the same with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Except the S20 FE is better priced.
In March, at the time of the premiere, the basic Galaxy S20 cost PLN 3,949 in the base version (without 5G). The S20 Plus cost PLN 4,399 for the version without 5G and PLN 4,849 for the 5G version. In turn, the top Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G cost PLN 5999.
The official price of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in the 5G version costs PLN 3400, and without 5G – PLN 2900. The price is therefore very good, of course in the context of the prices of the other top models in Samsung’s portfolio.
I would like the Galaxy S20 FE to have glass backs, because plastic at this price is not suitable. In addition, it is difficult to find any flaws or shortcuts here. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a great smartphone that is in some respects inferior to the main line S20 models, and in some respects better than them. In my opinion, this is the most interesting and profitable smartphone in the entire S20 series.