The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has recently been presented and it will be placed next to the other devices in the series as a full but cheaper alternative. But is it that cheap and is it the better choice for you? We compare the S20 FE with the regular S20 and the Plus version.
Samsung Galaxy S20 differences
This time no ‘S20 Lite’, but an S20 FE . In other words, Samsung wants to make it clear that it is not just a cheap variant, but a fully-fledged alternative to the other devices in the series. FE stands for Fan Edition, and the company told Techlargest that it primarily wants to target young people between the ages of 18 and 25. You can see that clearly in the wide range of no less than six color options in which the phone appears.
But don’t let that so-called target group deter you, because the S20 FE and its differences compared to the S20 4G , S20 5G and the S20 Plus have little to do with age. We will list everything.
The size of the S20 FE screen, with its 6.5 inch size, is just between the S20 and the Plus version. If the Plus version is too big for you, but it may be a bit more in size than the S20 panel, then this might be for you.
We also see similarities, because the FE still has the screen notch in the center of the AMOLED panel and it is also still a panel with the 120 Hz refresh rate. Where this phone has to lose is in the field of resolution, because Samsung uses Full HD with this device. Although that is perhaps the best compromise the company could make, because the fact that the S20 FE does maintain the high refresh rate will usually be more noticeable than the difference in resolution. So it’s a great way to keep the price of this phone down.
Casing and size
The S20 FE starts in size between its two other brothers and that is also reflected in the size. The new phone is a bit thicker than the other devices, but you get a larger battery in exchange. Furthermore, Samsung builds further on the design of the Galaxy Note 20 with the finish of this Fan Editon . That means no glass back, but a ‘Frosted Glass’ that is very similar to glass. Although it is in fact plastic.
The choice of a plastic finish on a flagship can certainly be seen as controversial, but in fact plastic does have advantages, because it does not crack like glass when dropped. Yet it is a significant difference compared to the S20 and the Plus version if you compare the three devices.
We see that with the camera of the S20 FE, Samsung has taken over the main camera of the Plus version and the regular S20. At first glance, that also seems to suffer for the wide-angle camera, but if you look a little deeper into the specifications, you will notice that the FE has a slightly smaller sensor. Although it has the same number of megapixels and aperture size. A smaller sensor is usually able to receive less light.
There is also the telecamera, and Samsung says goodbye to the 64 MP sensor for this Fan Edition. On the other hand, there will be an 8 MP copy that still, as with the other devices, provides 3x optical zoom and 30x ‘Space Zoom’. This sensor also lacks optical image stabilization , which will presumably increase the chance of blurred photos, especially when shooting in difficult lighting conditions. Nevertheless, a camera test will have to show how this sensor performs.
Finally, we see that Samsung is committed to the performance of the selfie camera for this S20 FE, because it has a 32 MP sensor. It also has a larger aperture of f / 2.0 so that it should be able to receive more light.
Performance and storage
This time, we see that Samsung is enabling two different chipsets for the 4G and 5G model of the S20 Fan Edition. Those who opt for 4G will receive the Exynos 990 from Samsung, but the 5G model comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. If we then look at the S20 and Plus version, we see that the 5G models will also appear with the Exynos variant.
To be clear, both chipsets are two powerhouses and they perform very similarly overall. Nevertheless, it is well known – and we also notice this in tests at Techlargest – that the chipset from Qualcomm is faster than the Exynos. Samsung fans have even started a petition to denounce the Exynos’ less performance. The 5G version of the S20 FE may well be the fastest phone in the range.
Although we also have to look at the amount of working memory. The S20 FE has a model with 6 GB / 128 GB and one with 8 GB / 256 GB for both the 4G and 5G version. Android today runs very smoothly with 6 GB RAM, and that certainly applies to 8 GB, but the largest ‘power users’ will miss the option with 12 GB RAM.
Samsungs deliberately chose Fan Editon the S20 has the same 4500 mAh of the S20 Plus despite its smaller size. That is certainly a good thing and we also see that more and more devices with larger batteries are appearing.
Less positive is the fact that the S20 FE will appear on the market with a 14-watt charger because given the price of this phone, this is difficult to justify. Especially when you look at other devices in this price segment, all of which come with a powerful fast charger. Samsung states that the FE works with the 25-watt charger that the other S20 phones use, but why it isn’t in the box is a mystery to us.
The other S20 devices were already on the market this spring and that means that you can buy them for a lower price. The above prices are the cheapest for a separate phone according to our Techlargest price comparison. The prices of the S20 FE are very similar to those of the current S20 and it will really depend on personal preference if you want to determine which device is most suitable for you.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a few trumps in its pocket and we see that Samsung knows how to reduce the price of the device in a smart way in a few ways. You get more screen space with this phone, the FE has a better selfie camera and a larger battery. In addition, it comes with the excellent Snapdragon 865 for the 5G version. The S20 FE can also count on the same three years of updates as the other variants.
Still, you can say that the phone has a less high-quality finish and that Samsung also had to make compromises in the camera area, fast charging and RAM. A test of the S20 FE will show how well the phone performs in practice. Which phone do you prefer based on these differences? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this article.
Buy Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE comes in a model with 4G and one that also supports 5G, and both are available in a version with 6 GB / 128 GB or 8 GB / 256 GB. You can buy the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE at, among others, MediaMarkt , CoolBlue , Bol.com , T-Mobile , Mobiel.
The colors of both phones also differ per model, as the version with 6GB RAM is available for both the 4G and 5G version in the colors Cloud Navy, Cloud Mint, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Red, Cloud Orange and Cloud White. If you prefer the model with 8GB RAM, you will find Cloud Navy and Cloud Mint for the 4G version. The 5G model only comes in Cloud Navy.
Top row : Cloud Red, Cloud Levender, and Cloud Navy respectively. Bottom row : Cloud Mint, Cloud White and Cloud Orange, respectively.
Pre-orders for this phone start today and you will receive an extra gift with the purchase of this phone until October 1. You can choose from the new Galaxy Fit 2 worth 49 euros or a ‘Game Pack’ worth 109 euros. The latter includes an Xbox controller and three months of access to the Xbox Game Pass. Thanks to Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service, you can play games on your phone.