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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Evaluation

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I can’t say sufficient good issues concerning the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and if you need a telephone that feels very very similar to a flagship with out spending over £699 then that is the most effective that’s at the moment on provide.


  • Snapdragon 865 even within the UK mannequin
  • Higher battery life than different S20 fashions
  • Good vary of colors
  • Flat 120Hz show


  • You need to pay extra for the sooner charger
  • Secondary cameras aren’t essentially the most detailed

Key Specs

  • Evaluation Worth: £599
  • 6.5-inch OLED 120Hz
  • 4500mAh battery
  • A number of colors
  • Snpadragon 865 (5G)


Samsung’s 12 months of telephone releases doesn’t appear to be slowing down, with the South Korean model lastly unveiling the a lot leaked Galaxy S20 FE.

The ‘FE’ moniker right here stands for ‘Fan Version’ and it’s very a lot a less expensive, mid-year replace for the model’s flagship Galaxy S20 – with a little bit of the Observe 20’s DNA thrown in for good measure. It seems like it can proceed to be bought alongside the Samsung Galaxy S21 in lots of areas. 

The most important shock is that it is a improbable telephone, arguably simpler to suggest than some other Samsung cellular this 12 months. Particularly in case you’re within the UK and desire a Samsung Galaxy telephone with the Snapdragon 865.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Version) is obtainable now for £599 (4G, Exynos 990) and £699 for the 5G Snapdragon mannequin. The 4G model received’t be coming to the States.

This pricing places it straight in competitors with the OnePlus 8 (and sure OnePlus 8T), Moto Edge and LG Velvet. It’s additionally an identical value to the iPhone 11, which can probably get replaced by an iPhone 12 very quickly.

Associated: Greatest telephones

Display screen – Flat, with 120Hz refresh and the same old OLED high quality

Samsung has saved a high-quality 120Hz panel for the S20 FE, providing you with super-smooth scrolling. It has a 240Hz sampling price too, for very responsive gaming. Why Samsung didn’t add this characteristic to the Observe 20 feels weird to me.

Associated: Greatest mid-range telephone 

The FE retains an OLED panel with a small cutout on the prime for the entrance digicam, nonetheless it tops out at FHD+ relatively than WQHD+ like on the Galaxy S20. As you couldn’t mix 120hz and the higher-res anyway, this alteration appears tremendous to me. 

The display isn’t fairly as color correct as of that on the S20 and it lacks HDR 10 help in apps like Netflix, nonetheless except you place each telephones subsequent to one another it may be exhausting to identify. That is nonetheless a very nice panel, with sufficient brightness to fight a harshly sunny day.

There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner right here, relatively than a bodily button such as you’ll discover on the Pixel 5. It’s barely totally different to the sensors Samsung often makes use of, because it’s optical versus ultrasonic and consequently wants gentle to perform. You’ll discover a shiny gentle round your finger whenever you press in and it may be somewhat annoying in case you’re unlocking late at evening in a darkish room. Nonetheless, it’s quick and responsive and there’s face unlock in case you’d choose.

At 6.5-inches, the FE sits between the smaller S20 and the bigger S20 Plus. For me, it appears like the right dimension and I actually recognize the flat show which is much superior for gaming than a curved panel.

Design – A large number of colors and plastic again

Just like the Galaxy Observe 20, the S20 FE ditches the glass again for a troublesome plastic one. I don’t thoughts the plastic really feel, particularly on a extra reasonably priced telephone like this and I actually just like the frosted end which isn’t as susceptible to selecting up fingerprints as glass – all the time a pleasant contact. The entrance stays Gorilla Glass and the edges are constructed from aluminium for a inflexible body.

What’s extra necessary to me is that the telephone stays IP68 rated for water resistance and nonetheless packs Qi wi-fi charging. Two options greater than typically ditched at this value. What’s lacking is a 3.5mm headphone jack, so that you’ll be utilizing the USB-C connector or wi-fi Bluetooth for audio.

It is available in quite a few good colors too, together with a really on-trend navy blue and a putting crimson. These are much more attention-grabbing hues than you’ll find the S20 in, and Samsung stated all of them be out there from varied networks with out the same old exclusivity.

Efficiency – A Snapdragon 865 makes the Galaxy S20 FE tempting for the UK

One of many true highlights of the Galaxy S20 FE is that the UK 5G model comes with the Snapdragon 865 platform, relatively than the same old Exynos chipset you’ll discover within the high-end Observe 20 collection and Galaxy S20. 

Many have complained concerning the decreased efficiency and battery abilities of the Exynos model vs the Qualcomm so it’s nice to see Samsung deciding to provide a wider launch to the arguably superior mannequin.

Now, in case you do go for the cheaper 4G model then you’re going to get the Samsung Exynos 990. This variation received’t be out there within the States. Paired with that chipset you’ve obtained 6GB of quick RAM, and 128GB of expandable storage.

The Snapdragon 865 performs higher in benchmark checks than the Exynos variation, however the true wins include the improved battery life – one thing you possibly can learn extra on under. As you’d count on from the flagship chipset, efficiency is top-drawer. Whether or not you’re gaming on the machine, streaming Xbox titles through GamePass or pushing the telephone in some other methods it’ll deal with every little thing with out getting scorching or slowing down.

Audio from the audio system is sweet, if barely simply blocked for the underside speaker, and name high quality is typical Samsung commonplace.

Out-of-the-box the S20 comes with Android 10 and the most recent model of One UI. Samsung’s interface has improved immeasurably over the previous few years and whereas it’s very a lot totally different from Google’s personal imaginative and prescient of Android, I nonetheless like the way it seems and works. Samsung has additionally indicated you’ll get three years of system updates, beginning with Android 11, which is all the time excellent news.

Battery life – Higher than the Galaxy S20, not less than within the UK

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a 4500mAh battery, matching the Galaxy S20 Plus and outperforming all the opposite S20 fashions in my checks. That is nearly definitely right down to the Snapdragon 865 chip, which appears to be much more environment friendly than its Exynos counterpart.

Whereas I typically struggled to make it by means of do with the S20 and S20 Plus, doing so with the S20 FE is simple and I can simply obtain greater than six hours of display on time – typically greater than an hour extra.

On the subject of charging there’s help for 25w, nonetheless within the field there’s a 15w brick – one thing of a disgrace. Nonetheless, a full cost takes simply over 90 minutes so it’s too unhealthy. There’s wi-fi charging too, and reverse wi-fi charging.

Digicam – Quite a lot of inspiration from the S20 and Observe 20

On the again of the S20 FE you’ll discover three cameras: the identical important 12MP twin pixel sensor from the S20, which has an f/1.8 aperture and OIS, together with a 12MP extremely broad and 8MP 3x tele digicam with OIS. There’s additionally a 32MP digicam across the entrance.

The principle 12MP sensor takes some actually nice snaps, which shouldn’t come as a shock because it’s a digicam we’ve seen a number of occasions earlier than and been impressed with on every event. Samsung stays the king on the subject of colour-rich, deeply saturated and barely oversharpened photographs and people traits are clear to see right here. These pictures are primed for social media and I can utterly perceive why they’re so standard.

Are the photographs higher than the Pixel 4a? For me, no. However that’s subjective and also you definitely do get crispier particulars and brighter colors right here. The Pixel 4a nonetheless pips it for dynamic vary, pure bokeh and, importantly, evening mode.

Low gentle efficiency is okay and you may get good photographs with out nice gentle both within the default mode or the extra particular Night time choice. I discover Samsung’s Night time mode somewhat behind among the rivals, tending to over-brighten and blow out highlights. Nonetheless, it’s there in case you’re in a really darkish scenario.

Flipping between focal lengths is simple and the S20 FE takes good snaps at each extremely broad and 3x zoom. Neither of those are of the identical high quality as the principle sensor and the outcomes might be gentle, particularly when zooming, however they provide a pleasant little bit of versatility. It’s additionally good to see Samsung not cramming in one other sensor for the sake of it, another manufacturers providing cheaper Android telephones ought to take notice…

The 32MP entrance digicam is sweet for these selfies and it has some software program abilities to push out a bit and cram extra faces in. Video is powerful too, even when it doesn’t possess the 8K abilities of the common S20.

See under for some digicam samples:

You’ll get significantly shiny colors even from the broad angle digicam

There’s loads of element and the focusing works even up shut

3x zoom: This isn’t a zoom king, but it surely’ll get the job achieved

Do you have to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE?

I can’t say sufficient good issues concerning the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and if you need a telephone that feels very very similar to a flagship with out spending over £699 then that is the most effective that’s at the moment on provide.

It’s obtained top-end internals, good cameras, 120Hz display and a pleasant construct. What extra might you ask for, Utilizing the S20 FE has me asking the identical query once more: Who wants a flagship anymore?

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Deputy and cellular editor

Max Parker is the Deputy Editor for Trusted Critiques and Recombu. He additionally straight manages Trusted Critiques’ cellular, wearables and pill sections. Max joined Trusted Critiques as a options author in 201…

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