A “low cost” flagship

The title of this article leaves no room for doubt, today we will leave here our analysis of one of the most recent smartphones from Samsung, and I’m talking about the Galaxy S20 FE, in which FE stands for Fan Edition, which was announced last September.

Before its announcement, the rumors called it Galaxy S20 Lite, and after 2 weeks of working with it, I can understand the reasons that led Samsung not to choose that name, since this is probably the company’s phone with the best cost and benefit, a true top of the range, but with a price well below what the company has shown us.

Design and Screen

Like the Galaxy Note20 series equipment, the finish of this phone is in what the company calls Glasstic. On paper we are talking about plastic instead of the usual glass, but those who think it is the same as the plastic used in mid-range phones are mistaken, because it is not. And yes, the rear of this equipment is in Glasstic, with a soft, matte finish, and much easier to clean than if they had glass. Another great advantage is that the fingerprints are not “creased” on the back, and I, who always have wet hands, is an advantage for me.

Galaxy S20 FE

This finish also makes the phone not slippery, and if we drop it, it is unlikely that its design will end up spoiled, as it has nothing to shatter. Obviously the glass gives a more premium, but it has its disadvantages. Then, the vast majority of users end up putting the phone inside a cover, which covers that design premium. So why pay more for something we’re going to hide? I think the option chosen by Samsung for this Galaxy S20 FE was more than right.

Regarding its screen, it is something where Samsung rarely fails, since we are facing one of the largest manufacturers in the world of this type of object. And with this S20 FE the situation is no different. This is a 6.5-inch, flat screen, with FullHD + resolution with 1080×2400 pixels, which gives it an excellent pixel density: 407. In addition, its aspect ratio is 20: 9 and has a refresh rate of 120Hz and with support for HDR +.

And this screen is not discouraged, since its color vibration is a delight, bringing richness to its content so that things are better than on other devices. As is almost always the case at the company’s top end, the dark ones are really dark, and use in bright sunlight is not a problem, since everything is perfectly visible and with great image quality. In short: It is Samsung to be Samsung, and if it can fail in other areas, it will hardly fail on the screen.

However, this screen has a built-in fingerprint sensor that I was unable to convince. Perhaps because I am used to the company’s ultrasonic sensor, and in this equipment we have an optical sensor. It often tends to be unreliable, because it does not recognize the fingerprint already registered, and with slightly damp hands it becomes an even bigger problem. In addition, I notice that it is a little slow to recognize the impressions. Samsung may be able to resolve this situation through a firmware update.

Hardware and Performance

In general, Samsung’s tops that are launched in Portugal, come with Exynos processors, it has been like this for a long time, and this year was no exception. For those who are “tired” of these processors and wanted a solution with a processor from Qualcomm, you will be happy to know that this Galaxy S20 FE is powered by a Snapdragon 865, which guarantees support for 5G networks, which comes with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage. The model we received for testing has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

There is not much to talk about its performance, as we are talking about a top of the range, and that alone guarantees maximum performance. We have speed and speed in everything, and I think this is a great phone for games, because it can easily handle any game that exists for Android devices, and it is not guaranteed to hurt you.

Here is the test of the Antutu that demonstrates well that we are facing one of the fastest phones on the market:

Its 128 GB storage is very fast and has support for expansion up to 1TB via a microSD card.

The battery of the S20 FE, has 4500mAh, and is reasonable. It is the same as that used in the Galaxy S20 +, allowing you to easily have autonomy for an entire day. Play a few hours, surf the internet, social networks, email, and you only need the charger at the end of the day, but in general, this phone seems to benefit from the hardware changes made to offer better durability.

Bad news for fans of wired headsets: It does not have a 3.5mm port, and if you want to use wired headsets you can only do so via the Type C USB port on the bottom of the equipment. To compensate, Samsung equipped the S20 FE with stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos. And in terms of quality, the sound is great.

Photography

We are facing a top of the range even in photography. In this phone we don’t have any Macro or depth sensors, but in contrast we have 3 other sensors of great quality. The main one is a 12MP sensor that we have seen on other devices on the market, such as the Galaxy S20, and that at the time we were impressed with the same … and this S20 FE is happily no different. It usually performs well, with many options included, including some smart suggestions to help you get better pictures. If it is dark, it will suggest night mode, and other interesting suggestions. In short, your photos look even better than those taken with the S20, and the night mode appears to be much more efficient, thanks to longer exposure times, and this allows us to get a cleaner photo. Night mode is also available on all other cameras – it can be used on the ultra-wide-angle sensor (although the results are far from good), when zooming, as well as on the front camera.

Galaxy S20 FE

Galaxy S20 FE

Then we have an ultra-wide-angle sensor and an 8MP telephoto sensor, both very useful.

In the Galaxy models previously launched, the phone sensor had 64MP, which is also used to capture video in 8K, and this is something that this Galaxy S20 FE does not offer, and is limited to the more than sufficient 4K and 60fps that are obtained by main sensor. There is also an experimental HDR10 + video capture mode, although it is only available up to 4K / 30fps.

Análise do Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (4)

Análise do Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (4)

The ultra-wide-angle sensor is always used a lot, and is able to capture photos that fit easily in the frame, which is ideal for large exteriors. However, in certain situations photos with this sensor tend to be a little blurry on the sides, but it is usually a fun lens, especially if you have good lighting conditions.

In the other equipment of the S20 series we have a telephoto lens that offers a 30x zoom, but in this phone we have a 3x optical lens that provides a 10x digital zoom. As it is a stabilized sensor, we managed to obtain very interesting photos. The 3x photos are very good, but with 10x zoom they end up losing the joke, and when we get to the 30x zoom, forget …

Samsung does a little trick for those who use this phone in low light conditions, using the main camera to zoom out by 10x to try to offer better quality with the bigger sensor, and the wider aperture, before switching to the telephoto on end of the break. If it’s really dark, that is, at night, she doesn’t use telephoto lenses – she just stands still in the 10x digital zoom.

The front camera is also reasonable, but not very impressive. In daylight conditions, we managed to get a good selfie, and there are fun options for the effects bokeh, but as soon as the light decreases, noise begins to appear in the images.

In general, the photos are good, they will not be discouraged, and it is within what a top phone can, and should offer. It doesn’t perform as high as the top of the range like the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, but your photos are still very interesting, and with good quality.

Review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G: Final verdict

The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition appears to be a change of direction that is very easy to understand. Samsung has launched a device that maintains the essentials for those who do not want to go without a top of the range, while making some calculated adjustments to reduce its price.

The general specifications of the S20 FE, ignoring the Glasstic rear, puts this phone in a good position against many rivals. Sure, there are cheaper phones, but this seems to be a phone designed to appeal to lovers of the top phones who are willing to dispense with some details, which they may consider less important.

Galaxy S20 FE

Galaxy S20 FE

In addition to the Glasstic that I already revealed above, Samsung also saved on the sensors, which are far from bad, but are also not the best that the company has already made available. For “normal” use, these sensors are much more than sufficient, and the finish, as already mentioned, in the vast majority of cases is “hidden” by a protective cover.

Our final decision for this equipment is:

The Galaxy S20 FE is the best value for money that Samsung currently has on the market.

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Founder of Noticias e Tecnologia, and this is his second online project, after several years connected to a portal focused on the Android system, where he was also one of its founders.

Computer professional, and passionate about new technologies, motor sports and mountain biking.

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