Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition — better known as the Galaxy S20 FE, is a slightly less expensive and toned-down variant of the premium Galaxy S20-series of devices. We got our hands on the Snapdragon 865, 5G version, so without further ado let’s move on to the review!
Design and Construction
It has some similarities to the more expensive Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 series. However, this model comes with attractive colorful options. We have Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud White, Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, and Cloud Navy, which we have here. The Galaxy S20 FE is more youthful and will be liked by those who have a strong liking for specific colors.
Flipping through it’s back, it is made of polycarbonate and has a matte finish resistant to fingerprints and smudges. The frame is made of polished aluminum but feels like glass. More at the back, there’s the rectangular rear camera module on the top left.
We get a 6.5-inch screen with a centered punch hole, slim bezels, and a relatively thin chin for display.
On the right, we have the volume rocker and power button. They’re nice and clicky and reachable even with people with small hands.
Meanwhile, on top, we have the secondary microphone and the card tray with slots for the nano-SIM cards and a microSD card (hybrid slot) of up to 1TB capacity.
We have the loudspeaker, USB Type-C port, and the primary microphone at the bottom. The phone does have IP68 waterproofing, which will keep it safe from spilled drinks or splash of water.
Holding the Galaxy S20 FE feels very lightweight, comfortable to hold, and offers a better grip. The design is simple and straightforward, but it doesn’t look or feel cheap at all.
Display and Multimedia
The Galaxy S20 FE features a large 6.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O panel. You get a Full HD+ resolution and a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 protection on top.
The display is very bright and offers excellent viewing angles. The colors are punchy, and you get those deep blacks since it’s an AMOLED panel. You can easily read what’s on the screen, even when used outdoors. Also, the Galaxy S20 FE has a 120Hz high refresh rate for smooth scrolling, navigation, and better gameplay.
There is also an Always-on Display feature with a ton of themes from the Samsung theme store. In the display settings under the Screen Mode, colors can be configured from natural to vivid. The vivid option has a white balance and RGB slider for users who want to configure their device’s display more.
Audio-wise, the dual speakers produce a good sound quality without appearing to be distorted, while being able to maintain a decent volume of sound, despite it being not the loudest among the smartphones out there. The balance of frequencies is as you would expect from a small device, but is enough to let you hear the details you need when casually watching videos with your friend.
The Galaxy S20 FE offers a triple-rear setup at the back, consisting of 12MP Dual Pixel primary, 12MP ultra-wide, and 8MP telephoto. While on its tiny notch, you will find its 32MP front camera.
Quality-wise, the primary rear shooter’s shots did some excellent daylight pictures with decent detail, colors, and punchy with the right exposure balance.
The wide-angle lens also does a reasonably good job here, and it captures a huge amount of the scene and good exposure. The 3X optical telephoto camera, on the other hand, also captures excellent details. For low light conditions, we got surprisingly bright photos. However, it can get a little grainy, and colors were sometimes off depending on the lighting around.
As for selfies, beautification is turned on by default, but it takes decent pictures in the right light conditions. The skin tone sometimes tended to alter, but most of the time, it worked fine.
Video recording goes up to 4K at 60fps resolution and offers Super Steady mode, designed to minimize camera shake when you’re in motion. Quality-wise, details, and colors are adequate.
Likewise, its front cameras can also record up to 4K at 60fps videos. Quality-wise, it is average. Take note that the front shooter doesn’t support Super Steady mode, so better use a gimbal or tripod if you’re going to use the front camera for videos.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE packs in a pretty versatile camera setup that certainly is capable of taking good photos which is also suitable for social media postings.
OS, UI, and Apps
As for the software, the Galaxy S20 FE runs under OneUI 2.5 Core on top of Android 10 out of the box. The Galaxy S20 FE’s launcher is pretty intuitive, and the OS supports both traditional three-button navigation and gesture input.
Samsung has several apps pre-installed, and fortunately, you can uninstall them, which shouldn’t be a problem.
Out of the 128GB of internal storage, you get a usable 102.3GB.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Galaxy S20 FE is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with an Adreno 650 GPU with 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, plus support for up to a 1TB microSD card. It’s the same chipset powering the other Galaxy S20 models, so expect the same flagship-level performance.
With this configuration, you can do heavy tasks and intensive multitasking. We tried heavy games such as Asphalt 9 and Genshin Impact, and they all worked smooth and responsive at their default graphics quality settings. Warming at the back is noticeable, but they weren’t that bothersome.
Check out the benchmark scores below:
• AnTuTu v8.4.5– 558,303
• 3DMark Slingshot Extreme –7,141 (OpenGL), 4,537 (Vulkan)
• PCMark – 9961 (Work 2.0)
• Geekbench 5 – 563 (Single-core), 3,143 (Multi-core), 3,012 (OpenCL)
• AndroBench – 1,527.71 MB/s (Seq. Read), 680.81MB/s (Seq. Write)
For biometrics, the Galaxy S20 FE uses either its in-display fingerprint scanner or face unlock. They’re both pretty convenient to use and work well.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The Galaxy S20 FE offers a number of connectivity features too. It supports dual-SIM, 5G, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and NFC.
And when it comes to battery, its massive 4,500mAh capacity with support for 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. This device didn’t last as long as we expected, so if you’re a heavy user, expect that you need to plug it from time to time.
In the PCMark’s battery test, the battery life was rated at 13 hours and 54 minutes, which is great. Our standard video loop test, on the other hand, got us 19 hours and 48 minutes of playback. For charging, it supports 25W fast charging and takes about one hour and a half to charge to full.
Currently, Samsung just offers the Exynos 990, LTE variant here in the Philippines which is priced at PHP 35,990. If you want the 5G version, you’ll have to source the Snapdragon variant, which is not easy to get since Samsung is yet to offer it here. Setting aside the processor versions, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a good alternative to the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S20+. It has good cameras, a 120Hz and AMOLED display, a large battery, a fashionable design, and offers a flagship-level performance at a lower price. This is the kind of phone that you’d be more than happy to use for everyday apps and tasks, and it is one of the best phones for the money now.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G specs:
6.5-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED Infinity-O display, 407ppi, 120Hz refresh rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor
8GB LPDDR5 RAM
microSD up to 1TB
• 12MP Dual Pixel F1.8 OIS primary
• 12MP F2.2 ultrawide
• 8MP F2.4 OIS telephoto, 3x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom
32MP F2.2 front camera
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
GPS, A-GPS, GALILEO, BDS, GLONASS
Stereo speakers by AKG, Dolby Atmos
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
OneUI 2.5 (based on Android 10)
4,500mAh battery, PD 3.0 charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm
Cloud Navy, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Red, Cloud Mint, Cloud White, and Cloud Orange