Flagship smartphones are ridiculously costly in 2020, and albeit, individuals are bored with it. Nobody desires to spend over $1,000 on a cellphone, however Samsung’s total Galaxy S20 lineup demanded 4 figures. After these units failed to gain traction, although, Samsung has responded with the Galaxy S20 FE, a $699 smartphone that has every little thing a purchaser really wants for a fraction of the associated fee.
This plastic is unbelievable
So, how does Samsung compress a $1,000 cellphone and most of its specs and options into one which’s $300 cheaper? The very first thing most individuals will discover is that the Galaxy S20 FE is constructed from plastic.
The aspect rails of this cellphone are nonetheless constituted of steel, however your complete again panel is plastic. However actually, that’s not one thing price complaining about. The sturdy plastic construct is snug to carry, retains the cellphone lighter, and has a pleasant matte coating that’s not very slippery. The common S20+ had me dashing to placed on a case, however I don’t really feel the identical want on the S20 FE. The Cloud Navy mannequin I used to be despatched by Samsung nonetheless collects plenty of oils from my fingers, however frankly, I feel nearly all the different colours are superior to this one anyway.
Talking of colours, there are six of them. Cloud Navy is the darkest of the set, with Cloud White, Orange, Pink, Lavender, and Mint additionally out there. If I had been shopping for this cellphone, I feel Cloud Orange and Pink are no-brainers, however actually, all of them appear nice. On the finish of the day, I’m simply glad Samsung isn’t making the identical mistake as the remainder of the S20 lineup the place colours had been boring or nonexistent.
By way of the bodily design of this cellphone, it’s remarkably just like the remainder of the S20 lineup. The again digicam module is positioned identically, the ports and buttons are in the identical place, and the general look may be very related. Maybe the one “huge” change is the dimensions of the bezels across the show, as they’re only a bit thicker. Notably, too, the hole-punch selfie digicam additionally has a slim silver ring round it that makes it stand out extra. Disgrace, however no huge deal. The display screen can be a bit flatter right here, which in my guide, is at all times an enormous perk.
120Hz is the cherry on high
Beneath the uncurved glass on the Galaxy S20 FE, you’ll discover a 6.5-inch, 1080p show. It’s an honest Tremendous AMOLED panel. Brightness is nice, colours are vivid, and viewing angles are basically good. Samsung is actually good at making shows, whatever the value of the cellphone.
The decision, too, wasn’t an issue for my part. 1080p isn’t loopy sharp, however it’s greater than sufficient for most individuals. Plus, it’s not like having a higher-res display screen would have made a lot of a distinction anyway. The common Galaxy S20 lineup hits 1440p, however out of the field software program limits it to 1080p for those who’re utilizing 120Hz.
That quicker 120Hz refresh price sticks round on the S20 FE, too, and it’s simply as fantastic as on the high-end units. Scrolling, enjoying video games, and doing simply every little thing in your cellphone feels higher with a quicker refresh price. I observed some hiccups right here or there that I didn’t on my S20+, however it is a plus regardless of the way you take a look at it. As I’ll dive into additional, too, it doesn’t take successful on battery life, both.
The one huge unfavourable I’ve on the show is concerning the contact sensitivity. I had a number of points all through my utilization with the touchscreen performing up. For instance, it won’t totally register a swipe or might set off the “pocket” mode on the lockscreen. This wasn’t frequent, however I’m not alone in experiencing this. Quite a few early buyers have additionally had related issues. Fortunately, in my case, a substitute unit appeared to repair the issue, although I didn’t spend practically as a lot time with the second unit.
That one subject, although, doesn’t change my conclusion in regards to the FE’s show. Samsung is simply absurdly good at making smartphone shows, and this cut-down flagship is not any exception.
Software program and efficiency
For many firms, trimming $300 off the value of a high-end machine would imply dropping a processor tier, however that’s not the case with the FE. Samsung managed to incorporate the identical Snapdragon 865 chip on the S20 FE with its highly effective efficiency.
In apply, although, the efficiency isn’t fairly on the identical stage. Regardless of having the identical chip, I discovered that the FE tended to stutter a bit greater than my Galaxy S20+ or Galaxy Z Fold 2. Why? I feel a part of it comes again to the RAM allotment being minimize from 12GB to 6GB. 12GB is totally overkill, however 6GB is a bit mild these days, particularly while you’re placing Samsung’s OneUI up on high. Efficiency isn’t unhealthy, however it’s not on the identical stage as flagships, and I’d wrestle to name it “easy.” It’s advantageous.
So far as software program goes, nothing has actually modified from the Galaxy S20 earlier this 12 months. The FE runs on Android 10 with OneUI 2.5 out of the field. It’s nonetheless fairly good software program, however it’s typically a bit irritating. I went extra in-depth on that in my review from earlier this year, however this one paragraph sums up my emotions.
Samsung’s software program expertise is form of a compromise. You will have every little thing you possibly can really need and that’s good! However having every little thing will be overwhelming and complicated too. It’s all a matter of alternative and that’s the fantastic thing about Android, actually.
You’re not giving up any options to make use of this $699 smartphone, however I can’t look forward to the day Samsung polishes off its software program to the purpose the place I can discuss it with none disappointment.
Endurance is without doubt one of the largest causes to purchase
One other perk of shopping for the Galaxy S20 FE over the costlier fashions is battery life. The 4,500 mAh battery on this cellphone lasts longer in my expertise than the Galaxy S20+, which was advantageous, however not completely spectacular.
Usually talking, the S20 FE is a cellphone I can’t kill in a day. I usually discovered that I might handle a number of hours of display screen time in a day whereas retaining as a lot as 40% by bedtime. Your outcomes might differ, in fact, however this cellphone has some critical endurance. Plus, it nonetheless has quick charging and wi-fi charging when it comes time to high off.
Not good, however a stable shooter
The digicam on the Galaxy S20 FE is one which shocked me. I used to be extraordinarily dissatisfied within the S20 and S20+, and regardless of the FE utilizing the identical essential sensor, it appears to tug off higher total photographs. Particulars are sharp, colours are good, and graciously, my pets now not appear like oil work so long as the lighting is respectable. I nonetheless discover that movement is an enormous downside for Samsung’s cameras, however the remainder of the expertise has been a marked enchancment.
The first 12MP digicam is what I principally used, however the ultrawide shooter was no slouch, both. Telephoto is proscribed to only 8MP, however with precise 3x optical zoom, the outcomes weren’t unhealthy! Something previous that optical zoom, although, begins to look fairly tough.
Press the “View Full Dimension” button within the gallery to see the picture at its very best quality
Within the video division, the S20 FE loses out on the 8K assist that the opposite S20s are able to, however that doesn’t actually really feel like a loss. At this level, 8K isn’t actually price it, and 4K on the FE will get the job completed.
Samsung remains to be in third place behind Google and Apple in the case of digicam chops, however the Galaxy S20 FE and the much-more-expensive Note 20 Ultra have confirmed that the corporate is getting higher. Actually, I don’t have a lot so as to add past that. The cameras listed below are fairly good!
– Fingerprint sensor
Like the usual Galaxy S20 telephones, the S20 FE makes use of an under-display fingerprint scanner, however this one is optical as a substitute of ultrasonic. This leads to nearly the identical stage of safety, however the optical sensor is significantly quicker. It’s bizarre, actually, that Samsung is technically utilizing a greater fingerprint sensor on its cheaper cellphone, however right here we’re.
– Headphones and audio system
The speaker high quality on the Galaxy S20 FE is respectable, however not stellar. The one driver on the backside paired with the earpiece speaker leaves audio sounding advantageous, however there’s a definite lack of bass. So far as headphones go, as soon as once more, there’s no headphone jack. Disgrace? Certain. Deal-breaker? It shouldn’t be.
All of the smartphone most individuals want
The “Galaxy S20 Fan Version” is a deceptive identify. Certain, Samsung followers will certainly love this cellphone, however that’s not who Samsung needs to be advertising this cellphone to. The S20 FE is the cellphone that most individuals needs to be shopping for.
If something, Samsung needs to be providing the Galaxy S20 FE as the Galaxy S20, and all these different fashions needs to be “Professional” or “Extremely” fashions. That is the cellphone that I feel caters to the most individuals. It has all of the options that anybody wants. It has all of the efficiency. It has all of the display screen. It has all of the cameras. It has… every little thing, and it prices so much much less. That is the corporate’s finest cellphone in 2020.
You should purchase an S20 FE proper now unlocked, and from all main US carriers. On the time of publishing, too, it’s $100 off at a number of retailers.
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