Samsung spins the brand new Galaxy S20 FE, or “Fan Version”, as a mannequin that provides all of the options that followers care most about in a extra inexpensive package deal. As the costs of flagship telephones have skyrocketed to nicely over Rs. 1,00,000 over the previous few years, the “flagship killer” phase at round Rs. 40,000 to 50,000 has grow to be increasingly more necessary. Relatively than let opponents equivalent to OnePlus and Xiaomi eat its lunch, the Korean big has determined to battle again with a watered-down model of the Galaxy S20.
Samsung has dabbled with a number of methods to promote extra inexpensive variations of its flagship telephones with out cannibalising gross sales. Final 12 months, we had the bodily smaller Galaxy S10e (Review) which proved to be successful in the identical vein because the “mini” versions of some older fashions. The corporate additionally later launched the Galaxy S10 Lite (Review) which was a considerably complicated however nonetheless respectable mid-range choice. We have additionally seen premium A-series models making an attempt to serve the identical market.
Now that the OnePlus 8T (Review) has been launched and a number of other flagships are dropping in worth, can the brand new Galaxy S20 FE appeal to an viewers of its personal? Learn on to search out out.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE worth and competitors
Just one configuration of the Galaxy S20 FE in India, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, was announced at launch time, priced at Rs. 49,999. Nonetheless, when this mannequin went on sale, a 256GB variant priced at Rs. 53,999 also appeared. Oddly, it is offered solely in a single color, Cloud Navy, slightly than the total vary.
A 5G version is offered in different international locations, however the Galaxy S20 FE is barely accessible with 4G community compatibility in India. The apparent goal is the OnePlus 8T, which is priced beginning at Rs. 42,999. Different probably opponents are the brand new Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G, gaming telephones such because the Asus ROG Phone 3 (Review), and even the iPhone 11 (Review).
Nonetheless, what makes the Galaxy S20 FE stand out for all of the mistaken causes is the truth that the far more premium Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ (Review) now promote for a lot lower than their official launch costs. Actually, Samsung is at present discounting the unbelievable Galaxy S20+ to precisely Rs. 49,999 by itself web site, and it has been accessible for that a lot throughout ongoing online festive sales.
That is exhausting to grasp, because it undercuts the model new Galaxy S20 FE and even the Galaxy S20. In an effort to reconcile its vary, Samsung has simply recently announced price cuts all the way down to Rs. 44,999 and Rs. 48,999 (plus financial institution affords) for the 128GB and 256GB variants. This can undoubtedly annoy early adopters, coming lower than two weeks after the Galaxy S20 FE first went on sale. So far as providing customers worth for cash, that is hardly probably the most conducive setting during which to advertise a mannequin with extra modest specs.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE design
The Galaxy S20 FE does slot in with its siblings. It has the identical fundamental proportions however apparently is bigger than the Galaxy S20 due to its 6.5-inch display screen. You aren’t getting curved edges on the display screen, which for my part is definitely an excellent factor. The body is shiny and metallic, whereas the rear panel is product of a matte polycarbonate. The 128GB model of this telephone is offered in 5 colors, starting from the daring Cloud Crimson and Cloud Navy to the a lot softer pastel Cloud Mint and Cloud Lavender, plus a impartial Cloud White.
The rounded sides of the rear panel make the Galaxy S20 FE very straightforward to carry, and the non-slip texture is way appreciated. You additionally haven’t got to fret in any respect about fingerprints, however gentle smudges will be seen after use. You aren’t getting any type of case within the field with this telephone.
Contributing to the premium really feel, the display screen borders are fairly slim. The earpiece is so slim it could possibly barely even be seen. The entrance digital camera is embedded proper within the centre of the highest – it is pretty small however remains to be a little bit distracting not solely due to its place but additionally as a result of there is a extremely reflective silver ring round it. Samsung will ship this telephone with a display screen protector pre-applied, and the one on my evaluation unit was barely misaligned.
The ability and quantity buttons are on the left, and are inside straightforward attain. Samsung has dropped its devoted Bixby button and I do not miss it in any respect. There is a USB Sort-C port on the underside and no 3.5mm audio socket. The tray on the highest can accommodate both two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card.
Measuring 8.4mm thick and weighing 190g, the Galaxy S20 FE is pretty straightforward to deal with and stay with. It is rated IP68 for water and dirt resistance, so it ought to be capable to face up to publicity to the weather. Regardless of being not precisely flagship-level, building high quality is great and there is no doubt that this looks like a premium telephone.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs and software program
The Galaxy S20 FE will get the identical top-tier Exynos 990 processor as its siblings within the S20 household. That is an octa-core SoC with two customized Samsung efficiency cores operating at 2.73GHz, two extra ARM Cortex-A76 cores operating at 2.5GHz, and 4 extra power-efficient 2GHz Cortex-A55 cores.
There’s 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, plus help for as much as a 1TB microSD card utilizing the hybrid slot. The battery capability is 4500mAh and wi-fi charging is supported in each instructions. You solely get a 15W adapter within the field, although this telephone can benefit from as much as 25W chargers.
Samsung has gone with a 6.5-inch 1080×2400-pixel Tremendous AMOLED display screen. There is no official point out of HDR however it does appear to be supported. There may be additionally an always-on mode that is disabled by default. One nice shock is a 120Hz refresh fee, although there would not appear to be any solution to allow this dynamically – it is both 60Hz or 120Hz on a regular basis. A workaround is to allow Adaptive Energy Saving, which is able to toggle the refresh fee together with a number of different settings based mostly in your utilization patterns.
Talking of energy saving, Samsung permits you to select between 4 efficiency ranges. The Medium and Most modes restrict CPU efficiency to 70 p.c and scale back the utmost display screen brightness by 10 p.c. The Most mode additionally locks you all the way down to just a few apps and forces darkish mode. Background information is restricted and the always-on show and all biometrics are additionally disabled.
These are just some of the huge variety of options you will discover all through Samsung’s One UI 2.5, which runs on prime of Android 10. My unit acquired an replace to the October Android safety patch throughout the evaluation interval, which was good to see. The Bixby button is perhaps gone however the assistant can nonetheless be known as up utilizing the facility button. You should use your SIM for calls and textual content messages by different linked Samsung gadgets, and Samsung’s current partnership with Microsoft for Home windows 10 integration can also be supported on the Galaxy S20 FE.
There are numerous shortcut gestures, a Recreation Launcher with optimisations, UI themes, a Twin Messenger characteristic for utilizing two accounts with sure apps, a display screen recorder, expandable notification bubbles, and loads of choices for dwelling display screen customisation. Edge Panels provide you with fast entry to varied shortcuts and mini apps with a swipe in from both fringe of the display screen, and you may obtain many extra free and paid panels from the Galaxy Retailer.
On the draw back, there are fairly just a few Samsung apps preloaded, together with a pointless Net browser and tie-in apps for the corporate’s AR, wearables, and IoT merchandise. Samsung Well being and Samsung Pay are doubtlessly helpful, however then again, the My Galaxy app spawned annoying notifications a number of instances per day.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE efficiency
As anticipated, there is no lag in any way when swiping by the One UI interface and when multitasking between apps. The Galaxy S20 FE felt snappy, due to the excessive refresh fee panel in addition to the succesful SoC and great amount of RAM. The in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition aren’t as fast as I might have preferred, however this should not be a lot of an issue. That is the type of telephone that you just’d be more than pleased to make use of for on a regular basis apps and duties.
The display screen is crisp and vibrant. Apart from the distracting digital camera gap, movies and video games look nice. The expertise is helped by this telephone’s stereo audio system, which really feel fairly nicely balanced. Sound is a bit skinny and missing in bass, however that is to be anticipated.
Coming to benchmark assessments, AnTuTu reported a rating of 4,62,330, and Geekbench’s single- and multi-core outcomes had been 517 and a couple of,573 respectively. 3DMark’s Slingshot Excessive graphics check managed 6,649, whereas GFXBench’s Manhattan 3.1 and Automobile Chase scenes ran at 55fps and 33fps respectively. These scores are a bit decrease than what the Galaxy S20+ (Review) and Galaxy S20 Ultra (Review) achieved.
Trendy video games together with Name of Responsibility Cellular and Asphalt 9: Legends had been completely clean at their default graphics high quality settings. Nonetheless, the higher rear of the Galaxy S20 FE did get fairly heat after simply 5 minutes or so of play. This grew to become barely uncomfortable over longer gaming periods.
Battery life wasn’t notably spectacular. I used to be capable of get a full day’s use out of a cost, however I would not count on greater than that. Our HD video loop check ran for 12 hours, 44 minutes, which is beneath common. Utilizing the bundled charger, I used to be capable of stand up to 17 p.c in quarter-hour and 61 p.c in an hour.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE cameras
Contemplating how closely Samsung emphasised digital camera high quality because the defining characteristic of the Galaxy S20 household, it will likely be attention-grabbing to see how this lower-priced mannequin suits in. The Galaxy S20 FE has a scaled-down set of cameras, beginning with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 major digital camera with OIS. There’s additionally a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide digital camera and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 3X optical telephoto digital camera. For selfies, you get a 32-megapixel f/2.2 digital camera.
Unsurprisingly, the digital camera app is jammed with options and choices. Modes embody Samsung’s Single Take composition instrument, professional mode, meals mode, evening mode, stay focus for stills and video, gradual movement and tremendous gradual movement, and hyperlapse. You may obtain extra filters or create your personal based mostly on the color profile of any photograph, if the default choice ever will get boring. The Scene Optimiser characteristic is on by default and can show a shortcut to allow Night time Mode shortly if it thinks it’s a necessity.
The Galaxy S20 FE locked focus shortly and metered scenes fairly nicely throughout the day. Colors had been vibrant, verging on oversaturated in some situations. Pictures got here out wanting sharp and topics had been nicely outlined. Element on objects at a distance was additionally fairly good. Shut-up pictures had been wonderful, with minute particulars reproduced very nicely and a really nice pure depth of discipline.
Actually, close-ups taken within the default Photograph mode had been usually higher than when utilizing the Stay Focus mode, which requires you to face again fairly a distance out of your topic. In the event you do use this mode although, you may refocus pictures, modify the blur depth and kind, and take away all color aside from the article in focus.
The wide-angle digital camera does introduce vital distortion and high quality isn’t dangerous should you’re simply checking your pictures on the telephone’s display screen. Colors aren’t drastically completely different due to the re-framing. The 3X optical telephoto digital camera additionally captures wonderful element, and pictures maintain up even when seen absolutely magnified on a big monitor. The three cameras that Samsung has chosen are all genuinely helpful with out being gimmicky, and will all come in useful commonly.
Issues get rather less passable at evening – focus was typically inaccurate however tapping the display screen manually will end in a fast lock. The excellent news is that you could seize respectable pictures even when it is too darkish to see your topic within the viewfinder, if the place to faucet. The Scene Optimiser will pressure a gradual shutter by default, however this is not the identical as Night time Mode, and outcomes did differ barely.
Low-light pictures had been a little bit grainy and colors had been typically off relying on the type of lighting round. The wide-angle and telephoto cameras do endure due to their narrower apertures however pictures are nonetheless usable. Utilizing Night time Mode did often end in higher color copy and barely improved element.
The entrance digital camera takes 8-megapixel binned pictures by default. A large-angle mode basically reverse-crops the body, however the distinction may be very slight. Selfies got here out wanting crisp with good element and publicity, however beautification is turned on by default and it takes a number of faucets to disable it. Night time mode works right here as nicely, and may positively assist when there is not sufficient gentle falling in your face.
As for video, the Galaxy S20 FE was capable of seize clean 1080p footage with all three cameras within the daytime. Whether or not standing nonetheless, panning, or strolling, video regarded good and there was no jerkiness. At 4K, movement was rather less clean particularly with the telephoto digital camera. Low-light video shot with the first digital camera was adequate, however high quality suffered with the telephoto and wide-angle cameras. There was noticeable judder at 4K when shifting whereas recording, and stabilisation artefacts had been additionally a difficulty at 1080p. You may change between cameras whereas recording, and the transitions are slick.
Sluggish-motion video got here out wanting nice. In super-slow-mo mode, video is captured at 720p. The start and finish of clips play again at regular pace, and you may modify the factors between which footage is dramatically slowed down. You can too reverse and loop it for inventive impact.
Samsung used the “Fan Version” suffix when it tried promoting refurbished Galaxy Note 7 units in South Korea with smaller, safer batteries. The transfer may need helped Samsung recoup a few of the losses it suffered following the catastrophic and embarrassing world launch (and subsequent global bans) of the Galaxy Word 7, however this was by no means going to be a mass-market telephone. “Fan edtion” mainly acknowledged that solely these people who find themselves fervently devoted to the Samsung model would really purchase it.
That is why it is a little bit stunning to see a model new mannequin launch in a number of international locations with the identical branding – that too one geared toward a way more mainstream viewers than its siblings. You do not have to be a fan of the model to love this telephone.
What Samsung has received proper although is the steadiness of price and options. You aren’t getting the total flagship expertise, but when persons are pleased with so-called flagship killers, you now have a reasonably sensible choice inside the Samsung lineup. What works for the Galaxy S20 FE is its match and end, high-quality display screen, and helpful cameras.
Pricing is an unavoidable subject, although. Individuals who pre-ordered or purchased the Galaxy S20 FE early are going to be justifiably upset due to the quickly lowered worth and 256GB storage choice. The larger subject is Samsung now promoting the far superior Galaxy S20+ at precisely the identical worth that the Galaxy S20 FE launched at. Irrespective of how good this new telephone appears and the way a lot it will get proper, Samsung itself affords stronger competitors so long as costs keep the place they at present are.