• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for Fan Edition) is positioned as a phone for Samsung fans who want some of the company’s best tech and features, but don’t want to have to take out a loan to get it.

In other words, it’s an entry in the Galaxy S20 range that undercuts its siblings while matching at least the standard Samsung Galaxy S20 in a number of ways, and even beating it in some.

Of course, to achieve that lower price Samsung has also had to make some sacrifices, but if you’ve looked at the score already you’ll have seen that for the most part it’s struck the right balance. Below though we’ll get into exactly what’s so good about the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE – and those few areas where it could disappoint.

Screen

Galaxy FE Display

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 screen, which actually makes it bigger than the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S20. It’s not as high resolution, but it still comes in at a very respectable 407 pixels per inch.

It uses Super AMOLED too, so images look great, and like its pricier sibling it has a 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+. The latter of those makes HDR content really come to life, while the former ensures interactions feel as smooth as possible. They’re both premium features of the kind you usually only find on a flagship.

One Samsung flagship feature this screen does lack is curved edges, but that’s something not everyone likes anyway.

Overall it’s a superb display, and while - primarily because of its resolution - it can’t quite match Samsung’s best, it comes very close, and is certainly excellent for the money.

Design

Samsung Galaxy FE Colours

The design of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is perhaps its most disappointing aspect, as it has a plastic back. It looks somewhat like glass, but the illusion is shattered when you touch it.

Given that this phone is only cheap in comparison to its flagship siblings, it’s not a material we’d expect, but then Samsung also gave the Galaxy Note 20 a plastic back, so the company seemingly thinks it can get away with it on fairly high-end phones.

It’s not all bad news on the design front though. The frame is metal, the bezels are fairly small, and the phone is IP68 certified, meaning it can survive being submerged up to 1.5 metres deep in water for up to 30 minutes.

Power

While the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE’s build may disappoint, its performance doesn’t, as it comes with either a Snapdragon 865 chipset (if you opt for the 5G model) or an Exynos 990 one (if you stick with 4G). Either way, those are high-end chipsets, and if get the 5G version then you can also take advantage of the fastest possible data speeds.

Both versions come with a middling 6GB of RAM, but that’s roughly in line with what we’d expect for the price, and it’s a combination that allows for speedy performance in line with the likes of the OnePlus 8.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy FE Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a triple-lens camera, and unlike the triple-lens cameras on some not-quite-flagships, all three of the lenses here are useful.

There’s a 12MP f/1.8 main one with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto one with OIS and 3x optical and 30x digital zoom.

They’re the three lens types that we consider the most useful, and that all upper mid-range and above phones should have in our opinion, and all three of the cameras here do a good job of their roles.

They’re not the best, but within their price bracket they perform well, and they’re aided by an assortment of shooting modes, such as an effective night mode and a handy Single Take mode, which pulls the best images and clips from a video.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE also has a 32MP camera on the front. It’s just a single-lens one but that’s more megapixels than most selfie cameras have, and it takes decent shots.

Features

One feature worth noting is the Galaxy S20 FE’s in-screen fingerprint scanner. This is a fairly standard feature in flagships, but with the FE sitting slightly below that level there was no guarantee it would get one, so it’s nice to see.

It’s also worth knowing that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE runs Android 10 – but we’d expect an update to Android 11 at some point. This isn’t stock Android, rather it has Samsung’s OneUI overlay, but this is one of the better Android variants, and it’s customisable enough that you should be able to make it your own.

Battery life, memory, and connectivity

There’s a 4,500mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which is on the larger end of what you can expect in a phone. It’s also larger than the 4,000mAh battery in the standard Galaxy S20, which is notable since that phone costs more.

That doesn’t necessarily mean more life from the S20 FE, after all, the screen is bigger too, but in practice it’s got quite a lot of longevity. You should get at least a day out of it even when making use of the 120Hz refresh rate (which is something you’ll want to make use of).

The S20 FE also charges quickly, with 25W fast charging and 15W wireless charging, plus it even offers reverse wireless charging – so you’ve got the full assortment of charging options.

Memory meanwhile comes in at 128GB – there is also a 256GB model but this doesn’t appear to be available in the UK at the time of writing. Still, 128GB should be plenty for most people, and if it’s not there’s also a microSD card slot.

Finally, connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and optionally 5G – just make sure you buy the right model if you want that.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is an enormously impressive phone, but what’s most impressive about it is that a brand that usually charges a lot for high-end handsets has delivered something genuinely high-end for a lower than normal price.

Make no mistake, this still isn’t a cheap phone by any means, but compared to the rest of the Samsung Galaxy S20 range it is affordable, and it retains much of what makes those phones great.

The high points are undoubtedly the refresh rate, chipset, and cameras, but most other aspects impress too. Really the only significant issue is the phone’s largely plastic build – which at this price isn’t really acceptable, but when it’s allowed for so much tech to be packed in it’s a lot more forgivable.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4
  • Weight (g): 190
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 4500
  • Colours: Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy, Cloud White, Cloud Red, Cloud Orange
  • Screen size (inches): 6.5
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 407
  • Processor: Octa-core
  • Processor make: Exynos 990 (4G) / Snapdragon 865 (5G)
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage up to: 1TB
  • Camera: 12MP, 8MP and 12MP (32MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: Android 10

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