Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review

Quick Summary – Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (not the 4G version) is a fast, high-spec phone model designed for the fans. It has a few downfalls with the design and battery life isn’t as amazing as Samsung have bragged, but nonetheless you’d be proud to have this smartphone if you’re a fan of the Galaxy series!

4.5 out of 5 stars

Pros

  • Brilliant cameras for photographers
  • Speedy processing and 120Hz display
  • Looks appealing and is quite durable

Cons

  • Cheap glasstic feel
  • Downgraded screen resolution
  • Hyped features (5G and 120Hz) really drain the battery

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Full Review

Released in late 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is one of the later releases from the S20 line and was designed to be ‘one for the fans’. Its features are all the same or close to the original S20, with some nifty updates that the fans of Samsung smartphones have been asking for.

In our full review, you can find the main and key features of this phone, a closer look at the cameras, battery life, design and speed, and a quick comparison to the standard Samsung Galaxy S20.

Main Features

Comparing phones can be tricky, especially between phone companies with varying features. Use this list of main features to compare this model, the 5G Fan Edition version of the Samsung Galaxy S20.

  • Released: October 2020
  • Weight: 190g
  • Dimensions: 15.98 x 7.45 x 0.84cm
  • Display: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED
  • System: Snapdragon 865 processor with Android 10
  • Cameras: Dual rear 12MP cameras, rear 8MP camera, front 32MP camera
  • Storage: 128GB, up to 1TB MicroSD, 6GB RAM

The key features of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G are all oriented around what fans of the Galaxy smartphones want. From the design to the features, it’s a crowd-pleaser. Here are the three main key features that Galaxy are shouting about with this model:

Key Feature – Photography Heaven

There are three cameras on the rear of the phone, two wide lenses and one telephoto camera, plus a 32MP front camera for selfies. We’ll cover the specific specs later on in our review, if you’re interested in comparing the numbers.

For the average photo taker, the features brilliant. The wide and extra wide back lenses, plus the 3x optical zoom on the telephoto camera, make it amazing for snapping wide shots on your holidays.

Images nearly always come out sharp and brightly coloured.

The best features are the night mode, which does a fantastic job of taking clear photos in low-light surroundings, the extra wide 32MP front camera which makes group selfie shots so much easier, and finally the Single Take photography mode. This mode lets you record a short video of your surroundings, then it will put out the best stills from the video.

Key Feature – 5G Compatibility

As we head into 2021, we’re seeing the leading smartphones come with 5G compatibility even though it’s not yet usable for a great deal of people. Still, offering the option to connect to super-fast 5G networks when they’re available is a good idea and it makes this phone a good long-term investment.

You won’t need to upgrade to a new model in six months’ time just to take advantage of the new 5G in your area.

We are testing the 5G version of this phone, which has the Snapdragon 865 processor. This makes the phone faster than the 4G version with the Exynos 990 chip, but the downside is, the 5G drains the battery quicker than you’d expect.

On the bright side, you can toggle off the 5G when it’s not needed.

Key Feature – Speedy Performance

The fans wanted a smooth speedy performance, and that’s what they’ve got. The 120Hz refresh rate of the display makes it incredibly fast and sleek as you’re scrolling, while the aforementioned Snapdragon 865 processor can handle near anything you throw at it.

Furthermore, the battery is a high 4500mAh battery that’s designed to outlast your day. With a fast processor, sharp display, three cameras to power and all the features they come with, this battery is sorely needed.

Unfortunately, the battery doesn’t always last all day. The best way to prolong the battery for a smooth performance from the moment you wake to the moment you hit the hay, is to turn off the 5G and reduce the screen back to 60Hz… which sort of defeats the point of having these features, doesn’t it?

With the three key features aside, let’s delve into the specs.

Design and Screen Size

  • Weight: 190g
  • Dimensions: 15.98 x 7.45 x 0.84cm

Size-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is slightly larger than the standard S20 but not as large as the S20 Plus or S20 Ultra. But is bigger better nowadays? The Apple iPhone 12 Mini would disagree and so would many fans. Overall, size isn’t the real issue with the design of the smartphone.

Neither are the new pastel “cloud” colours: lavender, navy, mint, orange, red, and white.

The bigger issue is the glasstic, which is plastic that’s designed to feel like glass. It doesn’t do a brilliant job and it does feel a little cheap in your hand. But it is more durable than a glass phone, so we can overlook this.

  • Display: Super AMOLED
  • Screen Size: 6.5 inches
  • Resolution: 2400 x 1080
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz

The first thing to note is that the FHD+ resolution is 2400 x 1080, which is lower than the 3200 x 1440 resolution of the S20. If you’ve moved straight from the S20 to the S20 FE 5G, you might notice this at first.

But it’s not a huge downgrade. With the display, it’s mostly an upgrade with the 120Hz refresh rate that makes it super smooth, bright, and crisp even when pushing the processor to the limit. Even without a curved edge display, this phone looks great.

Battery Life

  • Energy: 4500mAh
  • Performance: Up to 19 hours of video playback

The battery is an upgrade in this phone compared to previous models. Unfortunately, the features have been upgraded too. The result? The battery struggles to last a day just like your old phone did.

So, it’s not bad battery life. It’s just not any better than it was before, in our experience.

To preserve the battery, switch the 120Hz back to 60Hz, keep the screen resolution low, and turn off 5G. Then you’ll find that the 19 hours of video playback is just about doable. Your options include 15W wireless charging or 25W fast charging (charger needed for fast charging is sold separately) to restore the juice.

Memory & Performance

  • Processor: Snapdragon 865
  • Operating System: Android 10/OneUI
  • Storage: 128GB (MicroSD up to 1TB)
  • RAM: 6GB

This is a phone that feels as fast as lightning to the everyday user. For gamers, and heavy phone users, it can keep up without breaking a sweat. This is thanks to the Snapdragon 865 processor and the option to add up to 1TB of extra capacity with a MicroSD. 6GB of RAM doesn’t hurt either.

As for the operating system, this phone arrives with Android 10 but there’s plenty of space to update and upgrade it as time goes by.

In general, switching rapidly from one app to another, running games and taking numerous photos and videos, is totally doable on this phone. There’s little to no lag.

Cameras

  • Rear Camera: 12MP main (ƒ/1.8)
  • Rear Camera: 12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2)
  • Rear Camera: 8MP telephoto (ƒ/2.4)
  • Front Camera: 32MP selfie camera (ƒ/2.2)

We’ve mentioned the clarity and brightness of the photos this phone is capable of taking already. But it’s worth repeating, especially as these cameras aren’t the best in the S20 line up from Samsung. The features are just the cherry on top.

The real stand-out spec here is for the front camera. With wide angles available, it’s great for group selfies and the bright, vivid colours that come out time and again (even at night) make it extra noteworthy.

You can find phones from Apple and others that can match the trio of rear cameras, but that selfie camera gives the Galaxy S20 FE 5G an edge.

How does it compare to the Galaxy S20?

In comparison to the Galaxy S20, the Fan Edition with 5G has a slightly larger display but with slightly lower resolution, as well as slightly lower spec cameras and 2GB less RAM. All in all, these downgrades are not hugely noticeable unless you compare them side by side. Overall, the FE 5G is faster, slicker, and still has all your photography needs met.

Conclusion – Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) 5G?

If you have a decent budget (this phone isn’t cheap), love Galaxy smartphones, and don’t mind that slightly plastic feel, then you will adore this phone. It truly lives up to the Fan Edition name and the photography features in particular are something to get excited about!

Click here to find and compare Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G prices