On 23 rd September 2020 Samsung first time announced a Fan Edition for Galaxy lovers who want a premium phone with a more comparative price. After the success of the Samsung Galaxy S20 flagship series later on 2nd October 2020 they came with an upgraded 5G variant of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G and launched it as a mid-range flagship phone.
There are different versions available of this phone and some of them are specifically for individual countries. SM-G781B (International); SM-G781U (USA); SM-G781U1 (USA Unlocked); SM-G781W (Canada); SM-G7810 (China, Hong Kong); SM-G781N (Korea) all are available now.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is the light edition of the Samsung Galaxy S series. It mainly targets the mid-range market and cuts down some flagship features. But there are no compromises in terms of quality and performance and you will get top-class performance from this phone.
From the display, performance, camera, battery all the major sections are beautifully crafted by Samsung and deliver you the mid-range flagship of 2021 with the latest 5G functionality. Although the phone is priced at 699 USD which is definitely not a mid-range price.
So in this post, we try to find out after spending a healthy amount do you really get the best value in these price points, and after ten months should it makes any sense to buy one S20 FE 5G now. So let’s find out …
|Display size, resolution, refresh rate||6.50-inch Super AMOLED, (2,400×1,080 pixels), 120Hz, HDR10+|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.29×2.93×0.33 in.|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||159.8×74.5×8.4 mm|
|Weight (Grams)||6.70 oz; 190g|
|Software||Android 11, One UI 3.1|
|Camera||12MP (main), 12MP (wide-angle), 8MP (telephoto)|
|Video||4K@30/60fps, Auto HDR, gyro- EIS|
|Processor||Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 865 5G (7 nm)|
|Storage||128/256GB with UFS 3.1|
|Fingerprint reader||Under Display Optical reader|
|Battery||Li-Po 4,500 mAh|
|Charging||Fast charging 25W, Wireless Charging 15W, Reverse Charging 4.5W|
|Connector||USB-type C 3.2|
|Special features||5G-multiple band, 120Hz, dual stereo speaker, Virtual proximity sensor, Bixby, Samsung Pay|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Dual-band A-GPS|
|Price (USD)||Approximately $699 (converted from Indian price)|
|Price (INDIA)||₹50999 for 8/128 GB model|
The Build quality and Display:
The first time when you noticed the Fan Edition you definitely see there is a big change which is the polycarbonate build. Although the full body is made out of good quality polycarbonate but in these days we are very much getting used to glass bodies and metal body design. So in this sense, it feels a little outdated for me.
There are definitely a few advantages of the plastic body over the glass-like it doesn’t break easily and is less prone to scratches but these days people are more fond of looks.
We have a 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm screen with front Glass plastic back and an aluminum frame that resides between the two. On the right side, we have a power button and volume rocker and the response and feel is high quality no complaint about it. On top, we have a microphone and dual hybrid sim card slot, and at the bottom a USB type C port and a speaker grill.
Although the phone supports dual stereo speakers and we have an Indispaly fingerprint scanner that resides beneath the display which takes a little bit of time to unlock but the accuracy is good.
Ok let’s go ahead in the front we have a 6.5 inch Super AMOLED screen which is probably the best in quality with punchier blacks and brighter white. The display quality and viewing angles are very good and you have lots of fun watching multimedia content here.
Samsung here opt for a (1080X2400) Pixel 407 PPI Flat-screen which I personally like and you feel the smoothness when you scroll anything, thanks to the 120 Hz refresh rate. You also have the option of smart select where the phone itself chooses the best display settings according to your use. It’s really helpful if you want to save battery.
There is also HDR 10 support so you can surf High definition content from Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you are a Samsung user then you definitely love the always-on display and the same thing you enjoyed here with all the customization.
The phone is smaller than both the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra thanks to its 6.5-inch display. It’s thin, light, and easy to carry around and I found the size is quite manageable. The weight is 190 gm but the weight distribution is done well by Samsung.
Triple Rear and Punch-hole Selfie Camera:
Samsung phones are always built with good quality cameras and all their flagship lineup are having great cameras. And at first, I’m a little worried about the performance of new sensors in Galaxy S20 FE 5G because here they choose smaller sensors compared to the original S20 lineup.
In S20 FE 5G we have a triple camera setup a standard 12MP camera, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. The main sensor has F/1.8 26 mm wide open aperture gives you a wide field of view and is integrated with dual pixel PDAF autofocus. It also has Optical image stabilization for stable video and image processing.
The second 12MP sensor is an F/2.2 13 mm wide-angle lens and gives you a 123-degree field of view means you capture more areas in a single frame. The third is an 8 MP f/2.4, 76mm telephoto sensor with a 3X zooming lens and also has the OIS.
So in terms of numbers, it may be sound small but when you turn the camera on it gives you complete satisfaction. All the areas like colors, quality, dynamic range, white balance, clarity are excellent in this triple camera setup. As per my use, I love the natural-looking pictures and in every scenario from low to high light, it takes perfect photos for me.
The focus was sharp, producing clean shots with little or no noise in daylight photos. Shots taken in low light had more noise and sharpening but were still good enough for sharing.
The phone supports plenty of zoom options. You’ve got 0.5x with the wide-angle lens, 1x with the main lens, 3x optical zoom with the telephoto lens, and blended hybrid zoom up to 30x. The results up to 3x were excellent, while hybrid zoom past 10x began to suffer from noise and pixelization.
Take a look at some of the photos taken by Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G…
On the front, we have a small punch hole camera, and this time Samsung goes for a 32 MP F/2.2, 26 mm lens with a wide field of view. The selfie camera can take regular and wide-angle shots, as well as normal selfies and portraits.
The selfies are good in normal lighting conditions but in low light in hunting for focus and sometimes photos get blurry.
Focus, color and white balance were mostly good, but I saw little pop in the pictures. The portrait mode managed to offer up clean edge detection.
Videos are supported 4K 60 FPS max and the quality is very good and gyro-EIS is giving a steady shot every time from both front and rear camera.
The overall camera experience is quite good and you can expect top-quality photos with great details and colors.
Storage and Performance:
Here comes the most important part and in this section Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, 5G shines all the way. The phone is equipped with a snapdragon 865 (7nm) processor which is still one of the best offerings in this price range.
The chip has four Kryo 585 Silver high-efficiency cores operating at 1.8 GHz along with three high-performance Kryo 585 Gold operating at 2.42 GHz and another prime Kryo 585 Gold core operating at 2.84 GHz.
The 865, along with the Adreno 650 GPU and 6 or 8GB of RAM, allowing the FE to deliver outstanding performance. The phone blasts through tasks with ease. It never slowed down, lagged, and feels as smooth as any flagship phone from Samsung.
The gaming experience was great too as it handles any high-resolution game easily and it gives you haptic feedback. But one thing I have to mention after 15 or 20 minutes of continuous gaming the phones tend to be warmer.
Benchmark apps showed the phone at its best. We saw top numbers from 3DMark and GeekBench, though in AnTuTu, the phone bested only 82% of competing phones. The bottom line is although the 865 is a year old processor but considering the price is still a good choice.
There are three different models available to choose from the base 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant, 8GB/128GB, and 12GB/256GB model. The storage supported UFS 3.1 which means the phone has faster read and write speeds.
In my everyday use, I found the Galaxy S20 FE to be quite responsive, whether I was switching between a dozen open apps or playing Asphalt 9, or rendering a video. The ram management has done very well on this smartphone and in fact, it does not boot out the apps out of the memory.
Battery and Charging:
The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is powered by a 4500 Milliampere battery and after using the phone I have to tell you the battery life is quite good in this phone. The battery is quite capable of lasting a whole day even after heavy to moderate use.
On average after watching movies online, web surfing, playing games, taking pictures and videos still the battery lasts about 5 to 10 % at the end of the day.
For a normal user, you should get a day and a half easily with this phone and for heavy users, it should last a day with little juice left in the tank.
But at the beginning, I personally have some battery issues while gaming and enabling the always-on display so anyone having such experience please share your findings. Right now after some updates, those issues are minimized quite a bit.
On the charging section although the phone supports 25 Watt fast charging we only get a 15 Watt charger inside the box which really a thumbs down for me. After spending 699 bucks you should deserve a fast charger at least.
The S20 FE 5G took long 1.45 hours to fill up the battery from 0 to 100% but if you buy the 25-watt charger separately then the changing times improve.
The One UI 3.0:
Initially, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G launched with Android 10 but Samsung promised regular updates and till now we get many frequent updates from them. Now after the recent big Android 11 update we have the brand new One UI 3.0 from Samsung.
The main tweaks in One UI 3.0 impact the notifications bar, widgets, and lock screen. There is also new feature added such as message bubbles.
There are some changes done in the notification area, now the whole look of the shade, adding a new light gray color (when not using dark mode), and a new fade-in animation gives it a smooth and classy finish.
The Widget setting is also charged, Now, you can long-press an application (either within the app drawer, dock, or home screen) and see an option to view that app’s related widgets. If you tap the Widgets button here, a menu pop-up appears that allows you to scroll through the applicable widgets.
Finally, with One UI 3.0 users get a clean and simple UI with lots of customization and you can easily access the big screen with one hand.
Other Important Features:
- The phone comes with an IP68 rating, which means you can drop it inside the water and stills it works fine. It is really a very useful feature and many high-end phones are coming without any official waterproof ratings.
- S20 FE 5G supports multiple 5G bands. In the USA it supports 5 bands and in the International market, it supports 9 bands which are really useful in the future when 5G is available all over the country.
- Although the phone comes with a plastic body still it supports 15 Watt Wireless charging and 4.5 Watt reverse charging.
- Some important sensors like Optical Image sensors for in-display fingerprint scanners, gyroscopes, accelerometers, virtual proximity sensors, Bixby commands and Languages, Samsung Pay all are included inside.
- There are six different colors available Cloud Lavender, Mint, Navy, White, Red, Orange look nice and refreshing.
- The Sim slot is hybrid it supports two nano sim or one sim and one microSD card. The cellular reception and call quality are very good indoor and outdoor.
- Now Samsung announced that they give four years of android security updates and three years of Android updates. It’s a nice move because stock android vendors have already given frequent updates and to match them you need this.
- Dual stereo speakers produced quality sounds and also you can pair your Samsung buds or Samsung smartwatch easily with the phone.
Price and Buying Options:
Initially, the phone launched at $699 in different markets but right now the 8GB/128 GB model sells at $599 or even lower in some countries. Even the Higher RAM model 12GB/256GB sells at $620 in some places.
The phone is available in all leading online stores and samsung.com and multiple offline Samsung stores and display centers across the world. In India, you can buy from Amazon and Reliance Digital and the price is 50999 INR for the 5G Cloud navy model. Search online for cheaper options.
There are unlocked versions available for use globally and some of them are also supported by different network providers like Verizon, AT & T, T Mobile, etc. So before buy check the details thoroughly.
Should you consider One?
Finally, the big question is should you consider a Galaxy S20 FE 5G for you when it’s been almost ten months old. And the answer is It depends on you whether you want to Buy a mid-range phone or a flagship.
The phone may have a plastic rear panel, but you’re getting a 120Hz display and the Snapdragon 865 for excellent performance. Samsung included everything like a flagship phone has but with little bit modifications and those are good and even great in some areas.
The screen looks great, and there’s no questioning how fast the phone is. The all-new camera module produced quality images, the processor handles everything like a pro, a good quality screen, adequate battery, and on top of that it included the 5G connectivity creates a complete package.
The One UI with the Android 11 runs smoothly and over time Samsung gives important updates to S20 FE 5G and solves all the major issues like heating and battery draining. So it’s a positive step for them.
The Price is one area where Samsung faces more competition because I personally think the price of Galaxy S20 FE 5G is on the higher side. These days brands offer great phones at a cheaper price but sometimes you don’t get what you saw.
So I’m curious to know should you go with other Brands or choose Samsung please let me know in the comment section by giving your honest opinion.