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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G evaluation: The ‘flagship-killer’ with a Korean contact

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was launched as a sort of farewell to the Galaxy S20 line, changing the “Lite” suffix of the earlier technology. The mannequin clearly got here with some compromises in comparison with the unique mannequin, supposedly catering to its “followers” – therefore the Fan Version moniker. We reviewed the 5G mannequin that’s powered by the Snapdragon 865 SoC with the intention to perceive what this meant and present on this evaluation whether or not the Galaxy S20 FE continues to be choice to think about in 2021 if you’re in search of a brand new smartphone.


  • 120Hz AMOLED show
  • Snapdragon 865 SoC continues to be quick in 2021
  • Good battery life
  • Good high quality plastic end
  • IP68 certification
  • 3x optical zoom


  • Not so quick charging
  • No headphone jack
  • 30x zoom is only a advertising and marketing gimmick

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in a nutshell

On the finish of 2020, Samsung resurrected the FE suffix which stands for “Fan Version”, which first appeared on the scene within the type of a reconditioned model of the massively explosive Galaxy Note 7 because it sported a brand new, non-volatile battery. Slightly than recycling a mannequin with design points, the Galaxy S20 FE brings collectively, in Samsung’s personal phrases, the perfect options of the S20 line at a extra reasonably priced value.

The S20 FE retains options such because the 120 Hz AMOLED show, under-screen fingerprint reader, a triple digicam arrange, water and mud resistance, wi-fi charging, and reverse charging.

Then again, you’ll have to miss out on the glass end on the again with plastic changing it, a decrease display screen decision of 1080p from 1440p, 6 GB RAM and eight GB RAM choices relying on the mannequin and area, and a telephoto digicam with a decrease decision however making up for it with a 3x optical zoom.

The Galaxy S20 FE is an train in stability from Samsung, adopting a special technique in comparison with the normal Galaxy S vary. As a substitute of providing a model with the Snapdragon processor in China and the US, leaving the Exynos SoC for the worldwide mannequin, the S20 FE 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 865 in all nations the place it’s offered.

The S20 FE (4G/LTE) mannequin, in the meantime, was launched with the Exynos 990 processor, which is analogous to the worldwide Galaxy S20 in 2020, carrying the product code SM-G780F. However in 2021, it obtained a revision that had it powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset in chosen nations, and is recognized by the SM-G780G product code which ought to the provide a level of efficiency that’s much less vulnerable to thermal throttling whereas providing even higher battery life.

Controversies in regards to the {hardware} specs apart, the most important promoting level as highlighted by Samsung for the S20 FE 5G could be its value, having launched in Europe for $700 in comparison with the $1,000 asking value of the Galaxy S20 5G at launch. In 2021, the mannequin will be discovered for roughly $600 throughout the previous continent.

Design and display screen: A well-recognized recipe

The launch of the Galaxy S21 line this yr had one of many
best designs we’ve seen in a Galaxy machine to this point. Launched only a few months earlier, the Galaxy S20 FE inherited the look of the S20 household which was launched in early 2020, so the “Fan Version” brings a few fashion that’s already recognized however has turn into dated in 2021.

What I favored:

  • 120 Hz AMOLED display screen
  • Plastic end would not give a “low cost” look
  • Good grip
  • IP68 certification

What I disliked:

  • Rear appears considerably hole sooner or later
  • Digicam bump could be very noticeable
NextPit Samsung S20 FE 5G front camera
The AMOLED display screen delivers Full HD+ decision and 120 Hz refresh charge / © NextPit

The machine carries a extra discreet look than the same old Galaxy S vary, eschewing the recipe of a glass rear and curved display screen that’s massively well-liked amongst Samsung’s flagships. The Galaxy S20 FE sports activities a plastic again albeit one with good high quality end, which supplies extra firmness once you maintain the machine, though it’s nonetheless vulnerable to fingerprint.

The Galaxy S20 FE is supplied with a 6.5-inch AMOLED display screen that does not lengthen all the best way to the perimeters of the machine, making it measure nearer to the S20+ than the common S20. Equally, it ideas the scales at 190 grams, which is nearer to the 186g of the S20+ than the 163g of the bottom Galaxy S20.

The discount in decision which within the Galaxy S20/S20+ sports activities 1440 x 3200 pixels, to Full HD+ allowed using the 120 Hz refresh charge by default, with the native decision of the unique fashions diminished to only a 60 Hz refresh charge.

TL;DR: The Galaxy S20 FE’s look might not be present, but the minimalist and understated design appeared properly suited to the machine. The display screen, alternatively, made the appropriate compromises, prioritizing the next refresh charge over decision.

Secure efficiency because of the Snapdragon 865 SoC

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 865 SoC, similar to the brand new SM-G780G revision of the 4G mannequin. It mainly differentiates itself by together with the Snapdragon X55 5G modem. The machine was examined within the fundamental configuration, geared up with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of inside storage.

What I favored:

  • Good efficiency for apps and video games
  • Secure operation even when gaming underneath a heavy load
  • Sooner storage than the Exynos mannequin

What I disliked:

NextPit Samsung S20 FE 5G side
The Galaxy S20 FE didn’t exhibit any overheating points or noticeable drops in efficiency when positioned underneath heavy load / © NextPit

Remembering that the mannequin was launched in 2020, we will not anticipate efficiency ranges which are up on par with these powered by the most recent Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 SoCs. Even so, the Snapdragon 865 continues to be a reasonably competent processor in 2021, and no surprise that it was relaunched underneath the guise of its new title, the Snapdragon 870.

The launch of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G went in opposition to the custom of Galaxy S fashions being geared up with Exynos processors solely in Europe, displaying benefits in gaming efficiency and energy consumption over the 4G mannequin that’s powered by the Exynos 990 chip.

Galaxy S20 FE benchmarks

  Galaxy S20 FE 5G
(Snapdragon 865)
Galaxy S20 FE 4G
(Exynos 990)
Vivo X60 Professional
(Snapdragon 870)
Realme GT
(Snapdragon 888)
3DMark Wild Life 3.927 4.171 4.244 5.947
3DMark Wild Life Stress Check 3.513 ~ 3.932 1.779 ~ 4.160 4.244 5.949
Geekbench (single / multi) 901 / 3.222 887 / 2.594 1.031 / 3.449 1.116 / 3.480
PassMark RAM 25.907 24.024 24.660 25.709
PassMark Storage 60.208 58.174 94.681 107.337

Though it lags behind the brand new 2021 SoCs the place gaming is anxious, the Snapdragon 865 continues to be greater than succesful for on a regular basis duties, as proven in GeekBench’s multi-core and PassMark RAM scores. And even within the case of gaming, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G proved to be slightly steady, with no main variations within the 3DMark Wild Life stress take a look at, which simulates a protracted gaming session on the smartphone.

In contrast to the Exynos mannequin and a few smartphones geared up with Snapdragon 888 in 2021, the Snapdragon 865 displayed a constant efficiency not solely in artificial assessments but in addition in real-life video games equivalent to Name of Obligation Cell, Free Hearth and Actual Racing 3, all with of the graphics settings being cranked to the utmost degree and with out experiencing any noticeable lack of frames.

TL;DR: The Galaxy S20 FE 5G was launched with the perfect processor for Android on the time of its launch, and the place it continues the present in 2021 of providing Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6 and naturally, 5G connectivity. Efficiency for on a regular basis duties shouldn’t be any lower than this yr’s fashions, other than some video games that require extra processing muscle on the highest graphics settings.

A flexible digicam configuration

The Galaxy S20 FE brings a triple digicam configuration that’s just like the one used within the Galaxy S20, however with a serious change within the telephoto digicam: The decision is now at 8 megapixels (down from 64 MP), however alternatively you get 3x magnification as an alternative of 1.1x optical zoom.

What I favored:

  • Good photographs from the primary digicam
  • 3x optical zoom
  • Digicam app affords default configuration

What I disliked:

  • Inconsistent picture processing between completely different sensors
  • Digicam island affords a substantial unevenness on the rear
  • “House zoom” solely serves to inflate the specs sheet
NextPit Samsung S20 FE 5G camera
Triple digicam setup follows a method just like that of the S20 and S21 fashions / © NextPit

The primary digicam makes use of a 12-megapixel sensor, with specs just like the part discovered within the common Galaxy S20, with 1.8 μm pixels and F1.8 aperture. The configuration can also be just like the one additionally adopted by the Galaxy S21, the place it contains part detection autofocus (PDAF) and optical picture stabilization (OIS).

In brilliant daylight, photographs from the wide-angle important lens observe Samsung’s anticipated method – providing saturated colours, particularly with AI and HDR modes enabled.

12 MP important digicam/ 12 MP ultra-wide-angle

ALT-Tag Photo 11x main lens ALT-Tag Photo 2Ultrawide 0.5x lens

The ultrawide digicam photographs present slightly completely different colours in comparison with these captured by the wide-angle lens, providing a extra washed-out look. Extra critical than that, nevertheless, is the “blur” on the edges, whereas the middle of the composition stays sharp, one thing that repeats itself in some photographs. Additionally it is attainable to note a slight chromatic aberration, additionally discovered within the corners of the picture.

Ultrawide digicam / important digicam (1x and 2x)/ telephoto lens

In one other scene, the leaves on the tree once more depict some blur within the ultrawide lens, which treats colours otherwise than the primary digicam. The 2x digital magnification nonetheless supplies picture, however the telephoto digicam reveals some great benefits of a 3x optical zoom, with further particulars included.

Ultrawide/ important (1x and 2x)/ telephoto digicam

To not miss the publicized “30x House Zoom” that was highlighted within the Galaxy S20 FE’s promotional materials, I embody two photographs utilizing the magnification degree. As anticipated, the choice serves extra to inflate the specs than providing any actually sensible picture outcomes:

House Zoom 30x

ALT-Tag Photo 1Space zoom 30x ALT-Tag Photo 2Space zoom 30x

Night time mode

At evening, the Galaxy S20 FE is not any match for fashions equivalent to these from the Pixel vary, however it does ship respectable photographs with out over-processing to make it appear like daylight or making gentle sources blurry within the scene.

Night time mode can also be obtainable within the extremely wide-angle digicam, however the processing does ship a curious outcome when activated, the place it appears that evidently the digicam app not applies any lens distortion for compensation, leading to distorted objects within the corners, other than the issue of the lack of sharpness that was perceived in the course of the day.

Night time Mode

On this scene, evening mode improved the extent of the picture element, however altered the colour temperature of the primary digicam. As for the ultrawide digicam, the outcome appears extra like a brightness adjustment, with lack of particulars within the store window as seen on the appropriate, other than the distortion issues that have been talked about above.


ALT-Tag Photo 1Selfie ALT-Tag Photo 2Selfie with portrait mode

Selfies provide pure colour copy with none saturation from the primary digicam, or the extreme processing present in different units. The portrait mode managed to ship separation of planes for the bokeh, however it was somewhat aggressive once you take the face masks straps and a few components of the hair into consideration.

TL;DR: The Galaxy S20 FE’s digicam photographs might not be among the many greatest available in the market, however they nonetheless provide good photographs that may be shared on apps and social networks, and are respectable sufficient even for some prints. The 3x optical zoom affords some number of choices even when it has a low decision. Though Samsung insists on the so-called “House Zoom”, at the least it needs to be counseled for not giving in to the numbers race the place decision and the quantity of cameras are involved.

Glorious battery life however gradual charging pace

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is supplied with a 4,500 mAh battery, providing 25 W wired charging, 15 W wi-fi charging assist, and 4.5 W of reverse charging functionality. The evaluation unit’s packaging features a 15 W wired charger.

What I favored:

  • Nice battery life
  • Wi-fi charging assist
  • Reverse charging assist

What I disliked:

  • Not so quick charging speeds
NextPit Samsung S20 FE 5G usb
The Galaxy S20 FE is appropriate with 25W charging speeds, however comes with a 15W adapter within the field as an alternative / © NextPit

Battery life underneath regular utilization patterns that may embody taking some photographs, indulging in social networks occasionally, brief gaming classes right here and there, attending to textual content messages and utilizing maps to navigate – yielded greater than 2 days’ of use with about 20% of battery life remaining by the top of the second day. It is price noting that the evaluation was carried out utilizing a 4G-only information plan, and that 5G utilization will most undoubtedly influence general battery life.

For this evaluation, the Galaxy S20 FE nonetheless features a battery charger within the field, however the charger is incapable of making the most of the cellphone’s 25 W quick charging pace. In actuality, a full cost would require round 1h 30m, which is an appropriate ready time.

5 minutes of plugging it to a charger achieved 6-7% capability, whereas 20 minutes was sufficient to realize a 25% battery cost. With an hour plugged in, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G yielded between 65% and 75% capability.

TL;DR: The Galaxy S20 FE’s charger and charging time lags behind Chinese language smartphones and their ever-increasing charging pace. Samsung does provide the distinctive proposition of wi-fi charging and in addition the sensible reverse charging functionality, which is useful to cost earbuds, smartwatches, and even different smartphones.

Specs and different info

I’ve additionally listed different factors which may be of curiosity to the NextPit neighborhood under, however should not price any further paragraphs:

  • The Galaxy S20 FE contains NFC compatibility and is appropriate with shut cost techniques.
  • After resetting the up to date handset, the system indicated 24.8 GB of used house proper out of the field.
  • The evaluation unit got here with a 15 W charger, charging cable and SIM tray opening software.
  • Software program model RP1A.200720.012.G781BXXU3CUE3 (June 2021) was used in the course of the evaluation.


  Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Reminiscence 6/8 GB RAM
128/256 GB
Expandable storage with microSD
Show 6.5-inch, AMOLED
1080 x 2400 pixels (Full HD+)
Digicam Extensive-angle: 12 MP, 1/1.76” sensor, 1.8 μm, F1.8, OIS
Extremely-wide-angle: 12 MP, sensor 1/3”, 1.12 μm, F2.2, FOV 123º
Telephoto: 8 MP, 1/4.5” sensor, 1.0 μm, F2.4, 3x digital zoom
Selfie: 32 MP, F2.2
Battery 4,500 mAh
Wired charging as much as 25 watts
As much as 15-watt wi-fi charging
4.5-watt reverse cost
15 W charger included in package deal
Working system Android 10
Upgradeable to Android 11 with OneUI 3.1
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 / Bluetooth 5.0 / NFC / 4G / 5G
Dimensions 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm
Weight 190 grams
Particular options Beneath-screen fingerprint sensor
IP68 Certification
Colours Cloud Navy, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Pink, Cloud Orange, Cloud White
(blue, pink, inexperienced, crimson, orange, white, availability is determined by market)
Value Round $600

Conclusion: Nonetheless choice

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G continues to be a aggressive smartphone that’s price contemplating in 2021. Regardless of extra fashionable and quicker fashions launched this yr, this smartphone “for the followers” continues to be an attention-grabbing proposition, relying in your funds and simply how lengthy you plan to maintain the machine.

Each efficiency and battery life are the primary highlights of the mannequin, which with the facility saving modes equivalent to lowering the display screen decision and refresh charge, permits you to take pleasure in as much as 3 days’ of use away from an influence outlet relying in your utilization sample is definitely commendable.

NextPit Samsung S20 FE 5G screen
The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a viable buy even in 2021 / © NextPit

In Europe, some 2021 fashions launched, such because the Poco F3 from Xiaomi, provide a greater price-performance ratio than the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, and that might value the South Korean mannequin half a star within the scores.

There are particular nations the place the identical Poco F3 would value double the 4G model of the Galaxy S20 FE attributable to Samsung’s aggressive pricing coverage in chosen nations, permitting it to share market house with fashions such because the Galaxy A72 and Redmi Be aware 10. If we have been to take the 4G mannequin of the Galaxy S20 FE into consideration, that handset deserves a 4.5 star score attributable to its competitiveness when it comes to price-performance.

Weighing in favor of the Galaxy S20 FE line is Samsung’s replace coverage, providing as much as 4 years of assured safety updates for the mannequin, with three new variations of Android. Meaning you possibly can even take pleasure in Android 13 on the Galaxy S20 FE as it’s tipped to roll out by the top of 2022.

At this level, even the inclusion of a low-power charger looks like a welcome coincidence, as the extra time spent recharging the battery might lengthen the longevity of the machine. 

All in all, the Galaxy S20 FE has made the appropriate compromises to reach at a extra reasonably priced value vary, giving up not-so-crucial options whereas delivering a balanced mixture of efficiency, consumer expertise, and longevity. The mannequin continues to be an attention-grabbing choice to choose up in 2021, particularly if yow will discover one on sale. Trying again, it isn’t stunning that Samsung has repeated a lot of the identical method within the Galaxy S21 and S21+.

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