Samsung Galaxy S20 FE hands-on review

Last Update 2020-11-30


We’d been hearing rumors of a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) for a while, and now it’s official (Samsung holds a dedicated launch event for the new phone). It is a successor to the Galaxy S10 Lite from earlier this year. As seen in previous leaks, Samsung has launched two variants of the Galaxy S20 FE: a 5G variant powered by the Snapdragon 865 and a 4G variant powered by the Exynos 990 SoC. While the design is similar to the Samsung Galaxy S20 from earlier this year, the Galaxy S20 FE comes in a variety of six vibrant color options. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S20 FE 5G feature a 120Hz high refresh rate display and a triple camera setup on the back.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) comes in 4G and 5G variants, and there are two key differences between the two, other than connectivity: one is the chipset they use, and the other is the price. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G costs $695 for its sole model (6GB + 128GB) while the S20 FE 4G is priced at $650 for base model – 6GB + 128GB. The all-new Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will go on sale starting from October 2, 2020, across, carriers, and online retailers, with pre-orders beginning from today. Those who preorder a Galaxy S20 FE will also get $70 in credit at Samsung's store.

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Design and display

The most popular feature of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE could turn out to be the choice of colors it comes in – you can choose from six vibrant colors to pick up the phone in. Those colors are Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy, and Cloud White. The first thing we noticed when picking the S20 FE up is that it’s pretty lightweight – in fact, at 190g it felt pretty close to weightless. This is likely due in part to the build material – while the phone has a metal frame, the back is Samsung’s ‘glasstic’ or glass-plastic, which we have also seen in the Galaxy Note 20.

Unlike the other Galaxy S20 phones, the Galaxy S20 FE’s display doesn’t curve at the edges. There’s a rectangular camera setup on the rear of the phone at the top-left, and it looks a lot like on the Galaxy S20. The power button and volume rocker are on the right edge, and there’s a USB-C port on the bottom of the phone, but no 3.5mm headphone jack. The handset is IP68 protected, which means it is dustproof and waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. On the front panel, the selfie camera sensor is housed in an impressively small ‘punch-hole’ cut-out in the top-center. There is a 6.5-inch FHD+ screen, so it sits between the screens on the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus in terms of size, but it doesn’t match their higher WQHD+ resolution. It comes with Samsung’s Super AMOLED X2 screen tech. The Galaxy S20 FE features a 120Hz display, which means the screen refreshes 120 times per second.

Front and rear cameras

For photography experience, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a triple camera setup at the back consisting of a 12MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. The main camera has a larger sensor than in the Galaxy S10, so presumably, the camera can perform well in low-light settings. The telephoto camera supports 3x optical and 30x digital zoom. Much like the flagship devices in the Galaxy S20 series, the Galaxy S20 FE includes AI-powered camera features like Single Take to help users click a variety of videos, photos, and GIFs with just a 15-second take and Super Steady mode for advanced stabilization. Over on the front, the device has a single 32MP selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture.

Processor, software, and battery

The 4G Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has an Exynos 990 chipset, while the 5G version gets the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Both chipsets are top-end, so they should return superb benchmark results. They’re paired with up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, which is expandable up to 1TB. The phone runs Android 10, not the newest version Android 11, although no phones have been released running that software yet. Samsung’s OneUI 2.5 is laid over the top, which changes the look of app icons and other design elements. The Samsung S20 Fan Edition comes with a 4,500mAh battery, which is a fairly typical size for a phone, and the device can last at least a day.

The smartphone supports 15W fast charging, which isn’t the fastest speed out there, but is snappy enough. There’s also 15W wireless powering and reverse charging, which lets you use the handset as a wireless charging pad to power up other devices. You don’t get that feature in many phones at this price point, and this is one of the most affordable handsets we’ve seen supporting it.