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

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was launched as a form of farewell to the Galaxy S20 line, changing the “Lite” suffix of the earlier era. 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 a purpose to perceive what this meant and present on this assessment whether or not the Galaxy S20 FE continues to be an excellent choice to think about in 2021 in case you are searching for 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 Word 7 because it sported a brand new, non-volatile battery. Moderately 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 worth.

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

However, 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 standard 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 acquired 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 supply 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 worth, having launched in Europe for $700 in comparison with the $1,000 asking worth of the Galaxy S20 5G at launch. In 2021, the mannequin will be discovered for about $600 throughout the outdated continent.

Design and display screen: A well-known recipe

The launch of the Galaxy S21 line this 12 months had one of many
greatest designs we have seen in a Galaxy machine thus far. 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 couple of type that’s already recognized however has change into dated in 2021.

What I appreciated:

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

What I disliked:

  • Rear seems to be considerably hole in some unspecified time in the future
  • Digital camera bump could be very noticeable
NextPit Samsung S20 FE 5G front camera
The AMOLED display screen delivers Full HD+ decision and 120 Hz refresh fee / © NextPit

The machine carries a extra discreet look than the standard 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 gives extra firmness while you maintain the machine, though it’s nonetheless vulnerable to fingerprint.

The Galaxy S20 FE is provided with a 6.5-inch AMOLED display screen that does not prolong all the way in which to the edges of the machine, making it measure nearer to the S20+ than the common S20. Equally, it suggestions 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 the usage of the 120 Hz refresh fee by default, with the native decision of the unique fashions lowered to only a 60 Hz refresh fee.

TL;DR: The Galaxy S20 FE’s look might not be present, but the minimalist and understated design appeared effectively suited to the machine. The display screen, however, made the best compromises, prioritizing a better refresh fee over decision.

Steady efficiency due to 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 principally differentiates itself by together with the Snapdragon X55 5G modem. The machine was examined within the primary configuration, outfitted with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of inside storage.

What I appreciated:

  • Good efficiency for apps and video games
  • Steady operation even when gaming below a heavy load
  • Quicker 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 below heavy load / © NextPit

Remembering that the mannequin was launched in 2020, we won’t count on efficiency ranges which can be up on par with these powered by the newest Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 SoCs. Even so, the Snapdragon 865 continues to be a fairly competent processor in 2021, and no surprise that it was relaunched below 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 outfitted 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 Take a look at 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

Although 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 quite secure, with no main variations within the 3DMark Wild Life stress check, which simulates an extended gaming session on the smartphone.

Not like the Exynos mannequin and a few smartphones outfitted with Snapdragon 888 in 2021, the Snapdragon 865 displayed a constant efficiency not solely in artificial checks but in addition in real-life video games equivalent to Name of Responsibility Cell, Free Hearth and Actual Racing 3, all with of the graphics settings being cranked to the utmost stage 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 12 months’s fashions, aside from 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 much 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 however you get 3x magnification as an alternative of 1.1x optical zoom.

What I appreciated:

  • Good pictures from the principle digicam
  • 3x optical zoom
  • Digital camera app presents an excellent default configuration

What I disliked:

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

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

In shiny daylight, pictures from the wide-angle major lens comply with Samsung’s anticipated method – providing saturated colours, particularly with AI and HDR modes enabled.

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

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

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

Ultrawide digicam / major 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 principle digicam. The 2x digital magnification nonetheless gives an excellent picture, however the telephoto digicam reveals the benefits of a 3x optical zoom, with extra particulars included.

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

To not pass over the publicized “30x Area Zoom” that was highlighted within the Galaxy S20 FE’s promotional materials, I embrace two pictures utilizing the magnification stage. As anticipated, the choice serves extra to inflate the specs than providing any actually sensible picture outcomes:

Area Zoom 30x

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

Night time mode

At night time, the Galaxy S20 FE isn’t any match for fashions equivalent to these from the Pixel vary, but it surely does ship first rate pictures with out over-processing to make it appear like daylight or making mild sources blurry within the scene.

Night time mode can be out there within the extremely wide-angle digicam, however the processing does ship a curious consequence when activated, the place plainly the digicam app not applies any lens distortion for compensation, leading to distorted objects within the corners, aside from the issue of the lack of sharpness that was perceived in the course of the day.

Night time Mode

On this scene, night time mode improved the extent of the picture element, however altered the colour temperature of the principle digicam. As for the ultrawide digicam, the consequence seems to be extra like a brightness adjustment, with lack of particulars within the store window as seen on the best, aside from the distortion issues that have been talked about above.


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

Selfies supply pure colour replica with none saturation from the principle digicam, or the extreme processing present in different units. The portrait mode managed to ship an excellent separation of planes for the bokeh, but it surely was a bit of aggressive while you take the face masks straps and a few elements of the hair into consideration.

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

Wonderful battery life however sluggish charging pace

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

What I appreciated:

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

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 below regular utilization patterns that can embrace taking some pictures, indulging in social networks now and again, quick 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 assessment was carried out utilizing a 4G-only information plan, and that 5G utilization will most positively influence general battery life.

For this assessment, the Galaxy S20 FE nonetheless features a battery charger within the field, however the charger is incapable of profiting from 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 attain 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 supply the distinctive proposition of wi-fi charging and in addition the sensible reverse charging functionality, which turns out to be useful to cost earbuds, smartwatches, and even different smartphones.

Specs and different data

I’ve additionally listed different factors which may be of curiosity to the NextPit group beneath, however will not be price any extra paragraphs:

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


  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+)
Digital camera Vast-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 bundle
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 Crimson, Cloud Orange, Cloud White
(blue, pink, inexperienced, purple, orange, white, availability is dependent upon market)
Value Round $600

Conclusion: Nonetheless an excellent 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 12 months, this smartphone “for the followers” continues to be an attention-grabbing proposition, relying in your price range and simply how lengthy you propose to maintain the machine.

Each efficiency and battery life are the principle highlights of the mannequin, which with the ability saving modes equivalent to decreasing the display screen decision and refresh fee, lets you take pleasure in as much as 3 days’ of use away from an influence outlet relying in your utilization sample is actually 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, supply a greater price-performance ratio than the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, and that may value the South Korean mannequin half a star within the scores.

There are specific nations the place the identical Poco F3 would value double the 4G model of the Galaxy S20 FE resulting from Samsung’s aggressive pricing coverage in chosen nations, permitting it to share market area with fashions such because the Galaxy A72 and Redmi Word 10. If we have been to take the 4G mannequin of the Galaxy S20 FE into consideration, that handset deserves a 4.5 star ranking resulting from its competitiveness by way of 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’ll be able to 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 prolong the longevity of the machine. 

All in all, the Galaxy S20 FE has made the best compromises to reach at a extra reasonably priced worth 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 you could find one on sale. Trying again, it isn’t shocking that Samsung has repeated a lot of the identical method within the Galaxy S21 and S21+.

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