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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review

Samsung has launched an interesting marketing campaign around the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition). The manufacturer claims that it has released not just a simplified version of the flagship, but has developed a smartphone based on feedback from fans - with a flat screen, a 120Hz display, a powerful battery and water protection. We have thoroughly tested the novelty and are ready to pass a verdict.

 



Plastic for fans

In terms of design, the smartphone is made as simple as possible and resembles the models of the budget A-series: a plastic back panel, neat but noticeable frames around the display. On the reverse side is an impressive block of cameras. It does not stick out as much as the S20 Ultra modules, but it is quite noticeable and does not allow the gadget to lie flat on the table.

 

On the pleasant side, the bezel is made of metal, and the back panel is matte. The back of the Galaxy S20 FE does not collect fingerprints and is difficult to scratch. It is unlikely that the fans of the brand asked for a plastic case instead of a glass one, but such a solution is practical. The novelty can be worn without a cover, without fear of damaging the back.

 

The most boring version has arrived for the review: dark blue. There are brighter options on sale - red, lavender, mint, white and orange. Such a variety of colors can be a serious argument in favor of a mobile phone, especially among the fair sex.

 

The ergonomics of the device are standard for 2020 - this is a large phone that will have to be operated with two hands. The buttons are conveniently located and fit under the fingers. There is no 3.5 mm jack - apparently, the fans forgot to ask for it back or have long since switched to TWS headphones. But there is protection against water according to the IP68 standard: the device is not afraid of an hour diving to a depth of 1.5 m.

 

A sub-screen fingerprint scanner is used to unlock. This is a simplified version of the fingerprint sensor found in the S20. The sensor cannot boast of impeccable speed and high accuracy - you often have to shift your finger at different angles. The face recognition system helps out with the front camera, which works faster and better.

 

Thank you for no bends

Unlike the older models of the S20 line, the new product received a flat 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD + resolution. It does not look so beautiful on advertising brochures, but it is convenient and practical in everyday use. A straight screen is more difficult to break and scratch, it is easier to stick a protective glass on it, false touches are eliminated, and the image is not cropped due to bright reflections on the bends.

 




The display refresh rate is 120 Hz. In the settings, you can switch to the standard 60 Hz, which will increase the battery autonomy. The picture is bright and saturated, the black color is as deep as possible. HDR 10+ and Always on Display technologies are supported.

 

There is still no DC Dimming function to suppress matrix flicker. For users with sensitive vision, it is best to set the brightness to maximum to avoid eye strain.

 

Flagship power

The Exynos 990 is hardly the most productive processor on the market. But for a gadget that is not marketed as a flagship, this is a reasonable option. The power of the chipset is enough for fast operation of the interface, launching applications without freezing and smooth scrolling of lists. This is largely due to the high hertz display, but in the end, the Galaxy S20 FE looks like an extremely nimble model. No problems with games: all tested hits, including CoD, PUBG and Fortnite, run with maximum picture settings. There is no overheating, throttling or fps reduction.

 

RAM LPDDR5 - 6 GB, internal storage UFS 3.1 - 128 GB. You can expand the space by another 1 TB using microSD, but for this you have to sacrifice dual-SIM - a hybrid card tray.

 

The developers did not skimp on stereo speakers: the sound is rich, and the maximum volume is even slightly excessive. There is NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi version 6.

 

The smartphone runs on Android 10 with One UI 2.5. All software chips of the flagships are in place. The Galaxy S20 FE supports the DeX wireless preset, which is comfortable to use on a large screen with multi-window mode. There is an option "Connect with Windows", which allows you to quickly organize the pairing between the phone and the computer - it is convenient to view photos, work with notifications, use a shared clipboard and answer calls from the desktop.

 

Cameras are not top-end, but still good

The photographic capabilities of the device are represented by three cameras: the main 12 megapixel module with f / 1.8 aperture, ultra wide-angle 12 megapixel, telescopic lens with three times optical zoom 8 megapixel.

 




The main camera, despite the modest resolution, received optical stabilization and an increased pixel size (1.8 microns). The quality of the images roughly corresponds to the previous generation of flagship "galaxies". Daytime shots delight with detail and rich colors, nighttime - good color rendering and a minimum of noise.

 

Ultra-wide does not take as steep images (due to weaker optics and lack of autofocus), however, in good lighting it will be possible to get a colorful panorama. The TV set was a pleasant surprise. In the novelty, they did not cheat with a hybrid approach, as on ordinary S20, which used a digital crop with 64 megapixels, but put a real threefold optical zoom. As a result, decent images of distant objects come out without significant loss of quality. Pictures from the three modules are similar in color rendering - you can see good work on the algorithms.

 

There is an unpleasant nuance: images in night mode are processed indecently slowly. After pressing the shutter button, it may take about 10 seconds before the device allows you to take the next photo. In 2020, looking at the loading screen for so long is unbearably difficult - during this time you could watch a couple of videos on TikTok.

 

There are no questions about video recording. Digital and optical stabilization are supported, even when walking fast, the picture is smooth. The maximum available resolution is an impressive 8K.

 

Autonomy without surprises

The 4500mAh battery is barely enough to power the large 120Hz screen and the gluttonous Exynos processor until late at night. With active use, including communication on social networks, watching YouTube and frequent photography, the smartphone is discharged at the end of the working day. The approximate luminescence of the display is about four hours. However, less active users will be able to extend their autonomy by a day and a half.

 

The device provides fast and wireless charging (25 and 15 W, respectively). If necessary, it will feed various gadgets through the air - reversible charging is also provided. It should be borne in mind that the manufacturer decided to save a little on the bundle: he put a cheaper 15-watt adapter in the box with the Galaxy S20 FE.

 

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE - Full phone specifications


Outcome

Galaxy S20 FE is one of the most successful smartphones of the company in the new line. To keep the cost down, Samsung has cleverly ditched the premium features and kept the really important features: water resistance, wireless charging, and a 120Hz flat display. The gadget takes pictures well, has loud stereo speakers and bright body colors.

 

You can complain about the low autonomy, the controversial processor and the lack of DC Dimming. Despite the shortcomings, the S20 FE is able to obtain the status of a people's favorite - it has too good a ratio of cost and characteristics. Especially taking into account the pleasant discounts from retailers, which appeared a week after the start of sales of the new item.