Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G First Impressions: Function over Form

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It is fair to say that Samsung was caught with its pants down together with all the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Every device manufacturer’s smartphone sales are affected by the pandemic, and that is natural–consumer spending is down because of the reduction in purchasing power. However, Samsung has been changed over Huawei or even Xiaomi, for example. The company’s decision to raise the prices of its flagship Galaxy S20 show this year came at a terrible time. The flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra’s $1,399/$97,999 price tag raised many eyebrows, and even the regular Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S20+ experienced steep increases in prices.

According to numerous reports, the Galaxy S20 series has offered in significantly lesser quantities compared to its predecessors. The decrease in sales was such that Samsung dropped its standing as the top global smartphone vendor to Huawei. The Galaxy Notice 20 series brought an ultra-expensive Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and a surprisingly hobbled regular Galaxy Notice 20. Samsung wanted something more effective concerning pricing, and also to deliver on the need, the company has gone back to basics by starting the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition).

Samsung first utilized the Fan Edition branding together with the Galaxy Note 7 FE, bringing back the unfortunate Galaxy Note 7 with a revised edition due to fan demand. Three decades later, the company is bringing back the branding for its Galaxy S20 FE. Names do not necessarily mean much, though; the Galaxy S20 FE could easily be known as a Galaxy S20 Lite, and it is really that in all but title. In some ways, it could be taken as the successor to the Galaxy S10 Lite, which premiered earlier this year.

The Galaxy S20 FE is available in different 4G and 5G versions. The 5G variant is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (not dependent on area ), while the 4G variant makes do with Samsung’s own Exynos 990 SoC. The 5G variant comes with only 6GB of RAM, while the 4GB RAM variant comes from 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variants based on regional accessibility. In India, Samsung has chosen to launch only the 4G version in one 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variation, and that’s what we have here today for quick first impressions. This 4G, Exynos 990-equipped model can be sold in the united kingdom and other nations in Europe.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE — Layout

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a fascinating layout. From the front, it appears exactly like the Galaxy S20. In terms of size, it falls in between the streamlined 6.2-inch regular Galaxy S20 along with the mid-sized 6.7-inch Galaxy S20+. With this screen dimensions, I believe 19.5:9 would have been improved, and 19:9 would have been best. Since it is, the screen width here feels a bit cramped for me, coming after months of utilizing 6.7-inch+ telephones.

In the front, it was a bit disappointing to find the bezels, which are noticeably larger than those seen on the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Interestingly, they are also larger than Samsung’s own preceding cheap flagship phones such as the Galaxy S10 Lite (review), Galaxy Notice 10 Lite (review), as well as the lower mid-range Galaxy M51. The screen-to-body ratio is 84.8%, which is on the lower side for phones today (that the Galaxy S20+ includes a 90.5percent screen-to-body ratio, for reference.) Another downgrade here is the presence of Gorilla Glass 3 to the front. As I mentioned in my Galaxy M51 review, this is not something that makes sense apart from a cost-cutting reason. For an inexpensive flagship, the dearth of something such as Gorilla Glass 6 is a tender omission. On the other hand, the hole punch front camera is small, smaller than the one used in the Galaxy M51, and bigger compared to OnePlus’ front camera in the OnePlus 8 Pro, for example.

It is not as if there are not many positives here, however. The Galaxy S20 FE employs a flat-screen, and that’s a plus in almost every practical use case. Yes, it does not look as futuristic as a curved display, but concerning usability, it is still better than the somewhat curved display onto the Galaxy S20 series in terms of casual touches, glare, and more.

The sides are polished aluminum which looks and feels like glass. The aluminum frame on the sides is thin as the sides and back are aggressively curved. The back is where we locate the real differences in the Galaxy S20 series. The double camera enclosure is placed at the top left, with the camera lenses being designed like the lenses of this Galaxy Note 20 series along with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 (review). The back’s substance itself is noteworthy. It is matte plastic with a gentle touch texture that feels surprisingly OK. It seems noticeably plastic, but it is also noticeably better than the glossy, fingerprint-prone plastic that Samsung uses in the cheaper M-series and A-series phones.

Other reviewers have compared the Galaxy S20 FE’s plastic material into the one found on the standard Galaxy Notice 20. For the price, I would have chosen a matte glass back as noticed on the OnePlus 8 Guru (inspection ), as that feels significantly more premium in the hand. Vinyl presents a different set of trade-offs: It is much stronger than glass, but it does not feel as fine as glass, normally speaking.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE — Initial Thoughts

The Galaxy S20 FE’s other design features include having the capacity to perform wireless charging with 15W fast wireless charging, IP68 water resistance, and also the absence of a 3.5millimeter headphone jack. It does contain a microSD card slot, which is of the hybrid (dual-SIMs or a single-SIM + microSD).

The box package of this Galaxy S20 FE is bare-bones. Samsung is bundling just a 15W Flexible Quick Charger with this phone using a Type-C to Type-A cable, even though the cheaper Galaxy M31s and Galaxy M51s equally attribute a 25W USB Type-C PD 3.0 charger with both PPS and PDO. The phone does support 25W fast charging, but you’ll need to purchase a charger individually. At a time when even lower mid-range phones costing $14,999 attribute 65W ultra-fast charging, I fail to see how Samsung can get a complimentary pass for bundling a 15W charger at an affordable flagship in late 2020. This wouldn’t have been a great movement in 2019; in 2020, it just moves off as cutting a lot of corners. The business also does not package any earphones or a case, while the Galaxy S20’s box bundle contains wired USB Type-C earphones in addition to a generic transparent case.

Overall, the Plan of this Galaxy S20 FE is okay. It will not win any awards for innovation, but at precisely the exact same time, it sports a usable, practical design that will not need a case so much as a telephone with a glass rear.

 

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