Technology

Galaxy S20 FE: This stellar phone is the best Samsung buy in 2020


Andrew Hoyle/PJDM

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Extremely and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is likely to be packed to the hilt with the most recent, biggest tech, however in addition they include sky-high costs to match. That makes them a difficult promote at a time when purse strings are tightening and rivals like Google and OnePlus are making nice phones at extra reasonably priced costs.

However the Galaxy S20 FE, which stands for “fan version,” packs most of the nice options of its flagship siblings, together with a stable triple digital camera, a strong processor, IP68 waterproofing and 5G connectivity, all for a way more reasonably priced worth.

At $700 within the US, it is a hell of lots cheaper than the Word 20 Extremely, which retails for $1,300 (£1,179, AU$1,849). Within the UK and Australia, a 4G model of the S20 FE is out there for £599 or AU$999, with the 5G model going for £699 or AU$1,149.

That is the identical US worth because the lately introduced Google Pixel 5 (which is just a little cheaper within the UK and Australia), however the S20 FE does supply advantages over the Pixel within the type of a further telephoto lens, expandable storage and a stronger processor. We’ll have to attend to get the Pixel in our fingers to work out precisely how these two stack up. 

galaxy s20 fe still


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The Samsung galaxy S20 FE is the midrange telephone to beat



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However general, the Galaxy S20 FE isn’t a revolution in cellular know-how, however it’s not designed to be. What it’s is a stable all-round telephone at a extra reasonably priced worth. Whereas it is nonetheless dearer than telephones just like the iPhone SE and the OnePlus Nord, its higher spec listing makes it the telephone to go for when you’ve obtained your coronary heart set on a flagship, however simply cannot fairly abdomen emptying your complete checking account to get one.

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A fantastic display and highly effective processor

There is a 6.5-inch, 2,400×1,080-pixel tremendous AMOLED show which is brilliant, vibrant and pin-sharp. Is it as excessive definition because the Word 20 Extremely? No. Will you discover the distinction? I definitely could not. It has a 120Hz refresh charge too that simply makes swiping across the Android interface really feel that bit smoother. It stretches all the best way to the perimeters, with solely a small punch gap for the front-facing digital camera.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs. Galaxy S20 Extremely efficiency chart

Legend:

Geekbench 5 (Single core)

Geekbench 5 (Multicore)

3D Mark Slingshot

Word:

Longer bars equals higher efficiency

Inside is a lightning-fast Snapdragon 865 processor (for the 5G fashions, an Exynos 990 chip within the 4G fashions — the identical one discovered within the Word 20 Extremely and S20 Extremely), which carried out very nicely on our benchmark assessments (try the comparability chart above). Photograph enhancing in Snapseed was a breeze and demanding racing video games Asphalt 9 and Grid Autosport performed completely nicely.

A potent triple digital camera

The digital camera is likely one of the predominant areas that is seen some compromises to maintain the fee down. The rear digital camera setup features a 12-megapixel customary zoom digital camera, a 12-megapixel 3x optical zoom and an 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle digital camera. These are decrease resolutions than you may discover on extra premium Galaxy telephones. The FE additionally lacks options such because the 100x “House zoom” and 8K video recording that you will get from the S20 Extremely. 

Whereas I definitely do not suppose you may miss 8K video or the 100x zoom (the standard at that zoom stage is so poor you’d by no means wish to do something with these pictures) I actually loved utilizing the 5x and 10x zoom choices on the S20 Extremely, and cherished the inventive capturing choices it offered. Would I spend tons of extra to have it although? Completely not. 

Photographs from the S20 FE are punchy with a very good publicity steadiness between brilliant skies and darkish foregrounds, helped by the auto HDR mode. It is on no account the best camera round — I discover the white steadiness could be a bit hit or miss at instances — however for drool-worthy pictures of espresso and cake to make your Instagram followers jealous, it will go well with simply nice. 

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With the usual zoom lens, the telephone has executed a very good job balancing the very brilliant sky with the extra shadowy floor under. 


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Utilizing the 3x optical zoom, I have been in a position to get nearer up on the buildings, reaching a extra attention-grabbing composition. Once more, publicity is nice, with good vibrant colours, too.


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Activating the super-wide lens let me seize an enormous quantity of the scene in entrance of me. The publicity is nice, however the colours are a contact drab. 


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The colours are something however drab on this super-wide shot of considered one of Edinburgh’s artwork galleries. It is vibrant, punchy and would look nice on Instagram.


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I like how shut up I have been in a position to give attention to this flower, however the white steadiness is barely shifted to the magenta aspect, giving it a cooler, purplish tint general that I do not love. 


Andrew Hoyle/PJDM

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The 3x zoom has come in useful once more to let me focus extra on this stunning clock tower. 


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You’ll be able to digitally zoom all the best way as much as 30x, however as you possibly can see right here, the standard takes a critical hit. 


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The entrance digital camera has a 32-megapixel decision which produces crisp pictures which can be greater than adequate for Instagram — relying on the face you pull, that’s. 

Elegant design

Samsung provides the S20 FE in a variety of vibrant hues, however I feel the deep navy blue of my evaluation mannequin is far more “stylish” than it’s “cool” — it is a good sport coat as a substitute of a neon parka; a steak and glass of chianti as a substitute of a burger from a van; an HBO drama as a substitute of WWE highlights. It is far more enticing than the sinfully boring grey of the S20 Extremely, however then absolutely anything is. 

Its rear panel is comprised of plastic, however its frosted end makes it feel and look extra like glass to me (Samsung even calls it “glasstic”). There’s toughened Gorilla Glass 5 on the entrance and aluminum on its edges. It feels sturdy and comfy to carry and the matte texture of the again means fingerprints aren’t a lot of an issue.

There is no headphone jack, so hopefully you have invested in some bluetooth headphones by now (you will not get any headphones within the field) however the telephone does have IP68 waterproofing, which is able to maintain it protected from spilled drinks or heavy rain. 

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Angela Lang/PJDM

A beefy battery

Samsung has stuffed a 4,500-mAh battery contained in the S20 FE, which is 500 mAh greater than the battery it put within the common S20. It is no shock that it has plenty of energy to supply. I have never but been in a position to do our full suite of battery-drain assessments on the telephone, however after an hour of YouTube streaming at full brightness, the telephone had solely dropped by 7%, which is excellent. 

Anecdotally, I discovered that it had nicely over half its battery left after a day of photographing, taking part in movies and doing bits of gaming. I’ve little doubt that it will comfortably get you thru a full day of blended use and doubtless nicely into the subsequent. It additionally helps wi-fi charging in addition to 25-watt quick charging to offer it a fast juice up when you’re about to go out. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs comparability chart

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely OnePlus Eight Professional Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Show measurement, decision 6.5-inch tremendous AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 6.78-inch AMOLED; 1,440×3,168 pixels 4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels
Pixel density 405ppi 511ppi 513ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (inches) TBA 2.99 by 6.57 by 0.35 in. 6.51 by 2.93 by 0.35 in. 5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29 in.
Dimensions (millimeters) 159.Eight by 75.5 by 8.4mm 76.Zero by 166.9 by 8.8mm 165 by 74.Four by 8.5mm 138.Four by 67.Three by 7.Three mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 190g 7.76 oz.; 220g 199g 5.22 oz.; 148g
Cell software program Android 10 Android 10 Android 10 iOS 13
Digicam 12-megapixel (customary), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 8-megapixel (3x telephoto) 108-megapixel (wide-angle), 48-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), time-of-flight digital camera 48-megapixel predominant, 8-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultrawide, 5-megapixel “colour filter” 12-megapixel
Entrance-facing digital camera 32-megapixel 40-megapixel 16-megapixel 7-megapixel
Video seize 4K 8K 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (5G) Samsung Exynos 990 (4G) 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5GHz + 2GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 128GB 128GB, 512GB 128GB, 256B 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAM 6GB 12GB, 16GB 8GB, 12GB Not disclosed
Expandable storage 1TB As much as 1TB None No
Battery 4,500 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,300 mAh Not disclosed, however Apple claims it has the identical battery life as iPhone 8
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen In-screen Dwelling button
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 120Hz display refresh charge, help for 30W quick charging and 15W quick wi-fi charging 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh charge; 100X zoom; water-resistant (IP68) 5G enabled, Quick-charging, quick wi-fi charging, 120Hz show Water-resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging
Worth off-contract (USD) $699 $1,399 (128GB), $1,599 (512GB) $899 $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)
Worth (GBP) £599 (4G), £699 (5G) £1,199 (128GB), £1,399 (512GB) £799 £419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)
Worth (AUD) AU$999 (4G), AU$1,149 (5G) AU$1,999 (128GB), AU$2,249 (512GB) AU$1,435 transformed AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

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Author

Andrew Hoyle