Smartphones like the Galaxy S20 Plus or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have always attracted a set of users who are willing to pay high prices for such phones. The fact that Samsung also offers a foldable device like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 that costs Rs 150,000 shows the growing appetite for luxury smartphones. But Samsung is a people’s brand and therefore the brand has to appeal to a new generation of buyers by offering a smartphone that strikes a balance between exclusivity and accessibility.
Enter the Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for “fan edition”), an accessible “luxury” smartphone that’s influenced by the high-end Galaxy S20 but has a price that ensures it caters to a broad customer base. The Galaxy S20 FE joins the leagues of the iPhone 11 and OnePlus 8 that belongs to a new breed of flagships that are more affordable.
Ahead of the availability of the Galaxy S20 FE in India, we got a quick chance to play with the smartphone, which will arrive before the festive period kicks off. Here’s our first look at the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE first look: The perfect size
Phones are getting way too big, so much so that it’s difficult to use them with one hand. And while the Galaxy S20 FE has a jumbo-sized 6.5-inch screen, I am glad that I can use the phone with one hand. People often complain about phones with above 6.5-inches display. I think the size of the S20 FE is perfect. The screen is big enough to watch Netflix or YouTube videos.
On top of that, it’s an extremely good looking smartphone with an edge-to-edge AMOLED display, a hole-punch selfie cutout, the USB-C port on the bottom, and a rectangular-shaped camera module on the back.
Despite its massive 6.5-inch display, the Galaxy S20 FE is usable in one hand. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
The Galaxy S20 FE lacks the glass back and instead the rear is made from durable, matte plastic. But it’s difficult to ignore what you get with the Galaxy S20 FE. In the end, the Galaxy S20 FE is an expensive-looking smartphone with the stereo speakers, under screen optical fingerprint scanner, and an IP68 water resistance rating.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE first look: Buttery smooth 120Hz display
It’s near impossible to ignore the Galaxy S20 FE’s display. Its 6.5-inch AMOLED screen will refresh 120 times a second, rather than the 60 times a second. A high refresh rate can make a big difference when playing games that demand high frame rates or watching video content. Simply put, a higher refresh rate will make things appear smoother. The quality of the S20 FE’s FHD+ 6.5-inch AMOLED screen is good. It’s bright and colourful, and the panel used by Samsung on the S20 FE is flat and not curved. Personally, I am not a big fan of displays with curved edges.
The S20 FE’s 6.5-inch screen is big enough to watch movies or play games. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Screen: 6.5-inch FHD+ Infinity-O AMOLED display
Processor: Samsung Exynos 990
Storage: 128GB + microSD card
Operating system: One UI 2.1 based on Android 10
Camera: Triple-camera setup: 12MP wide-angle 1.8µm, f/1.8, OIS, 12MP ultra-wide, 1.12µm, f/2.2, 8MP telephoto, 1.0µm, f/2.4 OIS, 3x| 32MP front-facing camera
Connectivity: 4G, Dual Nano sim, USB-C, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5 and GPS.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE first look: Powerful hardware
Even though it’s been only a few hours since I have started using the phone, I can already feel how fast the device is. The phone is powered by an Exynos 990 processor coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage with support for microSD expansion. The device runs the same version of Samsung’s customised version of Android 10, called One UI 2, as the Galaxy S20 Ultra or Note 20. It works well.
You can easily spot a small, centered hole-punch for the selfie camera. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
The Galaxy S20 FE is powered by a 4500mAh battery. Since I have just started using the phone, it’s too early for me to comment on how long the battery will last. But I can comfortably say that the 4500mAh battery should give me a full day of juice. The phone also supports fast wireless charging and includes a 15-watt USB-C-based charging wall charger in the box. However, the Galaxy S20 FE does support fast charging of up to 25W.
I like Samsung’s native camera app on the S20 FE. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE first look: Triple rear cameras
There are three main rear cameras on the Galaxy S20 FE: a wide 12MP with an f/1.8 lens and OIS; an ultra-wide 12MP; and an 8MP telephoto with an f/2.4 lens and OIS. Photos from the main 12MP wide camera look good. I got some really amazing shots in most lighting conditions, even in low light. The night mode does help in taking photos in extremely dark conditions. The live focus portrait mode has been improved a lot on Samsung’s newest phones. The ultra-wide model is improved, too. So far, it’s fun testing out the S20 FE camera. Expect a detailed camera review in the coming days.
I shot this using Live Focus mode on the Galaxy S20 FE. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Another close-up shot using Live Focus mode. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
At 3x zoom, it’s easy to capture the subject far away from the camera. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
30x digital zoom is cool to have, but it’s not a must-have feature. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
It’s so much easy to take images in low-light, thanks to the dedicated night mode on the Galaxy S20 FE. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE first look: First impressions
Priced at Rs 49,999, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is Samsung’s secret weapon to take on the likes of the iPhone 11 and OnePlus 8. It’s a superphone that aims to offer a lot of features that you will get in a true flagship device. That makes the Galaxy S20 FE a much more interesting smartphone. The Galaxy S20 FE can be pre-ordered starting October 9, and based on our first impressions, Samsung does manage to come up with an exciting phone that might appeal to folks like me.