Galaxy S20FE 5G review: It’s time for a refresh

Mala Bhargava | Updated on April 15, 2021

Samsung is re-launching its September phone with a thing or two that users want

Samsung has been busy carpeting the planet with phone after phone. The ever-familiar experience of these smartphones gives users — or fans, if you will — what they expect. Last year, their ‘fan edition’ phone, the S20FE was popular enough, but now needs to include a checklist of features to remain relevant. Which means another phone launch. So Samsung brought in the S20FE 5G, updating the device with a thing or two that will make users happy.

Ready for 5G

The first big update is obvious: 5G. I can’t see information on which bands will be supported, but the new device is a 5G phone. While everyone knows high speed connectivity is still far from being rolled out across India, our tech-savvy users have decided they must have future-proofing with 5G, even if they can’t use it for now. They feel they’re paying good enough money for it to begin with and are beginning to be annoyed at it’s being left out.

Duly Snapdragoned

Lately there’s been much talk about whether Samsung’s own Exynos chips are really as good as the Snapdragon roughly-equivalent, and so there’s been a bit of grumbling about not having a Qualcomm chip in expensive phones, for which customers believe they should get more than just fundamentals. Exynos 990 is very capable but it’s now a bee in the bonnet for those who have figured the Exynos can run a little warmer or eat up battery life a little more. So the S20FE 5G now comes with Snapdragon 865, our old friend from 2020, the flagship processor that came to other phones but not a Samsung in India. It pairs up with 8GB of RAM as before and has 128GB of storage with a card slot option in a hybrid SIM tray.

These two things aside, practically everything else about the S20 FE 5G is the same as it was with the S20 FE of September. It’s got the same Samsung-gorgeous Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR readiness. It has a 4,500mAh battery with the same under-powered charger in the box and no other extras, it has wireless charging, reverse charging and fast charging, it has IP68 water resistance, and weighs the same. It has the same pretty decent camera — except the wide angle — and an in-display fingerprint sensor. It has moved up to Android 11, of course.

Launching as it does at this time, the S20FE 5G feels so much like a catch-up to the OnePlus 9 series, specially the OnePlus 9 and 9R. But overall, it’s a nice phone, even though it has a plastic back —which happily doesn’t show fingerprints and looks quite nice in its different colours. We got the Mint to check out.

Price: ₹55,999 but available at lower with deals

Pros: Relatively light, fast and smooth, great screen, plastic done right, good main camera, wireless charging, IP68, now more future ready

Cons: Stingy inclusion of underpowered charger and no extras, expensive if not with deals

Published on April 06, 2021

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