Technophile

Samsung Galaxy S20FE Review : The next best thing

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 24, 2020 Published on October 22, 2020

Can’t afford a top-end phone? The ‘Fan Edition’ has some advanced features at a better price

What are you to do if you’re very keen on one of Samsung’s best phones but feel you can’t afford one? You take a good look at the new S20FE aimed exactly at those who don’t mind a few trade offs to get some of the more advanced features, all in one package. The FE stands for fan edition and while fans would probably want everything advanced for the least possible price, that’s an impossibility. But the S20FE may be the next best thing.

 

The S20FE looks every bit Samsung, though many phones have been looking that way for a while now. The back on the mint blue variant we got for review is a little obvious in its plastic-ness, but I wouldn’t say it looks bad at all. There are a number of nice colours — for a change — and some of these look more premium than the others, so it’s worth getting a look at them somewhere. If you don’t mind the plastic, you’re in luck, and of course it’ll be less likely to get damaged. The absence of glass on the back also makes the phone a little lighter to hold.

 

Just a millimetre more and it would have been uncomfortably broad, but as things stand the S20FE is manageable in the hand. The build is sturdy enough except knowing the glass on the front is Gorilla Glass 3 isn’t reassuring. The device is not exactly light, but this isn’t unusual these days. Everything is where it should be on this phone except for a 3.5mm jack which some will miss. Other things that are present may make up for that: wireless charging for the 4,500mAh battery, with 15W charger in the box, an IP68 waterproof rating, expandable memory card slot, and in-display fingerprint sensor.

Fast fluid screen

There are two variants for the S20FE: an 8/128GB and an 8/256GB one.The phones launched in India are running on the Exynos 990 chipset and while techies crib that it isn’t the Snapdragon 865 available in some other places, most users will never know the difference specially as they’re not busy running benchmarks on the device.

The 6.5-inch screen on the S20FE is one of its highlights because it’s a 120Hz refresh rate display, making for an experience that’s smooth and fast. Choppiness and lag are a thing of the past with this sort of screen. It’s a 1080x2400 pixels AMOLED display and while that’s not the sharpest it can be, it’s certainly great looking with vividly, brightness and contrast all just fine and of course that refresh rate. There’s only a very tiny camera hole to interrupt and it’s in the top middle.

This device runs on Android 10 and while that’s the case with most new phones, at this price Samsung could have joined the small group that have moved on to Android 11. But we know that’s it’s never been an easy matter for the company to upgrade its heavily customised interface, now in its OneUI 2.5 version. It’s a good interface, specially if you’re familiar with Samsung’s UI already, but it may send some towards its nearest competitor, the OnePlus 8T.

Triple back cameras

 

The triple back cameras include a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with a f/2.2 aperture and 123-degree field of view. There's also a main 12MP camera with an f/1.8 aperture and an 8MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. Thankfully, this camera set does very well indeed and has all the strengths from the better Samsung cameras. The zoom is pretty nice to have as long as you know where to stop with an image. The selfie camera is a 32MP and also does fine except for sometimes blowing out colours. Overall there’s good sharp detail. It also has an adequate night mode.

 

All too often, companies don’t launch all the delicious colour options in India. This time, Samsung has, and there are six to choose from. That’s a big plus to add to the value this addition to the S20 line-up brings.

Price: ₹49,999, ₹53,999

Pros: Offers an alternative, 120Hz refresh screen, lots of colour options and two variants, runs smoothly, has wireless charging and waterproof rating, has memory card slot

Cons: Uses older Gorilla Glass, plastic back too obvious with some colours, could have included a better charger, runs on outgoing Android 10

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Published on October 22, 2020
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