Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review: A Well-Rounded Low-Cost Flagship


Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE (LTE), which launched final 12 months, has to date been a stable contender within the low-cost flagship section. While it carried out properly in most of our assessments, there have been some drawbacks. It did get a bit heat beneath stress, and its battery life was simply common; each issues that the OnePlus 8T (Review) dealt with higher on the identical value stage.

In 2021, Samsung selected launching the 5G model of the Galaxy S20 FE (Review) in India, and it is known as the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. It is principally the identical cellphone, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (and X55 5G modem) as a substitute of the Exynos 990. Does the swap to a Qualcomm processor deal with the shortcomings we skilled with the LTE variant? More importantly, does investing in a smartphone with a year-old processor at this value stage make sense in 2021? Let’s discover out!

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G value in India

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is priced at Rs. 47,999 in India. Unlike the 4G mannequin, it’s obtainable in a single 8GB RAM + 128GB storage configuration. Buyers can select between Cloud Navy, Cloud Mint, and Cloud Lavender finishes. With a aggressive value, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G takes on the OnePlus 9 (Review), ASUS ROG Phone 5 (First Impressions), and Vivo X60 Pro (Review), all of that are priced beginning at round Rs. 49,999.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G design

There are not any beauty modifications between the 4G and the 5G fashions of the Galaxy S20 FE. The cellphone seems an identical to the 4G mannequin and has the identical button placement, with the ability and quantity buttons on the proper. The main speaker is positioned on the backside, subsequent to the USB Type-C port and the mic. The earpiece speaker is hidden in a tiny slit on the high finish of the show, and doubles up because the second speaker to supply stereo sound which is loud and clear.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s total design is clear and minimalist

 

The total design seems clear and minimalist, with a colour-matched digicam module that hardly protrudes from the rear panel. The Galaxy S20 FE 5G has a metallic body that is sandwiched between a sheet of show glass on the entrance and a plastic panel on the again. The rear panel is curved to satisfy the body on all 4 sides and has a clean matte end that feels premium. The glass protecting the show is flat, which could have appeared like an odd alternative final 12 months, however feels at residence subsequent to the premium Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ (Review) smartphones which even have flat shows in 2021.

My overview unit got here within the Cloud Mint end, and it showcases a gentle yellow gradient when seen at an angle. The matte texture is non-slippery and is nice at rejecting fingerprints, however picks up mud fairly simply.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G, identical to the 4G mannequin, can be rated IP68 for mud and water resistance, which is an enormous deal on condition that a number of competing smartphones (which can be priced a bit greater) don’t provide this.

Samsung Galaxy S20 specs and software program

Compared to different telephones obtainable at this value stage at the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s processor is principally a 12 months previous. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor was introduced in 2019 and began displaying up in smartphones within the first half of 2020. It was the flagship processor utilized by almost all smartphone producers who have been trying to push out the primary wave of 5G smartphones in India.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC

 

While a year-old SoC is not an enormous deal for the informal person, the soar from the Snapdragon 865 processor to the Snapdragon 888 is kind of huge by way of efficiency, and different producers provide the latter for less than an extra Rs. 2,000.

Still, Samsung can justify its pricing as a result of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G presents options that different smartphones on this value section don’t. The IP68 score will allow you to take your smartphone for a dip in a pool, and 15W wi-fi charging is kind of handy. You may even reverse cost different smartphones or equipment at 4.5W. While these options won’t rely as requirements for many customers, they do enhance the premium smartphone expertise.

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One UI 3.0 contains a number of Samsung-branded apps

 

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G runs Samsung’s One UI 3.1, which relies on Android 11. Combined with the 120Hz refresh charge show, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G felt fairly fluid in each day use. I felt no hiccups by any means when operating native apps, third-party apps or switching between the 2. There are loads of preinstalled Samsung apps. The cellphone additionally comes with just a few third-party apps from Microsoft and Facebook, however these together with a number of Samsung apps (like Samsung Shop, Samsung Members, Samsung Global Goals, Notes, Internet and many others.) will be uninstalled if not wanted. During the overview interval, I used to be not bombarded with advertisements or promotional notifications. I did obtain the occasional notification from the Galaxy App Store, however these will be turned off within the system settings.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G efficiency and battery life

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 could also be a 12 months previous, however it’s no slouch and presents dependable flagship-grade efficiency in terms of common duties and gaming. The cellphone carried out loads higher than the Exynos 990-powered Galaxy S20 FE in our assessments (though some scores won’t be immediately comparable attributable to benchmark updates).

AnTuTu reported a rating of 6,41,038, whereas Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core outcomes have been 560 and three,136 respectively. These are greater than what the Exynos-based mannequin managed (4,62,330 in AnTuTu; 517 and a couple of,573 in Geekbench) however are decrease than the efficiency figures we have seen from Snapdragon 888-powered smartphones in the identical value section.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE within the Cloud Mint end

 

Asphalt 9: Legends ran easily, with the graphics set to High Quality and 60fps mode enabled. The cellphone warmed up a bit throughout gameplay however didn’t get sizzling.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 can be fairly able to dealing with a recreation like Call of Duty: Mobile by way of graphics. The recreation ran at Very High graphics and body charge with out a hiccup. However, I observed some contact sensitivity points and that dampens the expertise in video games that require a excessive diploma of accuracy. There was noticeable lag when taking part in Call of Duty: Mobile and it seems that the 120Hz show (with a 180Hz contact sampling charge) couldn’t sustain with my fingers. With this incapability to precisely intention at a goal, I ended up shedding many of the matches that I performed throughout the testing course of.

The 6.5-inch Super AMOLED show showcases oversaturated colors when utilizing the default Vivid display mode. Switch it to Natural and the colors look fairly boring however I discovered this loads higher. I want there was a preset between the 2 modes which might have delivered colors that have been a bit extra restrained, particularly for watching films or exhibits.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G includes a hole-punch show

 

The FHD+ decision delivers a crisp 407ppi, which meant that the whole lot from textual content to photographs and movies appeared fairly sharp. While the brightness was ample indoors, the show was barely legible open air beneath the afternoon solar. Samsung doesn’t point out HDR in its spec sheet, however it appears to be supported.

In the show settings, one can modify the display’s refresh charge, however it may well solely be set to 60Hz (for longer battery life) or 120Hz (for a smoother expertise). During the overview interval, I often stored the show operating at 120Hz.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G clocked 18 hours and 22 minutes in our HD video loop battery take a look at, which is kind of good for a premium smartphone. The Exynos mannequin, with the identical 4500mAh battery capability, ran the identical video loop take a look at for 12 hours and 44 minutes, which is a bit low. In strange use, which included operating social media apps, checking emails, an hour of calls and an hour or two of gaming with the show set to 120Hz, I often ended the day with about 20-30 % left, which is kind of spectacular.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G presents higher battery life than the Exynos-based Galaxy S20 FE

 

In 2021, it’s a bit shocking to discover a premium Android smartphone with solely a 15W charger within the field. Still, charging instances weren’t too unhealthy, with the battery charging as much as 33 % in half-hour, 51 % in an hour, and 100% in 1 hour and 38 minutes. The smartphone does assist 25W charging, however you’ll have to buy your personal charger.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G cameras

While the digicam setup stays the identical as on the LTE mannequin, the processor swap from an Exynos 990 to a Snapdragon 865, might result in minor variations in picture processing and due to this fact the top end result. So, I made a decision to place the Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s cameras by way of their paces. As anticipated, the outcomes weren’t too completely different from what we noticed in our overview of the 4G mannequin.

The rear module consists of a 12-megapixel f/1.8 wide-angle digicam, an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto digicam (3X optical zoom) and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide digicam. Selfies are dealt with by a 32-megapixel f/2.2 digicam that shoots 8-megapixel binned photographs.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s digicam setup stays the identical as on the LTE mannequin

 

The digicam interface stays the identical as on another premium Samsung cellphone operating One UI 3.1. There are simply accessible controls that allow you to modify the side ratio, timer, and flash, and swap between cameras. The checklist of default modes is customisable and the slots will be swapped and personalised as per a person’s necessities.

The video mode helps you to swap the video decision with simply two faucets, which is kind of handy. The again panel close to the digicam module does get a bit sizzling when conserving the viewfinder on for about 10 minutes, however cools down rapidly when you exit the digicam app.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G daytime picture samples. Top to backside: Ultra-wide, commonplace, 3X zoom (faucet to see full dimension)

 

Photos shot in daylight got here out shiny, vibrant, and fairly saturated. Whether you might be taking pictures flowers, fruits, and even surroundings, the colors pop fairly a bit, which is typical of most Samsung smartphones. The dynamic vary is kind of good, however HDR processing does go overboard at instances, leading to a dreamy impact. The sharpness and particulars in photographs are fairly spectacular for a smartphone on this value section. Image high quality and white steadiness stay constant even when switching between cameras.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G daytime picture samples. Top: 1X zoom, backside: 3X zoom (faucet to see full dimension)

 

The smartphone includes a telephoto digicam with 3X optical zoom, which shoots crisp photographs in daylight. The identical digicam additionally doubles up as a macro shooter because it helps you to get nearer to the article in comparison with the first digicam. This is necessary, as there is not any devoted macro digicam.

Portrait photographs come out fairly clear with good edge detection, however the Galaxy S20 FE 5G falters at instances (with a noticeable halo), when the topic isn’t nonetheless.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Night Mode digicam samples. Top: Wide (1X), backside: Ultra-wide (0.5X) (faucet to see full dimension)

 

Post sundown, photographs got here out a bit murky with barely decreased dynamic vary within the shadows, however they nonetheless appeared fairly good. The Night mode takes care of those minor shortcomings and retains streetlights and shiny spots from getting overexposed, whereas bumping up the brightness and particulars. The cellphone shot crisp photographs in low-light scenes when Night mode was used with the first wide-angle digicam, however delivered solely satisfactory photographs when used on the ultra-wide-angle digicam.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G selfie samples. Top: Auto mode, backside: Night mode (faucet to see full dimension)

 

Selfies in the usual and portrait modes got here out fairly sharp and clear with good edge detection in daylight, however turned out murky and lacked depth in low-light taking pictures situations. The night time mode can be obtainable on the entrance digicam and did a very good job of sustaining element and giving a way of depth to the selfies.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G guarantees loads by way of video, and surprisingly delivers by way of high quality as properly. Videos shot at 1080p and 4K (30 and 60fps) with the first rear digicam got here out crisp and filled with element, and have been additionally properly stabilised when strolling. My solely gripe was with the ultra-wide-angle digicam, because it tended to overexpose scenes. The selfie digicam additionally managed movies fairly properly and presents 1080p and 4K recording choices. 4K video shot with the selfie digicam lacked stabilisation and appeared fairly jerky. In low-light situations, movies shot at any decision got here out blurry and a bit noisy, however stabilisation was first rate.

Verdict

To the informal person, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G won’t look like a lot of an improve on condition that it solely provides 5G assist to the spec sheet. This would have been advantageous if this cellphone had been launched alongside the 4G mannequin in India in 2020, prefer it did in different elements of the world.

We have reviewed the 4G mannequin and it is simple to inform that the Snapdragon 865 silicon makes fairly a distinction by way of efficiency, and likewise does not warmth up as a lot as Samsung’s personal Exynos SoC.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is likely to be essentially the most full low-cost flagship providing by way of options in the meanwhile, on condition that it presents optical zoom, wi-fi charging, and an IP68 score. These options, together with its vibrant OLED show, nice cameras, good battery life and stable on a regular basis efficiency make it a compelling choice. However, it is laborious to suggest to a gamer given its contact sensitivity points.

If you might be in search of efficiency, there are smartphones just like the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro (Review) and the iQoo 7 Legend that get you the Snapdragon 888 processor and quicker charging from Rs. 39,990. If you possibly can stretch your finances by Rs. 2,000, there’s the OnePlus 9 (Review), which presents the Snapdragon 888 processor, a superb show that may deal with shiny daylight, quicker charging, and no contact sensitivity points when gaming.




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