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

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE (LTE), which launched final yr, has to this point been a stable contender within the low-cost flagship section. While it carried out nicely in most of our exams, 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 similar value degree.

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 mainly the identical cellphone, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (and X55 5G modem) as an alternative of the Exynos 990. Does the swap to a Qualcomm processor handle the shortcomings we skilled with the LTE variant? More importantly, does investing in a smartphone with a year-old processor at this value degree 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 out there 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 suitable. 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 digital camera module that hardly protrudes from the rear panel. The Galaxy S20 FE 5G has a steel 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 fulfill the body on all 4 sides and has a easy matte end that feels premium. The glass protecting the show is flat, which could have appeared like an odd alternative final yr, however feels at house subsequent to the premium Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ (Review) smartphones which even have flat shows in 2021.

My assessment unit got here within the Cloud Mint end, and it showcases a light yellow gradient when considered at an angle. The matte texture is non-slippery and is sweet 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 a giant deal on condition that a number of competing smartphones (which are priced a bit greater) don’t supply this.

Samsung Galaxy S20 specs and software program

Compared to different telephones out there at this value degree as we speak, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s processor is mainly a yr previous. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor was introduced in 2019 and began exhibiting up in smartphones within the first half of 2020. It was the flagship processor utilized by practically all smartphone producers who have been seeking to push out the primary wave of 5G smartphones in India.

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

 

While a year-old SoC is not a giant deal for the informal consumer, the soar from the Snapdragon 865 processor to the Snapdragon 888 is kind of massive when it comes to efficiency, and different producers supply the latter for under a further Rs. 2,000.

Still, Samsung can justify its pricing as a result of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G provides options that different smartphones on this value section don’t. The IP68 ranking 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 consists of 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 in any way when operating native apps, third-party apps or switching between the 2. There are loads of preinstalled Samsung apps. The cellphone additionally comes with a number of 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.) could be uninstalled if not wanted. During the assessment interval, I used to be not bombarded with adverts or promotional notifications. I did obtain the occasional notification from the Galaxy App Store, however these could be turned off within the system settings.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G efficiency and battery life

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 could also be a yr previous, nevertheless it’s no slouch and provides dependable flagship-grade efficiency relating to common duties and gaming. The cellphone carried out so much higher than the Exynos 990-powered Galaxy S20 FE in our exams (though some scores won’t be instantly comparable on account of 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 scorching.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 can be fairly able to dealing with a recreation like Call of Duty: Mobile when it comes to graphics. The recreation ran at Very High graphics and body charge and not using a hiccup. However, I seen some contact sensitivity points and that dampens the expertise in video games that require a excessive diploma of accuracy. There was noticeable lag when enjoying 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 lack of ability to precisely purpose at a goal, I ended up shedding a lot of the matches that I performed in the course of the testing course of.

The 6.5-inch Super AMOLED show showcases oversaturated colors when utilizing the default Vivid display screen mode. Switch it to Natural and the colors look fairly uninteresting however I discovered this so much 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 motion pictures or exhibits.

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

 

The FHD+ decision delivers a crisp 407ppi, which meant that every thing from textual content to photographs and movies seemed fairly sharp. While the brightness was adequate indoors, the show was barely legible outside beneath the afternoon solar. Samsung doesn’t point out HDR in its spec sheet, nevertheless it appears to be supported.

In the show settings, one can alter the display screen’s refresh charge, however it might solely be set to 60Hz (for longer battery life) or 120Hz (for a smoother expertise). During the assessment 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 check, which is kind of good for a premium smartphone. The Exynos mannequin, with the identical 4500mAh battery capability, ran the identical video loop check for 12 hours and 44 minutes, which is a bit low. In unusual 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 p.c left, which is kind of spectacular.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G provides 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 occasions weren’t too unhealthy, with the battery charging as much as 33 p.c in half-hour, 51 p.c in an hour, and 100% in 1 hour and 38 minutes. The smartphone does assist 25W charging, however you’ll have to buy your individual charger.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G cameras

While the digital camera 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 subsequently the tip outcome. So, I made a decision to place the Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s cameras by means of their paces. As anticipated, the outcomes weren’t too totally different from what we noticed in our assessment of the 4G mannequin.

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

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

 

The digital camera interface stays the identical as on every other premium Samsung cellphone operating One UI 3.1. There are simply accessible controls that allow you to alter the facet ratio, timer, and flash, and swap between cameras. The checklist of default modes is customisable and the slots could be swapped and personalised as per a consumer’s necessities.

The video mode allows you to swap the video decision with simply two faucets, which is kind of handy. The again panel close to the digital camera module does get a bit scorching when preserving the viewfinder on for about 10 minutes, however cools down shortly when you exit the digital camera app.

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

 

Photos shot in daylight got here out vivid, vibrant, and fairly saturated. Whether you might be capturing 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 occasions, leading to a dreamy impact. The sharpness and particulars in pictures 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 measurement)

 

The smartphone incorporates a telephoto digital camera with 3X optical zoom, which shoots crisp pictures in daylight. The similar digital camera additionally doubles up as a macro shooter because it allows you to get nearer to the article in comparison with the first digital camera. This is essential, as there is not any devoted macro digital camera.

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

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

 

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

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

 

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 capturing situations. The night time mode can be out there on the entrance digital camera and did a superb job of sustaining element and giving a way of depth to the selfies.

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

Verdict

To the informal consumer, 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 fantastic 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 easy to inform that the Snapdragon 865 silicon makes fairly a distinction when it comes to efficiency, and likewise would not warmth up as a lot as Samsung’s personal Exynos SoC.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G could be essentially the most full low-cost flagship providing when it comes to options in the meanwhile, on condition that it provides optical zoom, wi-fi charging, and an IP68 ranking. 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 onerous to advocate 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 price range by Rs. 2,000, there’s the OnePlus 9 (Review), which provides the Snapdragon 888 processor, a superb show that may deal with vivid daylight, quicker charging, and no contact sensitivity points when gaming.


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