Update The Samsung Galaxy S21FE is now available. It features a faster Snapdragon888 chip, a higher 240Hz touch rate, and better cameras. The S20 FE is $699, while the S21 FE is $699.
The $799 Galaxy S22 offers many of Samsung’s most recent features at a fraction of the cost of the S21 FE. The original review is here. We don’t recommend purchasing a Galaxy S20 FE.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is still one of the best Android phones. Samsung offers a 120Hz display, 5G, and triple cameras with 30x space zoom for a very affordable $699. This is $100 less than the Samsung Galaxy S21.
A Samsung Galaxy S21FE will launch in January with several upgrades including a faster Snapdragon 888 chip, better cameras, and more powerful processors. If you are looking for an Android phone at a low price, we recommend that you wait. You can view the 5 most important upgrades to the Galaxy S21FE.
Samsung clearly targets younger customers with the Galaxy S20 FE. The 32MP selfie camera is sharper that the Galaxy S20’s front camera. The S20 FE is available in six colors. It’s a phone that anyone can afford, and it’s a great phone.
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SAMSUNG GALAXY FE SPECS
Screen: 6.5-inch AMOLED (2400×1080, 120 Hz)
CPU: Snapdragon 865
Storage: 128GB expandable up to 1TB
Rear camera: Triple-lens : 12MP main (f/1.8),12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), and 8MP telephoto (f/2.4).
Front camera 32MP, f/2.2
Size of the 4500 mAh Battery
Size 6.29 inches x 2.93 inches x 0.33 inch
Weight 6.7 ounces
Samsung had to make some compromises in order to keep the price down. This included the display resolution, RAM, and the plastic back. The newer Samsung Galaxy S21, priced at $799, offers better performance, a dynamic 120Hz screen and advanced cameras.
Based on my testing, the Galaxy S20 FE is still one of the best phones for the price.
Samsung Galaxy S20FE Review: Price and Release Date
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was released on October 2, 2020 and has a $699 price. The S20 FE is available in one configuration with 128GB storage and 6GB RAM. However, owners can increase storage up to 1TB using a microSD card.
The AT&T and T–Mobile can offer the Galaxy S20 FE. Verizon is also available. The Verizon version, called Galaxy S20 FE5G UW, is compatible with the carrier’s millimeter wave 5G network. This allows for faster speeds in urban areas.
The Galaxy S20 FE is currently on sale at some retailers for $599 or $100. We’ve seen the Galaxy S20FE as low as $529. The best Galaxy S20FE deals are listed below.
Samsung Galaxy S20FE Review: Design and Colors
With six different color options, the Galaxy S20 FE will standout from the crowd. You have the option to choose from Navy, Lavender or Mint, as well as Red, White, and Orange. The Navy option has a sophisticated look. Please note that color options will vary from carrier to carrier.
Although Samsung made some design concessions for affordability, the phone isn’t cheap. Samsung used polycarbonate (plastic), but they did a fantastic job of bending it around its sides to give the handset a solid feel.
It’s obvious that the Galaxy S20FE has thicker bezels when compared to the regular Galaxy S20. The S20FE is very close to full-screen, however, once you get used to it. The S20 FE’s front-camera cutout is also smaller than the regular S20.
The Galaxy S20 FE is water resistant. It is IP68-rated which means that it can withstand a quick dip.
The Galaxy S20 FE measures 6.29 x 2.93 x 0.3 inches and weighs 6.7 ounces. It is slightly thicker than the regular Galaxy S20 (5.9 x 3.0 x 0.31 inches, 5.7 ounces), however, it’s not surprising, as the FE has a larger display screen than the S20 (6.5 vs 6.2 inch).
One thing I have to complain about the Galaxy S20 FE’s design is the choice of fingerprint reader. The S20 FE uses an optical sensor embedded into the display, rather than an ultrasonic sensor like the Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Note20 series. This led to more false negatives when unlocking the phone. This phone required me to press down more carefully.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Display
The Galaxy S20 FE has a 120Hz display. This is a much better feature than the sharper quad HD resolution. The S20FE has a full HD+ screen measuring 2400x 1800 pixels.
Smoother scrolling and improved gameplay are possible with the 120Hz setting. This setting is available in an increasing number of titles that have 120Hz panels. NYTimes.com scrolled beautifully, and I was able to enjoy fluid animation while playing Marvel Contest of Champions. I used Iron Man as a weapon to shoot a laser at The Punisher.
When watching an episode on Cobra Kai, Samsung’s OLED panel shined. The explosion of color was evident when Sam LaRusso crashed into the dessert table. There were pops of green and brown, as well as orange.
Our lab tests showed that the Galaxy S20 FE’s screen performed well. With adaptive brightness on, it reached a maximum brightness of 679 nits. Anywhere above 600 nits is considered good, but the Galaxy S20’s maximum brightness was 857 nits.
The screen is also very colorful. It registered 133.3% in the DCI-P3 colour space, which is less than the 162.5% for the regular S20. The Galaxy S20 FE scored slightly higher in terms of color accuracy than the Galaxy S20 with a score score of 0.3. Zero is perfect. The iPhone 11 scored 0.22, while the regular S20 was 0.37.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Cameras
The Galaxy S20 FE is a versatile phone with three rear lenses and a 32MP front camera that can be used for selfies.
The back cameras include a 12MP ultra wide shooter with an aperture of f/2.2 and a 123-degree field-of-view. An 8MP main camera (f/1.8) and a 12MP telephoto lens can be purchased with a digital 3x zoom (digital), and digital 30x space zoom (digital).
The Space Zoom was fun to test on the Manasquan River, New Jersey. The Galaxy S20FE allowed me to zoom in from far away on a boat, and I was able to see the passengers and sides of the vessel. Although it is grainy at close range, the image is still quite impressive for a smartphone.
This close-up shot of a portulaca rose was also captured by the Galaxy S20FE. Although the pink was darker than it appeared in real life, I still enjoyed the detail in the water droplets surrounding the petals.
In this portrait, I compared the Galaxy S20 FE to the more expensive iPhone 11Pro Max. Samsung’s phone was superior. Even though it is a little blown out, the S20 FE did a better job of lighting my face. The iPhone’s photo shows the water and trees in a richer way, and the blur effect appears a little more subtle.
When I took multiple shots in a nearby park, the Galaxy S20 FE performed well. The Galaxy S20 FE was able to render the leaves and trees with great detail. It also didn’t get blown out by the sun when I took a photo along a hiking trail.
Next, I challenged the Galaxy S20FE with a shot that included trees in a dark foreground, a flowing river in the middle, and trees and puffy cloud in the background. The exposure is balanced and I’d be happy to share this pic.
With Night mode, the Galaxy S20 FE took a brighter picture of this tree in dark. Although the lights on the right are slightly blurred, you can still see more detail in the bricks, trees, and grass in Samsung’s photo.
You have two options for the 32MP selfie camera on your Galaxy S20 FE: a standard and an ultra-wide one. This is great for when you need to include more people in the shot.
Samsung claims that this selfie-taker uses tetra biinning, which combines four pixels into one to capture greater light, and a remosaic algorithm, which remaps pixels into a traditional color patter to produce more detailed photos in bright conditions.
My testing revealed that the Galaxy S20 FE tends to smoothen my skin, but I’m not complaining. My blue shirt pops, and my hair has a lot of detail.
The Galaxy S20 FE’s super steady mode was also tested. It is designed to reduce camera shake while you are moving. The setting made a difference when I was walking at a moderate pace. Super Steady mode is best for those who are doing more intense activities or action sports.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Performance
The Galaxy S20 FE has a Snapdragon 865 processor, and 6GB RAM. This is half the amount of the 12GB that’s in the regular Galaxy S20. There are 128GB of storage available, which can be expanded up to 1TB with a microSD card.
The Galaxy S20 FE was responsive in my daily use. I could switch between a dozen apps, or race around Asphalt 9’s track. Although I noticed a slight lag occasionally when exiting to my home screen, the Galaxy S20FE has been performing well so far.
Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance and scores multi-core tests, gave the Galaxy S20 FE a score of 2,928 in the multicore test. This is lower than the score of the Galaxy S20 which scored 3,147. Scores for the iPhone 11 were 3,251 and 3,251.
The Galaxy S20 FE was able to display 1,325 frames at 21 frames per second on the GFXBench graphics tests (Aztec Ruins Volkan test offscreen). The regular Galaxy S20 reached 1,319 frames, while the iPhone 11 hit 1,481.
We transcoded a 4K video from 4K to 1080p in Adobe Premiere Rush. This was done to test the Galaxy S20 FE’s real-world performance. The Galaxy S20 FE took one minute and twenty-four seconds. This is slower than the regular S20, which takes 1:05. Only 46 seconds was required for the iPhone 11.
Samsung Galaxy S20FE Review: Battery life and charging
Although the Galaxy S20 FE should be able to last most of your day without charging, it did not last as long as expected due to its large battery. The 4,500 mAh battery is larger than the 4,000 mAh in the Galaxy S20, and it’s the same size as that of the Galaxy S20 PLUS.
After plugging it out at 7 a.m., and then using the Galaxy S20FE for several hours, 55% of its juice was still available at 4:06 p.m., which is quite good.
The Galaxy S20 FE was able to surf for 8 hours and 58 mins on AT&T’s 5G network, and 9:03 on Verizon LTE. However, it failed our web surfing battery test. This involves web surfing at 150 nits brightness. I don’t have Verizon5G in New Jersey. All of the best phone batteries listed handsets last at least 11 hours.
The regular Galaxy S20 lasts a little longer at 9:31 than T-Mobile’s network. While the iPhone 11 lasts for an impressive 11:16, These tests were done with the Galaxy S20 FE’s display set at 60Hz. The 120Hz setting could reduce battery life by up to 2 hours, according to our testing.
The Galaxy S20 FE comes with a 15W charging port. This is significantly slower than the standard 25W charger. The phone charged to 16% in just 15 minutes, and 35% in 30. For $29. more, you can purchase a 25W charger to speed up charging with the FE.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Verdict
The Galaxy S20 FE is still a strong contender in a market that is flooded with flagship phones under $700. The Galaxy S20 FE has a large display, a smooth refresh rate of 120Hz, powerful cameras, and solid performance. It also features a bright design. The plastic back and other compromises are acceptable. However, I wish Samsung had a better ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and a longer battery life.
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE’s zoom is what makes it stand out from the Google Pixel5 and iPhone 12. While the Pixel 5 has better photos, its performance is slower than that of the S20FE. The iPhone 12 is more responsive than the S20, produces better photos and lasts longer on a single charge. It also lacks a zoom feature and telephoto. We go into more detail about the differences between our Samsung Galaxy S20 FFE and iPhone 12 faceoff.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 is a better option for some, as it costs $100 less than the Galaxy S20 FE. The Galaxy S21 has a faster Snapdragon888 chip, better image processing and a sleeker design. Samsung is working on a Galaxy S21FE model with a faster CPU and other upgrades. However, it won’t likely launch until later. The Galaxy S20 FE remains a great phone.