Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review
October 18, 2020

A lot more for something less.

So we’re now at a time when flagship devices cost upwards of more than 3,000 to 4,000 AED – that’s a lot of money if you’re looking to purchase a decent-performing one. Samsung’s S20 series was released earlier this year, and while it was praised for its excellent features and design, it was still one of the most expensive flagship devices available on the market.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, where the FE stands for Fan Edition. It’s marketed as a lower-cost S20 that doesn’t compromise on features, which made us think why it was named Fan Edition – if you’re a fan wouldn’t you be getting the most expensive variant? Starting at 2,499 AED, the Galaxy S20 FE is a couple of hundred dirhams less than the other S20 models.

The Galaxy S20 FE is built from plastic as opposed to glass but it actually looks great. The matte finish that covers the back doesn’t easily attract fingerprints compared to glass. This also makes the smartphone easier to hold and lighter to carry compared to its more expensive siblings. There are six colors available for the Galaxy S20 FE line, with Red and Cloud Navy among my favorites. 4G and 5G versions are available, and both a dual SIM compatible.

It bears a similar design language like the other S20 models, with the same button and port placement along with the same punch hole front camera placement and the rectangular camera array at the back. Samsung went with a flat 6.5-inch screen (as opposed to curved) on the Galaxy S20 FE and comes with a lower 1080p resolution. Don’t worry though, since the screen supports a high 120Hz refresh rate that is made even better by the brilliant colors and excellent brightness provided by the Super AMOLED display.

Not to forget, there’s also a fingerprint sensor embedded right below the screen along with a USB-C port but no headphone jack. Speaking of headphone jacks, the Galaxy S20 FE’s packaging doesn’t include any headphones. Fortunately, Samsung’s running a promotion where you will get a free Galaxy Buds+ and 1-year Samsung Care+ with each purchase of the Galaxy S20 FE.

For hardware, you’re getting a snappy Snapdragon 865 processor along with a 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. This configuration works well, and I didn’t have any problems using high-end apps or playing premium games on the Galaxy S20 FE. I felt it stutter a little on Fortnite, though that could be due to the lesser RAM offered on it. That being said, I’m a power user so I tend to use the device more for high-end applications but for casual users, the performance of the Galaxy S20 FE is more than enough.

You’re getting Android 10 enhanced by Samsung’s OneUI 2.5. It’s a pretty decent software compared to the early days of Samsung Galaxy devices that used TouchWiz. Menus are easier to navigate and the extra apps and customizations actually make the smartphone better. 

You’re getting a triple camera setup on the Galaxy S20 FE that includes the main 12-megapixel camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and the 8-megapixel telephoto camera. The shots we’ve taken are mostly good, especially when taken in daylight. Colors and skin tone are presented nicely, with just a bit of noise which is perfectly acceptable. It’s not perfect, but unless you’re a photographer with a keen eye for detail then these cameras should be good enough. It doesn’t have 8K video recording though unlike the more expensive S20s in the lineup, but I doubt anyone will miss the feature.

Samsung fitted a large 4,500 mAh battery on the Galaxy S20 FE which in turn gave more than a day’s worth of usage. I even managed to extend that battery life to the next day by enabling power-saving mode. In case you need to top up the battery again, fast wired charging is supported as well as wireless charging.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of the S20 lineup without breaking the bank, then the FE should be good enough for you. While you can always opt for more expensive models, the Galaxy S20 FE is the flagship smartphone that’s made for everyone.

We Like: 

+ Least expensive in the S20 line

+ Great hardware and performance

+ Decent battery life

We Didn’t Really Like:

– Cameras could be better

Final Rating: 4/5

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. When he’s not busy playing with the latest games, Victor usually spends his time collecting Blu-rays and building his own movie library. As the Online Editor for T3 Middle East, he develops and writes content for which includes reviews, features, and videos in addition to managing its social media and web content.
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