Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G First Impressions: Function over Form

It’s fair to state that Samsung was caught with its pants down with the COVID-19 pandemic this season. Every device maker’s smartphone sales are affected by the pandemic, and this is normal –consumer spending is down due to the reduction in purchasing power. However, Samsung has been changed more than Huawei or even Xiaomi, for example. The company’s decision to elevate the prices of its flagship Galaxy S20 series this season came at a bad time. According to numerous reports, the Galaxy S20 series has sold in significantly lesser amounts compared to its predecessors. The decline in earnings was such that Samsung lost its position as the top global smartphone seller to Huawei. The Galaxy Note 20 series brought an ultra-expensive Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, along with a surprisingly hobbled regular Galaxy Note 20. Samsung wanted something more effective concerning pricing, and also to deliver on the need, the business has gone back to basics by starting the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition).

Samsung first utilized the Fan Edition branding with all the Galaxy Note 7 FE, bringing the unfortunate Galaxy Note 7 using a revised edition due to fan demand. Three years later, the company is bringing back the branding for its Galaxy S20 FE. Names do not necessarily mean much, however; the Galaxy S20 FE could easily be called a Galaxy S20 Lite, and it is really that in all but name. In certain ways, it can be obtained as the successor of the Galaxy S10 Lite, which was released earlier this season.

The Galaxy S20 FE can be available in different 4G and 5G variants. The 5G variant is powered with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (not dependent on area ), whereas the 4G version makes do with Samsung’s own Exynos 990 SoC. Interestingly, the 5G version comes with only 6GB of RAM, while the 4GB RAM variant comes from 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variations based on regional availability. In India, Samsung has selected to launch just the 4G variant in one 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variation, and that’s what we have here now for fast first impressions. This 4G, Exynos 990-equipped model can be sold in the united kingdom and other countries in Europe.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE — Design

From the front, it appears just like the Galaxy S20. Concerning dimensions, it drops between the streamlined 6.2-inch regular Galaxy S20 and the mid-sized 6.7-inch Galaxy S20+. It’s a bit smaller than the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which has a behemoth 6.9-inch screen. With this screen size, I believe 19.5:9 would have been better, and 19:9 could have been optimal. As it is, the screen width here seems a bit bloated for me, coming after months of using 6.7-inch+ phones.

From the front, it was also a bit disappointing to see that the bezels, which can be markedly larger than those found on the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Interestingly, they are also larger than Samsung’s own preceding cheap flagship phones like the Galaxy S10 Lite (review), Galaxy Notice 10 Lite (inspection ), as well as the lower mid Galaxy M51. The screen-to-body ratio is 84.8%, which is on the lower side for phones now (that the Galaxy S20+ has a 90.5percent screen-to-body ratio, for instance ) Another downgrade here’s that the existence of Gorilla Glass 3 to front. For an affordable flagship, the dearth of something like Gorilla Glass 6 is a sore omission. On the flip side, the hole punch front camera is small, smaller than the one utilized in the Galaxy M51, and smaller compared to OnePlus’ front camera in the OnePlus 8 Guru, for instance.

It’s not like there are not many positives here, however. The Galaxy S20 FE employs a horizontal display, and that is a plus in nearly every practical use instance. Yes, it doesn’t look as smart as a curved screen, but concerning usability, it’s still better than even the somewhat curved display on the Galaxy S20 series concerning casual touches, warmth, and much more.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE — Initial Thoughts

The components are polished aluminum which looks and feels just like glass. The aluminum frame on the sides is thin as the back and sides are aggressively curved. The rear is where we locate the actual differences from the Galaxy S20 collection. The double camera enclosure is put in the top left, together with the camera lenses being designed like the lenses of the Galaxy Note 20 series along with the Galaxy Z Twist 2 (inspection ). The back’s substance itself is noteworthy. It’s matte plastic with a gentle touch texture that feels unbelievably OK. It feels noticeably plastic, but it is also clearly better compared to the glistening, fingerprint-prone plastic which Samsung uses in the less costly M-series and A-series phones.

For the price, I would have preferred a matte glass back as noticed on the OnePlus 8 Pro (inspection ), as that seems considerably more superior in the hand. Plastic presents a different pair of trade-offs: It is much stronger than glass, but it does not feel as nice as glass, normally speaking.

The Galaxy S20 FE’s other layout characteristics include having the capability to do wireless charging using 15W rapid wireless charging, IP68 water resistance, and also the absence of a 3.5millimeter headphone jack.

The box bundle of the Galaxy S20 FE is bare-bones. Samsung is bundling just a 15W Adaptive Fast Charger with this phone using a Type-C to Type-A cable, even though the cheaper Galaxy M31s and Galaxy M51s both attribute a 25W USB Type-C PD 3.0 charger with PPS and PDO. The phone will support 25W fast charging, but you’ll need to buy a charger separately. At a time if lower mid-range telephones costing $14,999 attribute 65W ultra-fast charging, I fail to see how Samsung can find a complimentary pass for bundling a 15W charger in an inexpensive flagship in late 2020. This wouldn’t have been a great move in 2019; in 2020, it only passes off as cutting a lot of corners. The company also doesn’t bundle any earphones or a circumstance, while the Galaxy S20’s box package contains wired USB Type-C earphones as well as a generic transparent case.

Overall, the design of the Galaxy S20 FE is acceptable. It will not win any awards for innovation, but at the same time, it features a usable, functional layout that will not require a case as much as a telephone with a glass rear. It’s still disappointing to see Samsung regress in key places like bezels and bundling fast chargers, however.

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