OPTICXCESS — Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review
The word FE or Fan Edition on Samsung phones is when Samsung released a “safe” variant of the Galaxy Note 7 which had a problem. Now 3 years later, Samsung has revived the word FE on the Galaxy S20.
Not because of any problems in the Galaxy S20 series, on the contrary, the Galaxy S20 is one of the best phones this year. The FE variant of the Galaxy S20 seems to be made to satisfy Samsung fans to get a flagship series phone at a more economical price.
The Galaxy S20 FE carries some of the same features as the standard Galaxy S20, especially on the use of the Exynos 990 chipset and a screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. However, there are various differences on the Galaxy S20 FE.
To be honest, the Galaxy S20 FE design looks more attractive than the Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S20 FE looks fresh with various color variants and one of them is the Cloud Red color variant used in this review.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Review
The design of the Galaxy S20 FE is like a combination of the Galaxy S20 for its shape with the Galaxy Note 20 for its color. This combination results in a cellphone that is comfortable in the hand and attractive to look at.
The Galaxy S20 FE uses aluminum for the frame but the back uses a plastic material.
We ourselves initially regretted this, but after trying the cellphone, we were immediately amazed by the quality of the material. The plastic used doesn’t feel cheap at all and the color finishes look luxurious.
The size of the Galaxy S20 FE is quite large. At first, we thought it would be like the regular Galaxy S20 but it turned out to be more like the Galaxy S20 +. It weighs up to 190 grams so it makes it feel a little heavy in the hand.
On the side of the cellphone, there are various standard components but one that is missing is the headphone jack. The microSD slot uses a hybrid model which means you have to choose between using two SIM cards at once or using one SIM card and one microSD card.
The screen of the Galaxy S20 FE appears flat which makes it look more like a traditional mobile screen. Even so, some people may prefer this flat screen design because the sides of the screen will not appear to reflect light and color distortion as commonly found on curved models.
The screen still carries a 120Hz refresh rate but the screen technology used is Super AMOLED which is not the most sophisticated at this time and the screen resolution is only 1080 × 2400.
The quality of the screen display is quite good for a high-end cellphone and can be clearly seen when the cellphone is used in the hot sun.
There is one thing that we don’t like about the Galaxy S20 FE’s design, namely the selfie camera side. There is a shiny silver circle which is a bit annoying, especially when the cellphone is seen from a certain side and exposed to light. We don’t understand why Samsung doesn’t use plain black so it doesn’t stand out.
Another thing that distinguishes the Galaxy S20 FE from the Galaxy S20 is the fingerprint scanner that uses an optical model. Initially the fingerprint scanner was often not responsive in scanning fingerprints but fortunately after the firmware update the fingerprint scanner was able to function properly.
Performance & Battery
In terms of performance, the Galaxy S20 FE remains fast thanks to the combination of the Exynos 990 chipset with 8GB of RAM. Plus the internal storage is quite extensive, namely 128GB.
In daily use, this cellphone is able to perform various activities smoothly, whether it’s editing documents, sending emails, playing popular games such as AOV, Mobile Legends, Call of Duty Mobile, and PUBG Mobile.
Unfortunately, the speaker quality on the Galaxy S20 FE is not satisfactory, especially at high volume. This is unfortunate because even though the Galaxy S20 FE is the cheapest of the Galaxy S20 series, it is still expensive.
To test the performance of the cellphone more deeply, we used the AnTuTu application and the Galaxy S20 FE got a score of 500,263. Whereas in the Geekbench application the score obtained is 2,684 for multi-core and 915 for single-core.
The battery life of the Galaxy S20 FE is satisfactory with its 4,500 mAh battery. We can get the screen on time for 4 hours 6 minutes from 100% to 10% battery when we use the Galaxy S20 FE for daily activities with the screen refresh rate set at 120Hz.
When we tested the battery life with PC Mark at the 120Hz refresh rate, the screen brightness was 50%, and the battery at 100% the resulting score was 8 hours 39 minutes. In the same test, but with a 60Hz refresh rate the resulting score is 11 hours 14 minutes.
For charging the battery, the Galaxy S20 FE actually supports fast charging up to 25W, but unfortunately the built-in charger only supports 15W battery charging. With the default charger it takes a little longer to charge the battery from 10% to 100%, which is 1 hour 47 minutes.
Even though it uses a plastic material on the back, the Galaxy S20 FE still supports wireless charging with a power of up to 15W.
In the camera sector, the Galaxy S20 FE brings 3 rear cameras and 1 front camera with a 12MP wide-angle camera configuration, 12MP ultra wide camera, 8MP telephoto camera, and 32MP selfie camera.
The camera is not as sophisticated as its more expensive sibling and uses a high resolution camera, but the Galaxy S20 FE is still able to produce satisfying photos in various situations.
Taking photos using the main camera is fun thanks to the fast auto focus and consistently satisfying results. The camera application is also easy to use and if desired, a Pro mode is available to further adjust the camera.
But like Samsung cellphones, the resulting color likes to look a bit striking and brighter than the original when produced in Auto mode.
One thing that is somewhat confusing is that Samsung uses a telephoto camera capable of up to 3x optical zoom and up to 30x digital zoom on the Galaxy S20 FE. This contrasts with the regular Galaxy S20 which uses a high resolution camera and digital zoom for its photo enlargement capabilities.
Even though the resolution of the telephoto camera is only 8MP, thanks to its optical enlargement the Galaxy S20 FE is able to produce long distance photos well.
The ultra wide camera is capable of producing photos with a viewing angle of up to 123 °, slightly wider than the regular Galaxy S20. By default the distortion that is generally found on the side of the ultra wide photo results has been smoothed out on the Galaxy S20 FE, but if desired this feature can be turned off.
In the Galaxy S20 FE camera application, there is a live focus feature that can produce photos with a more dramatic bokeh effect. The separation between the face and the background looks pretty neat, although for some reason there is an artifact of blue under the ear that seems to be the effect of using a mask.
At night, the Galaxy S20 FE camera is still capable of producing good quality photos, especially when using Night mode. In the example above, the night photos with Auto mode look a little blurry and a lot of detail is lost, but if Night mode is activated the results will be sharper and brighter.
The selfie camera on the Galaxy S20 FE has the highest resolution compared to other cameras, namely 32MP. By default the camera will produce photos with a smaller resolution via tetra-binning technology for better photo results. If desired, there are settings to produce selfies with 32MP resolution.
Overall the Galaxy S20 FE is a very good phone. If the Galaxy S20 FE was released at the same time as the regular Galaxy S20, we might prefer to buy the Galaxy S20 FE because of its more attractive design and long battery life.
Even so, that doesn’t mean the Galaxy S20 FE is without flaws, the silver circle on the selfie camera is a bit annoying, the speakers are not satisfactory, and finally, you need to buy a separate 25W charger if you want to charge the Galaxy S20 FE battery faster.
Overall the Galaxy S20 FE is a fantastic smartphone and, at $699, it is easily one of the best values available today. Even if the Galaxy S20 FE was released at the same time as the regular Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20 FE could be preferred because of its more attractive design and long battery life.
- Long-lasting battery
- Attractive design
- A quality camera
- Fast performance
- Satisfactory screen
- No 25W charger is provided
- Poor speakers
- The annoying silver circle on the selfie camera
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