Updated: April 16, 2021 12:12:36 pm
Samsung has launched a 5G variant of the Galaxy S20 FE smartphone. The 4G variant was introduced back in October 2020 and came with an Exynos chipset. The new 5G variant gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, which is in fact the only major difference between the two phones.
Still, Samsung is offering users a future-ready phone coupled with flagship experience at a more affordable price point compared to its other 5G-ready phones. To make the deal more attractive, Samsung is selling the Galaxy S20 FE 5G at an introductory price of Rs 47,999, down from Rs 55,999. So, has Samsung managed to offer a value for money phone under Rs 50,000? Find out in our detailed review.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review: What is good?
You still get the same design as seen on the older flagship Galaxy S20 series. There’s no glass back, but the polycarbonate rear panel with matt finish and metallic frame looks and feels premium too. The good thing is it doesn’t catch fingerprints or smudges and it isn’t slippery, so you can use the phone without a case and flaunt it.
The device does have a slightly protruding rear camera module, which means the phone does not lie flat on a table. Samsung doesn’t bundle a transparent case in the box. In case you want one, you will have to buy it.
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It is worth noting that there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, which has become a norm for premium phones. We are in 2021, and you will get good enough neckband-style or TWS wireless earphones for around Rs 3,000, so you don’t need to worry about that.
The device is being offered in different colours, but the Cloud Mint colour of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is subtle and quite mesmerising. You will have to see it to believe it because the photos don’t do justice. There is an IP68 rating for water and dust protection, which is great to see at this price point as no other Android phone is currently offering it. The Fan Edition of the Galaxy S20 is very well built and the device feels solid in hand.
It features a 6.5-inch flat screen, which is the standard display size that you get on most of the devices these days. It has an excellent AMOLED display with lively colours, good brightness level and viewing angles. Though, the screen is a bit reflective in harsh sunlight. But, I absolutely loved binge-watching on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G.
It has a big screen, slim bezels, and great colour contrast. The Adaptive brightness feature works well, unlike some of the phones. It supports 120Hz refresh rate, which offers a smoother experience while navigating the user interface or even just browsing on social media. But there is no dynamic 120Hz display option, which will automatically change the refresh rate to save some battery.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is powered by a Snapdragon 865 chipset. The general performance of the phone was smooth during my usage. I had no issues in browsing content online, editing some videos, or networking on social media. The multitasking was also fluid, so you don’t need to worry about performance.
I did play some games, including Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9. The graphics and general settings were by default set to Medium and the gaming experience was pleasant.
The impressive part is I was able to play them at the highest settings too, but you might experience a bit of stutter or lag after every 5-6 gaming sessions. The dual speakers offered a good sound quality, which made gaming and video consumption more enjoyable. The back of the phone did get a tad warm after about 30 minutes of gameplay.
With general usage, the smartphone lasted for more than a day. This includes messaging, attending calls, a bit of social networking and watching some videos on YouTube. Just add hours of gaming and binge-watch to the list, and you will get less than a day’s battery. You will have to charge the device by around 7:00PM. It is worth noting that you might get different results as per your usage patterns.
The good thing is it supports wireless charging, though you will have to buy that separately. Do note that the wireless chargers take longer than usual to top up a battery. The Galaxy S20 FE comes with a Wireless Power Sharing feature, which lets you charge other compatible devices.
The device was originally launched with Android 10 and is currently running on Android 11. As Samsung has promised that the device will get 3 years of major Android OS update, the Galaxy S20 FE will get Android 13 as well.
Samsung phones offer a feature-rich UI that make your smartphone experience a lot better. The one-handed user interface is just great and makes it quite easier to use a big 6.5-inch phone using one hand. With OneUI 3.0, you get features like Easy mode, Edge Panels for quickly accessing key apps, side key settings, Dual Messenger feature, and more.
Samsung’s Always-on-Display (AOD) feature is just great and you get some interesting options to configure it as per your preference. Though, I couldn’t use it a lot as it reduces the battery percentage by a certain margin.
You get some bloatware too. The device ships with a few Samsung apps that are not necessary. These include a Web browser, Samsung Shop app, Samsung Global Goals and more. There are Microsoft apps as well, including Outlook, Office, and OneDrive. You get an option to uninstall most of the apps to get some extra storage space.
The Galaxy S20 FE 5G has a triple rear camera setup, including a 12MP primary camera with OIS support and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. There is also an 8MP telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom. On the front is a 32MP selfie camera.
Check out the images from the phone by right clicking on the sample below. Or see the Flickr album here.
In daylight, the device delivered great shots with natural colours, which I liked the most. I got some detailed shots with good enough sharpness and dynamic range. The HDR performance was solid most of the time and it was able to brighten up the dark spots, but a few shots turned out to be a bit oversaturated. The Scene optimiser doesn’t make much of a difference in every scene.
The device does a reasonably good job of capturing close-up shots with minute details. The Live Focus or the Portrait mode feature mode offered pretty natural photos with good blur intensity. Though in some of the scenes, the edge detection was not great and the camera added blur on some parts of the object. What I liked about this feature is you get to refocus on the subject, adjust the blur level, and change the background effect, even after clicking the photo.
But, Samsung needs to improve these correction tools as you can’t fix any minute part or get a proper blur with only the subject in focus. Additionally, you can also remove all background colours and keep the colour combination of the object to create a dramatic effect.
Samsung’s Single Take composition feature is a good tool to take some candid shots for your Instagram account. The wide-angle shots are fine with a slight pincushion distortion. The quality is not that bad if you don’t zoom in much and the camera delivered almost natural colours. The device has a 3X optical telephoto camera, which can take high-quality shots with a lot of details, and lively colours.
The low light shots are usable, but don’t expect a very detailed photo. The noise is visible in both low-light and night shots. However, the Night mode is impressive and can retain colours and brighten up images at night when there is very less light source.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review: What is not good?
While the competition is offering either 30W or a 65W charger, Samsung only packs a 15W charger in the box, which is disappointing to see at this price range. It is worth pointing out that the device has support for 25W charging.
I have been using a 65W charger to charge my devices and it was a bit difficult to wait for the 15W adapter to fully charge the Galaxy S20 FE. The bundled charger took an hour to charge the device from zero to 62 percent in an hour. It will take one hour and 35 minutes to fully top up the battery.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Should you buy it?
At Rs 47,999, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a good option and you can buy it as there are several reasons for it. First of all, you get a smooth and fluid performance. The design, and the vibrant display is another advantage. There are phones in the market that offer great power, but doesn’t offer good camera performance. With Galaxy S20 FE, you get both – good camera setup and overall great performance.
The device is also IP68 rated and supports wireless charging, which no other Android phone is offering at this price point. We also got good enough battery life with general usage. Samsung has made the right trade-offs in every department, but bundles only a 15W charger, which could be an issue for some.
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