Sep 23rd, 2020

If all of the recent phone launches haven’t left your head spinning, then get ready for some more. Samsung has been rumored to be launching the Fan Edition of the Galaxy S20, which is essentially a “dumbed” down version of the company’s flagship. Now, the rumors can be put to rest, as the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has been unveiled.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Specs

  • Display: 6.5-inch Super AMOLED (2400 x 1080)
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 6GB / 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB / 256GB (expandable via microSD up to 1TB)
  • Front Camera: 32MP
  • Rear Cameras: 12MP Wide / 8MP Telephoto / 12MP Ultrawide
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Colors: Cloud Lavendar / Cloud Mint / Cloud Navy / Cloud White / Cloud Red / Cloud Orange
  • Extras: In-display fingerprint scanner / 3.5mm headphones jack / 15W Fast Wired & Wireless Charging / 4.5W Reverse Wireless Charging
  • Software: Samsung One UI 2.5 based on Android 10
  • Water & Dust Resistance: IP68
  • Price: $699

Impressive Specsheet

When looking at the specs of the S20 FE, you might think this is a flagship device that launched late in 2019. But that’s the beauty of this new smartphone, as it offers a fantastic balance of premium specs with mid-range hardware. The Snapdragon 865 is still quite capable, and doesn’t come with the exorbitant price tag offered by the 5G-enabled 865+.

Paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage, the SD865 will power through just about all of your tasks with ease. There’s a single 32MP selfie camera, along with three cameras mounted on the rear. Between the 12MP wide, 8MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide lenses, you will be hard-pressed to find a shot that you can’t take.

Going back to the display, there are a lot that consider at least 90Hz to be the standard for refresh rates. Samsung stepped things up a bit, with its 6.5-inch display, offering a 120Hz refresh rate. This is fantastic, although you may be disappointed with the resolution, as its capped at FHD+. That may not matter to some, but for those that it does matter, just take a look at the price tag and you’ll understand why we aren’t getting a QHD display.

Battery life is bound to be fantastic, with the same 4,500mAh cell that’s found in the Galaxy S20 Plus. Plus, Samsung includes 15W wired or wireless charging speeds, and reverse wireless charging at 4.5W. All of this sounds great, so what’s the catch?

Well, in an effort to keep costs low, the body of the S20 FE is made from polycarbonate material. This helps Samsung to offer this device in SIX different colors, which is pretty nifty and opens the door to add a little personality to your daily driver.

The only other big catch with the S20 FE is that it’s launching with One UI 2.5, which is based on Android 10. Android 11 is already available for Pixel devices, along with being in beta status for many other devices, including the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 lineups. We really wish, just once, that Samsung would launch a product with the latest version of Android in the same year that it was released. Alas, that’s not the case and you’ll have to wait until sometime in 2021 to get Android 11. But hey, at least you can use whatever launcher you want with Android 10’s gestures.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will launch on October 2nd, and will be available either unlocked or through your carrier of choice. You can pre-order the device today, and have it on your doorstep on the 2nd.

Why the S20 FE is going to outshine the Pixel 5

If you’re going spec-for-spec, there are only two areas where the upcoming Pixel 5 outshines the new S20 FE. Android 11 will be pre-installed, and the Snapdragon 765G provides 5G network support. Since carriers have not completed the rollout of 5G yet, it’s not really that much of a comparison.

There is one more area where Google could take the spotlight from this latest Samsung device, and that’s price. The Galaxy S20 FE is priced at $699, which is what you would expect from a handset with the Snapdragon 865 in-tow. Meanwhile, rumored pricing for the Pixel 5 is said to be around $629, which is cheaper, but not enough to make a real dent.

We already know the benefits of using Stock Android over One UI, in terms of updates, but is that enough to ignore the S20 FE? We don’t think so. The Snapdragon 765G is an extremely capable chipset, but the SD865 is just flat-out more powerful.

Google is set to unveil the Pixel 5 (and Pixel 4a 5G) at the end of the month. But unless the price ends up being closer to $500, Samsung may have won yet another battle with Google.

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