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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review: A Well-Rounded Low-Cost Flagship

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE (LTE), which launched final 12 months, has thus far been a stable contender within the low-cost flagship section. While it carried out nicely in most of our checks, there have been some drawbacks. It did get a bit heat beneath stress, and its battery life was simply common; each issues that the OnePlus 8T (Review) dealt with higher on the similar worth degree.

In 2021, Samsung selected launching the 5G model of the Galaxy S20 FE (Review) in India, and it is known as the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. It is mainly the identical telephone, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (and X55 5G modem) as an alternative of the Exynos 990. Does the change to a Qualcomm processor handle the shortcomings we skilled with the LTE variant? More importantly, does investing in a smartphone with a year-old processor at this worth degree make sense in 2021? Let’s discover out!

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G worth in India

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is priced at Rs. 47,999 in India. Unlike the 4G mannequin, it’s out there in a single 8GB RAM + 128GB storage configuration. Buyers can select between Cloud Navy, Cloud Mint, and Cloud Lavender finishes. With a aggressive worth, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G takes on the OnePlus 9 (Review), ASUS ROG Phone 5 (First Impressions), and Vivo X60 Pro (Review), all of that are priced beginning at round Rs. 49,999.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G design

There are not any beauty adjustments between the 4G and the 5G fashions of the Galaxy S20 FE. The telephone seems to be similar to the 4G mannequin and has the identical button placement, with the ability and quantity buttons on the fitting. The main speaker is positioned on the backside, subsequent to the USB Type-C port and the mic. The earpiece speaker is hidden in a tiny slit on the prime finish of the show, and doubles up because the second speaker to supply stereo sound which is loud and clear.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s general design is clear and minimalist


The general design seems to be clear and minimalist, with a colour-matched digicam module that hardly protrudes from the rear panel. The Galaxy S20 FE 5G has a steel body that is sandwiched between a sheet of show glass on the entrance and a plastic panel on the again. The rear panel is curved to satisfy the body on all 4 sides and has a easy matte end that feels premium. The glass protecting the show is flat, which could have appeared like an odd alternative final 12 months, however feels at dwelling subsequent to the premium Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ (Review) smartphones which even have flat shows in 2021.

My evaluate unit got here within the Cloud Mint end, and it showcases a gentle yellow gradient when considered at an angle. The matte texture is non-slippery and is nice at rejecting fingerprints, however picks up mud fairly simply.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G, similar to the 4G mannequin, can also be rated IP68 for mud and water resistance, which is a giant deal provided that a number of competing smartphones (which can be priced a bit larger) don’t supply this.

Samsung Galaxy S20 specs and software program

Compared to different telephones out there at this worth degree right this moment, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s processor is mainly a 12 months outdated. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor was introduced in 2019 and began exhibiting up in smartphones within the first half of 2020. It was the flagship processor utilized by almost all smartphone producers who have been seeking to push out the primary wave of 5G smartphones in India.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC


While a year-old SoC is not a giant deal for the informal person, the leap from the Snapdragon 865 processor to the Snapdragon 888 is kind of huge when it comes to efficiency, and different producers supply the latter for under an extra Rs. 2,000.

Still, Samsung can justify its pricing as a result of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G presents options that different smartphones on this worth section don’t. The IP68 ranking will allow you to take your smartphone for a dip in a pool, and 15W wi-fi charging is kind of handy. You may even reverse cost different smartphones or equipment at 4.5W. While these options may not rely as requirements for many customers, they do enhance the premium smartphone expertise.

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One UI 3.Zero consists of a number of Samsung-branded apps


The Galaxy S20 FE 5G runs Samsung’s One UI 3.1, which relies on Android 11. Combined with the 120Hz refresh price show, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G felt fairly fluid in each day use. I felt no hiccups in any respect when operating native apps, third-party apps or switching between the 2. There are loads of preinstalled Samsung apps. The telephone additionally comes with a couple of third-party apps from Microsoft and Facebook, however these together with a number of Samsung apps (like Samsung Shop, Samsung Members, Samsung Global Goals, Notes, Internet and so on.) may be uninstalled if not wanted. During the evaluate interval, I used to be not bombarded with advertisements or promotional notifications. I did obtain the occasional notification from the Galaxy App Store, however these may be turned off within the system settings.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G efficiency and battery life

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 could also be a 12 months outdated, nevertheless it’s no slouch and presents dependable flagship-grade efficiency on the subject of common duties and gaming. The telephone carried out rather a lot higher than the Exynos 990-powered Galaxy S20 FE in our checks (though some scores may not be instantly comparable attributable to benchmark updates).

AnTuTu reported a rating of 6,41,038, whereas Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core outcomes have been 560 and three,136 respectively. These are larger than what the Exynos-based mannequin managed (4,62,330 in AnTuTu; 517 and a couple of,573 in Geekbench) however are decrease than the efficiency figures we have seen from Snapdragon 888-powered smartphones in the identical worth section.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE within the Cloud Mint end


Asphalt 9: Legends ran easily, with the graphics set to High Quality and 60fps mode enabled. The telephone warmed up a bit throughout gameplay however didn’t get scorching.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 can also be fairly able to dealing with a recreation like Call of Duty: Mobile when it comes to graphics. The recreation ran at Very High graphics and body price with no hiccup. However, I observed some contact sensitivity points and that dampens the expertise in video games that require a excessive diploma of accuracy. There was noticeable lag when enjoying Call of Duty: Mobile and it seems that the 120Hz show (with a 180Hz contact sampling price) couldn’t sustain with my fingers. With this incapability to precisely purpose at a goal, I ended up dropping many of the matches that I performed through the testing course of.

The 6.5-inch Super AMOLED show showcases oversaturated colors when utilizing the default Vivid display mode. Switch it to Natural and the colors look fairly uninteresting however I discovered this rather a lot higher. I want there was a preset between the 2 modes which may have delivered colors that have been a bit extra restrained, particularly for watching films or reveals.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G incorporates a hole-punch show


The FHD+ decision delivers a crisp 407ppi, which meant that every thing from textual content to pictures and movies appeared fairly sharp. While the brightness was ample indoors, the show was barely legible outside beneath the afternoon solar. Samsung doesn’t point out HDR in its spec sheet, nevertheless it appears to be supported.

In the show settings, one can modify the display’s refresh price, however it may possibly solely be set to 60Hz (for longer battery life) or 120Hz (for a smoother expertise). During the evaluate interval, I normally stored the show operating at 120Hz.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G clocked 18 hours and 22 minutes in our HD video loop battery take a look at, which is kind of good for a premium smartphone. The Exynos mannequin, with the identical 4500mAh battery capability, ran the identical video loop take a look at for 12 hours and 44 minutes, which is a bit low. In extraordinary use, which included operating social media apps, checking emails, an hour of calls and an hour or two of gaming with the show set to 120Hz, I normally ended the day with about 20-30 p.c left, which is kind of spectacular.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G presents higher battery life than the Exynos-based Galaxy S20 FE


In 2021, it’s a bit shocking to discover a premium Android smartphone with solely a 15W charger within the field. Still, charging instances weren’t too unhealthy, with the battery charging as much as 33 p.c in 30 minutes, 51 p.c in an hour, and 100 p.c in 1 hour and 38 minutes. The smartphone does help 25W charging, however you’ll have to buy your personal charger.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G cameras

While the digicam setup stays the identical as on the LTE mannequin, the processor swap from an Exynos 990 to a Snapdragon 865, may result in minor variations in photograph processing and subsequently the top consequence. So, I made a decision to place the Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s cameras by their paces. As anticipated, the outcomes weren’t too totally different from what we noticed in our evaluate of the 4G mannequin.

The rear module consists of a 12-megapixel f/1.Eight wide-angle digicam, an 8-megapixel f/2.Four telephoto digicam (3X optical zoom) and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide digicam. Selfies are dealt with by a 32-megapixel f/2.2 digicam that shoots 8-megapixel binned pictures.

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The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G’s digicam setup stays the identical as on the LTE mannequin


The digicam interface stays the identical as on every other premium Samsung telephone operating One UI 3.1. There are simply accessible controls that allow you to modify the facet ratio, timer, and flash, and change between cameras. The record of default modes is customisable and the slots may be swapped and personalised as per a person’s necessities.

The video mode enables you to change the video decision with simply two faucets, which is kind of handy. The again panel close to the digicam module does get a bit scorching when retaining the viewfinder on for about 10 minutes, however cools down rapidly when you exit the digicam app.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G daytime photograph samples. Top to backside: Ultra-wide, commonplace, 3X zoom (faucet to see full dimension)


Photos shot in daylight got here out vibrant, vibrant, and fairly saturated. Whether you’re taking pictures flowers, fruits, and even surroundings, the colors pop fairly a bit, which is typical of most Samsung smartphones. The dynamic vary is kind of good, however HDR processing does go overboard at instances, leading to a dreamy impact. The sharpness and particulars in photographs are fairly spectacular for a smartphone on this worth section. Image high quality and white stability stay constant even when switching between cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G daytime photograph samples. Top: 1X zoom, backside: 3X zoom (faucet to see full dimension)


The smartphone incorporates a telephoto digicam with 3X optical zoom, which shoots crisp pictures in daylight. The similar digicam additionally doubles up as a macro shooter because it enables you to get nearer to the thing in comparison with the first digicam. This is vital, as there isn’t any devoted macro digicam.

Portrait photographs come out fairly clear with good edge detection, however the Galaxy S20 FE 5G falters at instances (with a noticeable halo), when the topic is just not nonetheless.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Night Mode digicam samples. Top: Wide (1X), backside: Ultra-wide (0.5X) (faucet to see full dimension)


Post sundown, photographs got here out a bit murky with barely diminished dynamic vary within the shadows, however they nonetheless appeared fairly good. The Night mode takes care of those minor shortcomings and retains streetlights and vibrant spots from getting overexposed, whereas bumping up the brightness and particulars. The telephone shot crisp photographs in low-light scenes when Night mode was used with the first wide-angle digicam, however delivered solely satisfactory photographs when used on the ultra-wide-angle digicam.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G selfie samples. Top: Auto mode, backside: Night mode (faucet to see full dimension)


Selfies in the usual and portrait modes got here out fairly sharp and clear with good edge detection in daylight, however turned out murky and lacked depth in low-light taking pictures eventualities. The evening mode can also be out there on the entrance digicam and did a great job of sustaining element and giving a way of depth to the selfies.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G guarantees rather a lot when it comes to video, and surprisingly delivers when it comes to high quality as nicely. Videos shot at 1080p and 4K (30 and 60fps) with the first rear digicam got here out crisp and full of element, and have been additionally nicely stabilised when strolling. My solely gripe was with the ultra-wide-angle digicam, because it tended to overexpose scenes. The selfie digicam additionally managed movies fairly nicely and presents 1080p and 4K recording choices. 4K video shot with the selfie digicam lacked stabilisation and appeared fairly jerky. In low-light eventualities, movies shot at any decision got here out blurry and a bit noisy, however stabilisation was first rate.


To the informal person, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G may not look like a lot of an improve provided that it solely provides 5G help to the spec sheet. This would have been effective if this telephone had been launched alongside the 4G mannequin in India in 2020, prefer it did in different components of the world.

We have reviewed the 4G mannequin and it is simple to inform that the Snapdragon 865 silicon makes fairly a distinction when it comes to efficiency, and likewise would not warmth up as a lot as Samsung’s personal Exynos SoC.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G may be essentially the most full low-cost flagship providing when it comes to options in the meanwhile, provided that it presents optical zoom, wi-fi charging, and an IP68 ranking. These options, together with its vibrant OLED show, nice cameras, good battery life and stable on a regular basis efficiency make it a compelling choice. However, it is arduous to suggest to a gamer given its contact sensitivity points.

If you’re on the lookout for efficiency, there are smartphones just like the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro (Review) and the iQoo 7 Legend that get you the Snapdragon 888 processor and quicker charging from Rs. 39,990. If you’ll be able to stretch your funds by Rs. 2,000, there’s the OnePlus 9 (Review), which presents the Snapdragon 888 processor, a superb show that may deal with vibrant daylight, quicker charging, and no contact sensitivity points when gaming.

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