Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review second opinion: Almost a OnePlus killer


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in hand 2

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung is the most important smartphone producer on this planet. The Galaxy S sequence will not be solely the corporate’s flagship household however the flagship sequence of Android basically. As such, when the corporate launched the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, some could have thought it was simply releasing a enjoyable cellphone for its followers, no less than based mostly on the title (“FE” stands for “Fan Edition”).

Read additionally: Our original Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review

However, it’s possible Samsung had extra nefarious functions in thoughts for the Galaxy S20 FE. The cellphone’s options, design, and worth put it in direct competitors with the newest telephones within the “affordable flagship” phase — most notably these from OnePlus. Although OnePlus has been round for about seven years, that is the primary time Samsung has so aggressively tried to seize prospects straight from OnePlus’ standard market.

As a long-time OnePlus fan, I needed to check out the so-called “OnePlus killer” myself. I used the Galaxy S20 FE for about three days to get a really feel for it.

In our authentic review of the Galaxy S20 FE, we largely in contrast it to its $1,000 namesake. I feel approaching it from a completely different angle, although, may make it a bit extra clear simply how good this cellphone is — in addition to why Samsung nonetheless has work to do if it desires to steal all of OnePlus’ prospects.

The gang’s (virtually) all right here

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE front display

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

As I stated earlier than, our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review largely in contrast the machine to the vanilla Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S20 is, by far, the higher cellphone of the 2. It has higher specs, a higher construct, higher cameras — the cellphone is simply higher.

However, whereas current gross sales have dropped the cellphone’s worth, it nonetheless has a $1,00zero MSRP more often than not. At $300 much less with none reductions, the Galaxy S20 FE isn’t actually in the identical ballpark. The Galaxy S20 is a bonafide flagship, whereas the S20 FE is a premium mid-ranger. In that sense, evaluating it to the Galaxy S20 isn’t actually truthful.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S series — A history of the biggest name in Android

Let’s have a look at the Galaxy S20 FE by itself. For $700, you’re getting a top-tier 5G-powered flagship processor within the Snapdragon 865, a high-refresh-rate show, and the quintessential rear digital camera trifecta (large, ultra-wide, and telephoto). You’re additionally getting an IP68 score, wi-fi and reverse wi-fi charging, and a MicroSD card slot. Let’s be actual: that’s practically the whole lot a premium mid-range shopper desires and extra.

Additionally, some elements of the cellphone that Samsung considers cost-cutting strikes really benefited it ultimately. The transfer to a flat show is a welcome one for a lot of people. The change to an optical in-display fingerprint sensor didn’t damage, both. Even the plastic again (don’t even take into consideration calling it “glasstic”) is preferable when in comparison with the glass sandwich design which is so common lately.

In reality, the one place the place the Galaxy S20 FE comes up actually brief is with the included RAM. At 6GB, that places it manner behind the competitors on this house. Even the Google Pixel 5 has 8GB of RAM.

The level, although, is that the Galaxy S20 FE is the premium mid-ranger to beat in 2020. It’s not so good as the Galaxy S20, positive, however it’s not alleged to be.

OnePlus would name this a “Pro” cellphone

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs OnePlus 8T 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

If you have a look at the spec sheets of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, you’ll be able to shortly spot the issues that differentiate the 2. The OnePlus 8 Pro’s wi-fi charging, IP score, 120Hz show refresh fee, telephoto digital camera, and 1440p show are the large ones. These upgrades give OnePlus the leeway it feels it must cost $899 for the entry-tier OnePlus 8 Pro.

Isn’t it fascinating, then, that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has virtually all of these options for $200 much less? By these metrics, the Galaxy S20 FE is a Pro-level machine. Yet, it prices the identical because the vanilla OnePlus Eight and $50 lower than the just-launched OnePlus 8T.

See additionally: The best Samsung Galaxy S20 FE cases you can buy

This is the place the Galaxy S20 FE will get fascinating. It’s additionally one thing we solely briefly touched on in our full Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review. When you examine the Fan Edition with the latest crop of OnePlus phones, you see that Samsung is providing a complete lot extra for a comparably cheaper price.

Now, we might argue all day about whether or not that is Samsung being extremely aggressive, OnePlus resting on its laurels, or each. Regardless, the Galaxy S20 FE places each premium mid-ranger OnePlus has launched this 12 months to disgrace in terms of general worth.

As a OnePlus fan, I gotta hand it to Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Hole punch selfie macro 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Anyone who reads Android Authority commonly is aware of I’ve been a fan of OnePlus for a very long time. To check out the Galaxy S20 FE, I needed to put aside my OnePlus 7 Pro, which is my favorite Android phone ever made.

Normally, after I’m testing new telephones, I begin to miss the OnePlus 7 Pro inside a few hours. Interestingly, that didn’t occur with the Galaxy S20 FE. I say that is fascinating as a result of I additionally personal a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is head-and-shoulders above each telephones by a number of metrics. However, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is so huge and heavy that I hate utilizing it as my every day, irrespective of how highly effective it is likely to be.

I just like the Galaxy S20 FE a heck of a lot greater than any OnePlus cellphone launched this 12 months.

The Galaxy S20 FE, although, felt nice. It was ergonomically pleasing, highly effective, clean, and acquired terrific battery life. The undeniable fact that it got here in my favourite colour (pink) didn’t damage both.

Even my greatest pet peeve, the selfie digital camera show cutout, stopped sporting on me after about a day. Notably, I can’t say the identical about my time with the OnePlus 8T, which has a comparable show cutout. I feel the truth that the cutout is centered on the Galaxy S20 FE — and thus distant from my notification icons — makes all of the distinction.

I definitely haven’t used each cellphone that’s launched in 2020, however the Galaxy S20 FE has shortly turn into my second-favorite of the 12 months (my primary is the Asus ROG Phone 3, even when it’s additionally too massive to make use of as a every day).

Nice one, Samsung.

There’s nonetheless work to be carried out, although

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE back standing up off center

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

As nice because the Galaxy S20 FE is, my time with it did go away me wishing some issues have been completely different. Samsung deserves all of the reward on this planet for packaging a lot cellphone into such a low worth level, however there’s positively room for enchancment.

The greatest challenge with the cellphone is the digital camera. Although the configuration is totally the gold normal (large, ultra-wide, and telephoto), the standard I noticed simply wasn’t what I count on from Samsung. Under best situations, the digital camera is okay. However, as quickly as you throw a problem at it, it crumbles. I notice that the Galaxy S20 FE by definition can’t have the identical digital camera system because the Galaxy S20, however it must be higher than this. Check out our original review of the phone to see some digital camera examples.

Related: The best Android camera phones you can get

Secondly, the show isn’t up-to-snuff, both. The 120Hz refresh rate is gorgeous, and the 1080p decision is completely high quality for a cellphone on this worth bracket. However, the colour stability appeared wonky and there are some very apparent touchscreen points. Samsung’s tried to fix the latter problem, however so far as I can inform it’s nonetheless occurring.

Finally, One UI continues to be a bloated mess. I notice that is completely subjective so be happy to go to the feedback and inform me how unsuitable I’m. However, I’m pointing this out as a result of Samsung is clearly attempting to steal away OnePlus prospects, and so they typically love Oxygen OS. Since One UI is form of the other of Oxygen OS, Samsung might want to do a lot of labor making the One UI expertise smoother and simpler to navigate if it actually desires to win over OnePlus die-hards.

As proof of this, the latest versions of Oxygen OS are extra like One UI than every other earlier variations — and OnePlus fans aren’t happy about it. If Samsung desires to transform OnePlus followers over to its aspect, One UI goes to wish a lot of labor.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review second opinion: More FE telephones, please

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in hand 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is proof that the corporate can create telephones that one-up OnePlus whereas nonetheless being reasonably priced. This cellphone won’t be the “OnePlus killer” Samsung could have hoped it to be, however it’s rattling shut.

Related: Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Which is better?

Honestly, this cellphone must be celebrated by Samsung followers in addition to OnePlus followers. For Samsung followers, this cellphone’s success might assist push the corporate to reign in its ambitions for the Galaxy S sequence and higher stability its worth propositions. For OnePlus followers, this cellphone may gentle a hearth underneath the corporate to up its recreation within the premium mid-ranger house. As far as I’m involved, OnePlus has a lot to show in 2021 if it desires to carry on to its customers.

I’m very a lot wanting ahead to the subsequent iteration of the Fan Edition sequence. I hope Samsung can enhance the {hardware} high quality a little bit — particularly in terms of the digital camera. I additionally hope One UI 3.zero will proceed the development of Samsung making its Android pores and skin much less chaotic. Who is aware of: if OnePlus continues to ship disappointing units in 2021, my subsequent cellphone could possibly be a Samsung Galaxy S30 FE.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE All one of the best options of the Galaxy S20 sequence at a cheaper price

If you do not thoughts chopping a few corners, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for “Fan Edition”) is likely to be the cellphone you might be on the lookout for. It affords a lot of the flagship specs and options of the Galaxy S20 household however trims issues right down to hold the worth low.


What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

This could be our first look at the OnePlus 9’s design

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week