Samsung Galaxy S20 FE competes in a stringent price range, where brands like OnePlus and Xiaomi have earned a place for themselves. Samsung is disrupting that category in a way consumers benefit the most. The Galaxy S20 FE is the perfect example of Samsung's understanding of true consumer demands and it is not willing to let go of consumers so easily.
Samsung had always covered all the categories of smartphones - be it premium or affordable or even mid-range. But it didn't see the need to seed a device in the affordable flagship segment, which has brought immense success to some new brands. Until now.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has a strong spec-sheet, a price that will appeal to many and well, Samsung's brand loyalty, which is bound to turn many heads - both offline and online.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE comes in 128GB and 256GB storage options, but only the former is available on sale while deliveries for the latter will begin from October 28. The 128GB model is priced at Rs 49,999 and the 256GB storage carries a price tag of Rs 53,999, which comes close to the competition, closer than the S20 and Note 20 series.
We covered most of the design aspect in our first impressions of the device. And we strongly stand by the fact that the Galaxy S20 FE is one of the finest looking devices in the market. The modern look, compact form-factor will distract you from the fact that Samsung has used plastic back. On the bright side, it's more durable and keeps smudges at bay. But over the course of our review, we grew to adore the display more. We used the phone in 120Hz mode instead of the default 60Hz and boy, it felt good. It takes a slight toll on battery, but it's worth it. It's not something you'll notice unless you go looking for it, but the higher refresh rate is a boon to premium phones and should probably become standard. For us, scrolling through social media feeds, graphics in games delivered smooth results.
Finally, the display is bright enough to not put strain on your eyes while using under direct sunlight and the Full HD+ resolution is sufficed. The IP68 certification is a crucial part of the design, as we didn't have to worry when the unexpected Bengaluru weathers turned against us.
Moving on from the brilliant design and display, our focus was on Samsung Galaxy S20 FE's camera, which lived up to our expectations. The handset packs a 12MP wide-angle lens, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 12MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. For selfies, you'll be at ease with its 32MP sensor.
All we can say here is don't go by the megapixels. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE can help you create some incredibly detailed shots with natural and balanced colours, and excellent dynamic range. The camera is surely Samsung Galaxy S20 FE's strength. But some might find the colours to be punchy, but that's just the way of Samsung and many have grown to love it over the years. Even the wide angle shots come out great, without distorted edges - a nuisance many phones tend to have. In case of portraits, edge detection was on point in most cases, but the tiny strands of hair can trick the phone into blurring them. The phone doesn't have 100x zoom, but it gets the next best thing - 30x zoom, which is surprisingly good despite being digital. The optical zoom at 3x can very well capture some shots that may appear to be shot up-close.
The selfies also come out great. You won't have to spend a lot of time editing before sharing your selfies on social media. Topping it all off, the camera interface is much like other Samsung phones, but everything we wanted to use Live Focus, we had to go through "More". Sometimes, simplicity can go a long way.
Here are a few shots straight out of the Galaxy S20 FE camera roll:
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is powered by not Qualcomm, but Exynos 990 with 4G. In case you're wondering, yes, it is the same processor that powers the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The Samsung phone gets treated with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, which we felt could take on any task and we are not just talking gaming here.
Our normal day would include a lot of multitasking between various apps like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, browser and so on. Constantly switching back and forth between these apps to get a lot of work done for an average of 12 hours every day is the kind of stress the Galaxy S20 FE was subjected to. Personal time included streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video and the usual social media browsing, calls, WhatsApp communications with the addition of games and occasional music. We did not experience any lags or performance drops in any situation. It lived up to its no-compromise configuration.
We noticed a slight bit of heating while playing games non-stop for a long time. But that's not unbearable, so it's normal for any phone these days.
The OneUI 2.5 based on Android 10 is snappy and user-friendly. It's highly customisable, so users can try out new things to suit their style. The handset also has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which works great and is quite fast as well. But the face unlock will beat you to it most of the time.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE packs a 4,500mAh, which is a reliable size for day-to-day tasks. Even with our average use, the handset easily lasted a whole day with 5-6 hours of average screen-on-time. With heavy usage, like gaming and streaming, the battery might run out sooner. But a little bit of everything, social media, calls, IM, gaming and streaming, will last the phone for a whole day with 60Hz refresh rate. The 120Hz mode will eat into the battery more than the 60Hz refresh rate, but we'd rather have a smoother experience.
We don't wish for a longer-lasting battery more than faster-charging support. Sadly, the Galaxy S20 FE gets a 15W charger, which is outright ridiculous from a competition point of view. But you can always spend extra to get a faster adapter.
Despite the lack of glass back, Samsung managed to get wireless charging support in the Galaxy S20 FE. There's also reverse wireless charging support if you wish to use it.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a winner in every sense. If you look practically, the lack of 5G, glass and metal doesn't feel like a downgrade. When in fact, the handset's desirable design, great cameras and overall performance - all at Rs 49,999 make for a solid deal. If you can manage to get a striking deal on the phone during this festive season, you will not regret buying this smartphone. Perhaps, the money you save during the festive deals should be spent on a faster-charging adaptor as 15W is rather disappointing for the overall package that is Galaxy S20 FE.