Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review: Feature-rich without the flagship price – Techaeris

When the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G was announced, I have to admit I was confused. I wasn’t sure what this device was all about and where it fits into the already crowded Samsung mobile space.

It wasn’t until I finally got my hands on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G that I finally understood what Samsung was trying to do. Read on for the full review of this feature-rich yet reasonably priced Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Specifications

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G has the following features and specifications:

  • Display
    • 6.5″ Super AMOLED
    • 84.8% screen-to-body ratio
    • 2400 x 1080 resolution
    • 407ppi
    • HDR 10+
    • 120Hz refresh rate
    • Always-on display
  • OS: Android 10
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585)
  • GPU: Adreno 650
  • Memory
    • Internal – 128GB or 256GB
    •  RAM –6GB or 8GB UFS 3.1
  • Cameras
    • Front
      • HDR 32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.74″, 0.8µm8 MP, f/2.2, 22mm (wide), 1.12µm, depth sensor
      • Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps (gyro-EIS)
    • Triple Rear
      • 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
      • 8 MP, f/2.4, 76mm (telephoto), 1/4.5″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
      • 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.0″, 1.12µm
      • Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS
  • Audio
    • No headphone jack
    • Dual-speakers
    • 32-bit/384kHz audio
    • AKG sound
  • Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
    • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
    • NFC
    • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
    • USB Type-C 3.2, USB On-The-Go
  • Sensors
    • Bixby natural language commands and dictation
    • In-display fingerprint scanner
    • Accelerometer
    • Gyro
    • Proximity
    • Compass
    • Barometer
  • Battery
    • Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
    • Fast charging 25W
    • Fast wireless charging 15W
    • Li-Po 4,500 mAh, non-removable
  • IP68 certified: Dust and water-resistant over 1.5 meters and 30 minutes
  • Dimensions: 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4 mm (6.29 x 2.93 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight: 190 g (6.70 oz)

What’s In The Box

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • USB Type-C data/charging cable
  • Charging adapter
  • Sim card ejection pin
  • Manuals and documentation
There’s not much in the box, wall adapter, cable, SIM pin, and manuals.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G exhibits two distinct departures in design over its Galaxy siblings. No curvy display and no glass construction. Now, that’s not a bad thing, not at all.

The display has a thin bezel all the way around the front with a punch hole for the front camera. Samsung is well known for its edge-to-edge and waterfall displays that have become very popular. While those displays are amazing and beautiful, some users find the functionality less than useful, and Samsung took a different approach. We’ll go over the display more closely in the next section.

Around the back, you’ll find that the body is not made of glass, as many Galaxy phones are, but it is made of “glastic.” Glastic is Samsung’s term for this frosted plastic body, which, at first glance, looks very much like frosted glass. It is, honestly, not nearly as bad as I assumed it would be. The glastic makes the phone lighter, and it actually feels really nice to hold.

The triple camera is also located on the back with a significant camera bump, which mimics Samsung phones’ more expensive line.

On the bottom edge of the phone, you’ll find the USB-C port for charging, a microphone, and one of the stereo speakers tuned by AKG. AKG is an audio company that is owned by Samsung and is known for its quality audio products.

On the top edge of the phone, you’ll find the SIM card tray and another microphone. Multiple microphones help with call quality and noise-canceling to give you better call clarity.

There is nothing located along the phone’s left edge, and the right edge houses the volume rocker and power button. The second stereo speaker is located on the front and doubles as the earpiece for phone calls.

Despite the glastic material, the build quality is very nice, and the phone does not feel like a cheap budget Android phone. The glastic does make it lighter than other glass and aluminum phones, but it’s actually a nice change.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G goes in a slightly different direction than most of its other phones but in a good way. I love that there’s a small bezel here, and the glastic material really isn’t bad at all.

Great display, works well in sunlight too.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G display is not the same resolution as most flagship phones. This display is a modest FHD+ 2400 x 1080, the same resolution many mid-range phones tend to use. Of course, this is a Samsung display tuned by Samsung and that makes a huge difference.

You’re still getting Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 407ppi. But the biggest feature of the display is its 120Hz refresh rate. That’s significant as usually it’s only flagship phones that see this upgrade.

The colors are what you’d expect from a Samsung AMOLED screen, bright, punchy colors, good blacks, clean whites, and crisp text. The 6.5″ size is ample and plenty big, but it doesn’t feel massive. It’s actually slightly smaller than an iPhone 11 Pro Max, which also has a 6.5″ display.

The biggest surprise, as I mentioned already, is the 120Hz refresh rate. This is a feature found on a lot of Android flagships but not normally on a phone that’s US$699.99. That being said, 120Hz isn’t necessary, and many people would be hard-pressed to notice a difference if they never used a refresh rate like this.

The higher refresh rate helps in keeping things such as scrolling, video, and gaming much smoother. Once you start using a display with this refresh rate, you notice. So it’s really amazing that a display like this was dropped into the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G.

As for brightness, I’m not sure of the nit count but this display did a fantastic job outside even under bright sunlight. It struggled just a bit in direct sunlight but overall it performed really well in bright conditions.

Overall, Samsung makes great displays in general. This display has those same punchy colors and deep blacks that we’ve come to love about Samsung displays. The big surprise is the refresh rate, and it’s a good surprise.