S20 FE

Samsung is ensuring that it optimally utilises the opportunity to do virtual launches in the time of a pandemic, and has hence held its third unpacked in a year – a first for the company. And while the other two events saw the company announcing brand new devices and concepts, including the Note 20 Series, the Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Z Fold 2 etc., today’s event was a little different. The company announced the launch of the S20 FE (Fan Edition), a new edition of an already existing device at a budget.

First, the S20 FE comes in 6 new colours- Navy, Red, Orange, Mist, Lavender and White. Moreover, the new colours are coupled with a Haze Finish, which isn’t really essential but still does not hurt to have.

The display on the device offers a 120 Hz refresh rate, which is common in the industry now, but still, a welcome addition for a ‘budget’ device. It will also put it at par with OnePlus Nord. Moreover, it pairs perfectly well with the  FHD+, which is definitely a big downgrade from the QHD+ on the S20 devices.

While the FHD+ display might seem like a bummer, the company had good reason for it. The S20 FE, which comes at just $699, is in fact a “budget” flagship killer, and such downgrades were expected. Thus, I was not surprised to hear the move from a glass and metal to plastic (polycarbonate) design, or the inferior display, or the less powerful cameras.

Oh yeah, the cameras saw a downgrade too, with the telephoto dropping from 64-megapixels down to eight, even though it still comes with a three camera panel. However, the front facing selfie shooter saw an upgrade-from 10 MP to 32 MP.

Moreover, the 8GB RAM on the S20 has been reduced to 6GB on the S20 FE, while the base variant will still support 128 GB of storage.

That being said, it has the same Snapdragon 865 chipset, and the battery has actually been increased from 4,000 mAh to 4,500 mAh. Thus, S20 FE might have something additional to offer at a lower price point, which is not usually the case with Samsung devices.

The device might seem like somewhat of a downgrade, but for a $300 write off, the compromises are pretty reasonable.