When Samsung decided to ditch the successor of the Galaxy S10e in the new S20 series, many people felt disappointed. The S10e was a great phone and it offered something unique in the modern smartphone market space: a compact flagship. The Galaxy S20 became the affordable one, while the portfolio was extended with an Ultra model. Now it seems that Samsung has mixed things up even more, as a new model has popped into existence: the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition). ALSO read:
Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy S20 FE today, and most of the specs are just as expected. The phone is a watered-down version of the original Galaxy S20 and to clear any confusion we decided to offer a detailed comparison between the two phones.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20
- 6.5″ FHD+ Super AMOLED (407 PPI) vs 6.2″ QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED (566 PPI)
- 6GB vs 12GB RAM
- 12MP wide + 12MP ultrawide + 8MP telephoto (3x optical zoom) vs 12MP wide + 64MP secondary + 12MP ultrawide
- 32MP vs 10MP front camera
- 4,500mAh vs 4,000mAh battery
- $699 vs $999.99
Design and display
After numerous leaks left, right, and center, now we finally can take a look at Galaxy S20 FE’s design. At first glance, the most striking difference between the two phones is the display – it’s a flat unit on the Galaxy S20 FE, as opposed to the curved panel used on the S20. This decision leads to bigger bezels for the S20 FE, and a less refined design overall.The size and resolution of both screens are also different. While the Galaxy S20 opts for a 6.2″ QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED panel, keeping a compact footprint, the Fan Edition will use a 6.5″ FHD+ Super AMOLED display. As a result, the pixel count is also very different between the two phones (566 vs 407 PPI.) Luckily, the Galaxy S20 FE keeps that 120Hz refresh rate mode for the display.
Software and performance
Here comes the best part that will please Samsung fans out there. The Galaxy S20 FE uses the same hardware platform as its bigger brother – the S20. No compromises have been made with the chipset, it’s the same Snapdragon 865 octa-core CPU, paired with an Adreno 650 GPU. Sadly, the amount of RAM is exactly half of what the S20 has. We’re talking about 6GB of RAM vs 12GB on the regular S20, although there’s an 8GB/256GB version available in selected markets. It might seem like a huge difference, but in real-life scenarios, you probably won’t notice a night and day difference in the performance.
Both phones sport a 128GB onboard storage, and both feature a microSD card slot for expanding it. The software platform is the same on both devices – Android 10 with Samsung’s OneUI 2.5 on top. The Galaxy S20 FE retains the ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner as well as the IP68 water and dust protection of the regular Galaxy S20.
The camera configuration is the other big difference between the two models. The Galaxy S20 FE is rumored to sport a 12MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide shooter, and an 8MP telephoto unit with 3x optical zoom. The regular Galaxy S20 also features a triple-camera system but lacks a true telephoto lens. The secondary 64MP camera takes on these duties with the help of some software wizardry.
The selfie camera on the Galaxy S20 FE is a 32MP snapper, while on the regular Galaxy S20 we have a 10MP sensor. We have to pitch both systems against each other in a detailed camera comparison to get a better “picture” of the camera performance on each model.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is already up for pre-order at an incredible price
The Galaxy S20 FE has a bigger battery – 4,500mAh, compared to the 4,000mAh battery of the regular Galaxy S20. The increase in capacity is expected, as the S20 FE is considerably larger to accommodate that 6.5-inch display (and obviously the bigger battery.) Whether or not this will translate to a better battery life remains to be seen, but given the chipset parity, the only variable left is the screen. With the reduced pixel count, we should expect S20 FE battery life to be at least as good as that of the Galaxy S20, if not better.
The fast charging capabilities of the S20 FE match the 25W wired fast charging support of the original Galaxy S20 but there’s a 15W charger included in the retail box, which means that you’ll need to buy an additional fast charger to fully utilize the feature.
Price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy S20 launched with a $1000 price tag, and the key reason behind the existence of the Galaxy S20 FE is its price. Samsung plans to sell the S20 FE for $699 and that sum will probably get you the 6GB/128GB version of the phone. Starting on October 2, 2020, Galaxy S20 FE will be available stateside through Samsung.com, carriers and retailers online.
Samsung expects to sell at least 5 million units of this almost-flagship phone but people might be in for a hard time choosing between the Galaxy S20 and the S20 FE. The compact flagship can be found at a discounted price ($799 or even lower) giving fewer reasons to opt for that Fan Edition.