8.3
Score

Pros

  • Good Specs through and through
  • Alright Camera Performance
  • Quite the bargain for the money that you pay
  • Finally, a Snapdragon Powered S20 for Asian Countries
  • There's is a much affordable Exynos Variant available

Cons

  • Puts the Note20 in a really tough Position
  • Then again, nobody asked for the Exynos Variant

Despite the pandemic, it seems like Samsung had a good year unveiling a lot of new smartphones for consumers to choose from and even announced expensive ones like the Note20 Ultra which we have reviewed – click here. But that didn’t stop the Korean Giants from unveiling more phones. Earlier this year, there has been talks where there will be a new Fan Edition to be seen and while we expected it to be a Note series to be the Fan Edition, Samsung unveiled the S Series Fan Edition which is a head turner for a lot of reason and might just be the only phone available all over the world running the same Snapdragon Processor under the hood.

Looks the Same but Feels Different

1/7

From every aspect of the S20 FE or Fan Edition, whichever way you want to call it – has the same exact look as the S20 which made its debut earlier this year before the lockdown happened. The S20 was made from glass and metal all around which it did give a very premium feel to it. Plus, the fact that had this nice heft in the hand made it nice to use and it was still one compact phone, although we lowkey missed the S10e. The S20 FE retains the same shape as the S20 and the dimensions are all the same, but it has one major-slash-minor change, depends on how you look at it.

The S20 comes in three different color but the Fan Edition goes beyond 3, in fact it has 7 different colors to choose from. Personally we loved the Orange color because its not something you get to see every day and the orange sides gave it more of a gold-slash-rose-gold feel to it which is reminiscent as the older S8s and S9s. Usually the phone comes sandwiched between glass both on the front and back but the S20 FE takes it down a notch, for a plastic back with matte finish that isn’t fingerprint magnet at all. Personally, we like the plastic finish because – affordable replacement and a lot more durable than glass itself.

Snappy Snapdragon 865 Galore

After all the ruse on how the US variants performed better than the Global Exynos variant with their flagships, they decided to make the Snapdragon 865 Variant the standard all over the world where the S20 FE is available, making it the best move overall. Performance wise, now users can no longer see the performance dip which they would experience with the Exynos processor – although we have mentioned in our previous reviews that the marginal dip doesn’t make any difference as the real world experience is most definitely going to vary and hard to notice. But the fact that they gave what consumers want is a smart move. In benchmarks, this phone performed just as good as you’d think – coupled with the 8GB RAM and 256GB Internals. It just doesn’t end there though as they went ahead and gave fans what they want.

Antutu Lite
Antutu Lite
AIDA64
AIDA64
3DMARK
3DMARK
Geekbench 5
Geekbench 5

Giving what the Fans Want

This is where the phone stood out the best. The processor was part of it but there are some things they retained from the S20 on the FE – a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display but instead of a QHD+ panel, you get the FHD+ panel with higher refresh rate on the FE. You get all of the 120Hz goodness on the display paired with good color science which is nice to view and watch content on or play on.

The Camera on the back is toned down from the S20 but the idea of having three practical sensors still exist – a 12MP Ultra-Wide, 12MP Wide Angle and 8MP Telephoto. The camera is good as you would expect from a flagship smartphone, but it isn’t no way comparable with the S20 as it still has a superior Telephoto sensor coming in at 64MP. The performance of the camera would suffice for users as it is a great point and shoot style with good punch of contrast and depth of field. If you want to use it with more controls then you can always use the Pro Mode but for the most part, it covers the fair ground on taking quality image out of it. On the front, the S20 FE comes with a higher 32MP selfie shooter – so this gives an idea that they kind of focused this phone more on the younger target audience.

1/20

Finally, the battery on this phone is huge bump to a whopping 4500mAh and that’s a good step forward especially for users who are looking for a battery life that would last more than a day or end the day without needing it to connect it to the nearest outlet or to their battery bank. All of these paired with the good software experience, makes the S20 FE feel just like the S20 to be honest. And the little minor stepdown is not so noticeable. That is if you bought the phone when the Snapdragon version only existed.

And then there’s the Exynos Version

Out of nowhere, Samsung decided to bring in the Exynos version of the S20FE with all the same specs except for the RAM and storage which is lower and has 4G Support instead of the 5G Support we have seen on the Snapdragon as there is only 5G Variant available. In Samsung’s defense, the Exynos 990 S20 FE does cost a lot less at RM2,699 which is a hard deal to turn away from, trust me and comes with 128GB instead of a 256GB.

But then the existence of the Exynos version baffles everyone since it does have a little controversy on the performance. But for what its worth, if that RM 3,399 price tag on the Snapdragon variant scares you a little, then go for the S20 FE 4G. It’s not a bad phone since you are getting the best experience either way with no premium paid for a feature (hint – 5G – hint) that we will never use.

What about the Note20 then?

Now the only thing holding the Note20 by the thread is its S Pen. That’s it. After the S20 FE was out and looking at how impressively it was priced considering it has all the bells and whistles consumers want crammed into that small phone, I couldn’t help it but to wonder how did Samsung got the Note20 wrong in so many ways. Now, personally I have a loyal following towards the Note series because I do rely on the pen heavily, but the fact that they could have bumped the display to a 120Hz and still have some extras to make the Note20 look appealing but they didn’t makes me feel nothing but sad for the unloved child of the lineup.

You can click here to read what we have to say about the Note20.

Conclusion

Now the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is an interesting fanservice smartphone giving users and consumers what they want in a flagship smartphone and retaining a good price tag. Plus, cutting the corners where Samsung thing wouldn’t make a huge difference and still maintaining the fine line from crossing and making their very own S20 Series obsolete, is commendable.

We love the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, we sure do want one and we don’t mind rocking it as our daily driver because it’s a damn good phone. For that, we give the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, the silver award here at The Adventures of Vesper.