Why it was Samsung’s most important phone of 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: Slightly over half a decade in the past, OnePlus spearheaded the introduction of the worth flagship phase. The premise was easy. Offer top-tier specs at a value that’s reasonably priced to a a lot wider set of patrons. That technique, nevertheless, isn’t infinitely sustainable with out a wider portfolio of units to maintain development and revenue margins. The firm’s fixed trajectory up the pricing ladder and the introduction of the Nord collection is additional proof of the identical.

Samsung has historically been at both finish of the worth spectrum. While the corporate thrived within the entry-to-mid-range segments in addition to flagships via its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note households, it has historically been a bit shy about going up towards the likes of OnePlus within the $500-700 phase.

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All this modified with the arrival of the Note 10 Lite and S10 Lite in 2019. The two telephones noticed Samsung taking child steps into the world of worth flagships. While the telephones made some compromises to hit a cheaper price level, they garnered favorable evaluations and had been typically well-received. The one-off Galaxy S10e was one more beloved phone aimed in direction of individuals in search of a extra pocketable smartphone with out main sacrifices on energy or options.

Related: The greatest Samsung telephones you should buy

Blame it on slowing improve cycles, lack of differentiation, or just, an unsure economic system, patrons are in search of worth. The resounding success of the iPhone SE has additional proved the significance of a tool that straddles the advantageous line between efficiency, options, and worth, although for these used to true flagship experiences Apple’s price range phone was maybe a step too far down the ladder.

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Some 2020 telephones just like the Google Pixel 5 and LG Velvet bridged the hole between the mid-range and premium market by providing flagship-style telephones with weaker processors, however these didn’t ship the uncooked energy many fanatic patrons crave. With OnePlus seemingly preoccupied with its new price range Nord line and an elevated concentrate on the premium tier, the reasonably priced flagship market was left extensive open for Samsung — it simply wanted the fitting phone.

Enter the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in hand

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Like the Note 10 Lite and the S10 Lite, the premise of the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (or simply Galaxy S20 FE for brief) is comparable: construct a cut-down model of a well-liked high-end mannequin. Except this time round, the additions far outweigh the omissions. Having spent a couple of month with the phone, I’m pretty assured that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, sure even with the Exynos 990 chipset in my model right here in India, is the sleeper hit of 2020.

Let’s discuss design and end. It’s arguably one of the most distinguishing options of a premium smartphone. Polycarbonate isn’t perceived because the most premium materials in a world of glass and metallic sandwiches. However, it affords a spread of putting pastel shades that look downright attractive. The shades spoke to me when Samsung introduced the phone, and the minty inexperienced hue of the Galaxy S20 FE was positively refreshing to see within the flesh. My colleague C Scott Brown just lately took the pink model for a spin and was equally enamored with the brilliant and daring look.

But it’s not simply colours. The truth of the matter is that polycarbonate, when executed proper, could be a improbable materials for a smartphone. No matter how good-tempered glass will get, polycarbonate will maintain up higher towards drops and scratches.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in hand 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Then there’s the flat show. Call it a cost-saving measure, or Samsung listening to person suggestions. The 6.5-inch dimension and flat display screen merely make the phone higher for usability. Moreover, Samsung makes some of the most effective AMOLED panels within the enterprise. The Galaxy S20 FE is not any exception. It sports activities a improbable one. The 120Hz panel is completely beautiful to take a look at with none of the show points usually discovered on rival OnePlus {hardware}.

Stripping away pointless design thrives to make a phone extra ‘premium’ can truly make a phone higher. Who’d have thought?

Even on the imaging entrance, the Galaxy S20 FE wins by focusing extra on picture high quality than gimmicks or megapixels. Compared to the OnePlus 8T, the most apparent competitor, the Galaxy S20 FE’s stellar 12-megapixel digital camera wins out over the 48MP sensor on the competitors. Samsung’s shade science pulls forward of the 108MP camera-equipped Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro as effectively, which targets the identical reasonably priced flagship phase.

Read extra: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs iPhone 12 digital camera comparability

In truth, we pit the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE towards the iPhone 12 and got here out stunned simply how shut the 2 telephones had been — verify it out through the hyperlink above. Additionally, whereas it’s down to private desire, a extra conventional trio of a large, ultra-wide, and telephoto ought to be much more helpful than the macro and depth sensors obtainable on alternate choices.

But hey, that’s the fundamentals. Where Samsung actually hits it out of the park is the sheer quantity of worth additions. Want microSD enlargement? You received it. How about wi-fi charging? That’s included too. The giant 4,500mAh battery additionally lasts a day and a half with out breaking a sweat. It makes the shortage of 30W or 65W charging speeds much more tolerable.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE packs a laundry listing of {hardware} differentiators like an IP68 score and wi-fi charging.

Then are options like Samsung Pay. Once stored apart for extra premium choices, Samsung has been bringing its fee resolution additional down the lineup. The Galaxy S20 FE advantages from it as effectively. The actual benefit right here is assist for MST or magnetic stripe readers that are nonetheless exceedingly standard in markets like India. It makes the concept of a completely digital fee future much more possible.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE front and center

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Even on the software program entrance, the cleaned-up One UI is a step above most smartphone skins. I do know, I do know, Oxygen OS is the darling of Android followers. However, there’s a case to be made for the sheer quantity of helpful characteristic additions that Samsung has made to One UI — be it Good Lock or the superb Dex Mode.

Samsung telephones additionally combine superbly with Windows PCs. My private favourite? Dual Bluetooth connectivity to share your audio stream with a number of audio system or headphones.

See additionally: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20 — which do you have to purchase?

Priced the identical because the OnePlus 8T, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE provides a really completely different expertise. For these unfortunate sufficient to solely get the Exynos variant (like me), the Snapdragon 865 within the OnePlus 8T provides much more grunt for efficiency seekers. Elsewhere, it’s nice to see true flagship energy in an reasonably priced Samsung phone. However, efficiency isn’t the be-all and end-all of a smartphone.

While fans will, clearly, search efficiency, the common person is as a rule, in search of quality-of-life options. And in a world of options that don’t usually add a lot to reinforce usability, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a shining instance of {hardware} and options that make a direct influence in each day utilization.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Back side

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE democratizes all the important thing options of the Galaxy S20 at a value level that’s extremely aggressive and that’s no small factor.

This is Samsung realizing that with comparatively diminishing positive factors within the top-tier flagship phase, it’s time to concentrate on distilling the improvements to at least one of the fastest-growing market segments.

Between a highly-competitive worth flagship, and pushing the gamut with its foldable telephones, Samsung has all the fitting items in place to make strides throughout two of the most important verticals in 2021.

Read our full verdict: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE evaluate

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