this is the Samsung that will interest you the most

If there is a terminal that has managed to give Hitting the spot in the last year is the iPhone 11. This mobile is on its way and has practically all the ballots to become the best-selling terminal of 2020, as the iPhone Xr was a course before. Why have you convinced so much? Because Apple knew how to read that many would be willing to have a next-generation high-end mobile by making some resignations if it meant being able to move away from the thousand euros. We do not know if driven by the success of this bet or by Chinese competition, but Samsung has created the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (from now on FE) with which he intends to follow this same path.

We have spent a week with this mobile, a terminal as unexpected as it is interesting if what you are looking for is an Android, with a good specification sheet for just over 600 euros. Here are the good and the not so good of this machine, which bets a lot on the performance, the camera and the screen to convince you to make eyes and Give up going to OnePlus or a Xiaomi.

As Apple already did with the iPhone 11, Samsung has taken advantage of this Galaxy S20 FE to introduce a wide palette of colors. Yellow, blue, purple, red … There are many finishes of this new model, whose frame is made of plastic in the case of the back and aluminum for the frames. It is obvious that it is a material that feels less ‘premium’ than a body finished in tempered glass, but the truth is that the treatment they have given it hides a lot and gives the hit.

Despite its 6.5 inches, its elongated design makes it comfortable to handle with one hand for quick actions such as sending messages or WhatsApp without having to grab both the right and the left at the same time. It is neither very heavy nor very light, at 190 grams. Nor does it stand out for its thickness, 8.4 millimeters. It has IP68 resistance, it has a USB type C port, a stereo speaker (with a drinkable sound but with room for improvement) and it forgets the headphone jack, something that continues to have many defenders.

Foto: M. Mcloughlin.

For the screen they choose, as we have already seen in other models of the house, for piercing your SuperAMOLED to house the camera on the front. The fingerprint reader is put under the panel. It is not the fastest sensor that you will find but it handles enough reliability so that you do not end up opting for the PIN or the pattern to unlock the mobile. Its 6.5 inches handle a resolution of Full HD + (more than enough for most of the people) as well as compatibility with HDR10 + and a refresh rate of 120Hz.

Display and performance

It is true that Xiaomi launched a pulse with 144Hz in its Mi 10T, but the 120 is already a very high level, which makes everything feel and look very fluid. It can be deactivated if you want to stretch the autonomy.

For this price, you will not find the brightest screen on the market either, but it has enough muscle to work in very bright environments or shoot a photo without problems when the sun hits directly. Good gloss, good calibration, good color reproduction within the particular style of the SuperAMOLED (They tend to saturate certain tones, although it can be adjusted) … I think the screen is one of the strengths of this device, although it is obviously far from what a S20 Ultra or a Note 20 Ultra can offer you.

The other thing the Galaxy S20 FE excels at is performance. It comes with a different engine depending on whether you opt for the 4G or 5G version. In this latest version, the one we’ve been testing, it handles the Snapdragon Qualcomm 865, one of the best chips of the year, which has held up very well the things that I have been throwing at it. Zero jerks, no temperature rises. Nothing.

Although the Exynos 990 is one step behind, power is not going to be a problem if you opt for the entry model, with LTE connectivity and not 5G.

Foto: M. Mcloughlin

In both cases you can choose 6 or 8 GB of RAM. Obviously a higher figure will help to have a more fluid performance and to age the terminal better, but we find the same scenario as with the processor. 6GB is more than enough for the common man. It comes with Android 10 (we expect an early update to Android 11) running under One UI. In the case of storage you have two options: 128 GB or 256. In both cases, this memory handles the 3.1 UFS standard, the fastest on the market when it comes to writing and reading files. You can increase this space by external card.

Your biggest but

It has a 4,500 mAh battery. Perhaps having fitted a 5,000 mAh battery would have been an extra hit of effect. It’s enough? Keep in mind that we handle a Full HD + panel and not a Quad HD +, something that always helps not to burn fuel. It is not spectacular, but it is more than enough with normal use in a work day. This week, the day ends with more than 15% when I have dispensed with 120 Hz. That figure fell below 10% when I did not give it up. It convinces, but it will not take away your hiccups.

Foto: M. Mcloughlin.

One of the things that is not fully understood is that being compatible with 25W fast charge, include one of 15. It has been a general complaint among those of us who have tested the device, since once again a technology brand is walking with an atypical stinginess of these prices.

With the charger you will be able to give a 25% kick in just a quarter of an hour. 40% is reached if we leave it plugged in for half an hour. So even if you forget to charge it overnight, you can still get enough power in the time when you shower and eat breakfast before leaving home on the way to work.

A solvent chamber

Foto: M. Mcloughlin

Before testing this phone, the camera was what generated me the most doubts. It is one of the sections where brands juggle more when it comes to adjusting the price and thus reducing the bill when it comes to creating terminals like this Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Here we find a triple sensor, although that alone says little. It is the same as with the megapixels of the sensors: more does not always mean better. I have to say, however, that in this case we find a very solvent camera considering the price range in which we operate.

We have a 12 megapixel main sensor, with f / 1.8 aperture, 1.8 micron pixels as well as optical stabilizer. It is punctuated by a 12 megapixel wide angle, 123 degrees aperture and f / 2.2 aperture. The third element in this equation is a telephoto lens with three optical magnifications and up to 30 digital. This choice seems to me clearly a success by leaving aside sensors of dubious practical utility at the moment of truth such as macros or monocolors, things that can be done without the need for a part of the dedicated hardware.

This configuration allows this phone to have good results in quite good photography and even measure up in video, where a little more fish is. In normal light conditions it works very well. Yes, my recommendation is that you deactivate the image recognition assistant, especially with blue skies because it tends to exaggerate them on many occasions. Portrait mode, which relies on dynamic focus mode, responds quite accurately, even in low light conditions. In night photography it also performs at a good level.

In the field of video we have 4K or 1080p capabilities at 60 or 30 frames per second. It has a stabilization function that helps reduce vibrations to a great extent, although here there are obvious differences with more expensive models. It does a good job although it does not reach the precision of the Note 20 or other higher ranges at all.

As for the front camera, we have a single 32 megapixel, 0.8 micron and f / 2.2 sensor. Under normal conditions meets the record but when the light is scarce suffers when processing the image, printing a fairly artificial finish.

Similar but different proposal

Once we have arrived here, we have to ask ourselves: Does it really match the iPhone 11 proposal? Although the idea may be similar, each has its strengths. Even when it comes to performance, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE handles a better screen and a more versatile camera. In the case of the Apple terminal, it handles a simpler camera (main sensor + wide angle) but probably with a somewhat finer end result, especially in video; better autonomy and a tempered glass design.

Foto: M. Mcloughlin

It must be said that Samsung offers the possibility of getting 5G connectivity, which the iPhone does not, although it is expected that this afternoon the first ones will arrive with this technology. The question in this case that many ask themselves is whether they really need a phone with 5G. I do not expect that it will be such an important leap in our day to day, as I have said on other occasions, compared to what it was to jump from 3G to 4G, so it would not be a drama either.

It does not seem essential to me and it represents considerable savings. The entry model costs 659 euros. If you add 5G, it already goes up to 759 euros. In particular, I think that the vast majority of people will be more than satisfied with what this terminal offers and do not need to pay the extra peak that a Galaxy S20 + or S20 Ultra requires.

But there is another substantial difference. Within Android, there are more brands. So it is not just enough to discourage them from getting a terminal that works with iOS, but we also have to compete with many other brands. And in this price range, there are other interesting alternatives such as Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro or some Oppo terminals, among other brands.


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