Samsung S20 FE: 5 Months Later, Worth It?

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On February 11th 2021, after a lot of back and forth I finally pulled the trigger and bought myself a new Samsung S20 FE 5G. To say that, I needed a new phone was an understatement. I was rocking a Samsung Galaxy S8 up until this point. In my previous article “Welcome to the Future” I shared my thoughts about my buying process and as to why I decided to pick up this phone in particular versus the rest. 

  1. Is Samsung S20 FE a good phone?
  2. Is it worth buying a last-gen phone that is S20 FE?
  3. Is S20 FE worth the “Fan Edition” badge?
  4. Is Samsung S20 FE 5G a worthy budget phone?

Let’s get into answering all those questions and sharing what it was like as my primary phone for the past 5 months.  

First up some facts about the Samsung S20 FE 

Size of the smartphone

The Samsung S20 FE is definitely larger than what I was used to, so getting used to the bigger dimensions of the phone took me some time until I started to feel comfortable with it.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 had a 5.8-inch display vs the 6.5-inch that is on the Samsung S20 FE. Now you may feel the 0.7-inch increase on the screen real-estate may not seem like a lot but trust me you notice the difference right away. I even went back to the old phone charged it up and held both the phones and it is really hard to go back to the smaller display.

Size comparison between S8 and Samsung S20 FE

You also do notice the extra 35 grams as the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is the heavier of the two but its not like the S8 was a feather and the S20 FE is a brick. But what I mean is that when you hold both phones you definitely feel that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has move of a heft to it which is not a bad thing.

In terms on overall thickness the Galaxy S20 FE is respectfully thin as well besides the obvious camera bump the phone does feel comfortable in the hand.

Screen & Bezels of Samsung S20 FE

Make no mistake the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE does have a bit of a chin and forehead when it comes to bezel size. But it is nothing that I would call aggressive, it does however have an FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED flat screen which is a welcome addition. It also has an Infinity-O Display, but the only difference is that it doesn’t aggressively curve around the phone sides like how it is in the S21 line up. The 3200*1440 screen while not sporting the highest pixels per inch (407ppi) does have support for HDR10+ and 120Hz refresh rate.

Cameras of S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has single 32MP front facing camera with a 81⁰ field of view & a F2.2 aperture. Whereas the rear houses a triple camera setup. A 12MP main shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide and a 8MP Telephoto.

Camera of Samsung S20 FE

Hardware of the smartphone

Now the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is available with the Snapdragon 865 or Samsung’s exynos chipset depending on which region you are located in. The phone also comes in a 6GB & 8GB ram variant along with two storage options as well (128GB / 256GB).

I was able to find my phone with the Snapdragon 865 + 8GB ram + 128GB of internal storage. Now while the Snapdragon 865 may not be the latest high-end mobile chipset on the market like the Snapdragon 888. It is still no slouch when it comes to multitasking, running multiple apps in the background, long gaming sessions or productivity apps.

The 4500mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is nothing short of a beast. If you happen to be a medium to light user, where you mostly checking messages, emails, social media apps etc. you can probably last two days on a single full charge. Yeah! You heard me correct and that’s not even putting the phone in power saving mode. I mean sure if you are a heavy / power user where you tend to have long gaming sessions at max brightness and power saving turned off, then you will chew through the battery.

My Opinion of the Samsung S20 FE

Is Samsung S20 FE a good phone?

Well it is a great experience. The phone is fast, the 120Hz refresh rate screen is buttery smooth and once you get a taste of that it is extremely hard to go back to the 60Hz. A single charge gets me through a day a half, sometimes even two days of moderate use. Now to be fair I am not much of a mobile gamer so your mileage may vary. 
The phone is comfortable to hold is one hand but takes some time getting used to while operating in one hand. Now I have fairly average size hands and sometimes I do tend to struggle to use the phone in one hand. That being said the rounded corners and the flat screen go a long way in providing a better feel and operating experience with one hand. 
The phone does have a plastic back, but it doesn’t feel cheap despite it being a mid-range phone. The cloud blue is a nice colour and in different lighting you do tend to see a few different shades of that blue. I wouldn’t call the mat type finish on the back a fingerprint magnet, but you will notice smudges. Plus, if you are those sorts of people who like to operate their phones bare-backed, then hey more power to you. But if you are anything like me you can’t stand to see any starches, smudges or print on the back then I would highly recommend putting a case of the phone.

  • Is it worth buying a last-gen phone that is S20 FE?
  • That would be a big YES. I mean sure I could have paid the extra and gone for the more current S21 line of Samsung phones. But for the price point that I was looking to hit and for my use case the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a great bang for the buck type of phone. Although if I am being truly honest here, there is one catch or elephant in the room that I think we should address. That is the software support.
    Now my current iPhone 6S (Yes, I still use one of those as well) will not receive the iOS 15 update when it drops later this year but if I am being honest, I have gotten software support for that phone for the past 5+ years which is not the same I can say about Samsung phones. I would be lucky if we got more than 2 years of software support from them. When I bought the Samsung Galaxy S8 it came with android 7 and then the last official update it got was android 9 so about 2 years of support. 
    Now when I got the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE it came with an Android 10, so if Samsung sticks to its predicted 2-year support schedule then hopefully the phone will receive updates till Android 12. Now there have been some articles saying that Samsung is looking to offer certain Galaxy models up to 3 years of software support. Well, only time will tell if that holds true or not.

    Is Samsung S20 FE worth the “Fan Edition” badge?

    I mean yeah, sure. I wish the camera sensors were slightly better and the display resolution was a bit higher but then they won’t be able to hit the mid-range budget price point I guess? They did get a lot of features that average consumers will notice and care about. Also speaking of price (769.99* USD) as of 27th July 2021 the official Samsung US site has the phone listed for 699.99 USD without a old phone to trade in. If you do happen to have a compatible phone to trade-in you can get up to 350 USD off on the price of the new phone.

  • Is Samsung S20 FE 5G a worthy budget phone?
  • That’s a easy Yes, for what all the phone does right plus if you are able to find the Snap Dragon 865 model for less than 500 USD then it is well worth the price of admission cause you are getting a lot of phone for that price.
    So in order to sum up all my points you can surely say that I am very happy with what the Samsung S20 FE has to offer. If you have been using this phone and would like to share your thoughts then do write in the comments section below.

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