Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review: A OnePlus 9 Killer?

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review summary

Expert rating: 4/5

Design & Build





Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


  • 120HZ AMOLED screen
  • Flagship grade performance
  • Good cameras
  • Impressive battery performance
  • IP 68 rated


  • Only 15W charger in the box
  • Lacks latest gorilla glass protection

Samsung often faces the heat for ditching Snapdragon chipsets for Exynos in India. Well, in 2021 we are witnessing a different Samsung. The South Korean conglomerate is offering Snapdragon-driven phones with more enthusiasm than ever before. Taking this competitive approach further, it recently launched Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G that fixes a lot that was wrong with the 4G variant and is driven by the premium-tier Snapdragon 865.

The 5G Fan Edition is about six months late from the global launch, but is right in time to take on the newly launched OnePlus 9. Is it worth considering for under Rs 50,000? Let us share our thoughts on the Galaxy S20 FE 5G in this detailed review:

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Unboxing

The S20 FE 5G landed on our doorstep in a simple package and after keeping it in isolation for two days we decided to unbox it.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G box doesn’t include a case cover, and this wasn’t really a surprise.

What you do get apart from the phone is a 15W wall charger (still there), and a USB-A-to-C cable for charging and data transfer. We are glad that there’s a pre-applied screen protector on the display.


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Specs

Buy Galaxy S20 Ultra, S20, S20+ 5G, S20 FE | Price & Deals | Samsung UK

Screen: 6.5-inch, HDR10+, 120Hz, 1080 x 2400, 20:9 ratio
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
GPU: Adreno 650
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Rear cameras: 12MP, 8MP, 12MP
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4,500 mAh
OS: Android 10, One UI 2.5
5G: Yes

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review: Design and build quality

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is an identical twin to the LTE version we tested last year. From the dimensions of the phone to colors, it’s almost impossible to differentiate between the two. We are definitely not complaining because we find the aesthetics of the Fan Edition phones very appealing.

The S20 FE 5G has a polycarbonate build with a matte finish that actually feels excellent in hand. Samsung seems to have a trick or two up its sleeves as it continues to surprise us by delivering a premium look and feel with plastic. Good quality PC has other advantages too – it is less fragile in comparison to an all-glass rear, lighter, and does not attract a lot of smudge and fingerprints either.

The design team working on fan edition phones seems to have taken a lot of its design inspiration from the Galaxy S20 series. The side profile and rear panel remind us the Galaxy S20 series. Speaking of sides, the volume rocker and power button on the right offer excellent tactile feedback. Just like its 4G sibling, the 5G variant comes in three colourways: Cloud Navy, Cloud Mint, and Cloud Lavender. It is also IP68-certified for water and dust resistance.

Sammy has preferred to pitch in an optical in-display fingerprint sensor here. It is snappier than the Ultrasonic sensor that we get to see in some of Samsung flagships and proved equally reliable.

Overall, Samsung has done well on the design front. The S20 FE not just looks good but also feels premium in hand. We have no compaints with regards to the durability of the phone. Having said that, we do wish Samsung bundles good quality protective cases in the box.

Samsung Galaxy S20FE 5G review: Display

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It’s a gorgeous Super AMOLED panel that you get on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G. Yes, it’s the same panel that we tested last year on its 4G sibling. The AMOLED screen has 2400×1800 pixels resolution and can refresh 120 times in a second. Touch responsiveness is also equally impressive and flat edges should be an added bonus for many.

Unlike Samsung 2021 flagship, it’s not the same LPTO panel so you won’t have the adaptiveness to conserve battery. Apart from that, it’s a great panel for content consumption. It delivers vibrant colors and shows excellent contrast. The display is also sharp and bright. If you prefer realistic colors we suggest switching to color-accurate ‘Natural’ color profile. By default, it’s set to deliver images in a wider DCI-P3 color gamut and they look ravishing on this panel. It also supports Widevine L1 and HDR 10 certification for HD and HDR content viewing.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: Software

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

In recent years, Samsung’s One UI has matured really well. The Galaxy S20 FE 5G comes running on OneUI v3.0 skin based on Android 11. The latest version of OneUI offers dozens of customization features with Knox security. That said, the S20 FE 5G also comes with lots of pre-installed apps. Thankfully you are allowed to uninstall most of them. If not, these can be put to deep sleep so that they don’t bite into system resources.

Of late, Samsung has also made a conscious effort to timely roll out updates. The Galaxy S20 FE promises three years of updates which makes the S20 FE 5G truly future-ready. But what about performance? Let’s address that in the next section, shall we?

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review: Performance and battery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

With the Samsung Galaxy S20FE 5G, you won’t miss a thing in terms of performance. It is driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset which makes it one of the most powerful phones in and around the INR 50,000 mark. The Snapdragon 865 has been rehashed with an integrated 5G modem as Snapdragon 870 SoC. With the FE S20 5G, one gets 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GBGB UFS 3.1 storage.

This brute force was visible in day-to-day performance and other performance tests. From the word go it felt snappy and even when we pushed it hard with multi-tasking stress tests. The 5G phone felt smooth in action even with a dozen apps running in the background. Even heavy-duty games remain cached for a very long time.

If native benchmarks are important for you here’s a quick benchmark comparison of Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G against its peers, take a look:

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G benchmark results

  • Geekbench Single Core – 857
  • Geekbench Multi-core – 2958
  • PCMark Work 2.0 – 11518
  • 3D Mark Wild Life – 3776
  • Androbench Random Read – 196.68 MB/s
  • Androbench Random Write – 201.22 MB/s

That’s not all, we tried several popular game titles from Google PlayStore including Genshin Impact and Call of Duty Mobile. We manage to run both of these popular titles at max settings and our experience remained lag and jitter-free.

The 4500mAh battery in S20 FE 5G manages to impress with its lasting performance. It comfortably lasts a full day with the display set at 60Hz and manages an endurance of a little short of six hours on a heavy usage day with display set to 120hz. Unfortunately, Samsung ships it with a 15W wall charger which takes more than 2 hours to refill the tank. The S20 FE 5G does support USB PD-based 25W fast-charging as well as 15W fast wireless charging so if you have a compatible charger you can charge it faster.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Camera review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I am sure you must be eager to know of the cameras. Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G camera effective? Well, the short answer is yes, they are effective and better than OnePlus 9’s hugely marketed Hasselblad cameras. Samsung doesn’t throw around big numbers like 108MP or 64MP for the FE, the troika of 12MP main, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle, and another 8MP telephoto sensors manage to deliver comparatively better results.

The 12MP primary rear camera is a reliable shooter. It delivers consistent results in most conditions with a good dynamic range. Shots are flush with details and with Samsung’s signature warm and saturated colors.

Even in low light, it doesn’t disappoint. It manages to retain a good amount of details in improved night mode where Samsung has tweaked its usually aggressive noise compression algorithms a bit. We recommend you use the night mode to get better, brighter results in low light.

It has a solid telephoto sensor which is missing in both OnePlus 9 and ROG Phone 5. We were able to get almost lossless images up to 3X with it. There’s also digital zoom up to 30X which is not advisable to use.

If you are into videography, the S20 FE 5G can do 4Kvideo recording at 30fps and 60fps. With Super Steady turned on, you get decent all-round stabilization. The 32MP selfie camera on the front shoots sharp and detailed selfies in most lighting scenarios.

Should you buy Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G?

Editor’s rating: 4/5

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G is a fundamentally sound phone with no major drawbacks. It’s a well-thought-out phone from Samsung’s repertoire with all bases covered. While the OnePlus 9 and Asus ROG 5 can triumph over S20 5G in certain benchmark numbers, it gives them a run for their money on most counts and supersedes them with its camera. On all counts, the S20 FE 5G ticks the right boxes for us. It’s a phone that will appeal to more and more people with every price cut.

Reasons to buy

  • 120HZ AMOLED screen
  • Flagship grade performance
  • Good cameras
  • Impressive battery performance
  • IP68 rating

Reasons to not buy

  • Only 15W charger in the box
  • Lacks latest gorilla glass protection
Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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2 years ago

One correction: S20 FE 5G’s display does have Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

3 years ago

Pls, Don’t buy this phones due to many touch issues on panels. Samasung reduce their price and give the worst touch-responsive displays..