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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review: The ultimate budget flagship for content creators

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Gadgets Now
18th October, 2020 13:05 IST
The Galaxy S20 FE is Samsung’s big bet in the affordable flagship smartphone segment. It takes on the new OnePlus and Xiaomi phones at a competitive price of Rs 49,999. Samsung is also providing cashback offers to bring the price down to up to Rs 42,999. The Fan Edition brings together some of the useful features of Galaxy S20 and Note 20 series into one compact device.

It goes without saying that in this price range comparisons with OnePlus 8T and Mi 10T series are obvious. On paper, it is easy to debate how Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC in OnePlus and Xiaomi phones may be better than Samsung’s Exynos 990. But in real life usage, a phone is way more than its spec sheet. The Galaxy S20 FE with its camera quality, pro video mode, smooth software, 120Hz refresh rate display and compatibility with a range of external mics and accessories makes life easier for content creators and YouTubers within an affordable budget.

After using the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE for a couple of weeks, here’s what we think about the phone.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE design

The Galaxy S20 FE retains the form factor of the S20 and S20+. Instead of the glas back, the S20 FE features plastic with matte finish at the back. The device feels sturdy and compact to hold. While plastic may sound unappealing on paper but it is in no way a deal breaker. Samsung has managed to retain the premium look along with wireless charging abilities. At the same time, the plastic back makes it more durable than glass and you won't have to worry about smudges, scratches and fingerprints. The device is sleek and lightweight and comes in five offbeat colours like Red, Lavender, Mint, Navy and White.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Display

The Galaxy S20 FE offers a slightly bigger display when compared to the S20 and it is slightly smaller than the S20+. It has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The overall quality is good and you won't have to worry about viewing angles and sunlight legibility. The brightness levels are also decent. Samsung is also offering a 120Hz refresh rate panel. You can select between 60Hz and 120Hz as required.

The display quality is one of the biggest strengths in flagship Samsung phones and the S20 FE is no different. Be it gaming, binge watching content or editing videos on the device, there’s hardly anything to complain about the display quality.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE camera

The Galaxy S20 FE flaunts a three cameras-- 12MP dual pixel primary sensor along with 12MP and 8MP secondary sensors. It supports up to 3X optical zoom and 30Xdigital zoom. It can record videos in 4K at 60fps and supports 960fps slow motion video recording. There’s a 32MP selfie camera on the front.

Keeping the camera specs aside, what makes the camera of the S20 FE impressive is the range of video modes including Live Focus Video and Pro Video. With Pro Video Mode you can tweak light settings and also change the input audio sound while recording a video. That’s right, the Galaxy S20 FE supports almost all types of external mics and even wireless earbuds. So, you can connect any wireless earbuds and when you record a video using Pro Mode, you can select the audio source input from your earbuds. It also supports other Bluetooth mics too along with USB Type-C mics.

Another plus is that you can change the audio input source while recording a video. For example, while vlogging, you don’t have to extend the mic to another person, you can simply shift the mic source from Bluetooth to the phone’s mic or any other USB mic that you have plugged in.

Overall, camera quality is good and performs as expected. If you tweak settings and shoot in pro mode, then this camera can really surprise you with some great shots.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE software and performance

Talking about the software, this is an area that Samsung is not compromising on anything. You will get all the flagship software features including DeX. With DeX you can convert any monitor into a separate PC. For example, you can play any game on the device and also edit a video using an Android app (that is running on the S20 FE) on a laptop (even MacBook is supported) with DeX. You can also open two instances of the same app on the phone and on PC. There’s keyboard and mouse support as well. If you want, you can actually turn the device into a kind of ‘Android laptop’ via DeX.

Microsoft’s Your Phone app with Link to Windows integration also allows users to easily access their mobile apps directly from Windows 10 PC. You can even make and receive calls all from your Windows 10 PC with Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is powered by 7nm Exynos 990 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. It supports microSD cards of up to 1TB and features a hybrid SIM/memory card slot. It’s a smooth performer. Be it gaming or multi-tasking there’s hardly anything that can create a performance issue for this phone. Does it get heated? Yes, it does occasionally but it doesn’t cause the phone to lag.

The device is powered by a 4,500mAh battery with wireless charging and reverse charging support. Like with all Samsung flagship phones, you will have to charge the device daily. Initially, you may get better battery life but six months down the line it goes without saying that you would need to charge it every day.The device takes a little bit more than an hour to get fully charged. There’s an optical fingerprint scanner on the display along with Face Unlock for security. It is IP68 certified dust and water resistant.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE verdict

The Galaxy S20 FE is a reliable device with good display, camera, clean and stable software with all the flagship features that are seen in expensive phones from Samsung. If you are looking for a capable top-end device within a budget to create content for your YouTube channel or other platforms then look no further.
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