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Samsung’s antidote to the iPhone 11



Samsung’s antidote to the iPhone 11


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One of the most popular strategies of smartphone manufacturers in Spain has been to create somewhat abbreviated versions of their higher ranges. These latest devices tend to have high prices that reflect the benefits they have at all levels. But with a few small changes in some sections, the result is a much more attractive product and, really, few specifications are lost for the not very demanding user.

That description fits perfectly. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Fans Edition), a smartphone that has a very good specification sheet, although clearly inferior to the flagships of the South Korean company. Something that has worked well both for Samsung itself and for other giants of the stature of Apple, whose iPhone XR took a very important part of the company’s sales until it was replaced by the iPhone 11 as the entry phone.

The same desire to become a leader that other brands aspire to, but in this case with one of the most competent Android smartphones on the market. It is true that, although it is a somewhat lower version than the higher ranges, it still has a price where there are other very interesting proposals from brands such as Xiaomi or Realme, where they place their most powerful ranges.

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almost as premium

What is clear is that the Galaxy 20 FE has the spirit of quality that has elevated Samsung as one of the best brands on the scene. The body, made entirely of plastic, is available in such a wide range of colors that it will be difficult to choose one. A total of 5 shades ranging from dark blue (the one in this review) to pink, passing through mint, red and orange.

Front of Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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Of course, we are not going to wait for state-of-the-art materials. The Galaxy S20 FE is made entirely of plastic Very well finished, yes, with a somewhat slippery finish that will force us -or almost- to put a cover. Unlike other terminals of the company, such as the Galaxy Z Flip or the Galaxy Fold 2, we have one in front of us with a traditional format.

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From an aesthetic point of view, what is most striking is the triple rear camera module and a front with a discreet hole where the camera that we will use for self-portraits is located. And it is that the screen is one of the strongest points of the brand’s terminal.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE rear

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It has a AMOLED screen, signed by the company itself, which has a FullHD + resolution on its 6.5-inch diagonal. Samsung has also considered raising the screen’s refresh rate to 120Hz, putting it in the same position as the rest of the company’s high-end. An extraordinary panel with more than enough brightness that will delight whoever looks at it. Compared to older models, it loses some important specifications such as HDR10 + support and resolution scaling. Although it really is not something to give too much importance to this size of screen.

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The screen looks really good with extraordinary vivid colors. Next to the refresh rate at 120 Hz It is an absolute delight. In terms of brightness, the automatic position takes longer than other proposals to adjust to the environment but when it does, the performance is optimal.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Izan Gonzalez

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Another important point on the screen is the fingerprint reader that we are below. The operation, personally, has not been the best that I have been able to experience on other smartphones but when it works, it is one of the fastest on the market. These types of sensors are still one level below the speed level than the ones found off-screen on the side, front, or rear. What has worked well is face unlock, but at the moment the mandatory skin isn’t much help.

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superior performance

In this section they have not skimped. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has one of the best internal specification schemes on the market, inherited from its older brothers. In the processor section we can find 2 versions: one with Samsung’s own Exynos 990 and another with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Having one or the other option depends only on whether we buy the phone with the capacity to connect to the 5G network, in which case the Qualcomm processor will be in charge of giving all the power to the terminal.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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In the RAM section we will also have almost the same configuration as in the rest of the family. We will only have to choose between a configuration with 6 in 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM memory (the fastest to date) along with 128 GB or 256 GB, both with the UFS 3.1 speed standard.

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The performance is really good, the latest batch of Qualcomm processors has been especially good and strikes the perfect balance between ‘raw’ performance when required in video games and reasonable consumption when performing daily tasks. In all of this, the different types of processor cores that are able to wake up or wait as required have a lot to do with it.

It is not a delay or a block, much less a slowdown. The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE can handle everything. And it is that it does not give up a single aspect in the field of performance compared to its older brothers who are positioned as a reference in the upper segment.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 FE rear

Izan Gonzalez

omicron

Perhaps the most negative point of the smartphone and that sneaks into other similar proposals is the battery life. The 120Hz is extraordinarily flashy, but it’s also a big hole for the battery. The 4,500 mAh, with a fairly normal fast charge, is only, but only, to get through a day with moderately advanced use. The combination of a powerful processor, a spendon screen and discreet fast charging is not the best that Samsung could go for. The 25 W that they support have been widely surpassed by the competition represented by companies such as Oppo or Huawei.

cameras at the height

We come to one of the most interesting sections of the device. Samsung has traditionally based its smartphone strategy on excellent displays and cameras. As we have already mentioned, the screen is one of the best we find on the market and the camera was not going to be less. It has the same sensors as its immediately older siblings, except for the S20 Ultra, which has an additional lens.

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Rear cameras Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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The camera design of this Galaxy S20 FE is a 12-megapixel wide-angle combined with another 12-megapixel wide-angle and 8-megapixel x3 telephoto. On the contrary, the front camera has 32 megapixels available and the quality is at the current norm.

Front camera Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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The result is, as can be seen in the images, excellent. We positively highlight the success of the artificial intelligence that is capable of adapting the parameters of the camera according to the scene.

Picture taken with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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In addition to the possibility of deactivating it so that it does not ‘interfere’ in the photo, we can choose to shoot with the pro mode where you can adjust values ​​such as exposure or ISO manually.

Picture taken with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Izan Gonzalez

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Another important point that we have found positive is to implement a telephoto lens capable of offering us the possibility of playing with a real zoom. Which makes it at the height of higher-end models.

Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Izan Gonzalez

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Samsung has long since gotten off the megapixel warship, like the iPhone, and chooses to equip a somewhat smaller sensor but of a quality that we would most like to obtain in 64-megapixel mobile cameras.

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I buy

Reading the review, it may seem that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is an affordable phone for everyone, but the only certainty is that the money to pay starts at 599 euros for the 4G version and 699 euros for the 5G version. A price window that is currently dominated by Apple with models like the iPhone 11.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE rear

Izan Gonzalez

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And it is that these somewhat shortened versions are saving the sales of many companies whose users have verified that they do not need to have the latest or the best to carry a high-end equipment in their pocket. With the S20 FE, and like the last generation with the S10 SE, it seeks to position a high-end smartphone but at a more reasonable entry price, cutting specifications that are not very relevant to its target audience.

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The 599 of the 4G version with Exynos processor (developed by Samsung itself) may be the perfect step to access the company’s high-end range. Of course, considering the extraordinary performance of the Snapdragon 865 and the possibility of connecting to 5G, the extra 100 euros that we will have to assume are almost mandatory.