Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G: 14 things you need to know before you buy

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G, or the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, has been announced for Malaysia! At a price of RM3,399, it’s slightly cheaper than the price of the standard Galaxy S20 at launch, and offers a quite a few flagship features at a (comparatively) more affordable price point.

Looks-wise, the Galaxy S20 FE is very similar to the Galaxy S20 series, and you’re getting almost everything you’d hope for in a flagship-level Galaxy smartphone. But before you make any hasty decisions, we’ve compiled a list of important things to note before you rush out (or online) to pre-order the Galaxy S20 FE 5G.

1. No curved screen, but a 120Hz refresh rate

Unlike the standard Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20 FE doesn’t have curved edges on its display—instead, you get a regular old flat screen. However, you’re still getting the 2020 flagship standard: a 120Hz refresh rate. This promises to offer users a buttery-smooth experience when using the screen, be it for video, games, or even just web browsing.

You’re only getting a Full HD+ resolution of 1080×2400 pixels on the Super AMOLED display here. However, it’s worth noting that the standard Galaxy S20 can only do 120Hz when the display is set to Full HD; in QHD resolution, you’re limited to 60Hz.

2. Powered by the Snapdragon 865, not Exynos

This is probably the headliner for the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. Unlike some of their other releases in recent memory, Samsung has decided to use the Snapdragon 865, as opposed to an Exynos processor.

This should be welcome news to plenty of Malaysians—one of the main complaints about Samsung’s flagship devices—including the Galaxy S20 series—has been the use of Exynos chips over for Malaysian sets over the Snapdragon equivalents seen in other markets.

Basically, the gist of it is that this is the only official Malaysian Galaxy S20 series model that uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.

3. Double the storage, with expandable storage

Malaysian users will be getting the highest memory configuration on the Galaxy S20 FE: 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. This is particularly noteworth, as this means that you’re getting double the storage on the Fan Edition compared to the Galaxy S20, S20+, and even the S20 Ultra 5G—which all have just 128GB of storage for Malaysian sets.

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If that isn’t enough, you can also expand your the onboard storage of the S20 FE via microSD, with up to 1TB cards supported.

4. 5G connectivity, unlike the Galaxy S20 and S20+

For the Galaxy S20 series, only the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G has 5G connectivity for Malaysian sets, which was a significant disappointment for many to stomach. Of course, 5G networks in Malaysia aren’t ready just yet, but this is one for future-proofing.

Now, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, as indicated by its name, is 5G-ready. The S20 FE 5G has been certified by SIRIM, and supports both 700MHz and 3500MHz bands. In Malaysia, the Galaxy S20 FE utilises Sub-6, instead of mmWave frequency bands.

5. Wireless DeX

*Unit used in demonstration above is the Galaxy Note 20

When the recent Galaxy Note 20 series was announced, Samsung also included wireless compatibility for Samsung DeX. DeX is basically the Korean company’s mobile desktop solution, where you can connect your supported Galaxy smartphone to a monitor/TV, and access a PC-like interface powered by your phone.

Now, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G supports Wireless DeX, too. This means that with supported Miracast-compatible TVs/monitors, you can access the desktop interface without the use of a cumbersome USB-C-to-HDMI cable.

6. IP68 water resistance… just like the standard Galaxy S20

Even though the Fan Edition is priced below the launch price of the Galaxy S20, you’re still getting plenty of flagship features from the series. This includes IP68 dust and water resistance, and the phone will be able to withstand submersion up to a maximum depth of 1.5m underwater, for up to 30 minutes.

Do note this water resistance rating only applies for freshwater conditions, and this IP68 does not protect against “beach or pool use”, while water and dust damage isn’t covered by the Samsung warranty.

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7. Stereo speakers, too

Stereo speakers are included on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, and Samsung says that the speakers have been tuned by AKG. Meanwhile, surround sound is supported via Dolby Atmos tech.

In a time when mobile devices—with large displays—are increasingly being used to consume video content via Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, and so on, stereo speakers are an often overlooked spec when it comes to mobile devices. However, this should offer a much better audio experience, although we’ll have to test out the speakers before offering a complete judgement.

8. 25W fast-charging and wireless charging

The Galaxy S20 FE comes with a relatively large 4,500mAh battery which can be charged via USB-C. Fast-charging speeds of up to 25W are supported, with Samsung promising a 50% charge in just half an hour. However, you’ll only be getting a 15W charger out of the box, so you’ll have to purchase a 25W charger separately.

Fast wireless charging is also supported, with Samsung promising charging speeds of over 10W. You will need a charging pad that supports speeds of 10W or more, including Samsung’s Wireless Charger Stand, Wireless Charger Duo Pad, or 3rd party options.

9. Wireless PowerShare: Charge other devices with your phone

Yes, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G also supports Wireless PowerShare, which basically allows you to use your smartphone as a wireless charging pad. Do note that this is limited to Qi-certified devices, so you’ll be able to charge most of Samsung’s wireless-supported devices such as the Galaxy Watch 3, or Galaxy Buds Live.

10. A cheaper launch price than the Galaxy S20

The standard Galaxy S20 was launched with a price of RM3,599 back in February 2020, which means that S20 FE 5G’s launch price of RM3,399 is the more affordable option. Despite that, you’re still getting much of the same flagship-level features, although there have been some compromises made—notably on the resolution of the display.

With that said, you can still find the Galaxy S20+ (128GB) for less than RM3,000 during online sales in Malaysia—if you’re patient, and if you hunt around a little bit. Still, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G might be a better choice, with 5G connectivity (again, only the Ultra has 5G support in the range), and double the storage.

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11. Pre-order customers get RM586 worth of freebies

In Malaysia, the Galaxy S20 FE 5G is available for pre-order from the 24th of September (10am) till the 8th of October 2020. Customers who make pre-orders are also eligible to get RM586 worth of freebies—including Samsung’s UV steriliser, a clear standing cover, and 1-time screen crack protection.

12. Six colours to choose from

You get a variety of colours to choose from, all available from launch. These are made up of Cloud MInt, Cloud Navy, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, and Cloud White. All of the colour options are available with the singular memory configuration of 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.

13. Yes, you’re still getting 30x Space Zoom

Finally, we’ll talk about the camera capabilities of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G. You’re looking at a triple-camera setup with a 12MP main shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide angle, and a 8MP telephoto camera with OIS that can do 3x optical zoom. Just like the Galaxy S20 and the S20+, you’ll also be able to use hybrid zoom to get up to 30x—although the S20 Ultra supports 100x Space Zoom.

So, what do you think? Is the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G a worthwhile phone to get in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.

14. Support for Samsung Pay

One last tidbit: Samsung Pay! Samsung Pay is Samsung’s mobile payment option, and it has certainly been popular on other supported Galaxy devices. Essentially, once you’ve registered a compatible credit card on your device, you’ll be able to use the Galaxy S20 FE 5G to make payments at any card terminals—as long as they support contactless payments.

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