This is especially nice considering how big the screen of Thing is. The FE’s 6.5-inch Super Amoled display is in the right place between the S20 and S20 Plus, but that plastic frame and minimal glasses mean the phone never feels heavy. Perhaps more important is the fact that the screen is frankly a little nicer than expected. Who could blame me? Screens are regularly the most expensive parts that come in smartphones, and cost management here was the whole problem.
The only big trade-off is that the screen resolution is only 2400×1080, which is significantly lower than other s20s, and you can see individual pixels when you press your face against the Gorilla Glass 5. However, what the display lacks in flagship-quality clarity, it compensates with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a completely flat cover panel. The first means that the movement on the screen can seem remarkably smooth, although turning off the function leads to slight battery gains. And the latter means that you are much less likely to accidentally touch something on the edge of the screen with the side of your hand. This has been a recurring — and abhorrent-issue with many smartphones I’ve tested this year, and not having to worry about it has honestly been a joy.
So, yes, the S20 FE looks and feels pretty good. It would not matter if its performance did not keep up, but fortunately it uses the same Snapdragon 865 chipset that you will find in most of its most expensive cousins. Suffice it to say that there is enough power for any application or game to work properly. With that in mind, things can get a little hairy if you do multiple tasks or pick up where you left off in one app — that’s because the Fan Edition is only based on 6GB of RAM, compared to the 12GB you’ll find in most other versions of the S20. This scarce memory allocation may be the only thing I really don’t like about FE, but thankfully hiccups are rare. Remember that although the S20 Fan Edition is a surprisingly good offer, it is not as scalable as the other models.
That being said, the rest of the package is pretty hard to discuss. One has only to consider its battery: the lowest S20 uses the same 4,500 mAh battery as the S20+, but since it does not need to control a super-high-resolution display, it regularly stops a whole day in the North. (If screen time is your preferred measurement, expect about seven hours.) It is set to this refresh rate of 120 Hz with the screen, attention-if you have played your cards well, I little doubt that the FE will be able to clear the battery barrier for two days. It would be pretty good from any smartphone – from a phone with a Snapdragon 865, it is doubly impressive.
Even the cameras-which often get the tree in most budget-conscious phones-are hard to complain about. The large 12-megapixel main camera was released directly from a standard S20, and Samsung’s aggressive image processing delivers intelligently saturated photos that, as usual, often look slightly better than reality. Of course, the same scruples apply here about the normal S20 camera: some details are treated to appear slightly caricatured, and it often took a little tact to make sure the photos were properly exposed. You probably won’t use the ultra-wide camera as much, but I haven’t noticed any difference between your photos and your still images taken with a regular S20. And to my surprise, I enjoyed the FE’s 8-megapixel telephoto lens more than I thought, thanks to the proper 3X optical zoom. Other versions of the S20 relied on high-resolution camera sensors to artificially extend its range, the cunning of the camera does not correspond to the old school optics.
Every time a company releases a phone that is supposed to be a affordable spin-off of another, my gut instinct tells me to prepare for the worst. Not this time. In the last few days when I was testing the S20 FE, Cole Porter’s song “(You’D be so) Easy to Love” from the early 30s played continuously in my head. My opinions may change as I continue to review the Fan Edition, but in terms of its impressive performance, superb display, commendable battery life and excellent price, Porter said better. At the moment, the S20 Fan Edition is simply ” worth a visit.”