Specs Appeal: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy Note20

Samsung took to the virtual stage today to announce the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition), bringing a bunch of premium features from its S20 range in a more affordable package. The device starts at $699 in the U.S., and for that price, it sports a 5G capable flagship Snapdragon 865 processor, a 6.5-inch 120Hz high refresh rate Super AMOLED display, IP68 water and dust resistance rating, and much more.

In the camera department, the S20 FE it packs a triple camera setup at the back, similar to the regular Galaxy S20. However, the camera hardware differs slightly, as the telephoto lens is now an 8MP unit, instead of the beefier 64MP unit that offers a wider field of view and PDAF in the S20. However, the front-facing camera has been upgraded to a 32MP sensor.

The Galaxy S20 FE is being touted as a phone with “fan favorite features” at an “accessible price point”. The device’s launch comes less than two months after the Note20 series launched. The smaller of the two offerings – the regular Note20 – retails for $999. For that price, the device comes with a flagship Snapdragon 865+ processor, features a display with a 60Hz refresh rate, and offers similar overall specs to the S20 FE, except for S Pen support.

With the differences between the smallest S20-series phone – the Galaxy S20 –, the Galaxy S20 FE, and the Galaxy Note20 being minor, it begs the question of how the latest entrant stacks up against Samsung’s $1,000 offerings. Does the company pack a strong punch with the S20 FE at a price point of $300 less than the other two flagships? Let’s take a look at an in-depth spec comparison to find out:

Basis of difference

Galaxy S20 FE

Galaxy S20

Galaxy Note20

Display

6.5-inch flat FHD+ Super AMOLED

6.2-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X

6.7-inch flat FHD+ Super AMOLED Plus

Infinity-O Display (2400x1080), 407ppi

Infinity-O Display (3200 X 1440)

Infinity-O Display (2400x1080), 393ppi

120Hz refresh rate

HDR10+ certified

120Hz display support

HDR10+ certified

60Hz display

Dimensions

74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm, 190g

69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9mm, 163g

75.2 x 161.6 x 8.3mm, 194g

Camera (Rear)

12MP, F1.8, 79 degrees, dual pixel AF, 1.8μm pixel, OIS

12MP, F1.8, 79 degrees,
Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, 1.8μm pixel, OIS

12MP, F1.8, 79 degrees,
Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, 1.8μm pixel, OIS

12MP, F2.2, 123 degrees, 1.12μm pixel

12MP, F2.2, 120 degrees, 1.4μm pixel

12MP, F2.2, 120 degrees, 1.4μm pixel

8MP, F2.4, 32 degrees, 1.0μm pixel, OIS, Telephoto: 3X optical zoom

64MP, F2.0, 76 degrees, 0.8μm pixel, OIS, 3X Hybrid Optical, Telephoto: 3X hybrid optical zoom

64MP, F2.0, 76 degrees, 0.8μm pixel, OIS, Telephoto: 3X hybrid optical zoom

Video (Rear)

Not specified

Up to 8K at 24fps

Up to 8K at 24fps

Camera (Front)

32MP, F2.2, 80 degrees, 0.8μm pixel,

10MP, F2.2, 80 degrees, 1.22μm pixel, dual pixel AF

10MP, F2.2, 80 degrees, 1.22μm pixel, dual pixel AF

Processor

7nm Snapdragon 865 (U.S., 5G)

7nm Snapdragon 865 (U.S., 5G)

7nm Snapdragon 865+ (U.S., 5G)

RAM

6GB/8GB (5G)
8GB not available currently

12GB (5G)

8GB

Storage

256GB (5G), expandable up to 1TB

128GB (5G), expandable up to 1TB

128GB

Battery

4,500mAh

4,000mAh

4,300mAh

Charging

25W Super Fast Wired Charging supported

45W Super Fast Wired Charging support

25W Super Fast Wired Charging supported

15W Fast wireless charging

15W Fast wireless charging

15W Fast wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging

OS

Android 10 with One UI 2.5

Android 10, updated to One UI 2.5

Android 10 with One UI 2.5

Connectivity

LTE/5G (sub6 + mmWave)

LTE/5G (sub6 only)

LTE/5G (sub6 + mmWave)

Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C, NFC

Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C, NFC

Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, Type-C, NFC

Others

Optical in-display fingerprint sensor

Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor

Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor

Samsung Pay (NFC payments)

Samsung Pay (NFC payments)

Samsung Pay (NFC payments)

Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos

Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos

Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos

IP68 water and dust resistance

IP68 water and dust resistance

IP68 water and dust resistance

Price

$699 (5G)

$999 (5G)

$999

The specs suggest that the company has not cut too many corners to bring down the price. While premium features like HDR10+ support for the display and a higher resolution, wider angled telephoto lens have been dropped, the S20 FE beats the Note20 in screen refresh rate - bringing smoother scrolling for a similarly sized screen, and beats the S20 in support for the faster, mmWave 5G network.

Of course, the Note 20 offers an S Pen for those that prefer a stylus, and the S20 brings a higher resolution display, both of which may not be huge deal breakers. Unlike competing devices from OnePlus, users do not sacrifice the IP rating, at least for the same $699 price - unless you spend $100 extra for the Verizon variant of the OnePlus 8.

What's more? The Galaxy S20 FE is already being discounted by $100 on Amazon, making it an even better deal for those on a budget looking for a device with premium features, which also rivals its more expensive siblings. However, a detailed judgment will have to be reserved for when we have a review device to put the phone through its paces and see how it fares against its rivals outside of the spec sheet.

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