Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition leak reveals cheaper iPhone 12 rival

Samsung Galaxy S20 review
(Image credit: Future)

New leaks for the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition reveal how Samsung is planning on competing with the cheaper iPhone 12 models when they launch later this year.

These details were shared with the world by Ice Universe, a respected leaker who often has some juicy information about Samsung devices.

The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is said to sport a Snapdragon 865 processor. This isn't a surprise, but it is a bit of a disappointment. Now that there looks to be a faster Snapdragon 865 Plus coming to the Galaxy Note 20 series, it wouldn't have been out of the question for Samsung to add it in the S20 Fan Edition. But perhaps this was a way to keep costs down.

The display on the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition looks to be almost identical to the original S20. The 120Hz refresh rate was available on all S20 handsets, but only with the resolution set to FHD instead of the phone's QHD maximum. If Samsung could change one thing about the S20 FE's display, it should be to offer an option to have both maximum resolution and refresh rate enabled at once, even if it does end up draining the battery quickly.

The display's punchhole looks to be 3.3mm, which certainly sounds small. We don't have an official size from Samsung on how big the original S20's punch-hole was, but given that IU has mentioned it, we could perhaps interpret that there's a size difference between the two. 

The only other tidbit is that the phone will be IP68 rated against water and dust intrusion. That's the same as the whole S20 range, but it's good to know the phone will not be rendered useless by an accidental drop into the sea or onto a sandy beach.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition price

Ice Universe's only comment on the price of the S20 FE is that it's 'nice'. The original S20 retails for $999, so we'd either expect the FE to cost less than that.

Samsung needs some cheaper flagship options based on what we've heard about the iPhone 12 range. While the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are likely to cost over $1,000 thanks to their quad rear camera arrays, 120Hz refresh rates and 5G compatibility, the normal iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Max models are thought to be some of the cheapest flagship iPhones in years, with one leak putting the cheapest model at $649. 

With the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, Samsung will have the chance to rearrange its price structure, even if it doesn't upgrade its hardware significantly. Even offering an S20 that costs under $800 would help it compete with Apple for a growing number of customers who find the top-end hardware is too expensive to justify buying.

The Q4 release date means we won't be seeing the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition launch at the same time as the Galaxy Note 20, which is coming on August 5 and expected to launch soon after. The FE could still appear on stage though, since the Galaxy Fold 2 is also expected to make an appearance at the Galaxy Unpacked keynote.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.