Massive Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs leak — here's the pros and cons

(Image credit: Jimmy Is Promo)

The Galaxy S20 FE is a couple of days away from launch, but you can already see the phone in the flesh thanks to a new video. 

The footage comes courtesy of Jimmy Is Promo, the source of a few S20 FE leaks already. This is the first time we've seen him show the phone on video and in action. But while the price is said to be nicely affordable, it's clear that Samsung has cut some corners to get there.

Here's the pros and cons for the Galaxy S20 FE based on this latest leak. 

Galaxy S20 FE: The pros

  • Affordable price: The Galaxy S20 FE is expected to have a price in the $699 to $749 range, which would make it a lot less expensive than the $999 Galaxy S20.
  • Big 6.5-inch 120Hz display: At 6.5 inches, the Galaxy S20 FE's screen would be in between the 6.2-inch Galaxy S20 and 6.7-inch Galaxy S20 Plus. And you get a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Better cameras: The Galaxy S20 FE is said to have a true 3x optical zoom, as opposed to hybrid zoom, and the front camera should be a sharp 32MP.
  • Big battery: The 4,500 mAh battery would be the same size as the one inside the Galaxy S20 Plus, so you should get all-day endurance.

Galaxy S20 FE: The cons

  • Plastic design: Just like the regular Galaxy Note 20, the Galaxy S20 FE is expected to have a plastic back.
  • Full HD screen: No quad HD resolution here, so the display will not be as sharp as the regular Galaxy S20 series.
  • Bigger bezels: When you see the Galaxy S20 FE next to other Galaxy S20 handsets, you can tell that it has larger bezels. It reminds us of the iPhone XR.
  • Less RAM: The Galaxy S20 FE is said to have 6GB of RAM, compared to 12GB for the Galaxy S20.

Samsung's given the S20 FE a design similar to the Galaxy Note 20 than the Galaxy S20, based on the look of the rear camera block and, unfortunately, its plastic back. Since other Samsung flagships and many rival phones use glass backs instead, Samsung risks making this phone feel like a watered down handset, even if using plastic saves costs and weight.

The triple camera array on the Galaxy S20 FE is almost identical to the Galaxy S20. The main and ultrawide sensors are the same 12MP models, but the telephoto sensor has changed.

The original S20's 64MP sensor with 3x hybrid zoom has been replaced with a smaller 8MP sensor with 3x optical zoom and a maximum of 30x hybrid zoom. While the resolution is smaller, hopefully the fact that it's optical rather than almost entirely digital zoom will make telephoto shots look better.

The front camera is also different since it's a much larger 32MP resolution instead of Samsung's standard 10MP front camera. It's still smaller than the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 40MP front sensor, but 32MP is still plenty large enough to take high-resolution selfies, or good low-light shots if you're using the lower-resolution pixel-binning mode instead.

(Image credit: Jimmy Is Promo)

Like its cousins, the Galaxy S20 FE still has stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning. Unfortunately, it also shares the lack of a 3.5mm jack. That means meaning you'll either need a USB-C dongle to plug in wired headphones, or invest in one of the best wireless earbuds or best wireless headphones.

As shown in the video, the S20 FE's 6.5-inch display puts it between the 6.2-inch S20 and 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra. We consider 6.5 inches a big phone, but offering a midpoint should please both users who want as much display as possible and those who want a device that's easier to use with one hand.

The display of the FE has some disadvantages compared to Samsung's other flagship models. It only has FHD resolution instead of the superior QHD the others have, plus the images from the video seem to show it has larger bezels than any other S20 model.

There are still some advantages though. The FE has a smaller central punch-hole notch for its selfie camera, leaving more of the screen usable. It's also a flat panel rather than the subtly curved ones of the original S20, which some users may prefer for ease of use. Plus, the Galaxy S20 FE still retains the smooth 120Hz refresh rate that Samsung has on its other flagship phones, which should help the phone feel just as premium as its siblings.

(Image credit: Jimmy Is Promo)

The Galaxy S20 FE runs on One UI 2.5, Samsung's latest Android 10-based operating system, just like its other Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series friends. It's a good Android skin, as long as you don't mind all of Samsung's bloatware hanging around your app library. You can also expect a quick upgrade to Android 11 once Samsung has finished working on One UI 3.0.

The chipset is the same as the original S20 range, being the Snapdragon 865. The storage capacity of 128GB hasn't changed, but the memory has been reduced to 6GB RAM, instead of the 12GB in the other S20s. Jimmy does make the assumption there will be an 8GB/256GB option available also.

The battery is the same size as the Galaxy S20 Plus, at 4,500 mAh. That should be plenty of room to last you a day of even intensive usage, with power to spare. You will also be able to make use of Samsung's Wireless PowerShare wireless charging, letting you provide wireless power to other devices.

Jimmy repeats his claim that the price of this phone will be around $699 - 750, depending on the storage option you pick. Even with the downgrades on the standard Galaxy S20, the $250 or more savings should be a strong enticement for users to pick this over the basic Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Note 20. We'd also expect the Galaxy S20 FE to be a strong rival to the iPhone 12 and OnePlus 8T, both also expected to be appearing in the next month or so. 

Samsung's next Galaxy Unpacked event takes place on Wednesday, September 23. Since its tagline is "Unpacked for every fan", the appearance of the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition seems inevitable.

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.

  • PaRvO
    I don't think it looks good for the money if the price is actually going to be what's been leaked,the regular S20 is only $800 unlocked at Best Buy,you get much more ram,and a better screen, probably other things too,I would definitely buy the regular S20 over the FE just for the RAM and screen.