Samsung makes a lot of affordable phones in its A series, but its flagships have become notoriously pricey — case in point, the uber-premium Note20 Ultra starts at $1,300. Today, at its Unpacked for Every Fan event, Samsung is officially announcing a sort of middle ground in the Galaxy S20 FE, a surprisingly well-equipped device at a refreshingly fair price. OnePlus better watch out.
|Display||6.5" 1080p AMOLED, 120Hz|
|Rear cameras||12MP f/1.8 primary, 12MP f/2.2 ultra wide, 8MP f/2.4 3x telephoto|
|Front camera||32MP f/2.2|
|Storage||128GB, expandable by microSD up to 1TB|
|Software||One UI, Android 10|
|Biometrics||In-screen optical fingerprint scanner|
|Misc||IP68 water resistance, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging|
The Galaxy S20 FE has been leaked pretty thoroughly, but until today, we didn't know its official US pricing. "FE" stands for "Fan Edition;" Samsung says it wanted to convey that the FE retained the S-series features fans have come to appreciate at a lower price, without positioning it as an explicitly budget option. It seems like it did just that: the $699 device has a lot of high-end trimmings, like the 5G-equipped Snapdragon 865, a 120Hz display, and a triple-camera setup that, on paper at least, seems pretty robust.
Some concessions were made to meet this price point, of course. The rear panel is plastic rather than glass, the 6.5-inch screen has a resolution of 1080p, there's an optical (rather than supersonic) fingerprint sensor, and the phone only has six gigs of RAM. Still, the price-to-features balance seems pretty compelling. It's IP68 rated and has both wireless and reverse wireless charging, features the similarly priced OnePlus 8 lacks.
The S20 FE's specs and price place it firmly in the "budget premium" space with the likes of the OnePlus 8. But Samsung's longstanding carrier relationships and brand recognition put it at a significant advantage, and just like the Galaxy A71, Samsung is sure to sell a buttload of these phones.
You'll be able to get the S20 FE unlocked and from carriers starting October 2. Verizon will have a mmWave-compatible version (the S20 FE 5G UW — yes, really), also for a $699 — that's an MSRP of $749 less a $50 discount. Pre-orders are open now at Samsung, tomorrow at Verizon and AT&T, and Friday, September 25 at T-Mobile.