Samsung Galaxy S20 FE with or without 5G? More than just cellular

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The Galaxy S20 FE is currently one of the most popular smartphones on the market. After all, with this model you get many flagship features at a significantly lower price. The LTE version is already available for around 450 euros. Most of the reviews, however, are devoted to the 5G version. We’ll show you the differences between the two smartphones.

→ To the detailed test report of the Galaxy S20 FE (5G)

Samsung processor or Snapdragon

Many Samsung fans know the problem: When Samsung launches a new smartphone, it is not the same worldwide. While buyers in the USA get a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, there are Samsung’s own Exynos processors in this country. These are often inferior to the models from Qualcomm and offer a noticeably poorer battery life. An American Galaxy S20 offers a battery life of 12:35 hours in the benchmark. The European model, on the other hand, only achieved 9:50 hours in the same test. A clear difference. There is no choice of which processor you get in your new Galaxy smartphone – so far.

With the Galaxy S20 FE, the choice is yours

For the first time, Samsung lets you choose whether you want a Samsung Exynos or a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. While the LTE version offers an Exynos 990, the 5G version comes with a Snapdragon 865. In the benchmark, the LTE version got an Antutu score of 515,351 and the 5G version 579,895 points. However, it makes no difference in everyday life. Both smartphones run smoothly and without stuttering, as you would expect from a luxury smartphone. However, there are clear differences in the battery life.

Galaxy S20 FE versus Galaxy S20 FE 5G: The battery life in the test

In order to be able to measure the battery life as precisely as possible, we have set up both smartphones identically and equipped them with the same SIM card. We deactivated 5G for the test. Although both smartphones are equipped with an identical 4,500 mAh battery, there are significant differences in the battery life. You can see the results here:

Battery comparison Galaxy S20 FE Galaxy S20 FE 5G
8 hours of standby in WiFi 12% 9%
2 hours of YouTube over WiFi 17% 14%
2 hours of YouTube over LTE 22% 17%
2 hours of Pokémon Go 44% 37%

For each test, we charged the batteries to 100 percent beforehand.

As the tests show, the battery of the LTE version of the Galaxy S20 FE always offers a shorter runtime for all tasks. On average, the LTE version runs out of battery around 20 percent earlier.

A battery benchmark gives us another comparison value. The Galaxy S20 FE 5G achieved a fairly average value of 11:25 hours. The LTE version of the Galaxy S20 FE only lasts for 8:30 hours. A below average value. The difference between the two models is around 26 percent.

Does the processor affect the image quality?

The built-in camera hardware of the two smartphones is completely identical. Both are equipped with a 12 megapixel main camera, a 12 megapixel ultra wide-angle camera and an 8 megapixel telephoto lens. In the test, the cameras convinced us with their excellent photo quality.

The Galaxy S20 FE with or without 5G
The camera hardware is identical in both models

However, there have been isolated reports that the Galaxy S20 FE 5G would offer better photo quality than the LTE version. This is justified with the better image signal processor of the Snapdragon 865. However, we could not find any differences in a direct comparison. Neither with photos nor with videos.

Conclusion: do you have to resort to the 5G variant now?

With the Galaxy S20 FE, Samsung is trying to find a compromise between flagship features and an affordable price. The decision was made to save on workmanship and material and to make hardly any compromises in terms of performance and camera. With this combination, Samsung has created an excellent budget flagship.

Hardware rating in detail Galaxy S20 FE test seal with 4.5 stars out of 5

  • Case: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Display: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Equipment: (4 star LTE model; 4.5 star 5G variant)
  • Camera: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Software: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Battery: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Instead of relying on a futuristic design with curved but impractical display edges in everyday life, the Galaxy S20 FE has a flat, but still very good display. In the case of the camera, the two most important lenses are left untouched and only the telephoto module saves a little.

The biggest point of criticism is the beautiful, but in the hand very cheap-looking plastic back. However, if you protect your smartphone with a case anyway, you can neglect that.

By offering an even cheaper variant without 5G, the flagship features of the smartphone are available at an even lower price. At around 570 euros, the 5G version is significantly more expensive than the LTE model. You can get this for around 450 euros. For this price difference, the poorer battery life and the lack of 5G are acceptable. In addition, the two smartphones do not otherwise differ. Finally you can choose between the different chips and you will not be fed with the worse processor in Europe.

Due to the very low price and the resulting top price-performance ratio, the Galaxy S20 FE LTE is a real price tip.Galaxy S20 FE price tip seal

Pros des Galaxy S20 FE im Test

  • 120 Hertz AMOLED-Display
  • very good camera
  • waterproof
  • wireless reverse charging
  • free processor choice

Contras of Galaxy S20 FE im Test

  • cheap looking plastic housing
  • thicker bezels
  • significantly worse battery life with the LTE version

possible alternatives

If you value haptic features such as a glass back or the curved display edges, the normal Galaxy S20 or the Galaxy S20 + could be worthwhile. The two smartphones have fallen sharply in price since their release in spring, but the LTE version is still significantly more expensive. In the 5G version, the prices are closer together, but with the normal S20 models you always get the Exynos processor with a poorer battery life – even in the 5G version. The smaller model only achieved 8 hours in the benchmark. The larger Plus model also only lasted a little over 8.5 hours.

If you can do without a waterproof case, you should take a look at the haptically much higher quality Xiaomi Mi 10. It looks more like a flagship with its glass back and a curved AMOLED display. In addition, the basic version already offers a Snapdragon 865 processor with 5G support. The main camera is on a similar level with the Galaxy S20 FE, but the Samsung smartphone is ahead in terms of the other cameras. There is no telephoto camera at all. The battery life turns out to be better with over 14 hours in the benchmark. Wireless reverse charging is also supported.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 cellular

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