08/21 Update below. This post was originally published on August 18
Samsung has just launched its best and worst Galaxy smartphones of the year. But most people should probably skip both of them after reading this.
In a pair of leaks, the world’s two most high profile insiders, Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka @OnLeaks) and Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) have revealed stunning new images of the ‘Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition’. And it looks like the best Galaxy phone buy of the year.
08/20 Update: Potential Galaxy S20 FE buyers will now find the phone represents even better value for money, after Samsung confirmed it will increase Android upgrade support from two to three years. Samsung states that all Galaxy S, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Z phones since 2019 will be eligible for the extended updates, along with “select” models of its popular midrange Galaxy A series (A90, A71, A51). This brings Samsung into line with Google’s Pixel phones and addresses a growing concern of the company’s long term commitment to support its devices. That said, three years is still a long way behind what iPhone owners can expect, with Apple confirming iOS 14 will support iPhone models as far back as the 2015 iPhone 6S well into 2021.
08/21 Update: Galaxy S20 and Note 20 buyers have received a further disincentive to upgrade with popular Samsung insider Ice Universe revealing the Galaxy S30 (possibly ‘Galaxy S21’) will feature a next-generation 108MP primary camera. This is the same resolution as the controversial 108MP camera in the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra, but will presumably address its ongoing performance concerns. The Galaxy S30 launch is expected to take place in February and the phone will also feature a next gen Qualcomm chipset, 5G modem and LPTO high refresh rate display. If you are still desperate to upgrade, however, this news only emphasizes how the Galaxy S20 FE will deliver significantly better value for money than its flagship stablemates in the short term.
OnLeaks was first, publishing detailed renders of the ‘Galaxy S20 Fan Edition’ in partnership with PriceBaba, before Blass followed up with official Samsung images. What makes this phone so exciting is it takes the best parts from the Galaxy S20 range, slashes the price to circa $750 and runs rings around the $1,000 Galaxy Note 20. In fact, there’s almost nothing to dislike about this phone.
First, where it matches the Galaxy S20: It has the same stylish design and premium Snapdragon 865 chipset, support for 5G and up to 8GB RAM. But it also has a display which is 0.2-inches larger than the Galaxy S20 at 6.4-inches and, unlike the Note 20, its display supports 120Hz fast refresh rates. It also comes with up to 512GB of internal storage, more than both of them.
The camera system is excellent as well. The Galaxy S20 FE has the same triple camera setup as the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 (phones which, arguably, take better photos than the flawed S20 Ultra). Meanwhile PriceBaba states the Galaxy S20 FE will have a 32MP front facing camera, which is a big resolution jump from the 10MP module in the S20 and Note 20.
The cherry on top? The Fan Edition has a 4,500mAh battery, that’s 500mAh bigger than the Galaxy S20 and 200mAh bigger than the Note 20. Downsides? There’s no headphone jack (like all high end Galaxy models) and no microSD slot, like the Note 20, though the S20 does have one.
That said, the Galaxy S20 FE comes in $250 cheaper than both the Galaxy S20 and Note 20. So if you’re looking for Samsung’s best value premium smartphone, you need to wait until October because the Fan Edition stands head and shoulders above its stablemates.
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