Update: September 14, 2020 (2:50 AM ET): Samsung has confirmed another Unpacked event which could see the launch of the Galaxy S20 FE. We’ve updated the original article below with the new details.
Original article: July 23, 2020 (8:37 AM ET): Samsung’s flagship sales are slumping. As demand for more expensive devices drops due to rising prices and the ongoing pandemic, we’re seeing more manufacturers release mid-range alternatives. Samsung could be the latest.
According to multiple reports, the company is currently working on a repeat of its Galaxy S10 Lite based on the Galaxy S20 range. Its official name is still up for debate, but whether it’ll be called the Galaxy S20 Lite or Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, here’s everything we think we know about the forthcoming affordable phone below.
Name and release date
The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is reportedly under development with model numbers SM-G780 (global version) and SM-G781 (US version), according to a SamMobile report from June 11. The Galaxy S10 Lite released with model number SM-G770, so all signs point towards a sequel to that particular device.
Samsung later confirmed the existence of the Galaxy S20 FE series in what seems to be yet another accidental reveal. The device was spotted in a listing on a Samsung Bulgaria’s YouTube Premium offer page, which confirmed its name. The listing also confirmed that Samsung is preparing 4G and 5G variants of the Galaxy S20 FE.
Meanwhile, the name “Galaxy S20 Lite” is also a contender and was spotted on Samsung’s US website by Twitter tipster Venkatesh Babu.G. It’s possible that Samsung will have a different name for the phone in different markets. However, it’s also not out of the realm of possibility that these two are completely unique phones that have nothing to do with each other.
The Fan Edition title was first used by Samsung on a re-released device based on the Galaxy Note 7. An ETNews report also suggested that the phone could come with S-Pen support and adopt the “Galaxy S20 Pen Edition” title, but it’s likely that this was a case of a mistranslation.
On September 8, the SM-G780F variant was spotted passing through the FCC. Believed to be the range’s global variant, the listing did raise questions regarding the phone’s imminent launch.
On September 9, the smartphone made an early appearance on Samsung’s Philippine site. Not much about the device was listed, bar the 128GB of storage, dual SIM support, and two colorways, it’s perhaps the best indication thus far that the Galaxy S20 FE’s launch was fast approaching.
Samsung on September 13 confirmed yet another Unpacked event will take place this month, likely hosting the debut of the Galaxy S20 FE. The event will take place on September 23, beginning at 10 AM ET. While not overtly confirming that the S20 FE will make its debut, all hints provided suggest that the phone should make its long-awaited appearance.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition: Design
We’ve been expecting the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition to draw design cues from its S20 sisters and if a leaked render is to be believed, it surely does. Tipster Evan Blass outed the render showing a familiar Infinity-O punch-hole display surrounded by thin bezels. You can see the leaked Galaxy S20 Fan Edition render below.
More renders spilled via PriceBaba and OnLeaks on August 17, which showcases the possible rear design of the device. While not confirmed, there’s a possibility the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition may employ the frosted plastic panel used on the Galaxy Note 20. Additionally, renders suggest three cameras will feature at the rear.
A SamMobile report on June 25 gave us an idea of the colorways we could expect too, namely blue, violet, and white. On July 23, Dutch tech publication GalaxyClub cited an additional three possible shades, including green, orange, and red.
Renders posted to Evan Blass’ Patreon on August 18 (seen above) have revealed an even wider range of colorways set to grace the Galaxy S20 FE. At least six are showcased in the leak, including light shades of green, orange, and violet (or pink). There’s also a bright red, similar to the colorway used on the red Galaxy Note 20, joining a dark blue, and white option.
According to WinFuture, the phone will include white, blue, orange, lavender, green, and red colorways. The availability of the color variants may vary depending on the model (more on that below). The publication adds that the phone is 8.4mm thick and weighs 190g.
Specs and features
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition could feature three different models. SM-G780 will reportedly release globally with and without 5G. Meanwhile, SM-G781 will only be available with 5G. All models are expected to feature Samsung’s upcoming One UI 2.5 skin layered over Android 10.
The aforementioned leak from WinFuture lists out all the specs for the Galaxy S20 FE and also confirms that it’ll have both 4G and 5G models.
According to the publication, the 5G model of the phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 865, while the 4G variant will feature Samsung’s own Exynos 990 SoC. This was also previously tipped through leaked benchmark listings uncovered by GSMArena.
Unlike the existing Galaxy S20 phones which only get the Snapdragon chipset in the US and some other parts of the world, the Snapdragon 865 version of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is also said to launch in Europe. The region usually gets only Exynos-powered Samsung flagships, so this would be a welcome change.
In terms of display, the Galaxy S20 FE is rumored to feature a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. This makes the display of the new phone slightly larger than the base 6.2-inch S20, but smaller than the 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 Lite. It’s also offering a faster refresh rate than the vanilla Galaxy Note 20 which only gets a 60Hz screen. Samsung has apparently used the much older Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top of the display to save on costs.
For imaging, a July 20 report by The Elec as well as the WinFuture leak detail the phone’s possible camera setup. Three rear cameras are set to feature, but there’s no sign of a 64MP sensor or a 108MP sensor at all. Instead, users may have to settle for a 12MP primary snapper with f/1.8 aperture, a 12MP 123-degree wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom. The main 12MP sensor features dual phase detection autofocus and optical image stabilization. A 32MP selfie camera is set to feature in the punch-hole.
Leaker Ice Universe in a tweet suggested that the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition uses a Sony IMX555 sensor also used on the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, and Galaxy Note 20. The leaker’s track record isn’t without issue but WinFuture also corroborated this information in its full spec leak.
Elsewhere, the Galaxy S20 FE is expected to get Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC. The phone is also said to be IP68 certified for water and dust protection.
ETNews and SamMobile previously reported that 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage could feature too. This was also listed in the specs dump leaked by WinFuture. If the Galaxy S10 Lite is any indication, we could probably also expect a 512GB storage option with at least 8GB of RAM.
GalaxyClub previously reported that the S20 Fan Edition could feature a battery rated at 4,500mAh. That’s 500mAh larger than the base S20. WinFuture also reports the same and adds that the phone will get a 15W charger, wireless charging, and reverse charging.
The Galaxy S20 FE was also spotted passing through China’s 3C on September 4 (via MyFixGuide). The listing matches the leaked battery information above.
See also: The best phones with 8GB of RAM
The Galaxy S20 FE passed through Bluetooth certification on September 2, which confirmed its Bluetooth 5.0 support and also shed light on some of the particular variants we can expect to see.
Judging by this listing, Verizon will seemingly receive an ultra-wideband mmWave 5G variant, distinguished by the S20 FE UW label and VZW description. Particular AT&T and T-Mobile variants are also incoming according to this product list. Finally, if you’re one to holster more than one SIM card at a time, a dual SIM variant may also be in the works judging by this spot. WinFuture also reports that the phone will feature support for a nano-SIM and an eSIM.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition: Pricing and availability
So, when can you snap up one of these Fan Editions? ETNews in June suggested an October launch date for the device.
A previously mentioned report by The Elec corroborated an October debut but also added a suggested price: $750. While this would make the S20 Fan Edition cheaper than the Galaxy S20’s $999 at debut, it would be a substantial increase over the Galaxy S10 Lite’s $650 price at launch and the ~$450 Galaxy A71.
A new leak by DealnTech (via SamMobile) sheds light on the Galaxy S20 FE’s alleged Canadian pricing info. Per the leak, buyers will need to fork out around CA$1,148 (~$887) for the 128GB/5G model. That price is around CA$150 lower than the S20 5G’s launch price in Canada.