Update, August 28, 2020 (9:16 AM ET): Samsung has now confirmed the existence of the Galaxy S20 FE. Check the name and release date section for all the latest.
Original article: July 23, 2020: 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.
What is now being referred to as the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition from multiple sources, was originally thought to be called the Galaxy S20 Lite. While it seems that the phone will still take its place on the lowest rung of Samsung’s flagship ladder, it’ll seemingly adopt a new moniker.
The Fan Edition title was first used by Samsung on a re-released device based on the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung may not want to adopt the “Lite” again name as it implies inferiority. That said, the thought of a Fan Edition does remind us of Samsung’s troubled Note.
There were further suggestions made in a June 25 report by ETNews 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. This could point to a Note 10 Lite sequel instead, but considering the Galaxy Note 20 series hasn’t even launched yet, it may be too early for Samsung to be working on an even cheaper version.
Samsung confirmed the existence of the Galaxy S20 FE series in what seems to be yet another accidental reveal. On August 28, the device was spotted in a listing on a Samsung Bulgaria’s YouTube Premium offer page, which confirmed the device’s name. The listing also confirmed that Samsung is preparing 4G and 5G variants of the Galaxy S20 FE.
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.
It’s rumored that the S20 Fan Edition will sport a 6.5-inch screen, making it slightly larger than the base 6.2-inch S20, but smaller than the 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 Lite. It’s not yet clear if the phone will sport the 3,200 x 1,440 AMOLED screen of its S20 sibling, or settle for a lower resolution FHD+ display like the S10 Lite.
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.
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.
All will likely feature a microSD card slot carried over from the Galaxy S10 Lite, UFS 3.0 storage from the Galaxy S20 range, and an in-display fingerprint scanner too. It’s unlikely we’ll see a headphone port though — something the S10 Lite and S20 series both went without.
As far as processing power goes, the Snapdragon 865 will likely be used in the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, considering Samsung used the Snapdragon 855 in the S10 Lite. It’s not clear if this option would be reserved for the rumored 5G SM-G781 model though. We wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the 4G devices launching with upper mid-range silicon instead.
ETNews and SamMobile previously reported that 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage could feature too, but we’ve yet to see a complete specs sheet. If the Galaxy S10 Lite is any indication, we could probably also expect a 512GB storage option with at least 8GB of RAM.
See also: The best phones with 8GB of RAM
GalaxyClub on July 23 reported that the S20 Fan Edition could feature a battery rated at 4,500mAh, which would be no change from the Galaxy S10 Lite. That’s 500mAh larger than the base S20 though.
For imaging, a July 20 report by The Elec details 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, a 12MP wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom. A 32MP selfie camera is set to feature in the punch-hole.
Galaxy S20 FE camera：
50MP GN1 ✘
12MP IMX555 ✔
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) July 26, 2020
Leaker Ice Universe in a tweet on July 26 suggested that the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition will sport a 12MP sensor, alleging it’s the Sony IMX555 also used on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus. The leaker’s track record isn’t without issue but it should be noted that this sensor is only used on the Snapdragon versions of these devices. Samsung’s ISOCELL S5K2LD is used on the Exynos versions. It’s unlikely that the Fan Edition will feature the 50MP GN1 sensor which Samsung announced in May.
Certification documents from the NFC Forum were spotted by GSMArena on August 21, pointing to two possible variants of the Galaxy S20 FE. Although the model numbers SM-G781V and SM-G780F are mentioned, the listing doesn’t shed any light on the specifications of each.
That said, GSMArena does recognize these model numbers from earlier Geekbench listings. SM-G781V reportedly featured a Snapdragon 865 chipset, while SM-780F used the Exynos 990. Geekbench listings aren’t always the most reliable sources of information, so take this with a pinch of salt.
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.
Samsung does have an early September event planned to replace its IFA attendance, but it’s not yet clear if the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition will make an appearance there.