Thursday, 24 September 2020 01:54

VIDEOS: Samsung's brand new Galaxy S20 Fan Edition starts at just $999, 5G for $1149

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Smartphone launching season is well and truly upon us, as every major smartphone maker knows Apple prepares its iPhone 12 onslaught and wants to put their best tech forward to catch all the sales that won't go to Apple, with the Galaxy S20 FE putting its best foot forward in the hope of beating the iPhone 12 at this price point  

With Nokia just having launched its Nokia 8.3 5G for $899 in Australia, and Apple's iPhone 12 range launching next month, Samsung is striking back with a brand new smartphone of its own - the Galaxy S20 FE 4G for A$999 in cloud red, cloud orange, cloud mint, cloud white and cloud navy colours, and a 5G equipped model for $1149 in the cloud lavender colour.

Although Apple will likely take the lion's share of profits this year as it always does, with an expected four iPhone 12 models to hit almost every price point, along with the iPhone SE starting at A$749, Android makers often make most of their sales in the mid-range and well under $1000 market.

Of course, the $1000 or so market is strong too, especially given it is much, much less than flagship smartphones costing $2500 or more, and so Samsung - as well as companies like Nokia - are striving to give customers as much choice as possible with incredibly advanced models with tons of cool features to tempt the hearts, minds and wallets of customers.

Now, Samsung launched its Galaxy Unpacked for Every Fan livestream on YouTube overnight, which I've just finished watching as I type this article, and as always with keynotes, I definitely recommend you watch!

So before we go on, and there's plenty of info to share below, here's the replay of the livestream you can watch at your leisure - it's a very polished presentation, as you'd expect.

The S20 Fan Edition is the newest member of the S-series family, with the same S20 chipset as previous models, so this definitely isn't some "lite" model.

Samsung say this model includes "innovations Galaxy fans told us they love most, made available at an accessible price point", starting at $999 for 4G and $1,149.00 for 5G.

We're told that "COVID-19 disrupted the world as we knew it and technology is now playing an even more crucial role in our lives and that is why we created Galaxy S20 FE to delivering flagship experiences to reach even more consumers. Samsung took select features of the Galaxy S20 series, such as the super smooth scrolling display, an AI-powered camera, advanced chipset, hyper-fast connectivity, all day battery, expandable storage, with a streamlined premium design, in order to create the all-new Galaxy S20 FE".

Dr. TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business for Samsung Electronics said: “We are constantly speaking to our fans and taking feedback, and we heard what they loved the most about our Galaxy S20 series, what features they used most often and what they would want to see in a new smartphone.

“The S20 FE is an extension of the Galaxy S20 family and is the start of a new way to bring meaningful innovation to even more people to let them do the things they love with the best of Galaxy.”

Here is Samsung's official TV ad:

Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Australia had lots more to say, and stated: “For over a decade, the Galaxy S series has delivered premium smartphones that empower our customers, making their lives better.

“We’re committed to delivering exceptional experiences, so we collated the best of what people love and developed the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. In doing so, we’re giving Australians a premium smartphone experience an accessible price point.

“In the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, we’re bringing flagship features and pro grade camera capabilities such as AI technology, 30x Space Zoom and Single Take in a selection of six vibrant colours to suit every attitude, look and personality.

“We also know that 5G is becoming more and more important to Australians. The number of 5G handset owners has grown in the last quarter and at present, Samsung accounts for over 90% of the 5G market. We also do more with network providers and carriers than anyone in Australia to ensure the 5G experience is optimized, for you.

“We also know society more than ever is relying on mobile technology, our competitors aren’t providing the innovation, so we are. Samsung delivers the freedom, flexibility, and options for people to get the most out of mobile technology in a way that suits them.

"The S20 Fan Edition is a fun and fresh extension of the S Series family – the vibrant colour palette reflects the optimism we know so many of our customers are seeking after a tough year of heavy news and world events.”

Infinity DIsplay 6.5-inch Screen

The screen is the main interface of any phone, and Samsung boasts of a 6.5-inch flat FHD+ Super AMOLED screen with ultra smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The display has a small hole punch in the middle at the top, so it is dubbed an "Infinity=O display" that is HDR10+ certified, with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 at 407ppi.

Cameras - "Express Your Best Self"

As Samsung explains, "taking pictures or videos and sharing them is the best way to express yourself. That’s why the Galaxy S20 FE brings a pro-grade camera along with the 32MP selfie Camera including tetra-binning technology that lets you instantly capture a post-worthy picture."

There is also a 12MP ultra tide camera, a 12MP wide angle camera and an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x Optical zoom, and digital zoom of up to 30x, billed as a Space Zoom with "Super Resolution". There's also a hybrid optic zoom which combines a "high-resolution image sensor and lens".

We're told that the with Galaxy S20 FE’s large image sensors including multi-frame processing, "you can take richer, more vibrant images — even in low light — so you can simply snap and go. Night mode multi-frame processing with AI frame integration stabilizes motion in-shot while you record, so you can focus on having fun.

"And while you may not always be physically close to the action, the Galaxy S20 FE’s powerful 30X Space Zoom3 lets you get close enough to capture the shot. Editing and sharing photos and video is important to fans, so the Galaxy S20 FE makes it easy to create and curate stunning photos and videos in real-time like a pro."

Processor - "Do What You Love"

Given our phones are at the centre of our lives, Samsung explains that "everything from the design to performance should be a great experience. Samsung equipped the Galaxy S20 FE with an advanced processor and 5G5 connectivity to enable a seamless experience".

The specs say there are two models, both a 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core processor, one having 3Ghz max clock speed with 2.4Ghz cores and 1.8Ghz cores, and a second model that has a max clock speed of 2.7Ghz, with 2.5Ghz cores and 2Ghz cores.

These will presumably be Samsung's own Exynos CPU in Australia, as the Snapdragon 865 processor is usually reserved for the US market, although Samsung's own processor is upgraded every year and is effectively the equivalent. 

Memory and Storage

There are two models as well, and as with the processor speeds it's not clear which ones we'll get in Australia, but this will become clear soon enough.

In any case, one model has 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM with 128 or 256GB or storage, while the other model has 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, and you can insert a MicroSD card of up to 1TB in size.

Battery - "Everything You Want, Worry-Free"

There's the promise of a battery that can last the day, with a "robust 4,500mAH battery, powerful AP performance and Super Fast charging ensures you can keep doing what you love, without a worry about battery life".

There's also the now expected reverse charging feature.

Water and dust resistance, plus Samsung Care+ and Care+ Pro

The Galaxy S20 FE is water and dust resistant IP68 rated, and if you are a Samsung Care+ member (at an additional cost), we're told that "when accidents happen, you can rest easy knowing Samsung Care+ has got your back, whether you have a cracked screen, experience water damage or a battery in need of replacing - which means a maximum of 2 accidental damage from handling claims over a "12 to 24 month period".

If you get Samsung Care+ Pro, then you get up to three accidental damage from handling claims over "a 12 to 24 month period".

For the IP68 rating, Samsung says the phone isn't recommended for pool or beach use - so you've been warned.

Android OS update

Samsung is promising "three generations of Android operating system (OS) upgrades that keep the Galaxy S20 FE updated with the latest security protection and features Samsung has to offer".

That said, the S20 FE comes with Android 10, not Android 11, so the first upgrade will be to Android 11, presumably sometime in 2021.

Availability

The 4G S20 FE costs $999 in Australia and the 5G model is $1149.

Pre-orders start on Friday, September 25, with the actual availability on Friday, October 9, 2020, from Samsung's website, Samsung Experience Stores and "selected retail partners".

A pre-order offer of Galaxy Buds Live will be available from Samsung's website and participating retailers.

Specs are below, but first, here's the "Millie Bobbie Brown x Galaxy S20 FE: What's your fave colour" video:

Galaxy S20 FE Specifications

Display

  • 6.5-inch flat FHD+ Super AMOLED
  • Infinity-O Display (1080x2400), 407ppi, HDR10+ certified 120Hz refresh rate
  • Infinity-O Display: a near bezel-less, full-frontal screen.
  • Measured diagonally, GalaxyS20 FE's screen size is 6.5-inch in the full rectangle and 6.4-inch with accounting for the rounded corners; actual viewable area is less due to the rounded corners and camera hole.

Dimensions & Weight:

  • 74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm, 190g

Camera Front

  • 32MP Selfie Camera
  • Pixel size: 0.8μm
  • F2.2(80˚)

Rear Triple Camera

  • 12MP Ultra Wide Camera
  • Pixel size: 1.12μm
  • F2.2(123)

12MP Wide-angle Camera

  • Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • Pixel size: 1.8μm
  • F1.8(79˚)

8MP Telephoto Camera

  • Pixel size: 1.0μm
  • F2.4(32˚)

Space Zoom

  • 3x Optical Zoom
  • Up to 30x Super Resolution Zoom
  • OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)
  • Tracking AF
  • Galaxy S20 FE's Hybrid Optic Zoom combines high-resolution image sensor and lens.
  • Super Resolution Zoom includes digital zoom, which may cause some image deterioration.

Processor

  • 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor
  • 3.0GHz (Maximum Clock Speed) + 2.4GHz + 1.8GHz
  • 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor
  • - 2.7GHz (Maximum Clock Speed) + 2.5GHz + 2GHz

Memory [LTE/5G]

  • 8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128/256GB internal storage
  • 6GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage
  • May differ by model, color, market and carrier.
  • Actual storage available may vary depending on pre-installed software.

Expandable

  • Memory & SIM Card Single SIM model
    • One Nano SIM and one MicroSD slot (up to 1TB) 
  • Dual SIM model (Hybrid SIM slot)
    • One Nano SIM and one Nano SIM or one MicroSD slot (up to 1TB) 
  • SIM card sold separately. Availability of dual SIM may vary depending on market or carrier.
  • MicroSD card sold separately. Availability may vary depending on country and manufacturer.
  • Use of eSIM on Galaxy device may be enabled by software update or disabled in some markets where it is purchased. Availability of eSIM mobile plan may vary depending on carrier..

Battery

  • 4,500mAh (typical)
  • Typical value tested under third-party laboratory condition. Typical value is the estimated average value considering the deviation in battery capacity among the battery samples tested under IEC 61960 standard.
  • Rated (minimum) capacity is 4,370mAh for Galaxy S20 FE. Actual battery life may vary depending on network environment, usage patterns and other factors.

Charging

  • Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 USB PD 3.0 (PPS) certified
  • Fast Charging for wired charging (AFC and QC2.0 compatible)
  • WPC certified Wireless charging
  • Wireless PowerShare
  • Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 currently available with Wireless Charger Stand, Wireless Charger Duo Pad, and other devices that support 10W or more wireless charging. Sold separately.
  • Actual charging speed may vary depending on the actual usage, charging conditions, and other factors.
  • Wireless charger requires power connection.
  • Recommend using in-box charging cable and/or travel adapter for use of third party items may cause damage to the Wireless Charger Stand and Wireless Charger Duo Pad or a decrease in charging speed.
  • Wireless PowerShare limited to Samsung or other brand smartphones and accessories with WPC Qi wireless charging. Check samsung.com for compatibility. May not work with certain accessories, covers, or other brand devices. May affect call reception or data services, depending on your network environment. Speed and power efficiency of charge varies by device.

OS

  • Android 10
  • Three generations of Android operating system (OS) upgrades that keep the Galaxy S20 FE updated with the latest security protection and features Samsung has to offer are included, starting with Android 11 to come. 

Network

  • [5G] 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave
  • LTE] Enhanced 4x4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LTE Cat.20, Up to 2.0Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload
  • [Wi-Fi] Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM, Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload
  • [Bluetooth] Bluetooth v 5.0, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)
  • Actual speed may vary depending on market, carrier, and user environment.
  • Requires optimal 5G connection. Actual speed may vary depending on market, carrier, and user environment.
  • Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited. BeiDou may not be available for certain markets. 

Payment

  • NFC
  • MST
  • Available in select markets. Payment solutions and available features may vary depending on market, carrier, and service providers. 

Sensors

  • Optical Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor 

Authentication Lock type

  • Pattern, PIN, password 

Audio

  • [Stereo speakers sound by AKG]
  • Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included.)
  • Earphones: Hybrid canal type, 2way dynamic unit

Ultra high quality audio playback

  • UHQ 32-bit &DSD64/128 support
  • PCM: Up to 32 bits, DSD: DSD64/128
  • DSD64 and DSD128 playback can be limited depending on the file format.

Audio playback format

  • MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF

Bluetooth

  • Dual Audio: connect two Bluetooth devices to the Galaxy S20 FE to play audio through the two devices simultaneously.
  • The two connected devices may exhibit a slight difference in sound output. 
  • Scalable Codec: Enhanced Bluetooth connection under ambient radio frequency interference. 
  • Available only for certain accessories made by Samsung. 

Recording 

  • Recording quality is improved with the High AOP Mic that minimizes distortion in noisy environments.
  • AOP: Acoustic Overload Point 

Video - Video playback format

  • MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

TV connection

  • Wireless: Smart View (screen mirroring 1080p at 30 fps)
  • Wired: supports DisplayPort over USB type-C. Supports video out when connecting via HDMI Adapter.
  • (DisplayPort 4K UHD at 60 fps)

Water Resistance IP68

  • IP68 is based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Rinse residue/dry if wet. Not advised for beach or pool use.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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