Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition blew us away: for $ 599 (it’s almost never sold for $ 699 MSRP), it offered performance almost identical to the phones that cost twice as much thanks to the Snapdragon 865 chipset. It was also among the first phones to offer a 120Hz screen at an intermediate price. But it was released in October, which means it comes up six months old. So is it still worth buying in 2021? Let’s discuss.
On the cover, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is still a very good phone. Made with advanced parts where it counts, it’s barely older – Samsung said it wanted to distill the essential experience of its flagship phones into something cheaper with the FE, and it was successful in doing so. Although it “only”
Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is still a very good phone.
You also do not have to worry about the software going out of date soon. To Google’s concern, Samsung has emerged as the new king of Android updates, promising three OS updates and four years of security updates for most of the phones. FE is currently running One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11, and it has two OS updates left – plus security updates until the end of 2024.
But even though the S20 FE has many years left, it is one of the biggest considerations to weigh whether to buy a phone months after its release, how close we are to a newer, upgraded version. In the case of FE, we actually have no idea – we’re only heard the faintest rumors about a potential S21 Fan Edition (in short: one will probably come this year). Samsung recently announced this year’s A series phones, but there’s a way down market from the S20 FE: They pack mid-range Snapdragon processors, do not have wireless charging, and with the exception of the A52 5G, they have slower 90Hz displays. If these concessions do not bother you, keep picking up an S20 FE until we know how much the A52 and A72 will cost. They can be a better value.
The biggest knock on the S20 FE is a strange, often reported touch screen error that results in swipes being treated as multiple presses, leading to unwanted behavior. Samsung says that they are aware of the problem and have released updates to improve it, but some users say that they still get so-called ghost touch. It is worth noting that many users – including myself – have never experienced this issue. Still, it takes into account.
S21 is probably a better buy.
Another factor: S21. After disappointing sales of the flagship S20 series last year, Samsung released the S21 line at lower prices, and they have only continued to fall since its launch. The standard model is often available for $ 699, $ 100 below MSRP, and has dropped as low as $ 649. It has a smaller screen – 6.2 inches to the S20 FE’s 6.5 – and it has no MicroSD card slot or MST functionality For non-NFC contactless payments, two features the S20 Fan Edition boasts. But it has better cameras than the FE, two extra RAMs and a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 888 chipset. For most customers, the smallest is the S21 probably a better buy than the S20 FE, especially if they can get a particularly good selling price. Thanks to the more modern guts, it will age better than FE, and the software will also be updated a few months longer (plus it will eventually see Android 14).
But if the exact combination of features of the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition – large screen, expandable storage and MST payment for $ 600 – speaks to you, it’s still a bargain in 2021. Just watch out for these touch screen issues.