Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition impressed us: for $ 599 (it almost never sold at the suggested retail price of $ 699), it offered nearly the same performance as phones that cost twice as much thanks to the Snapdragon 865 chipset. was also one of the first phones to offer a 120Hz display at an average price. But it was released in October, which means it will be six months old. So is it worth buying in 2021? Let’s discuss.
At first glance, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is still a very good phone. Made with high-quality components where it matters, it’s hardly outdated – Samsung has said it wants to transform the substantial expertise of its flagship phones into something less expensive with the FE, and has succeeded. Despite the fact that it has “only” six gigabytes of RAM, the S20 Fan Edition does not feel any senior than any of Samsung’s high-end 2020 models – it continues to tackle any task you could possibly throw at your phone with liveliness. It’s even 5G compatible if you’re interested.
The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is still a very good phone.
You also don’t need to worry about its software becoming outdated anytime soon. To Google’s chagrin, Samsung has become the new king of Android updates, promising three OS updates and four years of security patches for most of their phones. FE is currently running One UI 3.1 on top of Android 11 and has two more OS updates left – plus security fixes by the end of 2024.
But even though the S20 FE has years of life left, one of the most important considerations when deciding whether to buy a phone a few months after its release is how close we are to a newer, refreshed version. In the case of the FE, we don’t really have a clue – we’ve only heard the most vague rumors about a potential S21 Fan Edition (in short: one is likely to arrive this year). Samsung recently announced the A-series phones this year, but they are much cheaper than the S20 FE: they are powered by mid-range Snapdragon processors, have no wireless charging and, with the exception of the A52 5G, have a slower 90Hz. displays. However, if these concessions don’t bother you, hold off on buying the S20 FE until we know how much the A52 and A72 will cost. They may be more beneficial.
The biggest blow to the S20 FE is a strange, often reported touchscreen bug that causes swipes to be treated as multiple touches, resulting in unwanted behavior. Samsung says it is aware of the issue and has released updates to address it, but some users say they are still experiencing so-called “ghostly touches.” It is worth noting that many users, myself included, have never encountered this problem. However, this requires attention.
The S21 will probably be the best buy.
Another factor: S21. After disappointing sales of the flagship S20 series last year, Samsung launched the S21 line at lower prices, and they’ve only continued to fall since launch. Standard model often available for $ 699$ 100 below the MSRP and dropped to $ 649. It has a smaller screen – 6.2 inches compared to 6.5 for the S20 FE – and it doesn’t have a microSD card slot or MST function for non-NFC contactless payments, two of which the S20 Fan Edition boasts. But it has better cameras than the FE, another two gigabytes of RAM and the flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset. For most buyers, the smallest S21 is probably Better buy than the S20 FE, especially if they can catch a particularly good selling price. Thanks to its more modern internals, it ages better than the FE, and its software will also be updated several months longer (plus it will eventually see Android 14).
But if the exact mix of Galaxy S20 Fan Edition features – large screen, expandable storage, and $ 600 MST payments – tells you, it’s still a good buy in 2021. Just beware of these touchscreen issues.