Samsung quietly launches a new 4G version of the Galaxy S20 FE
One of the most noteworthy devices from Samsung from last year was the Galaxy S20 FE. While the standard S20 lineup commanded prices that started at $1,000, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE undercut those other phones by quite a big margin while offering the same basic set of overall features: the same flagship processor, the same software, the same 120Hz display… Cutting on some of the less important corners allowed Samsung to come up with a phone on a way cheaper price point, and some of the changes they applied were actually carried over to the Galaxy S21 lineup this year in order to slash the price of all S21 smartphones across the board by $200.
One feature that was also carried over from the more expensive S20 smartphones to the Galaxy S20 FE was 5G, evidently, as it shared the same SoC as the more expensive phones and there was no reason to not add it. Now, though, Samsung has quietly launched a 4G version of the phone. But… wait. Some folks reading this might remember that there was, in fact, a 4G version of this phone. And they’re right, there was one, but it used an Exynos 990 SoC which, depending on who you ask, is arguably a worse chip. This one is using a Snapdragon 865 processor instead, which consistently outperforms its Exynos counterparts in benchmarks and real-life performance.
It’s worth noting that, when the Snapdragon 865 launched, Qualcomm made it mandatory for OEMs to ship 865-powered phones with their X55 5G modem, which meant that the vast majority of 2020 flagships had 5G support, and also probably the reason why some OEMs opted to skip this chipset on some phones (using either the Snapdragon 765G or older flagship chipsets) since not being able to ship the SoC without 5G support drove costs up a lot. As for how Samsung managed to launch this Galaxy S20 FE, well, either Qualcomm relaxed their policies or they shipped the modem anyway, just disabling 5G after the fact.
The device was quietly announced in Vietnam and Malaysia and, as reported by AndroidHeadlines, it has also gone up on websites in Germany and Sweden. So a global launch for this phone now seems like a complete given. The price is also set to stay the same, as it’s the exact same phone, just with a different CPU.