If it seems like there are more Unpacked events than is usual at the moment, don’t worry. You’re not going mad. Samsung’s definitely being a little more active than usual. This time we’ve got an Unpacked “For Every Fan”, which is a fine want to introduce the company’s Galaxy S20 Fan Edition. We’ve been expecting it.
Which is… well, an edition for fans. In previous years it would have been called the Galaxy S20 Lite but Samsung probably doesn’t like the connotations there. ‘Fan Edition’ sounds… more marketable. However you describe it, the S20 Fan Edition is a cut-down version of the full-on (but expensive) Galaxy S20. Which means a few concessions to the cheaper price.
What’s the big deal?
The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition arrives with a 6.5in display that’s just as good (in some respects) as the one found on the S20 itself. That’d be the 120Hz resolution, which should make for smooth onscreen motion — just the thing for online gaming (assuming you’re doing more than playing Among Us at present). The resolution isn’t quite as high as that of the S20, though. You’re going to have to make your peace with that, and with the slightly thicker bezels.
Inside, you’re looking at a lot of the same internals as the S20 FE’s bigger brother. There’s a Snapdragon 865 in the American version, so it’s possible we’ll see an Exynos 990 in the versions released here at home. We’re… not totally sure about that yet, however. It could be Snapdragons all the way down. The RAM allocation has been cut down from 12GB to 6GB but storage stays steady at 128GB. There’s possibly an 8GB/256GB version on the way as well.
About to snap
Samsung’s done a little work on the cameras for the S20 Fan Edition as well. There are still three camera sensors but the main 64MP lens from the S20 is being dumped in favour of an 8MP sensor that supports 3x optical zoom. That’s a nice touch, and the remaining two lenses are both the 12MP versions found in the original S20. Expect 30x Space Zoom — Samsung’s digital zoom (which doesn’t go up to x100, this time around).
Up front, there’s a 32MP selfie camera — down from the 40MP one in the S20 but way up from pretty much every other Samsung selfie camera ever.
There’s a 4,500mAh battery inside, which should get you through at least a day’s usage. It’s the same battery found in the S20 Ultra, which needed a little extra to get through the day. The less-demanding screen and cameras should help here. Elsewhere, expect stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos (as much as is possible with a smartphone) and expect a complete lack of a headphone jack. It’s not coming back. The handset also launches in a range of colours — running from white all the way to something called Cloud Navy.
Counting the cost
Which leaves us, conveniently, at the matter of price. Matters are still unfolding so we should have that information for you in about an hour or so — or, at least, confirmation of when pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition will be available. What we do know is that it’ll be cheaper than the S20 was at launch. Watch this space.
Update: The handset starts at $700 (R12,000) in the States, with a projected launch date of 2 October. International pre-orders open today. We’re still awaiting local info but it’s not available on Samsung’s store just yet.