A leak from Samsung suggests the Korean brand might be about to unveil a Galaxy Note 20 FE (or Fan Edition) and after loving the Galaxy S20 FE, I couldn’t be happier. But there are definitely some issues.
The first, and really only, mention of the Note 20 FE comes from a translated page on the Brazilian Samsung site. According to Sammobile, the now taken down page refers to the Note 20 FE in a few instances and indicates it will have a 6.5-inch display. However there’s every chance this could simply be a typo, with it instead referring to the already available Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
If this does turn out to be true and we do see a Galaxy Note 20 FE in the near future, then I would say Samsung has made a very clever decision.
As a little bit of background, the FE (or Fan Edition) version of the Samsung Galaxy S20 is a more modest version of the brand’s flagship. It keeps important parts like a 120Hz OLED, big battery and flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset but ditches the luxurious glass and metal design along with the curved display. By doing this, Samsung could sell the phone at a far cheaper price (as low as £599 or £699 for 5G) and make it a far more appealing prospect in the process.
In the verdict of our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review we said, “I can’t say enough good things about the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and if you want a phone that feels very much like a flagship without spending over £699 then this is the best that’s currently on offer.”
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A cheaper, but still technically advanced, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra could be a winning proposition especially as it would likely tote an S Pen that acts a differentiator among other devices. If Samsung could somehow hit a similar price point as the S20 FE, but keep things like the S Pen, high-end chip and 120Hz OLED panel, then it could very well be a success.
There is a big elephant in the room though: the regular Note 20. The Note 20 Ultra felt like a true 2020 Samsung flagship. But the regular Note 20 lacked the spark required to carry that title – even though it costs far more and has worse spec than the Galaxy S20 FE. This was mainly because the plastic lump had a 60Hz display and lacked the camera skills of the Ultra.
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If Samsung was to release a Note 20 FE, it would make the Note 20 pointless. It could, however, help to reverse the reported poor sales of the phone. This is certainly a tricky situation.
Another thing that makes me think this is likely false is the rumour that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will pack an S Pen, basically making the Note line defunct. If that was to be the case, then maybe we’ve already seen the last Note.
Whatever happens, the idea of basically an S20 FE with the added S Pen benefit is certainly tempting.