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Samsung Galaxy A20e Review: A Great Bang For Your Buck




Luis Silva


(Nov. 2019)



*As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect any item's price or eventual reviews.

 

Last week, my sister got herself a new smartphone: the Samsung Galaxy A20e. At first, I didn't bother to play with it. After all, it wasn't even the smartphone that I had recommended her to buy. But after helping her set it up, I began to change my mind about it. Nowadays, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a decent smartphone. Here's why:

Let me start by stating that this is indeed an entry-level smartphone, and it lacks almost all those gimmick features that a flagship (or even a mid-range phone) can offer. Even so, you'll get an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage (which is more than enough for most apps and games on the Google Play Store), although no AMOLED display. But at least it is arguably a nice looking smartphone with a 5.8-inch infinity display.



Galaxy A20e Price

Priced between $150 and $200, it usually sits between the A20 and the A30/A40.

Although being more focused on the European market, you can still find it in other countries like in the US.



Galaxy A20e Specs


Model name Galaxy A20e
Model Number SM-A202F
Color Black, Blue, Coral, White
Announced 2019, April
Released 2019, May
Operating System Android 9.0 (Pie)+One UI


PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions 147.4 x 69.7 x 8.4 mm (5.80 x 2.74 x 0.33 in)
Weight 4.97 oz / 141 g
Build Front glass, plastic body


NETWORK

SIM card size Nano-SIM (dual SIM)
Network 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE
2G GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900
3G UMTS B1(2100), B2(1900), B5(850), B8(900)
4G LTE B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300)
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps


DISPLAY

Size 5,8″ (146.5mm/82.6CM2/~80% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution HD + (720×1560)
Pixel Density ~296 PPI
Technology PLS TFT LCD (IPS)


PROCESSOR

Type Exynos 7884 (14nm)
Clock Speed Dual-Core 1.6GHz (A73) & Hexa-Core 1.35GHz (A53)
Cores 8 Cores (Octa-Core)
GPU Mali-G71


MEMORY

RAM Size 3GB
Internal Storage 32GB (about 21Gb free)
External Memory Support Up to 512GB


SENSORS

Sensors Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor


MULTIMEDIA

Video Recording Resolution FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) @60fps
Video Playing Format MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
Video Playing Resolution FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) @60fps
Audio Playing Format MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA
Microphone Yes, with active noise cancelation


CAMERAS

Rear Cameras 13 MP, f/1.9 + 5MP, f/2.2 (123-degree field of view)
OIS No
Zoom Digital, up to 4x
Autofocus Yes
Front Camera 8 MP, f/2.0
Autofocus No
Flash No


CONNECTIVITY

USB Version Type C (2.0)
Location Technology GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
Headphone Socket 3.5mm Stereo
MHL No
Wi-Fi Direct Yes (802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz)
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Bluetooth Version 5.0 (LE up to 2 Mbps)
Bluetooth Profiles DI, A2DP, AVRCP, OPP, HSP, HFP, HID, MAP, PAN, HOGP, PBAP
Radio FM Radio
PC Sync. Samsung Smart Switch


BATTERY

Standard Battery Capacity 3,000mAh
Removable No
Fast charging Yes (15w)



Galaxy A20e Cameras



To my surprise, this entry-level smartphone comes with two main cameras: a 13-MP camera with an f/1.9 aperture and a 5 MP ultra-wide-angle (123 degrees) lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The selfie camera has a resolution of 8 MP and an aperture of f/1.9.

Photos mostly have good contrast and punchy colors for an entry-level phone, but the A20e is missing optical (and even digital) image stabilization, unlike its big brothers. However, it has an above-average camera for such an affordable phone, no doubt in part to the fast f/1.9 lens used. Samsung even went the extra mile of adding the ability to take photos in HDR.

You can also add AR stickers, stamps, and filters on your selfies.

If you stick to well-lit environments, this camera will not disappoint you. However, it's when the lights go out that we get to know what every camera is made of.

Have you ever been to a Christmas play at your kids' school?

That's the perfect scenario to test this boy out. Here's a photo with some crop, and about 2x of digital zoom:

And here's a 1:1 crop.

Here's a comparison from a 2018 mid-range Nokia 7 Plus:

I know what you are thinking: This low-end Samsung can beat a mid-end Nokia, right?

Well, let me bring you the specs: The 7 plus photo was taken with a shutter speed of 1/200 (f/1.75) @ ISO 1600 to avoid being ruined by any subject's movement, at the expense of some extra blur. The A20e photo is the best one out of twenty and was taken with a shutter speed of 1/15 @ ISO 400, which means that the slightest movement from my hands or any of the subjects would have ruined it (as it did with most of the other 19 photos). Plus, the Nokia has a 2x optical zoom, which is a blessing low light conditions.

Just for reference, this is what the 2017 flagship Samsung S8 plus can do with a shutter speed of 1/10 (f/1,7) @ ISO 320:


Here's another 1:1 crop example, now with no digital zoom. From the left to the right (or up/down): A20e, ISO 40, 1/100; S8, ISO 40, 1/100; 7 Plus, ISO 100, 1/112 with 2x optical zoom resized to 1x and then with no resize.

You can clearly see that it hasn't the sharpness of the S8, but it isn't too far behind the Nokia 7 Plus either.

When it comes to macros, Samsung didn't bother to provide a small depth of field, like on the S8 (which doesn't have a dedicated depth sensor either), but I leave that to everyone's personal taste.

If you want to check these macros out, click on them for a full resolution preview.



Galaxy A20e Battery Life


Its 3,000mAh battery should be able to get you through the day, but if you have to make a pit-stop for a quick charge, you can count on its 15W Fast Charging capability, allowing you quickly get a boost and be on your way.

You can theoretically get from a single charge, up to 61 hours of audio playback time, 13h of 3G internet usage time, 15h for LTE and Wi-Fi, 14h for video playback, and 19 hours for talk time in a 3G network.

What this means is that if you're not a heavy smartphone user, you'll effortlessly get 40 hours of battery life.



Galaxy A20e OS and Software



The new Galaxy A-series from Samsung all come with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, so the A20e does not diverge all that much from its more expensive siblings in the software department.

Samsung added its One UI (1.1) launcher to the standard Android experience, and although it now has plenty of features, it still looks clean. There are some apps pre-installed too, like Galaxy Wearable, and Samsung health. While you generally can uninstall any app that you don't find useful, some of them (like Netflix or Onedrive) you are unable to remove without administrative privileges (root).

If you head to the Settings >> Application Manager >> App info, you will find the Uninstall button is grayed out, but you can still disable and then hide them from the apps list.

The A20e should receive major (and security) updates until 2021. We'll just have to wait and see to know for sure.



Galaxy A20e Design and Display



While nothing to write home about, these are clearly two of the strongest selling points of this device.

The body is made of nice-looking reflective plastic, but it seems very solid for regular use. The traditional volume and lock keys are easily reachable on the right side, while the fingerprint scanner is on the back, reasonably reachable too.

While not having an AMOLED display, Samsung still can pack a great-looking 5.8-inch HD+ edge-to-edge infinity-V IPS panel and a resolution of 1560x720 pixels. The aspect ratio is extra tall - 19.5:9, and the pixel density is around 296 PPI.

The biggest downside of this IPS screen is the unavailability of the always-on-display feature, but don't think for a moment that if you wait a couple more days to save a few extra pennies and then go after a mid-range Samsung that you'll be in luck because some of their more expensive siblings don't have it either, albeit having an AMOLED display. If that's something you truly value, you should go for the Samsung Galaxy A30 (not the A30s!) or the A50. Forget the A40 because, for some odd reason, Samsung opted to leave that feature out from this device too.

You can always mitigate the lack of always-on display and notification led by installing an app like Prof Reminder, so you can use the camera's flash as a notification led.



Galaxy A20e Performance


Let's be clear: you're not getting this device solely to fill your unsatisfying "need for speed." That's not to say that it can't defeat its direct competitors.

Powered with two A73 1.6GHz cores for performance and six A53 1.35 GHz cores for energy-efficience, this Exynos 7884 (based on the 14nm manufacturing process) can handle very well its regular work. Performance-wise, it has earned its spot between the Snapdragon 4xx and the 6xx (mid-range) series.

You can check here on www.tme.new how well the 439 and 450 compare against a 665.

And then you can check the A20e scores also on Antutu.



But before jumping into conclusions, remember that Antutu evaluates phones as a whole. That includes its graphics, its internal storage, its RAM, and so on.



Gaming on a Galaxy A20e

The way it handles its competitors in terms of performance, its safe to say that its an excellent buy if you want the best bang for your buck. Now, that doesn't mean you'll be able to smoothly play every game that's available on the Google Play Store.

It runs demanding graphic games like Need For Speed No Limits very well, with no noticeable lag. However, while testing the Dragon Mania Legends, I noticed that when going to settings and changing GFX quality to high, a slow scroll isn't as smooth as when at the lowest quality.

(Click to enlarge)

I believe its 3GB of RAM, the Exynos 7884 processor, along with the relatively low-resolution display that compensates for the not-so-great graphics unit.



Samsung A10 vs A20e

Starting at $150, the A10 is probably the cheapest Samsung smartphone around. Having that said, choosing between these two should be easy (unless the price is the main deciding factor). The A10 is missing 1GB of RAM (by only having 2), the 5MP ultrawide camera, the fingerprint reader, the 15w fast battery charging, and the USB Type-C charging port. It also loses 3MP on the selfie camera and packs an extra 0.96 oz / 27 g of weight.

The good news is an increase in the screen size of 0.4 inches (to 6.2 inches) and in the battery capacity with 400mAh of extra juice.

Features A10 A20e
Pricing $150+ $150-$200
RAM 2GB 3GB
Ultrawide Camera No 5 MP
Fingerprint Reader No Yes
Fast Charging No Yes
USB Type-C No Yes
Selfie Camera 5 MP 8 MP
Weight 168 g / 5.93 oz 141 g / 4.97 oz
Screen Size 6.2 inches 5.8 inches
Display Density 271 ppi 296 ppi
Battery capacity 3400mAh 3000mAh



Samsung Galaxy A20 vs A20e

Depending on where you live, the extra HSDPA (3G) or LTE (4G) bands of the A20 may leave you with no choice but to buy it. If that isn't a deal-breaker, you'll have to decide whether you want a 5.8-inches or a 6.4-inches smartphone and a battery capacity of 3,000mAh or 4,000mAh.

You'll also have to consider the extra 0.99 oz / 28 g. of the A20 and its AMOLED display.

Its price tags are very similar, so it all depends on the deals that you'll find.

Features A20 A20e
Display AMOLED LCD
4G Bands* B1(2100), B2(1900), B3(1800), B4(AWS), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B12(700), B13(700), B17(700), B20(800), B28(700), B66(AWS-3), B38(2600), B40(2300), B41(2500) B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300)
Display Density 268 ppi 296 ppi
Weight 169 g / 5.96 oz 141 g / 4.97 oz
Screen Size 6.4 inches 5.8 inches
Battery capacity 4000mAh 3000mAh

*Market dependent



Samsung A30 vs A20e

If you ever get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy A30, don't think about the A20e ever again. For starters, the A30 is the cheapest Samsung smartphone with an AMOLED screen and an always-on-display. Then, there's the battery, with its additional 1000mAh, the 6.4 inches display, the increased screen resolution (1080x2340), the slightly better processor (Exynos 7904, 2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz), cameras, Wi-Fi, and the extra RAM and internal storage (+32GB, +1GB).

All of this with a slight increase in its weight (+24 g / 0.85 oz), and in its price. If you can save up a bit longer and spend the extra $60/$70, I believe that you won't regret it.

Features A30 A20e
Pricing $200-$230 $150-$200
Display AMOLED LCD
Display Resolution 1080x2340 720x1560
Display Density 403 ppi 296 ppi
Always-on-Display Yes No
CPU Exynos 7904 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz) Exynos 7884 (2x1.6 GHz + 6x1.35 GHz)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Main Camera 16 MP, f/1.7 13 MP, f/1.9, 28mm (wide)
Selfie Camera 16 MP 8 MP
Weight 165 g / 5.82 oz 141 g / 4.97 oz
Screen Size 6.4 inches 5.8 inches
Battery capacity 4000mAh 3000mAh



Samsung A30s vs A20e

With roughly the same price and weight as the A30, the A30s doesn't have that much more to offer. If you don't mind losing the always-on-display and some screen resolution, you'll get better cameras and a fancy new fingerprint reader.

Comparing to the A20e, you'll get a bigger screen size (6.4 inches), a better display (AMOLED), a slightly better processor (Exynos 7904, 2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz), the extra RAM and internal storage (+32GB, +1GB, market dependent), better cameras (25MP f/1.7 + 8MP ultrawide f/2.2 + 5MP depth sensor and 16MP f/2.0 front camera), better Wi-Fi, USB On-The-Go, Fingerprint sensor under the display and a 4,000mAh battery.

Again, you'll get a slight increase in its weight and in its price.

Features A30s A20e
Pricing $200-$230 $150-$200
Display AMOLED LCD
Display Density 268 ppi 296 ppi
CPU Exynos 7904 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz) Exynos 7884 (2x1.6 GHz + 6x1.35 GHz)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Main Camera 25 MP, f/1.7 + 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide) + 5 MP, f/2.2, depth sensor 13 MP, f/1.9, 28mm (wide) + 5 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide)
Selfie Camera 16 MP, 26mm (wide) 8 MP
Weight 166 g / 5.86 oz 141 g / 4.97 oz
Screen Size 6.4 inches 5.8 inches
Battery capacity 4000mAh 3000mAh



Samsung A40 vs A20e

You'll probably find the A40 at an extra $100. Should you go for it?

I didn't think twice when I recommended the A30. The A40 while being way better than the A20e, it's also way more expensive. If that isn't an issue, just go for the A40 (or maybe the A50). If you feel that you have to justify its price with its features, then you should know what else can you get on the A40.

They got their similarities on the size, battery capacity, and weight but the A40 offers an AMOLED display, 64GB of storage (vs 32GB), 4Gb of RAM (vs 3GB), more display resolution (1080x2340 vs 720x1560), a faster processor (Exynos 7904@2x1.77GHz + 6x1.6GHz vs 7884@2x1.6GHz + 6x1.35GHz), 16MP f/1.7 (vs 13MP f/1.9), a selfie camera with 25MP (vs 8MP) and a faster Wi-Fi with 802.11 (2.4GHz + 5GHz) ac.

If you like (relatively) small form factors, then this is the next logical step (right after the A20e). Unfortunately, this also means getting the same battery capacity. Other than that, It's hard to find an improved feature when comparing with the A30.

Features A40 A20e
Pricing $250-$300 $150-$200
Display AMOLED LCD
Display Resolution 1080x2340 720x1560
Display Density 437 ppi 296 ppi
RAM 4GB 3GB
Internal Storage 64GB 32GB
CPU Exynos 7904 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz) Exynos 7884 (2x1.6 GHz + 6x1.35 GHz)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Main Camera 16 MP, f/1.7 13 MP, f/1.9
Selfie Camera 25 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide) 8 MP



Samsung A10 vs A20 vs A30 vs A30s vs A40 vs A20e


Features A10 A20 A30 A30s A40 A20e
Pricing $150+ $150 - $200 $200 - $230 $200 - $230 $250 - $300 $150 - $200
Display LCD AMOLED AMOLED AMOLED AMOLED LCD
Display Resolution 720x1560 720x1560 1080x2340 720x1560 1080x2340 720x1560
Screen Size 6.2 inches 6.4 inches 6.4 inches 6.4 inches 5.9 inches 5.8 inches
Display Density 271 ppi 268 ppi 403 ppi 268 ppi 437 ppi 296 ppi
Always-on-Display No No Yes No No No
4G Bands* B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300) B1(2100), B2(1900), B3(1800), B4(AWS), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B12(700), B13(700), B17(700), B20(800), B28(700), B66(AWS-3), B38(2600), B40(2300), B41(2500) B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300) B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300) B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300) B1(2100), B3(1800), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B20(800), B38(2600), B40(2300)
CPU Exynos 7884 (2x1.6 GHz + 6x1.35 GHz) Exynos 7884 (2x1.6 GHz + 6x1.35 GHz) Exynos 7904 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz) Exynos 7904 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz) Exynos 7904 (2x1.8 GHz + 6x1.6 GHz) Exynos 7884 (2x1.6 GHz + 6x1.35 GHz)
RAM 2GB 3GB 3GB 3GB 4GB 3GB
Internal Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB 64GB 32GB
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Main Camera 13 MP, f/1.9 13 MP, f/1.9 16 MP, f/2.0 25 MP, f/2.0 16 MP, f/2.0 13 MP, f/1.8
Ultrawide Camera No 5 MP 5 MP 8 MP 5 MP 5 MP
Fingerprint Reader No Yes Yes Yes, Under Display Yes Yes
Fast Charging No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
USB Type-C No Yes Yes Yes Yes, 3.1 Yes
Selfie Camera 5 MP 8 MP 16 MP 16 MP 25 MP 8 MP
Weight 168 g / 5.93 oz 169 g / 5.96 oz 165 g / 5.82 oz 166 g / 5.86 oz 140 g / 4.94 oz 141 g / 4.97 oz
Battery capacity 3400mAh 4000mAh 4000mAh 4000mAh 3100mAh 3000mAh

*Market dependent



Verdict


If you want to make all your pennies count, this is the Samsung you'll want to get. You can indeed save some extra pennies by going after the Samsung Galaxy A10, but I believe you'll end up with a not so future-proof smartphone and end up spending more than you foresaw.

That doesn't mean you should ignore the A30, the A30s, or the A40. If you're lucky, you'll probably find the A30 on a good deal and end up with a lot more of a "smartphone" for the price of the A20e. Nevertheless, if you set your expectations right, this device will deliver a pleasant user experience on day-to-day usage.

Please, don't leave with any unanswered questions because I may have an answer, and we'll probably be helping someone else too. Just leave them in a comment below or send me an email and I'll be glad to help.



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