Case roundup: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (including 5G)
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was top of many people's device charts last year in terms of power and capability vs price, and I reckon it's still up there now, at around the £500 mark and with - arguably - better operation than the flagship S21 range (dodgy telephoto, dodgy ultrasonic sensor, fragile glass back, and so on...)
As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with many (though not all) samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Galaxy S20 FE cases and covers.
But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.
Now, I now what you're thinking. You don't like bulky folio cases. Neither do I. But this is the best folio I've ever used. From thin and sculpted shell to neoprene hinge to the 'smart' transparent window, this Samsung design doesn't add too much bulk and does give access to basic phone information.
The fit is perfect, as you might expect from a Samsung official case - and I really like the clean look in classy white.
The 'Smart' bit is to do with the window, of course. When the folio is closed, a sensor (NFC? Magnet?) tells the Galaxy S20 FE to switch its 'always on' display to a format that fits time, date, and notifications within the clear window. It's a system that works really well indeed, especially with a dark lockscreen, as here, to contrast nicely with the case's white.
Around the back, the fit is again good, while the materials are superb. Clearly plastic of some kind, but it all feels like finely woven fabric. It's grippy and very pleasant. Top notch, all round.
As the photo above shows, Samsung has engineered this folio for maximum protection yet with minimum extra thickness. No bulky and thick leather here - it just fits thinly and beautifully.
Most of the time, on the desk, then, you'll be looking at the always on clock and icons through the protective window, picking up the phone and opening the folio to interact with it.
A perfect score because I can't imagine a folio design done better. (Perhaps the white will dirty with use, but hey, ask me in a couple of months!!)
I'm a cautious fan of the Olixar Ultra-Thin designs - they're nothing special, being understandably thin and flimsy, but they do offer extra grip and basic protection.
This particular implementation has no extra material at the case ends, so face drop protection is minimal:
I didn't like the prominent moulding lines around the case's edge - this feels slightly cheaper than the similar ultra-thin case coming later in this roundup.
It's not terrible, it's just doing the bare minimum 'what it says on the tin'. And in the roundup of bl**dy brilliant cases on this page, the bare minimum just isn't enough, I contend.
Oh my goodness, this Ven Dens-branded (ignore the lack of this name on the source link!) case takes drop protection to the nth degree.
We're talking thick (but clear) TPU all round, with somewhat bulbous corner thickenings. It looks - and feels - a little inelegant but if protection is the goal then this case fits its purpose very well indeed.
Not quite a 'ruggedised' case for hikers, but certainly something that would suit the outdoors type, think walkers, cyclists.
And yes, you can't go wrong with clear TPU, always showing off the colour and design of your smartphone.
Aha - my favourite Ringke Fusion. I use this on my iPhones, to great success. It's the perfect day-to-day protective case for any smartphone. Rugged enough that it should protect against most drops onto most surfaces, but thin and stylish enough that it looks and feels 'minimalist'.
In classic 'clear' TPU, it's clearly the sweet spot for me, but a lot of others like it too. For the office or casual worker, it's a great all-rounder.
The famous Ringke Fusion raised corners and top/bottoms, ensuring that a drop from a metre or so onto almost any surface will be fine, ditto a face drop - you'd have to really abuse your phone to damage it in this. And note the lanyard holes, for even more security, especially if you plan to use your Galaxy S20 FE anywhere near water!
Not much to see on the back here, except stylish lines with just a hint of 'drop me if you dare' from the reinforced corners.
A super compromise design, as usual, here equalling the Samsung Smart View above.
Substantial. It's the only adjective I can think of that's appropriate for this Samsung official design. It's all based on the idea of a kick-stand being available, and as a result the TPU is thicker all round to support this structure, and especially so on the rear surface.
In the hand it just feels a little... bigger and heavier. Which it is. The edges and corners aren't particularly reinforced because they don't need to be - the perimeter already has easily enough TPU between the phone and the ground, if dropped.
But it's on the back that the USP lives. You'd only consider this case if you watched a lot of media and with a flat surface to hand.
So, for example, on a kitchen surface, or a car dashboard (stationary, of course!), or train or plane travel table.
The stand is well done and nicely sprung, though it only works at the one angle, so you kind of have to live with it! And a nice bit of self-branding on the kickstand itself, Samsung!
Note the price, by the way, more or less half price as I write this. Maybe due to low demand?