back to article If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition doesn't make you a fan, we don't know what will

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE) is reminiscent of Apple in the early 1990s. That may not sound like a compliment, but it is. To recap: In 1991, under the direction of then-CEO John Sculley, Apple began licensing Mac OS 7 to third-party manufacturers in a desperate bid to regain market share. In some cases, these "Mac …

  1. Richard Boyce

    Privacy

    Since this is a Samsung phone, privacy is a concern. Are you required to accept monitoring/access to contacts before using, for example, wallpaper on the home screen? Are you given the option to refuse or do you just get the option to be nagged again later until you either surrender or swear never to buy Samsung again?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privacy

      Yes seen the sell your soul haressment on other devices but with Samsung then there is also the issue of software maintenance.

      Have Samdung commited to regutar updates and for how long?

      Like with some router manufacturers I coul dmention it is the software rather than the hardware where their products have issues.

      To be fair I still have a number of Samsung devices working after 10 years+ but they have not had security updates for the majority of that time. Samsung could have offered a clean linux and let the owners maintain the OS but instead you are left with a device you cannot trust with web access but is okay for book reading.

      So yes the hardware is good but at too high price for a walk way android slinger

  2. MiguelC Silver badge

    A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

    They have trained you well.

    It's like threatening to hit you senseless with a hammer then saying they'll only use their hands to beat you up.

    Oh thank you, how lucky I am to be treated like that!

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

      *Hands you an extra tall pint*

      Beat me to saying it.

      *Taps rims in toast*

      Drink up & try not to choke on the ££££ price tag as "reasonable".

    2. Ken 16
      Windows

      Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

      Yes, I'm firmly in grumpy old man territory on this but still, what does this do that a Xiaomi phone costing less than a quarter of the price can't, in terms of screen size, resolution, memory, camera pixels etc.

      I'm not an Apple fan but I accept if you can only live with iOS then you have to pay their rates, but if you're in the Android ecosphere then what's the benefit of paying extra, when it won't have any different user experience or capability?

      1. Jason Hindle Silver badge

        Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

        "I'm not an Apple fan but I accept if you can only live with iOS then you have to pay their rates, but if you're in the Android ecosphere then what's the benefit of paying extra, when it won't have any different user experience or capability?"

        You otherwise get a like, but... Current minimum entry cost to iPhone is £419 for the 64GB SE. The phone software will receive frequent updates for some years to come. I don't personally like the old 6/7/SE format, but looking at this and the base level iPad I think it's safe to say Apple are getting interested in getting people into their ecosystem vs excessively high hardware margins.

        As for the subject of this article. Meh! I'm happy with my 3aXL and, lets face it, the 4a 5G will probably smoke this Samsung as the camera you always have with you.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

          Generally, the extra money buys you a better screen and and better cameras, wireless charging and waterproofing - a faster SOC isn't always noticeable in many day to day tasks. Having had an OLED screen on my phone for a couple of years I'm a convert, though it's increasingly available on cheaper phones. And without waterproofing, my total cost of phone ownership would be multiples of what it actually has been.

          My relatively bulky Panasonic LX-7 can take better photos than my Galaxy S8, but not by such a margin that I always carry it with me.

          There's nothing currently on the market that tempts me to upgrade from my Galaxy S8, and I'll run for as long as possible. I'm not sure that would be true if I'd bought a phone that was half the price.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

            My 4 year old Armor 2 has 6Gb and 128Gb, cameras are 8 and 13mp respectively, water and dust proof to IP 68 at least. I get two days still out of the batteryand so on. I paid €198 for it, the newer versions are even better and go for about the three hundred euro mark for the top end last time I looked. The Armor is heavyish but worth it to me for its hardiness.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

        There will be some improvements, and undoubtedly someone cares about each one of them, but for most people several will be unimportant. This device will have a faster processor. I don't need a faster processor, so not a factor for me. If you want the fastest available processor, you can't get it without paying something in this range. Similarly, the more expensive device probably has slightly faster internal flash, more cameras or better ones, a screen with a higher refresh rate, faster charging, and/or waterproofing. Of this list, the only one I care at all about is waterproofing (and I don't care that much) and you can get that at a lower price, so it does nothing for me. Still, if you care about most or all of the features listed above, maybe the more expensive device has benefits.

      3. cb7

        Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

        Does the Xiaomi come with an English keyboard and certified Google services installed? Or are you expected to side load them from some dubious source?

        1. lybad

          Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

          Of course it can. Xiaomi are available direct from themselves but also through Amazon amongst others. And they are not part of Huawei, so don't have the US issues (yet).

          I got a 5g handset for £220 a few weeks ago, from their own site.

      4. Learlo

        Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

        Well you could define me a fanboi but, apart from a silly mistake in 2011, I have never spent more than £200 on an iPhone. When the new iPhone comes out, the person buying it sells his/her iPhone to someone else who then sells their iPhone to someone who then sells their older one to me. I still have SW updates for a couple of years and security updates until it dies or it’s handed over to the kids.

        I just cannot wrap my head around which feature shipped in the last 5 years could convince anyone to part with more money now instead of waiting for a bit. Can you think of one?

    3. Persona Silver badge

      Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

      Yes it's a ridiculous price. When I look at the headline

      If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition doesn't make you a fan, we don't know what will

      my immediate thought is perhaps if the price was under £200.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

        People all Bang on about the price every time there’s a phone item. Forgetting every time it’s mostly hidden behind a monthly payment with no upfront that mixes it in with the airtime. This is how they are sold, so £200 £400 £600 barely matters.

        1. Martin Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

          Nonsense. A £600 phone will cost an extra tenner a month over two years compared to a £350 phone. Makes the difference between a twenty pound a month contract and thirty pound a month. I'd pay the former. I wouldn't consider the latter.

        2. Persona Silver badge

          Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

          I buy phones from the cheapest reliable dealer. My phone contract is SIM only at £5 per month. I get 3 years life out of a phone so my total expenditure would be under £400.

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

      +1. It seems to be along the lines of, "Oh thank God I am not being forced to pay £1,500 for a phone. Look, this one is less than half the price of a 'normal' handset!"

      One day we might be able to look from iPhone to Samsung, from Samsung to Honor, from Honor to Sony Xperia and not be able to tell the difference, á la Animal Farm.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: A 600£ or 700£ price is now considered not hard to swallow? For a phone?

        Paying for the hardware through a network operator contract?

        The advantages of buying the phone outright are:

        - you can often negotiate a better SIM-only tariff, since you're not tied to the network operator. They'd rather have some money from you than no money.

        - you're covered by the Sales of Goods act - faulty hardware must be refunded or, if you choose, replaced. Conversley, a phone supplied by the network operator is their property until the end of contract, and they used to insist on a faulty phone being sent away for two weeks to be repaired.

        - wider choice of hardware

        - take advantage of a special offer in hardware

        - no operator bloatware

        The network operator isn't the only group that offers finance. Even some phone vendors such as Apple offer financing in hardware, if you don't want to go down the credit card route.

  3. Cederic Silver badge

    confused

    How is that screen ratio remotely sensible? Either you're getting three words per line or three lines visible at once. It's going to hurt your eyes trying to read the damn thing from the bad layout :(

    1. goldcd

      Re: confused

      Reason they make sense to me is that for reading at length, you're probably going to flip it to landscape - and when typing in portrait less of you screen area (relatively) is eaten up by the on-screen keyboard.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: confused

      > How is that screen ratio remotely sensible?

      Reading text, mainly. At its width of 2.9" (on par with previous Galaxy S models) you can read about 10 words per line, but with its extra height allows more lines. (I'm using width and height with respect to portrait orientation, and I'm assuming text size for normal eyesity at 2')

      The dimension of a phone that is most constrained (by the need to hold it in a hand or fit it in a pocket) is its width. The height of the phone isn't as constrained by pockets.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: confused

        The height absolutely is constrained if you wish to use pockets that aren't on the thigh or chest.

        Otherwise when you sit down the device attempts to bend with you.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: confused

          The phone is only 10mm taller than the S9, making it around the same height as many Galaxy Note models, let alone other 'phablets'. There won't be a significantly greater bending moment.

          For sure, nobody wants a foot-long phone, but a few extra mm in height causes fewer problems than a few extra mm in width.

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: confused

            Yes, but the few extra mm are beyond around 130mm. This is a few mm beyond a few mm more than a few mm too many.

            Just because a bunch of blind people with fat hands buy stupid oversized phones doesn't mean that all phones must be that size.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: confused

              I'm with you that people should have a choice of size, Cedric. Just as they have a choice of clothing and in which pockets they stash their possessions. I for one don't understand why people keep their phones and wallets (!) in their back pockets, but I see many people who do.

              However, the height of the phone doesn't directly impact the width of the phone, and it is the width of the phone that determines how comfortable it is to grip in the hand. As to being able to reach the top and bottom of the phone with one's thumb - well that's partly a software UI issue.

              Taller phones don't always allow text to be made bigger (not all websites reflow text to allow that) - so it's not an eyesight issue. However, displaying more lines of text on a taller phone does reduce the amount of scrolling required of the user.

  4. oiseau Silver badge
    WTF?

    When will I get what I want?

    I don't want a camera - with one, two or three lenses.

    I don't want a 6.5 inch display to (absurd) watch movies, edit photos or surf the web.

    I don't want a non-repairable, limited use ₤600 mini-computer with no keyboard and bad battery life in my pocket.

    I just want a bloody phone: flip design, 4/5G, keyboard, a week's battery life on idle, five hours talk time, a bright viewable screen and proper way to sync to whatever I want to with a cable, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Linux OS preferred, Android grudgingly accepted.

    And no 'apps' unless I want to install them myself.

    It would be something like the 2020 version of the Motorola StarTac.

    The best phone I ever had.

    Too much to ask?

    O.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: When will I get what I want?

      You can get most of that, but you'll have to resign yourself to some restrictions. The primary one is the operating system involved. There will not be Linux. There mostly won't be Android either. What there will be is mostly going to be KaiOS. It technically has the Linux kernel and a lot of open source code from Firefox OS, but the top layer is closed source. It meets most of your desires:

      "I don't want a camera - with one, two or three lenses": There will be one, it will be bad, you can ignore it.

      "I don't want a 6.5 inch display": How about 2.4 or 2.8 inches (6.1 or 7.1 cm)? That's what you'll get there.

      "I don't want a non-repairable,": Battery is replaceable, expect the rest to be hard to repair.

      "I don't want limited use": Not sure what this means, but it has fewer features.

      "₤600": Did you mean to use the Lira sign? ₤600 Turkish is €65 or so. Whatever you mean, the basic phone will be much cheaper than the one mentioned in this article..

      "I just want a bloody phone: flip design,": Check.

      "4/5G,": I don't think anyone has a 5G one out, but 4G is definitely available (some exceptions apply based on your country)

      "keyboard,": I don't think so. Numeric keypad, but no qwerty ones as far as I know.

      "a week's battery life on idle, five hours talk time,": Yes.

      "a bright viewable screen": Not sure about this one.

      "and proper way to sync to whatever I want to with a cable,": Depends what you want to be syncing. It can sync some types of data that way.

      "Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,": Yes.

      "Linux OS preferred,": Kernel only, no shell, not much else from it, apps are written using HTML and Javascript.

      "Android grudgingly accepted.": No.

      "And no 'apps' unless I want to install them myself.": They'll have basic ones, but they're easily ignored. Other apps are available, but not many and with few features.

      Probably not what you're looking for, but it's almost certainly the closest you'll get for quite a while if ever.

    2. Mark192

      Re: When will I get what I want?

      You don't know what you want:

      "I just want a bloody phone: flip design"

      "4/5G"

      "keyboard"

      "a week's battery life on idle, five hours talk time"

      "a bright viewable screen"

      "proper way to sync to whatever I want to with a cable"

      "Wi-Fi and Bluetooth"

      "Linux OS preferred, Android grudgingly accepted."

      "And no 'apps' unless I want to install them myself."

      You want a mini computer in your pocket, a PDA-style smartphone, not just "a bloody phone".

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: When will I get what I want?

        I don't think all the features you mention are incompatible with a feature phone of today. If "keyboard" means "qwerty keyboard", it could be for sending SMS messages. The 4G or 5G could be for a tether connection. Bluetooth for an audio device. Admittedly, asking for Linux or Android is a little hard to understand; if they wanted something like the Motorola StarTac they shouldn't expect an OS that lets users develop and run sophisticated applications. It doesn't really matter though because, if the feature phones using a basic OS and primarily targeting 2G networks are insufficient, the lowest-end option with 4G connectivity is going to have that functionality anyway.

        It really comes down to what tasks other than placing calls and messages are important. I really appreciate having things like navigation, meaning I need a smartphone with the kind of processing and internal storage that requires. If someone only wants some basic apps, a feature phone of today may actually have similar sets of features as a PDA of a decade ago.

    3. Mark192

      Re: When will I get what I want?

      ouseau said: "I don't want a 6.5 inch display to (absurd) watch movies"

      The only time I use the TV now is when watching with others.

      A phone with a gorgeously contrasty AMOLED display which, when held at normal viewing distances, is equivalent to watching a 100" TV is not absurd, it's wonderful.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When will I get what I want?

      @oiseau

      Have an upvote.

      Apart from the fact that I would prefer iOS I so totally agree with you.

      Cheers…Ishy

    5. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: When will I get what I want?

      Sounds to me like you want the moon on a stick.

    6. David Glasgow

      Re: When will I get what I want?

      Grandad! Sit DOWN. Everyone is looking at you.

  5. mjcohen

    Too small

    Not for me since I have over 128GB of music (over 14,000 "songs"). That's why I got a 256gb Galaxy S10e.

    1. Mark192

      Re: Too small

      Nice flex ;-)

      The microSD slot might be ideal for music, should your collection outgrow your current phone.

      Me, I just hum. Can't beat the old ways.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too small

      @mjcohen

      Pah, only 14,000 songs? I have millions and I don't need much storage. It's called "streaming". Spotify in my case but there are loads of others to use.

      Cheers… Ishy

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Too small

        Until you end up in a not-spot...or overuse your data allowance. It helps to have things already on hand, you know.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Too small

          Until you end up in a not-spot...or overuse your data allowance.

          Spotify, and I assume every other music streaming service, allow you to download playlists to play whenever you like.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Too small

            ...which can disappear without notice. Plus, that says nothing of the data allowance as it normally uses data when available. As the saying goes, if you want something done right...

      2. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Too small

        Music can disappear from streaming services. This used to be a massive problem with Spotify and less popular artists.

        Doesn't happen with an sd card.

        But Spotify is fine if you like popular music.....

        1. AlbertH

          Re: Too small

          But Spotify is fine if you like low quality, bland popular music.....

          FTFY

      3. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Too small

        Streaming definitely has its points. But I find it silly to basically keep downloading my favorite songs over and over, wasting bandwidth, when I can play them instantly and locally from my SD card. And then no one is recording my demographic information for posterity.

    3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Too small

      I've not moved that many songs over but I have been recording everything in Flac so generally 300-500mb per album soon fills 128gb. Having an SD card slot is a must for my next phone (don't have one on my current phone and regretted the decision ever since. 2 more weeks and its upgrade time anyway).

      Megaphone because music..

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: Too small

        FLAC? Not good enough for me. I carry the actual bands around so I can get them to play on demand. Takes up a lot more space, but it's well worth it for the quality difference.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too small

          Bands? Not enough acoustic choice. I carry several actual playing halls around with my bands so I can choose a band at any time and the acoustics to suit my mood. Although it's a bit big for my pocket and quite heavy.

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Too small

          You are not far off a cartoon in Private Eye from around the time the iPod came out. HM Queen Elisabeth and the marching band she takes with her to play music on demand

  6. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge

    No punchhole please

    Is it just me or am I the only one refusing to buy another smartphone that still has a punch hole or notch in the screen?

    I won't settle for anything less than a pop-up selfie or under-display selfie camera in my next smartphone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No punchhole please

      Many who of us don't have a hole punch display don't have one because our current phones that predate hole punch displays are still fit for purpose. One of the reasons that the the S9 phones didn't use a hole punch display is that in addition to the front camera, the top bezel also contained an IR projector and an iris scanner - for a firm of authentication that would be useful in this age when more people are wearing gloves and covering their faces (though of course the security of Samsung's biometric unlocking methods has been criticised)

      Pop-up cameras or under-display cameras are not without their downsides too (dust, longevity, space for the former, image quality for the latter) - but you can pay yer money and make yer choice.

      At least with this S20 FE screen aspect ratio the hole punch won't be in the area of the screen used for 16:9 video, and the perfect black nature of the OLED display means the hole will be next to invisible if it's in the resulting 'black bar' area.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No punchhole please

      It’s literally just you.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paid publicity

    Wonder how much was Mathew Hughes ( and EL Reg) paid to write this article, by Samsung ? DO I need to spend £600 to become a fan? Who gives a shit of becoming a fan (except Samsung). WIll I get a "certificate of fan of the year" , framed in gold with hanging hooks thrown in?

    I will be a fan at around £200 to £250 mark, aka the other chinese phones in this segment.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Paid publicity

      If The Reg didn't write positive reviews of phones from other vendors, you might have a point about the Reg taking bribes. As it is, if I were Samsung I would want more value from my bribes.

      The Galaxy S range has always popular. This model is made cheaper mainly by making design choices that impact its appearance (it has a completely flat screen without the curved edges, a plastic back instead if a glass back, and it has thicker bezels) rather than compromise its performance or function - so it's not unreasonable to pitch it at people who care more about features than they do a shiny appearance. We might fairly call them 'enthusiasts' if 'fans' is a bit of a stretch. You'll find Galaxy S owners well represented over on XDA Forums.

      The cheaper flat screen without curved edges is a plus point to anyone who fits screen protectors to their phones, and to anyone who finds reflections annoying.

      The resolution is lower than that of its pricier siblings, but many people run their phones at lower-than-native resolutions anyway in order to save battery.

      Are Samsung facing stiff competition from Chinese rivals and others? Of course they are. Will a OnePlus or Honor phone be a better fit for many people? Of course.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Paid publicity

      Grow up.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Paid publicity

      Of course it is the polar opposite in the case of Apple and El Reg. Apple don't need the publicity, and they keep ignoring El Reg

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It’s by Samsung and runs software by google...

    Your privacy will not be a concern; theirs will be fine, of course.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're after a nippy and efficient little car, why are you hanging around the Transit van dealership?

    Of course they're not the cheapest or smallest vehicles - they're vans!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Proper pimping

      Reg readers are a discerning lot (not all of them though).

      So pitching a phone (almost begging) to become a fan? WTF ?

      By the way, for all its glorifying , he didnt mention whether it can make and receive calls ! Phones are being marketed for all other features, except the core functions.

      Pimp my ride.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Proper pimping

        "Phones are being marketed for all other features, except the core functions."

        When was the last time you asked a car dealership, "Does the car drive?"

        It's reached the "taken for granted" point.

  10. AndrueC Silver badge
    Meh

    Um..it's a phone. It also has a camera and the ability to render web pages at a barely useable size. Just like my S10 and the S8 before it.

    It's like digital watches all over again (I lived through the 1980s). Does anyone still care about these things?

    Offer me a unit with an easily replaceable battery (like you used to) and no bloatware and I might be interested. But not at anything over £100.

    1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      It's in the DNA...

      @AndrueC: It's like digital watches all over again (I lived through the 1980s). Does anyone still care about these things?

      The product does, in fact, target certain, albeit not all, ape-descended life forms on an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet orbiting a small unregarded yellow sun in the unfashionable end of the Galaxy, specifically the life forms that are so amazingly primitive that in the 1980s they still thought digital watches were a pretty neat idea.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      I like my digital watch because I *don't* have to care about it - it was cheap, it's accurate, damned near indestructible and the battery lasts for ten years.

      Not having to care about it is what is so good about it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Digital watches

        I still have 3 of them and all working well. Couple of battery changes, 2 strap changes (the only bugbear of digital watches - Casio) , and still happy witrh them. Travelled the world with me, swam in seas, scuba diving, snorkellling, pools, Saunas, lakes, mountains, (arctic circle too) , cruises, hiking/trekking, when playing sports, Sahara desert, the lot.

        Whats not to like? The best invention, ever for the benefit of mankind.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Digital watches

          Changing batteries - a bugbear, but far cheaper and easier than getting a mechanical watch serviced! G-Shocks can go about ten years between battery changes.

          There are some solar and kinetic quartz watches that can soldier on almost indefinitely... I believe that Seiko have ironed out the issues their early Kinetic watches had with flaky capacitors.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Digital watches

            G-Shocks can go about ten years between battery changes.

            My first G-Shock is nearly that old and seems fine. I just checked it (I keep it on a windowsill out of direct light) and it claims to be fully charged. I replaced it a couple of years ago because someone warned me that the LCD screen wouldn't last much longer. My current G-shock is analogue to avoid that problem.

            To clarify what I was trying to say: I wasn't trying to denigrate digital watches. Just likening the mobile fad to that of the digital watch fad and wondering if/why people still get excited when a new phone is released.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Digital watches

              Damn. Now that I've just criticised wanton consumerism I've found out that Casio have finally produced a red version of my current G-Shock.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Digital watches

      Still wearing my Seiko digital watch, bought 1982. Still working, albeit with some internal mods to keep it alive. Battery lasts about 8-10 years.

  11. Fursty Ferret

    Technically impressive, but it's been Samsunged

    I've had an extended play with one at the Samsung store here in Houston.

    Pros:

    - Incredible screen. 120Hz refresh rate is the way forward, I think. Very bright on full brightness but fairly aggressive adaptive brightness when I turned on auto-brightness.

    - Despite plastic back it feels well built.

    - Guaranteed software updates and Google SafetyNet compatibility unlike some Chinese phones

    - Good value for money on the Snapdragon 865.

    - Stuff like Dex etc is handy if you might use it

    Cons:

    - Despite recent advances, Samsung's Touchwiz / OneUI still stinks. Everything is too big, or too small, and there are duplicate apps for everything littering the phone. Want to uninstall them? Sorry, no.

    - This same UI stalled and stuttered from time to time despite the CPU. Opening the Gallery surprised me as thumbnails populated one by one.

    - Within 30 seconds of using it the phone was showing me ads and trying to get me to buy stuff in a theme store << this was the deciding factor.

    I think it'll be the Pixel 5 for me.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Technically impressive, but it's been Samsunged

      > Very bright on full brightness but fairly aggressive adaptive brightness when I turned on auto-brightness.

      The auto-brightness adapts to the user over time - you manually correct the brightness for first few days, and phone then makes better guesses at what you want. Works quite well, though beware of some apps in bright sunlight- it is possible to burn the OLED screen - irritating if it's because the phone itself pumped up the brightness.

      Decluttering duplicate apps, swapping Back and Task Switcher back to normal, disabling Facebook etc etc takes about ten minutes. Installing BxActions takes another five minutes and a couple of quid for the device to gain full control of the extra Bixby button.

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Within 30 seconds of using it the phone was showing me ads

      And your response to that is to decide on a fucking Google phone instead?

      I'll have some of what you're on.

      1. Fursty Ferret

        Re: Within 30 seconds of using it the phone was showing me ads

        I've never had a pop-up ad on a Google phone.

  12. PenGun

    Why I Am Not A Fan

    I own a Huawei P20 pro, Nuff said. ;)

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why I Am Not A Fan

      Good for you. It has a smaller battery and no OLED screen. Some folk value that, some don't. Horses for courses etc.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does it play snake?

    ^ deal-breaker.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    600£ or 700£

    Fark!

  15. cpage

    Does it have a battery that's easy to replace?

    Unlike most (all?) reviewers, I like to keep my phone for several years. The battery inevitably degrades over that period, so I want a phone with a battery that can be easily and cheaply replaced. Does this one? No mention in the article.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it have a battery that's easy to replace?

      You can/will never be a fan of Samsung, despite all the pleadings of the writer !

      How dare you question their legitimate upgrade cycle ethos (no user battery change) and right to rip you off every 18 months ?

  16. Terry Barnes

    “Colour fidelity is good, and it's bright enough for outside usage on particularly sunny days – although, given we're entering the cold autumnal months, this isn't much of a problem.”

    Ideal for all those people who change their phones seasonally. ‘Why yes, it’s an excellent autumn phone.’

  17. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I have a Medion (Lenovo) phone which (a) does everything I want and (b) cost me sixty quid at Aldi. Well, actually I am on #2 because the microUSB port on #1 went a bit unreliable after four years so I replaced the phone on eBay, for sixteen quid. I can see that this bargain basement job can probably do a few more things than mine, and perhaps a little faster, but for a factor of ten (new) or forty (second hand) on the price? Away tae fuck, as we Glaswegians say, tactfully.

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