But it looks like Samsung is preparing to go up against the iPhone 12 this fall with a double-barrelled surprise, launching the Galaxy S20 FE alongside a second, equally affordable handset – the Galaxy S20 Lite.
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While the Samsung S20 Fan Edition and Galaxy S20 Lite were thought to be the same device using different monikers, a couple of listing have been spotted that suggest they're entirely separate handsets.
The first listing comes from Samsung itself; a mention of the Galaxy S20 Lite appeared on both Samsung’s American and German websites, before being pulled, but Twitter user @smartvenkat95 managed to capture screenshots before they disappeared:
Samsung Galaxy S20 Lite moniker confirmed officially through Samsung US and Germany websiteshttps://t.co/d4tOYFNl90https://t.co/dRmnaQgbuphttps://t.co/S8o5MFPkDc#SamsungGalaxyS20Lite #Samsung #GalaxyS20Lite #Galaxy #S20Lite pic.twitter.com/Q8sV6oZ1KRSeptember 1, 2020
This is bolstered by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Bluetooth SIG certification listing for a smartphone with the model number SM-G781U spotted by MySmartPrice; one of the documents for this device makes a direct reference to the Galaxy S20 FE 5G:
It's possible that we're looking at the same phone, intended for different regions, with region-specific names. The Fan Edition of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 was initially only released in South Korea, so one region’s S20 Lite could be another's S20 FE.
Alternatively, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Lite and S20 Fan Edition are two different phones, and if that’s the case, we can’t wait to find out the differences between them.
This year’s Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite was a slightly cut-down version of the regular Galaxy S10, retaining similar internals but losing wireless charging and the glass back in the process. You would expect something similar from a Lite version of the S20, and that’s broadly what we’ve heard so far, with a rumored Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 chip with 6GB or 8GB RAM.
But where would that leave a Fan Edition? The name suggests improvements on the original Galaxy S20, so maybe a Fan Edition could get the mild upgrade from Snapdragon 865 to 865 Plus, as seen on recent Samsung handsets and tablets like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy Tab S7. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The good news is that certification listings are usually a reliable sign that a release isn’t too far away, so hopefully we’ll have definitive answers one way or another soon.