TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust. Read our ethics statement.
Amendment (Oct 23, 2020): Following user reports of touchscreen issues with the Galaxy S20 FE, Samsung has issued a software fix for the problem. According to SamMobile, Samsung's recently released G78xxXXU1ATJ1 firmware version included touchscreen stability improvements, in addition to the Camera, and the company has now pushed another firmware patch G78xxXXU1ATJ5 for both the LTE (SM-G780F) and 5G (SM-G781B) variants of the phone for European users.
Although the changelog for the latest patch doesn't mention any touchscreen fixes, it appears to have further improved the phone's touch responsiveness. As always, Galaxy S20 FE owners experiencing these issues can manually check and install this update by going to Settings > Software Update > Download and Install.
The $699 Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) is Samsung's response to the highly competitive and feature-rich, yet reasonably affordable Android alternatives, as well as its own standard flagship S20/S20+ and S20 Ultra with their exorbitant price tags. Samsung had to cut a few corners in order to bring the S20 FE's price down and thus reach more fans; however, a few of them are now complaining of touchscreen issues with the device, causing the display to be unresponsive or behave erratically to user inputs.
Samsung usually reserves its mid-range Galaxy A series for the value-conscious crowd, but the company's recently released S20 'Fan Edition' was a refreshing entry in this space after a lukewarm reception to the premium Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra that launched at an eye-watering $999, $1,199 and $1,399, respectively.
The $699 S20 FE, on the other hand, makes meaningful compromises with its plastic back, slightly lower quality camera, and a slower 15W charger in the box. It does, however, retain the 120Hz refresh rate of its expensive sibling with negligible loss in resolution on a flat display that's also 0.3 inches bigger. It also has a slightly larger 4,500mAh battery that trumps the standard S20's by 500mAh, alongside support for wireless charging, 5G, and IP68 dust/water resistance.
For Galaxy S fans, the S20 FE 5G is being hailed as the ultimate Samsung smartphone that covers all the essentials without breaking the bank. But those looking forward to buying one should probably proceed with caution as a few early units are reportedly suffering from touchscreen issues.
Users have taken to Reddit and Samsung's Community Forums to complain about erratic touchscreen behavior with the S20 FE, including oversensitivity, unresponsiveness, "ghost" taps, and scrolling issues. Some users are also finding their character inputs erroneously register as swipes, while 9to5Google's reports of their review unit regularly switching to "pocket" mode while the phone was in hand.
Samsung, apparently, is unaware of this defect, mainly because it isn't widespread as the phone was released only a couple of weeks ago, and the issue could potentially be limited to an early batch of units. Smartphone displays are Samsung's staple, even on lower or mid-tier devices, and it's unusual for a Galaxy S-series phone to exhibit such issues. Expect an OTA fix, or at worst, a hardware recall from the company once it identifies the problem.