Samsung expected to launch lower-cost alternative to S20 Ultra smartphone

South Korean company is hosting an event on September 23 to unveil the new device

David Park, head of US mobile channel marketing for Samsung, speaks while launching S20 series in February. EPA
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Samsung is expected to launch a cheaper version of its flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone during a September 23 event as the company aims to capture a wider share of the market.

The new phone will be called S20 FE or Fan Edition and will come in 5G and 4G variants, according to leaks.

Samsung is expected to reduce the screen size and the storage capacity as well as lessen other specs such as camera sensors to make the device more affordable.

“Over the years, Samsung has developed a special relationship with Galaxy fans around the world … their valuable feedback has helped create exciting innovations and made mobile experiences better for everyone,” the company’s invitation to the online event said.

It also released a teaser video but did not disclose details such as price and availability.

With a 16.5-centimetre display, S20 FE will have three cameras on the back – wide angle and ultra-wide angle lenses of 12MP each and a telephoto lens of 8MP.

Weighing only 190 grams, it will be powered by a 4,500 milliampere battery and will come with a reduced storage capacity of 6GB RAM.

The original S20 series, which consists of three phones – S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra – went on sale in the UAE in March.

The S20 Ultra has a screen size of 17.5cm and four cameras on the rear. Weighing only 220 grams, its starting price was set at Dh4,499 at the time of launch in February. The S20+ (Dh3,599) has a 17cm screen and the standard S20 (Dh3,199) has a 15.7cm display.

Industry analysts say a lower-cost model shows Samsung is trying to attract budget-conscious buyers and wrestle market share from rivals like Huawei.

Samsung shipped only 54.2 million smartphones in the three months to June 30, down 28.9 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the International Data Corporation.

Sales of its premium devices such as the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy Z Flip, launched at the peak of the pandemic in February, have been slow despite price reductions, IDC said.

Last month, Samsung also launched two 5G-enabled phones under the Galaxy Note series and a new foldable model to attract premium customers.