The new Samsung Galaxy S20 is significant for so many reasons. First, it marks a decade of ‘Galaxies’. Second, it is renamed S20 to coincide with 2020. Third, it has a huge 100X Space Zoom camera. Fourth, it proves beyond doubt that Samsung has the chops to design and manufacture the world’s best premium smartphones.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes in three models – S20 (6.2”), S20+ (6.7”) and S20 Ultra (6.9”). Not surprisingly these have 5G, different memory/storage and camera variants as well.
Let’s look at a few of the new technologies and what they mean for you. But as you are aware, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts so its safe to assume that this is the best Google Android phone bar none!
Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Australia sums up,
“The Galaxy S20 enhances everything we love to do with our phones. From capturing and sharing precious moments, disappearing into our favourite music and movies to the thrill of a unique mobile gaming experience. The Galaxy S20 will simply exceed your expectations.”
Samsung Galaxy S20
Australian website here
Detailed global specifications here (We have summarised these below and what it means)
|6.2” Galaxy S20||8GB + 128GB||Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 1,349|
|Galaxy S20 5G||12GB + 128GB||Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 1,499|
|6.7” Galaxy S20+||8GB + 128GB||Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 1,499*|
|Galaxy S20+ 5G||12GB + 128GB||Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 1,649*|
|Galaxy S20+ 5G||12GB + 512GB||Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 1,899*|
6.9” Galaxy S20 |
|12GB + 128GB||Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 1,999*|
|16GB + 512GB||Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black||Single SIM + eSIM||$ 2,249*|
* Pre-orders receive a pair of Galaxy Buds+ valued at $299
Display – EXCEED
The new displays are all 120Hz refresh capable, 3200 x 1400, HDR10+ certified and use Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED panels. They each have a single Infinity-O hole for the front selfie camera giving it an almost 90% screen-to-body-ratio.
120Hz is silky smooth and perfect for hi-res videos and gaming, although it does use more power and defaults to 60Hz.
There is an ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the glass, Edge screen, customisable AOD display and Gorilla Glass 6.
Processor – EXCEED
It uses the Samsung 7n/m Exynos 990 processor, which is functionally equivalent to the Qualcomm SD865 that it uses in the US and select markets. It is an eight-core – 2×2.73GHz Mongoose M5 & 2×2.60GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×2.0GHz Cortex-A55.
The claimed performance increase is 20% over the S10. Geekbench 5 single/multi-core marks are around 1000/3300 (subject to tests) so it is the fastest Android phone. By comparison, the iPhone 11 series is 1300/3300 but correlations are not valid as each uses a different operating system.
The GPU is a Mali-G77 MP11 (11 channel) that is the fastest mobile GPU available. With the 120Hz screen, it will be a delight for gamers.
RAM/Storage – EXCEED
You have a choice of 8/12/16GB of dual-channel LPDDR5-2666 – the fastest RAM available today and not yet seen on other handsets. Storage is 128GB or 512GB of the new UFS 3.0 – ditto.
There is a dedicated micro-SDXC slot for up to 1TB. It supports USB-C 3.1, gen 1 (5Gbps) alt DP and OTG.
Front Camera – EXCEED
S20 and S20+ have a 10MP, Dual Pixel AF, 1.22um, F/2.2 with 80° FOV.
S20 Ultra has a 40MP (binned to 10MP), PDAF, 1.4um, F/2.2, with 80° FOV.
Both have wide-angle FOV for ‘groupies’ and ultimately produce a 10MP image. The Ultra should shine in low light and unlike most selfie camera both have autofocus (not fixed) so it should be one of the better selfie cameras.
Rear Camera – three different types
- 64MP Telephoto, F/2.0, .8um, 76° FOV
- 12MP Wide-angle (primary), Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F/1.8, 79° FOV
- 12MP Ultra-wide, F/2.2, 1.4um, 120° FOV
Features Space Zoom – Hybrid 3x and Super Res 30x plus digital zoom to 12x
As above plus IR depth vision send and receive sensors
- 12MP Ultra-wide, F/2.2, 1.4um, 120° FOV
- 108MP Wide-angle Camera (primary and binned to 12MP), F/1.88, 2.4um, 79° FOV
- 48MP Telephoto (binned to 12MP), F/21.8, 1.6um, 24° FOV
Feature Spaced Zoom – Hybrid 10x and Super Res 100x digital zoom to 20x
All models share Samsung’s extensive cameras AI including scene detection, shot suggestions, flaw detection, food, panorama, portrait, night, super/slo-mo, hyper-lapse, AR Doodle, AR Emoji etc.
Battery – EXCEED
- 4000mAh – S20
- 4500mAh – S20+
- 5000mAh – S20 Ultra
All have Fast Wireless Charge 2.0 (QC 2.0), Fast USB-C PD charge and Wireless PowerShare.
Under typical use, it should get 24-48 hours and fast charge in under 1 hour.
LTE and 5G – EXCEED
As you can see, 5G is no longer the $500 option it was on the Galaxy S10+.
On the S20 is a mere $100 and for that, you get 4GB extra ram. On the S20+ it is $200 – ditto. And it is standard on the Ultra. The 5G we get here is the current 4G on steroids – sub6Ghz, NSA. If you can get 5G reception you may get up to 2Gbps DL – but it is unlikely unless you live beside a tower.
More impressive and more useful is the LTE 4G Cat 20 modem that can achieve 2Gbps DL and 150Mbps UL using 7CA (at present on Telstra).
More importantly, is the single nano-SIM and a new eSIM – the equivalent of dual SIM.
Comms – EXCEED
- Wi-Fi 6 AX, HE80 means 1.2Gbps DL/UL with an AX Modem
- BT 5.0 dual audio has all the scalable codecs – SBC, aptX/LL/Adaptive/HD, AAC and LDAC
- GPS is dual-band with new geo-fencing and precise location features
- NFC for all payment systems
- All sensors
Sound – EXCEED
- Matched stereo AKG speakers with Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus).
- AKG USB-C earbuds
- UHQ: up to 32-bit & DSD64/128Hz
- PCM: Up to 32 bits, DSD: DSD64/128Hz
- Multiple AOP ANC mics
Video – EXCEED
- Playback MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
- Wireless smart screen 9cast) to [email protected]
- Display Port over USB-C [email protected]
Build – EXCEED
IP68, 1.5m of freshwater for up to 30 minutes
Google Android – EXCEED
- Android 10 (and should get 11) with Samsung OneUi overlay
- All Google apps, Assistant, Lens etc.
- Bixby Vision and Routines
- Knox security platform
- McAfee trial
- Full set of accessibility features
GadgetGuy’s take – The Samsung Galaxy S20 is the best Google Android Phone – bar none
Samsung is always first cab-off-the-rank with its new flagship phone. While the S20 is a huge jump over the S10 that is a pretty incredible phone too.
Can you use a 108MP snapper? Do you need 16/512GB RAM/Storage or up to a massive 6.9” screen. Samsung has been ultra-smart in offering three models and seven variations catering to both ends of the flagship market.
Although as you know, flagships account for <10% of sales and the real action in 2020/21/22/23 is going to be in the $499-799 bracket where 5G, massive screens, huge batteries and awesome MP cameras will rule.
Congratulations to Samsung for the innovation shown.
Which one to buy?
My gut feel is that the sweet spot will be the Galaxy S20+ (non-5G) because the great 5G flop will not really start to have any real impact on Aussies until perhaps 2023/24 at the earliest. By then all phones will have 5G at no extra cost anyway.