Samsung Galaxy S20 assessment | TechRadar
The Samsung Galaxy S20 has us asking ‘what occurred to the Galaxy S11?’ Samsung skipped a couple of numbers for its newest Galaxy S20, which takes over the flagship mantle from 2019’s Galaxy S10. Whereas it could be a complicated leap, there’s good purpose for it, as Samsung has packed so much in: it is a huge improve, particularly when you’re eager to get your first 5G telephone.
The Galaxy S20 is cheaper, and simpler to deal with, than its siblings the Galaxy S20 Plus and gargantuan Galaxy S20 Extremely, however that doesn’t imply this can be a low-cost or low-spec machine.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 may not be the most recent flagship from the corporate for for much longer, with its anticipated successor the Samsung Galaxy S21 on the horizon, so when you’re trying to purchase this telephone it is value taking into account it might be changed quickly.
Here is what you are getting with the Samsung Galaxy S20: a 6.2-inch display screen with a quick 120Hz refresh fee, 5G obtain speeds (the place obtainable), high-spec cameras on each side of the telephone, and a giant battery besides.
That is the telephone to get if you wish to check out the brand new tech that Samsung has to supply, however you don’t need a big telephone, or a big dent in your pockets. You could possibly go for the Extremely if you need extra storage or a 108MP digital camera, and might stretch to the value tag, however for day-to-day use the S20 goes to be your best option for most individuals.
Below the hood is a robust new chipset, both a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 (the place you reside will decide which you’ll get) in addition to both 8GB or 12GB of RAM, relying on whether or not you purchase the 4G or 5G telephone. And a few folks will solely be capable of purchase the 5G telephone – you possibly can learn on under to search out out which variations can be found in your area.
The digital camera is one other spotlight of the Galaxy S20, with Samsung boosting loads of specs on the rear array. All three primary cameras have been improved (together with elevated pixel sizes to enhance evening time images by permitting extra gentle in), and there are additionally a couple of software program tweaks to enhance the general expertise.
The telephoto lens is even higher than the one on the Galaxy S10 too, permitting you to shoot high-quality 3x optical zoom photographs or stretch all the best way to a 30x digital zoom. The Galaxy S20 Extremely has increased digital camera specs general, however most individuals will probably be greater than glad with the shooter on this telephone.
One other spotlight of the Galaxy S20 is its 4,000mAh battery. It’s bigger than the cell within the S10, and we’ve discovered the battery life to be sturdy with typical use – this telephone isn’t going to final you for much longer than someday of regular use, however what smartphone does?
The expanded capability has had one detrimental consequence: it’s squeezed out the headphone jack. It is the identical story with the S20 Plus and S20 Extremely, and it is the primary time Samsung has dropped the characteristic from its S vary.
The Galaxy S20 is lacking among the top-end options that the Galaxy S20 Extremely is displaying off, nevertheless it’s extra reasonably priced, and simpler to carry or retailer in your pocket, and whereas it will not be essentially the most spectacular machine from Samsung in 2020, it’s a robust telephone that may greater than fulfill most who purchase it.
Samsung Galaxy S20 launch date and value
Brace your self: you’re going to pay extra for the Galaxy S20 than the Galaxy S10 on account of its 5G improve, improved cameras and bigger 6.2-inch 120Hz show.
Within the US, UK and Australia the Galaxy S20 5G value at launch is $999 / £899 / AU$1,499 for the model with 128GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. You’ll be able to add additional storage with a microSD card as much as 1TB, however if you need 256GB or 512GB of inside storage you’ll have to purchase the S20 Extremely.
The telephone can be obtainable in a 4G model in some markets, together with the UK, Australia and UAE, priced at £799 / AU$1,349 / AED 3,199 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
In the event you dwell within the US, you will solely be capable of get a 5G variant until you are prepared to import the machine. We have used the 5G variant for the aim of this assessment, however when you wished to go for the cheaper 4G model (if it is obtainable the place you reside) the specs are largely the identical other than connectivity.
That 4G telephone apart, the addition of 5G means you are paying extra for this yr’s base mannequin than for the base-model S10. Within the US not less than, the flagship inherits the Galaxy S10 Plus launch value – $100 greater than the base-model S10. It additionally matches the $999 iPhone 11 Professional launch price within the US, though Apple’s telephone has a smaller 5.8-inch show, and that value will get you simply 64GB of storage.
All telephones go down in value over time although, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 isn’t any exception – the occasional sale causes it to drop in value a bit, and that is solely going to occur extra over time. The Samsung Galaxy S21 is ready to be unveiled on January 14, so it is probably we’ll see the value of the handset drop additional round then too.
Design and show
The Samsung S20 has a 6.2-inch show, providing precisely 0.1-inch extra display screen actual property than 2019’s 6.1-inch S10. It doesn’t dramatically change the general dimension of the telephone, and its max decision stays the identical as that of latest Samsung Galaxy S fashions at WQHD+ (3040 x 1440).
Samsung continues to be providing a default decision of Full HD+ (2220 x 1080), which appears greater than sharp sufficient for many duties, and saves battery; you’ll want to go into the settings to change to the upper decision.
A giant improve for the Galaxy S20 is the utmost 120Hz refresh-rate show. That is double the speed at which the show refreshes on most telephones, together with earlier Samsung gadgets, and what it means in follow is smoother scrolling and animations.
That is significantly pertinent once you’re cellular gaming because it permits for a extra immersive expertise and will even provide the edge over an opponent, nevertheless it makes on a regular basis issues like scrolling by means of your social media feeds look smoother too.
This isn’t the primary time we’ve seen this on a smartphone – each the Asus ROG Telephone 2 and Razer Telephone 2 characteristic related tech – however that is arguably the primary time we’ve seen it on a mainstream machine.
The brand new 120Hz refresh fee isn’t WQHD+-compatible although that means it’s important to decide whether or not you need the upper decision show or the quicker loading image.
Contact-sensitivity can be upped, to 240Hz from 120Hz to make video games extra responsive, by sensing your finger brushes on the display screen at a a lot increased fee than beforehand. This isn’t one thing we discovered noticeable once we had been utilizing the telephone, however these extra devoted to their cellular gaming might discover that it makes a distinction.
We all know a rise in display screen dimension is likely to be off-putting for some (there’s pent-up demand for smaller one-hand-friendly telephones), and we have now excellent news and dangerous information about that. First the excellent news: whereas the S20 is taller than the S10, it’s additionally a bit narrower, with a 20:9 side ratio, and the display screen is barely marginally greater.
Right here’s the dangerous information: there’s no Galaxy S10e sequel (that was the smallest, and most cost-effective, of the S20 vary) to supply these with smaller palms a 5.8-inch show dimension.
The S20 is as small as Samsung’s 2020 S telephones get, and whereas we recognize the smaller front-facing digital camera punchole and return of HDR10+ to the show for punchier and extra detailed photographs when gaming and watching motion pictures, a little bit of display screen dimension variety could be much more welcome.
The Galaxy S20 has the most effective screens obtainable on a smartphone proper now, and when you’re after a top-end telephone display screen that doesn’t overwhelm your pocket you’re positive to love the 563 pixels per inch this telephone gives.
The remainder of the Samsung Galaxy S20 sports activities a well-recognized look, with two items of glass sandwiching an aluminum body. There’s nonetheless a curve to the correct and left edges of the display screen, nevertheless it’s not as pronounced as on the S10, which is able to hopefully imply fewer unintended presses alongside the sides of the show.
The S20 telephones are the primary within the S vary not characteristic a 3.5mm headphone jack. Meaning you’ll have to make use of an adapter (which isn’t included within the field) together with your present 3.5mm wired headphones, or get a pair with a USB-C connection.
That is the case with loads of flagship telephones now, and whereas it could disappoint some, the characteristic is much less of a deal-breaker with increasingly more of us utilizing wi-fi and true-wireless headphone and earbuds – and naturally Samsung has you lined with its personal Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds Plus.
The rear of the telephone is product of glass, nevertheless it feels extra premium than ever. The raised digital camera bump is our primary ache level, nevertheless it’s one thing that Samsung has needed to do in an effort to embody all that digital camera tech. It does imply the telephone will rock back and forth when you place it flat on a floor although.
There are 5 Galaxy S20 colours in whole, however not all of those can be found in each market. The choices are Cloud Blue (the handset pictured most on this assessment), Cosmic Grey, Cloud Pink, Cloud White and Aura Crimson.
These within the US and Australia are solely ready to select from the Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue and Cloud Pink choices at launch, however you may additionally be capable of discover the others at a later date. These within the UK are capable of get all three colours above, and the Cloud White model got here to that market at a later date.
It’s value stating that there aren’t any daring shade selections right here, and these are all comparatively subdued choices in comparison with the Galaxy S10 shade vary. The Aura Crimson is maybe the boldest shade alternative, however that is one of many more durable to search out variations of the handset.
As on the S10 vary, the fingerprint scanner is embedded within the show. We discovered this to be quicker and extra dependable than the choice on the Galaxy S10, nevertheless it isn’t good with us usually having to retry our digits on the reader to have the ability to entry the telephone.
This isn’t a serious subject, however if you wish to rapidly unlock your telephone it’s your decision to keep in mind that in our expertise a fast PIN code entry can typically be faster than utilizing the scanner.
Samsung has made some necessary steps ahead with the digital camera setup on the Galaxy S20 once you examine it to the Galaxy S10, however not the entire enhancements are mirrored within the stats you see within the spec listing.
We expect it’s finest when you take the plethora of number-heavy digital camera specs with a pinch of salt, and as an alternative think about what they imply when it comes to the photographs you possibly can seize. In any other case the S20 cameras might seem like a downgrade in comparison with earlier Samsung gadgets, and that’s removed from the case.
The primary digital camera, which stays 12MP, has an f/1.8 aperture. That’s theoretically inferior to the S10’s f/1.5 + f/2.4 twin aperture, which modifications to swimsuit the lighting situations with the ‘wider’ f/1.5 setting pulling in additional gentle for improved low-light photographs.
Nevertheless, Samsung has elevated the scale of particular person pixels right here, from 1.4 microns to 1.8 microns. Mixed with the bigger sensor, you must be capable of seize extra element and extra gentle with the Galaxy S20’s primary snapper, and we discovered that to be the case when capturing in darker situations.
There’s additionally a brand new 64MP telephoto digital camera, which can sound like an enormous improve over final yr’s 12MP telephoto digital camera. Right here the person pixels are smaller than final yr’s digital camera, however the megapixel rely is much increased and the aperture is wider (f/2.0 as an alternative of f/2.4 – smaller numbers are higher).
It’s a constructive end result general, permitting for 3x lossless zoom that’s the most effective we’ve seen on a smartphone to this point. There’s additionally 30x digital zoom when you want it, and whereas this isn’t lossless we discovered it to be helpful in some situations.
Under you possibly can see our examples of the zoom in motion:
In the event you want the final word in zoom functionality the Galaxy S20 Extremely comes with a game-changing 100x zoom, nevertheless it’s unlikely that you simply’ll discover a lot use for that in on a regular basis capturing, and we discovered 30x to be greater than sufficient.
The Galaxy S20’s 12MP ultra-wide digital camera has modified the least in comparison with the S10 – the f/2.2 aperture is similar, nevertheless it has a smaller sensor with bigger pixels (1.4 microns over final yr’s 1 micron). That makes your ultra-wide photographs a contact higher, even when the S10 had a 16MP ultra-wide digital camera.
We discovered all of the cameras to work brilliantly effectively, and when you’re capturing within the computerized mode you’re positive to be impressed with the outcomes. You’ll be able to see among the photographs we’ve taken under:
The Galaxy S20 Plus and Extremely each have a time of flight sensor that’s lacking from this telephone. Even with out it, the S20 is effectively able to taking some fantastic-looking photographs.
The S20 vary additionally breaks new floor with the introduction of 8K video recording, and anti-roll correction (as much as 60 levels) as a part of Samsung’s Tremendous Regular stabilization characteristic.
You’ll be able to’t, nevertheless, use each this increased decision and Samsung’s superior stabilization tech on the identical time – Tremendous Regular continues to be strictly a 1080p affair (it doesn’t even work in 4K).
Whereas 8K recording is restricted to 24fps, it has one huge profit: you’re capable of crop and edit movies with out sacrificing high quality when you’re exporting to 4K or 1080p.
8K is a characteristic that’s nonetheless in its infancy on smartphones, and we think about that most individuals will probably be comfortable capturing at 4K or under, the place you get extra management over frames per second, 20x video zoom (8K is caught at 6x zoom), and smaller information (8K footage will eat about 600MBs per minute within the HEVC format).
In the event you do determine to shoot in 8K, you possibly can hit the digital camera button once you’re recording to take a 33MP nonetheless picture. This ought to be helpful if you need a high-quality snap when you’re already filming video.
Samsung’s robust-yet-easy-to-use digital camera app continues to be the most effective amongst smartphones, because of new and returning options. We proceed to love the truth that you possibly can swipe anyplace on the display screen to flip between the back and front cameras, make a hand gesture to set off the selfie digital camera timer, and double-press the bodily lock button to blindly launch the digital camera app.
New right here is Single Take mode, which cycles by means of all three rear cameras over the course of 10 seconds to seize a wide range of photographs and movies. It solutions the ‘Ought to I take photographs or a video?’ dilemma with ‘Why not take each?’
You find yourself with photographs, ultra-wides, portraits, hyperlapse video, common video, and so forth, and we’re huge followers of this characteristic – not each shot or clip is ideal, nevertheless it stored us out of the settings menus and extra engaged with what we had been attempting to snap, and it modified the best way we shot photographs.
Digital camera samples
The Galaxy S20 is the most effective first likelihood for mainstream shoppers to get 5G on their smartphone. Just one% of smartphones that shipped in 2019 had been 5G telephones, and most of these had been costly variants of 4G flagships.
The S20 is essentially 5G by default – as talked about, in some markets you should purchase a 4G model of the telephone, however 5G is the norm, and obtain speeds will hover at round 200Mbps on common, 6x larger than 4G speeds in some elements of the world.
This does, in fact, rely upon 5G being obtainable in your space out of your supplier, however even when it isn’t but, Samsung is baking within the future-proofed connectivity.
There’s an necessary distinction between the 5G capabilities of the Galaxy S20 on one hand, and the S20 Plus and Extremely on the opposite. Whereas all three help the low-to-mid-band sub-6 expertise, solely the Plus and Extremely have mmWave antennas, which pull down even quicker speeds.
The vary of mmWave is restricted – so that you’ll should be comparatively near a transmitter in an effort to get a sign –, however we had been already getting 1.4Gbps in Might 2019 once we examined mmWave 5G in Chicago on Verizon’s newly rolled-out 5G community, utilizing a unique machine.
So whereas the S20 is quick (though we’ve not but been capable of hook as much as a 5G connection whereas testing the telephone, so we’ve not been capable of run our personal pace checks), its greater siblings will probably be quicker in case your provider helps mmWave.
Sub-6 speeds ought to be ok for most individuals – though Verizon prospects within the US ought to notice that it’s an mmWave-exclusive provider, and so the S20 gained’t be bought at Verizon shops.
Efficiency and software program
The Galaxy S20 is powered by considered one of two totally different chipsets, and the place you reside will determine which model you’re getting. In the event you’re within the US you’ll get Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 865 chipset, whereas these round the remainder of the world get Samsung’s equally high-end Exynos 990.
This assessment is predicated on our time with the Exynos 990 model of the telephone. We’ve but to completely take a look at the Snapdragon 865 model of the S20, however we have now examined the Galaxy S20 Plus operating that chip and we had no complaints.
As to the Exynos 990-powered S20, we’ve skilled excellent efficiency all through our testing. It’s highly effective sufficient to do all the pieces we want it to, whether or not that’s taking part in video games or loading apps rapidly.
On Geekbench 5, the Exynos 990 model of the telephone averaged a multi-core rating of 2699. That’s fairly a bit under the Exynos 990 Galaxy S20 Plus, which scored 3034, and the Snapdragon 865-powered S20 Extremely, which scored 3286.
The S20 is scoring far increased than the S10 5G from 2019, which returned a mean results of 2197, and the OnePlus 7T Professional, which scored 2584. These scores gained’t imply so much for the typical person, nevertheless it’s a constructive end result for the Galaxy S20, and we discovered that it was mirrored in daily use.
The 5G variant of the telephone we examined comes with 12GB of RAM. It might be that some duties will run a bit slower on the 4G model, as that solely has 8GB of RAM, however loads of flagships ‘solely’ provide 8GB, and we’d nonetheless anticipate sturdy efficiency from that telephone.
We haven’t encountered any points with the ability on faucet within the Galaxy S20, however once we’re capable of correctly take a look at the Snapdragon 865 model of the machine we’ll make sure to replace this assessment with our findings.
The Galaxy S20 is operating Android 10, and we would anticipate it to get the improve to Android 11 later in 2020 to the most recent model of Google’s working system. Samsung’s personal One UI is overlaid, so it’ll look totally different to the software program you will have used on different Android telephones that aren’t made by Samsung, however the design is enticing and it’s simple to make use of.
Samsung contains loads of its personal apps on the machine, however when you don’t need these in your telephone you possibly can delete most of them and persist with Google’s personal pre-loaded choices.
You’re restricted to only 128GB of storage on the Galaxy S20 – there isn’t a extra capacious choice. This ought to be greater than sufficient house for the typical person, however when you’re planning to shoot a lot of 4K video you’ll probably wish to make use of the microSD card slot.
The Galaxy S20 helps playing cards as much as 1TB – when you want much more inside storage, you’ll wish to go for the Galaxy S20 Extremely or Galaxy S20 Plus that provide 256GB and 512GB choices.
If there’s one factor we find out about 5G it’s that the super-fast web expertise is a battery hog, and with that in thoughts Samsung has outfitted the Galaxy S20 with a 4,000mAh energy pack, a notable improve over the three,400mAh capability on the S10.
That’s actually paid off, as we’ve discovered the Galaxy S20 to have stable battery life that may simply see you thru a full day of typical use – the truth is we’d usually get residence after a day of what we’d think about to be pretty heavy use to search out the telephone nonetheless had 20% or so left within the tank.
There was the odd event the place we seen the battery life was being drained rapidly, however that was with significantly intensive use – for instance once we had been utilizing the telephone with a excessive brightness and the 120Hz refresh fee turned on, so when you’re taking full benefit of the display screen tech on provide right here you may not wish to stray too far out of your charger.
Samsung’s fast-charging characteristic works effectively – when you have the correct charger setup you will get from zero to 100% in underneath an hour. There’s additionally 15W wi-fi charging on provide, and whereas it’s not as quick because the wired selection it’s at all times a helpful choice to have.
Like final yr’s S10 handsets, the S20 vary options Samsung’s reverse wi-fi charging characteristic, which lets you use your S20 to cost different devices that help Qi charging.
For instance, when you have a pair of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus wi-fi buds you’ll be capable of cost these on the again of your telephone, and you possibly can additionally lend your juice to a good friend’s suitable telephone, though notice that it will drain your personal battery significantly rapidly.
Ought to I purchase the Samsung Galaxy S20?
Purchase it if…
You need your first 5G telephone
The 5G model of the Samsung S20 is the right jumping-on level for anybody who needs to be futureproofed when it comes to connectivity. It’s not one thing that’s important for many customers proper now, nevertheless it’s one thing you’re more likely to recognize as 5G networks change into extra ubiquitous.
You need a flagship that’s simple to carry
You’ll usually discover that extra energy in a smartphone means a bigger machine, however that isn’t the case with the Galaxy S20, which we discovered comfy to deal with. Not everybody will probably be able to utilizing this telephone with one hand, nevertheless it’s the closest you’ll get on a flagship Samsung telephone.
You need a top-end digital camera, however you don’t want 100X zoom
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely has a few show-stopping options within the form of its 108MP primary digital camera and 100x zoom, however you shouldn’t flip your nostril up on the rear cameras on the Galaxy S20. The auto mode works fantastically, and we acquired some actually spectacular photographs from the telephone.
Don’t purchase it if…
You’re on a funds
The 4G variant apart, you’ll be paying extra for the Samsung Galaxy S20 than for final yr’s Galaxy S10. If you wish to be future-proofed with a 5G model of the handset (and that’s your solely alternative in markets just like the US) then that is an costly machine.
You need a huge improve from the S10
Whereas there are some spectacular upgrades right here from Samsung, it will not be sufficient to steer you to commerce in your Galaxy S10. In the event you personal final yr’s telephone it’s unlikely you’ll be blown away by the enhancements; this can be a handset that’s extra more likely to tempt these new to Samsung gadgets, or these upgrading from the Galaxy S8 or S9.
You need a 3.5mm headphone jack
It lastly occurred: that is the primary Samsung Galaxy S handset that doesn’t include a 3.5mm headphone jack. In the event you’re determined for a connector that may play good together with your wired headphones, this gained’t be the machine for you, though there are sufficient various choices that this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most individuals.
First reviewed: March 2020