5/22/2020

SAMSUNG GALAXY S20





The Galaxy S20 (from left), Galaxy S20 Plus, and Galaxy S20 Ultra

Of Samsung's three new Galaxy S20 5G phones, the smallest, cheapest Galaxy S20 is my favorite. It's just as stuffed with top-shelf features as the Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, from its tack-sharp screen to advanced camera skills. But apart from screen and body size, the differences between S20 models are almost negligible. Of course, there are people who will want the S20 Plus and even Ultra instead, but for specific, personal reasons, and not out of a marked advantage in tools or performance. And yes, I do mean the Ultra's 108-megapixel camera and 100x zoom. 

Camera






The camera on the Galaxy S20 is the same as the one on the Galaxy S20 Plus it’s just in a slightly more compact bump on the back. It houses the main 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture sensor with optical image stabilization, plus a second 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a third 64-megapixel telephoto with a 3x optical zoom. It shoots 4K video, has a time-of-flight sensor, and on the front is a 10-megapixel selfie camera.
Software and security
The Galaxy S20 has the same Android 10-based OneUI 2.0 software installed as the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra. I’ve gone into more detail about it in my Galaxy S20 Plus review, but my overall impression remains the same. The colorful, bold, and quite large icons stand out on the screen, and it’s obvious what they do at a glance, plus the look can be customized. For example, by default, it’s a 4 x 4 grid of icons, making it look a bit childish, but it can be switched to a 5 x 4 or a 6 x 4 layout for those who don’t like the big-print-style version.





SoCSnapdragon 865
RAM12GB
Storage128GB, microSD card slot
Display6.2-inch 1440 x 3200 OLED, 120Hz
Battery4,000mAh, 25W USB-PD fast charging (adapter included)
Cameras12MP primary, 12MP ultra-wide, 48MP crop zoom / 8K video sensor; 10MP front
SoftwareAndroid 10, One UI 2.0
Headphone jackNo
Measurements151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm, 163g
ConnectivityWiFi 6, BT 5.0, 5G (sub-6GHz only)
Price$1000





THE GOOD


DisplayThe new 120Hz OLED is gorgeous, and Samsung finally got rid of the curved edges, making edge touch rejection far less of an issue. This is the best screen you can get on any phone, period.
DesignNice, slim bezels all the way around the screen. The buttons have thankfully returned to the right side of the phone, and Samsung's build quality feels as high as ever.
BatteryThe S20 will easily make it through the day and then some, and you can extend battery life significantly by switching to 60Hz display mode. I personally managed 6 hours of screen time most days.
SizeThe most pocketable phone among the S20 family, and the right size for most people. The basic S20 avoids the gigantic proportions of its siblings, and is perfectly manageable even in a hefty case.
ChargingThe 25W bundled charger is significantly faster than those on devices like the Pixel or iPhone, and is more than fast enough for quick top ups as you head out the door. Fast wireless charging is an added bonus.
5G readyWhile it lacks the mmWave support of the S20+ and Ultra, we think that's irrelevant. The S20 supports all current low and mid-band 5G deployments in the US, and those are the ones you're actually likely to use in the next few years (Verizon will launch a mmWave variant later this year, if that's something you care about).


THE NOT SO GOOD


Design againA case is absolutely mandatory. This phone is incredibly slippery, mostly glass, and the camera hump is awkward.
OS updatesSamsung is good about security updates , but still slower than we'd like on actual Android OS upgrades, particularly in the US. Case in point: Samsung's Android 10 codebase is so old that 3rd party launchers can't use gesture nav.
Fingerprint sensorThe ultrasonic sensor is still slow and sometimes just won't work right, even after registering my thumbs multiple times. Optical scanners are simply better.
CameraThey're better (and more numerous) than those on the S10, but they're not a massive step forward, and that's disappointing, especially given the price of this phone. The selfie camera is of a seriously mediocre quality as well.
PriceWhile not nearly the sticker shock the Ultra is, $1000 is probably about $200 more than I'd say this phone is "worth." On the flipside, Samsung is almost making it hard to even pay full price for an S20 right now.




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