Samsung Galaxy S20 Review: For the first time, in a very long time (and I mean it in a long time), Samsung’s flagship phones are finally breathing pure air. I think the new iterations of their high-end smartphones with everyone are “just an incremental upgrade” or worse. From their naming convention on design and practically every other aspect, the new Galaxy S20 series is a testimonial to their existence. While the S20 Ultra hijacks all the spotlight with its stunning camera setup, this review is all about the Vanilla Galaxy S20 and S20 +. Of course, they are not as attractive as the Ultra, but they turn their own little magic! – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Before proceeding with the review, there is one important thing to note. That is to say, Samsung just … went ahead and changed the entire foundation of the S series. If I remember correctly, last year’s top-end S10 Plus was worth a thousand bucks, and the company is charging for entry-level phones in this year’s S20 series. Give them another $ 200 discount for the regular S 20. S20 +, and if you want to get in on the S20 Ultra, you’ll lose a few hundred bucks later. All of this makes for a really interesting equation on how Samsung is going with its upcoming Note device. Anyway, let’s get back to the review of the Galaxy S20 and S20 +. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Samsung Galaxy S20 Review & Specifications
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ Specifications:
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy S20||Samsung Galaxy S20+|
|Body||5.97 x 2.72 x 0.31 inches; 163 gm; IP68 certification||6.37 x 2.90 x 0.31 inches; 186 gm; IP68 certification|
|Display||6.2-inches “Infinity-O” Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel; 120Hz refresh rate; HDR10+; 563 PPI; 89.5% screen-to-body ratio; Gorilla Glass 6 protection||6.7-inches “Infinity-O” Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel; 120Hz refresh rate; HDR10+; 525 PPI; 90.5% screen-to-body ratio; Gorilla Glass 6 protection|
|Rear Camera||Triple camera;– 12MP, f/1.8 primary shooter, OIS, DPAF|
– 12MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor
– 64MP, f/2.0 telephoto lens, PDAF, 3X hybrid optical zoom
– LED flash
– 12 MP, f/1.8 primary shooter, OIS, DPAF
– 12MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor
– 64MP, f/2.0 telephoto lens, PDAF, 3X hybrid optical zoom
– 0.3MP ToF 3D DepthVision sensor
– LED flash
|Battery||4000 mAh; 25W fast charging; 15W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0; 9W reverse Wireless PowerShare||4500 mAh; 25W fast charging; 15W Fast Wireless Charging 2.0; 9W reverse Wireless PowerShare|
|Colors||Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink||Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black|
|Price in Nepal||Rs. 1,07,499 (8/128GB)||Rs. 1,19,999 (8/128GB)|
|Resolution||QHD+ (3200 x 1440 pixels); 20:9 aspect ratio|
|Chipset||Exynos 990; 7nm+ Mobile Platform|
|CPU||Octa-core (2×2.73 GHz Mongoose M5 & 2×2.60 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|RAM||12GB LPDDR5 (5G) / 8GB LPDDR5 (LTE)|
|Storage||128GB UFS 3.0 (expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card)|
|Software & UI||Android 10 with One UI 2.1 on top|
|Front Camera||10MP, f/2.2 aperture; Dual Pixel AF|
|Camera features||Tracking AF, 8K video@24fps, 960fps slow-mo, Super Steady stabilization, etc.|
|Security||Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock|
|Audio||Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital/Plus|
|Connectivity||Hybrid SIM (two Nano or one Nano-SIM + one MicroSD card), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.0, sub-6GHz 5G spectrum (also mmWave in S20+), GPS/AGPS/GLONASS/BDS, NFC, USB Type-C|
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ Review!
Beginning with the design, the S20 and S20 + look identical, if not for size. The S20 + is the larger of the two (as the title suggests), which means it has a larger display and battery. And to be sure, in terms of Reach, I’m a little heavier on the S20 because I have a lot smaller hands. However, Samsung is throwing everything a premium throw at its flagship phone and this time is no different. Glass body, IP68 rating – you name it, it’s on the phone. But in contrast, the S20 and S20 + are such hyperbolic successors to the S10 series. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Now, Samsung has come up with a familiar color scheme for both phones, which are subtly classy when they succeed, and are therefore not as flamboyant as cartoons. Most smartphones these days come with reversible radical color schemes – yes, you know who you are!
In addition, the company has made many changes, for better or worse, mostly for the better. The rear cameras are fitted in a “modern” fashion, have a new (yet old) cutout for the front lens, and to my delight, the curves on the screen are significantly reduced. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
I am against high curved displays and I am not ashamed to admit it.
I’m not a fan of most curved shows; Not only because it is less practical, but also because the device is vulnerable in the process. This is to say that the new screen doesn’t range from flat-out immunity to casual touch, but undoubtedly better than what we’re accustomed to seeing. This is perfect for using the new gesture system on Android 10 or the new gesture system on Android.
The buttons on the S20 & S20 + are also comprehensive. They are still made of metal, but at this point they are kept in excellent condition, all to the right. A different Bixby button is gone and I am answering the question of what it feels like; The special removable button is always a plus and no longer an option. This does not mean that Samsung’s digital assistant has kicked the bucket – the power button (or side key) also acts as a Bixby trigger, but you can re-enable the default power menu. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Additionally, you’ll find a hybrid SIM slot at the top, a charging port, and a speaker grill at the bottom, while the left side of the phone is clean. Yes, there is no headphone jack, so stop that band-aid right away!
And the phones are premium on the hands as you would expect. The curved glass back gives a firm grip, but it cesspool for fingerprints and spots. Not to mention, the S20 and S20 + are relatively slippery phones. So I highly recommend covering it and not fully trust the Gorilla Glass 6 protection.
By this time Samsung’s predecessor was in contention. Whenever the company launches high-end smartphones, headlines about how to get the best performance in the market at the time. Well, they have outdone themselves with the S20 series. Signature QHD + Dynamic AMOLED panel with HDR10 + support, S20 with 6.2-inch and its larger 6.7-inch screen, S20 + also has a good 120Hz refresh rate for Samsung. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
It’s soft, oh-so soft and snappy. So much so that I can’t help but pronounce the clich–d mantra –
“You can see for yourself that you can’t separate it.”
Now, I’m using a phone with a standard 60 Hz display and can’t separate it from the OnePlus 7T’s 90 Hz panel. But boy did I wipe these phones off my legs! S20 & S20 + … 120 Hz panel behind 90 and 60 Hz panel. Who would have thought we would leave 90Hz on this soon!
From scrolling the web to playing games that support it, gentle performance can spoil you. And amidst all the praise and glory, I am now impressed by some dismal facts. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Although the display is a QHD + panel, only 120Hz FHD + resolution is supported.
Looking at it from Samsung’s perspective, I can see why the company wants to do that jail sentence to save battery. But from a buyer’s perspective, this seems like a crazy limitation. This is definitely not a chipset limitation, as the new Oppo Find X2 Pro 120 powered by the same Snapdragon 865 supports the Hertz @ QHD + out-of-the-box.
Here again, I had to see the difference between setting the phone to FHD + & QHD +. And most of the time, I can’t say. Add to this the possibility of saving the battery by toning the resolution, I personally don’t care what Samsung did. However, for the price tag that comes with the phone, I think the company should at least have the option. Hope this happens in the coming days with the software update. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Additionally, the performances on the S20 and S20 + are worthy of praise. They are bright (even outdoors in the sun), have excellent color and contrast ratio. The minimal bezels paired with the curved display take the viewing experience to new heights. Additionally, select apps such as YouTube and Netflix have a “Video Enhancer” feature dedicated to enhancing video quality in terms of colors and brightness. This reminds me, the S20 series has recently received Netflix HDR playback support. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
There is also the same old ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. And even though they seem comparatively fast, the fingerprint area is still uncomfortably small. Sure, muscle memory will be gone after a few days of use, but I don’t think we’re asking the impossible here – just apply a large fingerprint sensing area! If this is not your jam, I’m happy to report that Face-Unlock on these phones is very fast and accurate. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
For performance, Samsung is marketing the S20 series as a naturally occurring 5G capable phone, although it depends on the area you are affected. Since most countries do not have proper 5G infrastructure at this time, there is also an LTE version of the device. Here we are in Nepal. Also, it should be noted that even if a 5G model is found in your area, the standard S20 supports only the sub-6 GHz, while the S20 + & S20 Ultra 5G supports the faster MMW spectrum. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Since the MMWave 5G sub-6 isn’t as widely available as the GHz, you’ll get a bucket load of reasons not to buy the new Galaxy S20 series for 5G capacity. So much for “future proofing”, I think!
Additionally, there is another difference between the phone’s 5G and LTE configurations – RAM capacity. In the case of S20 5G & S20 + 5G, you get 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, while 8GB LPDDR5 is getting in your LTE variants.
It is almost unfair for us to get Snapdragon-powered S20 devices.
Now, Samsung Exynos has always lagged behind Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets, especially in terms of graphics performance and battery endurance. The difference between the latest Exynos 990 and Snapdragon 825 has never been clearer. While the same Samsung 7 NMUV is made to use the process, the Snapdragon 865 wins on almost every aspect of the Exynos 090, which is done through a hair. Or large margin. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
This is because the 865 uses the new ARM Cortex-A77 core, while the Exynos 990 uses a custom Exynos M5 core for higher processing. If the benchmark scores are any indication, the Exynos 990 is comparable to last year’s Snapdragon 855+.
News about the use of the Snapdragon chipset on Samsung’s own flagship phone has also appeared on the web, but sadly it does not appear. As a result, I believe it is high time that the company is stepping into its chip manufacturing game or leading to Qualcomm dominance. After all, why should consumers compromise on such expensive products? – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
But this does not mean that the Exynos 990 is absolutely terrible!
Installing and running heavy apps won’t break the sweat, thanks to 128GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage. Gaming itself is not an issue, because you can play games that are in high demand without stretchers, in their highest settings. During my review, I played games like Call of Duty, PUBG, Winglory, Injustice 2 on the Galaxy S20 & S20 +, and had no problems. But I have found that the S20 is a little faster than the S20 + when used for extended periods of time. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Time to talk about cameras. Both the S20 & S20 + come with a 3MP optical zoom, a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP ultra wide lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens, while the S20 + has an additional TOF depthvision camera. Notice how differently they are handled? Yes, the camera sensor and microphone with the LED flash are now placed inside the rectangular module.
Now, is there anything? No? In fact, just like the 3.5mm headphone jack, the heart rate sensor is gone, as well as the variable aperture lens we first saw in the Galaxy S9 series. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Since there is so much hype around S20 series cameras, we compared it to the current frontrunner – the iPhone 11 Pro, to see how well it worked. Don’t lie, I am very excited to review the Galaxy S20 and S20 +.
When it comes to simple images, the people on the iPhone 11 Pro offer slightly smoother shots with better dynamic range and sometimes better sharpness. In contrast, the images from the S20 + are slightly saturated, but in a way pleasing to the eye. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Wide Angle Images
Now, when moving to Wide Angle Pictures, the iPhone 11 Pro offers better brightness and color tones, leaving the gray even though they are clearly shiny. In contrast, wide-angle images from the S20 + are very sharp and wide.
Selfie and Portrait Selfie
Coming to the selfie, even though the color is just right, the thing is a little smoother on the S20 +, just like the iPhone 11 Pro. On the other hand, portrait selfies can also be manipulated. Here, images from the 11 Pro are blurry, soft and dazzling, while the S20 + reveals a good edge.
Bokeh shots regularly produce a lot of images on the iPhone 11 Pro, but the subjects on the S20 + are very sensitive.
Low light pictures
Samsung’s trademark sharpness and punch colors also illuminate images at night, while low-light images on the iPhone 11 Pro are slightly color-accurate with enhanced detail.
They are comparative features between two phones. But the S20 & S20 + have a large range of features. First, let’s talk about the 30X space zoom. Now, while this may sound great on paper, the reality is far from over. Samsung is working on you, it is very difficult to get an “OK” -ish image from just 30X zoom. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Also, when you’re shooting in Night Mode, the Zoom is maxed to 10X, so the same thing happens.
Do we need such a compromised 8K recording on the phone right now?
The 8K is another buzz throw with the Samsung S20 series. Once again, marketing is like a gimmick at this point. It is not limited to 24fps, but: – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
There is no stabilization
Takes up most of the storage (about 10 megabytes per second of recording)
And you also lose the content in the frame.
You can click the 33MP Still image from the video and about it. So at this stage, I’m at peace with the traditional 4K / 60fps recording.
Another feature that is camera-focused is “single take”. What it does is capture a brief moment (such as cutting a birthday cake), and then giving you a great shot, a hyper-laps, a monochrome shot; Complete package. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
Apart from these, there is also “Super Steady” video stabilization and 960 FPS Super Slow-Motion Video Shooting capability, I’m not a fan!
Going forward, I didn’t expect the Galaxy S20 & S20 + to be such a great battery life to be honest during my review. Of course, there are many variables to play with: brightness, resolution, and refresh rate, but I have avoided settings depending on the type of content I am not involved in, and still find exceptional endurance. By default, I keep the phone at 50% brightness, with FHD + resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.
When I want to stick to YouTube videos, I crank up the QHD +’s resolution when I’m in the gaming mood or increase the refresh rate to 120Hz. With this, the 4000 mAh battery on the regular S20 gave me 5 – 6 hours of screen time, leaving some juice over time. Similarly, the S20 + has given better endurance, thanks to its larger 4500mAh cell. Therefore, it makes the Galaxy S20 & S20 + “all-day battery” phones easy. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
And during my overtime sessions, I also came to admire the speakers on these phones. The audio from the stereo speakers on the S20 & S20 + is loud, crisp, clear, and has a fair amount of bass as well.
However, the S20 & S20 + only supports 25W charging, while Samsung only offers its fast 45W charging prowess on the S20 Ultra. What does this mean besides urinating on your buyers?
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ – Pros & Cons
- Sleek design & so comfortable to use
- Bright, vivid, & smooth 120Hz display with minimal bezels
- Some of the most innovative camera set up in modern times
- Great battery life despite such a power-hungry display
- No flagship-grade 45W fast charging
- Performance is a little compromised on the Exynos variants
- 30X Space Zoom & 8K recording is far from ideal at this point
- Omission of features like a headphone jack, heart rate sensor, & variable aperture lens
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 + Review – Conclusion
So this is it. This is our review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 +. These are the most “sophisticated” launches in a series of iterations of the company’s flagship ‘S’ series. Embedded in the phone’s DNA with many taglines like 5G, smooth performance and space zoom, there are some big promises to keep the S20 & S20 +. In most cases, the phones prove their worth, but it’s clear that Samsung throws some inaccessible or less practical stuff at the audience for entertainment only. After all is said and done, the S20 and S20 + are still very stellar phones out there and I enjoy every second of them. – Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
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