Samsung Galaxy S20 Review
By Yvonne
2022-10-23

In an unexpected move, South Korean giant Samsung has announced that the Galaxy S20 line will replace the S11 series this year.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Review

The surprise move by South Korean company Samsung was to announce the Galaxy S20 line-up instead of the S11 for this year. Samsung took a leap for 2020's flagship models, and skipped the 11th number. There were many reasons. Samsung's latest flagship models in the S-lineup offer upgrades across almost every department.

There is also a Galaxy S10 model with 5G connectivity that can be upgraded as well. Apart from the 5G model, three S20 models are available: the Galaxy S20 Plus, the S20 Plus (successor to S10 Plus), the S20 Ultra, and the Galaxy S20 Plus.

The S20, despite being the basic variant, is packed with tons of extras that make it stand out from other models on the market. The company's debut flagship features a 120Hz LCD display, high-quality hardware, a superb camera setup and a bigger battery than its predecessor. Some people are not fans of big display phones. The Galaxy S20 is a great option for those who don't like large display phones. You get all of the latest Korean goodies in a small package.

Samsung Galaxy S20

It is a significant upgrade to the camera system on the S20. Samsung has undoubtedly taken the battle for the best camera with its S20 series. Low-light photos were a major problem with the S10's camera system. The S20's low-light capabilities were greatly improved by the addition of more pixels. The S20 Ultra, which is the most powerful and expensive option available for those who want the very best, will be a great choice. Let's get started with the S20 package content.

The box

  • Galaxy S20 smartphone
  • 25W Fast Adapter
  • Cable Type C
  • SIM ejector
  • Earbuds Type-C AKG
  • Manual for the Easy Guide
Inside the Box

Date and Price

The Galaxy S20's latest version is more expensive than its predecessor. The price increase is more pronounced in the US, where the only 5G version is sold. It is only available in those areas where 5G connectivity has not yet been made available. The 4G version isn't available in all countries.

The S20's base model with 128GB native storage and 12GB of RAM costs $999 in the US, £899 for the UK market, and AU$1,499 in Australia. MicroSD cards can be used to expand memory. If you need more storage you can choose the S20 Ultra model which comes in both 256GB or 512GB. The 4G version is also available for Australian and UK customers. For UK customers, it costs £799 and AU$1,349 in Australia. It retains the native storage, but it now has 8GB RAM.

The S20 base model in the US is priced at S10 Plus. This is reasonable considering that the S20's base variant in America comes with 5G connectivity as well as an additional 4GB of RAM. The S20 is almost six months old, and there are special offers for the Galaxy Note.

Display, resolution, and viewing experience

Display, resolution, and viewing experience

The S20 is not only an improvement in display hardware, but it also stands 0.1 inches taller than its predecessor. S20 boasts a stunning Infinity OLED display measuring 6.2 inches with a Quad HD+ resolution screen of 1440x3040 pixels. Display pixels density is 563 pixels per inch. The S20 has the same screen resolution as the predecessor. The default resolution of the S20's display screen is 1080x2220 pixels. The display screen is bright enough for your everyday tasks. It also helps to conserve battery power.

The S10 display ran at 60Hz. However, the S20 displays runs at 120Hz. You can now enjoy better gaming animations, and more web scrolling. This is a great option for gamers who enjoy HIFI games that support a 120Hz refresh rate. The 120Hz display was only available for gaming phones in Q1 2020. Asus and Razer both launched phones with 120Hz displays. It's great to see that other companies have adopted the technology.

OnePlus unveiled the premium OnePlus 8 Pro, which has a 120Hz screen shortly after its S20 launch. This is a great step, but not compatible with Quad HD+ screen resolution. Users will need to use Full HD+ resolution for a higher refresh rate. The display's touch sensitive up-gradation of 120Hz to 220Hz is another important feature. We didn't notice any significant differences in touch sensitiveness during our tests.

The S20 is the most compact option from the S-series. The S20 has a display aspect ratio of 20:9. And the best thing about the S20 is that the selfie camera can be found back at the center, enclosed in a smaller punch hole.

You can turn on HDR10+ to get better video quality and brighter colors when you watch HIFI content via Netflix or other services.

Design Specs & Build Quality

Samsung isn't new to the metal-and-glass sandwich design. We have been witnessing the use of both materials ever since the Galaxy S6. Samsung has reverted to an aluminum chassis this year with glass at the rear and front. Both the left and right edges are gently curved, but less so than its predecessor.

Upper Edge of the Galaxy S20

It is stunningly gorgeous and very premium. The rear cameras on Samsung smartphones are usually embedded in the bodies, but this is not true for the S20. The top right corner will be bowed.

The S20 comes in five color options: Cloud White (Cosmic Gray), Aura Red (Cloud Blue), and Cloud Pink. Not all colors will be available on all markets, as it is with all color options.

Only limited availability is possible for the Aura Red or Cloud White versions. It also features facial recognition and an under-glass ultrasonic finger scanner. The scanner is slower than the physical one so you'll need to wait until it unlocks.

Audio Output

As the trend is increasingly becoming an industry standard for premium smartphones, it's not surprising that Samsung has abandoned the traditional 3.5mm headset jack. The S20 lacks the standard 3.5mm headset jack, which is one of its most frustrating aspects. The S20 does not have a traditional headphone jack. The company instead joined the iPhone and Huawei flagships that have Type-C connectors. Samsung offers two types of Buds: Galaxy Buds Plus and Buds Plus.

The device can now be used as a music sharing hub, allowing it to send audio to other devices. Music Share is a great feature that can be shared by multiple users simultaneously. The tuned headphones were included in the S10 last year. This is also true for the S20. S20 stereo speakers have a great audio range and frequency range. They also provide excellent clarity. It is easy to rank the S20 among the top-rated speakers on the market for audio quality.

Camera

Samsung has paid particular attention to the camera capabilities of flagship phones. This is why they are so confident in their ability to capture great photos. The Galaxy S-lineup camera is a top choice. The S20 may seem to have slightly lower specs than its predecessor, but this is not true.

Samsung used the main lens equipped with a variable aperture over the past few years. This adjusts to different light conditions. The aperture was set to f/2.4 in stable lighting, while the sensor adjusts the aperture automatically to f/1.5 for low light conditions. Samsung chose to use a fixed aperture main sensor this year.

Primary lens daylight

A 12MP sensor is used as the primary rear snapper. It has an aperture of f/1.8. The individual pixels are now 1.8 microns in size, as opposed to the 1.4 microns on the main S10 sensor. This allows for more detail and light capture. This allows for better low-light photography.

The S20 cameras are capable of capturing images in low-light conditions, as shown by our sample photos. Normal sensors capture great detail in light and colors can be accurately exposed without being overexposed. You will be able to see the detail that this sensor can capture even with a small zoom.

Live Focus

You can use the Live Focus effect in low-light and daylight conditions. It is possible to add live focus effects even after you have taken the photo. This works well. One of the sample photos shows that the main photographer took an outdoor shot at 6 pm, without using night mode. Low-light conditions have caused the detail to be a little shaky. Only a small portion of this image can be seen under outdoor lighting. Even though the same image is taken using night mode, it produces drastically different results. It seems that the phone uses magic to erase all darkness from the blue sky, bottom grass and background rooftops.

Telephoto Sensor

Secondary snapper is the 64MP telephoto sensor at the rear with an aperture of f/2.0. The sensor's higher megapixels, larger aperture and better quality make it stand out. The sensor can capture up to 3x lossless zoom photos without compromising color and detail. These sample photos confirm that the telephoto sensor captures a lot of detail and doesn't compromise accuracy or detail.

If you need to take long distance shots, the 30x zoom can be helpful. Although the accuracy may be a little off, it still works as it should. The S20 Ultra, which can capture 100x zoom images, is an excellent choice for those looking to take ultra-long range shots.

Ultra-Wide Angle

A 12MP ultra-wide angle sensor and f/2.2 aperture are the third snappers on the rear. The individual pixels of this sensor are now 1.4 microns in size, instead of the 1 micron that is found on S10's sensor. This sensor is 12MP, but it performs better than its predecessor. Take a look at the samples of images taken with this ultra-wide angle sensor. These sample images show the ability to capture wide angle shots at great detail. All shots show that the resolution of pixels aren't affected while taking wide shots.

For those who want to adjust settings prior to taking a photo, there is the Pro mode. The results can be quite good, even in automatic mode. The S20 does not have the Ultra or Plus variants of the Time-of-Flight lens, but its camera setup is quite good.

Selfie

The S20's front side features a 10MP sensor and an aperture of f/2.2. The camera app had a toggle option to adjust the field of view before One UI 2.1. The default setting for the camera app was to limit field of view. For wide-angle selfies users will need to toggle the switch for wide-angle views.

Samsung has solved this problem by creating a Smart Selfie angle function for its S20 range. The camera detects faces and automatically adjusts the view. The camera switches instantly to wide-angle mode if it detects more than one face. This is very useful as the toggle doesn't need to be pushed again.

Although the front-facing sensor is equipped with PDAF and optical image stabilization, the rear-facing sensor does not have this feature. The PDAF autofocus is perfect in low-light and daylight conditions. Screen flash is available for low light conditions. AI mode enhances the devices prowess at optimizing selfies.

Take a look at these sample selfies in indoor and outdoor conditions. The sample photos show that the details and accuracy of the colors are excellent.

Video recording

Not only does the S20 bring dramatic improvements to still photography, but it also offers significant enhancements in video capturing. S20 can record video at 8K resolution. Super Steady stabilization provides anti-roll correction for super smooth videos. The Super steady stabilization is only available in Full HD.

Also, the 8K recording can only capture 24 frames per second. The S20 was one of the first smartphones to capture 8K video. The device can capture 4K resolution at a higher frame rate and has greater zooming capabilities. At 4K resolution, you can choose 20x zoom. It drops to 6x when shooting at 8K.

Although the camera app has many new features, it remains one of our most popular and reliable camera apps. The new single-take mode is one of the most popular features in S20. This mode allows you to use all three sensors in the same time frame of 10 seconds. This mode isn't limited to taking normal photos and videos. Instead, it allows you to capture portraits and wide-angle images, as well as hyperlapse video and other shots.

5G connectivity

It is not yet available for all smartphones, as 5G connectivity is in an early phase. The S20 is one of the few smartphones with 5G connectivity. Only markets that don't have 5G connectivity are eligible for the S20's dedicated 4G variant. The S20's 5G version download speed is six times faster than that of a 4G-enabled phone. It is possible to keep your S20, even if 5G service is not yet available in your region.

Hardware performance and software

The latest Samsung S series flagship, the S20, is now available in two options. The S20 is available in the US with Qualcomm's Snapdragon865 SoC, while the S20 for China comes with the Exynos 995 SoC. These SoCs rank among the most powerful on the market.

The Exynos990 chipset is the basis of our testing unit. The results were as expected, but it is not up to the standard of its ultra- and plus variants. It is able to perform daily tasks well and play HIFI games. You won't need to worry about HIFI gaming as it excels at multitasking. This is a great choice for Fortnite and PUBG players, thanks to the Vivid display and sturdy hardware.

The S20 has 128GB of storage. This can be expanded with a MicroSD Card. You can expand the memory up to 1TB. The S20 Plus has 256GB storage and the S20 Ultra offers 512GB.

The OS preinstalled on the Galaxy S20 comes with Android 10. It will receive updates over the next three-years, being the most recent flagship. It will hopefully be one of the first to get the Android 11 update. Although Samsung's One UI doesn't offer the same level of functionality as the Android OS stock version, it's still very easy to use.

Benchmark Tests

Geekbench 5's results show that the S20 is a capable machine. It scores 2580 on a multicore test. The S20 Plus, on the other side, achieves 3034 marks with the exact same chipset. The Ultra version is at the top with an impressive 3107 score on Exynos 910.

Benchmark Tests

The 3D Mark benchmark results for the S20 are very satisfactory. On the Slingshot Extreme test, the overall device score was 6421 points. The graphics score however is 8168. The device scored 3396 points in the Sling Shot Extreme Vulkan test.

3D Mark Benchmark

The S20's performance is significantly better than the S10. The Galaxy S10's detailed review shows that the device scored 2021 points in a multicore test. The OnePlus 7T Pro scored slightly less at 2679 points. However, the significant power increase doesn't make a huge difference in daily tasks. It's a positive aspect to have more power under your hood. The 5G version of S20 has 12GB RAM, rather than the 8GB that is available in the 4G model.

Battery life

Samsung has upgraded all other departments and the S20's batteries. The S10's battery capacity was 400mAh higher than the previous model. Samsung made a huge leap this year by offering a standard S20 with a 4,000mAh battery. This upgrade was necessary, especially since there's a 5G version of the S20. If you are connected to a 5G network you won't need to worry about your battery drain. You can get maximum 5G network coverage with the S20's sufficient power.

The device can last for over a day on normal or heavy use, with a battery of more than 20%. Our testing unit was a 4G model. 5G results might have different results. The device may last up to a week with normal use, including few calls and occasional WI-Fi connectivity.

The battery will drain quickly if you use the S20 at its maximum, such as using the 120Hz display with high brightness and Wi-Fi connection. The S20 came with a 15W fast charger right out of the box. Ultra models get a 45W fast charger, while the S20 Plus has a 25W charger.

S20's 15W fast charger can charge your phone in under 60 minutes. Although it supports wireless charging at 15W, the charging process is slower than traditional wired charging. Reverse wireless charging, which was introduced last year by the S20, is not going away. The S20 supports Qi-enabled devices reverse charging.

Conclusion

Samsung has already confirmed that the S20 Lite, the lower-priced variant of S20 is no longer available. The S20, the new flagship premium from Samsung is available to those who want it. The S20 isn't Samsung's best-selling flagship. For high-end customers, the Galaxy S20 Plus or S20 Ultra are available. This phone is stylish and features top-of-the-line hardware with a 120Hz display. It also has solid cameras that will make it your daily driver.

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