The Samsung Galaxy S20 series hasn’t been the best kept secret, and now that the phones have been officially unveiled and we’ve spent some time with them, it’s time to see if Samsung has managed to raise the bar for flagships. Gadgets 360 was present at Samsung’s Unpacked event in San Francisco early, and we were given a sneak peek at the new phone ahead of the launch.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ are the direct successors to the similar Galaxy S10 phone. This year, we have a new family member called the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which for the first time on a Samsung phone introduces some new camera tricks. All three models will support 5G, but this may vary in different markets, as countries that don’t yet have 5G (such as India) can get LTE versions of these phones. The Samsung Galaxy S20 price starts at $999 (approximately Rs 71,300), while the Galaxy S20+ 5G will start at $1,199 (approximately Rs 85,500), and the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will start at $1,399 (approximately Rs 99,800). . America. India pricing and availability have not been announced yet.
One big question on everyone’s mind at the event was why didn’t Samsung call these models the S11 series, and instead jump straight to the S20? According to the company, the S20 series represents a huge leap forward in terms of features and performance compared to its predecessors, and as Samsung is also celebrating 10 years of the Galaxy brand, it decided to leave the S20 ahead .
Coming back to the phones, the Galaxy S20 series will be available in three colours, though the exact ones to launch in India are yet to be decided. Samsung says the design of the new series is more ergonomic than the previous model, and the bezels around the display are narrower. We found this to be true for the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+, which were comfortable to use alone and didn’t feel too heavy. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, is a different story as it felt heavy at 220 grams and chunky at 8.8mm thick.
We can’t even compare the back of the phone with Samsung’s current A-series offerings, which have similar rectangular camera modules. We’d love a different texture or pattern for the glass back as well. We couldn’t find any color to really stand out other than the Cloud Blue option. This really shouldn’t bother most people, who will probably stick their phone in a case on day one. Samsung also showed off some new cases that will be available for all Galaxy S20 series phones.
Display remains Samsung’s strong suit, and this time around, Samsung has gone with a 120Hz panel. These are still AMOLED panels with an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and a QHD+ resolution for all three models. You get a centering hole for the front camera at the top in all models. This time around, the Galaxy S20+ and even the Ultra models have only one selfie camera and not two like the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Review).
Displays on all three phones looked crisp, and the brightness was more than adequate in the short time we spent with them. The 120Hz refresh rate makes a big difference, as menus and lists feel fluid when scrolling. However, there’s a big caveat here – 120Hz only works at full-HD+ resolution, not native QHD+. With the latter, the refresh rate is automatically capped at 60Hz. 90Hz on QHD+ would have been nice, the way OnePlus implemented it with the 7T Pro (Review), but it looks like you’ll have to choose between resolution and refresh rate, as you can’t have both.
The other big update is the cameras. Samsung is finally offering enhanced zoom capabilities – 3x optical and 30x digital for the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+; While the Galaxy S20 Ultra offers 10x optical and up to 100x digital zoom. There are new shortcuts to quickly jump through the zoom level in between, such as 2x, 4x, 10x, 30x and 100x. We’ve always had to contend with framing shots when using high zoom levels, as even the slightest handshake is magnified quite a bit. Thankfully, the Galaxy S20 series gives you a zoomed-out view of your subject in a pop-up window in the viewfinder, so you can frame your shot better.
We weren’t able to test the new cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S20 series outside or reproduce photos taken indoors with sample units, but with the short time we spent with them, the new cameras certainly look promising. seem to be.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra uses something called “non-binning” specifically for its primary 108-megapixel sensor, which essentially combines data from nine pixels into one, giving you 12-megapixel photos. All three phones can also shoot 8K video per clip without any time limit. 8K videos are shot at 24fps, but these phones also support 4K capture at 60fps and all other video modes and features like super-slo-mo and tracking autofocus that we’ve seen in last year’s models.
All three phones were running OneUI 2.1 based on Android 10. The interface felt fast, as we’ve come to expect from a flagship. The interface was similar to what we recently saw on the Galaxy S10 Lite (Review) and Galaxy A51 (Review). Samsung has listed two types of 7nm processors for its Galaxy S20 series, one of which will be the Exynos 990 while the other will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, even though the company has not explicitly mentioned it.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series is going to go on sale in the US from March 6th, which means we can expect the India launch not too far from that date. If last year is any indication, Samsung won’t wait too long before launching the Galaxy S20 in India to get a head start on the competition, which may have just announced its products at MWC 2020.
Of the three phones, the Galaxy S20 is the most compact and manageable, and many potential buyers will find it attractive, as did we. However, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is by far the most interesting of the three, albeit by far the most cumbersome and a lot more expensive. We’re looking forward to testing Samsung’s new 108-megapixel sensor and hybrid zoom system across all three phones, so stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for that.
In the meantime, let us know which Galaxy S20 device you found most interesting in the comments.
Disclosure: Samsung sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel for the trip to San Francisco.