Samsung Galaxy S20 series launches with Space Zoom cameras, 120Hz displays, 5G, and more

Samsung Galaxy S20 series launches with Space Zoom cameras, 120Hz displays, 5G, and more

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After weeks of leaks and rumors, Samsung has finally unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. We’ve seen many renders of the phones, real photos and videos, and many rumors of the features. None of that was officially confirmed by Samsung, of course, until today.

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This is the first year we are truly getting a full 5G lineup from Samsung in the S series. All three models will be available with support for some kind of 5G connectivity in most regions. Users in some regions will have the ability to buy the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ in a 4G LTE model with Samsung’s own Exynos 990 instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865. These devices will still have the basics in common including an under-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, SuperFast charging, a 2K resolution 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED display, and no headphone jack. The three phones, of course, launch with the latest version of Android, Android 10, along with Samsung’s One UI 2.0 layered on top of it. The key differences between the three devices in the S20 series are the display sizes, battery capacities, and camera specifications.

galaxy s20 ultra

 

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Speaking of 5G, there will be three 5G phones as previously mentioned. The standard Galaxy S20 5G will only support sub-6GHz frequencies. This should work on Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T in some regions. This device will unfortunately not support mmWave frequencies, which is what Verizon is exclusively using for their 5G “Ultra Wideband” network. The Galaxy S20+ 5G and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G both support mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, though. These are the two forms of 5G being used by all 4 major U.S. carriers. These 5G versions will be the same throughout both the Exynos and Snapdragon models around the world.

We compiled the following specification table to show off the similarities and differences between the three models. These specifications are the most powerful we’ve seen so far this year.

SpecificationSamsung Galaxy S20Samsung Galaxy S20+Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Dimensions + Weight151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm, 163g161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm, 186g166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm, 220g
System-on-ChipQualcomm Snapdragon 865
Exynos 990
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Exynos 990
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Exynos 990
Display6.2″ Dynamic AMOLED
3200 x 1440 pixels
HDR10+
120Hz @ FHD+
20:9 Aspect Ratio
6.7″ Dynamic AMOLED
3200 x 1440 pixels
HDR10+
120Hz @ FHD+
20:9 Aspect Ratio
6.9″ Dynamic AMOLED
3200 x 1440 pixels
HDR10+
120Hz @ FHD+
20:9 Aspect Ratio
SecurityUltrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor

Software-based face recognition

Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor

Software-based face recognition

Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor

Software-based face recognition

Front Camera10MP, 80°, f/2.2
4K 60fps video
10MP, 80°, f/2.2
4K 60fps video
40MP, 80°, f/2.2
4K 60fps video
Rear Camera12MP Wide, 79°, f/1.8
12MP Ultra-wide, 120°, f/2.2
64MP Telephoto, 76°, f/2.0
Hybrid Optic Zoom 3X
30X Space Zoom
12MP Wide, 79°, f/1.8
12MP Ultra-wide, 120°, f/2.2
64MP Telephoto, 76°, f/2.0
Hybrid Optic Zoom 3X
30X Space Zoom
108MP Wide, 79°, f/1.8
12MP Ultra-wide, 120°, f/2.2
48MP Periscope Telephoto, 24°, f/3.5
Hybrid Optic Zoom 10X
100X Space Zoom
RAM5G: 12GB LPDDR5
4G: 8GB LPDDR5
5G: 12GB LPDDR5
4G: 8GB LPDDR5
12GB/16GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB UFS 3.0
Micro SD up to 1TB
128GB UFS 3.0
512GB UFS 3.0
Micro SD up to 1TB
128GB UFS 3.0
512GB UFS 3.0
Micro SD up to 1TB
Battery Capacity4,000 mAh
25W SuperFast Charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
4,500 mAh
25W SuperFast Charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
5,000 mAh
45W SuperFast Charging, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
Water ResistanceIP68IP68IP68
Software VersionAndroid 10 with One UI 2.0Android 10 with One UI 2.0Android 10 with One UI 2.0
Connectivity5G: NSA, Sub-6

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ax 2.4GHz+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM, 1.2Gbps down/up

Bluetooth: v5.0

ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, MST, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

5G: NSA, Sub-6, mmWave

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ax 2.4GHz+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM, 1.2Gbps down/up

Bluetooth: v5.0

ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, MST, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

5G: NSA, Sub-6, mmWave

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ax 2.4GHz+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM, 1.2Gbps down/up

Bluetooth: v5.0

ANT+, USB Type-C, NFC, MST, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

AudioStereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG

Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included)

Stereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG

Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included)

Stereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG

Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included)

ColorsCosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud PinkCosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, Cloud BlueCosmic Grey, Cosmic Black
Starting Price (US 5G)$999$1,199$1,399
AvailabilityPre-orders Feb. 21st, Available Mar. 6thPre-orders Feb. 21st, Available Mar. 6thPre-orders Feb. 21st, Available Mar. 6th

 

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Display

This time around we get a curved 6.2-inch display on the Galaxy S20, which is a similar size and display to what we found on the Galaxy S10, but at a different aspect ratio. There’s no flat display model like last year’s Galaxy S10e. The Galaxy S20+ has a huge 6.7-inch display which comes in at a QHD+ resolution and is a similar size to the S10+, but again, at a different aspect ratio. The behemoth of the group is the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It has a 6.9-inch QHD+ display at a 20:9 aspect ratio. It is a similar size to the Galaxy Note 10+. All three of these displays are Dynamic AMOLED with support for up to 120Hz refresh rate. The touch rate will be at 240Hz for maximum smoothness.

Samsung went for the same kind of biometrics for the entire Galaxy S20 series as they did for the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 series. All 5 of the Galaxy S20 devices have an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint scanner from Qualcomm. They also support software-based facial recognition through the front-facing camera, which is near-instant. This isn’t the 3D facial scanning that we have in devices like the Google Pixel 4, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, LG G8 ThinQ, or iPhone 11, so it won’t be as secure.

Performance

The processors that Samsung used in these three devices are the Exynos 990 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. At this point, the Snapdragon 865 is generally known as the fastest Android chip. The Exynos 990 should be fairly competitive, though, so devices with these new chips should have decent performance and efficiency. From a performance standpoint, Samsung’s latest phones should be unrivaled.

As for storage this time, Samsung has decided to upgrade its storage to UFS 3.0. The Galaxy S20 series have a few different options. The Galaxy S20 and S20 5G will only come in a 128GB option. The Galaxy S20+ and S20+ 5G will come in both 128GB and 512GB. The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will come in both 128GB and 512GB as well. All three devices will support Micro SD cards for expandable storage across all SKUs. The RAM capacities in these devices are impressive as well. For starters, Samsung will be using its new LPDDR5 RAM. The difference between LPDDR4x and LPDDR5 isn’t going to be super apparent in normal usage, but it should yield some improvements in speed and power usage. Across the 5G Galaxy S20 series, Samsung will include a minimum of 12GB of RAM. The highest-end Galaxy S20 Ultra will come with an insane 16GB of RAM, though. The 4G/LTE versions of these devices will only come with 8GB of RAM.

A cool feature Samsung is allowing with this crazy amount of RAM is app pinning. Now, you might be thinking that we’ve already had that feature for years in Android, and that’s true. What’s special about Samsung’s new pinning is that it saves up to 5 apps in RAM. These 5 apps, which you can choose, will always be ready to go because they are always loaded in RAM. You can use this for apps you frequently use and it will make your phone feel very snappy because there is no loading needed. It’s already open.

Battery and Charging

As for battery capacity, Samsung isn’t skimping out on any device. The Galaxy S20 and S20 5G will both have 4,000 mAh batteries while the S20+ and S20+ 5G will have 4,500 mAh capacity batteries. The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will have a whopping 5,000 mAh battery. All of these phones will support Samsung’s SuperFast Charging which will let the phones have very fast wired charging speeds. For actual wattage numbers, the Galaxy S20, S20 5G, S20+, and S20+ 5G will support up to 25W charging while the S20 Ultra 5G will support up to 45W. All 5 versions will come with a 25W charger in the box. As for wireless charging, all 5 devices will support Samsung’s 15W Fast Wireless Charging. They will also support Wireless PowerShare (reverse wireless charging) at 9W. This isn’t too fast but it will quickly charge your earbuds, watch, or a friend’s phone.

 

Design

The color options for the S20 series will be pretty varied. The Galaxy S20 and S20 5G will come in three colors: Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, and Cosmic Gray. The Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20+ 5G will come in Cloud Blue, Cosmic Grey, and Cosmic Black. The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will come in Cosmic Gray and Cosmic Black. Samsung usually has a good 3 or 4 colors for the launch but releases others throughout the year. Even though we are only seeing 4 colors, in 6 months there could be 6 or even 8 different colors around the world.

Unlike the previous generation of Samsung phones, these devices don’t have dedicated Bixby buttons. Instead, the Bixby virtual assistant can be activated through the power button. Holding the power button will enable Bixby, and you can access the standard power settings from the Quick Settings panel. The buttons did undergo a bit of swapping around, though. The volume rockers were moved to above the power button on the right side.

Samsung is also following the trend of most other major OEMs and removing the headphone jack, unfortunately. Instead, you are supposed to use either the Bluetooth Galaxy Buds, Galaxy Buds+, any Bluetooth earbuds, or the USB Type-C AKG earbuds that come in the box. Unfortunately, Samsung will not include a 3.5mm to USB C adapter in the box.

Cameras

The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ will largely be the same. Both will come with a 12MP main sensor. It will have a pixel size of 1.8μm, which is larger than previous Samsung phones. The main camera will have an aperture of f/1.8. The secondary ultra-wide camera will be a 12MP sensor as well. This will have an aperture of f/2.2. The telephoto will be a 64MP Samsung ISOCell S5KGW2 sensor, with what Samsung calls “Hybrid Optic Zoom 3x” and up to 30x “Super Resolution” digital zoom. Samsung will be using AI and hybrid optic zoom to achieve that full 30 times zoom. The front camera on both models will be 10MP using the Sony IMX 374, the same sensor used in the Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, and Galaxy Fold. The one difference between the S20 and S20+ camera setup will be the ToF sensor, which will only be found on the S20+. It will be a Sony IMX 516.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is where things will get even more fun. It will have a 108MP main camera, a 48MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultra-wide as well as a ToF sensor. The 108MP main sensor will be the S5KHM1. This is a sensor with a slight improvement over the S5KHMX sensor used in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. Samsung will be using a technology they call nona binning to take 108MP worth of pixel data to output 12MP. This takes sets of 9 pixels, each at 0.8 microns, and combines them into a pixel the equivalent of 2.4 microns at 12MP. This is 3x larger than the Galaxy S10. The 48MP telephoto will be a periscope lens system with support for 100x digital zoom and 10x hybrid zoom/5x optical zoom. The ultra-wide will be the same 12MP sensor found in the Galaxy S20 and S20+. It will have a ToF sensor which will be the Sony IMX 518. The front-facing camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be the highest MP front camera on any Samsung phone. It will be a 40MP front camera using the Samsung ISOCell S5KGH1. As a whole, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will have the most insane camera setup on any phone to date.

No camera is complete without its software. The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra will all have the same camera features and camera tuning. The main feature is called Single Take. This will let you just move the phone around and it will automatically take pictures and videos out of all three lenses and edit them on the spot. You can then go and view everything the mode captures. It is insanely cool. The mode will automatically be able to use AI best moments, the ultra-wide lens, live focus, AI filter, and smart crop for photos and for video, it will be able to rewind/fast forward and show the original video throughout the duration of the mode. At a minimum, you will get 2 videos. At a maximum, it will give you 4 videos and 10 images.

One thing we can’t skip over is the video capabilities of the phone. First off, the phone will be able to record 4K 60fps out of the front camera, ultra-wide, and the main sensor on all 5 devices. Sadly, 4K 60fps will not support HDR10+. All 5 devices will also be able to record 8K 24fps video. The Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 5G, and S20+ 5G will use the 64MP secondary sensor while the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will use the 108MP main sensor. This will not be HDR10+ compatible either. You’ll be able to grab frames throughout the video and save them as 33MP photos as well. Samsung’s Super Steady mode is also making a return and it’s improved. It has new Anti Roll stabilization and is vastly improved in low light. Unfortunately, it’s still limited to 1080p at 30fps. It will also not be as good as the Super Steady OIS in the Galaxy S10 Lite, which is unfortunate seeing as though this is the flagship for the year. Samsung will also be introducing a new Night Hyperlapse mode. This will just be normal Hyperlapse videos but improved in low light.

For the professionals among us, Samsung is bringing back the Pro Video mode. You will be able to control the white balance, ISO, shutter speed, focus, and more for videos on the fly. It’s super useful to be able to control this in a more professional environment.

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Software

The software on the Galaxy S20 series is largely the same as the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 series running One UI 2.0. There are actually almost no major differences between the two versions. If you’ve used One UI 2.0 on any supported device, you’ll likely not notice any differences on the Galaxy S20.

The first important feature is Quick Share. It is very similar to Apple’s AirDrop. It lets you share images or files with anyone around you with a supported device. You can filter it by users who are in your contacts or to everyone. You’ll also be able to send files to devices connected to your SmartThings account. You will be able to send files up to 1GB with a total of 2GBs per day.

Samsung will also be revamping AR Emojis to look even more creepy. The UI has totally changed and there are a few new modes. You will now be able to interact with an AR version of your AR Emoji. I’m not sure who thought about doing this or even wanted to do this, but now you can. You can also design clothes for your AR Emoji. Oh yeah, did I mention you can make AR Emojis into children? Yeah, you can, but I’m not sure you should.

One of the new software features Samsung is releasing and back to older devices is “Music Share.” So imagine this: You are in your car playing music through your phone over Bluetooth. Your friend says “hey, hand me the aux.” You don’t have an aux because you are using Bluetooth. So you pull over safely to use your phone and enable Music Share. Your friend will then connect their phone to your phone and play music through their phone connected to your phone connected to the speakers.

Along with the usual optimization of software, Samsung will be working with Google on a few features for Google Duo. Google Duo will be integrated throughout the OS in apps like the phone dialer or Samsung Messages. Galaxy phones will also be the only phones to support FHD video over Google Duo.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Series – Pricing and Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G starts at $999, while the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G starts at $1,199. The Galaxy S20 Ultra will start at an insane $1,399. Pre-orders will start on February 21st. You will be able to pick up one of the Galaxy S20 phones in stores around the world on March 6th. If you pre-order, you should be able to get your phone by March 6th but more than likely you’ll get it on March 4th. If you pre-order the Galaxy S20+ 5G or Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, you’ll even be able to get a pair of the new Galaxy Buds+ for free! They will be available at T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Best Buy, and Samsung.com on the same date at the same time.

If you aren’t in the US, prices and availability will vary. In the UK, the 4G S20 is £799, the 5G S20 is £899, the S20+ is £999, and the S20 Ultra is £1199 and £1399. In Europe, the prices are €899/999 for the S20, €1099 for the S20+, and €1349/1549 for the S20 Ultra. I highly recommend checking out your local retailer and seeing what colors, specs, and models they have available for your region’s launch date.

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