The Samsung Galaxy S20 is absolutely incredible and brings many new features and improvements over last year’s Samsung Galaxy S10. The display is near faultless, the cameras perform very well, the battery life has seen a huge improvement to handle the 5G technology, and the overall power and performance of the Samsung Galaxy S20 is amazing.
- Incredible display
- Long-lasting battery
- Great camera improvements
- 120Hz refresh rate drains the battery
- Inconsistent fingerprint scanner
- 5G drains battery
Samsung Galaxy S20 review
Samsung is one of the biggest names when it comes to the technology industry, for everything from smartphones to microwaves, there’s even a good chance you have multiple Samsung products in your house right now. When it comes to smartphones, Samsung’s best-selling series is the Samsung Galaxy S series, the main rival to Apple’s iPhones. This Samsung Galaxy S20 review highlights the pros and the cons and goes in-depth about whether or not the Samsung Galaxy S20 is worth the money.
For all Samsung Galaxy S20 reviews, please see below:
Samsung Galaxy S20 specifications
Released: March 6, 2020
Price (at release): £899 / $999
Colours: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cloud White, and Aura Red
Display: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (563 PPI)
Processor: Exynos 990 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
5G Technology: Yes
Cameras: 12MP wide, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide rear cameras, 10MP front camera
Operating System: Android 10
Weight: 163 grams
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Design
The Samsung Galaxy S20 features five colour choices: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cloud White, and Aura Red. These five colours are nice but a little basic. It would’ve been nice to see a more unique range of colours, maybe even some matte finishes.
The front of the Samsung Galaxy S20 features an edge-to-edge full-screen 6.2-inch display, we’ll get into this later on. Along with this display also includes a pole-punch front camera. Although at first glance it might stick out, with a little bit of time you’ll forget it’s even there. This is much more subtle than the hole-punch front cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus models.
On the back of the Samsung Galaxy S20, you’ll find the rear cameras are housed in a slightly raised, rectangular shape. The only thing we don’t like about the design of the Samsung Galaxy S20 is the fact that it’s raised. This can cause your phone to rock side to side a little and can get quite annoying if you have the phone sat on a flat surface, especially if you’re trying to type.
In addition to this, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is the first Galaxy device not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. It was only a matter of time before they made this change as not only are more and more people using wireless devices, but we’ve already seen this change take place in other phones for years now. If you want to use your 3.5mm wired headphones/earphones with the Samsung Galaxy S20, you’ll need to buy an adaptor, else, you’re going to have to look for some new headphones/earphones that are either wireless or have a USB-C connection.
Overall, the design of the Samsung Galaxy S20 is hard to fault. The Samsung Galaxy S20 in general just looks very appealing with a clean and modern look. As well as this, it’s also been designed to be as ergonomic as ever with a slightly slimmer build than the Samsung Galaxy S10 along with curved edges, although not as curved like the Samsung Galaxy S10, to reduce accidental presses on the sides. This works perfectly with the addition of One UI 2, but we’ll get into that later on.
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Display
The display on the Samsung Galaxy S20 is nothing less than incredible. It features a 6.2-inch display, with a 20:9 aspect ratio, and makes use of Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display. The Samsung Galaxy S20 is set to have a Full HD+ (2400 x 1080) resolution as default, but in the settings, you can increase this to a WQHD+ (3200 x 1440) resolution.
Along with this display come a bunch of amazing features. Firstly, you can now increase the display refresh rate to 120Hz, we’re used to seeing a refresh rate of 60Hz, this essentially means the display will look twice as smooth. It’s worth noting however, 120Hz isn’t compatible with WQHD+ (3200 x 1440) resolution. If you want to make use of the 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll need to select either HD+ (1600 X 720) or FHD+ (2400 x 1080) resolutions.
As well as this, the Samsung Galaxy S20 also saw an increase in touch sensitivity, going from 120Hz to 240Hz. This allows your phone to sense your finger presses at a much higher rate. Not only this, but you’ll find that the fingerprint scanner is also embedded into the screen, we’ve noticed some inconsistencies whilst using this.
The display on the Samsung Galaxy S20 also has 563 PPI (pixels per inch) and generally speaking, the higher the PPI, the more detail you can see on your display. On top of this, the Samsung Galaxy S20 also supports HDR10+, Samsung’s own HDR processing technology, where on supported content, makes quite a noticeable impact on quality. It’s also worth noting that the edges aren’t as curved as we’ve seen in previous years, this should help prevent any accidental presses.
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with three rear cameras and one front camera. Firstly, the main, wide camera has 12MP with an f/1.8 aperture. Along with this, Samsung also increased the size of individual pixels from 1.4 microns to 1.8 microns. These, combined with the larger sensor should allow for more detail and more light.
Along with this is the ultrawide 12MP camera. This camera has an f/2.2 aperture and has a smaller sensor with larger pixels, 1.4 microns over last year’s S10 with 1 micron.
The third and final rear camera on the Samsung Galaxy S20 is a 64MP telephoto camera. This telephoto camera comes with smaller individual pixels than the Samsung Galaxy S10, but a much higher megapixel count and a wider aperture at f/2.0, compared to the Samsung Galaxy S10’s f/2.4. The telephoto lens also allows for 3x lossless zoom, and if that’s not enough for you, there’s also 30x digital zoom, although this isn’t lossless.
The Samsung Galaxy S20’s front camera not only takes up less space, but it’s now placed in the centre of the display, rather than being on the right side like last year’s Samsung Galaxy S10. This year’s front camera uses a 10MP sensor that’s 1.22 microns and has an f/2.2 aperture. This is pretty much the same as last year’s front camera, except the Samsung Galaxy S10 had an f/1.9 aperture, so there’s an improvement there.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 has also made some big improvements to its video recording capabilities. The rear cameras are capable of recording 8K at 24fps, 4K up to 60fps, 1080p up to 240fps, and 720p at 960fps. Something to consider when recording in 8K is the file size, it’ll use up about 600MBs per minute of 8K video. If you do find yourself recording in 8K, it’s worth knowing that you’re also able to take 33MP photos at the same time you’re recording.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 also allows for up to 20x zoom whilst video recording, the only exception for this is if you’re recording at 8K, in that case, you’ll only be able to zoom up to 6x. As well as this, the Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with a new feature called ‘Super steady.’ The Super steady feature essentially acts as a camera stabiliser when you’re recording to reduce the amount of shake and blur in your videos. It’s worth noting this is limited to 1080p videos.
As well as this, the Samsung Galaxy S20 also introduced a new ‘Single Take’ mode. With the press of a single button, this new feature allows AI (artificial intelligence) to take up to 14 types of photos and videos within 3-10 seconds. This is the perfect feature if you’re unsure which camera modes to use, especially if you don’t have much time.
What are the camera specs of the Samsung Galaxy S20?
- The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS.
- The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 123-degree view, f/2.2, 13mm, 1.4µm.
- The telephoto lens is 64MP, f/2.0, 29mm, 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 1.1x optical zoom, 3x hybrid zoom.
- The front camera is 10MP, f/2.2, 26mm, 1/3.2″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF.
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Battery
This year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 has a 4,000mAh battery, this is a huge improvement over last year’s Samsung Galaxy S10 3,400mAh battery. As well as this, in the box of the Samsung Galaxy S20, you’ll find a 25-watt charger. This is a great addition as it allows for super-fast charging.
When using this 25-watt charger, the Samsung Galaxy S20 can go from 0-100% charge in just over an hour (60-70 minutes). This time increases slightly to around 90 minutes if you use an older charger from a previous Samsung device, and if you use a wireless charger, this may take around 3 hours.
With the Samsung Galaxy S20, it’s worth keeping in mind that certain settings you may change could impact how fast the battery will drain. For example, if you decide to change your screen refresh rate from 60Hz to 120Hz, this will drain your battery much faster.
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with one of two system-on-chips, depending on your location. If you live in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, or Latin America, your Samsung Galaxy S20 will include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. If you live elsewhere, your Samsung Galaxy S20 will include the Exynos 990.
In terms of RAM (Random Access Memory), the Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with 12GB of RAM. When it comes to storage, there’s only one option for the Samsung Galaxy S20, and that’s 128GB. It’s worth noting however that the S20 has microSD support of up to 1TB.
Currently, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is running Android 10, Google’s operating system. However, we expect to see this upgraded to Android 11 in the near future.
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Pricing
The Samsung Galaxy S20 was released on March 6, 2020. At release, the Samsung Galaxy S20 started at £899 in the UK, and $999 in the US. Since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S20, the prices have dropped and below are some of the best deals from Amazon.
How much does the Samsung Galaxy S20 cost?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 was released on March 6, 2020. At release, the Samsung Galaxy S20 started from £899 in the UK, and $999 in the US.
What are the differences between the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus has a bigger display, and includes a larger battery size.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 worth buying?
If you're looking for an amazing flagship smartphone, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy S20. The Samsung Galaxy S20 brings many new and improved features and it is easily one of the best smartphones released in 2020. If you're looking for something cheaper, check out our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 is available in 5G everywhere, but there is also a Samsung Galaxy S20 4G model which is only available in select locations, check out our Samsung Galaxy S20 4G review.
Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Conclusion
As always with the Samsung Galaxy range, this year’s Samsung Galaxy S20 is easily one of the best smartphones available. The display is absolutely incredible, the battery life is great, and the cameras are brilliant. The Samsung Galaxy S20 also brings many new and improved features over last year’s Samsung Galaxy S10, the most notable is the 5G technology and 120Hz display refresh rate. The Samsung Galaxy S20 saw a much bigger battery than the Samsung Galaxy S10 in order to handle the battery-draining 5G technology. Despite this, there are two downsides to the Samsung Galaxy S20, the first is the embedded fingerprint scanner can sometimes be inconsistent, and the other is when using the optional 120Hz refresh rate, it drains your battery life much quicker.