After months of speculation, information leaks and teasing, Samsung is finally ready to make official with its family of next-generation “Galaxy S” smartphones – and they really look pretty cute. As predicted, the entire Samsung Galaxy S20 line has 5G top-down support and consists of three new devices: the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 + and Galaxy S20 Ultra.
In terms of design, unlike last year’s models, all three members of the family look similar on the front and back – although they obviously differ in size and you can say that the Ultra camera is something special. Overall, the Galaxy S20 series consists of a minimalist design and a very clear evolution of what we saw with the Galaxy S10 family. They all have one selfie camera, enabled by Samsung’s Infinity-O OLED display technology, while on the back you’ll find a relatively large, rectangular camera pad.
Galaxy S20 – Cameras galore
Speaking of cameras, Samsung puts a lot of emphasis on photography with this new generation Galaxy S device. The company is employing larger sensors to improve low light performance, while the Galaxy S20 and S20 + will have 64 MP telephoto sensors. In addition, their image capture capabilities have been taken to a higher level with what Samsung calls Space Zoom. On the Galaxy S20 and S20 +, Space Zoom provides a 30x zoom, allowing you to get closer to your desired subject. This is made possible by 3x hybrid optical zoom combined with artificial intelligence (AI) for magnification up to 30X.
However, with the Galaxy S20 Ultra you are looking at an impressive 108 MP telephoto image sensor. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 10x hybrid optical zoom, which can then reach up to 100x using Space Zoom.
All three smartphones include both ultra-wide (12MP, f / 2.2) and wide-angle (12MP, f / 1.8) cameras, while the Galaxy S20 + and S20 Ultra also include a depth sensor. Samsung is promoting the ability to record “professional” 8K video, which Qualcomm demonstrated last week with prototype hardware. As we mentioned at the time, Samsung is using this as a perfect opportunity to highlight the benefits of the Galaxy S20’s video capabilities, proving how perfect it would be to display recorded footage on its 8K QLED TVs.
For those dealing with selfies and Duo video chats, Samsung has configured the Galaxy S20 and S20 + with a 10 MP (f / 2.2) selfie camera, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the champion in specifications with a 40 MP (f / 2.2) selfie camera.
Samsung Super AMOLED switches to 120Hz
Samsung is making some big changes to the front of the screen with the Galaxy S20 family. For starters, the gentle curves on the side of the device, as we saw with the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 +, are now even more subtle. All three models now have frameless screens that have only the slightest trace of curvature in the glass along the edges. All three are also HDR10 + certified and have QHD + resolution. Screen sizes are getting bigger as model prices rise and features are added, with the Galaxy S20, S20 + and S20 Ultra having dimensions of 6.2 inches, 6.7 inches and 6.9 inches.
Perhaps the most anticipated new display feature though is support for a 120Hz refresh rate. We’ve seen high-speed refresh screens on smartphones for games like the ASUS ROG Phone II and OnePlus 7 Pro, however, Samsung has finally finally introduced that technology to its Galaxy S family as well. In this regard, Samsung notes that the screens will be set to 60Hz, probably in an effort to reduce power consumption, and by enabling 120Hz, ie. For games, it will require users to enter the settings first.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and 5G modems
In terms of horsepower, the Galaxy S20 family was among the first to hit the market with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 865 SoC, and we expect great performance from this new octa-core chip (as we saw in our Snapdragon 865 benchmark review). The SoC is paired with 12GB or very healthy 16GB of fast LPDDR5 RAM. The Galaxy S20 is only available in a 12 GB / 128 GB (RAM / memory) configuration, while the Galaxy S20 + comes standard with 12 GB of RAM, but can also be selected with 128 GB or 512 GB of internal memory. The Galaxy S20 Ultra comes in 12 GB / 128 GB or 16 GB / 512 GB configurations. All three phones also have a microSD slot that will hold up to a 1TB microSD card to expand their storage.
2020 will be a big year for 5G, as there probably won’t be many new flagship devices announced without a new wireless standard. The Galaxy S20 is the least capable on this front, as it only supports spectrum below 6GHz. However, the Galaxy S20 + and S20 Ultra support sub-6GHz and mmWave. It is doubtful that the difference will be important – at least at this early stage of 5G implementation – as mmWave’s penetration is currently more limited. Although mmWave is faster, users have to be close to the tower to get a stable signal, and carriers like Verizon Wireless, for example, still can’t cover an entire football stadium with mmWave 5G.
Large Galaxy S20 batteries, charging, color options
The new Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 + and S20 Ultra will ship with 4000 mAh, 4500 mAh and 5,000 mAh batteries, respectively. All support fast wireless charging 2.0 along with wireless power sharing (which allows you to use your Galaxy S20 to share charge with another smartphone or wireless accessory like Samsung Buds + headphones). At the bottom of the new Galaxy S20 family is one USB-C port, and there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack which could be a problem for some people who aren’t in love with the wireless headphone revolution.
And when it comes to colors, here are the choices that Samsung offers for the Galaxy S20 family:
- Galaxy S20: Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink
- Galaxy S20 +: Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black
- Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cosmic Gray, Cosmic Black
Prices and availability
The Galaxy S20, S20 + and S20 Ultra will be available in locked and unlocked carrier versions priced at $ 999, $ 1,199 and $ 1,399; Pre-orders will begin on February 21st. For those who pre-order by March 5thth, you will receive USD 100 (Galaxy S20), USD 150 (Galaxy S20 +) or USD 200 (Galaxy S20 Ultra) in the credit position of the Samsung store. Replacement offers will also be available, giving users up to $ 700 off the purchase of the new Galaxy S20.
As it turns out, Samsung seems to have three absolutely beautiful phones coming to market with the Galaxy S20 family. At this point, the $ 1,000 + price no longer causes a shock from the labels as it did many years ago. The fact that 5G comes standard this time makes it easier to digest these prices. Include 5G wireless connectivity, a 120Hz screen, better cameras, large batteries, Space Zoom and the ability to configure devices with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage – something more like a top-notch laptop configuration – and Samsung offers convincing stability of new hot devices. Follow us as our full, hands-on Galaxy S20 family review arrives soon in the coming weeks.
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