Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S20? An Honest Guide
It is not a purchase you do every day. A new smartphone, especially one of the top-range models, can easily break the bank. But what if you are looking for a very reliable smartphone camera that takes stunning images and ups your game in smartphone photography? Is the answer the Samsung Galaxy S20?
Might the new Samsung Galaxy S20 model be the best investment for smartphone photographers yet? We have done some research and came up with an honest answer.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 is worth buying because you can create stunning, clear, colorful, and sharp images with excellent cameras. It has 8K video function, 5G connectivity, and one of the best displays on the market. On top of that, you will enjoy the lightning fast processor and long-lasting battery life.
Do you need more reasons to buy one of the top-range Galaxy phones from Samsung? Alright! Let us dive in and find the pros and cons of this new Samsung device.
10 reasons to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20
- Surprisingly compact phone
- Excellent camera lenses
- Good zoom function
- 8K video, with 33MP stills
- Storage for high-resolution photos
- 5G connectivity
- One of the best displays
- Lighting fast processor
- Excellent battery life
- Premium phone body
Let’s see what we can tell you about our top 10 reasons to buy a Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, or Ultra.
1. Surprisingly compact phone for smartphone photographers
The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with a 6.2 inches display, which might sound relatively big. But we find it is still effortless to handle with the thump holding the phone in one hand. There are no problems in reaching your thumb across the display to launch apps or type quickly.
A slightly bigger screen comes with advantages for smartphone photographers like yourself. Composing and viewing the image is much easier and more fun with a bigger screen. You can do an excellent job by finding the best compositions by looking at the screen.
At 6.2 inches for the Galaxy S20, it is somewhere in the middle between the available 5 to 7.2-inch screens in smartphones nowadays.
The S20 Plus and S20 Ultra have wider displays with 6.7 and 6.9-inch screens, respectively.
2. Excellent Camera Lenses
Samsung had fallen behind Apple and Google in photo quality a bit in the last few years. The Galaxy S20 is getting back on top with bigger sensors, massive zoom, and new features to make shooting and sharing your images easier.
The S20 has a triple rear camera with a 12MP wide-angle lens that is 1.8 microns. The telephoto lens uses a 64MP sensor that is 0.8 microns, and last but not least, they’ve added a 12MP ultra-wide camera lens that uses a 1.4-micron sensor.
12MP Ultra Wide Camera
Pixel size: 1.4μm
FOV (field of view): 120˚
12MP Wide-angle Camera
SuperSpeed Dual Pixel AF, OIS
Pixel size: 1.8μm
1/1.76″ image sensor size
64MP Telephoto Camera
Pixel size: 0.8μm
10MP Selfie Camera
Dual Pixel AF
Pixel size: 1.22μm
Indoor shots under normal lighting conditions, the Galaxy S20 camera setup takes better pictures than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. It might have something to do with the help from its AI Scene Optimizer mode that automatically recognizes a scene (like food, floral, portraits).
Galaxy brings improvements to existing camera features that we have seen on Samsung flagships, such as Night Mode. This mode uses long exposure to produce brighter, more detailed images in low-light situations. It will keep the shutter open for around 3 to 4 seconds when you release the shutter button. Use a tripod and wireless shutter to get the best possible results without disturbing the phone while using Night Mode. You can set the exposure time yourself, up to 30 seconds.
One of our favorite new features is the Single Take. When you press the shutter button in this mode, the phone takes a series of photos while also recording a 10-second video of the scene. In the gallery of results, you will then find an AI Best Moment, Ultra-wide shot, a Live Focus Portrait Mode picture, as well as fast forward video.
3. Good zoom function
The Galaxy S20 does not have the S20 Ultra 100x Space Zoom, but it does come with a more powerful zoom than its predecessor, the Galaxy S10. The Hybrid Optic Zoom goes up to 3X lossless zoom and up to 30X digital zoom. As you get closer to the 30X view, the camera gets shaky, so use a tripod when you would like to use the zoom.
The results in daylight are excellent. The images might be a bit darker than some of the competition, but they are crisper and less noisy.
4. 8K video, with 33MP stills
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series has an upgraded camera sensor that can shoot 8K video. It is one of the cool new features of the S20 phones.
8K is four times the capture resolution of the Galaxy S10 and the Apple iPhone 11 or example, which have both 4K video. The videos look fantastic! But you will need an 8K TV to support this new video format, and they won’t come cheap at the moment. You can cast your videos to your TV or upload it to YouTube (which supports 8K).
Here is our favorite entry-level 8K TVs from Samsung if you haven’t got one yet.
5. Ample storage for high-resolution photos
You can expand the 128GB storage up to 1TB by using the SD Card slot. That is a whole lot of space to take and store your amazing images.
6. 5G connectivity for superfast downloading
The new Galaxy S20 supports 5G networks in the sub-6-GHz bands. It means you can use the phone on high-speed, low latency while choosing carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. You will get faster downloads and swift performance, but just how fast depends on your cellular network and your location.
5G is expanding throughout the world but is not available in every location of every country yet. You can find a list of 5G coverage in your country on the website of your provider. Here are a few in the US.
7 One of the best displays on the market
It might not get much better than this! Samsung has designed a Cinema-quality Dynamic AMOLED display, which is a treat for the eyes. The Galaxy S20 has one of the best screens available on a smartphone in 2020. If you’re looking for a top-end phone screen that still fits your pocket, you’re sure to like the 563 pixels per inch this phone offers.
This smartphone display has deep blacks, strong contrast, and vibrant colors. Be aware of the saturation in the preview of your images. The screen is super bright when you are outdoors shooting landscapes, macro photos, and portraits.
Samsung is one of the few companies to introduce a 120Hz refresh rate for the display. The refresh rate tells you the number of times a display can update its image per second. The higher this rate, the smoother gaming is. Screen transitions work better, and scrolling feels more natural.
On top of that, Samsung has made the bezels disappear! Which is not only visually appealing but gives you a lot of screen in a relatively small smartphone body.
8. Lighting fast processor
The Galaxy S20 runs on the superfast Samsung’s Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865 processor (depending on where you live). What does it mean? In practice, the smartphone is, due to its processor and 8GB RAM, capable of managing any application you will open.
9. Excellent battery life
Another highlight of the Galaxy S20 is its 4000mAh battery. It’s larger than the cell in the Galaxy S10 and found to be strong with typical daily use. Although it won’t last more than 8 hours, you will be able to fast-charge the battery in roughly an hour. You can even charge your smartphone by using fast wireless charing 2.0
The battery performance will drain much quicker when you use the 120Hz refresh rate, as it does while using it at full WQHD+ resolution. That’s presumably why Samsung won’t let you use both at the same time.
10 Premium phone body
The phone comes with a glass front and back made of Gorilla Glass 6. The aluminum frame holds the glass together and gives it a light, yet high-end feel. There is still a curve to the screen’s edges, but it’s not as pronounced as on the Galaxy S10.
The Galaxy S20 comes in three different colors:
- Cosmic Gray
- Cloud Blue
- Cloud Pink
4 reasons NOT to buy the Galaxy S20
There are not a whole lot of reasons not to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20. But if you are on a budget, the high price tag might be an insurmountable problem. Here are four reasons not to buy the new Samsung flagship.
- High-refresh rate display limitations
- 5G networks are not ready
- High price tag
- No 3.5 mm headphone jack
Reasons to choose the older S10 over the S20
- Lower price: Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is still a worthwhile option for those who want a new phone but are looking to spend less than $1,000.
- Great camera and other specs: The Galaxy S10, despite being a year old, still has a great camera and many of the same features as the Galaxy S20, like an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a sharp ultra-wide-angle camera, and a crisp borderless screen.
- No 5G support in many countries: The main features that distinguish the Galaxy S20 from its predecessor are its support for 5G, its larger, upgraded camera sensors, extra memory, and a screen that can reach a higher refresh rate. With the 5G option, you are ready for the future, but it is still not available in many regions and countries in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions about the S20 series of Samsung
Which Samsung Galaxy S20 phone should I buy
The GalaxyS20 is the smallest and the cheapest of the new series. The battery is (only) 4,000 mAh, and it misses the time-of-flight camera from its bigger brother. It’s the only phone in the line-up that comes in pink if that’s worth something to you.
The Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra have bigger screens, a larger battery, a time-of-flight camera, and a 108MP camera lens in the S20 Ultra. Read more about the S20 Ultra.
All things considered, we think the Galaxy S20 is the best catch.
What is the difference between the S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra
You might get lost in the Galaxy called S20. Please do not despair; we are here to help. You can find an outline of what’s different between each Galaxy S20 to help you decide which one to buy.
Differences Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra
|Galaxy S20||Galaxy S20 Plus||Galaxy S20 Ultra|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
|Dimensions||5.97 x 2.72 x 0.31 inches||6.37 x 2.9x 0.31 inches||6.57 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches|
|Weight||5.75 ounces||6.56 ounces||7.76 ounces|
|Colors||cosmic grey, cloud blue, cloud pink||cosmic black, cosmic grey, cloud blue, aura blue,||cosmic black, cosmic grey, cloud white|
|Screen type||Dynamic Amoled||Dynamic Amoled||Dynamic Amoled|
|Hybrid Optic zoom||3X||3X||30X|
|Image sensor size||1/1.76″||1/1.76″||1/1.33″|
|Prices||Check on Amazon|
Are the Galaxy S20 phones waterproof?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series is water-resistant with an IP68 rating that claims the smartphone can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
It does not mean the manufacturers recommend you take a swim with your new S20 phone. It does mean that it won’t break if you accidentally forget to put your phone next to your towel and jump in the ocean. Your phone will likely be fine, but every now and then, things happen. So be careful!
More on waterproof smartphones and underwater photography in this article.
Do the Galaxy S20 phones have expandable storage?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 has expandable storage via the micro SD card slot. You can increase the storage up to a capacity of 1TB.
To insert a micro SD card, eject the SIM card tray using the ejection pin that comes with the phone. Please take out the tray, place your micro SD card onto it, and put it back into the smartphone.
Which Galaxy S20 phones have a 120Hz display?
All Samsung Galaxy S20 phones (S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra) have a 120Hz display. Which means the refresh rate in one second is 120Hz. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to use in combination with the maximum resolution.
The standard setting will be a 60Hz refresh rate. You can change it in the settings of your smartphone. A refresh rate is the number of times a display can update its image per second.
Our verdict on the Samsung Galaxy S20
In our opinion, the S20 is an excellent phone. We’d even recommend it over its more expensive siblings, the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra. It has the majority of the features but is both cheaper and smaller sizewise.
There are a few minor things we would like to see differently in future Samsung premium devices. The fingerprint scanner could be quicker, and we would like to combine the refresh rate of 120Hz with the maximum resolution.
We would highly recommend the Galaxy S20 to anyone looking for a high-end smartphone with an excellent camera setup and overall performance.
>> Don’t forget to check the newer flagship phone of Samsung, the Galaxy S21, and the newest one, the Galaxy S22