Samsung Galaxy S20 review

GSMArena team, 14 Mar 2020.

Introduction

It's amazing how little the €900 Galaxy S20 sacrifices compared to its €1,000+ bigger sibling and even the S20 Ultra, which starts at €1,300.

The S20 and S20+ are so incredibly similar that the choice between the two comes down to size preference. Especially if you are in no rush to hop on the 5G early-adopter bandwagon since the vanilla S20 is available in a 4G configuration and an incomplete 5G one (Sub-6 only).

Similarly, if you are not a photography buff, or the type of person to always go for the best out there, the S20 Ultra isn't the sensible choice.

Samsung Galaxy S20

  • Body: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm, 163g; curved Gorilla Glass 6 front and back, metal frame; IP68 rating; Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cloud White, Aura Red color schemes.
  • Screen: 6.2" Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 1440x3200px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 563ppi; 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sensing; HDR10+ support.
  • Chipset (market dependent): Exynos 990 (7nm+): Octa-core (2x2.73 GHz Mongoose M5 & 2x2.50 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G77 MP11. Snapdragon 865 (7nm+): Octa-core CPU (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 640 GPU.
  • Memory: 8GB RAM, 128GB built-in UFS 3.0 storage, shared microSD slot.
  • OS/Software: Android 10, One UI 2.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 12MP, 1/1.76" sensor, 1.8µm pixel size, 26mm equiv., f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, OIS. Telephoto: 64MP, 1/1.72", 0.8µm, f/2.0, PDAF, OIS, 3x hybrid optical zoom. Ultra wide angle: 12MP, 1/2.6", 1.4µm, f/2.2, fixed focus.
  • Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.2", 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: 8K 4320p@24fps, 4K 2160p@30/60fps, FullHD 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps. Front camera: 4K 2160p@30/60fps, FullHD 1080p@30/60fps.
  • Battery: 4,000mAh, 25W fast charging support over Power Delivery 3.0 (25W charger supplied in the box).
  • Misc: Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W; Power bank/Reverse wireless charging 9W; Ultra-sonic under-display fingerprint reader; NFC; FM radio (USA & Canada only); Stereo loudspeakers; Samsung DeX support (desktop experience).

The S20 Ultra has been getting all the attention lately. It's inevitable - Samsung announces a new flagship lineup, and not long after, tech blogs are all preoccupied with picking apart the very best in the new litter. That comes with some unfortunate consequences like inflated focus on a particular device that is either too extravagant or expensive to be a viable option for the average buyer. Yes, we are referring to both the ever-growing average price point of modern flagships and the disproportionate attention towards the S20 Ultra gets.

Samsung Galaxy S20 review

Well, we are about the fix the latter point by turning our attention to the Galaxy S20 instead - a great compact phone for those of you looking to downsize.

Samsung Galaxy S20 in official photos - Samsung Galaxy S20 review Samsung Galaxy S20 in official photos - Samsung Galaxy S20 review Samsung Galaxy S20 in official photos - Samsung Galaxy S20 review
Samsung Galaxy S20 in official photos

Armed with that in mind, join us on the following pages as we take a deeper look at the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S20. Most of our findings for it will apply to its bigger S20+ sibling as well.

Unboxing

First, we'll take a few brief moments to unbox the S20. The packaging is a standard affair - a perfectly sturdy, two-piece box with a nifty cradle inside. Unfortunately, you don't get a case with the S20. On the flip side, you do get the same 25W PD, PPS-enabled charger. The exact same one, like with the S20+ and S20 Ultra. The PPS part is rather important, as we've already explained in the past, so definitely hold on to the wall adapter. Plus, since it is Power Delivery and uses a Type-C interface, it is pretty versatile, as far as current device charging trends go.

Samsung Galaxy S20 review

You also get a nice, thick Type-C to Type-C cable. We should stick to using it as well since not all Type-C cables are created equal, both in actual conductor quality and current rating, as well as internal circuitry (e-marking and such).

Last, but not least, Samsung also throws in a pair of Type-C AKG earbuds. Nothing too fancy, but definitely well made.

Reader comments

  • Kambeto

I am uding s20 european version, and I am very hqppy with! For sure I am waiting for update to fix the short battery life...

  • Anonymous

What happens is very good battery life. Full charge means you can quite happily watch Netflix for 10 hours (depends on the screen brightness of course, I'd say normal brightness for indoor use).

  • Anonymous

The S20 is far better than the Note 20. There is no 1440p resolution and no 120hz with the Note 20. Both of those are available with the S20. It's even more strange because they're both the same price. Plus the Note 20 has a PLASTIC back! T...