Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+ hands-on review

GSMArena team, 11 Feb 2020.

Introduction

Predictable, yet still pretty impressive. We take a first look at Samsung's new mainstream flagship offers.

Another year, another Galaxy S lineup. You all definitely know the drill by now - these are the best phones Samsung has made to date. Kind of by definition, since innovation is the name of the game. And the game never really stops or takes a break. As DJ Koh, now ex-head of Samsung's mobile division, put it himself at a Galaxy Note unveiling from a while ago - it is obviously getting increasingly hard to push the smartphone envelope consistently, year upon year.

Luckily, there is plenty to love about both the Galaxy S20 and the S20+. Potentially, even more so, when it comes to the top-dog S20 Ultra, since it appears to pack most of Samsung's more radical steps and innovations for 2020.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20+ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm, 163 g 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm, 186 g 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm, 220 g
6.2-inch, QHD+ (563 ppi) 6.7-inch, QHD+ (525 ppi) 6.9-inch, QHD+ (511 ppi)
120Hz high-refresh rate Dynamic AMOLED, HDR10+ certified
IP68, Stereo speaker setup
Chipset Global: Exynos 990 (7nm), Mali G77 MP11 GPU
Chipset US: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+), Adreno 650 GPU
128GB / 12GB RAM + MicroSD 128GB, 256GB or 512GB / 12GB RAM + MicroSD 128GB, 256GB or 512GB, 12 or 16GB RAM + MicroSD
4,000mAh
25W Fast Charging
4,500mAh
25W Fast Charging
5,000 mAh
45W Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
Rear triple camera:
Main - 12MP f/1.8, OIS
Telephoto - 64MP, f/2.0, OIS
- 3x hybrid optical zoom
- 30x super resolution zoom (Space Zoom)
Ultra wide - 12MP, f/2.2
Front camera:
10MP, f/2.2
Rear quad camera:
Main - 12MP, f/1.8, OIS
Telephoto - 64MP, f/2.0, OIS
- 3x hybrid optical zoom
- 30x super resolution zoom (Space Zoom)
Ultra wide - 12MP, f/2.2
DepthVision camera
Front camera:
10MP, f/2.2
Rear quad camera:
Main - 108MP (binned to 12MP), f/1.8, OIS
Telephoto - 48MP (binned to 12MP), f/3.5, OIS
- 10x hybrid optical zoom
- 100x super resolution zoom (Space Zoom)
Ultra wide - 12MP, f/2.2
DepthVision camera
Front camera:
40MP (binned to 10MP), f/2.2
5G (sub-6 only) or 4G (8GB RAM) variant 5G or 4G (8GB RAM) variant 5G only
Grey, Blue and Pink colors Grey, Blue and Black colors Grey and Black colors
4G from - 899
5G from - 999
4G from - 999
5G from - 1099
5G from - 1349

The S20 and S20+ models are arguably a bit tamer and seem to be erring on the safer side of change and leaning heavily on incremental generational improvement. It definitely makes fiscal sense, since you really don't want to disrupt your top-volume products and their market traction too much.

Even so, the S20 and S20+ clearly show growth over the S10 family. Both in features and capabilities, as well as literally - in size. The new Galaxy S lineup is bigger and heavier, raising a few interesting cross-generational heritage questions. Throw in Samsung's new naming convention, where the "S20e", is nowhere to be found and confusion really starts to set in.

With its 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm, 163 g body and 6.2-inch display, the regular S20 appears to be the successor of the Galaxy S10 and the S10+. As for the S20+, it has increased in size bringing it closer to the Note10+ if we are to continue the Galaxy analogies. Or, alternatively, the new Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note10 Lite. The trend is pretty clear then - phones, or at least Samsung's creations, are still steadily growing year over year.

Unlike the latter two, however, the S20 and S20+ are true flagships, packing more than a few goodies to make up for the inflated footprint. Most notably, bigger displays - QHD+ across the board and from Samsung's top-end Dynamic OLED variety. Then there is the notable overall growth in battery capacity, as well as a new, beefier, camera setup. It really does seem like Samsung has prioritized on actual features and usability this time around. Follow us on the next page as we take a deeper dive to see if that is true.

Reader comments

Hi I remember seeing a full review a few days ago and wanted to go back to it. What happened to the full review?

We are currently working on it! Expect it very soon.

  • Anonymous

hey GSMArena, when shall we expect a full review of the S20? So far we only get to see details of the S20 Ultra. Thanks.