Today, Samsung presented the new flagships of the Galaxy S20 series at the Galaxy Unpacked Event. We were able to experience what the Samsung Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20 +, and Galaxy S20 Ultra can do in the first hands-on test.
With the Galaxy S20 series, Samsung introduced three new flagships in the live stream. In addition to the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 +, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 + respectively, a completely new addition to the series was also shown. The Galaxy S20 Ultra not only brings a new suffix but also the absolute strongest hardware on the market. While the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 + are available in 5G and LTE versions, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will only come on the market with 5G support. Samsung underlines its position in the absolute high-end market area.
Similarities of the new Galaxy models
Although the three models differ significantly from each other simply because of their size, there are also some similarities in Samsung’s new flagships. First of all, the new chipset should be mentioned here. The Exynos 990 from Samsung’s own development is installed on all devices. So the performance differences of the devices should be limited. Apple takes a similar approach to the iPhone 11, with the latest A13 chipset installed in all three models.
For all new devices in the S20 series, Samsung uses an AMOLED panel with a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels and a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. As a result, the screens on all devices are not only razor-sharp, but the operation is also extremely smooth. The higher Hertz number is very positive from the first hands-on. Size comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 +, and S20 Ultra.
All three versions continue to use an additional function key, which is assigned Bixby Voice as standard. There is also a slot for microSD cards in all three models; the cheapest model on the Galaxy Note 10, on the other hand, still had to do without memory expansion. A lot of memory is also very important for the new Galaxy S20. Because not only the photos are shot with higher-resolution sensors, but the flagships are also the first smartphones that support 8K video recordings at 24 fps.
In this way, ultra-detailed videos can be recorded in cinematic frame rates. Assuming there is enough space on the device. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to collect precise data rate data in our hands-on test; an estimated calculation at 8K, 24 fps, interlacing, and an 8-bit color depth results in 1.27 GB / s. So 76.2 GB of memory is full every minute. Compression with the H.264 codec would reduce the data consumption to 4.68 GB / minute.
Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 +
The small Samsung Galaxy S20 with its 6.2 inches and the slim form factor is very good in the hand and feels high quality as usual. We got used to the small pinhole camera, or as Samsung says “Infinity-O-Display”, after a very short time. As with all other models, the fingerprint sensor is located under the display.
The positioning has been slightly adjusted here, the distance to the lower edge of the display is now similar to that of the Galaxy Note 10. The rear shows the new camera design of three sensors in a rectangular base. There are two 12-megapixel sensors for wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle shots, plus the new 64-MP phone photosensor. This is also responsible for the 8K video recordings.
Samsung also wants to show off with the “Space Zoom” feature. The triple hybrid zoom of the camera offers appealing results, while the advertised 30x “Super-Resolution Zoom” only delivers a pixelated paste. In order to take pictures of something very far away in an emergency, it is just enough – but not more.
The “Single Take” function convinced us much more. As a result, the cell phone takes videos and photos for us. A long press on the camera button starts the function and we can simply swivel the phone freely around the room. The smartphone continuously takes pictures and videos. If we stop the function, the cell phone then presents us with a collage of up to a dozen photos and videos.
All focal lengths or slow-motion videos can be represented below it. The Galaxy S20 is supposed to filter out the best moments itself using artificial intelligence. We liked the feature very much in a short demonstration, but it still has to be proven in the detailed test.
The next bigger Samsung Galaxy S20 + is quite similar in many ways to its little brother. The 6.7-inch screen diagonal, however, calls for slightly longer fingers, although the slim form factor is still very good in the hand. There are only differences in the details of the hardware.
For example, an additional depth sensor is installed at the back, which should enhance portrait photos and is used in AR applications. At 4,500 mAh, the battery is slightly larger than that of the Galaxy S20, but the larger screen area should not change the battery life very much. Four sensors and a hundredfold space zoom: This is what the camera of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra offers.
Galaxy S20 Ultra with top-class camera
Last but not least, the new addition Galaxy S20 Ultra should be mentioned. Samsung is installing its latest camera technology here and is launching its own device with a 108 megapixel sensor for the first time. Xiaomi was able to present the Mi Note 10 here, but the technology on this camera monster was not yet fully developed. Here, on the other hand, the recordings are not a problem even with the ultra high resolution and camera app run smoothly throughout.
Nonacell technology drastically increases the size of the logical pixels in this sensor in order to achieve particularly good performance in poor lighting conditions. Night mode on the Galaxy S20 Ultra should be one step better than on the Galaxy S20 and S20 +. So far we have not been able to test it
For this, we could already take a first look at the “100x Space Zoom”. This feature is proudly presented by Samsung on the camera base next to the periscope lens. It is a lens with a quadruple optical zoom, which is expanded to 10x by hybrid zoom. At this magnification, the photos are still very good, but at least at a magnification of 20 times or more, the quality drops significantly. So with a hundredfold zoom, the pictures are hardly usable again. The object can still be recognized, which is completely impossible with the naked eye, but there can be no question of high image sharpness here.
Price and availability
The new flagship series from Samsung will be available in the Samsung online shop and in Europe retail from March 13th. The cheapest model of the Samsung Galaxy S20 starts at 899 euros, the 5G version is 999 euros. For the Galaxy S20 + with 128 GB storage, 999 euros are also due, here too 5G costs an extra 100 euros. If you want more memory, you pay for the Galaxy S20 + 5G with 512 GB 1,249 euros.
The Ultra variant is only available with 5G for at least 1,349 euros (128 GB) or for 1,549 euros (512 GB). Pre-orderers of the Samsung Galaxy S20 + and S20 Ultra will also receive the new Samsung Galaxy Buds + as a gift if they pre-order the phone from February 11th to March 8th and then register with Samsung by April 14th.
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