Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series


It’s the day of Samsung Unpacked 2020 and the new Galaxy S20 series is finally here. The company has announced three new flagship devices with top of the line specs and some interesting new changes compared to last year’s models.

The main changes to the devices over last year’s models is of course specs. The design really hasn’t changed much, with a big AMOLED display up front with minimal bezels and a hole punch (smaller and centered this time around) and a camera array on the rear amid a sea of colored glass. Under the hood you’ll find a QHD+ 120Hz panel, a Snapdragon 865 processor, an in-display fingerprint reader, and 5G across all three devices.

The phones feel very much like Galaxy S10s, just a bit better in every way. The display is gorgeous, but it’s not 120Hz natively. In fact, to enable 120Hz mode you need to turn the resolution down to 1080p. Otherwise the display is bright, sharp, and everything you expect from Samsung. I just wish we could do both 120Hz and 1440p, but 1080p should be fine for most use. The curve also seems to be light, which makes it easier to use with one hand.

The camera array on the back depends on the device. The S20 features a 12MP main camera, a 64MP telephoto with 3x “hybrid optic zoom,” and a 12MP ultrawide. The S20+ adds a time of flight sensor for better depth sensing. The S20 Ultra shakes things up with a 108MP main sensor and a 48MP “10x hybrid optic zoom” telephoto. It advertises 100x Space Zoom, which is just 10x hybrid zoom mixed with 10x digital zoom. You don’t really want to use digital zoom and the results at 100x are predictably terrible. Unusable in fact. Realistically it’s a 5x optical zoom camera with 2x hybrid zoom on top, which makes for solid photos. The base S20 and S20+ also have 10x digital zoom advertised as a total of 30x, but again, you don’t want to ever take it that far.

Single Take takes your photo and turns it into multiple mediums, including a boomerang, ultrawide (even if you’re shooting with the regular camera), and more. This gives you a bunch of options for the image you took. However this is a specific mode you need to switch to and not automatic. There’s also 8K video but it’s limited to 24 FPS. Still, 8K video is crazy.

Otherwise it’s the same experience as the Galaxy S10, but better in pretty much every way. The software is the same One UI but has a bunch of added features like Duo integration in the dialer. The shape and hand feel is just about the same. It’s familiar yet excellent. It’s just a shame that Samsung has dropped the headphone jack.

The Galaxy S20 is launching at $999 while the S20+ will go for $1199 and the S20 Ultra for $1399 when they launch on March 6th.


Dima Aryeh
A tech nerd from childhood, Dima also enjoys building and racing cars as well as photography and video games to pass the time.

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