Galaxy S20 5G review: The best new Samsung phone for your money

    Of Samsung’s three new Galaxy S20 5G telephones, the smallest, most cost-effective Galaxy S20 is my favourite. It’s simply as filled with top-shelf options because the Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, from its tack-sharp display screen to superior digicam expertise. But other than display screen and physique dimension, the variations between S20 fashions are nearly negligible. Of course, there are individuals who will need the S20 Plus and even Ultra as an alternative, however for very particular, private causes, and never out of a marked benefit in instruments or efficiency. And sure, I do imply the Ultra’s 108-megapixel digicam and 100x zoom. (Wait for it…)

    LikeSmall sufficient to make use of one-handed.Excellent digicam.Top-notch options and efficiency.

    Don’t LikeExpensive.Thick, heavy, unrefined.Supports slower 5G solely (besides Verizon).

    Honestly, the Galaxy S20’s $999, £799 and AU$1,349 beginning costs are costly sufficient for what the cellphone gives that purchasing one of many pricier fashions appears like a waste. Unlike final 12 months, there isn’t a cheaper Galaxy S20E to make the smallest mannequin appear as if a price play that justifies the soar in value as you progress up the road. The S20 Plus begins at $1,199, whereas the unwieldy S20 Ultra will set you again $1,399 for the 128GB model that has disappointing battery life and 95% of the identical specs. (The S20 Plus and Ultra additionally promote in 512GB variants.)And in order for you a “cheaper” high-end Samsung cellphone? That’s now what the newly discounted Galaxy S10 Plus ($850 at Amazon) and Note 10 Plus are for. 

    To me, the S20 pricing is correct on the sting of acceptable. Samsung is overreaching. Maybe I’d be much less hung up on worth if I really beloved these telephones. But the S20’s legitimately knockout options and specs by no means actually come collectively for me the way in which they do on the Galaxy Note ($941 at Amazon) 10 and 10 Plus, and that is a disgrace.I’m an enormous fan of the Cloud Blue colour of my overview unit, the way in which its 6.2-inch edge-to-edge show makes the cellphone really feel pocketable, maneuverable and straightforward to make use of one-handed. I largely love the digicam outcomes (nevertheless, I want I may get nearer to my topic, and there are some points with autofocus that Samsung is addressing). Processing speeds are nice, battery life does it job, and bonus options like ultrafast wired charging, reverse wi-fi charging and a 120Hz display screen refresh fee give me the nice and cozy fuzzies.It’ll really feel too small for some, which is the S20 Plus’ most important profit. You can also’t get a 512GB configuration, and most carriers “only” help the slower 5G bands generally known as sub-6. (Verizon is a notable exception. Its mmWave S20 5G will arrive in Q2.) In some nations, just like the UK and Australia, the S20 is the one variant with a 4G-only possibility.

    I’m loving the Galaxy S20 in Cloud Blue.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    I genuinely take pleasure in utilizing the Galaxy S20 and its digicam. But it isn’t the slam dunk for me I hoped for. If you want a brand new Android cellphone now, the S20 is my choose. If you are bought on its options however can afford to attend, hold a watch out for probably the most aggressive trade-in offers and reductions, particularly round holidays. If you’ll be able to maintain out till summer season or fall, I’m additionally excited about what the Galaxy Note 20 and iPhone ($699 at Apple) 12 will convey.Galaxy S20 vs. S20 Plus: What’s the distinction?Size: The soar from the S20’s 6.2-inch display screen to the Plus’ 6.7-inch display screen makes a distinction for me. The Plus completely feels bigger, and when I’ve each telephones in entrance of me, I attain for the Plus to look at movies on Netflix and YouTube. Naturally, the Plus is heavier, too (full specs under).Battery: 4,000 mAh (S20) versus 4,500 mAh (Plus). Our lab exams are nonetheless working, however each telephones lasted from day to nighttime on a single cost. All-day use of the 120Hz display screen refresh fee as an alternative of the default 60Hz setting will lower battery life, so you could discover it’s good to high up earlier than going out for the evening.A bigger display screen on the S20 Plus makes a distinction.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Camera: The S20 Plus has a time-of-flight sensor that is meant to assist with clearer low-light photographs. It would not make a significant distinction in characteristic set.5G know-how: This one would possibly matter to you. With the exception of an unreleased Verizon mannequin, the Galaxy S20 will help the kind of 5G generally known as sub-6, which ends up in slower peak speeds. Download pace will nonetheless be sooner than 4G, however not as quick because the (theoretical) peak speeds of the approaching tech generally known as mmWave (millimeter wave). There are professionals and cons to each strategies, however in case you care about connecting to the quickest 5G on a service outdoors of Verizon, then the S20 Plus will get you there. Your real-world outcomes rely solely on the community high quality the place you reside.One other thing: The S20 Plus has a 512GB possibility.Despite skinny bezels and an edge-to-edge show, the S20 nonetheless feels relatively cumbersome.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Galaxy S20 digicam is sort of nearly as good because the S20 UltraSamsung earned oohs and ahhs for the S20 Ultra’s 108-megapixel digicam and 100x zoom options. These are distinctive to the Ultra, however I discovered that the occasions I benefited from them have been few and much between. These are options which are cool to have, however solely simple to dwell with out.It would not harm that the S20 and S20 Plus have their very own digicam tips which are barely diminished on paper, however nearly solely as helpful in follow. For instance, you’ll be able to activate a 64-megapixel setting to seize extra element in a scene and crop into it. That’s the true function of this characteristic — take a photograph of one thing within the close to distance, and crop in to retain the element, as an alternative choice to zoom.I used to be proud of images that I took this manner. It was onerous discovering the candy spot with the 108-megapixel digicam the place a deep crop did not sacrifice extra element than I needed. For me, the aim remains to be happy with 64-megapixel. In different phrases, it is not price paying $400 extra for, whereas additionally sacrificing nimbleness.Likewise, Samsung gifted the S20 and Plus with 30x zoom, which is about so far as I needed to go earlier than picture high quality took a nosedive. Unless I used to be taking an image of one thing on high of a constructing or an object within the distance, 4x and 10x zoom usually labored for me, or else a crop from a 64-megapixel shot.The S20 Ultra additionally has a 40-megapixel front-facing digicam, however for me, picture high quality is not particularly higher than the S20’s 10-megapixel selfie shooter. There’s a restrict to how a lot element I actually wish to see of my very own face.Samsung Galaxy S20, Plus, Ultra specsGalaxy S20 vs. S20 Plus vs. S20 Ultra

    Samsung Galaxy S20

    Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

    Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

    Display dimension, decision

    6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X

    6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X

    6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X

    Pixel density




    Dimensions (inches)

    2.72 x 5.97 x 0.311 in.

    2.9 x 6.37 x 0.30 in.

    2.99 x 6.57 x 0.35 in.

    Dimensions (millimeters)

    69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm

    73.7 x 161.9 x 7.8mm

    76.0 x 166.9 x 8.8mm

    Weight (ounces, grams)

    5.75 oz.; 163g

    6.56 oz.; 186g

    7.76 oz.; 220g

    Mobile software program

    Android 10

    Android 10

    Android 10


    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), time-of-flight digicam

    108-megapixel (wide-angle), 48-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), time-of-flight digicam

    Front-facing digicam




    Video seize





    64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz)

    64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz)

    64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz)



    128GB, 512GB

    128GB, 512GB




    12GB, 16GB

    Expandable storage

    Up to 1TB

    Up to 1TB

    Up to 1TB


    4,000 mAh

    4,500 mAh

    5,000 mAh

    Fingerprint sensor








    Headphone jack




    Special options

    5G enabled; 120Hz refresh fee; water-resistant (IP68)

    5G enabled; 120Hz refresh fee; water-resistant (IP68)

    5G enabled; 120Hz refresh fee; 100X zoom; water-resistant (IP68)

    Price off-contract (USD)



    $1,399 (128GB), $1,599 (512GB)

    Price (GBP)

    £799, £899 (5G)

    £999 (5G)

    £1,199 (128GB), £1,399 (512GB)

    Price (AUD)

    AU$1349 (4G), AU$1,499 (5G),

    AU$1,499 (4G), AU$1,649 (128GB), AU$1,899 (512GB)

    AU$1,999 (128GB), AU$2,249 (512GB)

    Recent Articles

    Managing Your Way to Hybrid Cloud Security

    As firms race to the cloud to enhance efficiencies, cut back prices, and foster flexibility and agility, they're making a patchwork of various cybersecurity...

    Substack doubles down on uncensored ‘free speech’ with acquisition of Letter – TechSwitch

    Substack introduced final week that it acquired Letter, a platform that encourages written dialogue and debate. The financials of the deal weren’t disclosed, however...

    Put the latest iPad Pro to the test with these great games

    Even the most effective online game consoles don’t supply the identical mixture of freedom and energy because the iPad Pro. In addition to the...

    Related Stories

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox