Galaxy S20 vs. S20 Ultra vs. S20 Plus: Who should buy which Samsung phone

    You can solely purchase one Galaxy S20. Make positive it is the fitting selection for you.
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Samsung’s subsequent Unpacked occasion is going on just about on Aug. 5 with the rumored announcement of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Fold 2. As the tech world buzzes concerning the latest units, now may be a good time to revisit the lineup introduced on the final Samsung Unpacked occasion, again in February. Quite a bit has modified since then. As the coronavirus pandemic grew, smartphone shipments world wide plunged 38% in February. Read extra: Motorola Edge Plus is a worthy Samsung Galaxy S20 various

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    The timing is admittedly odd. Shopping for a brand new telephone just like the Samsung S20 Ultra, S20 Plus or normal Galaxy S20 within the midst of a worldwide public well being disaster could not seem to be your first intuition or inclination. But, within the US no less than, holding the economic system’s lights on is a part of the objective levied by the forthcoming second stimulus invoice. And if worth cuts are on the horizon as Samsung shifts focus to the Note 20 and Fold 2, the worth could possibly be proper for one in all its flagship telephones from earlier this yr.Keep an eye fixed out for reductions and bundles, and within the meantime, discover out which Galaxy S20 is greatest for you. We begin with the primary variations among the many fashions, every telephone’s largest advantages and which one excels at crucial classes. Scroll to the tip to match specs. Read extra: This yr ought to have been big for telephones. Now Samsung and others face a crossroads

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    Galaxy S20 vs. S20 Plus: Which Samsung telephone to purchase


    Which Galaxy S20 is which? The Galaxy S20 trio is about greater than only a scale of smallest and least expensive to largest and most costly. They share commonalities, like a pointy, vibrant display screen know-how, Android 10 software program and a 120Hz display screen refresh price that may make scrolling and gameplay liquid clean. (Warning: It also can eat up battery reserves.) But there are some notable variations between them in specs, efficiency and maneuverability that have an effect on how they fare in daily use. Here are some major variations: Galaxy S20 Ultra: 6.9-inch display screen, heavy and ponderous, most digital camera options, quickest 5GGalaxy S20 Plus: 6.7-inch display screen, barely scaled again digital camera, quickest 5GGalaxy S20: 6.2-inch display screen, identical digital camera as Plus, slower 5G apart from Verizon

    Buy the Galaxy S20 Ultra if… You love an unlimited display screenPrice is just not a considerationYou take pleasure in each digital camera whistle and bell Buy the Galaxy S20 Plus if… You like a big screenWant to entry the quickest type of 5GSeeok lengthy battery life Buy the Galaxy S20 if… You want a smaller phoneFastest 5G speeds aren’t a priorityValue for cash is a crucial considerationThe variations between Galaxy S20 telephones transcend worth and dimension.
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Best display screen expertise: Galaxy S20 Ultra The Galaxy S20 Ultra is personally my least favourite of the three. It’s too costly for what it’s (beginning at $1,399, £1,199 or AU$1,999), and it looks like a literal brick (7.8 ounces or 220 grams). But I am unable to deny that its display screen dimension makes it the very best S20 for watching movies and studying the web, merely due to its bigger display screen.  Resolution is definitely the bottom of the S20 telephones, however its pixel density is so excessive, I doubt you may discover. Most highly effective digital camera: Ultra, however… On paper, the Ultra wins right here. It has two options distinctive to the Galaxy S20 line: a 108-megapixel major digital camera that works by way of a course of referred to as pixel binning (learn that article, it is fascinating), and as much as 100x zoom.  That sounds spectacular, and the know-how is intriguing. In actuality, although, I hardly ever yearned for both characteristic, and I do not miss them when I’m utilizing one other telephone. To use the 108-megapixel setting, you have to first faucet a setting, take the picture after which, in modifying mode, crop in. The objective is to get an in depth image utilizing this technique than you may in any other case get from the primary digital camera alone, particularly if you cannot get near the topic. It’s a roundabout option to zoom in on a shot.  The thick, heavy Ultra desires to be the digital camera king.
    Juan Garzon/CNET
    Using the 100x zoom is far more simple, however until you actually, actually need to get that shut, the ensuing picture might be grainy and barely usable. It works higher the farther from the topic you’re. Meanwhile, the 12-megapixel major digital camera, 64-megapixel telephoto sensor and the 30x zoom on the S20 Plus and S20 did simply what they wanted to do. You can nonetheless take a 64-megapixel picture and crop in for extra element, although this course of would not use pixel binning. (See the comparability chart beneath for extra digital camera specs.) Longest battery life: Still up within the air Two elements decide battery life on the Galaxy S20 telephones: If you are on 4G or 5G, and in case you’re utilizing the 60Hz refresh price (default) or have turned on the 120Hz choice. I examined all three telephones over 4G, as a result of 5G wasn’t obtainable the place I used to be testing. I additionally noticed battery circumstances in the true world with each the 60Hz and 120Hz display screen settings for all three telephones. This is the place it will get a bit of messy. I am unable to touch upon how 5G elements in but, however on the whole, the usage of 5G can decrease battery life. And CNET’s complete lab checks — in airplane mode and over Wi-Fi, and with 60Hz and 120Hz display screen choices — have been briefly interrupted as all of us regulate to quarantine life. They will resume. All the Galaxy S20 telephones help wi-fi charging and reverse wi-fi charging to a different system.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    In the meantime, I can let you know that regardless of having the most important battery reserves (5,000 mAh), I used to be shocked that the Ultra’s battery life drained shortly for me once I used the 120Hz refresh price choice. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S20 Plus’ smaller battery (4,500 mAh) lasted simply so long as the S20 Ultra within the CNET lab checks we had been in a position to conduct. The Galaxy S20 (4,000 mAh) and S20 Plus have each lasted me from morning until night time, although in case you faucet into 5G information and use the 120Hz choice around the clock, chances are you’ll have to prime up earlier than going out for a protracted night time — in all probability not a precedence nowadays.

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    Best 5G: A draw  The Galaxy S20 Ultra and S20 Plus each help the kind of ultrafast 5G information switch referred to as millimeter wave (aka mmWave). The Galaxy S20 depends on the type of 5G loosely known as midband, or Sub-6. Midband 5G has comparatively decrease peak speeds, however is designed to journey better distances and be extra accessible indoors. Remember, even “slow” 5G remains to be anticipated to provide you quicker information switch than 4G speeds. There are exceptions, nonetheless. Verizon introduced it will launch a variant of the Galaxy S20 5G telephone that does work with its mmWave community — we simply do not have a precise date but. In some nations, such because the UK and Australia, you should purchase 4G-only variations of the Galaxy S20, as nicely.  That makes 5G a doubtlessly deciding issue between, say, shopping for the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S20 Plus. If you are seeking to future-proof your telephone as a lot as attainable, the S20 Plus is the logical selection. If the networks in your space are slower on the draw and 5G will not be absolutely developed the place you reside for a number of years, you then’ll hardly miss out with a 4G or 5G Galaxy S20.

    Best worth for cash: Galaxy S20 By advantage of its lower cost, the Galaxy S20 is the very best worth for cash, however that is hardly a blanket assertion. The entry-level system prices $1,000 at full retail worth within the US, which is considerably greater than different entry-level telephones just like the iPhone 11, which begins at $699. Even the $950 Galaxy Note 10 is lower than the S20. Samsung justifies the worth hike with the 120Hz display screen and digital camera options, although the picture high quality, whereas excellent, did not demolish the competitors. If Samsung, retailers and carriers supply compelling offers and bundles, that is going to be the telephone that might be put in the very best place to compete.  Galaxy 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 (ultra-wide)

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), time-of-flight digital camera

    108-megapixel (wide-angle), 48-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), time-of-flight digital camera

    Front-facing digital camera




    Video seize





    64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7 + 2.5 + 2GHz)

    64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7 + 2.5 + 2GHz)

    64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7 + 2.5 + 2GHz)



    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 price; water-proof (IP68)

    5G enabled; 120Hz refresh price; water-proof (IP68)

    5G enabled; 120Hz refresh price; 100X zoom; water-proof (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)

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