Samsung Galaxy S20: Finally, a big update

There are often just a handful of epic smartphone launches each year, and this is one of them. Meet the Samsung Galaxy S20, and if you’ve been waiting for a “big” update, you’ve got one. Here’s everything you need to know about the brand new Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra.

Yup, like last year, there are three in the Galaxy S20 line of smartphones, but instead of adding an “entry-level” device, you’ve got a high-end monster of a smartphone in the Galaxy S20 Ultra instead. So let’s start there.

Galaxy S20 Ultra

If we’re talking about an absolutely bonkers flagship smartphone, I think the Galaxy S20 Ultra definitely fits the bill. For starters, the handset has a massive 6.9″ Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. But, instead of a paltry 60Hz refresh rate, this display packs a stunning 120Hz screen which will undoubtedly please the people who have been pining for it since this tech first hit smartphones. What’s more, the screen is also HDR10+ certified so you’re not losing any quality there.

L-R: S20, S20+, S20 Ultra

Inside, the smartphone is packing an updated 7nm Exynos 990 octa-core processor (Snapdragon 865 in the US) with either 12GB or a whopping 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Interestingly, the smartphone doesn’t come with a 1TB internal storage option, as it comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage variants. However, one nice thing is that Samsung has retained microSD storage expansion so you can pop in up to a 1TB microSD card if you want.

Oh, and to make sure that high refresh rate screen and all those powerful components stay juiced, Samsung has bundled their new smartphone with a huge 5,000 mAh battery that charges via USB-C. It also supports 45W fast-charging and improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, plus support for Wireless PowerShare.

That being said, the biggest upgrade here (and across the series) is the S20 Ultra’s camera—and oh is it a big boy.

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On Samsung’s most capable flagship, you will find a quad camera setup at the back that’s in a module so big that I think the only way to describe it would be that the owner was trying to overcompensate for something. But, make no mistake, this huge camera module is there because Samsung looks to be a powerhouse smartphone camera this year.

The quad camera features a 108MP wide angle main camera with an f/1.8 aperture lens, a 12MP ultra-wide camera with an f/2.2 aperture lens, a 48MP periscope telephoto camera with an f/3.5 aperture lens and a DepthVision camera. All of these bad boys work together to give the Galaxy S20 Ultra its signature feature “Space Zoom”.

You probably get the idea: you can zoom into space. And what that means in smartphone terms is that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will allow for Super Resolution zooming up to 100X. Yes, 100X zoom. I did not accidentally add a zero there. On top of that, you also get Hybrid Optic Zoom up to 10X, which is about as far as the Note 10+ could zoom back in the day.

What’s more, the S20 Ultra has access to something called nona-binning, which is able to combine the nine pixels in the 108MP main camera into one pixel, producing a 12MP image instead. Oh, and just as an aside, the era of 8K smartphone video is upon us because Samsung’s entire Galaxy S20 lineup can shoot 8K video at 24fps. 8K video on a smartphone. Wow.

By the way, did I mention that the Galaxy S20 Ultra also packs a 40MP selfie shooter in the tiny O at the top of its Infinity-O screen? Well, it does.

Samsung Galaxy S20 & S20+

Obviously, if the Galaxy S20 Ultra is too big and heavy for you (that phone weighs 220g), you can always opt for the “vanilla” Galaxy S20 and S20+ instead. For the most part, these smartphones are very similar to each other and the Ultra, except for a few key differences. Memory, for example, comes in “only” 8GB and 12GB configurations. Storage, on the other hand, will be limited to 128GB on the Galaxy S20 and 128GB or 512GB on the Galaxy S20+. The good news is, all smartphones in the range have microSD expansion up to 1TB.

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These smaller smartphones also get smaller displays. The Galaxy S20 rocks a 6.2″ panel, while the S20+ packs a 6.7″ panel. As far as screen specs though, they’re identical to the Galaxy S20 Ultra as they both support HDR10+, have Quad HD+ resolutions, and feature a 120Hz refresh rate too. Battery, however, takes a hit due to the size with the Galaxy S20 packing a 4,000 mAh cell and the S20+ is equipped with a 4,500 mAh cell. They also get slower wired charging, with just a 25W fast-charger, though they still have access to the wireless charging goodies on the Ultra.

L-R: S20, S20+, S20 Ultra

One other main difference is that the Galaxy S20 and S20+ have slightly less capable cameras on paper. The S20 only comes with a triple camera setup (12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 64MP telephoto) while the S20+ has a watered down quad camera setup (12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 64MP telephoto, DepthVision) but it’s interesting to see both sport higher resolution telephoto cameras.

As a result, this smartphone pair can still do Space Zoom, but in the context of the S20 Ultra, this is more like Low Earth Orbit Zoom because the duo can only do 30X Super Resolution Zoom. The S20 and S20+ also have their selfie powers watered down because they pack 10MP selfie shooters up front. No super high-res selfies for you here.

Connectivity & other goodies

Naturally, with a 2020 smartphone, the big question is: are these 5G smartphones? Well, in the US, all three Galaxy S20 smartphones will be 5G capable devices (Non Standalone, NSA). However, in Malaysia, only the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be a 5G smartphone, which may be a bit of a bummer to some of you. However, the S20 series features enhanced 4×4 MIMO, up to 7CA, LTE Cat.20 for up to 2Gbps download and 150Mbps uploads.

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All three smartphones also come with in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanners as well as face-recognition. The handsets are also still IP68 water resistant across the board, and have stereo speakers developed by AKG with Dolby Atmos too! They also support both NFC and MST Samsung Pay and the suite of Samsung ecosystem features.

For those who are interested in colour variants, with the Galaxy S20 will come in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue and Cloud Pink; Galaxy S20+ will come in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue and Cosmic Black; Galaxy S20 Ultra will come in Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black.

Samsung Galaxy S20 series is priced as follows in the US:

With the launch of the S20 series, Samsung will still be selling the Galaxy S10 series, but at a more affordable price point.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+

Samsung also unveiled the rumoured Galaxy Buds+ and pretty much everything we liked about the leaks are here. These headphones feature two-way speakers with Sound by AKG, three mics for better voice quality and an awesome 11-hour battery life plus an extra 11 hours if you use the case. On top of that, it’s iOS compatible now, and you can also immediately access Spotify when you hit play on your Galaxy Buds+

According to a Samsung ad that leaked earlier this morning, the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be priced at RM599, and it will be offered as a free gift when you pre-order the Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra 5G.

To learn more about the Galaxy S20 series, head to the Samsung Malaysia website.

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