Literally everything you need to know about the Galaxy S20

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120Hz displays are in, the headphone jack is out.

Every year sees a heap of various Android phones released into the market. Some are good, some are bad. Some are really exciting, whereas others are a bit boring. Among all of the handsets to come out during a given year, one release that’s continually met with a lot of excitement and fanfare is Samsung’s Galaxy S series.

One could argue that Galaxy S phones aren’t always the most interesting, but there’s no denying how much more attention they get compared to much of the competition.

For 2020, Samsung is launching a trio of phones with the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. These are very technically impressive gadgets with high prices to match, and if you can afford what Samsung is asking for the phones, they’re bound to be some of the best the Android landscape sees all year.

From hands-on coverage, detailed specs, accessory recommendations, and so much more, here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S20 family.

  • Check out our full review
  • There are three models
  • Flagship specs are present
  • The 120Hz display looks gorgeous
  • Cameras are a big deal this year
  • Tips and tricks for the S20
  • Now might be a good time to upgrade
  • How the S20 compares to other phones
  • Samsung created five colors
  • The Z Flip is also worth a look
  • Good accessories are a must
  • Pre-orders are open now

Galaxy 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20

$1,000 at Samsung

Samsung’s latest flagships have it all

Hoping to dominate the smartphone market in 2020, Samsung is doing so with three phones — the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Each one is packed with impressive specs, such as a 120Hz display, upgraded cameras, and expandable storage across the board. If you want a top-notch Android phone this year, these are worthy of your attention.

First thing’s first, check out our full review

Before you dive too deep into this guide, a good place to start is by reading (or watching) our full review of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. We’ll have reviews of the S20 and S20+ at a later date, but we wanted to kick things off with the biggest and baddest of the bunch.

As you’d probably expect, the S20 Ultra is a really good phone. Its 120Hz AMOLED display is a thing of beauty, Samsung’s build quality is as good as ever, and the upgraded camera system is a lot of fun to shoot with. Samsung went all out with the phone, and the end result is a device that packs in just about every feature imaginable.

We don’t blame you for wanting an S20 Ultra of your own this very second, but keep in mind that it is not a perfect phone. The 120Hz refresh rate is a massive drain on battery life, Samsung’s in-screen fingerprint sensor is a pain to use, and there’s no getting around the $1,400 asking price.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review: Too much of a good thing
Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra hands-on preview: Samsung’s biggest camera bump in 4 years

Samsung has three models — S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra

Speaking of the different models, let’s take a closer look at what each one is bringing to the table.

At their core, the S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra are very similar. All three phones have 120Hz displays, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor, expandable storage, water resistance, and wireless charging. However, similar to what we saw last year with the S10e, S10, and S10+, there are also clear differences between them.

While the S20 isn’t cheap with a starting price of $1000, it is the lesser phone of the trio. It has the fewest cameras, smallest battery, and doesn’t connect to mmWave 5G networks. Then again, it’s the S20 version that’ll put the smallest dent in your wallet and is a good choice if you prefer phones with smaller screen sizes.

In the middle of the bunch is the S20+, offering modest improvements in all of the areas where it differs from the regular S20. If you step all the way up to the S20 Ultra, you’re getting the biggest and baddest S20 experience possible — though it is going to cost you.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs. Galaxy S20: Which should you buy?
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. S20 Plus: Which should you buy?
Galaxy S20 on AT&T: Everything you need to know
Galaxy S20 on Verizon: Everything you need to know
Galaxy S20 on T-Mobile: Everything you need to know

These are all of the specs

Samsung doesn’t mess around with specs for its Galaxy S phones, and that idea has carried over to the S20 lineup.

Whether we’re talking about the S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra, these are flagship phones through and through. As such, you’ll find flagship specs in just about every regard.

Here’s a quick rundown of what they’re packing.

Category Galaxy S20 Galaxy S20+ Galaxy S20 Ultra
Operating System Android 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
One UI 2.0
Display 6.2-inch
Dynamic AMOLED
Quad HD+
563ppi
120Hz
HDR10+
6.7-inch
Dynamic AMOLED
Quad HD+
525ppi
120Hz
HDR10+
6.9-inch
Dynamic AMOLED
Quad HD+
511ppi
120Hz
HDR10+
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Memory 12GB 12GB 12GB
16GB
Storage 128GB 128GB
512GB
128GB
512GB
Expandable Storage Up to 1TB Up to 1TB Up to 1TB
Rear Camera 1 12MP wide
1/1.76″
1.8um
f/1.8
12MP wide
1/1.76″
1.8um
f/1.8
108MP wide
1/1.33″
8um
f/1.8
Rear Camera 2 64MP telephoto
3x Hybrid Optic Zoom
30x Super Resolution Zoom
1/1.72″
0.8um
f/2.0
64MP telephoto
3x Hybrid Optic Zoom
30x Super Resolution Zoom
1/1.72″
0.8um
f/2.0
48MP telephoto
10x Hybrid Optic Zoom
100x Super Resolution Zoom
1/2.0″
0.8um
f/3.5
Rear Camera 3 12MP ultra-wide
1/2.55″
1.4um
f/2.2
12MP ultra-wide
1/2.55″
1.4um
f/2.2
12MP ultra-wide
1/2.55″
1.4um
f/2.2
Rear Camera 4 Time-of-flight sensor Time-of-flight sensor
Front Camera 10MP
1.22um
f/2.2
10MP
1.22um
f/2.2
40MP
0.7um
f/2.2
Battery 4,000 mAh 4,500 mAh 5,000 mAh

If you want additional information about the phones, check out our complete spec sheet below👇.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Specifications
Here’s exactly how big the Galaxy S20 series is next to other phones

Samsung’s using 120Hz displays for the first time

High refresh rate smartphone displays have been rising in popularity over the past couple of years, and at long last, Samsung is joining the bandwagon with the S20.

Similar to what we’ve seen in other phones with fast refresh rates, the 120Hz panel on the S20 makes everything look faster compared to phones with traditional 60Hz displays. Whether you’re scrolling through Twitter, playing a game, or just navigating your home screens, the added fluidity makes a big difference in daily use.

We’re glad Samsung one-upped phones like the Pixel 4 and OnePlus 7T that use 90Hz panels, not to mention that the 120Hz tech is available on all three versions of the S20. No matter which one you buy, you’re getting the same great experience.

There are also big upgrades in the camera department

Similar to the displays, the Galaxy S20 is also being used as a showcase for Samsung’s improved camera tech. The Galaxy S9 and S10 had fine cameras, but compared to what’s been offered by the rest of the competition, Samsung’s efforts in this department have felt lukewarm.

That changes with the S20 lineup, and it all starts with the S20 and S20+. Both phones still have a 12MP lens for the primary camera, but the big improvement is that the pixels are about 30% larger so that substantially more light can be let into a shot. The telephoto camera has also been upgraded, now featuring a 64MP sensor with 3x lossless zoom. If ultra-wide is more your thing, this year’s sensor brings 40% larger pixels which should help in low-light scenarios.

Those are all worthwhile improvements, but where things get really interesting is when you look at the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

It offers a massive 108MP primary camera, using pixel binning to take pictures that come out as 12MP shots. There’s also a 48MP telephoto camera, and because of the way it’s positioned inside of the 20 Ultra, it’s able to offer 10x lossless zoom and up to 100x digital zoom if you want to go all out.

Above, you’ll see a selection of pictures we’ve taken with the S20 Ultra. The first article linked below has even more and dives into greater detail about our impressions, but the tl;dr is that photos look really, really good. With the main sensor, specifically, we’re seeing significant improvements with detail and natural bokeh thanks to the huge sensor size. Samsung’s processing still has a tendency to be too heavy-handed with things like HDR and highlights, but overall, we’ve been impressed.

As for how the S20 Ultra’s 100x zoom works, a perfect example is seen in the above tweet from Nirave.

Zooming in all the way to 100x definitely comes with a drop in overall image quality, but the fact that you’re able to get this close to subjects and still clearly make them out is seriously impressive.

Galaxy S20 Ultra camera samples: A collection of Samsung’s best-ever photos
Galaxy S20 Cameras: What are the differences between the models?
With the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung is finally taking phone cameras seriously

How to get the most out of the Galaxy S20

The Galaxy S20 is a very capable device, but if you’re new to the Android or smartphone world, understanding all of its various functions can be rather tricky. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.

We’ve created a bunch of how-to guides walking you through some of the S20’s best features to ensure you get the absolute most out of your new device. Even if you consider yourself a smartphone pro, these are handy if you want a little refresher every now and then.

  • How to quickly access notifications on the Galaxy S20
  • How to use Wireless PowerShare to wirelessly charge devices with the Galaxy S20
  • How to enable Caller ID and spam protection on the Galaxy S20
  • How to enable Wi-Fi calling on the Galaxy S20
  • How to shoot and edit 8K video on the Galaxy S20
  • How to use Google Duo in the Galaxy S20 phone dialer
  • How to change the Galaxy S20 refresh rate: 120Hz or 60Hz
  • How to set up and use Music Share on the Galaxy S20
  • How to change and edit camera modes on the Galaxy S20
  • How to activate navigation gestures on the Galaxy S20

Should you upgrade from an older Galaxy phone?

There’s no denying that the S20 lineup is mighty impressive, but if you already have an older Galaxy phone, do you really need to upgrade?

Samsung builds its phones to last, so if you have an S10 or S9, chances are you can probably hold onto it for a little while longer and be just fine.

On the flip side, when you take into consideration all of the upgrades offered by the S20, there’s also an argument to be made as to why you should upgrade. The 120Hz display is a big deal, the camera improvements are nothing to scoff at, and you get ample future-proofing with the Snapdragon 865, minimum of 12GB of RAM, etc.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs. Galaxy S10: Should you upgrade?
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs. Galaxy S9: Should you upgrade?
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs. Galaxy S9 Plus: Should you upgrade?

How the S20 lineup compares to other handsets

In that same breath, it’s also worth pitting the Galaxy S20 up against phones from other manufacturers.

Samsung is far from the only company making quality smartphones, meaning the S20 needs to make an argument as to why you should buy it over everything else being offered.

We’re regularly stacking the entire S20 lineup against all sorts of other phones, so be sure to check back often for the latest comparisons.

Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. OnePlus 7T Pro: Which should you buy?
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. ROG Phone 2: Which 120Hz beast should you buy?
Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. Galaxy Z Flip: Which should you spend $1400 on?
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max: Which should you buy?

Galaxy S20+

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs. Pixel 4 XL: Which should you buy?
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Which should you buy?

Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs. OnePlus 7T: Which should you buy?
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs. iPhone 11 Pro: Which should you buy?

Five colors are up for grabs this year

Samsung has been known to offer some truly great colors for its smartphones, and that’s something we’re seeing yet again with the S20.

There are five available colors this time around, including Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, and a Best Buy exclusive in the form of Aura Blue. There’s nothing as extravagant as the Galaxy Note 10’s Aura Glow, but the colors that are offered all look great.

Cloud Blue and Cloud Pink are have a pleasing pastel feeling that allows them to stand out without being overbearing, with Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black existing for folks that like to keep things as simple as possible. Aura Blue is also a sight to behold, but it’s not the easiest to get your hands on.

Which color Galaxy S20 should I buy?

Speaking of Samsung, have you seen the Galaxy Z Flip?

The Galaxy S20 is the main reason you’re reading through this article, but while we’re talking about Samsung, we want to give a quick shoutout to the Galaxy Z Flip. It costs about the same as the S20 Ultra, but it’s a substantially different phone.

In case you couldn’t tell by the picture above, the Galaxy Z Flip is a folding phone that folds in half to become a tiny little square in the blink of an eye. Open it up, and you’re treated to a traditional Android phone from Samsung.

The Z Flip is a really exciting device, but unless you’re someone that has to live on the bleeding edge, the S20 is still a better buy. Even so, it is exciting that Samsung’s mobile division has already gotten this good at foldables when the Z Flip is just the second folding phone we’ve seen from the company.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: The weird and wonderful foldable
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: Everything you need to know!

You’ll want some accessories, and these are the best ones

The Galaxy S20 is a phenomenal phone on its own, but it’s not something that should be used naked. A screen protector is a must to keep its jaw-dropping display intact, while a case will ensure the phone doesn’t get ruined during a drop/fall.

There are also other types of accessories to consider for your shiny new phone, such as microSD cards, wireless chargers, and more.

If you want to make sure you get the most out of your S20, check out our roundups of the very best accessories below.

Galaxy S20

Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Screen Protectors in 2020
Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Cases in 2020
Best Clear Cases for Galaxy S20 in 2020
Best Heavy-Duty Cases for Galaxy S20 in 2020
Best Leather Cases for Galaxy S20 in 2020
Best Wallet Cases for Galaxy S20 in 2020

Galaxy S20+

Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Screen Protectors in 2020
Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Cases in 2020
Best Clear Cases for Galaxy S20 Plus in 2020
Best Heavy Duty Cases for Galaxy S20 Plus in 2020
Best Leather Cases for Galaxy S20 Plus in 2020
Best Wallet Cases for the Galaxy S20 Plus in 2020

Galaxy S20 Ultra

Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Screen Protectors in 2020
Best Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Cases in 2020
Best Clear Cases for Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020
Best Heavy Duty Cases for Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020
Best Leather Cases for Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020
Best Wallet Cases for Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020

Miscellaneous

These are all the first-party Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra Cases
Best Galaxy S20 Accessories in 2020
Best Wireless Chargers for Galaxy S20 in 2020
Best Power Banks for Galaxy S20 in 2020
Best USB-C Audio Adapters for Galaxy S20 in 2020
Best Car Mounts for Samsung Galaxy S20 in 2020

Pre-orders are open right now

Now that we’ve reached the end of this guide, it’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite subject — price.

The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra have starting prices of $1000, $1200, and $1400, respectively. Pre-orders are currently live, with official sales beginning March 6.

You can pick up the S20 at most major carriers and retailers in the U.S., with many of them offering generous promotions and discounts to help you save some cash. Even Samsung itself is offering up to a $700 credit with an eligible trade-in, meaning you could get the S20 for as little as $300.

Outside of Samsung, another great deal comes from Verizon. You can get $150 off the price of the S20+, and when adding a new line, you’ll get a second one for free. You can also purchase an S20 Ultra and get another one for $1,050 off when adding a line.

If you rely on Sprint for your wireless service, you can effectively get a Galaxy S20 for free when trade in an eligible device and add a new line of service to your account. The S20 will technically be leased through Sprint Flex, but you’ll pay $0/month for it.

Where to buy the Galaxy S20: Best Deals and Discounts in 2020

Galaxy 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20

$1,000 at Samsung

Samsung’s latest flagships have it all

Hoping to dominate the smartphone market in 2020, Samsung is doing so with three phones — the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Each one is packed with impressive specs, such as a 120Hz display, upgraded cameras, and expandable storage across the board. If you want a top-notch Android phone this year, these are worthy of your attention.

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