The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra was introduced at the same time as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 + in February 2020. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the most powerful (and most expensive) smartphone the corporate has ever created and is equipped with features such as 100x Space Zoom, 8k video recording, a 108MP camera and 5G support. Then what about the other specs? Here is our review of the latest Galaxy S-series.
- Beautiful display
- Lightning-fast performance
- Incredible battery, and RAM
- Excellent cameras
- No more headphone port
- 5G support is useless for now
Display and Design Review | Galaxy S20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch Super AMOLED screen with a maximum resolution of 1,440 x 3,000 pixels. The 6.9-inch display has also received a speed upgrade and now supports a refresh rate of 120Hz, where an average display has a refresh rate of 60Hz. You can still set the higher WQHD resolution (1440 x 3200 pixels), but it will automatically switch back to 60Hz. This provides a seamless user experience when scrolling with smooth screen transitions.
The 120Hz display did provide a great contrast. We are going to have to disappoint mobile gamers, as there are currently not many games that support this speed. It does not matter here whether you set the display to 120Hz or 60Hz since the games in question will look the same. While the super fast and accurate touch response provides a more reactive gaming experience.
The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the screen. It has become better compared to last year and was able to unlock the Galaxy S20 Ultra accurately and quickly. The curved edges have updated and the edges around the screen are minimal. The 3.5mm headphone port has unfortunately disappeared.
Software Review | Galaxy S20 Ultra
All Galaxy S20 phones come with android 10 and new One UI 2 software. The One UI 2.1 software here is one of the best, most fully-featured, including the Google Duo calling functionality integrated with the Phone app. It is easier to jump into your favorite applications, change device settings and more.
Android 10 offers a number of improvements and changes from the previous versions. What is immediately noticeable is the lack of the back key.
In Android 10 you also get more control over the permissions you give an app. For example, when sharing your location, you can now set an app to only use your location when the app is active. The sharing menu has also improved and much faster. In Android 10, the sharing menu appears immediately.
Camera Review | Galaxy S20 Ultra
We also see huge upgrades with the cameras. The 12-megapixel main camera is identical to the other S20 models. The telephoto camera has a 48-megapixel resolution with 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, and the ultrawide sensor has a 12-megapixel resolution. As with the Samsung S20 +, there is also a depth camera for a nice depth of field effects.
The 108MP camera can actually take 108MP photos with an f/1.8 aperture lens. If you choose its 108MP camera mode setting. It will produce an image of 12,032 X 9,204 in resolution – not something most consumers will need. If you take photos in 12MP, nona-binning technology can be used to make your photos look extremely detailed and clear in low light. we noted that the color reproduction on the 12MP photos sometimes looked better than on 108MP. Finally, the main camera and telephoto are both equipped with optical image stabilization to prevent shocks.
100x Space Zoom
The 48MP f/3.5 telephoto camera with 10x optical zoom (no loss of quality) and 100x digital zoom (loss of quality). Let’s just say that this camera has zoomed past its usefulness. 100x digital zoom looks impressive, but it’s nigh impossible to take a perfectly clear and straight picture without noticeable shake. At 30x zoom we still had some useful pictures, but if we zoomed in further, we could almost count the pixels. The results at 5x and 10x zoom were great and we can safely say that this is one of the best zoom cameras.
The larger image sensor ensures sharp and clear photos, even in low light, and even brighter in Night Mode. The camera can take multiple shots simultaneously and combine them into one photo with sharper images. With the 40-megapixel selfie camera with fast autofocus, you can take great selfies.
Other Camera Features
The S20 Ultra range also offers up Single Take feature option in the camera. If you are not sure how to best depict a scene, you can enable Single Take. This new mode lets you capture several photos and short videos, giving you an entire gallery of options to choose from and share. The final results are shown in a handy overview, with each photo marked as the best.
One problem that we cannot overlook is the video recording. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra gives you many different options (including 1080p at 30 / 60fps, 4k at 30 / 60fps, 8k at 24fps), but with each option we see the same problem with the autofocus. Every five seconds, the camera seems to adjust the autofocus, making the end result completely useless. Samsung indicated that this would be solved with a software update, but we also saw the problem recur after that update.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, like all S20 smartphone, will be the first smartphone on the market with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip. And it is paired with 12GB of the very fast LPDDR5 RAM, which promises faster performance and reduced power consumption.
One last problem that we surprisingly encountered here is storage. Our Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra had 128GB of internal storage, which is perfect for the average smartphone. However, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is not an average smartphone and both 8K videos (600MB per minute) and 108MP photos (20MB per photo) take up a lot of space. If you plan to record a lot of videos and keep them locally, you may need a microSD card, and the phone will support cards up to 1TB in size. Or upgrade to a 16GB/512GB model for an additional $200 (which costs 1600 euros).
Battery Review | Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung has loaded the S20 Ultra with a 5,000mAh battery. It is the biggest yet in a Galaxy S series device — certainly bigger than last year’s Galaxy S10 5G. The downside of the 120Hz setting is that it consumes more battery. When we spent a full day of heavy use at 120Hz we had enough battery left. If you use the 60Hz setting, the S20 Ultra was able to last a good part of a second day.
The battery of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra also supports 45W fast charging and 15W wireless fast charging. With the 25W USB-C PD charger in the box, we needed about an hour to fully charge from 0-100% the battery. Seriously impressive stuff for a 5000mAh cell. Thirty minutes of charging got me from 0-57% battery level. Reverse wireless charging is also available so that you can charge other devices wirelessly on the back of the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Specification of Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
|Display||6.9 inch Dynamic AMOLED|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+)|
|Exynos 990 (7 nm+)|
|Memory||128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM|
|Main camera||108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide)|
|Periscope 48 MP, f/3.5, 103mm (telephoto)|
|12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)|
|0.3 MP, TOF 3D, f/1.0, (depth)|
|Selfie camera||40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide)|
|Battery||5000 mAh, Fast charging 45W, wireless charging 15W|
|OS||Android 10, One UI 2|
|Colors||Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black|
Samsung indicates that it offers the most comprehensive and fastest 5G support. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is a excellent phone, even though it’s not for everyone. In practice, We also cannot ignore the fact that you currently pay an additional cost for the 5G technology without being able to use it.
The most powerful smartphone and the best smartphone are two different things. For example, the 120Hz display and the 100x Space Zoom look great on paper but are less useful in practice. Most games still lack 120Hz support. The camera doesn’t always take better photos than the Google Pixel 4 or iPhone 11 Pro and the other flagship. The problems with video recordings are also very annoying.
Galaxy S20 is expensive, but Samsung brought it with features that work effortlessly. The Galaxy S20 Ultra can handle any task and the cameras remain very impressive across the board. Photos at 10x zoom look like they were taken with the main camera. With the 5,000 mAh batteries in the devices, you’ll simply do daily a day with regular use. The battery managed to last a full day even at 120Hz.