It’s likely no longer a surprise for you, thanks to the plethora of leaks leading up to Samsung’s first big launch of the year. But yes, here it is. The South Korean smartphone leader’s most important product line—the flagship Galaxy S20 series. The key narrative is going to be defined by two things—5G connectivity and an AI-assisted pro-grade camera.
As you may already know, the new Galaxy S series comprises the regular Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra, the Ultra being the biggest Galaxy S yet. All come powered with the latest 5G tech—the Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra boasting sub-6 and mmWave, while the base Galaxy S20 supports sub-6. All three support non-standalone (NSA) and standalone (SA) 5G new radio. They also support up to 4G LTE Cat.20.
Where’s the Galaxy S20e variant you ask? Perhaps that’s the reason why the Galaxy S10 Lite made a debut recently. But, who knows? There may be an additional variant in the works further down the line.
Aesthetically, the Galaxy S20 series isn’t ground-breaking, and it certainly doesn’t jump at you in any way. If anything, it’s pretty understated in the looks department. That said, it looks minimalist and elegant, and offered in various cosmic-themed colour options—Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue and Cloud Pink for the Galaxy S20; Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue and Cosmic Black for the S20+; and Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black for the S20 Ultra.
The most glaring difference would be around the back. The camera module is a conspicuous rectangle flushed to the top left of the device, not unlike the new Galaxy Note10 Lite as well as Galaxy A51 and A71. The camera bump gains even more prominence on the big bad boy Galaxy S20 Ultra, thanks to its massive new quad-camera setup.
In the camera stakes, here’s how each of the models line-up:
- Galaxy S20: 12MP f/2.2 (120-degrees) ultra-wide camera + 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera with Super Speed Dual Pixel AF and OIS + 64MP f/2.0 telephoto camera with PDAF and OIS; front camera: 10MP f/2.2 (80-degrees) with Dual Pixel AF.
- Galaxy S20+: 12MP f/2.2 (120-degrees) ultra-wide camera + 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera with Super Speed Dual Pixel AF and OIS + 64MP f/2.0 telephoto camera with PDAF and OIS + Depth Vision Camera; Front camera: 10MP f/2.2 (80-degrees) with Dual Pixel AF.
- Galaxy S20 Ultra: 12MP f/2.2 (120-degrees) ultra-wide camera + 108MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera with PDAF and OIS + 48MP f/3.5 telephoto camera with PDAF and OIS + Depth Vision Camera; Front camera: 40MP f/2.2 with PDAF.
If you noticed, the Galaxy S20 and S20+ share a similar camera setup, while the S20 Ultra takes things further with a 108MP shooter. The S20 Ultra can shift dynamically between the 108MP sensor and 12MP sensor and using nona-binning technology can combine nine pixels into one at the sensor level. Pixel-binning will likely mean even better low-light photography capabilities.
With the new Galaxy S20 series, Samsung is taking on the likes of Huawei and OPPO with its Space Zoom technology which uses a combination of Hybrid Optic Zoom and Super Resolution Zoom (includes AI-powered digital zoom). This sounds like a lot of new jargon, but ultimately what it gives you is up to 30X zoom on the Galaxy S20 and S20+.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra uses revolutionary “folded lenses” which uses AI-powered, multi-image processing to reduce quality loss at high zoom levels. This baby will happily zoom up to 100X!
Thanks to AI, the Galaxy S20 series offers Single Take—a feature that harnesses AI to capture a number of photos and videos with various modes and lenses, when you click on the shutter button. This gives you flexibility and ensure you capture the moment without trying to figure out what’s the best crop or lens or mode.
Next, the Galaxy S20 lets you shoot in 8K, and with Super Steady and anti-rolling stabilisation, will ensure your ultra-high-resolution footage is always silky smooth. Samsung has also partnered YouTube so you can directly upload your 8K videos to YouTube via your 5G connection.
With the new flagship series, Samsung is finally bringing high refresh rate OLED displays to its line-up. Called Dynamic AMOLED 2X, the new Infinity-O display tops 120Hz; fantastic when you’re gaming although it defaults at 60Hz.
The HDR10+ certified Quad HD+ display range from 6.2-inch, 6.7-inch and 6.9-inch on the Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra respectively.
Depending on where you are in the world, the new Galaxy series will feature a 7nm 64-bit Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 processor (Malaysia will get the Exynos, as per usual).
In terms of memory configurations, here’s a breakdown:
- Galaxy S20 5G – 12GB RAM (LPDDR5) + 128GB storage
- Galaxy S20 LTE – 8GB RAM + 128GB storage
- Galaxy S20+ 5G – 12GB RAM + 128GB storage
- Galaxy S20+ 5G – 12GB RAM + 256GB storage
- Galaxy S20+ 5G – 12GB RAM + 512GB storage
- Galaxy S20+ LTE – 8GB RAM +_128GB storage
- Galaxy S20 Ultra – 12GB RAM + 128GB storage
- Galaxy S20 Ultra – 12GB RAM + 256GB storage
- Galaxy S20 Ultra – 16GB RAM + 512GB storage
All three pack large battery cells starting from 4,000mAh for the S20, 4,500mAh for the S20+ and finally a 5,000mAh cell for the S20 Ultra.
They support fast charging (QC2.0 and AFC) via USB-C as well as improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0. Wireless PowerShare continues to be offered and requires Qi-compatible devices. The Galaxy S20 comes with a 25W fast charger while the S20 Ultra will be equipped with a 45W Super Fast Charger.
In the audio stakes, the Galaxy S20 series offers stereo speakers with surround sound supporting Dolby Atmos technology. Bundled earphones are tuned by AKG, as expected.
For biometric authentication, the devices come with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and support face unlock.
The new devices will run One UI v2 based on Android 10.
Together with the Galaxy S20, Samsung is also introducing the new Galaxy Buds+ true wireless earphones. The new earbuds feature sound tuned by AKG and packs 2-way speakers, three mics and boast long battery life–up to 11 hours. The storage and charging case supplies an additional 11 hours of juice. What’s cool is the Galaxy Buds+ accompanying app is now iOS compatible.
Pricing and availability
The Galaxy S20 starts from USD1,000, the Galaxy S20+ from USD1,200 and the S20 Ultra goes from USD1,400. Pre-orders start 21 February and the devices will hit stores on 6 March.
For Malaysian pricing and availability, head over here.