This year is the biggest focus camera for the new Galaxy S20 series. Samsung is making a lot of noise about its new ‘space zoom’ feature and the fact that the S20 models are the first to offer 8K video recording in a work frame. The phone looked impressive when we first saw it in Samsung’s Unpacked program, and it’s time to get a closer look with the Galaxy S20 +.
Samsung Galaxy S20+ design
The Galaxy S20 + is instantly recognizable as Samsung’s smartphone. Compared to the Galaxy S10 +, Samsung has improved the design. The top and bottom of the display are narrow, and have a broad curve around the glass back, including most aluminum frames. The phone is still very comfortable to hold, but the glossy finish makes it quite slippery. It is no thicker than 7.8 mm, but slightly heavier at 186 grams than its predecessor.
The narrow display border and slightly longer body allow Samsung to use a much larger display. The Galaxy S20 + features a 6.7-inch QHD + dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, supported by HDR 10+, and for the first time, a 120Hz refresh rate. You can play the display at 60Hz at full resolution, or at 120Hz or less, at Full HD + resolution (which is the default setting). However, you cannot refresh at 120Hz in full resolution, at least not yet. Rumors are swirling that Samsung plans to allow this through future software updates.
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The SIM trays are on the top of the phone and can hold two Nano SIMs or a single SIM and a microSD card. At the bottom of the phone, Samsung got rid of the headphone socket from its flagship just after the Galaxy Note 10, and so we only have a microphone, a USB Type-C port and a speaker. The cleverly chisel between the outer frame and the display is an airstrip just above the camera hole, which is almost impossible to see.
Samsung Galaxy S20+ specifications and software
The 5G version of the Galaxy S20 + comes in several storage variants, but the LTE version, which we have in a single configuration with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The latter is expandable, which is why we don’t see them on flagship phones very often these days. Samsung has also used LPDDR5 memory here, which promises low data rates and low power consumption.
You’ll also get all the other major connectivity features you’d expect, such as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, AKG-power stereo speakers, high-resolution audio support for wired headphones, IP68 Dust and water. Resistance, fast wireless charging, MST support for NFC and Samsung Pay.
The Galaxy S20 + One runs UI 2.1 based on Android 10, and our unit was originally shipped with a February security patch. The latest version of Samsung’s Android skin looks much better, and although it features a ton of look, it doesn’t feel cluttered or heavy.
Features like Samsung Dex and Link to Windows are available, and you always get Samsung Staples such as built-in screen recorder, screenshot editor, edge screen and highly customizable display. Logic Reality (AR) features are integrated into an app called AR Zone, so you don’t have to launch the camera app to use features like AR Doodle.
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Samsung Galaxy S20+ performance and battery life
The Galaxy S20 + gave rock solid performance when used, and we were not expecting any less. Scrolling through the 120Hz display menu and enjoying it and the overall user experience feels more fluid. However, we want to use the Galaxy S20 + in QHD + resolution only for extra bits in the UI, but this is just for us. Surprisingly, 120Hz is not enabled by default (which it should be), as we suspect that many users will not realize that this option exists.
All this affects the battery life, which is why Samsung has increased the capacity of the Galaxy S20 + to 4,500 mAh. It is safe to say that battery life is fairly stable, but not uncommon. We were able to get 24-hour runtime on most days, when our usage was not very high. However, in those days when we used the camera a lot or played a lot of games, we had to charge the phone quickly.
Samsung Galaxy S20+ camera
Samsung Galaxy S20+ has two notable features, 8K video recording and a new camera setup with 30x hybrid zoom. The primary sensor still has a 12-megapixel resolution with dual pixel autofocus, f / 1.8 aperture and OIS, but the pixel size is now 1.8 microns compared to 1.4 microns on the previous model.
The ultra wide angle camera also uses a 12-megapixel sensor, but has a smaller 1.4 micron pixel, a narrow f / 2.2 aperture, and no autofocus. The biggest change is the telephone camera, which has a 64-megapixel sensor but no optical stabilization. In the ‘Plus’ model we have a deep vision camera which is absent in the standard Galaxy S20. Another change you may have noticed is that Samsung has made its variable aperture system better or worse than the Galaxy S20 series.
The camera interface is familiar if you’ve used a Samsung phone recently. We have a customizable row of shooting modes just above the shutter button, while the rest of the settings, such as aspect ratio, timer and toggle, sit farthest of the viewfinder for ‘motion photos’. The app provides a les toggle to enable visual enhancements, which detect objects or scenes within a frame. Shot suggestions will improve your formatting, and it has experimental features like HDR 10+ videos that may be worth it.