Samsung Galaxy S20: Everything you need to know

by Rob Duke | Jan 14, 2020

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Will Samsung’s powerful new flagship live up to expectations? We take a closer look...

When will the Samsung Galaxy S20 be released?

The Galaxy S20 range was unveiled at the Samsung Unpacked Event in San Francisco on Tuesday 11th February.

They’re available for pre-order right now, and you’ll be able to get your hands on these not-so-little beauties from Friday 13th March. 

How many versions are there?

There’ll are four versions of the Galaxy S20. Here are the names, starting prices and handset sizes:

- Samsung Galaxy S20 4G (from £799), 6.2 inches
- Samsung Galaxy S20 5G (from £899), 6.2 inches
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G (from £999), 6.7 inches
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (from £1,199), 6.9 inches

As you can see, there’s only one version of the S20 that’s not 5G enabled. This is the first flagship release from a top brand where next-gen connectivity comes as-standard, so huge credit to Samsung for pushing the boat out. 

The two most expensive options, the Plus and Ultra, are noticeably larger than the equivalent S10s (which were already pretty darn hefty). Our advice; before you take the plunge, go into a store and see how each version feels in your hand. Those with dainty digits may prefer the standard S20.

The devices look great in the new colours (although we were expecting a few more options this year). The basic S20 comes in a muted grey, a light blue and a fetching metallic pink. The Plus and the Ultra sadly aren’t available in the latter colour (thus, distinctly unfabulous) but you can get them in an exclusive ‘cosmic black’, which looks very slick indeed.

Also worth noting - there’s a prominent raised area on the back of each of the handsets which houses multiple camera lenses. This means when your phone is lying flat on a surface, it’ll wobble slightly. All the more reason to play it safe and get a protective case that flattens out the profile. 

What features do they have?

It’d be easier to list the features they don’t have! Samsung has pushed the boundaries with their new processor (the brain-meltingly fast Snapdragon 865) which means it’ll be able to deal with pretty much anything you can throw at it.*

One thing that’ll really put that chipset to good use is the powerful AI-supported camera array. The basic S20 and the Plus have a 12-megapixel main camera, a 64-megapixel telephoto and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. The Ultra has an upgraded 108 Megapixel (!) main camera, and it’s unique ‘space-zoom’ feature allows you to (quelle surprise) zoom in at incredible distances. 

On every version of the S20, Samsung has gone for a single central punch-hole style front-facing camera (which is more compact than the dual one on the Galaxy S10 Plus). It barely notices, even when watching video in fullscreen mode. Definitely a good design choice.

Also, for the first time on a Galaxy handset, you’ll be able to record video in 8K. Samsung claims the resolution is so high, you can take photo-quality stills straight from your video clips – and from what we’ve seen so far, it works well.

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To keep all of the amazing videos and photos you’re gonna be taking, you’ll need ample storage. Fortunately, the devices go up to 512GB and allow 1TB extra via a MicroSD. Great news considering some recent Samsung mobiles (like the Note 10) came without the option to add an external card.

On top of all that, the battery capacities have been upgraded significantly. While the increased processing power and screen sizes will gobble some of that up, you can still expect a full day’s charge, whichever one you go for. What’s not to like?

Is it worth an upgrade?

Currently, you’ll find the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus sitting at (or near) the top of most ‘best smartphone’ lists, and we’d be amazed if the S20 doesn’t swoop in and take the crown. With the subtle but impactful improvements (most notably 5G-as-standard), this is probably the most impressive, future-proof mobile we’ve seen in years. Hats off to Samsung.

You might also like:

- Gadget insurance with Protect Your Bubble: get your devices covered now**.

- Samsung Galaxy Fold: Everything you need to know about this fascinating foldable.

- iPhone 11 – Worth an upgrade?: Find out whether Apple’s latest flagship cuts the mustard.

* Please don’t throw things at your phone.

** Underwriter Assurant General Insurance Limited. Gadget age restrictions, T&Cs & excesses apply. Customer UK 18+. Insurance with Protect Your Bubble for the Samsung Galaxy S20 will be available from the official release date onward.

*** Winners from 2015-2019.

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