The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the top spec in almost every way, but it's bulky, questionable battery life, and inconsistent cameras make it hard to justify the best price.
Should I buy a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is a big, ugly phone that's been devoted to perfection. The best-in-class display and incredible performance, but disappointing because of its own contradictions, this attractive camera was almost successful.
Considering that Exynos, which is available in the UK and Europe, eats up battery life, the S20 Ultra is really sticking to specs (this can only be applied to one UK reviewed editor's note).
Price at the time of review
- $ 1,399 (128GB), £ 1,599 (512GB)
Based on the domestic self-propelled jeopardy, it is 1,155,000 won (the self-propelled jeoppon is a terminal that can be used immediately by inserting the nano USIM that was used without visiting a mobile carrier agency.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Full Review
What should I do with a phone like the Galaxy S20 Ultra? Samsung's biggest phone has monster-like features in all 11 aspects covered in this review, and the camera can scale up to 100 times. But all this power comes at a price in both positive and negative terms.
In many situations, it's fantastic, but it has some obvious drawbacks that lead to inconsistencies in picture quality in camera settings, and despite its huge battery capacity, battery life is not good. Samsung offers a compromise between the best specs and the best cameras in size, design, battery, and price. But this is not a compromise that many people can accept.
Price and availability, how much is it?
Of course, the S20 Ultra is not cheap. For 128GB storage, from £ 1,199 / $ 1,399 to 512GB for £ 1,399 // 1,599, it's actually much more expensive than Samsung's new Galaxy Z Flip foldable in full specs, It's cheaper than Galaxy Fold (Ultra's only offering 256GB of storage.
The full set will be released worldwide on March 6 and in the UK on March 13, which may be more appealing to the standard S20 or S20 +. These products start at $ 799 / $ 999 and $ 999 // 1,199, respectively, and offer nearly identical specifications in ultra-small form factors. In fact, the only difference with Ultra is the camera.
Depending on the specifications, the Ultra is actually more expensive than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at 1,149 pounds (64GB) and surpasses almost all Android competitors. In addition, the cheaper purchase of top-end Android products from other brands makes it even harder for Samsung to persuade people to pay a premium price.
At this price point, mobile phones should be close to perfect or fantastic in many areas, justifying what is missing elsewhere. The S20 Ultra never reached that level.
The biggest smartphone so far, the S20 Ultra
The first thing you need to know about the S20 Ultra is that it's big. Really big. Biggest among smartphones
If you prefer big phones, you probably like it. For users familiar with the S9 + or S10 + or even Samsung's notebook lineup, the S20 Ultra will be big. It's bigger than these products.
And not only the huge 6.9-inch display side, but the front screen only obstructs the tiny camera hole in the top center. It's a huge display, but the razor-thin bezel literally makes it easier to use large displays, as the decision to remove the edges, cut the curves, and return to flatter edges.
The problem is that the S20 Ultra is thick. And heavy. Compared to the sleek S20 and S20 +, the proportions are not balanced, and the weight of the camera module on one end makes it feel unbalanced.
Now let's talk about this camera module. Clearly the best specification. But first of all, the Ultra's quad camera isn't good. It occupies an enormous mile on the back of the phone and sticks out for a mile, and the decision to put the phrase “Space Zoom 100x” on the back of the best and most expensive phones is too ridiculous.
It's too big, but there's still no room for a headphone jack on the S20. The dedicated Bixby button is also gone, but by default, pressing and holding the power button activates the button. Fortunately, you can change it.
The only color choice for the Ultra model is gray or black. Inexpensive models have more colorful colors to choose from. It's clear that the Ultra model is an almost pure form of expression rather than functionality. It's not pretty, but it has a lot of features. Do you have enough features at this price?
Camera too many, but not enough
Let's go back to the camera. Ultra's camera is definitely a different area than the other S20s, and Samsung is sure to focus on the camera.
At the center of the rear is the 18 million-pixel f / 1.8 shooter that serves as the main lens (Samsung removed the variable aperture technology that has been used for the past two years). By default, photos aren't taken at 118 million pixels, but instead, the phone combines nine pixels into one to produce sharper, more precise 12 million pixels (Samsung calls it a nona-binning technology. do).
The photos are generally amazing. Between the high pixel count and the huge size of the sensor, the Ultra's camera hasn't gone too far, like Huawei, and can produce amazing levels of detail and deep, vivid colors (I still try to get as low as possible).
If you want, you can switch to a full 18 million pixel shot. These files take a second to process, so they run a bit slower and the file size is 30-50MB per shot. Samsung's nona binning technology doesn't know much of the difference, but the main benefit of high-resolution photography is the freedom to crop without losing sharpness or detail. This seems to be necessary too often.
The downside is that the dynamic range is definitely worse for 118-megapixel photos, so in most cases I recommend sticking to standard photography. The 120 million pixel main sensor is combined with a 12 million pixel ultra wide angle, which is also well coupled with the depth sensor and the telephoto lens of 48 million pixels, the phone's flagship feature.
If you're in the United States, you might be the first ultra-expansive smartphone you've ever seen, but elsewhere in the world, you've probably seen similar technologies last year on the Huawei P30 Pro or the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom.
Samsung's Space Zoom 100x, like the previous two phones, has a 5x or more telephoto lens, and can be enlarged up to 100x with the addition of digital zoom (10x optical zoom is listed on Samsung's official website). Editor's note). To put it bluntly, this is a gimmick. In fact, you won't need or like it 100x magnification. If you take a picture without a tripod, you will never get the stable picture you want.
Nevertheless, the technical special effects are impressive, with up to 100x zoom beyond the limits of Huawei and Oppo. At 5x zoom, the lens performs well. The f / 3.5 aperture makes the liveliness and color a bit less, and it's a bit hard on a subject that moves like an animal, but the detail you can capture is amazing.
That's why the S20 Ultra camera is great. If it works.
The initial sample of the phone we reviewed had some photo defects that actually delayed the review itself, but Samsung delivered a new device with some fixes.
First of all, you can also discard the aggressive skin smoothing problem you've seen so far. This was obviously a software problem and was completely solved by a patch, so it won't be a problem by the time an end user gets a phone.
Another common problem is related to Autofocus, which has a lot of news. At first, autofocus was incredibly slow, and sometimes it took a few seconds to focus. Since then, it's been a bit slower now, but it's more than expected for the average user.
Unfortunately, this fix highlights one flaw Samsung can't actually fix. The S20 Ultra is terrible for macro photography. This is most likely the result of a move to an 18 million pixel sensor with a natural bokeh effect. In most cases, it's very welcome, but at shallow depths naturally, pictures of close subjects tend to look softer than the general planar focus produced by other phones.
You may think that you don't often shoot close-ups, but this problem isn't limited to being too close. Even taking an Instagram plate of food tends to focus on one part and blur the other. I would expect more with this price range phone, and I think everyone else will.
The other technologies in this camera aren't surprising, but they're all fine. Night mode has been improved with larger sensors, but Samsung's algorithmic competition still lags behind Apple and Google, especially when dealing with mixed light sources. The results are good, but despite the hardware improvements in white balance, it's still not the best. Night Hyperlapse is a fun tool to have done more than once.
Single Take captures up to 10 seconds and then uses algorithms to generate a few short videos and photos from different lenses, which is theoretically a very useful feature for getting the best moments at once. This feature actually works very well, but one thing to note is that it puts stock music on top of every video, which interrupts all the voices you really wanted to capture.
Fortunately, the S20 Ultra is better for normal video, shooting 4K at 60fps and 8K at 30fps. But you don't have to shoot in 8K (the file size is huge and you're unlikely to see it again). But the fact that you can shoot with your phone and that you can shoot pretty well inspires a desire to buy. You can't upload 8K video samples on YouTube because other IT technologies don't support it yet.
You can jump right between the front and back cameras while shooting a video. Taking pictures of yourself and others is a dream feature for bloggers.
There's only one selfie, but it's a f / 2.2 40 million pixel sensor (a big difference from the other S20's 10 million pixels). Samsung still uses some tricks when switching between “normal” and “wide” in the camera app. This is really just choosing full lenses and cuts.
Either way the photos look nice. There was a skin softening problem like the rear camera. Although the color range is narrower than the rear lens, the impressive detail is clearly beyond the upper limit of the selfie. No one will need to see pores closer than this.
Big and beautiful display
If the S20 Ultra's biggest shooter had a draw, the display would come in close second.
I keep mentioning the enormous size of 6.9 inches, which is such an amazing display, perhaps the best on any smartphone. The Super AMOLED panel is captured at 3200×1440, supports HDR10 + and can display a refresh rate of 120Hz.
To someone who doesn't know what 120Hz refresh rate means, refresh rate tells you how quickly the display loads new images. Higher refresh rates give you smooth scrolling, fluid animation, and higher frame rates during the game.
Most smartphones have a 60Hz display, and some smartphones, like the latest OnePlus models, are 90Hz. Samsung didn't add 120Hz for the first time (the first laser phone), but this is the first time that such a fast display is built into a non-gaming device.
The result is self-explanatory. The S20 Ultra doesn't look good on the back, but it's beautiful on the front. The panels here are bright and vivid, with all the advantages of deep contrast, excellent viewing angles and 120Hz. The curved portion of the corners is sufficiently left to look good and greatly enhances usability.
Now let's clear up the concerns
First, you can get the same panel on a regular S20 or S20 + (in the same resolution on a smaller phone you can actually get better pixel density). So if you're as good as this screen, you don't need to use the Ultra model.
Another important concern is that the two main features, 3200×1440 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, are incompatible. At the maximum refresh rate, the resolution drops to 2400×1080 and vice versa. This is probably part of the effort to save battery since both are major power consumption.
Basically, you have to choose between smoother animations or high-resolution images (or drop both to save more power). Either way, the user is unlikely to be unhappy and the combination of the two may be attractive, but the battery won't allow it.
It's time to talk about batteries. It's not good at a generous 5,000mAh capacity.
It's worth noting that Samsung is reviewing the model with its own Exynos 990 processor. Although the US and some other markets (including South Korea) ship the S20 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, the local reviewers have shown that these models seem to have better battery life.
In my case, I've been seeing battery life all day long, and it wasn't very good. I've used the S20 Ultra almost every day. Most of those days, people would fall asleep with their screens on for three to five hours, using about 20% of the battery. This is fine. However, the battery of a cell phone becomes less efficient day by day, so I worry that after 12 months of use it will end in less than a day.
A big caveat here is that the product uses a 120Hz refresh rate, but lowering it to 60Hz might help battery life, but it didn't help much as you thought. I saved about 10% all day. This reflects a similar problem to the S10 family, which means that the Exynot chipset, which consumes more power, is more problematic than the display issue (this is in contrast to the domestic Ultra with Snapdragon 865, not Exynos). This also means that battery concerns may not apply.
Of course, if you care about the battery, you'll want to lower the refresh rate, lower the resolution, and turn off 5G. This mode can be valuable to some users, but I think that if you only need to use half of the features to keep the product running, this offsets the value of paying a premium smartphone.
The charging speed is fast. Samsung provided a 25w wired USB-C charger with Ultra, which allowed me to charge my phone up to 56% in 30 minutes. In fact, you can charge 45W fast, but you'll have to buy a more powerful charger. 12W wireless charging, the same speed as last year's S10 smartphone, is also possible.
Future 5G Support
5G is one of the other flagship features. It's technically listed as the smartphone's full name, but I don't think 5G is the reason to upgrade to Ultra.
Exanos models support only the 6GHz band below the current European infrastructure, but Snapdragon models are more forward-looking because they support millimeter wave (mmWave).
I tested the S20 Ultra with Vodafone 5G SIM, but 5G speed is impressive, but it's still hard to find a 5G connection because it's not widely deployed in central London, UK. More than 98% of the total is covered by the editor.
Of course, there are claims that a 5G phone should be purchased because it will be improved. In particular, almost all the major works this year will support 5G in case the network improves within a year or two.
Even so, it's hard to see 5G support as a major driver of upgrading to Ultra.
Ultra of monster-like specifications and performance
Talk about the rest of the spec is a monster. The aforementioned Exynos 990 (or Snapdragon 865) combines 12GB or 16GB fast LPDDR5 RAM with 128GB to 512GB of storage.
It allows your phone to do everything quickly and comfortably. This is reflected in our benchmark scores, which are among the fastest we have ever recorded. I wonder if the Snapdragon model will be a bit faster.
The phones come in a single SIM and dual SIMs, each supporting up to 1TB of microSD cards. It offers Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC connectivity, and in terms of security, you can use the same face unlock, ultrasonic display fingerprint reader as Samsung's representatives last year.
The S20 Ultra comes with the latest version of Google's operating system, Android 10, along with the Samsung One UI.
After the reorganization last year, Samsung has become more conservative in terms of software this year. The main addition is the convenient sharing function, which can be linked with other Samsung Galaxy users.
Quick Share is essentially AirDrop for Galaxy phones, and music sharing allows friends to connect to Bluetooth speakers via their phones without having to worry about the pairing process, but both This only applies to the latest Samsung devices, so it's only helpful when all your friends use a Samsung phone.
Power users enjoy the ability to keep up to three (or more than five RAM) apps in memory so they always open quickly. Most people don't care, but the Ultra doesn't seem to be for most people.
The S20 Ultra is not the phone most people should buy. Too expensive for most people, too big for most people and too ugly for a few who want to show off.
Nevertheless, the S20 Ultra's camera is packed with technical achievements. The camera's tremendous performance surpasses all competing flagship products, even when struggling in super close-ups. The 120Hz refresh rate may be the best display on mobile phones today, but it may raise questions about battery life.
If you only consider a camera when buying a phone, the S20 Ultra can be attractive and beautiful in itself, but it's too expensive for everyone else.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Specification
- Android 10+ Circle UI
- 6.9-inch Wide Quad HD (3200×1440), Dynamic AMOLED 2X
- HDR 10 Plus support
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- Exynos 990 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octacore processor
- 12 / 16GB RAM
- MicroSD card slot (1TB or more)
- 118MP, f / 1.8, Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) Proximity Camera
- 12 megapixel ultra-wide angle, f / 2.2
- Telephoto of 48 million pixels, f / 3.5
- Depth sensor
- 40 megapixel front camera
- Ultrasonic fingerprint recognition
- 2D facial recognition
- 11ax dual band wifi
- aptX support Bluetooth 5.0
- 5G (millimeter wave support is Snapdragon only)
- 5,000 mAh non-removable battery
- 45W wired charging with 25W charging
- Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
- Wireless Powershare
- IP68 Dustproof Waterproof Rating
- 222 g