For the first time in a while, I'm genuinely excited about a Samsung release. I've paid more attention to Samsung in the last few years than I have previously, and after testing the Samsung Galaxy S10+ for a while, I'm sold. And so, with the upcoming Galaxy S20, I'm eagerly awaiting the announcement.
You read that name right, the Galaxy S20. Rumors are indicating Samsung is changing the name by adding ten to the number. We are not sure if it is marketing for the new 20:9 aspect ratio and 120 Hz display or that it is releasing in 2020. Besides the higher number, Samsung is also borrowing from Apple's playbook and making the budget model the base model. So it will get the title of Galaxy S20.
But that not all that is changing. Samsung is modifying the three phone lineup. Instead of two top tier phones and budget variant, this year Samsung is releasing two standard tier devices and one high-end model. We believe the high-end variant deserves its own article so for now, we will focus on top main smartphones, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+.
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The Galaxy S20 and S20+ are huge upgrade over 2019's Galaxy S10 series. Besides the usual SoC upgrade (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865), the new device will use a new 64 MP telephoto lens capable of 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. The primary lens is also getting an upgrade to a new 12 MP lens with a 1.8 µm sensor size.
Both devices will include a new 20:9 QHD+ display with a 120 Hz refresh rate. There is also a noticeable battery increase in Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+, with capacities starting at 4,000 mAh. There is also Super Fast Charging 2.0 support which brings compatibility with up to 45 W power adapter and fast 15 W wireless charging. And that not even the all the upgrades.
The Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra will be announced on February 11, 2020, in San Francisco, CA. Samsung will announce the entire Galaxy S20 series alongside the sequel to the Galaxy Fold. Preorders should start the day after the announcement with the phone shipping out on March 13, 2020.
- Release date: March 13, 2020
- Preorder date: Feb. 2020
- Announcement date: Feb. 11, 2020
The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ both support microSD (Yes). While we were worry that Samsung might remove the feature, it appears fans can enjoy it one more year. This will come in handy with rumors indicate Samsung will not have multiple storage options for these devices. Instead, both phones are rumored only include 128 GB models although we are not convinced this rumor will pan out.
- Storage available: 128 GB
- Specification: UFS 3.0
- Expandable storage: yes, up to 2 TB microSD card
Since the Galaxy S20 is now the low-end model of the series, it acts as an upgrade for both Galaxy S10e and S10 owners. The way Samsung is balancing these two different customers is by minimizing the difference between it and the Galaxy S20+ while keeping the price on the lower end. Rumors have it the Galaxy S20 will start as low as $799 or as high as $899. The former would be a modest $50 increase over Galaxy S10e while the latter would give it the same MSRP as the Galaxy S10. The Galaxy S20+ is rumored to be priced at $999, or the same price as last year's Galaxy S10+.
- Price: starting at $799-$899 (S20),$999 (S20+)
According to Ishan Agarwal, the Galaxy S20 will come in at least three colors: blue, gray, and pink. The Galaxy S20+ will come with the first two colors but replace pink with black. According to Ishan Agarwal, it could come with more colors but he currently doesn't know.
Both the front and back cover should be glass, protected by at least Gorilla Glass 5. The frame should be aluminum once again, which minimizes the weight while remaining durable to most drops. Another change will affect DIY users. Samsung will be making extensive use of glue instead of adhesive tape. This change will allow them to get the bezels thinner but will make waterproof more challenging and the phone harder to repairs.
- Frame: aluminum, glass (Gorilla Glass)
- Finish: blue, grey, pink (Galaxy S20), black (Galaxy S20+)
Leaks for the Galaxy S20 and S20+ have been pretty heavy, with all but a few things left to uncertainty. One thing we know that is usually don't know is the dimensions and weight of the phone. The Galaxy S20 is 5.98 x 2.68 inches, making it taller than the Galaxy S10e but not as wide. It has a similar thickness at 0.31 inches, despite it increase in battery size which pleasant surprise.
The Galaxy S20+, however, is a different story. With a length of 6.38 inches, it is taller than both the Galaxy S10 and S10+. The change is the result of both the new aspect ratio and the much larger display (0.3 inches larger than the Galaxy S10+). Thanks to the aspect ratio, it is not as w ide as the Galaxy 10+ (although it is wider than the Galaxy S10). And just like the Galaxy S20, its thickness remains the same 0.31 inches as its predecessor.
The only other feature Samsung users should be aware of is the increased weight. While Galaxy S20 is slightly heavier than the Galaxy S10e, the Galaxy S20+ is noticeably heavier at 6.63 oz (the Galaxy S10+ was 6.2 oz) so if you found any of the Galaxy S10 series too heavy, this won't be the phone for you.
- Height: 5.98 inches (Galaxy S20), 6.38 inches (Galaxy S20+)
- Width: 2.68 inches (Galaxy S20), 2.91 inches (Galaxy S20+)
- Depth: 0.31 inches
- Weight: 5.78 oz (Galaxy S20), 6.63 oz (Galaxy S20+)
- Dust/water resistance: IP68 under IEC standard 60529
- Supported carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular
- Infrared blaster: no
With Samsung already releasing the stable version of Android 10 on Galaxy S10 and Note10 series phones, we know for certain the successor will run the same version. Android 10 wasn't a big change visually (besides the new systemwide dark mode) but was still a major upgrade. Improved privacy and security, fast phone updates, and better music notification are just some of the changes Google added to the software. Check out the link below for all the changes.
- Version: Android 10
For Android 9 Pie, Samsung introduced a new skin, One UI. It replaced the previous Samsung Experience UI (which itself replaced TouchWiz) with a design more in line with stock Android.
Since the Galaxy S20 and S20+ will run Android 10 out of the box, it will run the next iteration of this skin, One UI 2. One UI 2 makes a few cosmetic changes such as making it easier to use larger screen and an improved dark mode.
Samsung increased the screen size of the entry model from 5.8 inches to 6.2 inches. However, for those who thought last year 6.4 inch Galaxy S10+ was perfect for media consumption, you are in for a treat — the Galaxy S20+ comes with a 6.7-inch display.
Rumors indicate both phones will have a new higher screen resolution of 3200 x 1440. The aspect ratio will be 20:9 which makes the display much taller than it is wider. Since each phone uses the same resolution, the pixel density is worst on the Galaxy S20+ at 521 ppi while the Galaxy S20 has an astonishing 563 ppi which is higher than last year Galaxy S10. The panel is an upgrade version of the Dynamic AMOLED although rumors indicate Samsung may rename this SAMOLED. Both phones' display will support HDR10+ and be curved on the left and right edge.
Besides the larger display, the big upgrade over Galaxy S10 is the new 120 Hz display. 120 Hz refers to the refresh rate or the number of frames the display can display per second. 120 Hz is double the refresh rate of the Samsung Galaxy S10 which means the Galaxy S20 can generate twice the number of images. More generate images equal smoother animation, smoother scrolling, and better gaming (for games which support it). This is a huge win for Samsung as it one of only two US phones which has such a higher refresh rate and the only with QHD+ resolution.
- Screen size: 6.2 inches (Galaxy S20), 6.7 inches (Galaxy S20+)
- Screen resolution: 3200 x 1440 pixels
- Total pixels: 4,608,000 pixels
- Pixel density: 563 ppi (Galaxy S20), 521 ppi inches (Galaxy S20+)
- Screen type: Dynamic AMOLED
- Notch: no
- Punch hole: yes
- Screen-to-body ratio: Unknown
- Aspect ratio: 20:9
- Minimum brightness: Unknown
- Maximum brightness: at least 600 nits
- Refresh rate: 120 Hz (120 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temp: Unknown
- Color gamut: Unknown
A new year means a new SoC from Qualcomm, and the Galaxy S20 and S20+ will get first dibs on the Snapdragon 865. This SoC will offer a 20% performance increase to CPU performance and a 17–20% increase in GPU. It uses the same core configuration, with one gold core clocked higher than three other gold cores, paired with four silver cores.
All rumors indicate the new Qualcomm processor is again more powerful than Samsung's latest Exynos processor. That's been the case for a couple of years now, but what's interesting is that Samsung will offer the Qualcomm version of the phone in more countries as a result.
As far as RAM, Samsung believes more is better. The base entry for Galaxy S20 and S20+ is 12 GB, 4 more than last year Galaxy S10. It is rumored to use LPDDR5X RAM (the first phone to use this new version) which is more power efficiency while having faster transfer speed.
- Memory: 12 GB
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
- Chip size: 7 nanometer
- CPU frequency: 2.84 GHz (1x A77), 2.42 GHz (3x A77), and 1.8 GHz (4x A55)
- CPU cores: 8 cores (1 + 3 Gold Cores, 4 Silver Cores)
- GPU: Adreno 650
- GPU frequency: 587 MHz
So after years of treating battery life and charging as an afterthought (then giving us a huge battery but in exploding phone), Samsung has made a 180° change of directions, leading the charge in this category. And this year Galaxy S20 and S20+ exemplify this change.
Let start with the battery capacity. The Galaxy S20 has 4,000 mAh battery, 600 mAh larger than Galaxy S10e. The Galaxy S20+ increase its capacity from last year's huge 4,100 mAh to 4,500 mAh. This is tied for the largest battery of any Samsung's flagship, matching last year Galaxy Note10+. These battery capacities will do wonder when consider the screen size increase, the higher resolution of the Galaxy S20, and the new 120 Hz refresh rate.
Then there is the wired charging. Samsung introduces a new technology for its phones, Super Fast Charging 2.0, which debuted in the Galaxy Note 10+. This technology supports up 45 W chargers which you need to purchase separately. Instead, you are given a 25 W charger in the box that will have you up and running in no time. For wireless charging, both phones should support Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 for up to 15 W (the fastest on any US phone). PowerShare, Samsung's name for reverse wireless charging, is also making a return.
Besides the hardware, according to XDA, Samsung will be introducing a new option in Settings showing the Battery Health. Think of this feature as the similarly named option in iOS devices added after Apple was called out for throttling devices when battery capacity reduced over time.
Both phones will use the Sony IMX374 front-facing camera. It is a 10 MP with a sensor size of 1.22 µm. The punch hole will be the smallest yet, even smaller than the one included in the Note 10 series. It will be centered like the Note 10 series as well. It will once again support video capture up to 4K at 60 fps. It uses Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus.
Samsung has a new feature called "Smart selfie angle" which detects the number of subjects in the frame and recommends switching to wide-angle mode if there is more than two people in the frame. This suggest the camera is wide-angle being being cropped when a single person in frame.
Samsung recently released a video at CES 2020 display a new feature known as Selfie Type. This feature lets the front camera capture your fingers on a flat surface and using AI analyzes your finger position to type on your screen. We are highly skeptical this technology makes its way to the Galaxy S20 series at launch but this could be a feature that comes before then end of the year.
- Resolution: 10 MP
- Aperture: f/2.2
- Pixel Size: 1.22 µm
- Sensor Size: 1/3.2"
- Zoom: no
- Flash: yes, screen flash
- Image stabilization: no
- RAW support: yes
- Object detection: yes, face
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
One aspect of the phone that been leaked to nausea is the rear camera, and even now, we are learning new details. One of the more significant features is that Samsung is no longer offer uniform camera step. Instead, if you want a better camera, you will get a larger (and more expensive phone).
The Galaxy S20 and S20+ come with a 12 MP Sony IMX555 lens. This sensor has a 1.8 µm pixel size, larger than previous models, which were 1.4 µm. The larger the pixel, the more light is captured, improving both image quality and low light performance. Both phones are paired with a new 64 MP Samsung ISOCELL S5KGW2 lens capable of 3x optical zoom. We believe this is an upgrade to the Samsung ISOCELL S5KGW1, which was used in Galaxy A70s. This lens had a pixel size of 0.8 µm and a sensor size of 1/1.7". We expect both of these lenses will have OIS and EIS. The ultrawide lens is the 12 MP Samsung ISOCELL S5K2LA. We don't know much about this camera, however, based on its model number, it appears to be an update to the ultrawide used in the Galaxy S10 series, which has a 1.4 µm pixel size and a 1/2.55" sensor size.
If you opt for the Galaxy S20+, you will also get ToF sensor. This sensor was used in Galaxy Note10+ to enable Depth Vision, there name for the improve depth detection this sensor provided. Because of this sensor, photos will be better on the larger phone as well as AR features such as AR Doodle, which will leverage the ToF sensor to better place objects in the world around you.
However, great camera hardware isn't enough. Based on an APK teardown by XDA, it appears new innovative features are coming with the Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra. Single Take Photo has you pan the phone around while it records several photos and videos. It then recommends the best shots which you can choose to save. There will also be new Live Focus effects, including Artify, Mono, Side light, and Vintage, plus a new Glitch effect for Live Focus Video. Zoom-in Audio will return (now apart of Android 10) and will be assisted by the microphone placed within the camera array. We also heard rumors of Vertical Panoramas being added as well.
- Resolution: 12 MP, 64 MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide)
- Pixel size: 1.4 µm, 0.8 µm (telephoto), 1.4 µm (ultrawide)
- Aperture: Unknown
- Zoom: yes, 3x optical, 30x digital
- Flash: yes, High CRI LED
- Image stabilization: yes, OIS+ EIS (primary and telephoto)
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: yes, food, faces
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
Thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, the Galaxy S20 and S20+ will be able to capture 8K at 30 fps. It will also be capture HDR video up to 4K at 30 fps. Zoom-in mic feature will make a return, a feature introduces with the Galaxy Note10 series which direct audio to subject of your zoom. Rumors indicate it will have a Video Pro mode with the ability to set exposure, shutter speed, color tone, and ISO sensitivity.
Another new feature is Director's View which lets you switch between different lenses while recording. Ideally, it will operate similarly to the iPhone 11 Pro which shares the imaging data between lenses so that while you switch lenses it appears to be from the same camera (only at different focal length). However, it appears this feature won't come at launch, instead, coming in a later software update.
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, 4K, and 8K
- Max frame rate: 720p at 30fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 4K at 60 fps, 8K at 30 fps
- Slow motion: 720p at 960 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 4K at 120 fps
- Time-lapse: yes, 1080p
- Photos: yes, higher than 9.1 MP still photos during 4K recording
- Zoom: yes, see above
- Flash access: yes, see above
- Image stabilization: yes, VDIS (video digital image stabilization)
- Object detection: Unknown
- Autofocus: Unknown
- Audio: stereo
- Formats: H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC)
Neither device retains the headphone jack (R.I.P). Samsung was one of the last OEMs to offer the port, limits your options to ASUS flagships, LG flagships, and midranges (or lower) devices. And to make matters worse, it likely not have a headphone adapter in the box. If you plan on getting the phone and you don't have one, we recommended picking up an adapter now from Amazon. You can get the official one from Samsung ($14.99 on Amazon) or upgrade to a third-party option such as Soditer headphone adapter ($26.99 on Amazon) which lets you output 32 bit/384 kHz audio files.
It will likely retain the stereo speakers using a combination of a speaker on the top bezel and another that is bottom-firing.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: yes, top firing and bottom-firing
- Mics: 3
- Max speaker volume: Unknown
We currently haven't heard of any changes in media format support so we assume it will be the same its predecessor.
- Audio: MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF
- Video: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
All the sensors will carry over to both phones, including the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.
- Sensors: Accelerometer, RGB Ambient Light Sensor, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, HR sensor, Proximity sensor, Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor
With the Galaxy Note 10+ supporting dual-frequency as well, we expect Samsung to bring this same feature to the Galaxy S20 series.
- GPS: yes, L1 + L5
- aGPS: yes
- Glonass: yes, L1
- BeiDou: yes, B1
- Galileo: yes, E1 + E5a
- QZSS: no
We don't expect much to change regarding its connectivity. It should once again support Wi-Fi 6, but unlike in 2019, it shouldn't be one of the only a handful of phones which do. It could possibly include e-SIM support, but we haven't heard anything regarding this change.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
- Bluetooth: 5
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: nano-SIM
- Port: USB Type-C
Because Qualcomm is forcing OEMs to buy the 5G modem with the Snapdragon 865, we now know that the regular model will be 5G compatible.
- GSM: 850/1900
- UMTS: 850/1700/1900
- CDMA: BC0, BC10
- LTE Bands: 2/4/5/7/12/13/14/25/26/30/38/41/48/66/71
- 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), Sub6 / mmWave
Despite reports that in-display fingerprint scanner wasn't very secure, Samsung is sticking with the new technology in the Galaxy S20 and S20+. The will be the only biometrics available alongside the standard Android authentication methods.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes, in-display
- Face scanner: yes
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
We can speculate as to what will be included in the box for the Galaxy S20 or S20+. We expect Samsung will ship the 25 W Super Fast Charging adapter and not the 45 W charger. They usually include AKG earbuds, which this time around should be the USB-C variant.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 or S20+
- Samsung USB Type-C Cable
- Samsung Power Adapter (25W)
- AKG USB-C Earbuds
- SIM Tray Ejector
- Welcome Letter
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Information