Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra HANDS-ON – Do you know the worst thing about attending a tech briefing when you have Pneumonia? It’s not the shortness of breath, or the fact that your voice doesn’t really work, I’m sure you can hear. Rather, it does not know whether your vague sense of disappointment is thanks to the foam in your lungs or the phone in your hand.
Well, I’ve had a few days to process my time with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and I think I get it now. See, this really is one of the most advanced smartphones in the world. With a laundry list of compelling practical benefits. But it comes in a package so conventional, compared to the trailblazers Samsung is selling right alongside it. That you need to look harder to see what’s really important about it. Fortunately, that’s why we’re here. And this is first to look at the Samsung S20 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Design
So Samsung actually dropped three S20 series devices today. I focused on the flagship, and there is plenty here to backup the Ultra name. First, the is a behemoth of a handheld. Remember how flummoxed I was by the size of the iPhone 11 Pro Max? Well, the S20 Ultra is taller, thicker, and nearly as heavy. And Samsung has made smart use of the extra space.
First, it’s packed in a mammoth battery, 11% larger than last year’s S10 5G. And 16% larger than the battery in the Note 10 Plus. That’s good because there are a lot of power-hungry components here. Like a nearly 7 inch display that refreshes 120 times every second. If you read my Razer Phone 2 review, you’ll know the kind of effortless fluidity that refresh rate provides; it’s one of those things that’s tough to give up once you’ve experienced it.
That has not been my experience with 5G so far. Frankly, I found it quite disappointing. Nevertheless, all three S20 models are 5G ready. The lower-end phone can only use the mid and low-band networks. While the Ultra supports those and the high-band millimeter-wave in North America and Japan.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Specs
Samsung has always been big on specs. And what’s refreshing about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is that it builds on them bumps practically. Not only is there a ton of RAM onboard. But now you can make better use of it by forcing up to five apps to keep running in the background. There’s also up to 512 gigs of storage with Micro SD expansion. A 25-watt charger in the box, with an option to buy a 45-watt charger. And the usual wireless charging and wireless power share as well.
All right, now how about that big dog tag on the back? Well, we’re going to close out by climbing that mountain. With a hump this husky, you’ve got to bring a serious camera game. And Samsung says this is it’s biggest optical upgrade since 2016. It’s built around a primary sensor with a resolution of 108 Megapixels. For context, last year’s Galaxy S10 used a camera with 12 Megapixels.
But it is necessary to remark that it doesn’t necessarily guarantee better results. The more pixels you pack onto a sensor, the harder it is to capture light for one thing. So Samsung includes the option to switch to a binned 12-megapixel mode. Which combines nine pixels into one. Only real-world testing will determine how this actually works.
Also included, a 12-megapixel camera for 120-degree ultra-wide shots, a time-of-flight camera for depth sensing, and something that may be familiar, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera mounted sideways, to align with this rectangular prism here. Samsung calls it a Space Zoom camera. But you might remember first seeing it on the Huawei P30 Pro. That phone I used to talk absolutely incredible photos in Paris last year.
Samsung promises up to 10 times zoom with no loss in quality. And up to 100 times zoom if you max it out. Yeah, you heard me, 100 times. There’s also 8K video recording, improved stabilization, and a selfie camera that once again focuses on the wrong thing. Boosting resolution instead of offering a wider angle. That frustration aside, though, this is absolutely the most ambitious camera array Samsung has ever offered. And I’m eager to get it out into the real world.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Price
The phone will hit said real world on March 6th, with pre-orders opening February 21. And how much will the S20 Ultra run you? Brace yourself. Just a buck is shy of $1400. Again I’ll be giving it a proper review but, you probably already know if your the type who wants an S20 Ultra. If your a function over form person, who doesn’t care that this is a very dull design with an even duller color scheme.
You’ll probably buy it for the specs and the features which are prodigious. If your someone like me who’s captivated by the new possibilities of foldable screens as we’ve seen on Galaxy Fold, Motorola Razr, and Galaxy Z Flip. You’ll probably want to sock that $1400 away for something that feels a little more 2020.