Earlier today, Samsung announced its 2020 flagship smartphone lineup — the Galaxy S20 series. The handsets mark a major step up over the Galaxy S10 in almost every department including display, specs, and connectivity. While the phones are scheduled to release in the first week of March, the first hands-on reports from various publications are out.
So, what are the first impressions of the Galaxy S20? Below is a roundup from some major publications about Samsung’s 2020 flagships and their thoughts about them.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Hands-On Roundup
What’s new this time around is that the panel has a 120Hz refresh rate. You notice it instantly, the smoothness in animations and the overall fluidity of the UI. It looks great and will definitely prove to be useful when playing fast-paced games. It does lock the resolution at FHD+ at 120Hz, though, so stick with the standard 60Hz if you want to take full advantage of the Quad HD+ resolution. The quality appeared to be exceptional which is what you’d expect from the AMOLED display of a Samsung flagship. There’s a centered punch hole at the top for the selfie camera, a welcome change from the rather odd positioning on the Galaxy S10.
Samsung has worked with Google to integrate some features into One UI.
The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ come with Android 10 out of the box with One UI 2.1. All of the features that you expect from One UI 2.0 are present on board. Samsung is introducing a couple of new features with the Galaxy S20 lineup. Quick Share is one of them. It lets you easily share files with up to five people in your vicinity at the same time.
Not only the camera specs, but the camera features also look impressive.
Samsung has backed up all of this hardware with some excellent new software features. Single Take is a new feature that takes the pain out of deciding whether you should grab a quick video of a moment you want to capture or just take a photo instead. The AI-powered feature uses all of the different cameras on the device to capture the scene in multiple ways. It will automatically capture the scene cropped, in Live Focus (bokeh) and ultra wide, take videos and even boomerangs of the scene. This is something that a lot of users are really going to like because it does work very well.
Same design language but tweaked.
This is your typical aluminum alloy metal frame, with a familiar glossy finish that has few adornments aside from more dramatic swoops and cutouts to accommodate the glass around the buttons on the side. The glass has what looks and feels to me like the same curves as before, but has been upgraded to Gorilla Glass 6 on both sides.
Sure they may be familiar, but the phones feel great, there’s no way around it. The S20 and S20+ strike a great balance between nice heft and practical lightness, both coming in about 10 g heavier than their predecessors. And while they’re even taller than the S10 series, they’re both easily manageable in the hand — with the standard S20 feeling particularly compact.
The 120Hz display is the real deal.
The one area Samsung was leapfrogged in 2019, refresh rate, has been addressed. All three models have a 120Hz refresh rate, which is double its previous phones and 50% faster than most phones out there today that were already soothing our eyes at 90Hz. It makes every bit of motion on the screen incredibly smooth, once again adding to the “don’t think about the tech, just use it” mentality of these screens.
The cameras have also improved dramatically.
The pixels are nearly 30% larger, letting in much more light — and even though the lens aperture is technically narrower at f/1.8, it has dropped the complicated (and frankly generally useless) f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture. This is better overall, hands down.
Samsung’s telephoto game has also improved dramatically from its behind-the-times sensor and 2X lens. The secondary camera is now 64MP, which offers “lossless” 3X zoom and then extends all the way to 30X if you really want it — though detail starts to drop off pretty quickly after about 10X.
The display, once again, is excellent.
They look frickin’ amazing. Seriously, the screens just pop out at you. Apps, photos, web pages, and video content dazzled, particularly when you match up with HDR1o+ compatible programming. These are displays I can’t wait to test with my favorite movies and TV series from Netflix and Disney Plus.
The camera has serious zoom capabilities.
Space Zoom is a thing that Samsung created for the S20 line and it’s something. If you’re wondering, for example, why the Ultra’s telephoto camera has a slow aperture of f/3.5, it’s because the company pulled a Huawei and put a prism in there. This allowed Samsung to deliver more optical zoom.
The other big software addition is called Single Take mode. Single Take basically uses all the tools — AI best moment, ultra wide, live focus, AI filter, smart crop, video forward and backwards, fast forward, original video — at once to capture a range of content. Shoot one 10-second video clip and the software generates all these segments automatically. You can then share the different pieces of content wherever you wish. Single Take is available from the front camera, too. The package for a single take of Single Take all together is about 55MB, according to Samsung.
The below Galaxy S20 hands-on videos are also worth a watch.
What are your thoughts on the Galaxy S20 series? Will you ditch your iPhone for it? Drop a comment and let us know about it!