The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, unveiled in February 2020, was Samsung’s ambitious attempt to push the boundaries of smartphone technology. Positioned as the top-tier model in the S20 lineup, the S20 Ultra was packed with the best of Samsung’s innovations, especially in the camera department. Here’s an in-depth review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra:
The Galaxy S20 Ultra was Samsung’s statement piece for 2020, showcasing the pinnacle of its technological advancements. With its massive camera bump, huge display, and top-of-the-line specs, it was designed for those who wanted the absolute best, regardless of the price.
- Operating System: Shipped with One UI 2.1 based on Android 10, upgradable to later versions.
- Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X with a resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels, supporting 120Hz refresh rate (at FHD resolution) and HDR10+.
- Processor: Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (in the USA) or Samsung Exynos 990 (in other regions).
- Memory: Options of 12 GB or 16 GB RAM with 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB internal storage, expandable via microSDXC.
- Camera: Quad-camera setup with a 108 MP primary sensor, 48 MP periscope telephoto lens with 4x optical zoom (and up to 100x “Space Zoom”), 12 MP ultrawide sensor, and a 0.3 MP TOF 3D depth sensor. The front camera is a 40 MP shooter.
- Battery: 5000 mAh non-removable battery with 45W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, and 9W reverse wireless charging.
- Other Features: In-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, IP68 dust/water resistance, 5G connectivity, stereo speakers, and Bluetooth 5.0.
- Camera Capabilities: The 108 MP sensor and the 100x “Space Zoom” were standout features, allowing for detailed shots and significant zoom capabilities.
- Display: The 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED display was among the best in the industry, offering vibrant colors, deep blacks, and smooth animations.
- Battery Life: The 5000 mAh battery, combined with software optimizations, ensured a full day of use for most users.
- Performance: With top-tier chipsets and up to 16 GB of RAM, the device delivered stellar performance across tasks.
- Size and Weight: The device was quite bulky and heavy, making one-handed use challenging for many.
- Price: The S20 Ultra was one of the most expensive mainstream smartphones at launch, making it inaccessible for a large segment of potential buyers.
- Camera Autofocus Issues: Early units of the S20 Ultra faced autofocus issues, which were later addressed by software updates.
- 120Hz Limitation: The 120Hz refresh rate was limited to FHD resolution, and using it at QHD resolution was not possible.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its segment, the S20 Ultra faced competition from:
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: With its Super Retina XDR OLED display, Apple A13 Bionic chip, and a triple-camera system.
- OnePlus 8 Pro: Offering a Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 865, and a quad-camera setup.
- Huawei P40 Pro: Featuring an OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, Kirin 990 5G, and a quad-camera setup co-engineered with Leica.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra was announced in February 2020 and became available in March 2020.
- Camera Autofocus: As mentioned, early units had autofocus issues, especially with the 108 MP sensor.
- Overheating: Some users reported overheating issues, especially when using the camera for extended periods or during intensive tasks.
- Price Justification: While the device was packed with features, many questioned whether the high price was justified, especially given the competition.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra was a showcase of what Samsung could achieve in the smartphone realm. It was a device that aimed to offer everything – a fantastic display, top-tier performance, and an ambitious camera system. While it did excel in many areas, it also had its set of challenges, especially concerning its price and some early camera issues. For those who wanted the absolute best from Samsung and were willing to pay a premium for it, the S20 Ultra was a compelling choice. However, for many, the lower-tier S20 and S20+ offered a more balanced proposition.