Just a yr or two in the past, the most recent Samsung Galaxy could be the centre of consideration.

Now although, the Galaxy S20 finds itself the mere place to begin of a three-stage assault on the telephone world. Anyone wanting the most important and greatest will skip forward to the no-compromise Galaxy S20 Ultra, proper? Well generally, smaller is healthier.

The most compact S20 will get virtually all of the goodies you may discover within the bigger, pricier ones, together with a excessive refresh fee display, 5G connectivity and a number of succesful cameras. Oh, and it prices a complete lot much less as effectively.

By specializing in the issues we actually need from our telephones, it is clear that is nonetheless each bit the flagship.


The S20 seems to be and feels quite a bit like every other trendy Samsung telephone – which is to say constructed to an extremely excessive normal utilizing high quality supplies. The design staff actually hit its stride a yr or two in the past, with solely the tiniest spit and polish wanted to maintain forward of the competitors.

The curved display is not fairly so curved this time round, the color decisions (gray, pink, blue) just a little extra conservative, and the steel body rather less blingy than earlier than, however when folding stunners just like the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip exist, you possibly can afford just a little restraint in your mainstream flagship. Even the dreaded Bixby button has been eliminated.

The large off-centre digital camera bump on the again does really feel just a little bit “me too”, as each the iPhone 11 and Google Pixel Four did it first, and the glass again is simply as a lot of a fingerprint magnet as all of them are, however the diddy dimensions imply no-one ought to wrestle to make use of it one-handed. IP68 water resistance means you are protected had been you to drop it within the sink.

The repositioned in-display fingerprint sensor helps on that entrance, sitting larger up the telephone so you do not have to contort your thumb simply to skip the lock display. It nonetheless makes use of ultrasonic tech, which is not fairly as fast because the optical scanners present in different telephones, however accuracy is fairly good.

The headphone socket has been deleted in favour of USB-C (or wi-fi) audio, with a pair of AKG-tuned in-ears included within the field, however no dongle for any current pairs of cans you would possibly personal.


As the bezels surrounding them have gotten skinnier, Samsung’s retina-soothing screens have continued to develop. We’re now as much as 6.2in, giving the Galaxy S20 a pixel-busting 89.5% display to physique ratio. There’s at all times the S20+ if it’s essential go greater, however whereas display measurement is in the end private choice, we predict most individuals can be more than pleased right here.

All three Galaxy S20 fashions get the identical 3200×1440 decision, which is sufficient to embarrass the common PC monitor, and all can crank up the refresh fee to a silky clean 120Hz. That’s twice as fast as a typical telephone, and it makes a large distinction to how animations move over the display. Even easy issues like scrolling by means of your Instagram feed are all of a sudden reworked. It all simply seems to be extra fluid, and you need to completely flip it on as quickly as you get the telephone out of its field.

Sure, it means not having the ability to use the telephone’s native decision, nevertheless it already defaults to a Full HD+ mode to avoid wasting battery. The refresh fee is not variable, both, so it is 60Hz or 120Hz.

High refresh fee is de facto the icing on an already scrumptious cake, as Samsung’s AMOLED panels proceed to be a number of the greatest you may discover in a telephone. Colours are punchy and vibrant, distinction is unbeatable, and viewing angles are glorious. Brightness is high notch, even whenever you step outdoors, and advantages HDR content material with sensible highlights alongside deep, darkish shadows.

Audio high quality is not fairly as much as the identical normal, sounding just a little tinny and hole at louder volumes. You can really feel loads of vibration by means of the again of the telephone, too. It’s not even beneath common for a telephone, however different flagships sound higher.


On paper, the S20’s fundamental snapper seems to be like a step again from final yr’s Galaxy S10. Both have 12MP sensors, however the outdated telephone had a snazzy twin aperture. That’s gone right here in favour of a hard and fast f/1.8.

That’s solely half the story, although. The sensor makes use of greater pixels, and has been redesigned completely for higher picture high quality. It’s joined by a 64MP telephoto good for 3x optical zoom, with a 12MP ultra-wide angle finishing the trio.

Whichever one you employ, picture high quality is an actual step ahead from final yr’s Galaxy S10. Every image we took appeared vibrant, vibrant and well-exposed. Auto-HDR does an incredible job of balancing skies and shadows. The digital camera app additionally makes it straightforward to swap between lenses, they usually all produce similar-looking snaps so one sensor is not relegated to “as soon as in a blue moon” standing.

Image processing is not as in-your-face as earlier years, with colors showing extra pure, though it may possibly nonetheless oversharpen sure textures and particulars to an unrealistic diploma. Facial particulars are generally misplaced because it likes to clean out texture as soon as it recognises an individual, although that is much less pronounced within the Pro mode.

Low-light capturing has improved, too, though to not the identical stage because the Pixel Four or iPhone 11 Pro. The devoted evening mode makes use of algorithms and some seconds of publicity to maintain your pics detailed and free from an excessive amount of grain with out turning right into a blurry mess, however white stability leans just a little an excessive amount of in the direction of the hotter finish of the spectrum.

The new Single Take mode is a enjoyable inclusion, taking a couple of seconds of video footage and chopping it utilizing all three cameras, pulling out nonetheless pictures and slapping a handful of various filters on them with a single press of the shutter button. 8K video recording is neat, if just about inconceivable to observe again at full decision proper now.

Samsung Galaxy S20 image gallery


Depending on the place you choose it up, your Galaxy S20 will both have one among samsung’s personal Exynos 990 CPUS, or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Both are octa-core chips, and each are tremendous quick.

The Snapdragon has the sting in most benchmarks, however there’s not a second when the Exynos model feels sluggish to make use of. Apps open shortly, icon- and widget-filled homescreens by no means present any signal of lag or stutter, and the 128GB of built-in storage leaves loads of room for video games, Play Store downloads and media. Manage to fill all of it and the microSD card slot makes it straightforward so as to add extra capability.

Multitasking is a dream due to an enormous 12GB of RAM, which helps you to pin three apps to reminiscence in order that they’re by no means pressured to reload when you change out to take a look at one thing else. Which could be very useful in case you have a gentle Fortnite dependancy. Gaming is after all buttery clean, whether or not you are crushing candies or fragging enemies in Call of Duty Mobile. If it is within the Play Store proper now, the S20 will play it effectively.

5G is on-board too, though there’s a 4G model accessible for £100 much less. Honestly, in case you’re not taking out a 5G contract together with the telephone, and do not dwell in a 5G space proper now, you are in all probability higher off saving the money and sticking with 4G for no less than one other yr whereas networks beef up their protection. It’s too spotty now to make it price spending additional.


Don’t go pondering all that fancy display tech goes to sip battery quicker than a Ferrari on the petrol pumps – the S20 is packing a 4,000mAh cell that is simply sufficient to get you thru the day, even with 120Hz enabled.

Switch again to 60Hz and your time away from the mains will lengthen to someplace between 20 and 30%, which ought to see you thru to the subsequent morning with out an excessive amount of hassle.

Streaming video addicts can anticipate one thing near 12 full hours of steady playback, which is comfortably up there with the perfect mainstream telephones, and fast-charging means you get from empty to full in below an hour.

Wireless charging means you possibly can high up and not using a cable, and wi-fi powershare allows you to give juice again to different gadgets in case you’ve received some to spare. Think a pair of Galaxy Buds earphones slightly than your pals’ flat telephones, as your cost solely stretches to this point.


The minimal icons, simplified settings pages and pretty sparse dwelling display give first impression of Samsung’s newest Android pores and skin, however One UI 2.zero has a complete lot of hidden options lurking beneath the floor. Not all of them are helpful.

Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant is not fairly as distracting because it as soon as was, however has usurped the ability button and can wake with a protracted press. You know, the identical movement you have been utilizing to show your telephone off for the perfect a part of a decade. Samsung Daily, a steady feed of stories, sports activities, climate and apps from (Samsung authorized) third social gathering networks, lurks to the facet of the house display. There are fewer duplicate apps, however that is largely as a result of the usual Google ones are actually an optionally available set up.

It all feels just a little like Samsung is making an attempt too onerous to power its software program on you once more, similar to the Touchwiz days. Thankfully you possibly can flip a lot of those ‘options’ off in case you don’t love them.

When you do, you may discover the handful of modes and settings price utilizing, just like the system-wide darkish mode that arrived with Android 10. The complete UI switches to darker colors when the solar goes down, so you do not scorch your eyeballs at evening. Edge panels put helpful shortcuts a swipe away, and Focus mode disables distracting apps when you’re making an attempt to get work finished.


Just a few software program foibles apart, the Galaxy S20 feels just like the Goldilocks of flagship telephones proper now. Not too large. All the {hardware} you would need, however not too feature-packed. Just proper.

It delivers glorious battery life, an exceptional show, blistering efficiency and very good picture high quality from a various set of cameras. It might not take the perfect images, with the Pixel Four and iPhone 11 claiming victory in sure eventualities, nevertheless it does an incredible job virtually the entire time.

Until another person comes alongside and does it higher, that is the Android handset to beat.