Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra VS Google Pixel 4 XL: UNFAIR?! (video)

Smartphone cameras have taken dramatic leaps over the past decade. Lenses have multiplied, options maintain increasing, heck 2020 has even introduced us telephones that may movie at a better decision than the digicam I take advantage of for this video.

But, functionality isn’t every part. There are a number of technical the reason why we nonetheless desire to make use of an everyday digicam for a video, no matter what telephones can do. So give it some thought. Today we’ve Ultra smartphones, with periscopic zoom lenses, and megapixel counts that exceed the tons of, and naturally, a price ticket to match the numbers, and but how a lot does that actually matter? What if there was one other cellphone that didn’t deliver that worth, nor all these numbers, and was nonetheless in a position to obtain that very same premise?

This is the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the smartphone that Samsung claims is daring sufficient to vary images, and that is the Pixel 4 XL, what is just referred to as “The Google Phone,” however which we all know is the successor to the model that really did change images, however with a very totally different method.

So, $1399 for the Galaxy, $899 for the Pixel, and positive I do know you will discover some good offers on each already, however the worth distinction stays relative, which means you should buy a Pixel 3a for that quantity in between. So which one is healthier?

These two firms have been in cost of some milestones over the past couple of years. In my opinion, the Galaxy S6 was the primary Android cellphone to take images significantly, and the primary two generations of Pixel took the crown for the most effective photographs of their time. The approaches have been dramatically totally different although, and stay the identical even for this comparability. Samsung believes the potential of {hardware}, whereas Google has at all times supplied extra with much less, by means of computational images. 

And positive, having each these telephones be 6 months aside might make this comparability unfair, however that’s exactly the rationale why this comparability is so essential. Think about it: For years Google has been king of images and the most effective Android expertise, all whereas making specs secondary. So, can Samsung beat a Pixel with muscle?


From a design perspective, it is a powerful one. It’s like if every cellphone went into this bizarre competitors over the crown of polarizing design. The Pixel was the least interesting cellphone of 2019 for me, however the again of the Galaxy makes me assume twice. The Pixel coloration choices make it more practical at fingerprint suppression, and the play of black and orange accents make it a bit extra hip. Samsung sadly picked essentially the most boring and smudge-friendly colours it might discover, after which slapped it with a digicam hump that solely a mom might love. It makes you need to strap the Galaxy on a case simply to stability it, even when it’s technically extra sturdy than the pixel with Gorilla Glass 6 vs 5. Also that powder coating on the Pixel’s aluminum band would possibly look cool in matte, however I doubt it’ll do a greater job than the Galaxy’s polished aluminum in a fall. 

Size and heft are additionally issues I desire from the Pixel. Samsung significantly constructed a tank that would deal with all of the {hardware}. It’s 6mm taller, 1mm wider, a few mm thicker and virtually 30 grams heavier. Everything in regards to the Galaxy simply screams huge. Even weight distribution could be a chore vs the Pixel. It must be, I imply, take a look at the spec sheet:

6 months of a distinction imply the Galaxy is 2 generations forward within the processor division, has double the RAM, begins at double the storage, which can also be sooner. It helps expandability whereas the Pixel doesn’t, has newer Wi-Fi, 25% extra battery, double the charging speeds each wired and wi-fi, gives quick wi-fi energy share, after which it’s like Finish Him in Mortal Combat by supporting each taste of 5G recognized to man. The Ultra takes on its identify nicely at being the acute of every part trendy {hardware} can provide, whereas the Pixel was even lagging behind sure 2019 fashions, and the pattern continues when regarded from the entrance.

On a cellphone, the show is many of the story, and that is the place Samsung, once more, is king. Its panel is 10% bigger, although it’s a must to maintain the taller facet ratio in thoughts, and nonetheless it gives 15% extra floor space, and its extra futuristic method to eradicating bezels offers it practically 10% extra display screen to physique ratio. Both are able to Quad-HD+ decision, however Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED can also be extra superior than Google’s P-OLED, given its added brightness, further blue coloration discount, and HDR10+ assist. At Full HD it will possibly additionally go as much as 120 Hz, which I discover extra noticeable that Google’s variable 90 Hz at Quad HD. About the one factor I desire on the Pixel is its extra helpful and dynamic Always-On show. And if content material consumption is your factor, I’d say I desire the extra symmetrical show on the Galaxy,

The Galaxy’s Infinity-O method appears to be like like one thing for 2020, whereas the Pixel’s high hood extra like a play from 5 years in the past. Google’s addition of radar and different more-secure facial recognition tips has its advantages at a time when Face-ID is extra ubiquitous. It’s now up to date to solely work in case your eyes are open, and I really like how notifications are solely proven in case your face is detected. Its main downside: Well you continue to can’t use it as a supported biometric for financial institution functions 6 months later. The Galaxy has facial recognition, but it surely’s not what I’d name safe, however you additionally get the choice for a extra conventional and safe ultrasonic fingerprint scanner underneath the show, which banks do assist. If solely it will additionally cover notifications within the course of.

Software & Experience

Let’s maintain speaking extra about software program. I’ve been an everlasting advocate for Samsung’s manner of doing issues vs inventory Android, however this comparability goes to be an exception. See, I’ve been delaying this comparability for weeks as a result of I’m nonetheless ready for a digicam replace that I nonetheless don’t have, and I’m not gonna maintain ready to get my job achieved over how dangerous Samsung is at supporting all of its clients, as a result of some folks have already got it. Google in contrast has already pushed two main characteristic updates to this Pixel 4 XL.

Now, for something apart from updates, I do desire having a cellphone that does extra. I rely on Samsung’s safe folder each day to separate my firm accounts. I take advantage of the sting menus for App Pairs repeatedly to benefit from the bigger canvas. I like how Game Launcher tunes all this {hardware} to run at its finest as I play. The further RAM additionally means that you can maintain apps working completely. These are all issues which are genuinely helpful.

The Pixel in contrast is as barebones because it will get, and typically folks simply want a cellphone that’s easy and sensible. I’ll take the Google Assistant any day over Bixby, and its squeeze to launch characteristic is simply as helpful as having the whole Google Feed while you swipe to the left. Stupid little issues like having the lock display screen detect the music that’s taking part in within the background are genius, however I’ll admit I’m dissatisfied at Google for eradicating perks like limitless storage of photographs at full high quality, on a cellphone with such restricted capability.

The purpose why updates matter is as a result of the Pixel didn’t begin off as having good battery life and that has modified. Google has managed to take this from being an okay cellphone, to 1 I’d depend on to final the total day on a cost. The Galaxy, nicely, is as Ultra because it will get. This is probably not a 2 day cellphone, however you’ll have sufficient juice to begin the following day simply nice.

Now, even when the Pixel has a extra uncovered earpiece, the audio high quality on each gadgets is simply as nice, and listeners claimed that the audio was simply as crisp on their finish, no matter which gadget I used. An fascinating twist is that I made a decision to check a brand new service service after a tip I obtained from Michael Fisher, and which later turned at the moment’s sponsor, Visible.


So far, the Galaxy owns {hardware}, the software program is a tie, and the tie breaker lies on the range every gadget has on the highest left nook. Is the Galaxy actually able to altering images with all this {hardware}, when Google has been beating everybody with its software program.

I imply, each firms have been doing computational images, however Google has been doing it for longer. When you take a look at the spec sheet of this Galaxy, it’s actually exhausting to imagine that Google has sufficient prowess to beat physics with strains of code, however I’ll the outcomes communicate for themselves.

The Galaxy behaves extra like an actual digicam, which has its professionals and cons, because it brings alongside the added complexity that makes the smartphone auto-mode method extra engaging to shoppers, and which the Pixel owns finest.

As for Pros, nicely, the Galaxy begins profitable as a result of it merely has extra cameras, a lot bigger sensors and extra megapixels on every focal size vs the Pixel. You have the benefit of a more-epic ultra-wide the Pixel lacks, although photographs are toe to toe on the usual digicam in the course of the day. But then when you begin zooming into topics, it doesn’t matter how a lot software program Google brings, you possibly can’t beat physics, the Galaxy offers usable photographs as much as 10X, whereas the Pixel is already gentle at its max, which is 8X.

This is extra noticeable in low mild the place the Galaxy brings its evening mode to all focal lengths, similar to the pixel. The Ultrawide pulls in some first rate mild, after which each telephones as soon as once more go at it with the usual sensors, however when you begin zooming in to topics, the Pixel begins falling aside whereas the Galaxy retains combating grain and bringing in additional element, although it’s price noting the Galaxy does some fairly lengthy exposures, some instances of as much as 20 seconds, whereas the Pixel doesn’t take that lengthy. 

The cons are within the inherit points with massive sensors, and which make me surprise why Samsung killed variable aperture. The pure bokeh will be cool, however the nearer you get to a topic, the extra out of focus that almost all of it’s going to be, whereas the Pixel doesn’t battle with this.

I assumed I’d desire portraits from the Pixel however I discover them to be comparable, with comparable dynamic vary. What’s actually extra shocking to me are selfies, as soon as once more, as a result of there’s simply a lot information being pulled in by the Galaxy. Skin tones appear extra pure, portraits extra balanced and higher separated, however then what’s most surprising is evening selfies. Both telephones assist evening mode, and but the Galaxy beats the pants off the pixel intimately, coloration stability, and dynamic vary.

Now, a division the place I assumed the Galaxy would win was video, and it does, however primarily due to capabilities and never execution. The Ultra is able to 8K video, which I don’t present trigger the Pixel can’t match it, but when 4K is any indication, that software program replace can’t come quickly sufficient. The Pixel does a slight higher job in stabilization, after which owns autofocus, with the Galaxy remaining locked for no purpose what’s so ever.

What I like most about Samsung is the flexibility to modify focal lengths. The skill to report 4K at 60 vs 4K at 30, and the way it means that you can swap between cameras whereas recording. And sure, you do get 4K at 60 from the front-facing digicam, together with some good dynamic vary and stabilization, whereas the pixel remains to be caught at 1080p at 30fps.


To conclude I’ve to say comparisons maintain getting tougher and extra fascinating currently. Companies have been working exhausting in blurring the strains between of competitors, and in providing some ingeniousing options to what shoppers need. Samsung doesn’t have Google’s software program experience, however they know {hardware} higher than anybody, and there’s at all times a degree the place computational options can solely achieve this a lot after they face actual physics.

In that sense, we’ve a Galaxy S20 Ultra that owns {hardware}, there’s a tie in software program, after which the digicam expertise is usually owned by the Galaxy even earlier than the software program replace we’re ready for. It is a blended bag in a couple of gadgets which are claimed to be addressed, however which we’ll need to circle again to substantiate. I imply the Pixel is not any slouch, however that is a type of instances the place software program, once more, simply can’t beat physics. 

If we have been so as to add these factors up, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra wins. It’s the extra future-proof cellphone given its 5G capabilities, and if and when the corporate does its half with well timed software program updates, it’d simply be that it beats the Pixel in additional issues over time.

If it have been my cash, I’d choose the extra highly effective and full cellphone, however I believe this comparability has additionally served to indicate how Google can provide {hardware} such a troublesome battle on the code bench. If you have been to decide on the Pixel, I don’t assume you’re getting any compromise. You’re getting an expertise that’s virtually pretty much as good, and with cash to spare for that smartwatch or pill you at all times needed.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *