The Samsung Galaxy S20 Series was announced not too long ago and the brand is skipping the consecutive naming convention, so there’s no S11 this year (yet).
As someone who likes keeping up with tech, I am curious how the S20 will raise the stakes for upcoming flagship devices.
|Specifications||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|
|Display||6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display @ 120Hz|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB Storage / 12GB, 16GB RAM|
|Dimensions||166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm|
|Camera||Rear: 108MP (Wide-Angle), 48MP (Telephoto), |
12MP (Ultra-Wide), Depth Sensor
Front: 40MP Selfie Cam
The Galaxy S20 series comes with three devices—a Galaxy S20, a Galaxy S20+ and a Galaxy S20 Ultra. Admittedly, ‘ultra’ sounds nicer than ‘pro’.
I managed to get my hands on an early unit of the Galaxy S20 Ultra to find out and test what it hides under the hood, starting with the camera.
Raising The Megapixel Counts
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes out swinging with its hefty quad-camera setup that would easily put other flagship phone cameras to shame.
While a high-megapixel count doesn’t equate to a high-quality picture, it does allow you to zoom closer into the picture after taking it and crop it while maintaining the clarity.
As a fan of mobile photography, it is beneficial to me because it allows me to zoom in and crop out unnecessary subjects without losing focus on the main subject.
However, I noticed that the phone has very aggressive edge blurring, even on non-human subjects.
This to me felt a little awkward as I sometimes still want other objects in focus when taking the picture.
Also, present on the phone is a new camera mode called the ‘Single Take’. By clicking on it, it’ll prompt you to either move around, pan and just do whatever.
After doing so, the phone will compile the recorded video and generate usable pictures, videos and even boomerangs with added background music.
Out Of This World Zoom
Another benefit of this big, chunky, quad-camera setup is the 100X Space Zoom mode. It allows you to optically zoom 100X when taking a picture (and why Samsung didn’t call it the Galaxy Zoom is beyond me).
While it sounds impressive, I was a little disappointed after capturing the image. Samsung’s AI will try to improve the image, but there’s only so much you can do to fix a blurry image.
It could be useful if you’re trying to catch a picture of your favourite celeb as they’re boarding a flight, but they’ll look so blurry they’d end up resembling a Picasso painting.
A Display Smoother Than Your Monitor
Samsung has been upgrading their displays after each iteration and they’ve been fairly good at doing so. But, the display on the S20 series could be their furthest jump yet.
Instead of a regular 60Hz display, the brand raised the ante with a 120Hz display.
While some would argue the human eye is incapable of seeing past 60Hz, you’d be surprised at how smooth the UI feels when you’re using it. Navigating through the menu and settings was a seamless process.
When using the 120Hz refresh rate, the display mode does restrict you to a Full HD resolution, and in my experience, I’ve noticed a faster battery drain compared to the usual 60Hz as well.
As much as I love the smoothness of the UI, not many apps are utilising it, and there are only a handful of games capable of running on this refresh rate.
The colours of the display are gorgeous and it’s definitely one of the best mobile device screens that I’ve come across recently. Binging favourite shows on-the-go never looked better.
Heavier Than Your Average Joe
The phone is quite well built and weighs a little more than the phones of the current gen. It weighs more compared to my Note 8, no doubt thanks to the large 5,000 mAh battery.
It does have fast-charging on both wired and wireless options, so you can easily top-up the phone and have it last throughout the day.
Sadly, the phone does not come with a headphone jack, so make sure you’re prepared to dive into the world of wireless headphones, or use USB-C headphones.
The phone comes packaged with a pair of AKG-tuned wired USB-C earphones though.
I also have to give props to Samsung for removing the dreaded Bixby button. In doing so, you’ll notice there are no buttons on the left side of the phone.
Gamer Certified Specs
In my short period with the phone, it managed to perform every task I threw at it without a problem. Gaming, daily tasks, and even working on the phone was an easy task.
If you wish to, you can turn your phone into a mobile workstation all thanks to Samsung Dex.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to get connected to a 5G network throughout my time with the device. But, I do believe the problem lies with my SIM card rather than the phone.
Personally, I find this phone a little hard to recommend just based on its price alone. While it is equipped with top of the line specs, the RM4,999 price tag it comes with is a little ridiculous.
But, it does look like the price of a phone will continue going up, and sooner or later, we’re probably going to see a phone that’ll cross the RM7,000 price threshold.
If you’re someone who absolutely wants (read: not need) the best of the best, you’re going to find that with this phone.
In the end, my curiosity was sated but in doing so, it raised the bar and the price for future flagships.
|Great camera||Overly blurred edges when taking pictures|
|120Hz refresh rate||Camera bump|
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion into our Facebook page.