Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review: Buy this one

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review: Buy this one

if you’re an influence person, you’re most likely acquainted with Samsung’s Galaxy S phones; particularly, the top-of-the-line Plus variants. This year, the Galaxy S20 line is available in three flavors, and the Plus model isn’t on the high. We’ve already reviewed the top-tier Galaxy S20 Ultra, and spoiler alert: most people shouldn’t Buy it. Insane price ticket apart, it’s simply too large.

That’s why the Galaxy S20 Plus is so vital. It still achieves energy person standing, but in a barely extra reasonably priced, much less unwieldy package deal. I occur to assume this model — the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus — is the correct phone for many patrons, energy customers and regular customers alike. Learn our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review to seek out out why.

Design: Very 2020, but somehow still boring

I believe Samsung made the most 2020-looking smartphone on the market. For me, that’s every a superb and a nasty factor.

First, objectively, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is a really well-made phone. It’s glass and steel and feels simply as high-end as its gigantic price ticket lets on. It’s a bit hefty with out feeling unwieldy. I used to be involved the S20 Plus can be too large for most people, but I used to be positively mistaken. There are barely any bezels surarounding the display, making it about as large because the Google Pixel Four XL.

The display makes the phone look trendy, but the again of the phone simply seems to be boring to me. The black colorway I’ve is glossy, certain, but between the chunky, unbalanced Camera module and lackluster coloration choices this year, I simply can’t assist but really feel Samsung gave up on making a putting design this time around. I believe the corporate is attempting to let the Camera module be the “wow issue” on the S20 line, but to me, it’s actually nothing particular.

Samsung also released a BTS Edition of the Galaxy S20 Plus if you’re a fan of the uber-popular Okay-pop band.

The Galaxy S20 Plus’ display is fantastic. Turn the phone around and you’ll be greeted with a generic-looking glass design.

Credit score the place credit score is due, although, the Galaxy S20 Plus doesn’t have a devoted Bixby button. Superior.

You’ll be wanting on the entrance of the phone more often than not, and I’m pleased to say Samsung obtained every thing proper in that space. The middleed punch-hole Camera is unquestionably most well-liked over the offset entrance Camera on the Galaxy S10e. I ended noticing it after some time. Samsung also (lastly!) moved away from waterfall displays. The perimeters of the S20 Plus’ display screen are barely curved but not likely noticeable. If something, the slight curve helps make the phone a bit extra handleable.

What else is there to say about Samsung’s displays? The Galaxy S20 Plus’ display is the benchmark in my eyes — the display screen all other screens aspire to be once they develop up. It has a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a decision of three,200 x 1,440 and a 20:9 facet ratio. So, it’s tall, skinny, and tremendous crisp.

Add to {that a} 120Hz refresh price for smoother scrolling and you’ve got your self a winner. still, the 120Hz refresh price tops out at Full HD+ decision (2,400 x 1,080), so that you’ll drop again right down to 60Hz if you’d like the full Quad HD+ decision. Samsung probably capped the excessive refresh price to Full HD+ to avoid wasting on battery life. I believe that was a superb resolution.

Performance and hardware

Poor Performance is actually a non-issue for flagship smartphones these days, and that’s very true for the Galaxy S20 line. if you can consider a spec that tops the charts, the Galaxy S20 Plus has it. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 backed by 12GB of RAM (the Verizon model solely has 8GB, FYI). And yeah, it’s quick. Gaming, multitasking, and scrolling by social media is a breeze, and I didn’t discover one slow-down all through the testing course of.

Some would say 12GB of RAM coupled with that speedy processor is overkill. It could be, but enable Gary to elucidate how that “overkill” compares to the Pixel 4, a smartphone with decidedly common specs.

Why does the S20 Plus have a lot RAM when other phones have about half of that? Not solely does the excessive RAM quantity let the system preserve extra apps in reminiscence with out closing them, Samsung can be letting you pin as much as three apps within the RAM. You most likely received’t use this typically, but if you’re enjoying a big, generally laggy recreation like Fortnite and wish to swap away from the app with out it closing on you, you’ll be able to merely pin it to RAM so it stays open always.

if you’re attempting to decide on between a 12GB Galaxy S20 Plus or improve to the ridiculous 16GB Galaxy S20 Ultra, I wouldn’t let RAM be a deciding issue. 12GB is totally greater than sufficient.

The S20 Plus is available in 128GB (our review unit) and 512GB storage variants. every also include a microSD card slot with help for as much as 1TB playing cards. You received’t be operating out of cupboard space any time quickly.

For a phone that’s so good at Performance, I’m shocked to see the in-display fingerprint sensor is so unreliable. It’s method slower than rear- or side-mounted sensors and much much less correct. It labored about 70% of the time for me.

Samsung rolled out software model G98xxXXU2ATE6 in Might 2020, which not solely introduced the Might 2020 safety patch, but in addition the power to disable fingerprint unlock animations. That will not make the fingerprint sensor technically sooner, nevertheless it’ll help you get into your phone a bit faster than earlier than.

A $1,200 smartphone shouldn’t have a fingerprint sensor that is this slow and unreliable.

There’s also a face unlock possibility, which is far sooner than the fingerprint sensor. I used this just about all of the review interval with out concern.

if you’re itching to jump on the 5G train all Galaxy S20 fashions include 5G capabilities. still, our unit didn’t include a 5G SIM card so we weren’t capable of check it out. 4G LTE connections on T-Mobile and Verizon have been sturdy, and name high quality was clear.

120Hz displays are actually powerful on a phone’s battery. Fortunately the Galaxy S20 Plus has a big 4,500mAh Mobile that’s able to lasting all day on a cost, even with the 120Hz display cranked up. I spent a lot of the review interval utilizing the S20 Plus in 120Hz mode. All through that point, I managed to get a mean of 5 hours of screen-on time every day. That’s with streaming podcasts and watching a couple of YouTube movies, too, so for me the Galaxy S20 Plus is a battery champ. Not less than, the Snapdragon model is.

In typical Samsung trend, the Galaxy S20 Plus comes outfitted with Wi-fi PowerShare (reverse wi-fi charging) and 25W wired and wi-fi charging. You don’t get the full 45W wired charging accessible on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but then once more, you don’t must pay further for a quick charger both. Charging from zero to 100% with the provided 25W charger took about one hour and ten minutes, which is respectable for a phone with a 4,500mAh battery.


Note: The Camera samples on this review have been resized. You may take a look at the full decision images on Google Drive.

The Camera is crucial facet of a smartphone for many people, so let’s speak about the Galaxy S20 Plus’ setup. That is the “middle little one” of the S20 line, so on paper it needs to be extra succesful than the Galaxy S20 but much less so than the Ultra. still, I’d really say that is the most succesful Camera setup Samsung has ever made, and the one most people ought to take note of.

The Galaxy S20 Plus doesn’t have a loopy 108MP foremost sensor, so there’s no pixel binning right here when taking regular pictures. The principle Camera is a 12MP sensor with large 1.8µm pixels, which dwarfs the Ultra’s .8µm pixels. Thus, I by no means bumped into any focusing points like Eric did on the S20 Ultra.

Shooting outdoor with loads of daylight offers you fantastic images that may rival the Google Pixel 4. Colours are saturated and there’s loads of element in every shot, even when zooming in. There’s not as a lot noise in daylight pictures as there was with the Galaxy S10 line, so I believe Samsung is getting its post-processing discovered… a minimum of for regular daylight pictures.

Attempt to take a photo of something transferring and also you’re going to run into some points. Canines, infants, even folks posing for images will be troublesome to seize with out getting a blurry picture. I believe the shutter velocity is simply too low by default. Fortunately there’s a wonderfully succesful professional mode within the Camera app when you’ve got time to tweak some settings earlier than you are taking a shot.

Under is a picture of my spouse and nephew posing in a museum. Though lighting wasn’t great, I couldn’t get anybody in focus for the lifetime of me. (That is the perfect shot I took out of about eight.)

I’ll also echo what just about every other reviewer has said about the rear Camera: Samsung’s processing within the rear Camera makes faces too clean, virtually to an unnatural stage.

The pictures beneath have been taken with the S20 Plus’ rear Camera, in addition to with the Pixel Four XL’s rear Camera. Even with the scene optimizer turned off (middle photo), every thing is far too clean on my face. Google’s post-processing makes a world of distinction right here, whereas Samsung’s form of ruins issues.

I say it form of ruins issues as a result of this isn’t a difficulty with the S20 Plus’ front-facing 10MP sensor. It’s fairly good, and I really favor it to the Pixel Four XL’s entrance Camera — one thing I by no means thought I’d say.

Samsung’s processing doesn’t mess with all topics. Most canine images (once they’re still), panorama images, and still topic images prove anyplace from acceptable to attractive. The picture beneath exhibits Samsung’s Camera favoring brighter, hotter tones, whereas the Pixel 4’s Camera seems to be extra pure and balanced. There’s nothing flawed with brighter and hotter, nevertheless it’s value holding in thoughts when selecting a smartphone Camera that works for you.

That 12MP foremost sensor is backed by an ultra-wide 12MP lens with 1.4µm pixels, permitting you to take .5x zoom pictures. Samsung has improved its super-wide images from the Galaxy S10 line, with the S20 Plus exhibiting noticeably much less distortion across the edges of ultra-wide images.

The ultra-wide Camera, coupled with the 64MP telephoto lens, offers you a really extensive number of taking pictures choices. The S20 Plus helps .5x zoom all the way in which as much as 30x zoom, although it solely helps optical zoom as much as 3x. Something greater than that’s hybrid zoom, or a mix of optical and digital cropping.

Pictures at 3x zoom are crystal clear, and I not often bumped into an optically zoomed photo that I wanted to throw out. Something above 3x zoom will drop off in high quality. Simply take a look at the distinction between 2x and 4x zoom images beneath.

And this shouldn’t come as a shock, but 30x zoom images are practically unusable. Blurry and over processed, they give the impression of being extra like oil work than precise images.

Samsung has improved night time mode on the Galaxy S20 Plus, particularly from the Galaxy S10 line. Evening mode can drastically enhance images in poor lighting circumstances, although it may possibly also distort sure images. The pictures of the dragonfly and T-Rex skeleton above have been all taken with night time mode turned on, and so they all look good contemplating the museum’s harsh lighting circumstances.

Then check out the campfire picture beneath. I really favor the picture with night time mode off: it’s extra pure, although there’s much less element. The S20 Plus upped the element within the night time mode picture on the correct, but virtually to the purpose of wanting unnatural. That’s not what the campfire seemed like in any respect.

Let’s spherical out the Camera part with a couple of of the extra area of interest options. The Galaxy S20 Plus helps 8K video seize, which Samsung shouldn’t use as a promoting level in early 2020. Hardly anybody owns an 8K TV, so all it’s actually doing is taking on cupboard space. still, one cool characteristic is that you could pull 33MP pictures out of an 8K video, in order that’s one potential use case for the high-res recording possibility.

Commonplace video seize, as anticipated, is sweet. None of my movies got here out too shaky, and the microphone matches the Camera zoom so you’ll be able to seize higher audio when zooming in on a topic. The Galaxy S20 Plus also means that you can Turn the Camera around to the entrance with out stopping the video. Cool!

Then there’s Single Take, a Camera mode that captures a number of media codecs if you can’t select which you’d like to decide on on the time. As an example, if you’re attempting to resolve between taking a video and some fast images of your canine operating across the yard, utilizing Single Take mode will cowl all of the bases. It’s going to document a video, a couple of totally other images, a GIF, and extra. This could be one thing you present your mates when exhibiting off your new phone, but I can’t think about utilizing this mode fairly often.

One last item: I’ve observed some Camera app lag when switching between lenses. Going from .5x zoom all the way in which to 30x zoom most likely isn’t simple for the Camera, but the app will grasp for a couple of seconds earlier than zooming in or out at occasions.

On March 24, 2020, Samsung rolled out an replace to Snapdragon 865 Galaxy S20 fashions that introduced a brand new model of the Camera app (v10.0.01.98) and stuck a slow autofocus concern on some fashions. The replace we acquired weighed 415.87MB (screenshot beneath).

Samsung One UI is great, but bloated

I’ll get proper to it: I just like the software on the Galaxy S20 Plus. Samsung’s software interface has come a good distance through the years, and I believe One UI 2.1 is the perfect iteration but. It’s tremendous customizable and you can also make it as busy or easy as you’d like. Notifications aren’t as intrusive as they as soon as have been. The system-wide darkish theme is superior, and I really like that you could set it to a schedule.

It’s getting actually bloated, although. There are many unneeded apps on the phone out of the field. On high of all the same old Google apps and duplicate Samsung apps, there are also 4 Microsoft apps pre-installed, in addition to advertisements to obtain extra promoted video games from Samsung’s app retailer contained in the Samsung Every day dwelling display screen. It’s also annoying that Fb is pre-installed and you may’t uninstall it — solely disable it.

Swipe proper on your property display screen and also you’ll be introduced with Samsung Every day. That’s proper, goodbye Bixby Residence. Samsung Every day is an element information aggregator, half app and theme advice service, half Spotify discovery software, and half Samsung Pay rewards commercial? This positively isn’t for me, nevertheless it could be for you if you’re into Turnboard, The Climate Channel, or need suggestions on a generic match-three puzzler from the Galaxy Retailer.

One UI is a big step forward, but Samsung is slowly revisiting bad habits.

For every main optimistic with One UI, there appears to even be a destructive. Take the short settings panel. It’s so customizable and you may actually make it look the way in which you’d like. But it surely’s solely good to make use of after you take away all of the junk Samsung contains in it. 31 fast settings can be found by default, together with Children Residence and Hyperlink to Home windows. also, you’ll be able to not change the grid dimension to your fast settings, so that you’ll have to stay with a Four x Four format.

This similar optimistic/destructive concept will be utilized to theming. So far as I’m involved, Samsung does system theming higher than every other OEM. You may change something about your system: lock display screen clock and always-on display, your clock coloration, any of the icons, fonts, fast settings colours, and way more. great! This will also be overwhelming. On high of Samsung’s Good Lock app — the highly effective customization software that permits you to theme your system and alter the look of varied components of the UI — you also get Samsung’s Theme Park app. Theme Park is one other theming app that permits you to create distinctive themes primarily based in your phone’s wallpaper. It’s simply… so much to work with.

The aim with One UI was to make Samsung’s software much less busy and extra user-friendly. I believe it’s extra user-friendly, for certain. but Samsung’s UI tweaks can solely go thus far, and I believe lots of people are going to be overwhelmed with how a lot stuff comes on this phone.

There are a handful of other little software options like Music Share, Fast Share, Google Duo integration within the dialer, which Eric coated in his full Galaxy S20 Ultra review.

There’s extra to software than simply the person interface. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is operating Android 10, the most recent model of Android. Which means you get entry to Stay Caption, Focus Mode in Digital Wellbeing, improved safety permissions, and extra. Google’s gesture navigation from the Pixel line has been added to the Galaxy S20 line too, so you’ll be able to select between Samsung’s gestures, Google’s gestures, or the standard three-button navigation system.

Over the previous year, Samsung has also been getting actually fast with software updates, generally beating even Google to the punch with safety updates.

In August 2020, Samsung rolled out One UI 2.5 to the Galaxy S20 Plus, the identical software that’s accessible on the Galaxy Observe 20 line. The massive replace introduced improved Professional video mode with 21:9 help, wi-fi Dex that connects your S20 to your TV, Audio Bookmark to sync your notes with audio recordings, the power to vary the length of Single Take. You may as well now use Android 10’s gesture navigation in third-party launchers.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus specs

Samsung Galaxy S20 Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Display 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
3,200 x 1,440
20:9 ratio
120Hz refresh rate at 1080p
60Hz refresh rate at 1440p
HDR10+ certified
6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED
3,200 x 1,440
20:9 ratio
120Hz refresh rate at 1080p
60Hz refresh rate at 1440p
HDR10+ certified
6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED
3,200 x 1,440
20:9 ratio
120Hz refresh rate at 1080p
60Hz refresh rate at 1440p
HDR10+ certified
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 990 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 990 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 990
RAM 12GB 12GB 12 or 16GB
Storage 128GB 128 or 512GB 128 or 512GB
MicroSD Yes, up to 1TB Yes, up to 1TB Yes, up to 1TB
Battery 4,000mAh
Fast wired and wireless charging
Fast wired and wireless charging
Fast wired and wireless charging
Cameras Rear:
– Wide-angle: 12MP, 1/1.76″, ƒ/1.8, 1.8µm
– Telephoto: 64MP, ƒ/2.0, .8µm
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm3x hybrid optical/digital zoom, Super Resolution Zoom up to 30x

– 10MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22µm, AF

– Wide-angle: 12MP, 1/1.76″, ƒ/1.8, 1.8µm
– Telephoto: 64MP, ƒ/2.0, .8µm
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm
– VGA time-of-flight sensor3x hybrid optical/digital zoom, Super Resolution Zoom up to 30x

– 10MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22µm, AF

– Wide-angle: 108MP, 1/1.33″, ƒ/1.8, .8µm
– Telephoto: 48MP, ƒ/3.5, .8µm
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm
– VGA time-of-flight sensorHybrid optical/digital zoom at 10x
Super Resolution at 100x

– 40MP sensor, ƒ/2.2, .7µm, AF

Connectivity 4G LTE support
5G (sub-6GHz, DSS, TDD/FDD, SA and NSA, no mmWave)
4G LTE support
5G (sub-6GHz, DSS, TDD/FDD, SA and NSA, mmWave)
4G LTE support
5G (sub-6GHz, DSS, TDD/FDD, SA and NSA, mmWave)
Operating System One UI 2.0
Android 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
Water resistance IP68 IP68 IP68
Security Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Color Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue, Aura Blue. Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black
Dimensions and weight 69.1×151.7×7.9mm

Value and competition

Premium phone, premium Value. Samsung is not shying away from the $1,000 Value barrier. The bottom model Galaxy S20 Plus usually prices $1,199 unlocked, with the 512GB model going for $1,349. still, the phone is frequently on sale on well-liked retail channels for $999, so we’ve up to date our review to replicate that largely everlasting Value change. The Galaxy S20 Plus has seen a number of Value drops on Amazon and eBay from a trusted vendor. The system will be discovered on Amazon for $999.99 ($200 off) or eBay for $789.99 ($410 off). You may take a look at other Samsung offers right here.

You may as well benefit from the trade-in offers the corporate is operating on its web site. Commerce-in choices are restricted (Samsung, Apple, and Google phones solely), but when your outdated system qualifies you’ll be able to knock a couple of hundred bucks off the sticker Value.

Particular person provider offers can assist ease the sticker shock of the Galaxy S20 Plus too, if you don’t thoughts strolling into your native Verizon retailer to choose one up.

Once more, this phone is rattling costly, so we’d like ask if Samsung is doing sufficient right here to warrant the Value tag. Does it nail the fundamentals? I believe so. It has good battery life, a fantastic display, well-built {hardware}, versatile cameras, and better-than-average software. I’m simply undecided the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is value $200 extra at launch than the Galaxy S10 Plus from 2019. It appears like Samsung is charging extra for the sake of charging extra.

Samsung can be one of many few producers who’re fortunately going above or hovering around that $1,000 price ticket. Apple is in fact charging an arm and a leg for its iPhone 11 Professional collection, although Google is holding issues properly beneath the 1K mark with the Pixel Four XL. The LG V60, one of many Galaxy S20 Plus’ opponents right here within the States, also landed for properly beneath $1,000.

Samsung will even launch a Galaxy S20 Fan Edition someday in October 2020, which is able to include a a lot cheaper price tag. Extra particulars to come back.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review: The verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is an organization throwing one million issues at a wall and really making most of them stick.

Translation: It is a lot of smartphone. The software and cameras could be an excessive amount of for some folks, and never everybody wants all of the little extras Samsung included right here. but possibly that’s what folks need for $1,000.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is one hell of a smartphone. It is one of many solely phones I might say is definitely well Value the excessive price ticket.

if you’re spending this sort of cash, you’d higher anticipate one hell of a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is one hell of a smartphone. It’s most likely the one Android phone I’d say is value this sort of cash.

I can’t say the Galaxy S20 Plus is the perfect in every class, nevertheless it’s very shut in lots of these classes. It’s the most well-arounded smartphone I’ve utilized in years. I don’t understand how Samsung did it, nevertheless it took the most effective flagship smartphones from 2019 and made it notably higher for 2020.

That’s it for our Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review. Is that this going to be your subsequent phone? Is it too costly? Tell us what you assume.