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Samsung just announced its new line of Galaxy phones, the Galaxy S20, S20+, and new to the line, the S20 Ultra. All take a big leap forward in image quality and all have 5G, which will make even Galaxy S10 line owners seriously consider upgrading. Here’s why:
Galaxy S20: Look and Feel
All three models in the Galaxy S20 line have that screen-only look of the Galaxy S10 line, with the pinhole camera and the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor hidden beneath the screen. They also got an upgrade to a 120Hz Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display. This high screen refresh rate will delight gamers. The S20 has a 6.2-inch display (563ppi), the S20+ has a 6.7-inch display (525ppi), and the S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch display (511ppi). All models support HDR 10+, like the Galaxy S10 line.
The S20 measures 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm, the S20+ measures 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm, and the S20 Ultra measures 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm. That makes the S20 and S20+ about the same size as the S10 and S10+. The S20 is thicker due to an enhanced camera.
All of the phones are water-resistant with an IP68 rating, meaning they can easily withstand a dunk in the sink and be washed off if they get dirty.
The phones will come in Cloud Pink, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Gray, and Cosmic Black.
Galaxy S20: New Cameras
The big news for the Galaxy S20 line is their new cameras with huge new sensors and AI processing. All three phones’ cameras use a technology called pixel binning (also called remosaic) to combine pixels into one larger pixel for more light per pixel and better color accuracy. The S20 and S20+ have 64MP image sensors (1.6 times the physical size of the S10 and S10+) and S10 Ultra has a 108MP sensor. For the S20 and S20+, those extra pixels mean that the camera can deliver a 3x lossless Hybrid Optic Zoom and a 30x zoom through cropping and AI processing, which Samsung is calling Super Resolution Zoom. The S20 Ultra has a 4x optical zoom lens that is folded sideways into the phone (light enters through a prism and is sent through the optical zoom lens). So the S20 Ultra has a 10x lossless Hybrid Optic zoom and a 100x Super Resolution Zoom lens.
The S20 has three cameras on the back, the 64MP F2.0 telephoto lens, a wide 12MP F1.8 lens, and an ultrawide 12MP F2.2 lens. Plus, there is a 10MP F2.2 autofocus lens on the front.
The S20+ has four cameras on the back, the same the 64MP F2.0 telephoto lens, wide 12MP F1.8 lens, and ultrawide 12MP F2.2 lens as the S20 plus a depth (ToF) camera for tasks like augmented reality and faster face unlock. The S20+ has the same 10MP F2.2 autofocus lens on the front as the S20.
The S20 Ultra also has four cameras on the back: a 48MP F3.5 telephoto lens, a wide 108MP F1.8 lens, an ultrawide 12MP F2.2 lens, and a depth camera. The S20 Ultra also gets an upgraded front camera, a 40MP F2.2 lens with autofocus.
Samsung has added a Night Hyperlapse mode, which lets you take long exposure night shots, and a One Take mode, which records for 10 seconds and delivers a variety of images and videos that are perfect for social sharing.
Samsung has also greatly enhanced its low-light photo taking by doubling the number of images that are processed while taking HDR shots and enabling multi-ISO composition, so different parts of the photo have different ISO levels.
All of the cameras will take 8K video at 24fps, with the ability to extract 33MP stills. There will be an 8K video editor loaded on the phone, so you can trim and combine clips, upload 8K videos to YouTube, and downscale videos for viewing on 4K and lower resolution screens. There is also an improved Super Steady mode, which takes into account 5 axis of motion – up/down, side to side, and rolling.
Samsung has integrated video calling into the phone app. And with the high-resolution front cameras, Full HD video calling is now supported.
All in, these new camera features should make the Galaxy S20 line the best smartphones for photography on the market. Looking at Samsung sample images, I was very impressed. Of course, we’ll have to wait for independent photographers to test the cameras’ limits.
Galaxy S20: New Audio Feature
New on the audio front is a feature called Music Share, which lets you share your Bluetooth connection to your car or speakers with a friend. So, no more unpairing your device so your friend can pair theirs. The Music Share feature will only be available on select Samsung Galaxy devices.
Galaxy S20: Performance
All U.S. Galaxy S20 models will use Qualcomm’s 865 chipset and come with 12GB of RAM (S20 Ultra offered with 16GB of RAM) and at least 128GB of storage that’s expandable via microSD card. All Galaxy S20 models will run on sub-6 networks, with the S20+ and S20 Ultra models running on sub-6 and mmWave (for North America and Japan only) networks.
All Galaxy S20 models will run Android 10.0.
Galaxy S20: Battery Life and Charging
The Galaxy S20 models get an upgrade in battery capacity. The S20 will have a 4,000mAh battery, the S20+ a 4,500mAh battery, and the S20 Ultra a 5,000mAh battery. All support quick charging and Fast Wireless Charging 2.0. And, like the Galaxy S10 models, all of the S20 models will have Wireless Power Share, which enables the phones to charge any Qi wireless charging device.
Galaxy S20: Availability and Pricing
The Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra will be available for pre-order starting February 21, 2020, and the phones will be available starting March 6, 2020. The Galaxy S20 will cost $999, the S20+ will start at $1,199, and the S20 Ultra will start at $1,399. Pre-order customers will get a Samsung credit of $100 for the S20, $150 for the S20+, and $200 for the S20 Ultra.
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