Samsung’s Galaxy S20-series represent the current best from Samsung and the lineup comes in three different sizes. While the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the boldest and brawniest, it’s unapologetically big – something we aren’t used to saying about S-series phones. The Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 are in the familiar zone, and of these, the Galaxy S20 is the option for people who dote on compact phones. 

While Samsung has always provided compact flagships in the S-series, the smallest sizes have always entailed a few essential compromises. However, this no longer seems to be the case with the Galaxy S20.

The Galaxy S20 costs the least, is the most ergonomic of the trio, and has all the big-ticket features. So, is it the best compact phone to buy in India? Let’s answer that and more in our detailed Galaxy S20 review (Exynos variant).

Samsung Galaxy S20 India Price and Specifications

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20
Display 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 1440 x 3200, HDR10+, 120Hz display refresh rate (full HD+), 240Hz touch refresh rate
ChipsetExynos 990 (2x 2.73GHz M5 + 2 x 2.50GHz Cortex-A76 + 4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A55)  
RAM8GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB UFS 3.0
SoftwareAndroid 10, OneUI 2.0
Rear camera12MP primary, OIS
64MP, 3x zoom (Hybrid), 8K recording
12MP Ultra-Wide
Selfie camera10 MP, f/1.9 (Dual pixel AF)
Fingerprint sensorUltrasonic in-display sensor
Dimensions and weight152 x 68 x 7.9 mm; 164 grams
Battery 4000mAh, USB PD 3.0
25W fast charging
ColorsCosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink
PriceRs. 66,990

Samsung Galaxy S20 Unboxing: Box Contents

Not much has changed in terms of packaging or box contents. The Galaxy S20 is accompanied by:

  • 25W charging adaptor 
  • USB Charging cable (USB PD 3.0)
  • AKG Tuned headphones with extra buds
  • SIM ejector tool and documentation 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Review: Design and Build

Samsung Galaxy S20 is a really adorable phone that sits really well in our hands. I know we have said this before, but the dire shortage of decent compact Android phones has left a void and that makes us appreciate the Galaxy S20 even more.

Android phones have steadily gotten bigger and bulkier over the last year. The current crop of mid-range flagships and flagship killers that offer amazing specs-to-price ratio are the worst offenders, and frankly, things might get more absurd with upcoming 5G phones.

During the course of this review, the Galaxy S20 has been drawing admiration for its perfect size. The other signature flagship design traits – curved-edge display, metal around the edges, Gorilla glass on front and rear – are all there.

At this point in time, we have already experience the novel design changes like the Infinity-O screen, missing audio jack and Bixby key, or the rectangular camera module on other recent Samsung phones, and thus the Galaxy S20 feels remarkably familiar – in a good way, though. 

And luckily there are no tacky gradient patterns to deal with. In India, Galaxy S20 will be available in 3 elegant colors – Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, and Cosmic Grey.  

Samsung is using the same tiny Ultrasonic sensor as on the last generation Galaxy S10-series, but unlocking speed and accuracy have definitely improved.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Review: Display

Of the three S20-series phones, the S20 has the smallest (6.2-inch) and consequently the sharpest (563 PPI approx.) screen. The Dynamic AMOLED screen refreshes at 120Hz; But the high refresh rate works only for full HD+ resolution. So, users are required to make a difficult choice between sharpness and smoothness.

The choice didn’t come easy at first. Due to the underlying pixel matrix of AMOLED screens, these displays are crisper at 4K (as against IPS LCD panels that are perfectly fine at 1080p). So, initially, we sided with sharpness over the smoothness.

However, the 120Hz refresh rate adds a distinct premium appeal to the experience, more so on the Galaxy S20 and OneUI, and this is something we really started missing once we had lived with it for 4 to 5 days.

So after going back and forth a few times, to me, the 120Hz is now the only way to go with the Galaxy S20.

Quality-wise, this is one of the best available smartphone screens. It is HDR10 compliant and, of course, the phone has all the prerequisites to stream HD and HDR content on apps like Netflix and Prime videos. 

As always, there are two color modes Vivid and Natural. The Natural mode is more color accurate, but consumers may go for the Vivid mode that adds extra punch to colors. Outdoor visibility is excellent. 

We didn’t quite appreciate the Galaxy S20 screen as much until we tested it side-by-side with 4 to 5 different screens running the same content.

While we do hope Samsung manages to add 120Hz to 4K without a battery penalty, we really love the Galaxy S20 screen as is.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Review: Performance and Software

In India, the Galaxy S20 has the 7nm process based octa-core Exynos 990 which is an extremely powerful chipset paired with 8GB LPDDR5 RAM. The 5G variants of Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ that won’t sell in India start at 12GB RAM and are steered by Snapdragon 865

Anyways, we have never had any performance complaints with the Exynos flagship chips since the Galaxy S9. High-end games that we tried on the Galaxy S20 ran perfectly smooth. 

We have heard that the Exynos variant isn’t as battery-efficient as the Snapdragon counterpart, but currently, we have no means to verify these claims.

Also Read: What is LPDDR5 RAM? How is it better than LPDDR4 or LPDDR4x?

The One UI 2.0 software running on the phone is based on Android 10. The interface is feature-rich, refined and very intuitive. Since this is a flagship, Samsung isn’t holding back any of the valuable extras like the Samsung Pay and Dex support.

All the latest and popular connectivity options including Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi calling, dual VoLTE are supported. The call quality is excellent.

Also Check: What is LPDDR5 RAM? How is it better than LPDDR4 or LPDDR4x?

Samsung Galaxy S20 Camera performance: Better than iPhone 11?

The Galaxy S20 phones do away with dual-aperture, which is fine because very few scenarios warrant a lower aperture. This year, the advancements will be based on new sensors and advanced computational photography algorithms. 

The 12MP primary sensor gets f/1.8 aperture lens, the secondary 64MP camera offers hybrid zoom (which is mostly digital), and there’s a 12MP wide-angle sensor that makes the system even more versatile. The Galaxy S20 is missing the dedicated depth sensor (ToF), but this shouldn’t make much of a difference from the practical standpoint. The S20+ can capture 8K videos and 960fps slow-mos. This year, the 10MP selfie camera has Dual Pixel AF. 

In proper daylight, the Galaxy S20 can shoot amazing details. In the Daisy flower below, details of the minuscule fly have been beautifully captured. Dynamic range is wide, HDR works brilliant, and the S20 can gather varying colors of the sky with aplomb.

The Galaxy S20 has hardly any optical zoom, but the 3X hybrid zoom and even the 30X digital zoom worked so much better than what we had expected (In proper lighting, that is). The images shot from wide-angle camera show some barrel distortion, but still have very good dynamic range and details.

Using different sensors, we could cover a wide range. We fond ourselves using 3X zoom most often. Post 10X, image quality isn’t much to write home about. For instance, the following images were all shot from the same vantage point.

Indoors and in low light, the primary camera performance remains remarkable. The quality of Zoom samples and wide-angle shots deteriorates, though. The night mode can work with all lenses.

The Selfie camera has some inconsistencies and softened skin tones. Face beautify is turned on by default and it kind of ruins selfies, especially the ones clicked indoors. Selfie quality has improved a bit after a recent update.

Live focus or portrait mode sees significant improvement this year.

8K video recording @24fps is also supported, but 8K screens to watch such content on aren’t easy to come by. 4K is the more practical option and it works really well. Video stabilization is excellent.

Single Take is the new interesting software feature that does the hard work for you and outputs GIFs, short videos, Photos from different sensors automatically with the press of a single button. This doesn’t work well in situations where you need a video and neither when you need to capture a still photo. Honestly, Single Take turned out a bit underwhelming and I don’t see consumers using this very often.

Considering the price, the main competition for the Galaxy S20 will be the iPhone 11. The cameras on both phones make different preferences, but overall we’d say that the iPhone 11 fairs a tad better in low light. The Galaxy S20 camera has the advantage of being more versatile in proper daylight.

Also Read: 10 Best Stereo Speaker Phones To Buy In 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 Battery and Audio

The Samsung Galaxy S20 houses a 4000mAh battery and comes with a 25W fast charging adapter bundled in the box. Considering the slim and svelte figure, battery specs sound pretty impressive. 

The battery backup, however, is a tad underwhelming. With the 120Hz refresh rate turned on, the Galaxy S20 can take you through a moderate usage day, but for mental peace and prosperity, we had to resort to mid-day charging. The 25W super-fast charger helps.

The stereo speakers are surprisingly loud and clear. The bundled AKG headphones (Type-C) are excellent for inbox headphones. They are also extremely comfortable to use over a long duration. 

In spite of the petite casing, you are getting a true flagship-grade audio experience.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Review: Should you buy it?

We will say this about the Galaxy S20: It’s just the perfect size and the best compact Android phone option out there. In fact, the Galaxy S20 feels so much more premium and handier than the iPhone 11.

Of course, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will naturally garner more attention, but since all three variants are pretty close in terms of features and experiences on offer, consumers can actually make a decision based on their size preferences this year, which is absolutely wonderful.  

Apple and Google may still be ahead with their cameras, but that’s a challenge Galaxy S20 Ultra can worry about. The Galaxy S20 is the most economical of the s-series trio and more than pulls its weight.

The handset has its flaws, but we never felt like we were missing out. Apart from the favorable design, the Galaxy S20 has a great set of cameras, a wonderful software, very gratifying stereo speakers, and an exceptional display. On the downside, the battery backup on our Exynos variant is far from impressive.

Pros

  • Exceptional display
  • Excellent rear camera performance
  • Excellent design
  • Stereo speakers are loud and clear

Cons

  • Selfie camera software needs refinement
  • Moderate battery backup
  • No audio jack

Samsung Galaxy S20 FAQ

Q: Does the Samsung Galaxy S20 Indian version support 5G network?

A: No, Samsung only released Galaxy S20 LTE version in India.

Q: Does the Samsung Galaxy S20 include a 3.5mm headphone jack?

A: No. The bundled AKG headphones have USB Type-C port. There is no 3.5mm jack-to-USB connector in the box.

Q: Does the Samsung Galaxy S20 supports Wi-Fi 6? 

A: Yes. It does.

Q: Does Samsung Galaxy S20 have Wireless calling?

A: Yes. You will find the option listed in native dialer or Phone app settings.

Q: Does the Samsung Galaxy S20 supports NaVIC?

A: Currently ISRO’s NaVIC isn’t supported on the Galaxy S20 phones.

Q: Is the Galaxy S20 IP-rated water & dust resistant?A: Yes, the Galaxy S20 series is IP68 rated and can handle submersion in up to 1.5 meters for a limited time duration.

Q. Should I buy the Galaxy S20 or the Galaxy S20+?

Answer: The decision between the two should purely be based on your size preferences. Personally, the Galaxy S20 works better for us.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. “The Galaxy S20 phones do away with dual-aperture, which is fine because very few scenarios warrant a lower aperture.”

    In fact, the lower aperture is amazing to have at night, because then you can keep the ISO value low and that keeps noise low as well, while you can switch to the higher aperture in the daylight to reduce overexposing images. The shift to fixed F1.8 aperture is pretty much a downgrade, it almost negates the larger pixel size on the S20s compared to the S10 or Note 10.

    • Hi Abhijeet, lower f stop but larger aperture is needed for night and low light. by lower aperture we meant smaller aperture, thanks for pointing that out. even in dual aperture Samsung flagships, the smaller aperture was rarely used (in some bright daylight scenes), even in pro mode it didn’t help much.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here