Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review, Specifications, Price and Competitors

Samsung has announced this year three models within the Galaxy S20 family: Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Although all three have high-end specifications, the undisputed king of the new series is the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a huge 6.9 ″ Dynamic AMOLED display, Exynos 990 processor, 12GB of RAM, 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage, 108MP (wide-angle) + 48MP (10x hybrid optical zoom telephoto) + 12MP ( ultra wide angle) + ToF, 40MP front camera and 5,000 mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is for sale for $1,399.99 in Amazon with 128 GB on the Samsung website.


Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review

Samsung unveiled its three flagships for the first half of the year in February: Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. Aside from the screen size and camera settings, there are no big differences between them as they all share very powerful technical specifications and a similar design.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is not only the model with the most advanced set of cameras, but it is also the model with the largest screen diagonal. This smartphone has a gigantic 6.9 ″ panel that will delight those who enjoy watching videos on their smartphone but, in return, it also makes it a very heavy smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review, Specifications, Price and Competitors

In favor of Samsung, I must say that it has minimized the frames around the screen, so its body is not as exaggeratedly large as one might expect. Even with everything, with dimensions of 167 x 76 x 8.8 mm and a weight of 222 grams, it is not a precisely compact smartphone.

Samsung has repeated the formula of the perforated camera in the center of the screen that we saw in the Galaxy Note 10, but it has managed to reduce the diameter of the hole. On a day-to-day basis, the front camera does not interfere with the use of the phone except in some games that show interface elements right in the area of ​​the hole.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s screen is curved on the sides but this curvature is less pronounced than in previous models, so there are no such annoying reflections.

Both the front and the back are covered by Gorilla Glass 6 curved on the sides. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is available in Cosmic Gray (gray), Cosmic Black (black), and Cloud White (white) colors.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review, Specifications, Price and Competitors

Samsung has incorporated an ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the screen but it is first-generation, so the performance is not so good. Recognition is quite fast if you manage to put your finger in the reading area since, if you deviate a little, the recognition fails. Luckily, the footprint area appears marked when the screen is in Always On Display mode.

Samsung has also incorporated a facial recognition system that, despite not being 3D, I have not been able to cheat with a mask (other smartphones have fallen).

As usual in Samsung smartphones, the screen of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is spectacular. It features a Dynamic AMOLED panel with HDR10 + support and two color modes called Natural and Intense that cover the wide DCI P3 color space.

In Natural color mode, the color fidelity is excellent, while the Intense mode produces supersaturated colors that many users find more striking even if they are less realistic and can be misleading (for example, if you buy a garment or a piece of furniture from the mobile).

The screen of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra features black cigars and wide viewing angles, and the brightness of the screen is the highest of a smartphone but is beaten by some rivals. It reaches 694 nits with 100% of the white screen and I’ve come to measure more than 1,076 nits by reducing the illuminated area to 10%.

Of course, Samsung incorporates the “Always On Display” functionality, which displays the time and notification icons pending reading, and has implemented the double-tap to turn on the screen.

The main novelty of the screen of the Galaxy S20 Ultra is that it offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz, the highest that we can find in a smartphone. This high refresh rate makes scrolling and animations feel smoother. Now, by default, the 60 Hz rate is activated (probably due to the lower battery consumption).

The performance of the Galaxy S20 Ultra is very high, as expected since it incorporates the powerful Exynos 990 processor, which is a small improvement over the Exynos 9825 of the Galaxy Note10. I can’t deny that I would have liked to see Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor, but Samsung reserves Snapdragon chips for other markets.

The processor is accompanied by a generous 12 GB of RAM, ensuring you an excellent multitasking experience.

In benchmarks, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has achieved extraordinary results although it has not always outperformed other rivals from last year, especially in tests of the graphics chip.

In any case, in my experience of use, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra offers extraordinary performance.

Not only are apps fluent, but demanding 3D games like Asphalt 9, Dead Effect 2, and Call of Duty Mobile move at full speed with stable rates of 30 or 60 FPS, depending on the limitations of each game, with hardly frame loss.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with 128 eUFS 3.0 storage, the fastest we can find today without having the eUFS 3.1 that is not yet part of any smartphone.

The storage is expandable through micro-SD cards, in case you need even more capacity but this means that you will lose the possibility of introducing a second SIM. Given that we are facing a real flagship, I would have liked to see at least 256 GB of game.

In terms of connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra supports WiFi 6 (802.11ax), the new protocol for WiFi networks, and 5G cellular connectivity with support for both sub-6 GHz and mmWave networks (not all smartphones can say the same). For the first time on a Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S20 Ultra offers dual-frequency GPS for more precise positioning.

Samsung has provided the Galaxy S20 Ultra with a 5,000 mAh battery, a fairly generous capacity on paper but we cannot forget that it has a large screen.

In tests, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has obtained good autonomy results but not as much as some of its rivals. With the 120Hz refresh rate, autonomy suffers and battery life in this test drops 16 percent. In practice, you should have no problem getting to the end of the day but you are not as leftover as with other smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review, Specifications, Price and Competitors

Samsung has incorporated a 45W wired fast charging system but the C-PD 3.0 USB charger that comes in the box is “only” 25W. With this charger, it takes about 64 minutes to fully charge, and in half an hour, you get 61 percent charge. Samsung has also incorporated fast wireless charging at 15W and allows it to power other devices wirelessly (for example, smartphones or other accessories) although quite slowly.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has stereo speakers, one of them in the earphone and another located next to the USB-C connector, although the sound is not completely balanced since the lower one sounds with more power and better quality.

These speakers emit sound with enough power and good quality. It offers to surround sound Dolby Atmos, which can be enjoyed both with headphones and with the speakers of the phone itself. It also incorporates dual Bluetooth to send sound to two speakers at the same time.

In the absences section, we must mention the 3.5mm headphone jack, which has been removed as it already happened with the Galaxy Note10 Plus. We thought that it could return with the Galaxy S20 series, which does not have the hole space problem for the S Pen, but it has not been.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with Android 10 Pie and, above, the Samsung One UI 2.1 personalization layer that seeks to simplify the use of the smartphone and make the most used buttons and controls more accessible.

Samsung has removed almost all of its own applications that were previously pre-loaded but you can access all of them from the Galaxy Store and, of course, the Google Play Store is also available.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a lot of software features above Android such as gesture control, power-saving modes, secure folder, dual messaging, Game Tools, Edge panels, Samsung Pass, Samsung Pay, Quick Share, Music Share or the Bixby virtual assistant.

One of the interesting features of Samsung is DeX, which allows you to use the phone as if it were a computer just by connecting it with an HDMI cable to a screen and, optionally, to a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.

It is also possible to connect it to a Windows 7/10 or macOS computer and access DeX in a computer window.

Samsung has incorporated four cameras on the back of the Galaxy S20 Ultra that offer great versatility since they allow taking shots in ultra-wide-angle (12MP f/2.2), wide-angle (108MP f/1.8) and 10x optical hybrid zoom (48MP f/3.5). The fourth camera is a depth camera for Augmented Reality and photos with bokeh effect.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review, Specifications, Price and Competitors

The ultra-wide-angle camera offers good image quality in good light conditions, but it is not a camera intended for night shots due to its limited aperture and lack of optical stabilization.

The 10x Hybrid Optical Zoom Camera is actually a 4x Optical Zoom Periscope Camera and thereafter gets further software magnifications by combining multiple cameras. It allows you to get closer to distant objects as few smartphones can, although its limited aperture produces quite poor results in low light situations.

Now, keep in mind that any magnification less than 4x is a digital wide-angle camera magnification, so the quality at zoom factors less than 4x is reduced compared to other smartphones that offer 2x or 3x optical zoom.

Finally, the main camera (wide-angle) is capable of capturing excellent images both in conditions of good light and when it is scarce. However, in low light conditions, the algorithm that it applies to noise reduction is quite aggressive, so the sharpness is impaired.

A small downside to this camera is that due to a hardware limitation it is not capable of focusing at very short distances, which can be a problem if you want to get too close to an object. Also, the depth of field is very small, so not all elements of the scene are always in focus.

Samsung has added functionality called “Scene Optimization” that, through AI, detects a scene such as food or vegetation and automatically applies certain settings, usually related to color saturation.

We also find a “Night mode” that increases the brightness of the scene as if we were taking a long-exposure photograph, but without the risk of it moving. The photo takes longer to capture but the result is quite good, increasing sharpness and reducing noise.

And of course, there is no lack of a «portrait» mode called “Dynamic Focus” that allows you to blur the background of a photograph (even afterward) to simulate the well-known bokeh effect, and the result is the best I’ve seen.

The front camera of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 40MP sensor and f/2.2 aperture and allows you to take individual selfies or group selfies with a wider angle of view. The image quality is very good and it is even possible to take selfies with a blurred background.

The rear camera is capable of recording video in 8K resolution (7680 × 4320) at 24 fps, a novelty more thought for the future than for today.

It is also possible to record in UHD/4K (3840 × 2160) at 30/60fps, Full HD/1080p (1920 × 1080) at 30/60fps, and HD/720p (1280 × 720), while the front camera can record videos in UHD, Full HD and HD formats at 30fps.

In addition, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra allows recording HDR10 + video at 4K @ 30fps with higher contrast and color, although this functionality is in beta.

In the videos, the image quality has been excellent in all modes, although the recording modes at 60 fps at night are too noisy. Samsung offers a Super Stabilization mode but it is only available at 1080p @ 30fps.

Finally, I can not stop naming AR Emoji, the functionality that allows us to create avatars in our image and likeness, and subsequently animate them. Samsung has added some new games that can entertain the little ones in the house.

In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a great choice if you want a device with a huge screen, an attractive design, high power, and a very versatile set of cameras to cover all situations. Now, be sure to consider the Galaxy S20 + because it offers pretty much the same at a tighter price and size.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review, Specifications, Price and Competitors

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Full Specifications

ColorsCosmic Black
Cosmic Gray
Dimensions & WeightDimensions: 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm
Weight: 220g
Display6.9″ Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Infinity-O Display (3200S20 5G440)
511 ppi
HDR10+ certified
120Hz refresh rate support
CameraFront Camera
Pixel size: 0.7μm (10MP 1.4μm)
F.No (aperture): F2.2

Rear Camera
Quad camera
1) 12MP Ultra Wide Camera
Pixel size: 1.4μm
F.No (aperture): F2.2
2) 108MP Wide-angle Camera
PDAF, OIS
Pixel size: 0.8μm (12MP 2.4μm)
F.No (aperture): F1.8
1/1.33″ image sensor size
3) 48MP Telephoto Camera
Pixel size: 0.8μm (12MP 1.6μm)
F.No (aperture): F3.5
4) Depth Vision Camera
Battery Capacity5000 mAh (typical)
ChargingImproved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless
Memory5G/LTE
16GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512GB internal storage
12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256GB internal storage
12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage
Expandable
Memory & SIM Card
Single SIM model: one Nano SIM and one MicroSD slot (up to 1TB)
Dual SIM model (Hybrid SIM slot): one Nano SIM and one Nano SIM or one MicroSD slot (up to 1TB)
OSAndroid 10
In the BoxDevice
Data Cable
Travel Adapter
Ejection Pin
Earphones sound by AKG
Quick Start Guide
Clear Cover
Protective Film

All images and specifications credits for “Galaxy S20 Ultra“.


The Best and Worst about Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The best:

  • Excellent construction and attractive design in metal and glass with a large screen surrounded by minimal frames. High screen-to-body ratio.
  • 6.9 ″ display with HDR10 + compatible Super AMOLED panel, offering excellent sharpness, contrast, color fidelity, and viewing angles. Always On Display screen and refresh at 120 Hz.
  • Excellent haptic vibration engine: powerful for notifications and calls but subtle for writing.
  • Speed ​​in handling the phone thanks to a powerful Exynos 990 processor (or Snapdragon 865 in certain regions) and 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM.
  • Very fast 128 GB storage (eUFS 3.0) and expandable via a micro-SD card up to 1TB.
  • Dual SIM capability (although at the cost of losing the micro-SD slot).
  • Very versatile rear camera (wide angle, ultra wide angle, 4X telephoto and depth) with good overall performance. 1080p @ 30 / 60fps HDR, 4K @ 30 / 60fps and 8K @ 24fps video recording .
  • Excellent performance in portraits with bokeh effect in both front and rear cameras.
  • Front camera with autofocus, individual / group selfie modes, dynamic focus, and excellent image quality.
  • Samsung One UI interface with interesting improvements over Android such as Game Tools, Secure Folder, Dual Messaging, Energy Saving modes, Samsung Pass, Samsung Pay, gesture control, DeX, Quick Share, Music Share, etc.
  • 5G connectivity with mmWave and Sub-6 support.
  • Dual-frequency GPS for more precise positioning (first time on a Samsung smartphone).
  • Fast charging via cable at 45W (although the included charger is “only” 25W) and wireless at 15W. Reverse wireless charging possible for a rush.
  • Stereo speakers offer good sound quality. Support Dolby Atmos and send sound to two devices at the same time (Dual Bluetooth).
  • IP68 dust and water resistance

The Worst:

  • Forceful size and weight, which can back down some users
  • The fingerprint reading area is small, so recognition sometimes doesn’t work the first time.
  • The Exynos 990 chip of the model is lower in performance and efficiency to the Snapdragon 865 that is sold in some regions.
  • Autonomy below other competitors, especially if we activate the refresh rate at 120 Hz.
  • The telephoto camera offers improved performance in low light conditions due to its limited aperture.
  • The main camera has trouble focusing at short distances.
  • Price within reach of a few pockets

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Price and Competitors

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a fairly high price, as expected since we are facing the most powerful smartphone in the company. It is for sale on the Samsung website for $1,399.99 with only 5G connectivity and 128GB of storage.

If we look at other high-end phones, we have several interesting options that can be alternatives to the Galaxy S20 Ultra, among which we highlight the following.

First of all, we have Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus ( € 899 with 4G and € 999 with 5G) which has a 6.7 ″ Dynamic AMOLED screen, Exynos 990 processor, 12GB of RAM, 128/256/512 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, camera 12MP (wide angle) + 64MP (3x telephoto) + 12MP (ultra-wide-angle) + ToF, 10MP front camera, and 4,500 mAh battery.

If you are looking for something more compact and economical, you also have the “little” brother Samsung Galaxy S20 (€ 909 at Samsung) that has a 6.2 ″ AMOLED screen, Exynos 990 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of UFS 3.0 storage, rear camera triple 12MP (wide angle) + 64MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultra-wide-angle), 10MP front camera and 4,000 mAh battery.

If you like photography, the Huawei P40 Pro 5G (€ 1,099 on Amazon) is a good reference. It has a 6.6 ″ Full HD + OLED screen, Kirin 990 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 50MP rear camera (wide angle) + 5x optical zoom periscope (12MP) + ultra-wide-angle camera (40MP) + 32MP front camera depth, 5G connectivity and 4,200 mAh battery with direct and reverse wireless charging.

Another smartphone that stands out in the photographic section is the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (€ 906 on Amazon) that has a 6.7 ″ Super AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 865 processor, 8/12 GB of RAM, 256/512 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, 108MP (wide angle) + 12MP (2x telephoto) + 8MP (3.7x telephoto) + 20MP (ultra-wide-angle) rear camera, 20MP front camera and 4,500 mAh battery

Also interesting is the OnePlus 8 Pro (€ 909 on Amazon) that has a Fluid AMOLED screen from 6.8 to 120 Hz, Snapdragon 865 processor, 8/12 GB of RAM, 128 / 256GB of storage, wide-angle rear camera (48MP) + telephoto (8MP) + ultra-wide-angle (48MP) + depth (5MP), 16MP front camera and 4,510 mAh battery

Another smartphone to consider is the Oppo Find X2 Pro (€ 1,199 when it goes on sale) with a 6.7 ″ AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 865 processor, 12 GB of RAM, 256/512 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, large rear camera Wide (48MP) + 5x Telephoto (13MP) + Ultra Wide Angle (48MP), 32MP Front Camera and 4,260 mAh Battery

We can not stop talking about the iPhone 11 Pro (€ 1,159), which has a 5.8 OLED screen that occupies almost the entire front (except the cutout on the top), A13 Bionic processor, 4G / LTE connectivity and a triple camera of 12MP.

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