After several weeks of intensive use, here are our impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G.
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Samsung has specialized in releasing premium devices that cover all the needs of their users. From those who demand a good camera setup to the most demanding in terms of power and speed for the increasingly popular cloud gaming or streaming. And let’s not forget about the multimedia aspect, which is becoming more and more present in our lives. After all, who hasn’t listened to Spotify or watched a Netflix episode on their phone while commuting to work or working out at the gym?
The Korean brand found the perfect answer to all of this with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, one of their most complete and premium smartphones to date. A versatile phone that knows how to stand out in every aspect and will not leave anyone indifferent.
This is something we can confirm based on our experience with it. Indeed, after more than fifteen days of using it as our primary phone, we can say that the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is a true beast that has captivated us from the get-go.
Technical Specifications of the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
The first thing we need to tell you about are the technical specifications. That is, what the phone is like and what it includes. Starting from the general to the specific, we have a large device with a 6.9-inch Dynamic Amoled screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. In the front, you’ll find the 40 MP front camera, centered in a punch hole.
On the right side, there are the power button and volume controls, and on the left side, there’s a port for the MicroSD expansion card and the SIM card. At the bottom, you’ll find the speaker, a microphone, and a USB-C port for charging the battery and connecting the phone.
Turning to the back, you’ll see the module with the four camera lenses and the flash. These lenses include a 108 MP primary sensor, a 48 MP telephoto lens, a 12 MP ultra-wide lens, and a 10x optical and 100x digital hybrid zoom lens.
Diving into the internals of this Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, you’ll find the 7nm Exynos 990 processor paired with 12 GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, expandable via MicroSD. It also boasts the largest battery in the S20 family at 5000mAh, with IP68 water and dust resistance. Finally, it runs Android 10 with Samsung’s One UI custom skin, both updated to the latest versions, both for Android and the Korean brand’s user interface.
First, we want to highlight the security aspect of the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G before delving into performance and the camera. This Samsung device features both facial recognition and an in-screen fingerprint sensor, security measures that are common in high-end and premium phones.
In this case, the in-screen fingerprint sensor works quite well. Our experience with it has been quite satisfying, as it reacts quickly and recognizes our fingerprint almost instantly. We rarely had to reposition our finger on the screen or use another unlocking method.
As usual, Samsung’s Knox technology adds an extra layer of security to transactions, malware, and other security issues. It’s great to have it in the S20 Ultra.
Regarding facial recognition, it is also quite effective, although it may falter in low-light conditions. It’s worth noting that for users who wear glasses (like the writer), the phone recognizes our face both with and without glasses. To set this up as an unlocking method, it scans your face with and without glasses, ensuring quick and effective unlocking in any situation.
A Screen to Rule Them All
One of the most remarkable aspects of this new Samsung device is its screen. For the first time, it features OLED technology and a 120 Hz refresh rate. This provides a level of smoothness rarely seen in devices of this kind. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is undeniably one of the smoothest devices we’ve tested. We never feel like the transitions between screens are slow or “stuttering.”
Furthermore, it boasts a 6.9-inch display, which is quite large. However, it’s a relatively comfortable device to use and hold, thanks in large part to its slightly curved edges. While the extreme edge screens of previous years are a thing of the past, this new solution is effective and, above all, comfortable.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most crucial points. Photography has become one of the elements that users focus on the most, always seeking the best quality, whether for Instagram, capturing moments with friends, or as a professional tool. As we’ve seen earlier, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G comes with an impressive camera setup. But how does it perform in reality?
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ve included various photos that we’ve taken ourselves over the past few days. With different lighting conditions, scenarios, and zoom levels, we’ve thoroughly tested the different lenses. The results are spectacular, from the SuperZoom that allows us to capture even the smallest details to the wide-angle lens. It’s true that in some aspects, it may fall short, considering the impressive configuration it boasts, but overall performance is quite good.
One of the most surprising aspects is the quality of the Zoom. Both the 4x hybrid and the SuperZoom Digital lenses achieve excellent results up to 30x, while the 100x zoom is reserved for scenarios where it’s necessary to use a tripod.
When it comes to video recording, although Samsung boasts that the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is the first phone to record in 8K, the results are not optimal due to the limited 24fps. However, recording at 4K and 60fps is truly spectacular, with outstanding results.
Performance in Apps and Games
One of the standout aspects: How does the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G perform in real-world use? Is the Exynos 990 (beyond its battery consumption) really good, and do the 12GB of RAM make a noticeable difference? We can confidently say one thing: YES.
It may sound unequivocal, without any buts or caveats, but our experience with the device couldn’t be better. Whether it’s browsing the internet for information, chatting, checking our Twitter timeline, or playing games, everything feels smooth and responsive. App loading times are virtually non-existent, and the gaming experience is highly satisfying, providing excellent performance in newer and demanding titles like Call of Duty Mobile or Wild Rift.
These are titles where you can play without any issues, enjoying both high frame rates and graphical quality. Even when playing games via Xbox Game Pass streaming, the power of the processor, RAM, screen refresh rate, and 5G connectivity are noticeable, making cloud gaming a seamless experience.
We’ve now come to another critical aspect for the average user: battery life. While this device boasts a large battery capacity, it’s overshadowed by the high power consumption. Despite having a 5000mAh battery, the average device usage ranges from 3 to 4 hours of screen-on time, providing about 22-25 hours of overall battery life. These figures are far from what we might expect from a premium device with one of the largest batteries on the market.
However, it’s worth noting the charging time. Thanks to the 45W fast charging capability (even though the included charger is 25W), recharging is remarkably fast. In just an hour and a half, you can have the battery fully charged, and in 20 minutes, you can easily get 40% charge.
With this, we’ve reached the end of the review of the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. It’s a very complete device with more strengths than weaknesses, including its excellent screen and outstanding performance. However, the performance and battery life are significant concerns to consider, as are certain aspects of the camera system that look great on paper but may not meet all expectations.