The awkward middle child of Samsung’s 2020 flagship phone lineup is the Galaxy S20 Plus. It costs more than the S20, which has many of the same functions, and is less fully featured than the top-of-the-line S20 Ultra.
However, of the three, this phone offers the best value due to its larger display than the S20, larger battery, and standard inclusion of 5G. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the Android phone to buy if you can’t quite stretch to the Ultra’s exorbitant pricing.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus’s design and main features
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is unquestionably good, but it isn’t very attractive. With dimensions of 7.8mm thick, 162mm tall, 74mm wide, and only 186g in weight, it is sufficiently thin and svelte. Given that the S20 Plus’ display is 0.2 inches larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, it feels substantially more svelte after switching from the iPhone. It is also taller, lighter, and narrower.
However, the arrangement of the parts and buttons is unremarkable, and the all-black device I received for this review is quite unappealing to look at. It’s only available in this, “cloud blue,” and “cosmic grey”; it’s not even offered in a really attractive selection of other colors. Furthermore, while having Gorilla Glass 6 on both the front and the back, the rear glass seems to be more prone to collecting ugly fingerprints and grease.
Perhaps the most noticeable change is that the Bixby button is now triggered by long pressing the power button rather than remaining inactive on the left edge of the phone. Other than that, everything is pretty standard: the dual-purpose SIM and microSD card tray is on the top edge, the USB-C port and speaker grille are on the bottom, and the selfie camera is visible through a neat hole-punch cutout in the middle of the display, just like on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. However, an S-Pen stylus is not included.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Display
The S20 Plus costs more than its nearly identical sister, the Galaxy S20, primarily due to the screen. With a diagonal measurement of 6.7 inches, it is 0.5 inches larger than the average smartphone screen. But aside from that, the specifications of the screens are comparable. Both devices feature HDR10+ with a claimed 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut and both use AMOLED displays, guaranteeing excellent black level and contrast. Both also have the incredibly smooth 120Hz panel.
It really does make a difference to how a phone feels to use, so if you’re skeptical of high refresh rate screens in phones, I’d encourage you to try one out in person if you can. Anything that pans or scrolls—including menus, web pages, and maps—flies around with the consistency of cold butter in a hot Teflon skillet.
Our studies and visual evidence reveal that this display is also quite impressive technically. There are two options available in the settings: Natural, which covers the sRGB gamut at 96.2%, and Vivid, which offers a color spectrum that is more similar to Rec.2020 than DCI-P3. Use this one to playback HDR content.
It’s a fantastic display for watching your favorite movies and TV shows, with peak brightness reaching an exceptional 699cd/m2 in typical use. Our research also uncovered a far greater 1,209cd/m2 peak brightness with HDR content. That goes above and beyond HDR10’s specifications, and it ensures that HDR video content displays deep, inky black, subtly distinct deeper tones, and blindingly dazzling specular highlights as it should.
But Apple’s HDR reproduction is even better than the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s, as a side-by-side comparison shows. Notably, the contrast between the bright highlights and the darker areas of the on-screen image is considerably better balanced.
On the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, it may be difficult to make out what is happening in extremely shadowy HDR images in day-to-day use, but that is rarely the case with the iPhone 11 Pro Max (and, by extension, the iPhone 11 Pro). This is a triumph for the iPhone, despite the superior display of the Samsung Galaxy S20.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is loaded with the most recent technology, as you would expect from a flagship upgrade. When the phone is released in the UK and Europe, you will receive Samsung’s 7nm, 2.7GHz, octa-core Exynos 990, whereas our US counterparts will have the Snapdragon 865.
As a result, performance is quite quick, and the S20 Plus performed admirably in the benchmark tests. Even while it isn’t quite as quick as the iPhone 11 Pro with its Apple A13 SoC, it is quick enough to provide response that is immediate for any work.The onscreen framerate in games that support it can go considerably higher than the typical 60fps you get with phones that feature 60Hz panels, which is one advantage of that 120Hz display.
The S20 Plus achieved an average frame rate of 105fps on the Manhattan GFXBench test, which is among the highest we’ve ever seen in this test. (Note: Despite having the 90Hz option selected in the display settings, we tried to retest the OnePlus 7T Pro in this test, but it was still limited to 60 frames per second.)
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus’s cameras
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus has three image cameras on the back: a zoom, a regular wide-angle, and an ultra wide-angle. The zoom camera is an f/1.8 64-megapixel 3x optical device that can digitally zoom to 30x instead of the amazing 100x “Space Zoom” (10x optical) that was available on the S20 Ultra. The 12-megapixel f/1.8 main camera, which you’ll use the majority of the time, is much more conventional-looking, while the 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide-angle camera takes pictures.
A 0.3-megapixel “time of flight” module that is the fourth “camera” is located just below the LED flash and is primarily used to measure the depth of an image so that background blur may be applied more precisely during editing.
The important thing to keep in mind, though, is that neither image is especially appealing to look at at 30x, despite how much information you can see in it. Photos look fuzzy and lackluster even when zoomed in merely by a factor of 10.
Similar circumstances apply to video recording. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, like the Ultra, allows you to record at 8K resolution at 30 frames per second, which looks fantastic when used with a tripod or gimbal (stabilization is not available at this resolution). But you’ll only be able to watch this video if you have an 8K TV.
Conclusion of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Pro review
But if you insist on sticking with Android, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is still a good option. Although the camera can’t quite match the capability of the iPhone 11 Pro or the more expensive S20 Ultra overall, there isn’t a significant difference between the display, features, battery life, and performance of these devices. In either case, you’ll be pleased with the outcome.