Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review: The S20 that business users need Review

Maria J. Danford

For the previous few years, big smartphone makers like Samsung or Apple have introduced various variants of the very same cellphone model. Samsung introduced quite a few types of the Galaxy S10 in early 2019 and followed the very same blueprint with Observe ten at the close of the yr. […]

For the previous few years, big smartphone makers like Samsung or Apple have introduced various variants of the very same cellphone model. Samsung introduced quite a few types of the Galaxy S10 in early 2019 and followed the very same blueprint with Observe ten at the close of the yr. Apple did the very same with the Apple iphone 11 lineup. 

Most of the time, however, the differences are limited to display screen dimension or an added digicam. With the Galaxy S20 lineup, the normal differences are there: The S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Extremely all have various display screen dimensions, and the Extremely has a sturdy digicam method, but this is the to start with time I can remember sensation like all 3 types are absolutely various. 

So, how do you choose which model is appropriate for you? Primarily with the beginning price tag place is $999 for the S20? Right after employing the S20 Plus for more than a week, and looking at through Matthew Miller’s S20 Extremely review, I feel the S20 Plus is the Galaxy cellphone to get. 

galaxy-s20-plus-1.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Design

The Galaxy S20 Plus is nicely created, fits quickly in my hand, and doesn’t truly feel cumbersome or way too massive despite owning a six.7-inch display. The display has a centered hole punch cutout for the front-facing digicam. With an just about bezel-totally free structure, the display screen of the S20 Plus leaves lots of room to use apps in split-display screen method to, for occasion, duplicate info from an email to a spreadsheet or term doc. 

Right after setting up the S20 Plus, I immediately turned on Android 10’s gesture navigation, which ditches the regular 3-button navigation bar at the base of the display screen, supplying me even extra serious estate to use. Finding employed to employing gestures took about a working day, but now I have no concerns swiping in from either aspect to go back again, or swiping up to go to the property display screen (amid other gestures). 

There are only two — nicely, I guess, technically 3 — buttons on the perimeter of the S20 Plus. All 3 are on the appropriate aspect of the cellphone, with a volume rocker around the best, and then a sleep/wake button that doubles as a electricity or Bixby button. Right after more than a week of use, I even now am not employed to the new arrangement. Each solitary time I preferred to transform the volume down though listening to music or seeing a video, I strike the sleep/lock button in its place. The near proximity of the buttons and muscle memory acquire equal parts of the blame. 

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The Quad Hd+ Super AMOLED display has a opportunity resolution of three,200 x one,440, as all of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy telephones have for the past few years. Outdoors of seeing a superior-res video, I are unable to inform the difference among that and the FHD+ setting of 2,400 x one,080 pixels. I still left my review device on the typical FHD+ setting, and, as is typically the circumstance for Samsung, the display looked beautiful. Colors are shiny, vivid. and not more than-saturated. Blacks are darkish and crisp. 

This is a specification rundown for the S20 Plus:

  • OS: Android ten
  • Exhibit: six.7-inch, Quad Hd+ AMOLED, HDR10+, 120Hz
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • Storage: 128GB/512GB
  • Memory: 12GB
  • Exterior Storage: microSD up to 1TB
  • Rear cameras: Extremely-extensive, 12MP, a hundred and twenty-degree, f/2.2 Vast-angle 12MP, seventy nine-degree, f/one.nine Telephoto 64MP, seventy six-degree, f/2. Depth Vision
  • Entrance digicam: 10MP, 80-degree, f/2.2
  • Battery: four,500mAh
  • Connectivity: 5G Sub-six/mmWave, Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5., USB-C, NFC
  • Proportions: 161.nine x seventy three.7 x 7.8mm, 186g
  • Colors: Cosmic gray, cloud blue, and cosmic black

Alongside the base of the cellphone is a USB-C port which is employed for charging and info transfer. The headphone jack is formally long gone from Samsung’s flagship lineup now. Incorporated in the box is a pair of USB-C headphones, however. Or you can pick up a pair of the new Galaxy Buds+, Samsung’s wireless earbuds. 

On the back again of the cellphone is a fairly significant digicam array. It follows the very same main structure as the S20 Extremely, but at minimum in pics, it seems to be lesser. I have not observed an Extremely in person but, so I are unable to evaluate. 

There are a total of 4 cameras on the back again of the cellphone, just one of which is a depth sensor. 

General performance and battery lifetime

A good deal has been made of the S20’s new 120Hz display, and rightfully so. Which is double what past Samsung telephones could do, and double that of Apple’s Apple iphone lineup. A smartphone display screen which is capable of refreshing at up to a hundred and twenty frames for every next is very extraordinary. On a 120Hz display, every little thing just feels quicker. From scrolling by way of Gmail to swiping among various apps, there’s an all round smoothness that I have not skilled on a cellphone. 

1 opportunity downside to growing a screen’s refresh charge is the impact on battery lifetime. In point, Samsung ships the S20 with 120Hz method disabled for just that rationale. When you go into the display settings to modify it from 60Hz, there’s a take note warning you that 120Hz will have an impact on battery lifetime. 

On the S20 Extremely, reviews have been combined. Miller was ready to get by way of a comprehensive working day with 120Hz turned on, but CNET’s review saw battery lifetime fall quick of a finish working day. 

s20-plus-battery-life.jpg

Galaxy S20 Plus battery lifetime instance. 


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

My original plan was to transform on 120Hz, examination the cellphone for a few times, then change to 60Hz and evaluate battery lifetime. Nevertheless, the battery lifetime on the S20 Plus has been so great that I you should not see any rationale to change. I have been ready to use the S20 Plus all working day with zero worries about battery lifetime. In this screenshot, I experienced four hrs and 30 minutes of display screen on time and the battery experienced just below forty% charge still left. Which is on par with what I get from the Apple iphone 11 Pro Max. Of course, with 60Hz turned on, battery lifetime will be even greater. 

The whole S20 lineup supports 5G a to start with for any flagship lineup of smartphones. They aren’t established equal, however (extra on that in a minute). Unfortunately, I was not ready to examination the 5G abilities of the S20 Plus. Not a solitary carrier features 5G where by I dwell, and as I beforehand included, T-Mobile has the closest 5G network to me. Unfortunately, with every little thing likely on appropriate now and social distancing, I will not be ready to make the generate and examination it out for the foreseeable long term. I do have active SIM cards from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, and plan on testing 5G as soon as things commence to return to typical. Assuming Samsung allows me to keep on to the cellphone that lengthy. 

Reviewers of the S20 Extremely have complained about emphasis concerns with the digicam. (Samsung has promised a program update will cure the concerns.) I was nervous that the S20 Plus would also undergo, but in my testing, car-emphasis has been dependable and trusted. I have recognized an occasional macro shot which is out of emphasis, but which is not unusual for any cellphone. 

The S20 Plus doesn’t have the very same 100x zoom as the Extremely, and I am self-assured it is not some thing I would want. Rather, the Plus has up to 30x zoom. The hybrid optic zoom that employs a mix of components and AI stops at 10x, with 20x and 30x zoom remaining exclusively digital. 

normal-10x-30x.jpg

From best to base: 30x, 10x, typical. 


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Working with 10x to acquire photos at a college perform or avenue artwork a few blocks away, has returned extraordinary results. But something more than 10x is… not really great. The consequence is a blurry image which is it’s possible great adequate to study a indication or capture a image at a concert, but it is practically nothing you’ll want to print out. The earlier mentioned very same exhibits that 30x can be helpful to see what is actually on a wall, but the figures aren’t as crystal clear as they are in the 10x edition, just below it. Samsung could have stopped with the 10x hybrid zoom and called it a accomplishment (because it is!), but it shouldn’t have added supplemental zoom concentrations just because it could. 

Samsung is as soon as once again employing an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that lives below the display. The sensor is employed to unlock the cellphone, approve Samsung Pay out purchases, and indication into banking apps. It truly is more substantial this yr, and the program has been improved for a extra dependable encounter. I by no means experienced an situation with the sensor on the S10 or Observe ten, but so significantly, the S20’s sensor feels quicker and extra trusted. 

The all round performance of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and 12GB of memory has been quick and responsive. I have not skilled any hiccups with apps or even video games slowing down or remaining sluggish to open. I have invested a good deal of time multitasking on the S20 Plus, be it seeing a Twitch stream though coordinating with a colleague in Slack and likely by way of my Gmail account and the cellphone by no means skipped a defeat. 

As anyone who usually travels and employs my cellphone as a tool to stay on best of work and communication with customers, the S20 Plus has the battery lifetime and performance which is reassuring and I truly feel like I could rely on. 

galaxy-s20-plus-3.jpg

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

The place the Plus fits in the S20 lineup

The Galaxy S20 begins at $999, the S20 Plus is $one,199, and the S20 Extremely is $one,399. Not a solitary just one of these telephones is what I would take into consideration very affordable or reasonably priced, but more than the past pair of years, flagship telephones have turn out to be extra pricey, and 4-figure charges are commonplace — especially as soon as you introduce 5G connectivity.

And, ended up it not for the differences in 5G connectivity, the Galaxy S20 would most likely be the model I’d propose. Nevertheless, the S20 only supports Sub6 5G connectivity. Appropriate now, that doesn’t appear to be like a massive deal, especially with the likes of T-Mobile and AT&T broadly deploying Sub6 networks. But, as the mmWave rollout from all big carriers continues to accelerate, the S20 will not be ready to link to that network, and it is the 5G typical that provides on the guarantee of remarkable speeds and minimal latency. 

The S20 Plus and S20 Extremely aid Sub6 and mmWave, making sure you’ll be ready to use either cellphone with any 5G network in the US. 

Conclusion

The Galaxy S20 Plus is the ideal Android cellphone I have employed more than the previous yr. It features the finish package. A sturdy digicam set up, an extraordinary display screen, and it has the performance to match. The addition of 5G connectivity is some thing that some — it’s possible most? — of us will not be ready to acquire comprehensive advantage of pretty but, but with a cellphone that charges $one,200, odds are you’re not planning on upgrading at any time shortly. 

The Extremely is extra cellphone, in price tag and dimension, than most will at any time need. The S20 Plus, however, is just appropriate. A modest combine of price and performance, with a sprint of 5G long term-proofing.

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