Samsung Galaxy S20+ review/Design/Software/Battery/performance/Camera/Gadget review/

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 

Samsung Galaxy S20+ review

 Samsung's bouquet of premium Android smartphones looks promising this year. We have the S20 series for photography enthusiasts, and the Galaxy Z Flip for those looking for the bleeding edge of smartphone technology. We have not even counted the next Galaxy Note smartphone, which should come later in the year, and there is no doubt that it will have a lot of features.

This year there are larger focus cameras for the new Galaxy S20 series. Samsung is making a lot of noise about its new 'space zoom' feature and the fact that the S20 models first offer 8K video recording in a usable frame. When we first saw Samsung's Unpacked event last month, the phones looked quite impressive, and now the time has come to look even deeper, starting with the Galaxy S20 +.

It is a direct successor to the Galaxy S10 + Rs. 39,999 and with every iteration, we should expect a sleeker design, better battery life, better camera performance and of course a more powerful processor.

Design and Look

The Galaxy S20 + is instantly recognizable as a Samsung smartphone. Compared to the Galaxy S10 +, Samsung has refined the design. The upper and lower bezels of the display are narrower, and the glass back has a wider curve at the sides, covering more of the aluminum frame. This phone is still very comfortable to hold but the glossy finish makes it quite slippery. It is no thicker than 7.8 mm, but slightly heavier than its predecessor at 186g.

The narrow display border and slightly taller body have allowed Samsung to use larger displays. The Galaxy S20 + features a 6.7-inch QHD + Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, supporting HDR 10+ and 120Hz refresh rate for the first time. You can set the display to run at 60 Hz at its full resolution, or at 120Hz or lower, preferring full-HD + resolution (which is the default setting). However, you may not have a 120Hz refresh rate at full resolution, at least not yet. Rumors have surfaced about Samsung's plan with a software update in the future.

The Galaxy S20 + has lost the secondary selfie camera to the Galaxy S10 +, and instead has a single, center-mounted hole-punch cutout. This is not abusive in any way, and applications typically close that area, so the cutout does not interfere with menus or other UI elements from fullscreen apps. The volume and power buttons are on the right, and Samsung has removed the dedicated Bixby button. Instead, you can customize the power button's long-press function to wake Bixby or launch the power menu. A double-press action can also be set to launch the camera, open Bixby, or any other app.

The SIM tray is on the top of the phone and can be fitted with two nano-SIMs or a single SIM and a microSD card. At the bottom of the phone, Samsung has got rid of the headphone socket for its flagship as the Galaxy Note 10 is priced at Rs 51,989, and so here we only have a microphone, USB Type-C port and a speaker. There is an earpiece just above the camera hole, cleverly jumping between the outer frame and the display, making it almost impossible to see.
We have the cosmic gray color variant of the Galaxy S20 +, but it is also available in Blue and Cosmic Black trims in India. There is a rectangular camera bump on the rear, with four camera sensors, a microphone and LED flash.

The design of the camera cluster reminds us of some of the recently seen Galaxy A-series offerings, which we feel the Galaxy S20 Series has a slightly lower street presence. We would have liked a more distinctive design for the rear of this phone, similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 11 Rs 51,999 (review) series, just to give its flagship a better flint price.

Having said that, the Galaxy S20 + feels a lot more premium than any of Samsung's mid-range phones, when you actually hold it. It is very well built, has a high screen-to-body ratio, and is still quite light. In the box, you can expect to find a 25W fast charger, Type-C to Type-C charging cable, an AKG-branded headset, a silicon case, and a normal leaflet. The Galaxy S20 + ships with a screen guard that is well applied for once and does not intrude while making gestures.

Software (OS) and Specification

Globally, Samsung is marketing the S20 series as a 5G smartphone, although in India, the entire S20 series will only support 4G. The 5G version of the Galaxy S20 + comes in several storage variants, but the LTE-only version, which we have, is sold in only one configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The latter is expandable, which is something we don't often see on flagship phones these days. Samsung has also used LPDDR5 memory here, which promises higher data rates and lower power consumption.

Like all previous Galaxy S flagships sold in India, the Galaxy S20 + is powered by an Exynos chip instead of a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, and the Exynos 990 used here. You can read more about this, but essentially it is 7nm octa. -Core SoC with two custom Samsung cores for heavy duty tasks, two Vertex-A76 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores for lighter workloads. The graphics are handled by the Mali-G77 GPU, which boasts a 20 percent increase in performance over the previous generation. Overall, we should expect performance along the lines of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 SoC.

You also get all the other flagship connectivity features you would expect such as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, stereo speakers by AKG, high-res audio support for wired headphones, IP68 dust and water resistance, fast wireless charging, NFC, And MST support for Samsung Pay.

The Galaxy S20 + runs One UI 2.1 which is based on Android 10, and our unit originally shipped with the February security patch. However, during our review with the March security patch, we received a software update. The latest version of Samsung's Android skin feels extremely sophisticated, and even features a ton to detect, but it doesn't feel cluttered or heavy.

Features like Samsung Decks and Link to Windows exist, and you also get common Samsung staples such as a built-in screen recorder, a screenshot editor, edge screen and a highly customizable always-on display. Augmented Reality (AR) features are grouped into an app called AR Zone, so you don't have to launch the camera app to use features like AR Doodle.
A UI will show you promotional messages as notifications but this setting can be fixed by disabling some toggles in the privacy menu of the app.

Battery and Performance

The Galaxy S20 + gave rock-solid performance in the times we used, and we didn't expect anything less. A UI has really grown on us, and today it is easily one of our favorite Android skins. The 120Hz display feels cracking through the menu and gives a more fluid feel to the overall usage experience. However, we have preferred to use the Galaxy S20 + in QHD + resolution, so that the UI is a bit faster, but that's just for us. It is a little surprising that 120Hz is not enabled by default (which should have been the case), as we suspect that many users may not be aware that this option also exists.

The Exynos 990 is a solid performer, and the benchmarks solidify our experience. At AnTuTu, we got a score of 5,17,291 points, while the 3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics Test scored 6,721 points. These numbers were slightly less than the Realme X50 Pro 5G at Rs 34,999 (5,69,618 in AnTuTu and 7,202 in 3DMark). In any case, you will be hard pressed to notice any differences in real-world performance and even sports. Common heavy-highlators like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, and Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade run perfectly smoothly at the highest settings. The Galaxy S20 + became quite hot after about 20 minutes of gaming, but it was nothing we couldn't handle.

Performance is easily one of the best we have come across. The colors are rich with very good saturation, and the brightness is more than adequate. The ambient light sensor can be a bit dull at times when it comes to adjusting brightness to match ambient light, but this is not a major complaint. HDR content looks great, and thanks to slimmer bezels, watching the video felt very immature.

The audio quality from the stereo speakers was quite impressive. The earpiece and bottom-firing speaker sounded well balanced, and with Dolby Atmos enabled, spatial separation was noticeably better. The bass is still a bit weak, but there is enough heat in the sound to prevent it from sounding tinny. The bundled AKG provides equally good audio as well as passive isolation from ambient noise.

We should touch on the biometric authentication system of the phone. It has an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor, which is fast and has not failed us during the review period. Face recognition is also an option, and it works well but is not as fast as we would have liked. It also struggles in very low light, in which case, we have to resort to our fingerprint for authentication.

All of this takes a toll on battery life, which is why Samsung has bumped up the 4,500mAh capacity for the Galaxy S20 +. It is safe to say that battery life is very solid, but not exceptional. We were able to have a 24-hour runtime on most days, when our usage was not very heavy. However, in those days when we used the camera too much or played games for a long time, we had to charge the phone a little early.

Thankfully, the Galaxy S20 + does not take long to charge. With the bundled 25W adapter, we managed to charge up to 55 percent in half an hour and up to 93 percent in one hour. It also supports Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, if you have a compatible 10W or more wireless charger. As before, the Galaxy S20 + also supports wireless powershare or reverse wireless charging, which can be used to charge accessories such as the Galaxy Buds +.

Camera and Image Quality

The Samsung Galaxy S20 + has a new camera setup with two new features, including 8K video recording and up to 30x hybrid zoom. The primary sensor still has 12-megapixel resolution, f / 1.8 aperture, and OIS with dual pixel autofocus, but the pixel size is now 1.8 microns compared to 1.4 microns on the previous model. The ultra wide-angle camera also uses a 12-megapixel sensor, but with smaller 1.4 micron pixels, a narrow f / 2.2 aperture, and no autofocus. The telephoto camera makes the biggest changes with the 64-megapixel sensor, but no optical stabilization. The Vision Plus' model that we have is a depth vision camera that is absent in the standard Galaxy S20. Another change, which you have probably noticed, is that Samsung has dug their variable aperture system for better or worse with the Galaxy S20 series.

If you've used a Samsung phone recently, the camera interface sounds familiar. We have a customizable row of shooting modes just above the shutter button, while toggles for the rest of the settings, such as aspect ratio, timer and row motion photos, sit at the furthest of the viewfinder. The app provides a toggle to enable the scene optimizer, which detects a scene in an object or frame. Shot Suggest will make suggestions to improve your framing, and also has experimental features such as HDR 10+ videos that can be enabled.

Initial reviews of the Galaxy S20 Ultra at Rs 86,999 highlighted some major issues with the autofocus system, which Samsung has promised to fix. While we did not face such issues with the Galaxy S20 + while we were testing it, we received a software update that promised improvements for the cameras. We re-tested the cameras and did not find anything new or different about the experience of use, but we did notice that the low-light selfies looked better.

When shooting with the main camera under good light, the Galaxy S20 + captured very good details in pleasing colors and shadow areas with no visible noise. HDR is handled very well, even when shooting subjects directly against light. With the wide-angle camera, there's a lot more of any scene to capture, but you get some barrel distortion. Close-up shots were also superb with excellent detail, sharpness and good natural bokeh.

The really fun part is the phone's new zoom system. The telephoto camera offers 2x optical zoom, and in addition, it uses a mix of AI-assisted hybrid zoom and digital zoom. After tapping the telephoto icon in the viewfinder you can jump directly to the dedicated zoom level. You can manually zoom to an exact point using traditional pinch gestures.

Photos taken with the telephoto camera were good, which was given adequate illumination. During our initial testing, we found the image quality to be inconsistent, but after software updates, things have gotten better. After the 10x zoom level, the texture on objects looks visibly smoother as the grain and noise are removed. At full 30x zoom, the Galaxy S20 + is capable of resolving a decent amount of detail. Compared to a native 64-megapixel sample, a single image with 30x zoom provides better clarity. Beyond 20x, you get a little preview window in the top left corner of the viewfinder to help frame your shot.

In low light, using a high level of zoom does not yield very favorable results. However, using night mode with 10x zoom can provide significantly better results than a standard shot with the same zoom level. Talking about night mode, it works in all three main sensors and helps in getting rid of grains and improves exposure. In general low-light performance is very good. We managed to get some nice details and colors with the primary camera, and the noise was also well controlled.

The live focus mode works well, and we had a good success rate with people, but objects were a hit or miss. The background depth effect can be adjusted before or after the shot is taken, and you can apply different bokeh effects as well. Edge detection was also handled well.

The Galaxy S20 + has a new shooting mode called Single Take. With this, the camera captures a 10-second video with the image at various intervals, and depending on what is being shot, it will automatically apply filters for some shots. This is effective when you are capturing an activity, rather than a static view.

The Galaxy S20 + is a very capable smartphone for video. Of course the highlight is 8K video, which works well, but you'll need an 8K display or TV to take advantage of such footage. It's great that we have a phone that can record at this resolution, but since the frame rate is limited to 24fps, we liked staying with just 4K video. The image quality is very good in daylight, with excellent stabilization and detailing. In low light, stabilization makes little impact in video, but other than that, the quality is good.

Can switch between all cameras, including a selfie camera, when shooting up to 4K resolution at 30fps. Video quality is not very good when shooting with wide-angle or telephoto cameras in low light. It also features Super Steady Video Mode, which offers gimbal-level smoothness. While this works to an extent, we preferred quality when using a primary camera for some reason.In Super Steady mode, only wide-angle or telephoto cameras (depending on the perspective you select) are used, and the resolution is limited to 1080p.

Other shooting modes include live focus for video, and still a manual video mode, just like you have for stills. Super slow-motion mode also exists, but at 960fps, you are still limited to 720p resolution. Coming to the selfie camera, we have a 10-megapixel sensor with dual pixel AF and an f / 2.2 aperture. During the day, the beautification filter which by default smoothes the skin texture to a great extent, makes the photos look unnatural. Turning this off greatly improves results. Live focus is also slightly hit or miss with incorrect hit detection. Before the software update, we had terrible results with the selfie camera in low light, but things have improved the update a bit.


The Galaxy S20 + may sound expensive, but Samsung has actually priced it the same as the Galaxy S10 + when it was launched a year ago. From that point of view, the Galaxy S20 + offers better design and performance across the board, making it a worthy upgrade. Some of its stand-out features include a new zoom system for the rear camera, a great display, solid battery life, and a sleeker design. Other things like reverse wireless charging, stereo speakers and lean software make a very good package to consider.

However, this phone has its share of weaknesses, such as the fact that it gets quite hot when playing heavy games for extended periods of time, and facial recognition doesn't work very well in low light. The design of the back is also slightly bland for flagship phones in 2020. Battery life, while good, could have been better, and fast charging isn't as quick in some solutions as we've seen from other manufacturers.

Another sad point for some buyers may be the lack of 5G support in Indian models. While this is not a major disadvantage if you are only going to use your phone in India, it can be a deal-breaker for those who travel a lot or who hold onto their expensive purchases over many years. Intend to Both Realme and iQoo have launched very few 5G devices in India, making the Indian Galaxy S20 + seem less proof in the future.

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