Samsung from the very beginning of 2020 loudly announced itself, releasing one foldable smartphone and an incredible camera phone with 100x hybrid zoom. It is about the latter that will be discussed in this review - the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra stands out with a huge display diagonal of 6.9 inches, a refresh rate of 120 Hz and an incredible camera.
- Operating System: Android 10, OneUI 2.0.
- Processor: Exynos 990; two custom cores with a clock frequency of 2.73 GHz, two cores of an ARM Cortex-A76 with a clock frequency of 2.6 GHz, four cores of an ARM Cortex-A55 with a clock frequency of 2.0 GHz.
- Video Accelerator: Arm Mali-G77.
- Display: Dynamic AMOLED, 6.9 inches, Quad HD + (511 ppi), 120 Hz, support for HDR10 +.
- Internal memory: 128 GB, UFS 3.0, microSD support up to 1 TB.
- RAM: 12 GB, LPDDR5.
- Main camera: 108 megapixels (f / 1.8) + 12 megapixels (super wide viewing angle, f / 2.2) + 48 megapixels (telephoto lens, f / 3.5) + depth sensor, four-time optical zoom, optical stabilizer, ultra-wide viewing angle, video recording in 8K / 24 FPS.
- Front camera: 40 MP (f / 2.2).
- Security: on-screen fingerprint scanner, face recognition.
- Communication: 5G (NSA), LTE Cat.20, Wi-Fi 802.11 × (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), 4 × 4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5, GPS, GLONASS, NFC.
- Connectors: USB Type-C.
- Battery: 5000 mAh, fast wired and wireless charging, reverse wireless charging.
- Dimensions: 166.9 × 76 × 8.8 mm.
- SIM card slot: dual hybrid (memory card up to 1 TB).
- ESIM support: yes.
- Weight: 220 g.
- Dust and moisture protection: IP68.
Appearance and equipment
The back panel of the smartphone remotely resembles a Pixel or the latest iPhone: the module with four cameras is located on an impressive pedestal. Someone may be frightened off by such a performance, but on the other hand, it may become a new trend that other smartphone manufacturers will pick up.
The entire S20 series does not stand out in the bright colors of the back panel, but rather, on the contrary, it represents strict and concise devices. The S20 Ultra has two colors to choose from: Space Gray and Space Black. We have the first option on the review.
The dimensions of the smartphone are non-standard - 166.9 × 76 × 8.8 mm, and people with a small palm will not be very comfortable using this device. It may not fit in a narrow jeans pocket, and a weight of 220 grams cannot be called light.
The front of the smartphone is a colorful 6.9-inch display with the thinnest frames, and from below the manufacturer almost managed to get rid of the chin. The glass at the edges has small roundings, but they are much smaller than the previous model - S10. In the center at the top of the display is the front camera eye.
Visually, the spoken speaker is not indicated in any way. That's because it is piezoelectric and built-in under the screen.
On the right side is the power button and volume rocker. Below is a Type-C port with a USB 3.0 bus, a stereo speaker and a microphone. At the top there is another microphone for noise reduction and a hybrid slot for two SIM cards or a SIM card and a memory card. As befits most premium smartphones, the S20 Ultra lacks a headphone jack.
Despite the fact that the S20 Ultra is protected from moisture and dust by IP68 technology, and the front and back glass of Gorilla Glass 6, the manufacturer offers several types of cases to protect the device from scratches and keep it in its original form. The first is quite simple and is found in every smartphone even at a low price segment: a silicone transparent case. The second option looks more serious and is a hard plastic ultramarine bumper. The third option is a cover-book with a vertical transparent window for viewing information: time, battery power and notifications. This is quite a useful thing, since there is no event indicator on the smartphone.
The kit includes wired vacuum headphones with a Type-C plug. During the test, they showed an average sound quality, and as a temporary replacement of the main ones, they will completely disappear.
ScreenThe matrix of smartphones from Samsung are considered their main trump cards, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra has something to surprise. It uses an Infinity-O display (a limitless screen with a hole for the camera), a Dynamic AMOLED matrix with a resolution of 3200x1440 (WQHD +), an aspect ratio of 20: 9. Thus, the pixel density of the display is 511 ppi. The screen is really very juicy and bright - the peak value is 1342 nits, which helps to ensure high-quality information transfer on a bright sunny day. HDR10 + technology enhances color reproduction to natural tones, and white balance is close to the reference - 6500K.
If it is difficult for the average user to catch the difference between 60 Hz and 90 Hz, the difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz is significant. The picture is very smooth and gives pleasure when working with interface elements. At the same time, the display of games has completely reached a new level.
True, the high-frequency mode can only be used in FHD + resolution, and not with standard WQHD +. But it is worth noting that the difference in resolution with the naked eye is not at all noticeable, but the difference in smoothness is quite noticeable.
Performance and autonomyNow let's move on to one of the main parameters - performance. While around the world the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be distributed on the basis of the Samsung Exynos 990 proprietary chip, in the USA it will ship on the Snapdragon 865. But you should not worry and be upset about this, the eight-core Exynos 990 shows a decent result in benchmarks. The processor copes with the work in the graphical interface of the smartphone and in demanding applications without friezes and jams. However, in the test of artificial intelligence and work with neural networks, the device showed an average.
In graphics tests, the Arm Mali-G77 video accelerator scored a large number of points, taking a leading position. But the CPU heating at that moment was not the most comfortable 56.6 ° C.
In the CPU application Throttling Test, the smartphone showed a good result. Only after 45 minutes of testing did a noticeable decrease in processor frequency appear. But after completion, the temperature of the CPU, judging by the sensors, was almost 70 ° C and when holding the smartphone in hands, this temperature can cause obvious discomfort.
An important role in the speed of the smartphone and the download speed of applications is played by internal memory and RAM. 128 GB of memory are allocated and it is connected to the UFS3.0 bus, which helps in fast data recording. RAM is 12 GB of LPDDR5 format, which is 23% faster on paper than LPDDR4X and 30% more energy efficient. According to the test results, its speed is almost 30 GB / s, which is also impressive, but the manufacturer announced a speed of 44 GB / s.
The large dimensions of the Galaxy S20 Ultra made it possible to install a capacious 5000 mAh battery. With a moderate use mode on a single charge, the smartphone worked quietly for a whole day. In the editorial test of the battery, he lasted 15 hours and 10 minutes in the standard 60 Hz screen refresh mode. A good indicator, given the high average brightness and large display area.Trashbox.ru battery test results:
All battery test results and test method descriptions
Samsung Galaxy S20 + (60 Hz)
Samsung Galaxy S20 (60 Hz)
In the box, along with the gadget, there is a 25 W charging unit capable of charging a capacious battery from 0% to 100% in 55 minutes. To speed up the charging process by half, you can buy a 45 W power supply. In this model, there is support for Quick Charge, both wired and wireless, including the function of wirelessly charging external devices (reverse).
CameraToday, the S20 Ultra has the most high-tech camera, which the manufacturer made a special emphasis during the presentation. The dimensions of the device made it possible to place as many as 5 camera modules on the rear panel.
The largest sensor is 108 megapixels. Its area is 1 / 1.33 inches, which is almost three times more than its predecessor in the face of S10. Thanks to this sensor area, the size of one single pixel is 0.8 microns. The weight of a photo taken in 108 MP mode can reach 30 MB, depending on the scene and the number of objects in the photo. So that the free space on the built-in media does not disappear before our eyes, in the camera settings menu, you can select the item for saving photos in HEIF format. Thus, the file size will be smaller, and the quality of the photo itself will hardly change. However, the manufacturer warns that not all photo-sharing sites support this format. And for professionals there is an opportunity to save in the RAW extension.
In normal shooting, the 12 megapixel mode is used. According to Samsung, each pixel consists of 9 adjacent standing ordinary pixels with a size of 0.8 microns, which are combined into one large, due to which a better picture is obtained. In this case, there is a loss of detail, but noise and the manifestation of artifacts are reduced. As practical tests showed, it is best to give preference to the 108-megapixel mode. It has better detail and more convenient to do further processing and cropping.
Photos in 108-megapixel mode are available here
As a telephoto lens, a separate module with 4x optical zoom is used. The resolution of the sensor is 48 megapixels, and its size is 1/2 inch. It is this hero, using digital zoom, that allows you to zoom in on an object 100 times. With such a powerful zoom, it can be difficult to understand where the camera is aimed. Therefore, to simplify orientation, the camera interface provides a second window with a view of the main camera.
This approximation up to 100 times can be achieved with the usual scaling in any photo editor, and you will get almost the same result and even with slightly better quality - naturally, if the photo was taken in 108 MP mode. Because during zooming, even being on a tripod, to catch the target in the frame is very problematic, to say nothing when shooting with hands. However, we must pay tribute - pictures with a 10x zoom come out very detailed, and this can be achieved by the periscopic lens system and high resolution of the sensor.
The wide-angle module is designed for shooting panoramas and has a fairly large viewing angle. Its resolution is 12 megapixels, the aperture is f / 2.2, and the focal length is 13 mm. Compared to other modules, its characteristics on paper are much inferior. This was confirmed by test shots. Even in photographs taken in good light, small noise is noticeable when examined in detail.
The front camera in the S20 Ultra was pumped to the maximum: it has a resolution of 40 megapixels, aperture f / 2.2 and an equivalent focal length of 26 mm. The last indicator indicates that it has a fairly wide angle and, for example, more people can fit on a group selfie. The quality of the pictures is excellent, and probably almost the best of all that is now on the market. Detailing in daylight is commensurate with shooting on the main camera module in 12-megapixel mode, and competent HDR operation allows you to not lose in the dynamic range in low light.
The night mode does a good job of detailing the photo, making the lighting softer, while highlighting dark areas, but the image gets a slight yellowish tint.
For comparison, two photos are shown: the first is taken in the normal mode, the second in the night
In terms of video quality, Samsung has surpassed itself. S20 Ultra allows you to record video in 8K and 24FPS, but without stabilization mode. Of course, this is for the most part a marketing ploy, since now not every player will allow you to play videos shot in this resolution. But on the other hand, from any freeze frame you can take a very detailed picture. Or, for example, upload a video to YouTube in 4K resolution. Nevertheless, stabilization is severely lacking. And the size of a one-minute clip is as much as 500 MB - this is a lot.
4K shooting was really impressive. In addition to the usual stabilization, there is an image enhanced by crop. The result is no worse than when using a Steadicam tripod.
The transition between the main cameras is seamless, but you can’t call it completely invisible. For example, when shooting with a wide-angle module and switching to 10x zoom, the “wide” zoom will first occur. At this moment, image quality is lost, stabilization worsens, and only then does switching to 10x zoom occur. But this can be attributed to petty nitpicking.
Shooting video on the front camera, perhaps, deserves the best rating in this category. The detail is wonderful! What can I say, at the moment this is the first Android smartphone capable of shooting in 4K at 60FPS on the front camera.
Is the S20 Ultra a revolutionary camera smartphone? Of course, yes! Last year, many interesting solutions came from different manufacturers, and it seemed that a certain ceiling had been reached. But the Galaxy S20 Ultra outlined a clear direction for expanding the photo and video capabilities of smartphones. However, the new model is not without flaws. We hope that they will be fixed with the next updates, because the device was released recently.Pros:
- bright and large display;
- increased smoothness mode 120 Hz;
- high-quality stereo speaker;
- fast RAM and ROM;
- powerful processor;
- great camera;
- good stabilization;
- 100x software zoom;
- hybrid slot for a SIM card and memory card or for two SIM cards.
May not like:
- heavy weight;
- no notification indicator;
- strong heating under load.
- lack of a separate headphone jack;
- high price.
Final rating: 8 out of 10.