The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is essentially the most spectacular ‘center baby’ handset we’ve ever examined – and almost certainly the very best pound-for-pound S20 telephone, interval. It’s a powerhouse that packs the very best perks of its siblings, and strikes the proper stability between them.
That’s, it’s obtained an even bigger show and extra battery life than the Samsung Galaxy S20, however it’s not fairly as giant and expensive because the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely. In order for you affordability, or the very best of the very best, go along with one of many different two; nonetheless, we predict that for most folk the S20 Plus will hit the candy spot.
You may not wish to go along with any of them although, because the Samsung Galaxy S21, Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely have all now been introduced. They’re upgrades in some methods and – curiously – downgrades in others, no less than within the case of the usual and Plus mannequin, so it may not be as clear minimize because the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus being the very best ‘Plus’ choice.
We’ll know for positive as soon as we have put the brand new telephones by full critiques, so keep tuned for our verdict.
In any case, leaving the ultra-premium Extremely apart, the Galaxy S20 Plus was additionally 2020’s first large 5G telephone – and one which operates on each the mmWave and sub-6 frequencies. Crucially, the usual S20 solely works on sub-6, which suggests some US carriers gained’t even promote that telephone. In flip, meaning the S20 Plus shall be their most inexpensive S20 mannequin.
Add to the combination some actually stellar cameras that includes amped-up zoom and top-tier specs, and the S20 Plus earns its place as the very best of the S20 trio. The telephone is not excellent – there are many nitpicks that we’ll get into beneath – however it’s an important all-around alternative with the very best of 2020’s high options, although you will need to pay to get them.
Sure, the S20 Plus has gotten a value bump over the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, presumably as a result of added 5G compatibility. It pushes the telephone to new heights of flagship costs, which is irritating – particularly given the restricted availability of the cheaper 4G mannequin, and notably the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus truly has a decrease launch value.
But when the S20 Plus pushes up the value ceiling, no less than it does in order top-of-the-line telephones available on the market.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus value and availability
- Preliminary launch date: March 6, 2020 within the US and Australia, March 13 within the UK
- 128GB + 12GB of RAM + 5G: $1,199 / £999 / AU$1,649
- 512GB + 12GB of RAM + 5G: $1,299 / £1,099 / AU$1,899
- 128GB + 8GB of RAM + 4G solely: AU$1,499 (not out there in US)
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is accessible now within the US, UK and Australia. There are two variants of the telephone; one with 5G, and one other with solely 4G.
The 5G model of the telephone begins at $1,199 / £999 / AU$1,449 with 128GB of storage. That goes as much as $1,349 / £1,099 / AU$1,699 for the 512GB mannequin.
The 4G-only variant is accessible in Australia (it is not bought within the US or UK) for AU$1,299 with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. All of the 5G variations of the telephone include 12GB of RAM.
We reviewed the 5G model of the telephone, and this evaluation will principally deal with that machine as it is the extra generally out there handset.
In different phrases, Samsung is pitching this Plus mannequin as extra of an intermediate step than merely a bigger model – which is a little bit of a stretch. There aren’t that many extra extras within the S20 Plus than there have been within the S10 Plus that warrant the relative value soar… other than 5G connectivity.
Nonetheless, the value is more likely to fall now that the Samsung Galaxy S21 vary has been unveiled, and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus truly has a decrease launch value than the S20 Plus, so seemingly Samsung realized it was pushing its costs too excessive. The upshot is you need to quickly have quite a few – comparatively – inexpensive Samsung flagships to select from.
The S20 Plus is available in a plethora of cool, muted colours: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black, and Aura Blue. UK customers also can get the telephone in Cloud White coloration, however solely by the service O2.
- Bigger than the usual S20, smaller than the S20 Extremely
- Rectangular digicam block on an otherwise-sleek glass shell
- Bixby button is gone, however so is 3.5mm headphone jack
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus doesn’t look a lot totally different to its predecessor, however that is the sleekest machine in an extended line of flagships – and that isn’t a foul look.
As telephone makers fumble round looking for the very best enclosure for an increasing number of lenses, the oblong block on the again of the S20 Plus isn’t the worst. It’s a bit extra refined and fewer obtrusive than the sq. bump on the Pixel 4’s rear – though it’s possible you’ll not suppose it a lot of an improve over the horizontal strip housing the cameras on the S10 Plus.
The only center-aligned punch-hole for the front-facing digicam seems cleaner, and obstructs much less of the show, than the lozenge-shaped cutout housing two lenses on the S10 Plus. Much less noticeable except the 2 telephones are side-by-side is that the brand new Plus mannequin has no high lip or backside chin – its bezel is evenly sparse.
What’s likewise much less apparent is how minimal the design has grow to be: with no rear fingerprint sensor (this was dropped from all of final 12 months’s S10 telephones), no Bixby button and, sadly for some, no 3.5mm headphone jack, the S20 Plus is fairly lean.
Heck, it’s even thinner by a hair than the usual S20. The draw back? Pump up the amount on the twin top-and-bottom audio system and the entire rear cowl will vibrate. They put out respectable audio, although we nonetheless haven’t discovered sound projection and stereo stability that tops what the Google Pixel 4 is able to.
- 6.7-inch AMOLED show, WQHD+ (3200 x 1440) decision
- 120Hz refresh price, however solely at FHD+ decision or decrease
- In-screen fingerprint sensor is lackluster
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus’ 6.7-inch AMOLED show is sharp and vibrant, with WQHD+ decision (3200 x 1440). The show is a shade taller than the S10 Plus’ QHD+ (3040 x 1440) display, which is probably going as a result of it having much less bezel on the high and backside. However you possible gained’t discover a distinction given how related they’re – no less than till you get to the refresh price.
Sure, the S20 telephones be a part of a number of different late-2019 and 2020 fashions in including the choice to refresh the display extra regularly. Most telephones function at 60Hz (that means the display refreshes 60 instances per second), however on the S20 Plus and its siblings you may decide to up this to 120Hz.
Whereas that’s a sooner refresh price than the 90Hz on the Google Pixel 4, OnePlus 7T Professional or Razer Telephone 2, you possible gained’t see a distinction except you place these telephones facet by facet with the S20 Plus whereas it’s bumped as much as 120Hz. And sure, the ASUS ROG Telephone 2 additionally gives 120Hz, making Samsung’s flagship line the primary non-gaming telephones to get the cutting-edge display tech.
So what does this imply in day-to-day use? Technically, it ought to allow smoother motion in video games that assist 120Hz, though we discovered the impact to be extra noticeable in on-line video games like PUBG reasonably than motion/journey titles like Alto’s Odyssey (see this Android Authority listing for different video games that harness 120Hz screens). However you’ll most admire 120Hz within the silky-smooth animations flowing by the Android interface – sure, many of the enjoyable is available flipping between apps and thru menus, though you’ll get the identical impact when gliding by Instagram or Twitter.
Granted, you may’t go full-throttle on each refresh price and show decision: if you’d like 1440p visuals you’ll must set the display to 60Hz, and if you wish to bump that as much as 120Hz then you definately’ll must accept 1080p (or 2400 x 1080). And you must toggle each settings individually, which makes it too onerous for tinkering: you’ll possible set it to 1 combo or the opposite and go away it.
As for the show’s basic properties, anticipate a lot the identical as from the S10 Plus, with a really clear and detailed image when watching content material as much as 1440p decision. Regardless of technically having a higher-resolution display than the one on the iPhone 11 Professional Max, each that telephone and the S20 Plus confirmed roughly the identical image when demoing, say, a 1440p video on YouTube – although the Apple telephone’s display does have a slight edge in distinction, exhibiting high-contrast topics (like a lizard within the solar) in higher readability.
One final level: you may wish to activate facial recognition for the reason that in-screen fingerprint sensor is poor.
- 12MP major + 12MP ultra-wide + 64MP telephoto (3x optical)
- The latter is vastly improved, zooming as much as 30x
- Shoots video in 8K 24fps…if yow will discover a show to point out it on
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus packs a trio of rear cameras, plus a time-of-flight depth sensor. Whereas the primary and ultra-wide lenses haven’t modified an important deal from the corresponding lenses on the S10 Plus, Samsung has amped up the telephoto lens to ship unbelievable constancy far past what its predecessor was able to.
The place the S10 Plus packed a 12MP 2x optical telephoto digicam, which prolonged to a good 10x digital zoom, the S20 Plus is rocking a 3x optical lens mixed with a 64MP sensor, permitting for an astounding 30x digital zoom. Test it out beneath, beginning with a broad photograph of the Troopers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Brooklyn, New York Metropolis – after which zooming in 10, 20, and at last 30 instances.
True, the element will get muddy on the tail finish of that zoom vary, however the intermediate steps – the digicam app helpfully offers 2x, 4x, 10x, and 20x interval choices – make it so much simpler to hone in on topics of curiosity. It’s not fairly the Samsung S20 Extremely’s a lot vaunted 100x Area Zoom, however the idea is similar – and given how hardly ever you’d must get that near a distant topic, we expect 30x will swimsuit you simply wonderful.
Higher nonetheless, at 20x and upwards there’s a picture-in-picture inset that reveals which a part of the bigger picture you’re zoomed in on – it’s a very nice contact that we anticipate different telephone manufacturers to repeat once they get to this stage of zoom functionality.
Samsung has likewise boosted its Night time mode with software program tips – and whereas our shot of the complete moon at 30x digital zoom wasn’t very clear, the nocturnal mode nonetheless works at numerous ranges of the S20 Plus’ zoom.
Samsung has packed in its common slew of options (Reside Focus, panorama, and so on), together with a brand new one: Single Take, which is known as a predictive ‘panic button’ for pictures. Choose the mode, hit the shutter button, and the digicam will seize a choice of normal pictures, depth-enhanced Reside Focus stills, video, and GIF-like quick animations. The perfect half? AI will routinely choose the very best photos and clips and put them in a mini-album.
Stills pictures apart, the S20 Plus’ different large function (together with its siblings) is the aptitude to seize 8K video at 24fps. That’s much more of a showcase function than it’s a sensible one, given how few commercially-available shows can truly show video in 8K, however you may drop all the way down to UHD (aka 4K, 3840 x 2160) in 60fps, in addition to FHD and common HD when you so select.
The S20 Plus forgoes its predecessor’s dual-lens front-facing digicam array for a single 10MP shooter. Predictably, the brand new telephone’s depth sensing is a bit off as compared, with portrait-style Reside Focus struggling a bit as software program picks up the slack from the optics. Once more, it’s not fairly the 40MP front-facing digicam on the S20 Extremely, however it will get the job performed.
- Connects to each mmWave and sub-6 frequencies
- This makes it extra 5G-accessible than the usual Galaxy S20, which is sub-6 solely
- Our high pace on US service Verizon’s mmWave 5G: 1.38Gbps
The Galaxy S20 Plus connects to each mmWave and sub-6 5G networks, making it one of many first mainstream telephones to take action. That quantity may develop as extra telephones are launched in 2020 with the function, besides, it’s a lovely choice – in idea, anyway.
That’s as a result of we’re nonetheless within the early days of 5G, so don’t anticipate this expanded connectivity to be a serious promoting level this 12 months as carriers construct out their networks. In our New York Metropolis testing, we bounced by Verizon’s still-piecemeal mmWave 5G space, which supplied spectacular speeds once we didn’t by accident step exterior the protection bubbles.
That mentioned, having each mmWave and sub-6 makes the S20 Plus out there on extra carriers, particularly ones that solely have one or the opposite. Assuming carriers preserve constructing out these networks and, crucially, in ways in which preserve compatibility with the S20 Plus, the telephone could possibly be future-proofed for years to come back, in contrast to the mmWave-only Samsung Galaxy S10 5G or sub-6-only OnePlus 7 Professional 5G.
- Snapdragon 865 chipset within the US, Exynos 990 elsewhere
- 12GB of RAM (except you go for the 4G-only, which has 8GB of RAM)
- 128GB or 512GB storage choices
Samsung’s S-series telephones have at all times boasted top-tier specs, and the S20 Plus is not any exception. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset within the US or Exynos 990 in different nations (together with the UK and Australia) and 12GB of RAM baseline breeze by video games, media binges, and multi-app multitasking.
That is 12GB of RAM for the Galaxy S20 Plus 5G, however when you go for the 4G model you will get 8GB of RAM. We have but to check that model of the machine, however we consider 8GB of RAM ought to be sufficient to get you thru on a regular basis duties.
In line with Geekbench 5, the S20 Plus is likely one of the strongest smartphones available on the market, with a multi-core CPU rating of three,034 with the Snapdragon 865 (2774 with Exynos 990) that beats most different telephones whereas, not surprisingly, developing wanting the S20 Extremely, which scored 3,286, and in addition trailing the iPhone 11 Professional Max, which scored 3,424. Nonetheless, relating to day-to-day efficiency you are unlikely to note important efficiency variations between similarly-priced flagship rivals.
In real-world use, the S20 Plus can deal with just about any app, recreation or media you throw at it, making it a real powerhouse in your pocket. Mixed with its 5G functionality, this bodes effectively for the longevity of the handset, no less than relating to efficiency.
So whether or not you are modifying pictures in Photoshop or Lightroom, or parachuting into your one-millionth spherical of PUBG, the Galaxy S20 Plus has the grunt to maintain up. We examined it with media and video games, and the telephone dealt with every little thing with no downside – even when pumped as much as 1440p decision or 120Hz refresh price, the telephone didn’t warmth up below stress.
The Samsung S20 collection packs Android 10 out of the field, so anticipate all the nice options the most recent model of Android gives, equivalent to common Darkish Mode. As a Samsung telephone, it has the anticipated model apps and interface overlay packaged in its newest model of One UI – if the particularly slender keyboard annoys you as a lot because it did us, swap it out for Gboard pronto.
- 4,500mAh capability – in informal use, lasts practically two days – although 120Hz and 5G may eat that up sooner
- 25W quick charger within the field
- Quick Wi-fi Charging 2.0 + Wi-fi PowerShare to lend cost to different gadgets
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus packs a 4,500mAh battery, which feels enough: in our testing, we discovered that it held up far past a day’s price of typical use, which for us included binging video, scrolling by Twitter, taking pictures, and enjoying just a few video games.
That’s not particularly exceptional, however evidently battery life is kind of preserving tempo with innovation: you may eke out a bit extra life by decreasing the show decision or dropping the refresh price all the way down to 60Hz; conversely, you may max-out the display tech that’s on provide, however battery life will endure accordingly.
The telephone consists of a typical 25W USB-C Samsung charger within the field, and it additionally helps Quick Wi-fi Charging 2.0. And, just like the S10 collection telephones earlier than it, the S20 Plus can Share its cost with different gadgets by way of Samsung’s Wi-fi PowerShare function – that is significantly useful for equipment like your Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, however it works for any machine that helps Qi-charging.
Purchase it if…
You’re prepared to pay for practically the very best
We gained’t beat across the bush: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely is a superior telephone, particularly the cameras. However if you wish to avoid wasting cash, the S20 Plus has practically all its greatest perks at a notably decrease value.
You’re keen on taking telephoto photos
Not all telephones are good at taking zoomed-in pictures. The S20 Plus has a good 3x optical zoom mixed with a 64MP sensor that allows some actually neat close-in pictures. It could not seize the clearest pictures at 30x zoom, however it’ll acquire context at a farther vary than virtually each telephone available on the market – apart from the S20 Extremely, after all.
You wish to be on the reducing fringe of 5G
Given the S20 Plus connects to each mmWave and sub-6 5G, it’s an important telephone for individuals who wish to soar on the reducing fringe of 5G – as a result of, likelihood is, the telephone will hook as much as the 5G community of your service of alternative.
Don’t purchase it if…
You need low-cost 5G
Sure, the S20 Plus is probably going essentially the most inexpensive method to get 5G on each mmWave and Sub-6. However when you wished a extra inexpensive method to get to 5G, choose up a telephone that’s 5G-capable and matching your service’s specific community. As an illustration, in case your community runs on mmWave, verify if there’s a reduced Samsung Galaxy S10 5G; in case your community exists on a sub-6 then see if a OnePlus 7 Professional 5G works.
You need an inexpensive flagship
As a lot as we loved the S20 Plus, it’s actually costly – and past the technique of some customers. In order for you flagship specs at a decrease value, think about the OnePlus 7T Professional or an older telephone. They’ll serve you simply wonderful.
You desire a good-looking telephone
If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus has one other nice flaw, it’s that its design isn’t significantly inspiring. In reality, you is perhaps shocked its value goes so excessive – as a result of all it’s paying for goes on the within. In case you can’t take pleasure in all of the telephone can do, discover one which has the model and trimmings that make it worthwhile.
First reviewed: March 2020