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Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra – Which should you buy?


Feb. 12, 2020

Yesterday evening Samsung unveiled its newest series of smartphones and there is now a choice to be made.
Where once all you had to decide between was whether you wanted a flagship device or not, now you need to decide which specific flagship you want.
Samsung has made this rather difficult what with three new smartphones hitting the market on 6th March, but we’re on hand to help you decide which Galaxy S20 smartphone, is right for you.
The first thing we’re going to look at are specs as this is the easiest way for you at home to compare apples with apples.
At first glance things look rather similar across the range. Resolutions are the same, HDR10+ certification is present across the range and all of the displays boast a 120Hz refresh rate.
Sadly, when it comes to storage capacity the non-5G models we will be getting in South Africa are lacking when it comes to choice.
While the S20 Ultra boasts three storage capacities, those are very much dependent on your RAM configuration. The 512GB option for instance is only available with a 16GB RAM configuration and as such will fetch a higher price.
The good news however is that the S20 range supports microSD cards for expansion.
Aside from that storage niggle the S20 range starts to diverge when we start looking at camera. The features you will find in all the S20 cameras are:
3X Hybrid Optic Zoom (10X in the S20 Ultra)
30X Super Resolution Zoom (100X in the S20 Ultra)
Optical Image Stabilisation
8K (7680×4320) video recording at 24fps
4K (3840×2160) video recording at 60fps
1080p video recording at 60fps (slow motion at 240fps)
720p video recording at 30fps
The best phone in the range (at least regarding camera tech) is the S20 Ultra but its price will surely put some folks off.
While the features in that camera are rather interesting, we do feel as if it’s a bit overkill for most people.
Sure 100X zoom is fun to show off to your friends but is a starting price of R26 999 really worth it?
We believe that the S20 Ultra is best suited for a content creator that needs a back up camera for events and the like. For the business person or regular Joe who loves new tech, the S20+ seems like the play here.
That thinking extends to other areas as well. As nice as 16GB of RAM is, ask yourself how much multi-tasking you really plan on doing. The Galaxy S10+ sported a mere 8GB of memory and performance on that handset in 2020 is solid. The Galaxy Fold had 12GB of memory and if that’s good enough for a massive handset like that, it will ample for the S20-series.
As for battery capacity, the S20 Ultra does have a massive 5 000mAh battery but with a bigger display and more memory, we suspect battery life will be similar across the range. This is speculation on our part but we won’t know until we can test this for ourselves.
Which S20 is the best bang for your buck?
While we love the sheer weight of the specs in the S20 Ultra we have to be practical here because not everybody is going to be able to make full use of the features.
The S20 is a good baseline with only a Depth Vision camera missing compared to the S20+ but you do get a R2 000 haircut on the price for that and a slightly smaller display.
The S20 also feels a bit more comfortable in your hand and it’s easier to reach around the display compared to the S20+ and S20 Ultra.
Our pick then for the best smartphone from the range for the average Samsung fan is the S20.
The S20+ and Ultra are great handsets but justifying the massive leap in pricing becomes tricky when you’re not vlogging or pursuing a career as an Instagram influencer or TikTok celeb.
You’re also going to need a few extra Rands to purchase Bluetooth earphones as the Galaxy S20 series has ditched the 3.5mm jack.
With that in mind our pick is the Samsung Galaxy S20.
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