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  • - All right.

  • Are you ready?

  • Are you ready?

  • Let's do this.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus review.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Let's just set the stage here.

  • I think that it is really easy

  • to take the Galaxy S line of phones for granted.

  • Samsung sells so many of them,

  • more than any other Android phone in the US,

  • so I know it isn't hip or cool to say

  • that I like the Galaxy S phones

  • but I usually really like the Galaxy S phones.

  • Sure, Pixel phones tend to have better cameras,

  • and OnePlus get a ton of attention

  • and they also tend to cost less but,

  • there's just something really familiar

  • about the Galaxy S line.

  • It's like the default Android phone,

  • and so in some ways,

  • Samsung's biggest job with the S20 and the S20 Plus was

  • to make sure that it didn't mess up a good thing.

  • Like for example, I just reviewed the S20 Ultra,

  • this phones big brother and I think

  • that Samsung overextended itself with the S20 Ultra.

  • These phones though, they're trying

  • to do a little bit less than the Ultra

  • and so I think they end up accomplishing more.

  • There are three big new things about the Galaxy S20

  • that you need to know about.

  • First is the new camera system,

  • the second is that they support 5G,

  • and third, it has a nicer screen with 120Hz refresh rate.

  • There's also a bunch of little stuff too,

  • like they got rid of the headphone jack.

  • They also added a bunch of Samsung-y features

  • to the software but before we get into any of that,

  • let's just not take the design for granted.

  • It looks a lot like what all Galaxy phones have looked like

  • for a few years now.

  • There's curved glass in the back and metal rails

  • and a screen that is almost perfectly bezel-less

  • but seriously though,

  • compare this phone to any other Android phone

  • on the market, your Pixels, your OnePluses

  • or even your Huawei's

  • and I think the S20 is just plain nicer.

  • I actually think it's nicer than the iPhone 11 Pro,

  • just from a hardware perspective.

  • Also the small one,

  • it comes in pink, which is the best color option.

  • The camera module on the back is this big oblong rectangle

  • that's off to the side.

  • The screen is only interrupted by a tiny little hole

  • for the selfie camera instead of having

  • a big old notch or a forehead or whatever.

  • It uses an in-screen finger print sensor

  • which I have to admit is a little bit slower

  • than other biometric methods but I do just fine with it.

  • Now this thing starts at 1000 bucks

  • and the Plus version is 1200 bucks

  • and so I know that you can get most

  • of these features for cheaper on other android phones,

  • but the Galaxy S line just usually manages

  • to feel more like a complete package.

  • Samsung is charging a lot of money for this phone

  • and for that money, you deserve to get a really nice object

  • and yeah, Samsung delivers.

  • Don't take it for granted.

  • Okay, enough gushing.

  • Let's talk about the camera,

  • which is the first big new thing you need to know about.

  • Okay so,

  • actually with the Galaxy S20 Ultra,

  • I had to go into this big long complicated story

  • about how high megapixel cameras work,

  • but with the S20 and the S20 Plus,

  • it's a lot easier, mostly.

  • So the main camera is a more traditional 12 megapixels

  • and so is the wide angle camera.

  • The telephoto though is 64 megapixels.

  • Samsung says that it needs all those megapixels

  • to improve the zoom on its telephoto

  • and that actually works.

  • You can get a better shot zoomed in

  • at three or four X than you can with an iPhone

  • or even a Pixel.

  • It's still not great, but it's a step up.

  • Now it also can theoretically go up to 30X

  • but it looks really bad and it definitely loses

  • to the S20 Ultra at that zoom,

  • but the S20 Ultra costs 400 dollars more

  • and I really don't think it's worth it

  • to get decent 30X zoom shots.

  • Now I was really hard on the Galaxy S20 Ultra

  • for auto focus problems and for how

  • it did weird stuff to faces.

  • The regular S20 though, it's better for that stuff

  • but it's not perfect.

  • Focusing is improved and maybe that's because

  • it's using that more traditional 12 megapixel sensor

  • which uses a more traditional dual pixel auto focus method.

  • It still hunts for focus just a little bit

  • in video but it's not awful.

  • Now as for faces,

  • I do think that this phone is a little bit chiller

  • than the Ultra with the sharpening

  • and the smoothing but it's still doing it more

  • than I would like, it's a Samsung phone

  • so it wants to smooth faces.

  • You should never ever turn on Bixby scene detection though

  • if you want the white balance

  • to be any good at all.

  • What kills me is that if you turn on the Pro mode

  • on these cameras, everything looks great

  • and if you use the selfie camera

  • and turn off all the smoothing there,

  • everything looks great.

  • Basically I feel like if Samsung would just get

  • out of it's own way with the camera,

  • the whole camera system would be right there

  • with the iPhone 11 Pro and the Pixel 4

  • but as it is right now, it's still a third place finish.

  • As a whole package,

  • I do actually like this better than the Pixel 4

  • because you get an ultra wide

  • and you get way better video performance.

  • All right.

  • There are some other features to talk about.

  • So you can take 64 megapixel photos with this,

  • but even if you do it in really bright light,

  • when I crop in, I didn't see enough clean details

  • to make it worth it.

  • I think night mode is pretty good,

  • it's right in there with the iPhone

  • and about to the level of the Pixel,

  • better than I expected.

  • And video quality of course is very good,

  • it's Samsung quality video.

  • It's not quite up to the level

  • of the iPhone Pro though.

  • Oh if you were thinking you wanted

  • to get the S20 Plus instead of the smaller S20

  • because it has that time of flight depth vision camera,

  • honestly don't bother.

  • I didn't see any improvement in portrait photos because

  • of that extra lens.

  • The second thing to know is that these phones support 5G

  • and I have to be honest,

  • I didn't get a chance to really test 5G

  • because I'm here in San Francisco

  • where I don't have 5G networks to test on

  • with the carriers that I have.

  • I did test 5G on the Ultra back in New York

  • and it was great but I still think

  • that you shouldn't buy this phone just because

  • it supports 5G, I just don't think

  • the 5G networks are there yet.

  • One thing you should know is

  • that the Plus model supports the millimeter wave

  • version of 5G while the smaller S20 doesn't,

  • but unless you love standing

  • on a particular street corner to download videos,

  • who cares about millimeter wave.

  • Now one reason you might wanna get the S20 Plus

  • besides the bigger screen, is battery life.

  • I mostly tested the smaller S20

  • which has a 4000 milliamp battery

  • and after everything settled down

  • from the initial setup,

  • I was getting around five hours of screen time

  • with the high refresh rate turned on.

  • Brennan tested the S20 Plus

  • which has a 4500 milliamp battery,

  • he got a little bit more.

  • I think either one can get you through a day

  • and both really embarrass the Pixel 4 for longevity,

  • but neither one is like stellar.

  • As for performance,

  • I mean it's great.

  • The only Android phone that's faster

  • than these phones is probably the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

  • There's plenty of RAM and the Snapdragon 865 processor,

  • it seems like the real deal.

  • Still Samsung is doing Samsung stuff with the software,

  • I could complain about this all day

  • but rather than do that,

  • I actually wanna tell you what I do

  • to corral Samsung's worst tendencies.

  • I clean up quick settings first of all,

  • second I install this app called Side Actions

  • which lets you reprogram the power and volume buttons

  • to do the stuff that you actually wanna do

  • like launch you know, the Google Assistant

  • and set up Bixby.

  • Next I install this app called Edge Calendars

  • which is awesome, it lets you swipe in

  • to see your calendars right away.

  • I turn off Samsung Daily

  • and I also move the brightness slider

  • up to the top so it's easier to access.

  • Oh there's one more setting

  • that I turn on every time with the Galaxy S20,

  • the 120Hz screen.

  • I don't know if I ever wanna buy a phone again

  • that doesn't have a high refresh rate screen,

  • it's just, it's so much better.

  • The animations are better,

  • the scrolling is better,

  • it just, it feels better.

  • There is a trade off for battery life though,

  • it is worse if you have the high refresh rate on

  • and Samsung just locks at 120Hz,

  • it doesn't try and vary it.

  • So on the small one,

  • if you definitely need it to last all day,

  • you might wanna ratchet it back to 60Hz.

  • Samsung also knocks down the screen resolution

  • when you're at 120Hz but

  • I think that trade off is totally worth it

  • on both sizes of the phone.

  • Again, it just improves the experience

  • of the phone so much.

  • And of course the screen is a typical Samsung screen,

  • which means that it's, it's great.

  • I do think Samsung's default colors

  • are a little bit too garish,

  • but you can set it to natural

  • and then it just, it just looks good.

  • Anyway, that's it.

  • That's the third thing to know

  • about the S20.

  • The screen is awesome.

  • And I don't think you should ever spend 1000 dollars

  • on a phone again without a high refresh rate screen.

  • Samsung decided to call this the Galaxy S20

  • instead of the Galaxy S11

  • because it has those three things.

  • The new camera system,

  • support for 5G and the high refresh rate screen.

  • But I think the camera is only

  • a minor evolutionary upgrade over the S10.

  • The zoom is really nice,

  • but otherwise it fundamentally acts like the Samsung cameras

  • that I'm used to.

  • Good, but not the best.

  • I think 5G is a wash because the support really isn't there

  • in most cities

  • and although I dearly love the 120Hz refresh rate screen,

  • I understand that that's a nice to have,

  • it's not an actual functional improvement.

  • So yeah.

  • In my book, this is more of an S11

  • than an S20.

  • It's not a whole new generation