Samsung Galaxy S20: A cheat sheet


Samsung’s new Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, and S20 FE phones boast 5G connectivity, as many as four rear camera systems, an Infinity-O display, and an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.

With the new Galaxy S20 family unveiled at Samsung Unpacked in San Francisco on February 11, Samsung has launched three different 5G phones under the same lineup: The S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. On September 23, Samsung announced the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE). All four Samsung models come with built-in 5G, an Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, and a Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 processor, but each has different display sizes and different camera specs.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy S20: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How do the Samsung Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20+, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and the Galaxy S20 FE compare?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 sports a 6.2-inch 3,200×1,440px Wide Quad HD+, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display. The rear cameras include a 12-megapixel main wide, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, and a 64-megapixel telephoto, and offer a 3X optical zoom and a 30X digital zoom. The rear cameras can shoot 8K video at 24 frames per second. In front is a 10-megapixel camera that can shoot 4K video at 60FPS.

The S20 is packed with 12 GB of memory and 128 GB of storage that can be increased to 1 TB with a microSD card. The battery’s capacity is rated at 4,000 mAh. The Galaxy S20 starts at $999.

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ has a 6.7-inch 3,200×1,400px Wide Quad HD+, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display. The rear cameras include a 12-megapixel main wide, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, a 64-megapixel telephoto, and a Time of Flight 3D depth lens, and offer a 3X optical zoom and a 30X digital zoom. The rear cameras can shoot 8K video at 24 frames per second. The 10-megapixel front camera can shoot 4K video at 60FPS.

The S20+ has 12 GB of memory and 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB options for storage, which can be increased to 1 TB with a microSD card. The battery’s capacity is rated at 4,500 mAh. The Galaxy S20+ starts at $1,199.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 6.9-inch 3,200×1,400px Wide Quad HD+, Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display. The rear cameras include a whopping 108-megapixel main wide, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, a 48-megapixel telephoto, and a Time of Flight 3D depth lens, and offer a 10X optical zoom and a 100X digital zoom. The rear cameras can shoot 8K video at 24 frames per second. The front camera is 40 megapixels and can shoot 4K video at 60FPS.

The S20 Ultra is equipped with 12 GB or 16 GB of memory and 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB options for storage that can be increased to 1 TB with a microSD card. The battery’s capacity is rated at 5,000 mAh. The Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at a hefty $1,399.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE comes with a 6.5-inch flat FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O Display. The rear triple cameras include a 12-megapixel ultra wide, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and offer 3X optical zoom and up to 30X super resolution zoom. The rear cameras can shoot 8K video at 24 frames per second and the front camera is can shoot 4K video at 60FPS.

The S20 FE has 6 GB or 8GB of memory with 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage that expands to 1 TB with a microSD card. The battery’s capacity is rated at 4,500 mAh. Pricing for the S20 FE starts at $699. 

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

All four of Samsung’s Galaxy Android phones come with built-in 5G connectivity, though that varies by country. In the US, only the 5G variants will be up for sale. In other countries, such as the UK and Australia, the phones will be available in both 5G and 4G LTE editions.

Other built-in features are Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare, an embedded Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, and facial recognition. Built-in sensors include an accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, compass, magnet (hall) sensor, proximity sensor, and RGB light sensor. All four come with Android 10.0 with One UI 2.0.

Samsung’s Ultrasonic fingerprint reader provides stronger security and privacy features than do previous fingerprint sensors. The Wireless PowerShare is a type of reverse wireless charging that lets you place any Qi-compatible devices, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, directly onto the phone for charging. The phone also includes Samsung’s 3D Depth Camera for 3D-image capturing to power Video Live Focus and Quick Measure.

All models work with the DeX docking system, which lets you create a desktop experience by using the phone with an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

SEE: Mini-glossary: 5G terms you should know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The Galaxy phones will be available in these colors:

  • Galaxy S20: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink

  • Galaxy S20+: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black

  • Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black 

  • Galaxy S20 FE: Cloud Red, Cloud Orange, Cloud Lavender, Cloud Mint, Cloud Navy, Cloud White

Additional resources

Why does 5G matter?

Mobile network carriers have been competing with each other to roll out next-generation 5G networks for individual users and business customers. At the same time, smartphone makers have been trying to build more devices to take advantage of 5G. A true 5G device supports the industry standard of 5G New Radio (NR), allowing for data transmission speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second. 5G won’t work with existing 4G phones because it’s a separate technology from 4G standards such as LTE and WiMAX.

“As we enter this new decade, 5G will completely change how we communicate and how we experience the world around us,” TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business for Samsung Electronics, said in a press release. “As all three S20 variants come with 5G connectivity, Samsung is providing a next-generation device for transforming people’s lives. With an incredible, AI powered camera, you can capture the moments as they happen and connect more seamlessly with the people you love.”

SEE: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

Two of the biggest benefits of a 5G smartphone are faster speed and lower latencies compared with 4G phones. A 5G phone is roughly 20 times faster than a 4G phone, while latency can be reduced to a millisecond. This can help with video conferencing, virtual meetings, and collaboration.

These phones also can work more effectively in densely packed areas with as many as one million devices per square kilometer, 10 times more than what’s possible with 4G. As such, 5G potentially cannot only benefit individual users but also factories, plants, laboratories, and other facilities that may house a lot of connected devices under one roof.

SEE: Samsung’s push into 5G for 2020 and beyond (TechRepublic)

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series is capable of delivering non-standalone and standalone 5G capabilities. The Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra take advantage of sub-6, which includes frequencies under 6GHz for broader coverage, and millimeter wave (mmWave) for higher speeds. The Galaxy S20 also supports sub-6.

“Our vision for the next decade of Galaxy all starts with 5G,” Drew Blackard, head of Samsung’s US mobile product management, said at the Samsung Unpacked event. “And we’ve engineered new 5G chipsets that are smaller, cheaper, and power efficient. 5G will completely change how we communicate, how we game, and how we keep in touch with the world around us. It will work with AI to enhance every aspect of our smartphones. And it will connect thousands of devices through our SmartThings platform, while protecting our privacy.”

Additional resources

Three or four camera system

The three cameras on the rear of the Samsung Galaxy S20 offer ultra wide, wide, and telephoto lenses. The Galaxy S20 comes with a 12-megapixel main wide lens, a 12-megapixel ultra wide lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens. The rear camera offers a 3X optical zoom and up to a 30x digital zoom. A 10-megapixel camera graces the front.

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ includes the same three lenses with the same megapixels and zoom levels but adds a fourth Time of Flight (ToF) camera already found in the Galaxy S10 5G and the Note 10+. Using 3D, the ToF feature can better measure depth and distance when taking a photo. ToF works in combination with Live Focus video and Quick Measure to help you produce more creative and artistic photos and videos.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra also includes the three basic cameras with the ToF camera as a fourth one but bumps the megapixel levels to a healthy 108-megapixel main wide lens, a 12-megapixel ultra wide, and a 48-megapixel telephoto lens. The zoom levels are higher with a 10X optical zoom and a 100X digital zoom. A 40MP camera is found in front.

For video recording, all three S20 phones let you shoot 8K videos at 24 frames per second with the rear camera and 4K videos at 60 FPS with the front camera.

Additional resources

What is Samsung’s Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner?

The Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is built into the bottom of the phone’s display in a fixed location. It reads the 3D ridges of your fingerprint, offers better anti-spoofing technology, and works in full sunlight. Samsung’s Knox security is also built in, while the fingerprint itself is stored in an encrypted TrustZone.

Additional resources

What is Wireless PowerShare?

Wireless PowerShare can use any of the Samsung Galaxy S20 phones and several other Samsung phones as a charger for other devices, such as earbuds, smartwatches, and even other smartphones. It will charge even if the phone isn’t plugged in, but the charge stops once the phone drops to 30% battery life. Such a feature could benefit travelers and people on the road as it would allow them to pack fewer cords and chargers.

Additional resources

What is DeX?

DeX mode is an Android-based interface that lets you use the phone with an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard for a PC-like experience. Using a dongle or a multi-port adapter, you can connect the android phone to an external monitor using HDMI. You can also connect a wireless keyboard and mouse using Bluetooth or a wired keyboard and mouse through USB ports. In the past, you had to use a full docking station to create this type of experience, but with DeX, all you need is a dongle or supported adapter.

Additional resources

How do the Samsung Galaxy S20 models differ from last year’s Galaxy S10 devices?

The three Samsung Galaxy S20 models can roughly be compared with their Galaxy S10 counterparts as follows: The S20 compares with the S10, the S20+ compares with the S10+, and the S20 Ultra compares with the S10 5G.

All three Galaxy S20 phones offer larger screen sizes over their comparable S10 versions. The Galaxy S20’s screen size is 6.2 inches compared with the S10 at 6.1 inches. The Galaxy S20+ has a screen size of 6.7 inches versus the 6.4 inches on the Galaxy S10+. And the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch screen compared with the 6.7-inch screen on the Galaxy S10 5G. Given the larger screen sizes, the S20 phones are slightly bigger and weigh slightly more than their S10 counterparts.

The S20 and S10 phones all come with three different rear camera modes: Ultra wide, wide, and telephoto. But some of the megapixel counts are higher on the new phones. For example, the S20 and S20+ both have a 64MP rear telephoto lens, while the S10 and S10+ have a 12MP telephoto lens in back. The S20 Ultra boasts a 108MP main wide lens in the rear, while the S10 5G offers a 12MP wide angle lens. The optical and digital zoom levels are also higher in the S20 lineup. Further, the S20+ and S20 Ultra include the ToF 3D camera in the rear.

The memory and storage capacities are beefier in the S20 family. Plus, all three of the new models come with 5G connectivity, whereas only last year’s Galaxy S10 5G included the latest generation of cellular technology.

Additional resources

Who is the target audience for the Samsung Galaxy S20 devices?

The target audience for the Galaxy S20 phones is the buyer who wants to be first with a new device, particularly an enterprise user who lives or works in an area where 5G is consistently available.

The basic S20 is designed for users who want the core features of the new phone but don’t need the larger size or don’t want to pay more for the other two models. The S20+ is the mid-range model for consumers who want a bit larger screen size and the Time of Flight feature. The S20 Ultra is for people who don’t mind spending more to get the the largest size, the highest megapixel cameras, and the best zoom levels for the buck.

Further, the S20 Ultra comes with a 6.9-inch screen, which many people may find too large to comfortably carry or hold in their hands. In that case, the smaller-screened S20 or S20+ may be better options.

Additional resources

Where and when can I buy the Samsung Galaxy S20?

Preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra generally will begin on Friday, February 21, while the phones will be available in stores and online starting Friday, March 6. However, those dates may vary slightly by model and carrier.

In the US, preorders at Verizon Wireless for the Galaxy S20+ 5G and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G will start February 21 at 12:01am ET, and both phones will be available in stores and online on March 6. The Galaxy S20 5G designed for Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network will be available in the second quarter of 2020. At AT&TT-Mobile, and Sprint, preorders for all three phones will start February 21, and the phones will be on sale in stores and online starting March 6. The Galaxy S20 FE will be available for pre-order on September 24 and will be available in stores on October 2. 

Outside of the US, the phones will be available in a wide range of countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Additional resources

What are the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S20?

  • Dimension and weight: 151.7mm x 69.1mm x 7.9mm; weighs 163g

  • Display: 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display (3,200X1,440 px). HDR10+ certified with 120Hz refresh rate.
    Screen size is 6.2″ in the full rectangle and 6.1″ accounting for the rounded corners. Infinity-O Display is a near bezel-less, full-frontal screen.
    Default screen refresh rate is 60Hz and requires screen setting to switch to 120Hz refresh rate.

  • Processor: Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990

  • Network and connectivity: 5G: 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), 5G Standalone (SA), Sub6, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).
    LTE: Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA,  LTE Cat.20. Up to 2.0Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload.
    Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload.
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

  • Cameras: Front camera: 10MP, Dual Pixel AF, F2.2.
    Rear camera: Ultra Wide: 12MP, F2.2
    Wide-angle: 12MP, F1.8. Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS
    Telephoto: 64MP, F2.0, OIS.

  • Video recording: Rear camera: 8K video recording at 24 fps.
    Front camera: 4K video recording at 60 fps.

  • Memory and storage options: 12 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128 GB internal storage

  • SIM Card: SIM card sold separately. eSIM supported.

  • Battery: 4,000 mAh

  • Charging: Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

  • Security and authentication: Embedded Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, face recognition

  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Compass, Magnet (Hall) Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor

  • Audio: Stereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG. Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology

  • Water Resistance: IP68

  • Operating System: Android 10.0 with One UI 2.0

  • Galaxy S20 Price: Starts at $999

What are the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S20+?

  • Dimension and weight: 161.9mm x 73.7mm x 7.8mm; weighs 186g

  • Display: 6.7-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display (3,200X1,440 px). HDR10+ certified with 120Hz refresh rate.
    Screen size is 6.7″ in the full rectangle and 6.5″ accounting for the rounded corners. Infinity-O Display is a near bezel-less, full-frontal screen.
    Default screen refresh rate is 60Hz and requires screen to switch to 120Hz refresh rate.

  • Processor: Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990

  • Network and connectivity: 5G: 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), 5G Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).
    LTE: Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA,  LTE Cat.20. Up to 2.0Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload.
    Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload.
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

  • Cameras: Front camera: 10MP, Dual Pixel AF, F2.2.
    Rear camera: Ultra Wide: 12MP, F2.2
    Wide-angle: 12MP, F1.8. Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS,
    Telephoto: 64MP, F2.0, OIS.
    Time of Flight DepthVision Camera

  • Video recording: Rear camera: 8K video recording at 24 fps.
    Front camera: 4K video recording at 60 fps.

  • Memory and storage options: 12 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512 GB internal storage
    12 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256 GB internal storage
    12 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128 GB internal storage

  • SIM Card: SIM card sold separately. eSIM supported.

  • Battery: 4,500 mAhCharging:

  • Charging: Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

  • Security and authentication: Embedded Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, face recognition

  • Audio: Stereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG. Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology

  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Compass, Magnet (Hall) Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor

  • Water Resistance: IP68

  • Operating System: Android 10.0 with One UI 2.0

  • Galaxy S20+ Price: Starts at $1,199

What are the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra?

  • Dimension and weight: 166.9mm x 76mm x 8.8mm; weighs 220g

  • Display: 6.9-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display (3,200X1,440 px). HDR10+ certified with 120Hz refresh rate.
    Screen size is 6.9″ in the full rectangle and 6.7″ accounting for the rounded corners. Infinity-O Display is a near bezel-less, full-frontal screen.
    Default screen refresh rate is 60Hz and requires screen setting to switch to 120Hz refresh rate.

  • Processor: Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990

  • Network and connectivity: 5G: 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), 5G Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).
    LTE: Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA,  LTE Cat.20 Up to 2.0Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload.
    Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload.
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0, ANT+, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

  • Cameras: Front camera: 40MP, F2.2.
    Rear camera: Ultra Wide: 12MP, F2.2
    Wide-angle: 108MP, F1.8, PDAF, OIS
    Telephoto: 48MP, PDAF, F3.5, OIS
    Time of Flight DepthVision Camera

  • Video recording: Rear camera: 8K video recording at 24 fps.
    Front camera: 4K video recording at 60 fps.

  • Memory and storage options: 16 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512 GB internal storage
    12 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 256 GB internal storage
    12 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128 GB internal storage

  • SIM Card: SIM card sold separately. eSIM supported.

  • Battery: 5,000 mAh

  • Charging: Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

  • Security and authentication: Embedded Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, face recognition

  • Audio: Stereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG. Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Compass, Magnet (Hall) Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
  • Water Resistance: IP68

  • Operating System: Android 10.0 with One UI 2.0

  • Galaxy S20 Ultra Price: Starts at $1,399

What are the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE?

  • Dimensions and weight: 74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm, 190g
  • Display: 6.5-inch Infinity-O Super AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Processor: Snapdragon 865
  • Network and connectivity: 5G: 5G Non-Standalone (NSA), 5G Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave.
    LTE: Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 5CA, LTE D/L Cat.19 (1.6Gbps), LTE U/L Cat.18 (211Mbps).
    Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM, Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload.
    Bluetooth: Bluetooth v 5.0, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou).
  • Cameras: Front camera: 32MP, F2.2
    Rear camera: Ultra Wide: 12MP, F2.2
    Wide-angle: 12MP, F1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
    Telephoto: 8MP, F2.4

    Space Zoom: 3x Optical Zoom, up to 30x Super Resolution Zoom

  • Video recording: Rear camera: 8K video recording at 24 fps
    Front camera: 4K video recording at 60 fps

  • Memory and storage options: 8 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128/256 GB internal storage
    6 GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128 GB internal storage
  • SIM card: SIM card sold separately. eSIM supported.
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Charging: Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
  • Security and authentication: Embedded Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, face recognition
  • Audio: Stereo speakers and earphones sound by AKG. Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology
  • Sensors: Optical Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Magnet (Hall) sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
  • Water Resistance: IP68
  • Operating System: Android 10 
  • Galaxy S20 FE Price: Starts at $699 (for 5G)

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Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra

Image: Samsung

Editor’s note: The article was updated to reflect that the Galaxy S20 has only one storage option for 128 GB and not three storage options. Also, Kristen Lotze updated the article to reflect the release and specifications of the Galaxy S20 FE. 



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