Codename – The Galaxy S20 range is known as Picasso. Why would Samsung name the phone after a great artist? Because the headline change will be to the camera. That said, its potential name change will also generate a lot of attention because Samsung has decided to change branding and call the Galaxy S11e the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S11 the Galaxy S20+ and is considering calling the Galaxy S10+ the Galaxy S20 Ultra. I discuss the pros and cons of the changes here.
Major Update: working with MySmartPrice, popular insider Ishan Agarwal has now leaked the full specifications for the Galaxy S20 range. I break these down in sections below, but highlights include their massive new screen sizes, increased battery capacities, and the biggest camera upgrades for generations. There’s a lot to be excited about here.
Camera – As you can see above, Samsung will equip the Galaxy S20 with a 48MP telephoto lens to the range. This is capable of 5x optical zoom and it will sit alongside a 48MP wide-angle lens, a ToF flight sensor and a massive 108MP primary camera on the Ultra model, which uses pixel binning technology to create one large 2.4μm pixel with a 12 megapixel final image size. This should lead to dramatic improvements in low light photography. It’s codename is the ‘ISOCELL Bright HM1’.
The final design of the Galaxy S20 camera has also been revealed by reliable insider OnLeaks, confirming a far more symmetrical camera layout than in early prototypes.
(Note: You can see a render of an earlier Galaxy S20 prototype in the Display section below)
Gordon’s Top Samsung Daily Deals:
- (Refurbished) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (128GB, (U.S. Warranty) from $515 (save over $200) – Walmart – shop deal now
- Galaxy S10 / S10+ / Note 10 / Note 10+ / Note 10+5G – Unlocked – plus an additional $240 worth of accessories from $689.99 – Samsung.com – shop deals now
- Galaxy Tab S6 – (typically $649.99) – the best Android tablet you can buy – Amazon: $549.99 / Best Buy – $549.99 / Samsung: $549.99
- Samsung 65-inch Class Q60R QLED 4K UHD TV (2019) – (typically $1,799.99) – Amazon: $997.99 / B&H: $997.99 / Best Buy: $999.99 / Costco: $999.99 / Samsung: $999.99 / Walmart: $997.99
Display – As mentioned above, Samsung is significantly increasing screen sizes (which should be offset by the smaller bezels) with the new Galaxy S20 range. This is what you’ll get:
- 6.2-inch Galaxy S20
- 6.7-inch Galaxy S20+
- 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra
01/18 Update: in a late shocker, new information by Xda Developers’ popular insider Max Weinbach, reveals Samsung will drop its iconic Edge display from the Galaxy S20 range. Expect a polarized reaction to this news and it is likely to be as much of a deal maker for some as a deal breaker for others. You can read my opinions on the change here.
Performance – The Galaxy S20 will use Samsung’s newly unveiled Snapdragon 865 which has 20% faster graphics rendering than the Snapdragon 855 in the Galaxy S10 and 35% more power efficiency. There’s also upgraded LPDDR5 smartphone memory (30% faster, 30% more efficient).
Benchmarking leaks also strongly suggest the Galaxy S20 range will have a minimum of 12GB RAM with up to 16GB in the flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra. This is a massive amount and lays down the gauntlet to Android rivals in 2020. Though Apple’s iPhone 12 performance looks set for even bigger gains.
Connectivity – The Snapdragon 865 has 5G baked in so it will come to every Galaxy S20 model. WiFi 6 will also come as standard and Samsung is retaining the microSD expansion slot (though not for the entry level Galaxy S20) The bad news: the headphone jack has gone, which is not surprising after it was ditched by the Galaxy Note 10.
Biometrics – Samsung is not expected to introduce a Face ID rival, but it will add a supersized Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max fingerprint sensor to the Galaxy S20 which is 17x larger than the sensor used in the Galaxy S10 (making placement more instinctive). The sensor will also support two fingerprints at the same time which will deliver a significant increase in security which can be reserved for crucial moments, like the completion of financial transactions or logging into a banking app.
Battery Life – Another major upgrade. While 5G will consume more battery life, Samsung looks set to more than offset this with significant capacity upgrades
- Galaxy S20 – 4,000 mAh (S10: 3,400 mAh)
- Galaxy S20+: 4,500 mAh (S10+: 4,100 mAh)
- Galaxy S20 Ultra: 5,000 mAh
45W ‘Super Fast’ charging is also expected to come as standard. But don’t expect the company’s potentially revolutionary graphene batteries to be ready for the Galaxy S20 range, though it could possibly launch late in the year.
Downsides – the Galaxy S20 looks set to have all the bad points of the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus: for the S20 that means no microSD while every model will lose the headphone jack. XDA Developers has attained a hands-on video of a Galaxy S20 and it confirms the removal of the jack.
Release Date: Samsung has officially confirmed the Galaxy S20 will launch on February 11. The teaser image is also easily decoded: the first ‘A’ is the shape of the new Galaxy S20 rear camera hump (as the camera is the phone’s headline upgrade) and the second ‘A’ is the form factor of the new folding Galaxy smartphone (closed, because I understand it will have a clamshell design). You can read more about that phone here.
01/22 Update – Price: until now pricing for the Galaxy S20 range had been a tightly guarded secret but now a familiar (and highly reliable) source has shed light on what to expect. Popular leaker Max Weinberg has revealed Samsung will price its line-up between the following price points in Europe:
- Galaxy S20 5G: €900-1000
- Galaxy S20+ 5G: €1050-1100
- Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G: €1300
Prices in Europe tend to be higher than the US as they include sales tax, so if Samsung can hit these price points for the 5G versions of these phones then it will represent a reduction compared to last year when the Galaxy S10+ started at $1,300.
After incremental upgrades in 2019, Samsung is going for it in 2020 and a big motivation is Apple’s plans for the iPhone 12. These include an upgraded design, 120Hz ProMotion displays, some incredible 3D camera tricks, the return of Touch ID and, potentially, the end of the Lightning port. Apple may also release as many as six new iPhone models.
Yes, 2020 is shaping up to be major year for smartphone fans.
Tip: I will keep this article updated as your one-stop-shop for Galaxy S20 news, so bookmark it.
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I am an experienced freelance technology journalist. I have written for Wired, The Next Web, TrustedReviews, The Guardian and the BBC in addition to Forbes. I began in b2b print journalism covering tech companies at the height of the dot com boom and switched to covering consumer technology as the iPod began to take off. A career highlight for me was being a founding member of TrustedReviews. It started in 2003 and we were repeatedly told websites could not compete with print! Within four years we were purchased by IPC Media (Time Warner’s publishing division) to become its flagship tech title. What fascinates me are the machinations of technology’s biggest companies. Got a pitch, tip or leak? Contact me on my professional Facebook page. I don’t bite.