Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review: The best phone for most people

Galaxy S20 Plus Review

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

If the Galaxy S20 Extremely is an excessive amount of of an excellent factor, the Galaxy S20+ is simply the correct amount of goodness. Or greatness. It is one of the best telephone I’ve utilized in a very long time, and can hopefully get higher with a number of camera-tweaking updates certain to come back within the subsequent few months.

It additionally stunned me — I’ve had entry to all three Galaxy S20 telephones for practically two weeks now, and the place I believed I would instantly gravitate to the inimitable digital camera of the S20 Extremely, or the perfect-in-the-hand dimension of the Galaxy S20, it is the Goldilocks-just-right center floor of the S20+ that I feel will enchantment to most individuals this 12 months.

Let’s get into it.

A message from this evaluation’s sponsor, Incipio

Incipio OrganicoreSupply: Incipio

Incipio is providing a brand new case for eco-conscious shoppers referred to as Organicore, and can be out there for the Samsung Galaxy S20+ from Verizon on March 6, 2020. It is constructed from 100% compostable plant materials, whereas nonetheless offering dependable drop safety from 6 ft within the air. Shield your funding and decrease your environmental footprint with Organicore.

Get the Incipio Organicore case for the Samsung Galaxy S20+ from Verizon

At a look

Samsung Galaxy S20+

Backside line: The successor to final 12 months’s top-of-the-line telephone is the center little one this time round, however loses none of its enchantment. The truth is, with a extra manageable dimension and weight, plus an outstanding major digital camera that is certain to enhance with updates, the Galaxy S20+ could possibly be one of the best telephone of 2020.

The Good

  • One of the best telephone show I’ve ever seen
  • Basic Samsung design and construct high quality
  • Unbelievable specs and efficiency
  • Cameras are a pleasure to make use of
  • Excellent battery life

The Dangerous

  • In-display fingerprint sensor is just too sluggish
  • Digital camera paints over facial element
  • 8K video has little sensible worth

Samsung Galaxy S20+ What is that this center little one, anyway?

Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra

Supply: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

Let’s get the variations out of the way in which first: the Galaxy S20 Plus, or S20+ for brevity’s sake, is the center little one on this 12 months’s early spring Samsung line-up. It is a bit thinner, rather a lot shorter, a bit narrower, and a lot lighter than the Galaxy S20 Extremely, with a far much less pronounced digital camera module on the again.

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The specs are additionally barely slimmed down — it has the identical Snapdragon 865, 12GB of RAM, and both 128GB or 512GB of storage, however there is no choice to supersize the reminiscence to 16GB like there’s on the Extremely. The battery’s a huge-but-not-so-ultra 4500mAh, and it solely helps 25W charging (although the distinction from 45W is negligible) and its show is a decent 6.7 inches in comparison with the 6.9 inches on the Extremely.

Galaxy S20 Plus

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The primary distinction is with the digital camera: the S20+ and its smaller counterpart, the S20, share principally an identical digital camera setups, with a 12MP major sensor that’s bodily smaller than the huge 108MP half on the Extremely; and there is a 64MP sensor used for telephoto pictures, which lacks the Extremely’s periscope zoom lens. The front-facing digital camera can be a smaller and less-dense 10MP.

For $1200, the Galaxy S20+ continues to be a $200 premium over final 12 months’s S10+, however it does seem such as you get much more in your equal bucks. However as you will see all through this evaluation, after having used each the S20+ and S20 Extremely, I can safely say the previous is a greater telephone for most individuals.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ The show is ideal

Galaxy S20 Plus Review

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

I got here to the Galaxy S20+ straight from utilizing the S20 Extremely for a number of days, so it felt like shedding an additional layer of pores and skin. Lighter and extra manageable, I’ve come to phrases with the truth that whereas nonetheless an enormous telephone, it is extraordinarily effectively balanced and simple to carry and navigate with one hand. Samsung’s completed what it will probably to change its One UI 2 software program to be one hand-friendly, and that positively comes throughout right here.

There is not any query about it — that is the nicest cell show on a telephone proper now.

The very first thing I did after establishing the S20+ was allow 120Hz on the beautiful 6.7-inch AMOLED show, which seems like the very best of all worlds — stunning colours, good viewing angles, unbelievable 240Hz contact response, and dazzling fluidity — and alter the navigation settings from Samsung’s conventional three buttons to its interpretation of Google’s gesture system that debuted with Android 10.

On a Snapdragon 865 and 12GB of RAM, this telephone flies, although that is no shock. What’s stunning is simply how impactful the swap to 120Hz actually is: after some time it begins to fade into the background, however blends right into a refined ruining of any telephone that is not set to a excessive refresh price. That it does not come enabled out of the field is disappointing; it seems like Samsung is leaning away from certainly one of its finest options.

In fact, the explanation it is not enabled by default is concern for battery life — there is a reported 25% hit when it is turned on. However as you will see afterward, I’ve loved 120Hz since day one with the S20+ and have been extraordinarily happy. When you’re shopping for the telephone, I would extremely advocate making an attempt each and seeing whether or not your utilization lets you preserve a high-refresh price as a result of it is completely value it.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ It is a Samsung telephone, for higher or worse

Galaxy S20 Plus Review

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Samsung made a bunch of excellent design choices across the Galaxy S20 collection — particularly the smaller two fashions. The pinhole entrance digital camera is now centered, which gives much-needed symmetry and steadiness, and the opening is now tiny sufficient that it is barely noticeable in each day use. Whereas I miss the wallpaper potential of the a lot bigger right-oriented resolution, that is much more elegant.

I am additionally so, so grateful that Samsung solved no matter design downside that pressured it to place the facility button on the left facet of the Galaxy Notice 10 collection. I am not making an attempt to discriminate in opposition to lefties — my brother’s a leftie and he is nice — however I by no means did fairly get used to it. Samsung additionally got here to its senses and mixed the facility button with the Bixby button — or what’s left of it — within the Galaxy S20 collection. Whereas I encourage anybody to right away disable Bixby and remap it to one thing else, no less than this resolution is tolerable.

Galaxy S20 Plus

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

There is not any headphone jack, which sucks, however I have never carried a pair of wired headphones for the reason that first OnePlus Bullets Wi-fi have been launched, and have since moved on to one thing higher. The truth is, I have been utilizing the Galaxy Buds+ alongside the S20+ since I unboxed it and the pair is, to place it succinctly, pleasant.

The telephone is slippery, so I would advocate an excellent case for it — I love this 12 months’s crop of first-party choices from Samsung, in case you’re out there for one — however the excellent news is that, even with a case, it does not really feel thick or unmanageable.

Utilizing this telephone feels just like the near-perfect steadiness of dimension, weight, and luxury. And even with a case on it does not really feel too thick.

That is the predominant feeling I had utilizing the Galaxy S20+ — the ergonomics are excellent. It is slim and lightweight and well-balanced, and the one criticism I would make is that, now that the facility button is again on the suitable facet the place it belongs, I really feel like the amount keys are a bit too excessive up. Provided that this 21:9 facet ratio telephone is already so tall (that is much less of an issue on the smaller S20), I’d have preferred to see each buttons shift down a number of millimeters. It might be a compromise: the facility button could be a bit tougher to achieve, however the quantity keys, which I take advantage of far more typically, could be much less of a attain.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ Cannot fairly put my finger on it

Galaxy S20 Plus

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Earlier than we get into the digital camera, I need to point out the one, and actually just one, ache level I’ve with the Galaxy S20 collection: its fingerprint sensor. It is not dangerous per se, not in the way in which that the Nokia 9’s in-display sensor was principally unusable, however it’s simply sluggish and tedious sufficient that I really feel it on a day-to-day foundation.

The telephone’s solely main downside is its fingerprint sensor, which is unchanged from the Galaxy S10 collection.

After I went to Qualcomm’s Tech Summit again in December, the corporate was demoing the second technology of its ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, a a lot bigger and sooner half that maintains the 3D-texture-reading safety of the unique. In my naivety, I used to be sure Samsung would discover a technique to embrace that upgraded sensor within the Galaxy S20, because it at all times appears to have entry to Qualcomm’s first batch of recent Snapdragon SoCs.

Sadly, it wasn’t fairly prepared for industrial use, and Android Central has realized that Samsung did contemplate swapping out the first-generation Qualcomm sensor for a extra mature, however barely much less safe, optical sensor — the sort discovered on most telephones right now.

Galaxy S20 fingerprint sensor

Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central

I assume Samsung figured continuity would not damage it an excessive amount of, however I disagree: coming from the Pixel four’s ultrafast and tremendous dependable face unlock, and earlier than that the OnePlus 7T’s unbelievable in-display optical sensor, I really feel like Samsung missed out on actually fixing, as soon as and for all, its biometric inferiority. I can perceive the reasoning, however I do not essentially agree with it.

However, Samsung redeemed itself within the haptics division. The vibration motor within the Galaxy S20+ is an identical to the one discovered within the Notice 10 collection, which have been the primary Samsung telephones to incorporate high-quality haptic engines and to make the most of them correctly throughout the working system. Not solely does the S20+ produce highly effective vibrations for telephone calls and notifications — you are not going to overlook an incoming telephone name when that is on a desk within the different room — however the motor is able to refined and granular suggestions, too, for conditions like typing.

Provided that I am the sort of one who will disable vibrations fully on a telephone with a poor high quality vibration motor, I’m deeply appreciative that Samsung is lastly taking it critically.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ The cameras

Galaxy S20 Plus

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The digital camera is crucial function of this telephone and, for most individuals, for any telephone.

Most individuals studying this evaluation will need to know whether or not A) the Galaxy S20+ takes photographs nearly as good or higher than the gargantuan Galaxy S20 Extremely, and B) whether or not the Galaxy S20+ stands as much as telephones just like the Pixel four and iPhone 11 Professional.

The quick reply is that, for probably the most half, the Galaxy S20+ is an enormous improve over earlier Galaxy telephones, together with the S10 collection, primarily as a result of the principle 12MP sensor is simply a lot bigger. It is not fairly the huge 70% soar we noticed from the Galaxy S10+ to the Extremely, however the S20+ continues to be a snug 28% beefier than final 12 months’s mannequin.

In order that’s the place we start. Images taken with the Galaxy S20+ through the day are nearly as good as ever, with a number of element and distinctive steadiness preservation of shadow element and highlights, because of Samsung’s wonderful if slightly-overbearing HDR.

In contrast to the S20 Extremely, the S20+’s major sensor is far more conventional — there is no pixel binning occurring right here. The 12 million pixels that make up the sensor are simply greater than what we discovered on earlier Galaxy telephones, and meaning they let in additional gentle. Samsung’s additionally benefiting from most of the Snapdragon 865’s personal enhancements round post-processing, leading to much less noise in low-light situations and, theoretically, extra element preservation indoors beneath synthetic gentle.

Galaxy S20+ (high left) | Galaxy S20 Extremely (high proper) | Pixel four (backside left) | iPhone 11 Professional (backside proper)

The truth is a bit blended: outside pictures from the principle sensor are very good, and the twin pixel autofocus capabilities constructed into the IMX555 sensor permit the S20+ to keep away from the main focus looking that we have seen on the Extremely. The smaller sensor dimension additionally ends in much less pure bokeh and a wider airplane of deal with a foreground topic, producing photographs that look much more like conventional telephone photographs — for higher or worse.

My main bugbear, although, is one thing that is affected each Galaxy telephone since I can keep in mind: Samsung smooths facial element to a stupefying diploma, leading to photographs of those that look comfortable, synthetic, and sometimes downright unusable. I think the corporate does this to attenuate grain in less-than-ideal lighting environments, however I will take pockmarks over a portray any day of the week.

Galaxy S20+ Scene Optimizer OFF (high left) | Galaxy S20+ Scene Optimizer ON (high proper) | Galaxy S20+ Professional Mode (backside left) | Pixel four (backside proper):** Right here you’ll be able to see the distinction in pores and skin texture and element between the Galaxy S20+ and the Pixel four.

Galaxy S20 Modes Eyes Crop

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

When you check out the above photos (I would like a shave so badly), you’ll be able to see that Samsung processes pores and skin wildly in a different way relying on the mode. I took the above photographs outdoors to take away any post-processing bias, however word that indoors, beneath heat synthetic lighting, the variations are much more pronounced. All the photographs have been taken with the rear major digital camera with filters and wonder mode disabled.

The Galaxy S20+ cameras are stupendous nearly the entire time — however facial smoothing continues to be a problem Samsung wants to deal with.

By default, Samsung seems to use a smoothing masks to your complete face after which, in Auto mode with Scene Optimizer on, it brightens the pores and skin tones whereas making an attempt to suppress highlights. It additionally sharpens the sides which, as a result of the unique picture lacked element, seems to be synthetic. When capturing in Professional mode, the picture is even softer — to the purpose the place I believed my face was simply out of focus. However I took the identical shot a number of occasions and obtained an identical outcomes. Professional mode simply leaves the unique smooth masks on and does not increase publicity or highlights.

All 4 photographs are literally fairly good, however the Pixel four seems to be probably the most pure, each by way of preserving facial element and within the white steadiness. Samsung’s photographs are hotter, which supplies my face a yellow pall that does not belong.

Galaxy S20+ (left) | Pixel four (proper): You possibly can see the identical skin-smoothing results at play on this indoor scene.

The opposite main space with out a lot progress is capturing motion. I’ve a toddler, and she or he strikes — always. When taking photographs with the Pixel four or iPhone 11 Professional, these telephones usually know to lock the shutter pace at quantity that may decrease, if not eradicate, movement blur, even when it ends in a darker or grainier picture. Samsung, as soon as once more making an attempt to attenuate grain, tends to set its shutter speeds in these conditions low sufficient that blur is sort of assured, even with a small quantity of motion.

Samsung’s Professional Mode solves many of those issues, and will be relied upon to supply extra natural-looking photographs in most conditions. It is extraordinarily versatile, providing granular management of focus, shutter pace, gentle sensitivity, publicity, bracketing, and extra. And Samsung saves the mode you have been beforehand in when beginning the digital camera app, so if you’d like one of the best expertise taking photographs with the Galaxy S20+, I’d simply go away it on Professional mode on a regular basis. You do not have to mess with any of the settings — even with all the things set to auto, the Professional mode delivers.

Galaxy S20 Plus Review

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The place the Galaxy S20+ actually excels is in low gentle: this can be a a lot higher nighttime digital camera than any earlier Galaxy telephone, and I would argue that, because of the sensor’s bigger pixels, a good higher low-light digital camera than the Galaxy S20 Extremely, regardless of that telephone’s pixel binning.

Night time mode comparability: Galaxy S20+ | Galaxy S20 Extremely | Pixel four | iPhone 11 Professional | Galaxy Notice 10. The Galaxy S20+ seems to be prefer it does one of the best job general on this very difficult scene.

I feel my most important takeaway from taking lots of photographs with the Galaxy S20+ is that it is a greater expertise than another Galaxy telephone earlier than it, and likewise the Extremely. It is simpler to wield and regular with one hand, and the first sensor is quicker to focus, with a wider airplane, and fewer proclivities for producing oddities and aberrations than the Extremely’s sensor, which Samsung has much less expertise tuning.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Camera App

Supply: Android Central

Then there’s the 64MP sensor, which is utilized in a hybrid position as a telephoto shooter and a high-resolution major digital camera. Yeah, it is bizarre. See, there is no precise zoom hooked up to the 64MP sensor — its “lossless” zoom is achieved by taking all of these pixels and cropping in by 3X, producing 12.2MP photographs at a distance that really look fairly nice.

The answer is not fairly as elegant, nor as bodily imposing, because the Extremely’s periscope lens, however in first rate lighting, you will get some wonderful long-distance photographs from this telephone. Plus, you need to use the telephoto sensor to take 64MP photographs at its native focal size, eking out as a lot element from a scene as potential.

Galaxy S20+ 1X / 10X / 30X (above) | Galaxy S20 Extremely 1x / 10X / 30x (beneath)

You possibly can see above that, in comparison with the Galaxy S20 Extremely, the S20+ performs comparably effectively as much as round 10X zoom, after which past that you simply see the Extremely’s periscope in a position to eke out extra element from a scene. The S20+ maxes out at 30X whereas the Extremely goes all the way in which to 100X, however as Andrew defined in his evaluation, the advantages are minimal past 10X, anyway.

Oh, and listed here are a few photographs of a Very Good Boy at 1x and 3X zoom, respectively.

Galaxy S20 Plus Camera Sample Dog

Galaxy S20 Plus Camera Sample Dog 3XSupply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

Let’s spherical issues up within the digital camera division:

  • The selfie digital camera is certainly a lot improved over final 12 months’s telephones. Like method higher. Annoyingly higher, as a result of when you disable the on-by-default magnificence mode on the entrance digital camera, you will truly get extra facial element from the entrance digital camera than the rear one. Possibly that is the purpose? I do not know anymore.
  • 8K video is apparent dumb until you are going to use it to crop in nearer to a topic in publish. In any other case follow the unbelievable 4K60 footage or, even higher, the smooth-as-butter Tremendous Regular Mode at 1080p.
  • The digital camera app opens immediately. Each. Single. Time. It is great coughPixelcough.
  • Single Take is a gimmick that sometimes spits out a number of stunning frames. (In case you missed it, Single Take is a mode that shoots picture and video collectively for about 10 seconds and creates a reel filled with blended media that is largely forgettable.)

Samsung Galaxy S20+ All day and all evening

Galaxy S20 Ultra

Supply: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

The Snapdragon 865 in right here is one of the best there’s proper now for Android customers. In order for you benchmarks, we now have these. There’s 12GB of RAM inside right here, too, which is a lot. Like, don’t be concerned about it. My favourite factor is that you would be able to pin three apps in reminiscence in order that they’ll by no means shut. I did that instantly with the digital camera, Spotify, and Pocket Casts, so I by no means should pause a music and attempt to return to it a couple of minutes later solely to comprehend the telephone bumped it out of reminiscence.

Extra spectacular is the battery life on this factor. Now, I haven’t got 5G in my area, so I am unable to touch upon that, however with a powerful LTE connection all through my testing interval, the 4500mAh battery lasted seemingly eternally, although in actuality, it was lengthy sufficient that I did not as soon as have to fret about it.

I used to be a bit fearful about battery life, however I should not have been: this telephone lasts all day after which some, and there is completely no battery nervousness.

I am speaking about screen-on-times of six to seven hours in a day with 20% of battery to spare. I am speaking about waking up at 6:30 and going to sleep at midnight (I do know, I do know) with out ever having to high up the telephone through the day and never being stingy with my utilization.

Charging the telephone can be delightfully fast with the included 25W charger, going from useless to full in simply over an hour (although beware that to attain the “tremendous charging” speeds Samsung affords it should use the charger within the field, because it helps PPS).

Samsung Galaxy S20+ A pleasant gesture

Galaxy S20 Plus Review

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

The Galaxy S20+ is one of the best Galaxy S20 telephone you should buy, which makes it one of the best telephone you should buy proper now. It is not good, however it’s shut. Apart from the minor quibbles I’ve with some elements of the digital camera, and the not-great fingerprint sensor, I’ve nary a criticism of the expertise up to now, and I’ve actually tried to seek out some.

A lot of my positivity will be attributed to the positive factors Samsung has made within the software program division. I will go away the majority of the ideas to my colleague, Andrew Martonik, who reviewed One UI 2 earlier this 12 months, however I will say this: you do not actually discover the cruft anymore. Samsung nonetheless does issues its method, and there are occasions you wonder if it ought to do one other culling of extraneous options, however one way or the other — from Edge Show to Bixby — all of it simply sort of works. Really, I take that again: Bixby nonetheless must go.

As soon as I converted to Google’s method of navigating Android 10, I felt proper at residence. And truthfully, I have never needed to go away.

One other message from this evaluation’s sponsor, Incipio

Incipio OrganicoreSupply: Incipio

Incipio is providing a brand new case for eco-conscious shoppers referred to as Organicore, and can be out there for the Samsung Galaxy S20+ from Verizon on March 6, 2020. It is constructed from 100% compostable plant materials, whereas nonetheless offering dependable drop safety from 6 ft within the air. Shield your funding and decrease your environmental footprint with Organicore.

Get the Incipio Organicore case for the Samsung Galaxy S20+ from Verizon

Samsung Galaxy S20+ Do you have to purchase it?

Galaxy S20 Plus

Supply: Daniel Bader / Android Central

At $1200, the Galaxy S20+ is just not low-cost. However in case you’re in search of a telephone that does all the things fairly effectively and some issues exceptionally, this must be your first selection. It is early nonetheless in 2020, however I do not see one other telephone coming alongside anytime quickly that may unseat it — no less than not fully.

out of 5

I nonetheless love the Pixel four XL and assume the OnePlus eight Professional, when it is launched, will provide higher worth than the Galaxy S20+, however I am unable to dismiss the sheer quantity of enhancements Samsung made to this telephone with out shedding the core imaginative and prescient of providing a large display screen on which you are able to do no matter you need.

The proper stuff

Samsung Galaxy S20+

The successor to final 12 months’s top-of-the-line telephone is the center little one this time round, however loses none of its enchantment. The truth is, with a extra manageable dimension and weight, plus an outstanding major digital camera that is certain to enhance with updates, the Galaxy S20+ could possibly be one of the best telephone of 2020.

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