Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G: A big shot


  • Samsung
  • Monday, 01 Jun 2020

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the only smartphone in its lineup to be equipped with 5G connectivity. — Bloomberg

Like a firstborn, there’s a lot of pressure on flagship phones to be the best, which is why the crown in the Samsung’s Galaxy S20 range – the S20 Ultra 5G – is packed to the brim with features.

The main selling point is its quad camera array made up of a 108-megapixel main camera, 48-megapixel telephoto camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and VGA depth sensor.

Stamped on the bottom of the array are the words Space Zoom 100x, denoting the phone’s ability to zoom 100 times. With that much zoom, you can get a close-up of the moon, and we all know that when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.

In practical terms, the image quality was great even indoors at up to 15x zoom – I was able to easily read the text on a notice board from the far side of the office, excellent if you’re too lazy to walk.

However, as you increase the zoom, you will need a steady hand to stabilise the shot.

The main cameras can record videos at 8K resolution. — BloombergThe main cameras can record videos at 8K resolution. — Bloomberg

The phone is able to record videos in 8K resolution, but only at 24fps (frames per second). If you want smoother videos, dropping to 4K allows for video capture at 30fps or 60fps.

The S20 Ultra’s selfie camera boasts the highest resolution yet on a Samsung flagship at 40 megapixels.

New in the S20 range is a feature called Single Take that records a video and shoots stills all at one go, giving you the option to turn them into slow-mo shots and even GIFs.

Early adopters did complain that the 108-megapixel shooter focused slowly, but the latest software update should fix that.

Smooth operator

Personally, I prioritise a good screen over killer cameras, considering how much time is spent staring at the phone.

And the S20 Ultra’s screen has a 120Hz refresh rate which makes everything from gaming to just scrolling a joy.

The gigantic 6.9in screen's 120Hz refresh rate makes scrolling websites super smooth. — SamsungThe gigantic 6.9in screen's 120Hz refresh rate makes scrolling websites super smooth. — Samsung

It’s even tempting to rapidly scroll through Wiki or Reddit pages just to see how silky smooth it is.

The higher refresh rate is great for fast-paced games like shooter Fortnite and racer Asphalt 9: Legends.

It also boasts a 240Hz sampling rate, making it much more responsive to touch, a great feature for twitch gaming.

However, there is a catch – to use the higher refresh rate, the screen resolution has to be lowered from WQHD+ (3,200 × 1,440 pixels) to FHD+ (2,400 × 1,080 pixels).

Even though the phone has a large 6.9in screen, the lower resolution is hardly noticeable.

Power-packed

Don’t worry about gaming or catching up on a TV series on this device. The 5,000mAh battery is one of the biggest yet on a Samsung flagship and it’s rated for 17 hours of Internet usage. Even with heavy use, it only needs to be charged every other day or so.

Despite the mammoth battery, it doesn’t take ages to charge, as it supports 45-watt charging.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera housing protrudes out of the phone to fit the advanced cameras inside, but the bundled casing allows the phone to lay flat. — SamsungThe Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera housing protrudes out of the phone to fit the advanced cameras inside, but the bundled casing allows the phone to lay flat. — Samsung

However, only a 25-watt charger is included which takes about an hour or so to fully charge the phone.

The device’s 12GB RAM makes multitasking a breeze, as the phone is able to juggle a ton of apps.

The internal storage is only 128GB though – this is easily remedied with a microSD card or by using Cloud storage services.

Conclusion

The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G lives up to its name, as it’s a device that boasts ultra performance and features.

At RM4,999, the price is steep but you are getting 5G support which should make the smartphone future-proof for a couple of years at least.

The smartphone comes in Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black, and is available at Samsung Experience stores and authorised retailers nationwide, as well as online.

PROS: Excellent cameras; 120Hz screen; supports 5G, big battery, solid build.

CONS: Steep price; rear camera protrudes.

GALAXY S20 ULTRA 5G

(Samsung)

Android 10 smartphone

NETWORK: Up to 5G

PROCESSOR: Octa-core processor

MEMORY: 128GB storage, 12GB RAM

CAMERA: Main cameras – 108-megapixel wide camera, 48-megapixel telephoto camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, VGA depth sensor; front – 40-megapixel camera

DISPLAY: 6.9in WQHD+ (3,200 x 1,440 pixels)

DIMENSIONS (H x W x D): 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm

WEIGHT: 220g

BATTERY: 5,000mAh

RATING: 4 stars

PRICE: RM4,999

Review unit courtesy of Samsung Malaysia Electronics, 1-800-88-9999

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