- Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy S20 phones have several features that make them different from last year’s Galaxy S10 and Apple’s latest iPhones.
- They all support 5G connectivity, unlike the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, and come with larger cameras with higher-resolution sensors.
- Plus, their screens can reach a refresh rate of 120Hz, a feature Apple offers on the iPad but not the iPhone.
- The new Galaxy S20 phones launched on Friday, March 6.
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Samsung on Friday launched its new Galaxy S20 lineup, which offers a camera setup with larger sensors, 5G support across all variants, and a screen with a higher refresh rate, among other changes. All these features differentiate the lineup from last year’s Galaxy S10 — and Apple’s latest iPhones.
It’s worth noting, however, that Samsung’s phones are more expensive than Apple’s. The Galaxy S20 starts at $1,000, while the iPhone 11 begins at $700. The larger Galaxy S20 Plus begins at $1,200, and its even larger sibling, the S20 Ultra, costs at least $1,400. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at $1,000, and the 11 Pro Max begins at $1,100. The phones launched on March 6 after being announced on February 11.
Here’s a closer look at some of the features found on Samsung’s Galaxy S20 that are missing from the iPhone.
Samsung’s new phones all offer larger screens than Apple’s iPhone 11 family.
The Galaxy S20 has a 6.2-inch screen, while the Galaxy S20 Plus has a 6.7-inch display and the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch screen.
The iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch screen and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display.
A notch-free screen
Starting with the iPhone X in 2017, Apple replaced the traditional bezel with a “notch” cutout just above the screen to provide space for the iPhone’s front-facing camera and facial-recognition sensors. Two years later, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro still have that same notch.
But Samsung has taken a different approach with its Galaxy S20 phones and last year’s Galaxy S10. Those phones have a smaller cutout that resembles a hole punch; Samsung calls it an “Infinity-O” display.
Higher-resolution camera sensors
The cameras on Samsung’s new phones are also much different from those on Apple’s.
The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have camera systems that consist of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera. The Plus model has a fourth camera for depth sensing.
But it’s the Ultra model’s camera that really stands out. The high-end model comes with a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a depth-sensing camera. Samsung also says the 108 megapixels on the Ultra can group to form a larger 12-megapixel sensor that can take in more light.
The iPhone 11 has a dual 12-megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens, while the Pro models have triple-camera systems with an additional 12-megapixel telephoto camera.
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra also has a higher-resolution 40-megapixel selfie camera, while the other two models have a 10-megapixel front-facing camera. The iPhone has a 12-megapixel selfie camera.
A camera that can zoom in closer
In addition to having higher-resolution sensors than Apple’s iPhones, the Galaxy S20’s camera can zoom in further than the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro’s cameras.
The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have an optical zoom of up to 3X and a digital zoom of up to 30X, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra has an optical zoom of up to 10X and a digital zoom of up to 100X.
The iPhone 11 has a digital zoom of 5X, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 2X optical zoom and a 10X digital zoom.
It’s unclear how handy the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100X zoom is in practice, however. Photos zoomed in to that degree usually look noisy and blurry, as my colleague Antonio-Villas Boas noted when he tested the S20 Ultra’s camera against the Google Pixel 4’s and iPhone 11 Pro Max’s. That being said, the S20 Ultra still outperformed the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Pixel 4 when zooming in to a lesser degree.