Samsung is one brand that makes a name for itself every year when it comes to smartphones. Their wide range of smartphones top the list as one of the best phones in the market. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t get bad reviews at times. We will briefly review one of the latest S20 models – Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. We will discuss its amazing qualities, why you should get it and why you should not.
Amongst the S20 phones, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus hits the sweet spot. It’s got a bigger display and more battery life than Samsung Galaxy S20. But it is not as large and pricey as Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. This is also the year’s first big 5G phone, one that operates on both the mmWave and sub-6 frequencies. It is not perfect but it is a great all-round choice with top features.
In addition, the S20 Plus has a price bump over last year’s Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, presumably due to the added 5G compatibility. It pushes the phone to new heights of flagship prices, which is frustrating – given the limited availability of the cheaper 4G model. In other words, Samsung is pitching this year’s Plus model as more of an intermediate step than simply a larger version – which is a bit of a stretch.
Since you can’t buy a 4G-only S20 Plus in some regions, you’ll just have to live with the premium price tag.
The S20 Plus comes in a plethora of cool, muted colors: Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Black, and Aura Blue. UK consumers can also get the phone in Cloud White color.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus doesn’t look much different to its predecessor. But this is the sleekest device in a long line of flagships. It is quite larger than S20, and smaller than the S20 ultra.
As phone manufacturers try to find the best enclosure for more and more lenses, this phone has a rectangular camera block on the back.
The single center-aligned punch-hole for the front-facing camera looks cleaner, and obstructs less of the display. This Plus model has no top lip or bottom chin – its bezel is evenly sparse.
However, the minimal design is less obvious because it is pretty lean. It comes with no rear fingerprint sensor (this was dropped from all of last year’s S10 phones), no Bixby button and, sadly for some, no 3.5mm headphone jack.
It is also thinner by a hair than the standard Samsung S20. The downside? Pump up the volume on the dual top-and-bottom speakers and the whole rear cover will vibrate. They put out respectable audio, though we still haven’t found sound projection and stereo balance.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus comes with 6.7-inch AMOLED display, which is sharp and vibrant, with WQHD+ resolution (3200 x 1440). The display is a shade taller than the S10 Plus’ QHD+ (3040 x 1440) screen. This is likely due to it having less bezel at the top and bottom. But you won’t notice a difference given how similar they are – at least until you get to the refresh rate.
Yes, the Samsung S20 phones join several other late-2019 and 2020 models by adding the option to refresh the screen more frequently. Most phones operate at 60Hz (meaning the screen refreshes 60 times per second). But on the Samsung S20 Plus and its siblings you can opt to up this to 120Hz.
While that’s a faster refresh rate than the 90Hz on the Google Pixel 4, OnePlus 7T Pro or Razer Phone 2, you likely won’t see a difference unless you put those phones side by side with the Samsung S20 Plus while it’s bumped up to 120Hz. And yes, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 also offers 120Hz, making Samsung’s flagship line the first non-gaming phones to get the cutting-edge screen tech.
In addition, you might want to turn on facial recognition since the in-screen fingerprint sensor is poor.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus comes with a trio of rear cameras, plus a time-of-flight depth sensor. Although, the main and ultra-wide lenses haven’t changed a great deal from the corresponding lenses on the S10 Plus. Samsung is always out to up the telephoto lens to deliver fantastic fidelity far beyond what its predecessor is capable of.
Where the S10 Plus packed a 12MP 2x optical telephoto camera, which extends to a respectable 10x digital zoom, the Samsung S20 Plus is rocking a 3x optical lens combined with a 64MP sensor, allowing a better 30x digital zoom.
In addition, Samsung has a better Night mode with software tricks. Samsung also has its regular slew of features (Live Focus, panorama, etc). The recent feature is the Single Take, which is really a predictive ‘panic button’ for photography. Select the mode, hit the shutter button, and the camera will capture a selection of standard photos, depth-enhanced Live Focus stills, video, and GIF-like short animations. The best part is Ai will also automatically select the best images and clips and put them in a mini-album.
Stills photography aside, the Samsung S20 Plus’ other big feature (along with its siblings) is the capability to capture 8K video at 24fps. That’s far more of a showcase feature than it is a practical one, given how few commercially-available displays can actually display video in 8K. But you can drop down to UHD (aka 4K, 3840 x 2160) in 60fps, as well as FHD and regular HD if you so choose.
Furthermore, the Samsung S20 Plus beats its predecessor’s dual-lens front-facing camera array for a single 10MP shooter. Its depth sensing is a bit off in comparison, with portrait-style Live Focus suffering a bit as software picks up the slack from the optics. Also, it’s not quite the 40MP front-facing camera on the S20 Ultra, but it gets the job done.
Comes with top speed on US carrier Verizon’s mmWave 5G: 1.38Gbps
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus connects to both mmWave and sub-6 5G networks. This makes it more accessible and one of the first mainstream phones to do so. That number might grow as more phones are released in 2020 with the feature, but even so, it’s an attractive option, anyway.
Because we’re still in the early days of 5G, do not expect this expanded connectivity to be a major selling point this year as carriers build out their networks. However, having both mmWave and sub-6 makes the S20 Plus available on more carriers, especially ones that only have one or the other.
- Snapdragon 865 chipset in the US, Exynos 990 elsewhere
- 12GB of RAM (unless you opt for the 4G-only, which has 8GB of RAM)
- 128GB or 512GB storage options
Samsung’s S-series phones have top-tier specs, and the S20 Plus is no exception. It comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset in the US or Exynos 990 in other countries (including the UK and Australia). And a 12GB of RAM baseline which allows games, media binges, and multi-app multitasking.
That is for 12GB of RAM for the Galaxy S20 Plus 5G, but if you opt for the 4G version you will get 8GB of RAM. Even with an unknown version, we believe 8GB of RAM should be enough to get you through everyday tasks.
Note that the Samsung S20 Plus is one of the most powerful smartphones in the market. With a multi-core CPU score of 3,034 that beats other phones including the S20 Ultra, which scored 3,286, and also trailing the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which scored 3,424.
However, when it comes to day-to-day performance, you will seldom ever notice significant performance differences between similarly-priced flagship rivals.
In real-world use, the S20 Plus can handle pretty much any app, game or media you throw at it. This makes it a true powerhouse in your pocket. Also combined with its 5G capability, this guarantees the longevity of the handset, at least when it comes to performance.
So whether you’re edit photos in Photoshop or Lightroom, or land your one-millionth round of PUBG, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus has the capacity. It has been tested with media and games, and the phone handled everything without a problem. Even when pumped up to 1440p resolution or 120Hz refresh rate, the phone doesn’t heat up under pressure.
The Samsung S20 series comes with Android, so the S20 Plus is not an exception. Enjoy the great features the latest version of Android offers, such as universal Dark Mode. As a Samsung phone, it comes with the ideal brand apps and interface overlay in its latest version of One UI. If the especially narrow keyboard annoys you, swap it out for Gboard pronto.
- 4,500mAh capacity. In casual use, lasts nearly two days – though 120Hz and 5G could eat that up faster
- 25W fast charger in the box
- Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 + Wireless
PowerShare to lend charge to other devices
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus comes with a 4,500mAh battery, which feels sufficient. Based on our review, it holds up far beyond a day’s worth of typical use. These include binging video, scrolling through Twitter, taking photos, and playing a few games.
However, it is not especially remarkable, but it seems that battery life is more or less keeping pace with innovation. You can also get a bit more life by reducing the display resolution or dropping the refresh rate down to 60Hz. Conversely, you can max-out the screen tech that’s on offer, but battery life will also suffer accordingly.
The phone includes a standard 25W USB-C Samsung charger in the box, and it also supports Fast Wireless Charging 2.0. And, like the Samsung S10 series phones before it, the S20 Plus can share its charge with other devices via Samsung’s Wireless PowerShare feature. This is particularly good for accessories like your Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus. But it works for any device that supports Qi-charging.
You can buy it if…
You’re willing to pay for nearly the best
Without exaggerations, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a superior phone, especially the cameras. But if you want to save some money, the Samsung S20 Plus has nearly all its best perks at a notably lower cost.
You love taking telephoto pictures
Not all phones are good at taking zoomed-in photos. The Samsung S20 Plus has a respectable 3x optical zoom combined with a 64MP sensor that enables some truly neat close-in photography. It may not capture the clearest photos at 30x zoom. But collects context at a farther range than almost every phone on the market – except for the S20 Ultra, of course.
You want to be on the cutting edge of 5G
Given the S20 Plus connects to both mmWave and sub-6 5G, it’s a great phone for those who want 5G. Because, chances are, the phone will hook up to the 5G network of your carrier of choice.
Do not buy if…
You want cheap 5G
Yes, the Samsung S20 Plus is likely the most affordable way to get 5G on both mmWave and Sub-6. But if you wanted a more affordable way to get to 5G, pick up a phone that’s 5G-capable and matching your carrier’s particular network. For instance, if your network runs on mmWave, check if there’s a discounted Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. If your network exists on a sub-6 then see if a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G works.
You want an affordable flagship
As much as you enjoyed the review of Samsung S20 Plus, it is obviously expensive. This is the reason it is beyond the means of some consumers. If you want flagship specs at a lower cost, consider the OnePlus 7T Pro or an older phone. They will serve you just fine.
You want a fine phone
One major flaw of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is its design. The design is not particularly inspiring. In fact, you might be shocked its price goes so high – because all it’s paying for goes on the inside. If you can’t enjoy all the phone can do, find one which has the style and designs that suits your taste.
Also read: Tecno-camon-12-pro-phone-review