said Emile de Girardin. added the writer Jean-Paul Delfino in his novel Pour tout l’or du Brésil. Samsung seems to apply these maxims to the letter to maintain its leadership position in the smartphones. To convince ourselves, we tested the Galaxy S20 and S20 +, two new Korean flagships.
Heckled by Huawei in the premium segment, jostled by Chinese manufacturers in the mid-range, the Korean giant must redouble its creativity to remain number 1. Not to mentionApple which managed to regain the hearts of consumers at the end of 2019 with successful iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.
The Galaxy Fold and Z Flip, his smartphones folding, maintain the innovative character of the brand, but they are reserved for wealthy and / or passionate users. For the general public, Samsung sticks to more conventional formats but also more “affordable”. Range Galaxy S20 is part of this strategy even if the three models presented at the beginning of February remain expensive.
If the Galaxy S20 Ultra stands out for its exceptional characteristics, the S20 and S20 +, which are fairly identical, are doing well with a more interesting techno-price ratio. Marketed under the 1000 euros mark, they display many points in common with the Ultra version, sold for 1349 euros! I used the Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S20 + for several days. Here is my full test of Galaxy S20 and S20 +.
Design and screen
In addition to their size difference, the Galaxy S20 and S20 + are inspired by the design of Galaxy S10 and Note 10, models hailed for their impeccable aesthetics. From their predecessors, they take up the elongated format, the rounded lines and the finesse. From the stylus model, they inherit the central punch and the layout of the physical buttons, gathered here on the right border.
The Galaxy S20 and S20 + that I had in test both wear a glass dress topped with a protective layer of Corning Gorilla 6 glass. Both have obtained their IP68 (water and dust) tightness certificate. However, Samsung has (unfortunately) decided to remove the 3.5 mm jack to leave only the USB-C and a speaker on the bottom border. On the upper edge, the SIM card slot can accommodate two nano SIMs as well as a micro SD card.
This year Samsung is playing the race for photo sensors and following the aesthetic trends that follow from it. The Galaxy S20 like the S20 Plus version have two hotplates (fortunately induction) positioned in the upper left corner. Below in my test of Galaxy S20, the illustration of these elements.
This provision is reminiscent of that of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max widely mocked on social networks when they were released. If we got used to this protuberance on the smartphones ofApple, we don’t have to find it pretty. Samsung could have pulled out of the game by opting for another arrangement. Perhaps the engineers had no other choice.
Despite this unsightly element, the finesse of the design and the accuracy of the finishes make samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 + technology jewelry, all in class and elegance. The S20 will appeal more to fans of compact formats preferring to use their smartphone with one hand. The S20 +, it should attract multimedia enthusiasts, especially since Samsung has integrated (again) a screen, let’s say, sublime. I pass in my test of Galaxy S20 on the screen, and its (excellent) refresh rate.
120 Hz screen
What makes the S20 screen different from the S20 + screen? If not the size (6.2 and 6.7 inches), nothing. Samsung adopts in both cases a Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O panel (central punch) compatible HDR10 + and take the opportunity to say goodbye to the curved format. Both models display content in WQHD + or Full HD +. For the first time in its history, the South Korean offers a 120 Hz refresh rate. However you will have to choose between WQHD + or 120 Hz. Too bad.
Despite this limitation, I preferred to use the Galaxy S20 and S20 + in 120 Hz with Full HD + definition. The advantage of such a refresh rate is mainly felt in the game, with licenses to graphics particularly worked. I particularly enjoyed the sessions with this configuration. Daily use is also more pleasant thanks to much smoother animations and transitions, especially for scrolling through feeds Twitter or Instagram.
For the rest, Samsung makes Samsung. His mastery of AMOLED technology is beyond doubt and the Korean pushes the limits of excellence once again. All the superlatives will not be enough to transcribe the near perfection of the screens of the Galaxy S20 and S20 +. I will therefore content myself with emphasizing their excellent contrasts, their very good luminosity and a controlled colorimetry. As for the depth of the blacks, it surprises me every year. These are points which are very positive in my test of the Galaxy Samsung S20.
As if that weren’t enough, Samsung offers several display options in the settings of One UI. By default, our test models were calibrated on a neutral profile, which I appreciate for its naturalness. Others may prefer the vivid mode which covers more of the color range but which tends to slightly saturate certain colors. Whether you choose one or the other, you will take full … the mirettes!
Performance and interface
As on its previous models, Samsung relies on its homemade chips in Europe, here the Exynos 990 engraved in 7 nm. It is accompanied by 8 or 12 GB of RAM but Samsung reserves the most efficient version for its 5G models. The Samsung Galaxy Both S20 and S20 + have 128 GB of expandable storage up to 1.5 TB via microSD.
Armed to the teeth, the Galaxy S20 and S20 + show high performance, authorizing the multiplication of resource-intensive uses. From multitasking to games, photos and 8K video, everything runs like clockwork. Gaming even takes on a special flavor thanks to the 120 Hz power / screen combo. This is another advantage during this test of the Galaxy S20.
However, the Galaxy S20 tends to heat up when asked a little too much over time. A slightly long game session, an 8K shoot of more than a minute, a lingering photo session can lead to overheating. To the extent that the Galaxy S20 + does not have this defect, I deduce that the problem comes from the more compact format and therefore from a more limited space for heat dissipation.
One UI one day, One UI forever
I will not go by four paths: One UI 2.0 is arguably among the best versions of Android that I’ve been given the opportunity to test. After years of railing against Touchwiz, I welcomed the new Samsung software in this test of Galaxy S20. Clearer, smoother, more ergonomic, One UI also shines with its multitude of features.
Version 2.0, based on Android 10, does not bring big aesthetic changes but expands on a few welcome options. Among the most useful features I will mention the audio settings and display options. The dark mode is still effective and will not be too much to save the battery.
Autonomy of Galaxy S20
The Galaxy S10 and S10 + did not shine by their autonomy. Has Samsung fixed the problem? The answer is no. If with its 4500 mAh battery the S20 + is doing pretty well (one and a half day for versatile use with Full HD + screen in 120 Hz), the S20 (4000 mAh battery) must go through the recharging box before the end of the day.
A real weak point in my opinion at a time when most competitors offer enduring models (two days of autonomy) with the exception of Google, still struggling on this criterion. This finding is all the more unfortunate that the two models are full of energy-consuming features (camera but especially shooting in 8K) further reducing autonomy.
Samsung is catching up with the multiplicity of charging systems. Like the S20 Ultra, the S20 and S20 + inherit the winning trio of fast charging (25 W compatible Power Delivery), wireless (15 W) and reverse (9 W). Allow 30 minutes of charging in USB-C to go from 0 to 60% on the S20 (0 to 50% on the Plus version) and a little less than an hour for a full charge (1h15 for the S20 +). That’s good, but far from reaching the performance of the Oppo Super VOOC which promises to recharge a battery of more than 4000 mAh in 30 minutes.
Inductive charging logically takes longer: around 1 hour 20 minutes for the S20, 1 hour 45 minutes for the S20 +. The reverse charge, above all, gives a few life points to your wireless accessories (headphones, watches or connected bracelets).
Camera Galaxy S20 / S20 +
Four sensors for the S20 +, three for the S20. Lack of space in the smallest format will have got the better of the ToF lens to improve portrait quality. Apart from this difference, the S20 and the S20 + sport the same photographic equipment, namely:
- wide angle: 26mm f / 1.8; 12 MP 1 / 1.76 ’’ sensor (photosites 1.8 µm); Dual Pixel PDAF; optical stabilization
- a 3x telephoto lens: f / 2; 64 MP sensor (0.8 µm photosites); PDAF; optical stabilization
- an ultra wide-angle: 13 mm f / 2.2; 12 MP sensor (1.4 µm photosites)
No good camera without its little layer of artificial intelligence and the multiplication of shooting modes. This year, Samsung puts the package on the zoom which, once the “wow effect” has passed, is not necessarily the most used by the general public. Regardless, announcing a 30x zoom remains a strong marketing message.
Zoom x2, x3, x10 and x30
In practice, this zoom remains unusable as the quality of the shots is poor. An observation that we already made with the x50 zoom of the Huawei P30 Pro last year but also more recently with the x100 zoom of the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
However, up to a 10x zoom, the shots are surprisingly good. The x2 optical zoom is even excellent, the x3 hybrid zoom very good. The Galaxy S20 and S20 + have nothing to envy of the P30 Pro. Ah yes, maybe one thing: Huawei’s smartphone is almost a year old already, which demonstrates the Chinese giant’s lead in photography.
Samsung slightly modifies the photo interface: I appreciated being able to switch from one mode to another directly on the screen like on the last iPhone. The pop-up window that pops up when you zoom in to get lost in the frame is probably one of the best ideas of recent years.
Excellence according to Samsung
By day, I have nothing to reproach the new smartphones from Samsung, quite the contrary. The photos shine with their excellent sharpness, good contrasts and more natural colors than on previous models. A good point insofar as Samsung always tends to saturate the colors a little too much.
The South Korean also improves the quality of all night shots. More detailed, they no longer fall into the trap of halos of light. The engineers managed to correct this particularly disturbing point for photos in the city. Like its competitors, Samsung adopts night mode very effective in very dark environments (validated during this test of Galaxy S20), much less if the frame includes a light source. A defect that also presents the ultra wide-angle, very good in daylight but unusable in low light.
Finally, I noted a slight difference in quality between the S20 and S20 + portraits. With the large model, bokeh seems more natural. This is no doubt explained by the presence of the ToF objective, absent from the Galaxy S20.
At the front, the 10 megapixel sensor (f / 2.2 lens) is effective in good light conditions, much less in low light or backlight. The self-portrait mode is very correct even if the bokeh is an aggressive hair.
One would have thought that Samsung would reserve this functionality for the Ultra model, it is not. The Galaxy S20 and the Galaxy S20 + can also film up to 8K at 30 fps. This talent impresses more on a product as small as the S20 but the results are the same on all models. Finally, I suppose so. Because at present, it is impossible to verify the quality or the fluidity of an 8K video since the offer of 8K screens is to date famous.
Rest assured, the Galaxy S20 and S20 + can also shoot in 4K at 60 fps with convincing results. I nevertheless recommend opting for a recording in Full HD, definition with which we can enjoy a very successful optical stabilization. Until now, only the iPhone 11 Pro has managed to reach such a level.
Finally, I could not conclude this test without mentioning the function. From a video of a few seconds, artificial intelligence releases a series of photos, including portraits. Fearsomely effective.
My opinion on this test of Galaxy S20
I must say it, it is with a certain sadness that I will separate myself from Galaxy S20 and S20 + at the end of this test. If autonomy and audio quality are their main weaknesses, they can be corrected by simple updates. But then which model to choose between the Galaxy S20, the S20 + and the S20 Ultra?
According to me and following my test, the Galaxy S20 + stands out as the best compromise. Large enough for multimedia use, compact and light enough for everyday comfort, it is cheaper than the S20 Ultra model (1359 euros all the same) which ultimately brings only a few gadget functions (x100 zoom) at the expense of comfort. ‘use.
Sold for 100 euros less, Galaxy S20 will appeal to aficionados of smartphones compact. But it has faults that the S20 + has been able to get rid of (low autonomy, overheating). Well, that’s only my opinion.