Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S20+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Which should you buy?

Big, bigger, or biggest? There's more than that to consider

Forget the Galaxy S11: Samsung's just leapfrogged a potential decade of smartphone names, opting to call its newly announced flagship handset the Galaxy S20 instead.

And it's not just one phone this time, but three: the standard Galaxy S20, the expected larger Galaxy S20+ edition, and a new super-premium Galaxy S20 Ultra model. All three pack the latest and greatest smartphone tech, but vary in key ways.

Which is worth shelling out a pretty penny for? Here's a look at how the three phones vary based on the initial specs, and we'll update this piece with a final verdict once we've posted our reviews of the upcoming phones.

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Galaxy S20 Galaxy S20 Plus | Galaxy S20 Ultra

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S20+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S20

Screen: 6.2in AMOLED, QHD+ 120Hz

Rear cam: 12MP wide-angle, 12MP ultra wide-angle, 64MP telephoto

Front cam: 10MP

Processor: Exynos 990

Storage: 128GB + microSD

Wireless charging: Yes

Waterproof: Yes (IP68)

Battery: 4,000mAh

Colours: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, and Cloud Pink

Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm; 163g

Price (GBP): £799 (LTE), £899 (5G)


Samsung Galaxy S20+

Screen: 6.7in AMOLED, QHD+ 120Hz

Rear cam: 12MP wide-angle, 12MP ultra wide-angle, 64MP telephoto, DepthVision

Front cam: 10MP

Processor: Exynos 990

Storage: 128GB or 512GB + microSD

Wireless charging: Yes

Waterproof: Yes (IP68)

Battery: 4,500mAh

Colours: Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, and Cosmic Black

Dimensions: 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8 mm; 186g

Price (GBP): £999 (5G)


Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Screen: 6.9in AMOLED, QHD+ 120Hz

Rear cam: 108MP wide-angle, 12MP ultra wide-angle, 48MP telephoto, DepthVision

Front cam: 40MP

Processor: Exynos 990

Storage: 128GB or 512GB + microSD

Wireless charging: Yes

Waterproof: Yes (IP68)

Battery: 5,000mAh

Colours: Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black

Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm; 220g

Price (GBP): £1,199 (5G)

Design: Nearly identical

Size aside, these three phones are largely identical in design – albeit with camera module differences on the back.

On the front, all three phones take the Galaxy Note 10 philosophy of a tiny punch-hole camera cutout at the top-center, rather than the right corner of the Galaxy S10. Samsung has trimmed off more bezel this time around, though, making for an even more immersive-looking screen setup than before.

It's all glass on the back, of course, but the camera modules vary in size. The camera modules of the Galaxy S20 and S20+ look essentially identical, despite some variance in contents, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a much wider module that includes a "Space Zoom 100x" logo.

There are some differences in colour availability, however: the Galaxy S20 comes in Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, and Cloud Pink, while the Galaxy S20+ swaps out Cloud Pink for Cosmic Black. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, meanwhile, just comes in Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black.

Screen: All stunners

You'll get a stunning screen no matter which Galaxy S20 model you choose. All three have a Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display at Quad HD+ resolution, but they obviously vary in size.

The core Galaxy S20 model starts at 6.2in, while the Galaxy S20+ bumps up to 6.7in. And if you truly want a super-sized screen, the Galaxy S20 Ultra goes massive at 6.9in. Pick your preference (and price point).

All three also feature a 120Hz refresh rate, leapfrogging over the stunning 90Hz setting seen on recent OnePlus models and Google's Pixel 3 phones. That means even smoother animations and transitions, which ought to look fantastic on those QHD+ displays.

Camera: More and better(?)

The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ have the same core trio at heart: a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera (f/1.8), a 12MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2), and a 64MP telephoto (f/2.0) camera. The Galaxy S20+ also adds a fourth "DepthVision" camera to the mix. Both phones offer what Samsung calls "Space Zoom," with Hybrid Optic Zoom at 3x and Super Resolution Zoom up to 30x.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra, meanwhile, takes the Galaxy S20+ setup and swaps in a massive 108MP wide-angle camera (f/1.8) and a 48MP telephoto camera (f/3.5), kicking Space Zoom up to 10x Hybrid Optic Zoom and 100x Super Resolution Zoom.

They'll all shoot 8K video too, which ought to be amazing if you've got an 8K display to view it on, plus you can turn any 8K video still into a 33MP photo. There's also a Pro shooting mode with night hyperlapse and other features.

Performance: Well-equipped

You'll get a speedy, top-of-the-line Android flagship chip anywhere in the world with these phones, but there are differences. Europe's phones will use the new Samsung Exynos 990 chip, while we expect the U.S. and other territories to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 chip.

Purported benchmark tests from earlier this year show that they're not worlds apart in performance, although there's about a 20% advantage in multi-core performance for the Snapdragon. Last year's Snapdragon was also faster than the equivalent Exynos, so this could be a recurring trend if those benchmark numbers are correct.

In any case, we expect all Galaxy S20 models to be speedy around the globe. The Galaxy S20 comes with 8GB or 12GB RAM, depending on model, while the S20+ only comes with 12GB RAM and the Ultra is sold in 12GB and 16GB editions.

Battery and perks: More, more, more

Each step up the GS20 ladder will earn you a bit more battery capacity, although we'll see whether there's really any benefit or if it's evened out by the added screen size.

The Galaxy S20 comes with a 4,000mAh battery pack, a nice upgrade over the 3,400mAh cell in the GS10, while the S20+ goes up to 4,500mAh and the GS20 Ultra has a huge 5,000mAh battery. That ought to keep you humming well into a second day. You'll get wireless charging and reverse wireless charging on all three, as well.

Storage-wise, you'll get 128GB in the base model of all three phones, while the GS20+ and GS20 Ultra also ship in 512GB configurations. All three phones also accept microSD cards up to 1TB in size, so you shouldn't want for storage space.

The Galaxy S20 is available in separate LTE-only and 5G-enabled editions, while the Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra both come with 5G support.

Initial verdict: Worth paying more?

The standard Galaxy S20 will probably fit the needs of most, and it's loaded with power and features. The Galaxy S20+ offers a compelling bump if you want a larger screen, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra is for those who don't mind spending a few hundred quid extra for the best of the best (and largest of the large).

At £799 for the base Galaxy S20 model ranging up to £1,199 for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, you'll have to consider your budget too.

All three phone look fantastic, although we're not quite ready to declare a final verdict on any of them. Stay tuned for our full reviews in the coming weeks, as well as an update on this comparison.

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Galaxy S20 Galaxy S20 Plus | Galaxy S20 Ultra