According to the RAE, “Ultra-” is the prefix that we will use to refer to something which has been elevated to an extreme degree. And the truth is that Samsung's decision to grant this last name to the new crown jewel of its telephone catalog it makes a lot more sense when we allude to this definition.
Why the new Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra it is a telephone like no other we have seen leaving the factories of South Korea until now; loaded to the teeth with the latest technologies developed by the company, and whose ultimate goal is to become the final telephone.
And it is precisely that ambitious goal that makes The Galaxy S20 Ultra may disappoint. Because by now, we have become accustomed to the slight price increases of each new generation of the Galaxy S series. But what we might not be prepared for was to welcome a phone of 1,359 euros that continues to drag some of the classic inconveniences, and whose most important developments may even turn against you.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, features and specifications
|Dimensions||167 x 76 x 8.8 mm 221 grams|
|screen||6.9-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED 120 Hz refresh rate|
|Resolution||WQHD + (3,200 x 1,440 pixels) 511 ppi|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 990 5G|
|RAM||12/16 GB LPDDR5|
|OS||One UI 2.0 based on Android 10|
|Storage||128/512 GB UFS 3.0 expandable by micro SD up to 1 TB|
|Cameras||Rear: 108 MP (main) /1.8, OIS. 12 MP (wide angle) /2.2. 48 MP (telephoto) /3.5, 4X optical zoom
10X hybrid, 100X digital, OIS. DepthVision sensor.Frontal: 40 MP /2.2
|Battery||5,000 mAh with fast 45W charge (25W charger included) Wireless charging Wireless reverse charging Wireless PowerShare|
|Others||Protection IP68, 5G, stereo speakers Dolby Atmos Stereo Speaker by AKG, ultrasonic fingerprint reader on screen|
|Colors||Cosmic Gray, Cosmic Black|
|Price||From 1,359 euros|
The best of Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
It's hard not to fall in love with the giant 6.9-inch SuperAMOLED screen of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. As it was already difficult not to do that of the Galaxy Note10 +, or that of the Galaxy S10 + a few months before.
What I am trying to say is that, once again, Samsung demonstrates again why it is the queen of AMOLED panels Thanks to an excellent screen that surpasses that of any other mobile that we have never tried in basically any imaginable aspect. Even after using a Pixel 4 XL for months, chosen as one of the best mobile phones in the market for Matte Display, the superiority of the S20 Ultra's screen is clear from the moment you turn it on for the first time.
But beyond excellent viewing angles, a level of absurdly high maximum brightness or a faithful color reproduction – as long as the “Natural” color mode is kept activated -, the Galaxy S20 Ultra's screen stands out for an addition that no other mobile of the company had included to date: a refresh rate of 120Hz
The screen of the S20 Ultra surpasses that of any other mobile that we have never tried in basically any imaginable aspect.
By doubling the frequency with which the screen content is updated, animations and movements happen with extreme smoothness, thus improving the experience when surfing the Internet, doing scroll, play compatible titles or just opening and closing mens because S, only to delight in the extreme fluidity that 120Hz grants.
But Samsung, unlike other firms, has opted for a policy that forces the user to choose between extreme fluency or maximum resolution. That is why, although the terminal screen has a native resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels, in case you want to use the panel at its maximum refresh rate you will have to comply with a resolution limited to 2,400 x 1,080 pixels. In addition, by default the panel update frequency is set to 60 Hz to improve the autonomy – in theory, the improvement is 10% – and the device software is not able to change the refresh rate of the panel dynamically based on the content that appears on the screen.
Be that as it may, I must admit that activating 120Hz was one of the first things I did Nothing else to start the device, and at no time I felt the need to return to 60Hz to enjoy a higher resolution or a slightly higher autonomy.
Regardless of the characteristics of the panel itself, Samsung seems to have heard our prayers and has finally decided get rid of the pronounced "edge" curves that for years they were present in the screens of the mobiles of this series. Instead, the firm is now committed to much less deep curves that help you use the device be more comfortable and incidentally avoid the appearance of the classic phenomenon of "ghost touches" with which many already seemed to have become accustomed to living.
Performance and overall experience
Beyond the exceptional display, there are other elements in the S20 Ultra formula that make the experience when using the phone is a real delight. Perhaps the most important is your new processor, the Exynos 990 5G manufactured in 7 nanometers and formed by 8 cores, which accompany 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM in the version we have tested, and an internal storage UFS 3.0 of 128 GB expandable by microSD.
The coalition formed by all these components, added to a much more polished software than in previous editions of this series, results in a simply excellent performance under any kind of circumstance. Of course, that should not surprise anyone considering the price of the phone.
And speaking of the software, I consider it necessary to stop to comment on this section. Because for the first time since I've been analyzing company terminals, I have decided do not include the software as one of the negative points of the device. Not because One UI has changed overnight and has become the perfect customization layer, but because at least now there is no more than the sum, and its operation, at least in a mobile of this category, is already at the level of other operating systems based on Android more "clean".
Among the most interesting news that introduces the version of One UI based on Android 10 is the fully gestural navigation, inherited directly from the last version of the operating system developed by Google. Using this navigation system – which, by the way, does not arrive activated by default – completely changes the experience when using the device, and makes moving between applications or the months a smoother and more intuitive process. That's right, if you intend to use it, you'll have to settle for the original Samsung launcher, because gestural navigation is still not compatible with third-party launchers in One UI 2.1.
Beyond all that, there is no lack of thousands of different functions with which Samsung gives its customization layer, some of them especially useful, and others that for the most part will be irrelevant –Ahem, Bixby and Samsung Daily–. We have a “One-handed mode” extremely convenient in a mobile of this size, built-in screen recorder, "edge actions" – despite the elimination of the lateral curves of the screen – a fantastic integration with Windows that will be especially useful to the owners of a computer with the Microsoft operating system, and a host more features and tools that will keep you glued to the mobile for hours if your intention is to familiarize yourself with all of them.
Another interesting function integrated in One UI 2.1 with which Samsung allows you to get even more out of the 12 or 16 GB of RAM phone is the possibility of keep applications open to speed up your opening and prevent the operating system from automatically closing them when they are in the background. The maximum limit of apps that can be set is 3 or 5 depending on the memory configuration chosen.
That said, I consider simply inadmissible that, in the middle of 2020, Samsung continues without changing its policy of updates, and that a mobile of 1,359 euros only have insured two major operating system updates.
Samsung has also decided to raise the level – or at least try – in relation to the autonomous. Because unlike aspects such as photography, when we talk about batteries older numbers usually result in better results. And the 5,000 mAh battery of the Galaxy S20 Ultra is a good example.
Taking into account that Since receiving the device I have kept the screen refresh rate at 120Hz, the fact that the S20 Ultra has allowed me to reach the day of use with about 5:30 or 6 hours of screen on seems to me a good result. And I do not doubt that using the device as it comes out of the box – that is, with the resolution of the "coated" panel at 1080p and the refresh rate at 60Hz – will offer a much higher autonomy. But, at least in my opinion, does not compensate.
Unlike other sections, when talking about battery, older numbers almost always translate into better results.
And it compensates even less considering that the phone is capable of charging at high speed using the 25W charger included in the box, and there is also support for wireless charging. Yes, I also think that the 45W charger that Samsung sells separately at a price of 50 euros It would have been an addition that added some points in the objective of the brand to try to justify the high price of the telephone.
The worst of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
At what time did we decide that mobile phones weighing around a quarter of a kilo were acceptable? With almost 17 centimeters high and weighing 220 grams, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the largest phones that have passed through our hands. More than any other mobile of the Galaxy S or Note series, and more than that gigantic Samsung Galaxy Mega launched in 2013 whose dimensions reminded us more of those of a tablet than those of a mobile phone.
Using the Galaxy S20 Ultra without case is little less than a risk sport.
It is also larger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and although the Korean model is a bit lighter, the weight of the gigantic rear camera module It means that your weight is not completely well balanced, and that using it for relatively long periods of time becomes an odyssey.
In other words, using a Galaxy S20 Ultra without a case is little less than a risk sport, And not only because of its weight and size; its construction in glossy glass and aluminum makes it a Mobile especially slippery and fragile. At least Samsung has decided to include a transparent gift case next to the terminal.
However, there are more factors that make The design of the S20 Ultra is not exactly one of its strengths. As usual, Samsung again offers a well built phone, with well-finished edges and curves that give it an aesthetic according to the times. Beyond that, his physical appearance is nothing special with the exception of the camera system that occupies a good part of the surface of the rear part and stands out in several millimeters.
And that, in what should be the most pointer and representative mobile of the company – with the permission of the folding -, is a problem. More when other manufacturers have already begun to bet on more durable or exclusive manufacturing materials than the aluminum and glass that shape this Galaxy S20 Ultra as they are the stainless steel or ceramic, and especially because Samsung has raised the level in its lower lines so much that, at present, there are hardly any resectable differences between the design of models such as the Galaxy A51 or the Galaxy S10 Lite and that of this Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Because Samsung’s most special mobile design doesn't bring anything new that we have not seen in other phones of the brand, even those that cost half the money of this terminal.
These are the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra cameras
At this point no one should doubt that the photographic section This mobile is the main aspect that differentiates it from any other mobile, and that Samsung ms will try to squeeze to convince you to pay the 1,359 euros that the S20 Ultra costs instead of the 909 or 1,009 euros of the Galaxy S20 and S20 + is worth it. And just take a look at your numbers to realize it.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G has a total of six different cameras, five of them located in the gigantic module of the rear, and one in the front, inside the small hole with which Samsung cuts the OLED panel of the terminal.
Starting with the rear system, we see a 108 megapixel main camera resolution F/1.8 which, by default, captures 12 megapixel images based on a pixel grouping technique that Samsung calls nonabinning. However, Samsung offers the possibility of capturing images at the maximum resolution that this sensor can give itself through a hidden option in the camera application.
A scene also appears on the scene. "telephoto" sensor 48 megapixel F/3.5 with four-fold optical zoom, a “Super wide angle” 12 megapixel F/2.2 and a “DepthVision” camera equipped with a sensor ToF, intended to capture depth information.
The most important of the main sensors is, without a doubt, the 108 megapixel. Given its large size – three times larger than that of a Galaxy S10 – it is capable of capturing much more light than any other mobile with a smaller sensor. And if you want more detail, just activate the "108 MP mode" to generate captures with much more detail – at least that is the theory – in exchange, that is, of files whose weight is triggered to exceed the 25 MB in certain situations.
As interesting news that are introduced in this generation is the single capture function. With it, the device capture different images and videos of the same scene using the different modes integrated in the camera app. Although the process takes a little longer than taking a “normal” photo, it is a curious solution that avoids having to decide for ourselves. what image mode to use so that the software is responsible for doing the work for us.
Nor can the capabilities of the device in terms of zooming be ignored. After all, Samsung has stamped the words “SPACE ZOOM 100X” on the module that houses the different sensors that make up this configuration.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 +, The Galaxy S20 Ultra s has a optical zoom. It is a “folded lens” located at the bottom of the camera module, whose operation resembles that of a periscope. On Samsung's own official website, it is explained in more detail how this sensor acts when capturing an image:
“The light entering from the back of the phone is redirected by a prism towards the lens, refracting to the right at a 90 degree angle through a series of stacked optical elements that increase the focal length, in the same way in that a periscope works. ”_
This technology, added to the capabilities of the 48 megapixel sensor supported by the pixel grouping technique, allows the Galaxy S20 Ultra camera capture images with 4x optical zoom and digital up to 100.
But the parade of wild figures continues: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the first mobile phones capable of capturing video at 8K resolution, although this mode is limited to a rate of 24 FPS. In addition, its front camera has a 40 megapixel resolution, and as the main sensor, it is possible take pictures at the maximum possible resolution in case you want to get the maximum detail that the camera is able to capture.
However, How do you translate all these numbers into practice? If you've read the title of this analysis, I'm afraid you can deduce where the shots go.
Day behavior, portrait and night mode
Let's start at the beginning: the main camera of the phone allows to capture almost outstanding images in most situations in which the light accompanies. The great resolution and the largest size translate into bright photographs with a high level of detail – Although not much more than those taken with mobiles like the Pixel 4, which leads us to question the need for such a large and expensive sensor. However, as it has happened in each model of the Galaxy series that we have been able to test so far, the software in charge of processing the photographs comes back into play to give the captures that look so characteristic of the company, which stands out for a excessive smoothing, especially when a human face on the scene, and for "raising" the shadows indiscriminately, thus eliminating a good part of the contrast of the image and adding noise – less than in previous years, that is – totally unnecessary. Interestingly, these two problems disappear greatly when using the "Pro mode" of the camera.
The main camera also fails in the night scenes, and unless we find ourselves in almost total darkness, there will almost be no need to enable the "Night Mode" included in the camera app that, although it is still useful, it is still not at the level of the one included in the latest Apple and Google phones, especially when calculating the white balance – usually, it usually throws in excess towards the hottest side.
If you want, you can also take pictures of 108 megapixels of resolution using the main camera of the phone. In theory, this mode is intended to capture more detail of each scene, so that later it is possible crop images without losing quality. The reality is that in most situations does not compensate having to activate this option every time you want to use, mainly because in the default mode the camera is already able to capture enough detail so as not to miss such a function.
That said, it is convenient to mention that the process of capturing images at this resolution is surprisingly fast taking into account the computational load involved in making and processing a photo of this size. One of the advantages of having an amount of RAM – apparently – far-fetched.
Another detail of the main chamber that I think is worth highlighting is the smallest depth of field that the sensor naturally generates, and that in certain occasions it makes the portrait or “dynamic blur” mode totally unnecessary since, by default, the images will already have a quite nice and natural background blur. Of course, this can also be a problem because, sometimes, foreground subject edges they may become out of focus or show artifacts due to the reduced depth of field of the sensor.
As for the zoom, I am very afraid that today, The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the mobile with the best zoom in the market within the range of 4 and 10 increases. Beyond that, the quality losses are very evident until reaching 30 magnifications, and the zoom of 100 magnifications that Samsung so presumes only allows to obtain extremely blurred images and lacking in detail, however impressive it may turn out to be able to expand to that distance using a mobile camera.
The feeling with him “ultra wide angle” sensor It is different from what is perceived with the other sensors: basically there are no inconveniences. Despite its lower resolution, it is still able to capture a good level of detail of the scenes, in addition to generating colors that do not clash with those obtained using the other cameras of the phone. I dare to say that, as of today, it is very likely that The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best camera of this type available in the market, surpassing even that of the iPhone 11 series models.
Nor should we pass up what, today, is the one that will be the most serious problem of the camera of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and it is none other than the focus system failures both when recording video and when taking photos that several people have already reported, and that we ourselves have been able to experience in our unit, despite being updated to the latest version of the software provided by Samsung. However, the company claims to continue working to completely eliminate this problem. Until that time comes, it is certainly something to keep in mind.
Everything said about the main camera of the Galaxy S20 Ultra can be extrapolated to the front sensor to selfies: thanks to its 40 megapixels, you can take quite detailed photos, although, again, image processing takes a good part of the facial features ahead for its tendency to soften faces, even having deactivated the "beauty mode" included by Samsung in its camera app.
The crown jewel of this photographic system in terms of video recording is the possibility of capture clips at 8K resolution. But as with the 100x zoom or 108 megapixel photos, I'm afraid that there are few reasons to record video at such resolution. In the first place, due to the problems in the approach mentioned above, which seem to be manifested to a greater extent when using this mode, and also, because when recording 8K video the camera app cuts both the scene that, in most cases, it is mandatory to move away from the subject to be captured in order to make it appear completely in the video.
Beyond that, it is undeniable that it is a interesting function, and the possibility of being able to be appreciated capture 30 megapixel resolution images during the recording.
Given the disadvantages of using this mode, I fear that it is best to resort to 4K video capture, or even in Full HD + and incidentally benefit from the fantastic “superstabilization” mode included by Samsung. In either case, the results obtained when recording video will be superior to the vast majority of Android devices on the market, and be even better as Samsung is able to solve the focus problems.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: opinion and final thoughts of Andro4all
With the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung has not repaired expenses. The last South Korean star phone has the most bulky technical sheet we have ever seen in a mobile phone to date. A technical sheet in which the numbers They seem to be the most important.
And although there are a kind of figures that add points to the experience with the device, such as 120 Hz screen, 5,000 mAh battery or new memory technologiesOthers, such as the 108 megapixel camera, the 100x zoom or the 8K video, provide little, despite directly affecting the price increase of the device in the same way as the first type.
Precisely for that, recommend the purchase of the S20 Ultra It becomes especially difficult when there is the Samsung Galaxy S20 +, a mobile capable of doing 90% of the things that this Galaxy S20 Ultra can do, for 350 euros less.
Price and where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung offers the possibility to reserve the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra from the same day of its presentation, at a price of 1,359 euros for the model with 12 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, and of 1,559 euros for the most expensive variant with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. In addition, the brand offers the possibility of recovering up to 400 euros when delivering an old mobile when buying the new device.
Those who have reserved the phone before March 8, will receive it from day 9. The rest, they can purchase it through the authorized distribution channels from March 13.
|Conclusions||Numbers are not everything, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the best example. With what should have been his best mobile to date, Samsung focuses so much on demonstrating how far it can go, which seems not to have stopped to think if it really was necessary to do so.|
8.5Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
It is easier to see the defects in such a large mobile.