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March 11, 2022

Here’s why you didn’t buy a Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 Is Too Damn Expensive

Unfortunately, that was only reserved for the top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra, where it came with a QHD display. This is versus the Galaxy S21 and S21+ which featured a 1080p display. Every year without fail, many Android users look forward to seeing what Samsung has in store with the Galaxy S-series. It is the company’s flagship phone lineup that has catapulted them into stardom, but with the Galaxy S21, it seems that the phone isn’t selling very well compared to its predecessors.

There’s no word from Samsung if pricing for the S10 Plus 5G has been reduced. Either way, last year’s phones — which continue to be excellent — are suddenly much more attractive. All that would be fine if Samsung had made a low-end Galaxy S20 that cost less than a thousand bucks. This year’s third model, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, is a lavishly equipped superphone that tops off at $1,600, more than twice the cost of a new Galaxy S10e. If you’d told me two years ago that Samsung would be selling a phone that starts at $1,400, I wouldn’t have believed you. At the time, you could get a Galaxy S9 with the latest Snapdragon processor, a Quad HD OLED screen, and a headphone jack for as low as $720, while Apple charged a then-outrageous $1,000 for the iPhone X.

Samsung was selling affordable luxury, while Apple was pushing the most expensive phone ever made. Unless you’re a photographer or videographer, you’re better off opting for a less expensive phone. Seeing as how the Galaxy S20 and S20+ come equipped with all of the same features, minus the 100x Space Zoom, you might as well splurge on one of those phones instead. That said, you’ll definitely want to opt for that higher refresh rate. Scrolling through articles or timelines on Twitter and Instagram felt so swift and responsive to the touch that I really didn’t want to switch back to the 60Hz default. But, unfortunately, that setting drained the battery significantly on days when I was capturing a lot of content (which, I’ll get to later). As for whether or not you should invest in the first real generation of mainstream 5G phones, I can’t say I see a big reason not to.

  • Businesses that would rely on crowds and walk-in customers found themselves with a fraction of their usual customers and orders.
  • While the Ultra uses motion-stabilizing AI software to help with the shot, the camera is super sensitive.
  • Now, onto Live Focus, which adds a bokeh effect to photos.
  • And, while that sounds super cool, it’s really not that useful.
  • The S20 Ultra’s 6.9-inch AMOLED display is stunning, offering users a Quad HD+ dynamic resolution with HDR10+.

But a world without price tags simply isn’t a place where normal people live. Ultimately, how you feel about the S20 Ultra is intrinsically linked to how willing you are to part with $1,400. For a lot of people, that’s a month’s rent or nice vacation, and a frighteningly steep jump up from the $1,000 flagship phones that were already making people’s wallets weep.

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It also struggles to identify subjects and sharpen clearly. Over the weekend, I compared the photos I took with the Galaxy S20 Ultra to the ones on the iPhone 11 Pro and came to the conclusion that I preferred the Ultra. The battery does take a hit when you’re capturing a lot of content. Every time I’d press my finger at the bottom of the display, right on top of the print outline, it would tell me that it didn’t recognize it. More often than not, I’d end up having to type in my pin. As for the Ultra’s in-display fingerprint sensor, well…

In addition to cancelling out motion in four axes , it also cancels out sways up to 60 degrees in either direction. Samsung Galaxy S20 Is Too Damn Expensive Above is a selfie I took at a dark restaurant where the only light came from tea candles and a window.

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The problem is that Samsung is doing less well once you look across the aisle to the likes of Google, Apple, and even Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo. Google and Apple both blow Samsung away on the realism of their photo processing, and both offer much more consistent output in challenging light. A studied eye with an original, 2016 Google Pixel is probably going to prefer the still image output of that 4-year-old phone to Samsung’s brand new one, and that stings. Google’s Super Res Zoom on the Pixel 4 XL is also far, far better than Samsung’s sensor crop zoom, both on processing and detail. Samsung’s zoomed shots resolve incredibly muddy when you get up close and personal, and that “painted” look persists across all the cameras. With people having less cash to spare and to spend on luxuries like a new phone, Samsung has gone ahead and priced its Galaxy S21 series pretty much the same as its predecessors.

  • To reach its claimed 100x zoom potential, Samsung combines a 4x optical zoom with some fancy processing to create a 10x “lossless” zoom, and from 1x to 10x, the results speak for themselves.
  • That’s where Night mode comes in handy, or at least, it should.
  • But when it comes to cameras, megapixels aren’t everything.
  • The thousand-dollar-and-up S20 stomps that notion, and turns Samsung’s affordable premium phone into just another high-priced handset with too much power and too much screen, all in the name of being first.
  • The Ultra supports both sub-6 and millimeter wave flavors of 5G, which you can read all about in our 5G guide.
  • Know what’s also putting the cart before the horse?

5G is still so new, so sparsely deployed, and such a tiny way past its infancy that buying a 5G phone today probably isn’t going to mean you’re going to get “left behind” by the 5G of tomorrow. 5G is going to take a long, long time to deploy and fully realize its potential. By the time 5G is really something you need in a smartphone, the Galaxy S20 will probably be well past its prime.

The S20 starts at $999, the S20 Plus starts at $1,199, and the S20 Ultra starts at $1,399. In just two years, just about everything about the Galaxy S has doubled, and Samsung has charged us accordingly. Never mind that most people aren’t asking for bigger screens and more megapixels. Samsung wants to build the biggest and best phone, price be damned.

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And no, I didn’t put a case on the phone (which is certainly a “me” problem) because that would make the phone even thicker and heftier. It didn’t take long for me to become increasingly frustrated maneuvering this thing. The Ultra barely fits into my coat pockets and sticks out from the back pockets of my jeans. It almost felt like I was babysitting the phone every time I picked it up, too. I had to hold it a specific way — almost always with two hands — so that I didn’t accidentally drop it. Like the rest of the Galaxy phones, the Ultra is made out of glass with metal sandwiched in between, making it very fragile. In my tiny hands, it almost looks like a tablet.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Is Too Damn Expensive

While the Ultra uses motion-stabilizing AI software to help with the shot, the camera is super sensitive. So you’ll need some additional help if you want to truly get that phone to stay still. Here’s another example of 100x zoom below featuring the Statue of Liberty. I have tons of these photos but there’s no point in even sharing them considering they all look like this one. As I mentioned before, the S20 Ultra provides up to 100x lossless zoom. And, while that sounds super cool, it’s really not that useful.

Why is the Samsung Galaxy S20 so expensive?

The S20 Plus and S20 Ultra light up the cash register with respective starting prices of $1,199 and $1,399. Since this is a cheaper phone, Samsung has kept a headphone jack alongside the USB-C charging port, and the fingerprint scanner is an optical model rather than the ultrasonic version used on the Galaxy S20. However, unlike the standard A51, the frame here will be made of metal rather than plastic, likely giving the phone a more premium feel. Heck, we don’t even really need 5G, at least not yet. By going with an all-5G lineup for the S20 and pricing the phones out of reach for most consumers, Samsung is forcing fans to pay a premium with no compelling reason to do so other than fear of missing out. No doubt Samsung fans will have access to trade-in deals and bundles and BOGO offers that will nudge those prices down to something more reasonable.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Is Too Damn Expensive

The recently revealed Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite, due to arrive in May, will also be a reasonably priced 5G phone with some enviable specs of its own. If you can’t afford a Samsung Galaxy S20 but you want a 5G phone that uses many of the same Samsung features, the Galaxy A51 5G may be just what you’re looking for. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. The average upgrade cycle is now more than 26 months. That means people wait more than two years between phone purchases. With the 5G and feature upgrades, Samsung is hoping that people will take the big leap to its latest hardware.

Which is very much not “100x ZOOM.” Allow me to explain. While that periscope camera does get to 4x effective zoom factor on optics alone, everything past that is done via sensor crop , and then digitally .

In return, manufacturers of 5G phones are asking for a hell of a lot from you, the consumer. Specifically, the dubious real-world benefits of 5G come attached to phones that are becoming legitimately, ludicrously expensive. For this section, I’d like to start with the S20 Ultra’s new zoom system, because it is a meaningfully different camera system from either the S20 and S20+, and it warrants some explanation. For starters, you won’t be able to miss the big “100x ZOOM” text on the back of that massive rear camera module, advertising a capability not found on the smaller S20 and S20+. That comes courtesy of a 48MP “folded” periscope camera with a native 4x zoom factor…

However, it doesn’t look like the Samsung Galaxy S20 series is selling nearly as well as it has in previous years — although there’s still plenty of time left in 2020 for the tide to change. Granted, the Note has always been a pro-level device. The Galaxy S is supposed to be Samsung’s answer to the iPhone–a high-end Android phone for the masses, with good looks and top-notch specs that are still affordable for everyone. The thousand-dollar-and-up S20 stomps that notion, and turns Samsung’s affordable premium phone into just another high-priced handset with too much power and too much screen, all in the name of being first. I had the same problem with the Note 10+ when it launched last year.

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He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. However, the smartphone industry as a whole is pushing 5G hard — perhaps a little too hard. With the immense power it holds over the industry, Samsung could definitely be doing more to stop the premium pricing for 5G materials. It isn’t, though, and we’ll see how that plays out. Richard is a Tom’s Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on.

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And while the S20 Ultra hasn’t leaped ahead of its competitors in every situation, at least the S20 Ultra can keep pace and earn a win depending on the scene. The Ultra usually sits around 40 percent by 7 pm after an average workday, and if I forgot to juice it up overnight, I’ve even been able to go for half of a second day. I have a hard time finding faults with the rest of the S20 Ultra. Performance, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor and the 12 GB of RAM, has been stellar. Don’t buy this phone just because Samsung touts 8K or 5G. So obviously, if you want to experience 5G first-hand — or you want a phone that’s going to be able to take advantage of expanded 5G networks in the next couple years — the S20 is the way to go. If you can live without 5G, the S10’s the better choice.

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