I’ve had a breakthrough on the real-world purpose of Samsung’s 108-megapixel camera and 100x zoom. But my day with the superfast screen left me wanting more.
I began this ongoing review of the Galaxy S20 Ultra knowing that Samsung’s redesigned camera system and the massive 5,000-mAh battery would make or break the phone. I’ve spent the past few days testing its 108-megapixel main sensor and up to 100x AI-assisted camera zoom, looking for reasons to use these over-the-top features in real life. I finally found it.
Unfortunately, during my day out shooting in the atmospheric, coastal city of Monterey, Calif., the S20 Ultra’s battery life also came into question. I’ll break both observations down below. But before I do, just a reminder that these are my evolving impressions, which change as new information and observations come to light. They’re by no means my final thoughts, so I hope you’ll stick around for the rated review and specific buying advice about who this phone is for and if it’s worth the asking price.
Remember, too, that the S20 Ultra is the most advanced of Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 phones, with the largest screen size 6.9 inches), the biggest battery and the most camera toys compared to the Galaxy S20 Plus and standard Galaxy S20 (scroll to the end for a full specs comparison). It’s also the most expensive, starting at $1,400 for the 256GB version (£1,199 for the 128GB version or AU$1,999), compared to $1,000 for the S20 and $1,200 for the S20 Plus.
The core software and hardware features, including a fast 120Hz screen refresh rate, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and 5G readiness remain the same for all S20 phones (the base S20 model is a little more complicated, supporting the sub-6 type of 5G, except for Verizon).
And now, here’s my breakthrough understanding about the S20 Ultra’s camera, battery and more.