Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S20 Review (Indian variant)

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Samsung’s Galaxy S20-series represent the current best from Samsung and the lineup comes in three different sizes. While the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the boldest and brawniest, it’s unapologetically big – something we aren’t used to saying about S-series phones. The Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 are in the familiar zone, and of these, the Galaxy S20 is the option for people who dote on compact phones. 

While Samsung has always provided compact flagships in the S-series, the smallest sizes have always entailed a few essential compromises. However, this no longer seems to be the case with the Galaxy S20.

The S20 costs the least is the most ergonomic and has all the big-ticket features. So, is it the best compact phone to buy in India? Let’s answer that and more in our initial Galaxy S20 review. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 India Price and Specifications

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20
Display 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 1440 x 3200, HDR10+, 120Hz display refresh rate (full HD+), 240Hz touch refresh rate. 
ChipsetExynos 990 (2x 2.73GHz M5 + 2 x 2.50GHz Cortex-A76 + 4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A55)  
RAM8GB LPDDR5
Storage128GB UFS 3.0
SoftwareAndroid 10, OneUI 2.0
Rear camera12MP primary, OIS

64MP, 3x zoom (Hybrid), 8K recording

12MP ultra-wide

Selfie camera10 MP, f/1.9 (Dual pixel AF)
Fingerprint sensorUltrasonic in-display sensor
Dimensions and weight152 x 68 x 7.9 mm; 164 grams
Battery 4000mAh, USB PD 3.0

25W fast charging

ColorsCosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink
PriceRs. 66,990

Samsung Galaxy S20 Box Content

Not much has changed in terms of packaging or box contents. The Galaxy S20 is accompanied by 

  • 25W charging adaptor 
  • USB Charging cable (USB PD 3.0)
  • AKG Tuned headphones with extra buds
  • SIM ejector tool and documentation 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Design and Build

Samsung Galaxy S20 is a really adorable phone that sits really well in our hands. I know we have said this before, but the dire shortage of decent compact Android phones has left a void and that makes us appreciate the Galaxy S20 even more.

Android phones have steadily gotten bigger and bulkier over the last year. The current crop of mid-range flagships and flagship killers that offer amazing specs-to-price ratio are the worst offenders, and frankly, things might get more absurd with upcoming 5G phones.

The in-hand feel isn’t radically different than that of the Galaxy S10. The fascia has the signature curved-edge display, there is metal around the edges and solid glass on front and rear.  

And at this point in time, we have already experience the design changes like the Infinity-O screen, missing audio jack and Bixby key, or the rectangular camera module on other recent Samsung phones, and thus the Galaxy S20 feels remarkably familiar – in a good way, though. 

And luckily there are no tacky gradient patterns to deal with. In India, Galaxy S20 will be available in 3 elegant colors – Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, and Cosmic Grey.  

Samsung is using the same Ultrasonic sensor as on the last generation Galaxy S10-series, but software optimizations seem to have noticeably improved unlocking speed and reliability. The Face Unlock also works a tad faster.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Display

Of the three S20-series phones, the S20 has the smallest (6.2-inch) and consequently the sharpest (563 PPI approx.) screen. The Dynamic AMOLED screen that refreshes at 120Hz. But the high screen refresh works only for full HD+ resolution. So, users will have to essentially choose between 2K sharpness and high-refresh-rate, and I ended up siding with the former. 

The 120Hz smoothness is discernible and full HD resolution is good enough for the display size, but I personally find the 2K crispness more gratifying.

Quality-wise, this is one of the best available smartphone screens. It is HDR10 compliant and, of course, the phone has all the prerequisites to stream HD and HDR content on apps like Netflix and Prime videos. 

As always, there are two color modes Vivid and Natural. The Natural mode is more color accurate, but consumers may go for the Vivid mode that adds extra punch to colors. Outdoor visibility is excellent. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 Performance and Software

In India, the Galaxy S20 has the 7nm process based octa-core Exynos 990 which is an extremely powerful chipset paired with 8GB RAM. The 5G variants of Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ that won’t sell in India start at 12GB RAM and are steered by Snapdragon 865. 

Anyways, we have never had any performance complaints with the Exynos flagship chips since the Galaxy S9. High-end games that we tried on the Galaxy S20 ran perfectly smooth. 

The One UI 2.0 software running on the phone is based on Android 10. The interface is feature-rich, refined and very intuitive. Since this is a flagship, Samsung isn’t holding back any of the valuable extras like the Samsung  Pay and Dex support. 

Also Check: What is LPDDR5 RAM? How is it better than LPDDR4 or LPDDR4x?

Samsung Galaxy S20 Camera performance

The Galaxy S20 phones do away with dual-aperture, which is fine because very few scenarios warrant a lower aperture. This year, the advancements will be based on new sensors and advanced computational photography algorithms. 

The 12MP primary sensor gets f/1.8 aperture lens, the secondary 64MP camera offers hybrid zoom (which is mostly digital), and there’s a 12MP wide-angle sensor that makes the system even more versatile. The Galaxy S20 is missing the dedicated depth sensor (ToF), but this shouldn’t make much of a difference from the practical standpoint. The S20+ can capture 8K videos and 960fps slow-mos. This year, the 10MP selfie camera has Dual Pixel AF. 

There are a bunch of software tricks that we’d need to test and sort in our ‘gimmick’ and ‘useful’ boxes. The most exciting by far is ‘Single Take’, a feature that captures images and footage from all back cameras simultaneously and then automatically picks the best shots and presents them in a more organized manner. 

We are yet to finish our camera testing and we will be testing out how the Galaxy S20 camera compares to the iPhone 11. 

Also Read: 10 Best Stereo Speaker Phones To Buy In 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 Battery and Audio

The Samsung Galaxy S20 houses a 4000mAh battery and comes with a 25W fast charging adapter bundled in the box. Considering the slim and svelte figure, battery specs sound pretty impressive. 

The stereo speakers are surprisingly loud and clear. The bundled AKG headphones (Type-C) are excellent for inbox headphones. They are also extremely comfortable to use over a long duration. 

Samsung Galaxy S20 First Impressions

If you prefer compact phones and want flagship specs, Samsung’s S-series flagships are the only practical options on the Android side of the table. This is why its main rival should be the iPhone 11, and the choice between the two will heavily depend on their cameras. 

The Galaxy S20 brings in several generational improvements, the bigger battery being a notable one. Of course, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will naturally garner more attention, but since all three variants are pretty close in terms of features and experiences on offer, consumers can actually make a decision based on their size preferences this year, which is absolutely wonderful.   

Our initial impressions are positive, and we will be putting the phone through the wringer, (especially those cameras) before we pass on our final verdict.

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