There's been a torrid run of leaks for Samsung's next generation of flagship phones, with rumours suggesting we're going to be seeing three different models in 2020.
That reflects an upgrade of the regular S10, the S10+ and the S10 5G and it's generally accepted that the phones will be called the Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra.
Based on the rumours and leaks so far, here's a speculative look at how these phones might stack up come launch day.
What's the same?
- Overall look and feel
- 120Hz Infinity-O display
- Core Exynos/Snapdragon hardware and RAM
The Galaxy S20 devices all have a similar overall design with metal core and glass front and back, sporting a punch hole camera in the display and minimal bezels. All the devices are believed to have this Infinity-O display, with curved edges.
Samsung is also believed to be putting a 120Hz display in all these phones, although naturally, the sizes are all different. That 120Hz display will only run at 1080p however, rather than the full 1440p resolution, which will be 60Hz.
On the rear of all the devices is a pronounced camera bump - there's not even an attempt to blend in the cameras, they are designed to stand out on this generation of phones.
It's also believed that all will have the same core hardware, either the Samsung Exynos 990 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, depending on the region you buy it in. This should come with 12GB RAM as standard, but with the Ultra offering a step-up to 16GB.
And that's about where the similarities end.
Outside of those outlined details, these phones differ in many ways, seeing each slip into a different position. Here's what's different.
Build and dimensions
- Samsung Galaxy S20: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm
- Samsung Galaxy S20+: 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm
A quick glance over the (estimated) dimensions shows the range of sizes that these phones will come in. While the overall build quality and look of the phones is expected to be the same, physically there's a big range of size options - some 15mm in height.
That is, coincidentally, almost the same as the size difference between the S10 and the S10 5G from 2019. Generally, however, these phones are bigger than previous models, but with smaller bezels.
- Samsung Galaxy S20: 6.2-inch, 120Hz
- Samsung Galaxy S20+: 6.7-inch, 120Hz, 3200 x 1440 pixels
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 6.9-inch, 120Hz
The display sizes for the Galaxy S20 family have generally been agreed upon and it's thought that we'll be seeing the Galaxy S20 come in at 6.2-inches as the smallest of the bunch, running up to a massive 6.9-inches on the S20 Ultra - which is going to make it a big phone.
These displays will all be AMOLED and it's also said that they will offer a 120Hz refresh rate - although it looks like you'll only get that refresh rate at Full HD+ and not the highest Quad HD+ resolution. (Full HD+ is the default most Samsung phones, with Quad HD+ an option you have to turn on.)
- Samsung Galaxy S20: 4000mAh
- Samsung Galaxy S20+: 4500mAh
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 5000mAh
The 4000mAh battery of the Galaxy S20, 4500mAh of the S20+ and 5000mAh battery of the S20 Ultra have all appeared in various leaks.
That will probably mean that the larger Samsung S20 devices last longer than the smaller, despite having to drive a larger display. That's been the experience over the past few years, where the bigger devices performed better than the smaller.
- S20: 12MP main, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultra wide
- S20+: 12MP main, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultra wide, ToF
- S20 Ultra: 108MP main, 48MP 10x telephoto, 12MP ultra wide, ToF
The big difference in these devices it likely to be pushed through the cameras. That's going to be the area where Samsung has to impress the most. Firstly, it appears that the makeup of the Galaxy S20 and the S20+ are broadly the same - apart from the addition of the time-of-flight sensor in the S20+.
That sensor may make little real difference - we've seen plenty of 2019 phones where the time-of-flight sensor didn't appear to make a huge difference to the experience. The main cameras are expected to be the same - a new 12-megapixel sensor with massive 1.8µm pixels - so should be great in low light, while both have a 64-megapixel telephoto camera.
However, the setup of the Galaxy S20 Ultra camera is almost completely different. The only thing in common on these cameras is the 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle, with the S20 Ultra sporting a 108-megapixel sensor for the main camera. This is going to be paired with a 48-megapixel telephoto, which is thought to be a 10x optical periscope lens.
That combination should give the 100x zoom that has been rumoured.
In some regards the S20 Ultra might have the best load-out of cameras, but what will be important is the quality of the main sensor, not to mention the power of the software processing. They take different approaches, the S20 Ultra going after resolution, the S20 and S20+ going after quality with bigger pixels. It may be that the Ultra isn't the better camera in all situations.
Samsung's line-up of Galaxy S20 devices looks to cover all bases. The important missing ingredient in this comparison at the moment is price - we have no idea what the price differences will be and which might offer 5G or not. The core experience of these phones will be similar - similar feel, the same software and with the same core hardware, all should perform to a similar level, battery life aside.
We'd expect all to have great displays, with the Galaxy S20+ likely to be the sweet spot in terms of size and balance of features. The camera performance is the biggest unknown: Samsung looks to want to blow award customers with specs, but we'd pay close attention to the reviews of these devices when they surface, because specs don't always correspond with experience.
Of course, there's no guarantee that these specs are correct, but we'll update as appropriate, as and when new information becomes available.
A full breakdown of all the rumours and all the sources of those rumours, can be found here.