Samsung Galaxy S20+: Right Size, Versatile Daily Driver
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From this point, I have used Samsung’s Galaxy S20+ for over a month now, and before that the S20 Ultra. As i’m exploring the new generation of Galaxies, it’s a solid fact that the S20 series is leagues above its predecessors, the S10 series. Let’s jump straight to business.
Just like the S20 Ultra, the Galaxy 20+ is no different in design language. It’s curvy and it’s subtle, with some resemblance to the previous generation. My black unit is sleek and feels great to the touch, with the mild annoyance of the bulky camera array poking out at the back. Slipping on the included case eliminates the uneven bump and adds some grip when holding the device. I’d always preferred taking the caseless route, as the S20+ feels great on my hands but the glass material is rather glossy so it may even slip on a smooth surface. I guess the camera bump does play a role in stopping it from slipping off my mousepad.
Button placements are familiar, with both the volume rocker and power button on the right side. The sim-tray’s on top, letting you slide in either 2 nano-sims or 1 nano-sim and a microSD card up to 2TB.
Apart from the conventional security methods like patterns, pins and face, there’s a quick ‘n easy ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner.
The S20+ has 6.7” of screen real estate and i’m loving it. The panel is a Dynamic AMOLED 2X with a QHD+ resolution. It produces excellent colors with great viewing angles to complement that experience. The screen’s not as curvy as seen on previous lineups and I am all for it, as my previous experience with very curvy devices had led to accidental touching of the sides when I’m scrolling on my bed. This annoyed me greatly as my navigation goes all over the place unintentionally, and having a less curvy screen on the S20+ stops that from happening.
What’s new to the table here is the 120Hz High Refresh Rate option to boost the user experience. I found myself enjoying it more than usual when using it on Samsung’s One UI 2.1, which I feel is a very optimized system with consistent updates. It is a battery drainer though, but you can always turn it off in the Motion Smoothness section in the Settings. Do take note that the 120Hz option is only available if you’re on FHD+.
As the current generation of Samsung Flagships, the Galaxy S20+ is a device you can depend on to get things done. With the user experience being consistent and smooth, there was no room for error in my daily use. The phone can get warm at times during constant usage, but that’s a total norm. It packs Samsung’s latest Exynos 990 chipset with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.0 internal storage.
Versatile Gaming Options
It’s fun to have a flagship like this. Though the list of compatible 120Hz games are rather limited, I managed to test 2 games that had that support, namely Subway Surfers and Unkilled, and true enough, you’re able to achieve 120FPS on this device. Temps were average, and here are the results:
1-5 minutes : 120 FPS @ 32 degrees
5-10 minutes: 120 FPS @ 38 degrees
30 minutes and beyond: 95-120FPS @ 42 degrees
At this point, I can recommend the S20 series for gaming with acceptable temps, all that matters is if the game you’re playing supports the desired framerate. In the event that it doesn’t, the S20+ is still able to play anything at 60FPS with slightly lower temperatures, but prolonged play times will definitely lead you to beyond 40 degrees, and that’s within expectations so there should be no worry.
Cameras that perform
The S20+ has a triple camera array with an additional Time of Flight sensor (or DepthVision). It basically shares the same specs as the S20. In daily use, the S20+ is able to perform impressively. Both the Wide angle and Ultrawide sensors were able to produce excellent images with slight saturation and plenty of detail. The wide dynamic range is something to appreciate here and is especially prevalent in outdoor shots. The 64MP telephoto lens is able to produce good images, with image quality gradually dipping at just over the 10x zoom mark. Within the 10x zoom, there’s plenty detail retention and with little noise.
Portrait shots were good, with high retention of color and detail, with the background blur being smooth and the subject focused on well. This is a camera phone, and the fun begins when using Pro-mode (don’t be lazy, Scene-optimizer ain’t perfect). Low-light performance is a definite hit, especially with Night Vision. You pretty much can take photos in dark environments, the device just takes a little more time to capture, but that’s because of the long exposure technique. Out of it, is an image with some acceptable noise but overall a above average details and colors.
All-day Battery Life, decent charging speed
There’s only 500mAh of difference between the S20 Ultra and the S20+, which brings you to 4500mAh to get through your day. I’ve used the device with 3 diverse display profiles, and retained daily app/gaming habits to see the sort of limits I could push before the S20+ gets on its last legs of 5-10%. Here’s how it played out:
100% from 9am onwards daily
At least 3 hours of Spotify on provided earphones
At least 30 minutes of gaming (15 minutes x 2 sessions)
All-day Facebook,Instagram, email clients and banking
At least 3 photos taken or 15 seconds of 1080 60FPS video
From my daily-use tests, I can conclude that the S20+ has a robust battery life capable of handling the average employed Malaysian’s usage habits, with the ideal setting being FHD+ @ 120Hz as a good balance between long life and user experience.
Charging speeds deviate slightly from the S20 Ultra (bigger capacity battery, same 25W provided charger and cable)
From 5% to with above mentioned charger
30 minutes – 66%
1 hour – ~93% (100% @ 1 hour 15 mins)
For RM 3599, the Galaxy S20+ is a great choice for any kind of end user, from the gamer, the mobile photographer and the work nut. Very few devices had managed to impress me, and the S20+ is definitely an addition to that list. With a dependable One UI 2.1 on top of its flagship specs, this phone will help you through your day no matter how rushed it gets!