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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Finder score
  • Battery Score 4
  • Camera Score 4
  • Design Score 4
  • Performance Score 4.5


Quick verdict: Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra is a high-performance phone with a great screen and some of the best battery life we've seen from a Samsung flagship in some years.

  • Gorgeous large display
  • Good battery life
  • Great overall performance
  • Camera is inconsistent
  • It's heavy in the hand with a huge camera bump
  • It's very expensive

In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Pricing & Availability
  • Ask a question


Pricing & Availability

Launch price (RRP) $1,999
Launch date 2020-03
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung's position in the global phone sales market has long been anchored by its high-cost premium smartphone ranges; early in a given year we'll see premium Galaxy S phones and later in that same year Note-branded equivalents with a few tweaks. Samsung's slightly upset that equation recently with the inclusion of foldable phones such as the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip, but that's serving a slightly different market so far.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is 2020's early year flagship phone with a price point to match. It brings some exceptional camera quality, a very fast Exynos processor (on the model tested) and the largest battery Samsung has dared to put into a phone to date.

Still, that price point weighed heavily on me going into this review. What amounts to essentially two grand or more for a phone is a big ask in an era where so many mid-range phones provide very good performance. Can Samsung really justify the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra's asking price?

The answer will depend on what you want out of a phone, of course, but in the main Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra hits most of the sweet spots you'd want out of a flagship device. The display is huge but it's one of the best I've ever used, the battery life is a leap ahead of last year's disappointing S10 phones and performance is up there with the industry's best.

However, Samsung's claim that it has the best camera hardware on any phone doesn't quite stack up in real-world testing. It's an issue that may get better with software tweaks and it's easily Samsung's best camera to date, but not everything it touches turns to photographic gold.



  • Enormous 120Hz display
  • Huge camera bump
  • Only two colour styles
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra



  • Space Zoom is a gimmick
  • Single Take works well
  • Low light results are wildly inconsistent
  • Room for software improvement
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra



  • Exynos 990 runs well
  • 12GB of RAM gives room for lots of apps
  • Samsung OneUI is nicely configured
  • 5G ready for future networks
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Battery life

Battery life

  • 5,000mAh is a new high water mark for Samsung
  • Battery is good for a full day's usage
  • 120Hz doesn't use as much power as you might think
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra



  • Big
  • Powerful
  • Expensive
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Should you buy it?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a beast of a phone with a heap of potential. From its large and brilliant display to that 108MP camera sensor, from Samsung's slick OneUI to its massive 5,000mAh battery. Samsung has definitely stretched itself to pack all of that into a phone.

However, there are some catches. It's super expensive, but then that's seemingly par for the course for flagship phones these days. The camera hardware is impressive, but Samsung does need to refine the software results that pass through those lenses. At launch it doesn't feel like it's as good as Samsung seems to think it is. The same is true for battery performance, because while Samsung has thrown plenty of power at it, it's not shy about using it throughout the day.

Most of those issues could be fixed with software updates, of course. Samsung has produced a great phone without a shadow of a doubt and reasserted its place in the smartphone hierarchy. However, it's not hard to see how it could be even better.

Pricing and availability


Within the Samsung family, you could save some money and pick up the Samsung Galaxy S20+ or Samsung Galaxy S20, although you wouldn't get the same camera specifications or battery capacity either.

You could also consider the Samsung Galaxy Note10+, especially if you like the S-Pen stylus that comes with it.

In the high-performance Android phone competitor space, you could opt for a more pure Android experience with the Google Pixel 4XL or go all out on a gaming phone with the Asus ROG Phone II.



Display Size
6.9 inches
1440 x 3200px
Pixels per inch (PPI)
508.56 ppi


Rear camera megapixels
48MP + 108MP + 12MP
Rear camera aperture size
f/3.5 + f/1.8 + f/2.2
Video recording
Front camera megapixels
Front camera aperture size

Physical Dimensions

166.9mm x 76mm x 8.8mm


802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Network category speed
Category 20

Power, storage and battery

Octo-Core Processor
Operating system
Android 10
Internal storage
128GB, 256GB, 512GB
External storage support
Up to 1TB
Battery capacity

Device features

Headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor
Water resistance rating
Wireless charging

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Alex Finder

Senior editor

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