Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10
Should you rush to buy the Galaxy S20, or save a few bucks and buy the Galaxy S10 instead?
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10 : What to look for
While you might think that the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S10 would be the Samsung Galaxy S11, Samsung has instead matched its latest flagship phone number to the year in which it's coming to market in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S20.
The Galaxy S20 is Samsung's new entry-level flagship, which means it's the most affordable of the new S20 series phones. Still, you could save even more by purchasing Samsung's 2019 flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S10.
But should you? Here's what you need to compare.
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10: Power
The Samsung Galaxy S20 runs on a 7nm chip that's almost certainly either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung's own Exynos 990 SoC with either 8GB or 12GB of onboard RAM. That RAM difference comes with either the 4G or 5G models, with the 5G model predictably scoring more RAM to play with. Either way, that should be quite a potent recipe for smartphone performance.
Not that 2019's Samsung Galaxy S10 was a slouch in this regard, especially when you remember that it wasn't in fact Samsung's "entry-level" flagship that year. That was the Samsung Galaxy S10e, while the Galaxy S10 sat in the middle ground position. It ran on Samsung's own Exynos 9820 chip or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, and it sat well with 2019's flagship phones in overall performance terms.
The reality here is that the smartphone market is an incredibly mature one, and there are not that many applications that are really pushing the raw edge of smartphone processor performance. Do we expect the Samsung Galaxy S20 to outperform the Samsung Galaxy S10 in a straight line benchmark test? We'd be very surprised if it didn't, but unless you're a heavy phone user in app terms, the Galaxy S10 should have enough power to meet your needs today, and for the next couple of years at the very least.
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10: Camera
Samsung put heavy work into its cameras for some years to claim a superior position over its Android and iOS rivals, but in recent years it's slipped a little behind both Android competitors such as Huawei, Google and Oppo, as well as Apple's iPhones in pure camera terms.
That was certainly the case for 2019's Samsung Galaxy S10, which featured a triple 16MP/12MP/12MP lens array. It was a solid enough camera toolkit on the surface, but against other premium phones, and especially in lower light situations it fell a little short out of what we wanted from a flagship at that time.
While Samsung is opting for a triple-lens array in the Galaxy S20, it's certainly upping the specifications more than a little, with a 12MP main wide camera, 64MP telephoto and 12MP ultra-wide camera at the back. Samsung's claim is that you'll be able to use the Samsung Galaxy S20's cameras for up to 30x hybrid zoom, a feature it calls "Space Zoom". That's certainly more than the Galaxy S10 can manage, but what we've frequently found with these kinds of high-zoom phones is that they're not much use unless you've got a good tripod handy as well.
You'll find a 10MP lens at the front of either the Samsung Galaxy S10 or Samsung Galaxy S20. Although, Samsung's shifting of where it puts its "infinity O" hole punch camera means you'll have to hold it ever so slightly differently on the Galaxy S20 than on the prior phone.
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10: Battery
We won't mince words here; outside of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Samsung's 2019 smartphone battery performance was sub-par relative to its premium pricing. Most of its competitors offered superior battery life in both synthetic benchmarks and real-world tested performance. The Samsung Galaxy S10's 3,400mAh battery could just about last you a day, but you'd have to go really gently on it towards the end of the day if you didn't have a charger or battery pack within easy reach.
That looks to change with the Galaxy S20, however. While we're yet to put it through its battery testing paces, Samsung has upped the ante internally with a 4,000mAh battery. That's not as large as you'll find in the Galaxy S20 Plus or Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it should see the phone do a little better when you're actually using it day to day.
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10: Pricing
Samsung's announced Australian pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S20 sits at $1,349 for the 4G model with 128GB of onboard storage and 8GB of RAM. The 5G model is a little more pricey at $1,499, but you do get 12GB of RAM alongside 128GB of onboard storage for that money. You will be able to get either model on a plan through local carriers, of course, if you want to split that price out somewhat.
With the Samsung Galaxy S20 part of its new range, Samsung is effectively retiring the Galaxy S10 from its range; in its day it sold from $1,349 outright.
Of course, that doesn't mean you can't buy one any more. It just means that Samsung is effectively not selling the stock itself. One of the big advantages in stepping back a generation is that you can grab a phone that's still quite good for much less than its original retail price. Typically you'll pay around $1,000 for a new Galaxy S10, or less if you're happy with a refurbished unit.
Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Samsung Galaxy S10: Plans
We're still waiting on announced plan details for the Samsung Galaxy S20, but you can expect it to be available from the big carriers as soon as it's available to buy.
Again, some carriers will still have stock of the Galaxy S10 to clear from their warehouses, and you may even see some contract bargains there.
Here's what you'll currently pay for a Samsung Galaxy S10 on contract: