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Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+ First Impressions: Enticing Upgrades, Amazing Cameras!

On February 11th Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S20 Series with Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and the S20 Ultra. It would have been quite a surprise if we already didn’t know that Samsung was going for 20 rather than 11 for their S series. And, that is what exactly happened. Samsung introduced S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. Just a few weeks after global unveil, Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are now available in Nepal. However, the S20 Ultra won’t be coming to Nepal.

Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are now available for pre-booking in Nepal. The Galaxy S20 costs Rs. 1,07,499 and the S20 Plus costs Rs. 1,19,499 for 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. To know more about pre-booking click here.

Samsung S20 and S20 Plus Initial Impression

So, I have been using both of these phones for the past 3-4 days and I’ve some thoughts but first, let’s see the differences between regular S20 and the S20 Plus.

As you should already know, S20 is a regular variant which is smaller than the S20 Plus. We get a 6.2 inches display on S20 whereas we get 6.7 on the Plus variant. Apart from size, they have the same form factor and same design.

Moving on, S20 Plus gets an extra 0.3MP TOF sensor which is missing on the Samsung Galaxy S20. Basically, the TOF sensor helps with object tracking, depth-sensing, and such other things. Though this helps in better portrait photos and depth of field, it should not be a major miss.

S20 Plus ToF Sensor

Now, that we have a basic understanding of S20 and S20 Plus, let’s see what’s new on the S20 series and how do the phones feel.

Build & Design

The first thing I noticed when I got my hands on these devices was that they felt very light. It’s impressive that they have managed to keep them so light even with battery and camera upgrades. However, I like my phones a bit heavier, it feels more premium to me, well you might disagree. Moving on, the camera design of these phones is very similar to A71/A51 or even the Note 10 Lite, thus the design doesn’t feel exclusive and premium.

One of the changes comes in button placement, all of the buttons are now on the right and the dedicated Bixby button has been removed.

Next, if I may call it a downgrade, Samsung has finally dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack. Thus, it’s better if you get yourself a wireless bud. While we are talking about the headphone, the S20 gets a stereo setup and the speaker has definitely improved, it sounds better than before.

Display

Something you will notice easily is that the display is now not as curved as it used to be. It’s flatter with a slight curve on the edges. However, we get more screen real state with reduced bezels and chins. The punch-hole is now right in the middle like the Galaxy Note 10 and I do prefer it from the S10’s punch hole. But, the interesting thing is the high refresh rate and high touch response.

Both S20 and S20 Plus now have a 120HZ display with a 240HZ response rate. And, it’s actually buttery smooth. If you think OnePlus 7 Pro’s 90HZ was smooth, wait till you use the S20 series. It will grow on you and you won’t be able to stand 60Hz displays anymore. Though, this change was expected it’s a very good addition, the 120HZ display of S20 series is just impeccable.

But, the 120HZ refresh rate is limited to 1080p resolution. You won’t be able to use a 120HZ refresh rate on the QHD display. Well, this has been done to preserve the battery as the 120HZ refresh rate is going to drain the battery at a faster rate.

Camera

Finally, lets talk camera. Samsung S20 and S20 Plus have a 12MP f/1.8 main sensor, a 64MP f/2 telephoto lens, a 12MP Ultrawide lens, and there’s an extra 0.3MP TOF sensor on the S20 Plus. Samsung has now dropped its variable aperture on the main sensor but their sensors are now bigger than before. And, this should lead to better photos as sensors can capture more light.

While the S20 and S20 Plus do not have 100X space zoom, they do get 3x optical zoom and up to 30X hybrid zoom. The photos do seem to be impressive and even the 10X zoom looks impressive as of now.

Now except for the zoom option, S20 and S20 Plus can capture videos at 8k 24fps. This alone is a great feat in mobile photography. Well, it’s not going to compete with DSLRs anytime soon but still, 8k on a smartphone is quite something.

Well, we’ll talk more about the camera in our detail review.

Hardware

In terms of performance, S20 and S20 Plus come with Exynos 990, 8GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage. And, in reference to the official Samsung website, S20 and S20 Plus with 8GB RAM do not support 5G. Thus, the S20 and S20 Plus models available in Nepal only has up to 4G support.

The latest hardware combined with 120Hz display gives S20 and S20 Plus a refreshing feel from their past flagship phones. It’s fluid and very responsive. It won’t be easy to use other phones if you get the hang of these phones.

Samsung has been using an in-display fingerprint scanner since the S10, and it’s fair to say that their fingerprint sensor hasn’t been as impressive but it changes with the S20 series. The fingerprint area has been moved slightly above and now it’s faster and much more consistent. The face unlock is also fast but I prefer the fingerprint sensor on the S20 and S20 Plus.

In terms of battery, the Samsung S20 and S20 Plus rock 4000mAh and 4500mAh battery. Well, this upgraded battery is a good move but it’s a required move as well given it now rocks 120Hz display. Given my time with the S20 Plus, it hasn’t lasted for more than a day. I’ve been using its display on a 120Hz refresh rate mode and the battery life is just average. More on the battery life in our detailed review.

Software

Moving onto software, OneUI is a pretty good Android UI. With Android 10, we get a new navigation gesture on the S20 series and there are some changes in camera UI as well. You get a normal preview when you are using 20x 30x zoom to let you know where you are zooming in. Further, the haptic feedback feels stronger than before.

Early Thoughts on Samsung S20 and S20 Plus

As of writing this, I’ve found the S20 series to be interesting and exciting. Though it’s camera design is similar to some of its mid-range phones, I like the phone overall. The S20 is perfect for one-hand usage but I prefer S20+ as I like big phones.

Samsung S10 and S10 Plus were already good phones and S20/S20 Plus feel like a better version of those phones. 120HZ display and the new camera setup are the major upgrades and so far I’ve been impressed. 120Hz display is really cool to use, it leads you to more rich user experience.

The new camera setup is also impressive but I am yet to test it’s full potential, thus wait for our review to hear everything about it. So, S20 and S20 Plus are definitely one of the best phones, probably behind the S20 Ultra. Of course, it’s expensive, but S20 and S20 Plus price in Nepal is very similar to international prices and that’s good.

Well, this is it for the initial impression of the S20 and S20 Plus. We will be coming up with a full review in a week’s time.

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