Galaxy S20+ vs S20 Ultra: Side-by-side Samsung specs

Clash of the Titans.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy 20 Plus
  • pro
    Better price
  • pro
    More colour options
Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • pro
    Better camera
  • con
    More expensive
Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
March 17, 2020
3 min read

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Is the Ultra upgrade worth it?

Early last month, Samsung launched three premium handsets with more model variants that you can count on two hands: 108MP, 100x zoom, 5G, 4G, jiggabytes and slapdragons. What does it all mean?

Look, it may seem like there’s a lot to consider but when it comes down to brass tacks, there are only a few essential distinctions (or non-essential, depending on what you’re after). Firstly, and most importantly, there’s the price. The S20 Ultra is more expensive than the S20 and S20+, even at its lowest storage capacity it costs $1,999 where the S20+ costs $1,899 at its highest.

Then there are a few upgrades to the camera and battery. The S20 Ultra has more camera features than the S20+, such as a 108MP wide-angle camera and space zoom. The S20 Ultra also has a larger (5,000mAh) than the S20+ (4,500mAh), though the difference in size isn't reflective of actual day-to-day battery life.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the key differences and what they mean for you before we delve deeper.

While we're primarily comparing the S20+ and S20 Ultra, we've chucked in the S20 as a point of reference. 

Model
Galaxy S20
Galaxy S20+
Galaxy S20 Ultra
Should you care?

Min. Price

$1,349

$1,499

$1,999

Are you looking to save some cash?

Max. Price

$1,499

$1,899

$2,249

Or are do the upgrades below justify the higher price for you?

Display

6.2-inch OLED

6.7-inch OLED

6.9-inch OLED

If it's a case of the bigger, the better for you, the Ultra has the largest screen but it's only bigger, not better quality.

Resolution

1440 x 3200 (563 ppi)

1440 x 3200 (525 ppi)

1440 x 3200 (511 ppi)

The Ultra has a bigger display at the same resolution so the S20+ actually has a higher pixel density (e.g. more detail)

Rear Camera

12MP + 64MP + 12MP

12MP + 64MP + 12MP + ToF

108MP + 48MP+12MP + ToF

If photography's your jam, the Ultra has the most tech packed into its lens array.

Front Camera

10MP

10MP

40MP

The Ultra also has a higher megapixel count in its front camera, allowing for more detail in selfies.

Zoom

3x hybrid-optical, 30x digital zoom

3x hybrid-optical, 30x digital zoom

10x hybrid-optical 100x digital zoom

While the Ultra's 10x hybrid zoom is impressive, the 100x zoom is mostly a gimmick.

Battery

4,000mAh

4,500mAh

5,000mAh

Being the largest phone, the Ultra has more space for a bigger battery but it also needs to power a bigger display and battery isn't a strong suit for the Ultra.

Processor (Chipset)

Exynos 990

Exynos 990

Exynos 990

Same processing power across the range, so you're not sacrificing anything in the chipset if you downgrade.

RAM*

8GB to 12GB

8GB to 12GB

12GB to 16GB

The Ultra has up to 16GB RAM on its 512GB model. Impressive, but only people who use their phone for intense multi-tasking will notice the difference (if at all)

Weight

163g

186g

222g

The Ultra's a hefty handset. It's not quite as heavy as the iPhone 11 Pro Max but it's the heaviest in the Galaxy range.

Colours

Cloud Pink, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Gray

Cloud Blue, Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black

Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black

What's your flavour? If you like a splash of colour, you're only options are the S20 or S20+.

Connectivity

4G or 5G

4G or 5G

5G

Is your area receiving 5G in the foreseeable future? If not, you might as well save some money with a 4G model.

Partners

Optus, Telstra, Woolworths Mobile and Vodafone

Optus, Telstra, Woolworths Mobile and Vodafone

Optus, Telstra, Woolworths Mobile and Vodafone

See the best Galaxy S20 Plans

Galaxy S20+ vs Ultra plans

We've outlined the difference in outright pricing in the table above but if you prefer to sign up to a plan and pay your handset off in instalments, Optus, Telstra, Woolworths Mobile and Vodafone all offer deals on the latest Galaxy phones.

Here's what each telco is offering.

Galaxy S20+ plans

Here's how much a 4G Galaxy S20+ 128GB model will cost you through partnered telcos in Australia on plans with 20GB or more.

Galaxy S20 Ultra plans

Here's how much the same mobile providers will sting you for the 5G Galaxy S20 Ultra 128GB on plans with 20GB or more.

Galaxy S20+ vs S20 Ultra camera

The Galaxy S20 Ultra's biggest selling point is its superior camera array. The Ultra has a quad-lens array that includes a 12MP ultra wide camera, a 108MP wide-angle camera, a 48MP telephoto camera and a "DepthVision" ToF (Time of Flight) camera. It also sports a 10x hybrid (digital/optical) zoom and a 100x digital zoom dubbed space zoom.

The S20+ has fewer megapixels in its 12MP wide-angle camera and 48MP telephoto camera and only has a 3x hybrid zoom and a 30x digital zoom.

The other bonus you get with the Ultra is 8K video and stills. That’s going to be a neat feature for fans of design and photography. Still, the reality is, you will only be able to view those 8K photos and videos on a compatible device and 8K displays are still in the early adopter (aka super expensive) stage of their life cycle.

Whatever Galaxy S20 you pick, you're getting an outstanding smartphone camera.  The question is: Does the Ultra's advanced camera upgrade justify the higher price tag? Based on our early impressions with the premium Ultra, we'd say it doesn't. The 100x zoom is mostly a gimmick and while it's a technically impressive feat, it's hard to imagine any practical use considering the drastic drop in quality you get from zooming all the way in.

Here are those specs side by side.

Galaxy S20+
  • Ultra-wide camera: 12MP
  • Wide angle camera: 12MP
  • Telephoto camera: 64MP
  • DepthVision Camera: Yes
  • Zoom: 3x hybrid zoom and 30x digital zoom
Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Ultra-wide camera: 12MP
  • Wide-angle camera: 108MP
  • Telephoto camera: 48MP
  • DepthVision Camera: Yes
  • Zoom: 10x hybrid zoom and 100x digital zoom

Galaxy S20+ vs Ultra battery life

Don’t be fooled by the Ultra’s bigger 5,000mAh battery. It’s bigger than the 4,500mAh battery in the S20+ but it has a bigger display to power, so it almost evens out. Both handsets should get you just over 12 hours of basic usage with the refresh set to 60Hz but both take a dip to around 8 to 10 hours with the refresh rate set to 120Hz.

Both models have wireless charging but the Ultra does have one edge over the S20+; its fast charging. The S20 and S20+ models have 25W fast charging, where the Ultra has 45W fast charging. The Ultra should take a shorter time overall to get you a full charge but the difference isn’t anything to write home about and, again, the Ultra has a bigger battery to charge.

The bottom line is this: you shouldn’t expect longer battery life if you’re forking out more for the Ultra. In some cases, with heavier usage (e.g. consistent camera use and video playback), the Ultra’s proven to have a shorter battery life than the S20+.

Which should you buy?

For our money, the S20+ is the winner here. There's a case for the S20 Ultra if you really want to take advantage of the advanced camera features but if you take your photography and videography seriously, you've probably already invested in a quality DSLR anyway.

The fact is, the additional megapixels and 100x zoom are just an excuse for Samsung to flex some big numbers. In practice, the differences are near indistinguishable to the untrained eye and the Ultra's space zoom will go mostly unused.

You also don't have the option to save some money on 5G with the Ultra and most Australians won't have any use for the next-gen network for another year at the very least.

Save some money and get yourself a cheaper 4G S20+ and we're sure you won't be disappointed.

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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