NEW DELHI: As far as Samsung’s 2020 range of flagship phones go, the S20 and S20 Plus are the runts of the family. The show-off value is in the foldable Galaxy Z Flip, while the S20 Ultra is the company’s real no compromise flagship. The S20 and S20 Plus are perhaps meant for those who just don’t want to (or can’t) spend as much money but still want a taste of the flagship class.
In fact, the fact that these two phones exist shows how much price fragmentation exists in the premium range alone.
Like most Samsung flagships, the S20 Plus has a class-leading display, excellent performance and gobs of RAM. This phone actually would have been a no compromise flagship if the Ultra didn’t exist.
What it doesn’t get is the 108MP camera and 100X zoom feature from the Ultra, instead settling for a time of flight (ToF) sensor, a 12MP primary camera, 64MP 3x telephoto, and a 12MP ultra wide camera. The ToF sensor of course helps in depth detection for portrait shots, while the other cameras manage other modes. The go to camera though is the regular 12MP sensor, which is the one you will use most of the time.
From a simple point and shoot perspective, the S20 Plus retains everything Samsung cameras have been good at, and everything that we didn’t like earlier as well. It feels like we’ve been saying this for years now, if you have liked Samsung cameras so far, you will like this one too. The fact that Samsung has been sticking to this camera software for years now shows that its customers indeed like it. There’s barely anything here that either Samsung or the rest of the market haven’t already done yet.
But it’s a new phone after all, so we are obliged to tell you that the S20 Plus does take excellent photos in almost every light condition, but tends to lose sharpness under yellow lights, like those seen in bars and restaurants often. It also softens skin tones too much very often. Despite all of these things, the Galaxy S20 Plus' camera doesn't pose a big problem for most, because for most social media photos, scenic shots etc. the Galaxy S20 Plus is one of the best smartphone cameras you can get. Combine the fact that Samsung’s absolutely filled it to the brim with software features and you have one of the most versatile smartphone cameras today. Also, it’s excellent for shooting videos, especially the TikTok, IGTV, YouTube kinds.
Camera aside, the S20 Plus is a really fast phone too and 12GB RAM inside ensures that it will retain that speed for a long time. As with most Android phones, this will slow down over time too, but there’s no denying that this is amongst the snappiest smartphones you can buy right now, including OnePlus’ 7 series. We did see some lags in in-game animations in Pokemon Go and some others, but there’s really nothing to complain about. The S20 Plus also provides dependable one work-day battery life.
Other than the slights with the camera, our only complaint with the S20 Plus is the fact that its 120Hz display refresh rate can’t be used with the screen’s full resolution. You have to switch to the FHD+ resolution for that.
However, with excellent colour reproduction and very low touch latency, it really didn’t bother us much. Also, a lower resolution adds to the phone’s battery life, and since 120Hz refresh rate is more suited to gaming, it actually may not be a bad trade-off. For what it’s worth, games don’t support this refresh rate right now, and though it adds to the general experience of using the phone, it’s a feature that still needs adoption.
If you look back at the past four odd years, Samsung hasn’t made a flagship that can’t be recommended. The Galaxy S20 Plus won’t break that streak either. It may not be the best flagship phone we get to see this year, but it will certainly remain amongst them.