Galaxy S20-series buying guide: Should you upgrade from your Galaxy S8, S9, or S10-series phone?

Galaxy S20-series buying guide: Should you upgrade from your Galaxy S8, S9, or S10-series phone?
The Samsung's Galaxy S20-series is the hottest new commodity on the market that you can't buy just yet, but a pretty major question might be lingering over you if you're considering any of Samsung's new offerings:

Which Galaxy S20 should you buy?


Well, that's a tricky question, but we will help you make an informed decision. Samsung has three new offerings on the table (the Galaxy Z Flip is in a league of its own), starting with the supposedly fan-favorite Galaxy S20, followed by the middle-of-the-road Galaxy S20+, and topped with the high-end Galaxy S20 Ultra. There's just a little bit of everything for everyone, and with the overall design being quite similar, the specs and pricing would make the real difference here.

Let's make a breakdown of all the specs in the table below:  

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs S20+ vs S20 Ultra specs list



Looking at the specs, it would be normal to get drawn to the Galaxy S20 Ultra the most. We get it, it's a beast with everything Samsung has to offer minus the kitchen sink, but the price is outright eye-watering. It also might be an overkill for the regular Joe and plain Jane. 

Who is it for: Galaxy S20 Ultra


You should probably get the Galaxy S20 Ultra if your money's not really an issue and you're striving for the latest bleeding edge tech. For a certain amount of time, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will most certainly be the absolute best phone you could get, bar none. With its larger-than-life 6.9-inch, QHD+ 120Hz Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 865/Exynos 990 chipset, 12GB of RAM, 5G support, 5,000mAh and penta-camera, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be the phone to beat. However, all those top-shelf specs command a heavy toll - the phone starts at $1,399.


Starting on 2/21, pre-order an eligible Galaxy S20 device and get up to $200 in Samsung Credit for additional accessories and devices.  

Who is it for: Galaxy S20+


The Galaxy S20 Plus would serve as a nice middle-ground between the ultra top-tier Galaxy S20 Ultra and the more mundane Galaxy S20. You get the same selection of processors (Snapdragon 865/Exynos 990), 12GB of RAM, 128GB of native storage, a slightly smaller 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz Super AMOLED display, 5G support, and a marginally smaller 4,500mAh battery. The cameras are a bit "humbler" in comparison with the Galaxy S20 Ultra - you won't get the new 108MP camera sensor, but the S20+ would score an improved 12MP snapper that should be quite good on its own as well. Thus, the S20+ would be the perfect match for folks that don't necessarily need an overkill with specs but would still enjoy a new, large-screen Galaxy phone. At $1,199, the S20+ certainly isn't affordable, but could serve as a nice middle point for folks that don't really need the excessive hardware prowess of the Ultra or find the regular S20 a bit too small. 

Starting on 2/21, pre-order an eligible Galaxy S20 device and get up to $200 in Samsung Credit for additional accessories and devices.

Who is it for: Galaxy S20


Finally, the Galaxy S20 is expected to be the most popular new Galaxy. It will be the most affordable new Galaxy and will thus be quite popular. Mind you, even though it will be priced lower than the other two devices, it will still retain most of the high-end specs of the Galaxy S20+ and the Ultra, with the only major differences being the size of the battery and the camera load-out at the rear. If you're not really going for the most powerful phone, and more importantly, want a relatively compact device, then the Galaxy S20 is the phone for you. 


Should you upgrade from the Galaxy S7, S8, S9, S10-series to the Galaxy S20-series?


In case you own a Galaxy S10 or S10+, then you will definitely have more than a few reasons to upgrade. Even though the 2019 flagships can still hold their ground, the new Galaxy S20-series introduces multiple novelties to warrant an upgrade. However, that might not be the case for anyone - if you're perfectly fine with the performance, battery life and image quality of your Galaxy S10 or S10 Plus, you might as well wait a bit longer before upgrading. 

Galaxy S10e owners, however, might feel a bit snubbed. The Galaxy S20, which will succeed the S10e in the lowest price range, will be quite a different device: unlike the S10e, the S20 will not come with a flat display and will be a bit bigger, so it won't really be a true successor to the smallest Galaxy flagship in years. That would be a bummer for Galaxy S10e owners, who might don't feel like upgrading at all, and rightfully so. 

Meanwhile, owners of older Galaxy devices, like the Galaxy S9 and S8-series should definitely consider upgrading. The improvement between the different generations is big enough to warrant this upgrade, and 2020 might be the right time to get a shiny new Galaxy. 

If you're still holding out a Galaxy S7, S7 edge, or any other Galaxy phone from the same time period, then we definitely recommend you consider upgrading to the new Galaxies - the time is now!

FEATURED VIDEO

28 Comments

28. wackawacka

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 29, 2019

My S9 is still the best phone I've ever owned. The battery is wearing out but that can be replaced. The only worry is that it will stop receiving security updates at some point. It JUST got updated to Android 10. But the road will run out eventually and I'll have to get something newer. But that's the only reason. I don't NEED a super camera. That feature does nothing for me. I wish somebody would make a really good smartphone with no camera at all, so it could be used in places where cameras and phones with cameras are totally banned.

30. Layne.Jones

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 30, 2019

Glad you're enjoying you S9. I had the plus and it started to crap out with battery life really hard. I was charging it 3-4 times a day and wasn't pushing it that hard, along with that the camera app was constantly crashing. It was very frustrating

34. rkoforever90

Posts: 508; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Geez people I'm still using my 4.5 year old note 5 .An s9 is loke barely 2 years old

25. Zachary_99

Posts: 33; Member since: Dec 21, 2019

I'm certainly not justifying the price but if you really want the latest and greatest then maybe look at Samsung's trade in. The 128GB s10 plus is 400 off if you trade in down to 900 or so, which for a flagship these days isn't uncommon, and especially for what you get. That's how it is these days, but it's also a better proposition if you have an older device for example and people generally do upgrade every two or more years so the price is fine if you pay with monthly installments or save and buy it outright over two years, I mean that's two pay checks for most and wont be a problem if you save for a few years regsrdless. . Obviously you dint want diminishing returns but the specs don't give the phone justice or put it into context. You could theoretically have a 1300 phone with 450 off in some cases and enjoy the brand new 1/1.3" sensor with nonacell technology that combines 108 by grouping 9 local pixels to form the best and most light sensitive sensor ever put in a phone-- and did people sleep on the 100x zoom, too! With a 120Hz refresh 6.9 screen and 5,000Mah battery the point is to not upgrade annually and have the best future proof phone right now. Depending on what phone you have may impact that proposition, but let's not forget what it is: a beast.

29. wackawacka

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 29, 2019

What if the camera is totally irrelevant? What if you never use it and don't need it? Pretend there is no camera at all for just a moment. What then is the must-have feature, or is there one at all without the camera?

33. rkoforever90

Posts: 508; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Its still expensive when companies like xiaomi are going to launch similarly specced phones for half the price it no longer make any sense to buy a 1000$ plus Samsung.

21. alligator

Posts: 121; Member since: Jan 09, 2016

Sad to say that I wanted to buy a Samsung phone this month but those devices are too expensive and not too advanced in order to change my S9+. I'm not a photo maniac so all changes in the cameras are nothing for me. Yes, a few good photos more is a nice extra but it's not driving me to change my current one. I wanted to see a new battery technology, all techs but not in a gigantic phone and some improvements in the fingerprint sensor which at this point is not on the desired level. Headphone jack is not here anymore so another step back. If I have to choose a phone today I will probably get Note10+ which is coming to the price of S20 and is not so bad at all. I will probably skip for another year and I' very annoyed with the price increase which is happening in this market. I was really in love with all software and hardware updates in the past years but with those prices they force me to deal as an average user and buy a new phone every 3 years or even more. And just to say, it's not a problem for me to give $1400 for a phone but if it's really a technological upgrade. I haven't found my money on the street so I will be one of those who will protest against the high prices and zero useful innovations.

23. TadTrickle

Posts: 177; Member since: Apr 08, 2019

Agreed gator

19. aegislash

Posts: 1542; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Imagine how much the Note20 Ultra is going to cost. If it happens, I'm guessing it'll start at $1,499 for the base storage/ram. Sad direction the mobile market has taken, really. At least in the device cost aspect.

24. TadTrickle

Posts: 177; Member since: Apr 08, 2019

At this point, I wouldn't doubt if the highest end note 20 clears 2 grand

26. Chumley

Posts: 52; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

Exactly! They keep ramping up the specs and price b/c they've really run out of things to do. Is the Note going to have a 7.5" or 8" screen? weigh 300g? and be $1600-$2000? What about next year? The S20 line is a nice line up but I have to wonder how well they'd sell if they weren't overpaying for trade ins and offering hundreds of $$ in incentives to get people to order. At regular price (no discounts) having a product lineup that's $1000-$1500 will result very poor sales....

18. Cat97

Posts: 2077; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I have an S10e and like the form factor so much that I will not upgrade to anything bigger. If no one will make a smaller Android then I will probably turn to Apple if they continue to release compact phones like the iPhone 9.

32. libra89

Posts: 2356; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Thank you for reading my mind. That's exactly how I feel.

17. leondavinci unregistered

you should definitely upgrade! why? the P40 series is not announced yet, you're considering Samsung as its own ecosystem which is not. What about the price ! S20 should not be considered as a lite version. Shelling over a thousand bucks for a phone is not a thing that would be taken seriously !

16. Pureviewuser1

Posts: 172; Member since: Mar 28, 2016

Getting a xiaomi mi 10 pro for half the price.

20. bill718

Posts: 27; Member since: Jul 28, 2014

Bye Bye Sammy, Hello Mi

15. Citypaul83

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 07, 2020

Good article! Thanks the author for the information. Very helpful for me now

14. Flynfree15

Posts: 39; Member since: Jan 16, 2020

Waiting for galaxy S15, my birth date, it might be 10G on that time.

13. rkoforever90

Posts: 508; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

I'll get a note 10 plus on discount

11. greyhulk

Posts: 191; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

Nice clickbait. The phones haven't even been announced yet. Everything we "know" about them is pure speculation. Must be a slow news day. Or did you think you could actually write a guide on which version of an unannounced, unreleased phone people should buy?

5. Denny78

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 16, 2020

I buy a ultra if we get it with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 in europe. If not, I will go to the competition that does offer a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 in Europe.

7. AlienKiss

Posts: 362; Member since: May 21, 2019

I'm from Europe too and I may order it online straight from South Korea with the Snapdragon version if it turns out to be a success. The only other brand that I like (that has the SD card slot) is Sony. It seems they might release another killer flagship this year and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

12. saddameu

Posts: 53; Member since: Mar 26, 2017

what trusted website can you order it from?

31. grosdmg22

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 14, 2020

Amazon. It's one of the only ways to get any kind of warranty on international phones. It's what I do. I live in New Jersey in the USA and happily use a 2019 Samsung Galaxy M30. It's the "millennial friendly" Galaxy model for India. It's a Super AMOLED FHD+ Infinity U 6.4 inch display, 4gb/64gb, 13MP + 5MP + 5MP triple rear camera, 16MP front camera, an Exynos 7904 Octa Core Processor, HD streaming video with Dolby Atmos 360, Dual SIM, 4gLTE, 15w fast charging and a 5,000mah battery (yes, 5,000,) It may not sound comparable with the S10 numbers, but I don't notice a difference in speed between my M30 and my wife's S10+. For regular users (I use it heavily,) especially Netflix and some gaming, it's still more powerful than I technically use it for. Anyway, I got it on Amazon Prime (US) for $219.99 with free shipping. Plus I added on an Amazon 2yr warranty for $54.99. It comes factory unlocked, yet you can't use Verizon or Sprint. T-mobile and A.T.&T. work perfectly though.

1. AlienKiss

Posts: 362; Member since: May 21, 2019

Was thinking of upgrading to the Ultra, but I think I'll settle for the Plus version (non 5G). I just hope that they still have the SD card slot!

3. androiduser

Posts: 577; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

I don't see how the added height is practical, they should've gone with 21:9 directly though if that's what they're aiming at, but I prefer 18:9 for all screen phones, and we all know that's extinct and ain't coming back, especially for mainstream flagship phones from Samsung, Google and other companies. 21:9 is the future of aspect ratios on phones, well unless they decide to go even further than that, it would be insane.

22. alligator

Posts: 121; Member since: Jan 09, 2016

Ultra is a very big phone. I can't imagine that this year, their flagship is almost 7" display. This should be a phone for another group of users who like larger display. 6.4 to 6.7" is much better for me.

27. Chumley

Posts: 52; Member since: Jan 22, 2018

Unfortunately, we seem to be in the minority! Put a case on that Ultra and it will be even bigger! I want the best camera specs but will never carry a phone that big....My S10+ is even bigger than I'd like.... I sometimes wish I would have waited and bought the smaller Note 10. Hoping they offer a smaller Note version of the S20 later this year....

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless