Why is the Galaxy S20 Ultra so bland?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Why is the Galaxy S20 Ultra so bland?
I can't wrap my head around it.

Samsung seemingly outdid itself this year, coming up with a pretty strong quartet of exceptional devices - the fashionable Galaxy Z Flip, the compact Galaxy S20, the middle-of-the-road Galaxy S20+, and finally, the mother of all phones, the Galaxy S20 Ultra. With superb hardware and pretty solid camera prowess, Samsung is very likely eyeing a pretty successful year.

Yet, something's missing. Samsung kind of dropped the ball when it comes to the design of the phone, especially with the S20 Ultra, which can be summarized in one word:

There's no way around that, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is an extremely bland device from a design perspective, and I think this can be regarded as a semi-objective notion. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, while spectacular in terms of hardware, easily redefines the word "bland", which wholeheartedly applies to just about any design aspect of the flagship. Samsung was on the right track with the Galaxy Note 10, which was available in a range of superb color paintjobs that easily stood out. To be fair, the blue and pink Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus get a pass though - they are certainly more palatable thanks to the ever-so-slight aura glow-like sheen that when you bounce some light off the glass backs.

Even the modest Aura Black variant of the Note 10+ stood out with a secret ingredient that the Galaxy S20 Ultra is clearly lacking, and it's a real shame that we didn't get the new phones in the signature Aura Glow colorway. It doesn't really make sense for the business-oriented Galaxy Note 10+ to be available in such a wide range of playful and "serious" colors while the more popular Galaxy S-lineup gets it totally wrong with its forgettable colors and overall boring design.

How is such a thing even possible? In the near past we gradually got away from the restricting stigma of boring pitch black and blindingly white phones, heck, we even went through a brisk rose/pink revolution, yet Samsung erased all that recent progress in one quick, fell swoop. Sorry, S20 Ultra, you shall remain the ugly duckling.

The way I see it, the S20 is an important cornerstone for Samsung as it clearly demonstrates that it will no longer back down and will go all in in terms of hardware. No compromises have been made (aside from that headphone jack, R.I.P.) in terms of raw power and hardware capabilities, especially in the camera department, but all that focus on the insides of the device clearly leaves a lot to be desired about the exterior. So close, Samsung!

Of course, the case for the dull Galaxy S20-series design goes through the window when you factor in the fact that almost any future owner of the S20 or the S20 Ultra will inevitably throw a case on the device for that much-needed extra protection. Is that what Samsung secretly hoped? That an official or a third-party case will easily fix the design shortcomings, so it hardly even bothered to make its new phones remotely appealing?

That's my opinion, of course. If you disagree, feel free to pre-order the Galaxy S20 Ultra by visiting the link below.

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

Related phones

Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G


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