The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: price, release, specs, and features of the upcoming ultra phone

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: price, release, specs, and features of the upcoming ultra phone
Well, 2020 is here, which means that we have a bunch of exciting new flagship phones knocking at the door. Among them, of course, is the new Galaxy S line for the year.

Just like last year, Samsung is planning to launch a trio of S-line devices this year. The biggest, baddest, and meanest of them would be the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Here’s everything the rumors are saying about it right now:

Contents:


New name: let’s skip a few numbers



Near the end of 2019, we were hearing that the next Samsung flagship would not be called the Galaxy S11 but Galaxy S20. The reasons for the sudden change in naming conventions are yet unknown, but we all know that tech companies can’t count, so that’s not much of a shocker.

Presumably, there’s some big upgrade on board and Samsung wants to signify a huge leap in technology while also celebrating the new decade (I know what you are thinking, but let’s not open that can of worms right now).

Additionally, the three models will be slightly rebranded. The successor of the Galaxy S10e will now be called just Galaxy S20; the new S10 will be the Galaxy S20+; the reiteration of the S10+ will be called the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Confused yet? Good. Alls you need to know is that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be the most feature-packed and most expensive of the three.

Designed to impress


Samsung has always been pushing the boundaries of how thin a phone’s bezel can be. The company even “cheats” with its signature curved displays (good ol’ Edge) — a feature, which some like and others really don’t.

Naturally, the Galaxy S20 line will be shaving off some micrometers off the poor old bezel, especially in the top and bottom sections, making them nigh-nonexistent. Yup, the fear of ghost touches is real.



This change is most prominently visible on a leaked photo of what is allegedly a front panel for the new S20 Ultra.

Now, let’s talk about the back. There is going to be a huge camera bump, holding up to 4 lenses. It’s going to be in the shape of a rectangle with soft edges. Now, early leaks showed the lenses being placed in a really weird pattern, triggering the trypophobia of every tech geek worldwide.



However, current rumors show us that the cameras are lined up in a nice arrangement. All of the leaksters out there agree that this is the final design. Whether or not Samsung was seriously considering the messy design is unknown. Crisis averted, everybody!



A display as smooth as melting butter


What’s the new viral trend in smartphone displays? Super-high refresh rates! The Razer Phone was the first mass-produced, worldwide phone to offer 120 Hz with its LCD panel. OnePlus proved that it can be done on OLED with the 90 Hz panel of the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Asus ROG Phone II pushed that boundary to 120 Hz. Even Google’s Pixel 4 adopted the 90 Hz refresh rate option.

Naturally, Samsung is pressured to respond. Leaks have been going back and forth — first, we heard that Sammy has 120 Hz panels for the S20 series, then we heard it was dropped as a feature, then it was back again. A mini emotional rollercoaster right there!

Needless to say, it’s still up in the air. But, as we said, Samsung’s competitors already have it and we find it hard to imagine that Sammy would raise the white flag here. Most probably, even if the regular Galaxy S20 doesn’t have the feature, the S20 Ultra would.

The 120 Hz refresh rate can be spotted in a leaked screenshot from what would be the S20’s settings. You can see that the user would have the choice between forcing a constant 120 Hz or switching to a dynamic mode, which would save battery when the app itself doesn’t support 120 Hz. What’s even more useful is that the phone will identify and actually show you which of your apps support high refresh rate. Thumbs up!

A screen big enough to be called Ultra



The screen size will also grow a bit — leaksters say the S20 Ultra will rock a 6.9-inch panel. That’s slightly larger than the current Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. In other words – it’ll be b-i-g! Of course, it will have a crisp resolution to fill that room up with pixels — 1440 x 3200 to be exact, for a density of about 500 pixels per inch.

Of course, it will be a Samsung Super AMOLED and we expect nothing less than stellar imagery and vibrant colors.

Hardware so edgy, you can shave with it



The top-of-the-line Samsung phone will get top-of-the-line specs, that’s a given. Rumors say the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 — a chip that’s actually being built in Samsung’s factories on the 7 nm EUV process.

Now, earlier rumors said that European versions of the Galaxy S20 line will have Samsung’s Exynos 990 chip — a home-made silicon built on the same process. However, another rumor specifically pointed out that the S20 Ultra will only use the Snapdragon 865, period.



Does that mean that the Ultra won’t be available in the EU? We’d wager not — Samsung probably just expects that it’ll be able to deal with the demand well enough to provide the same chip for all units.

That aside, prepare to say “goodbye” to single-digit RAM — leaksters insist that the Galaxy S20 family will have 12 GB of memory as a minimum across the board. In terms of storage, the options are said to start at 256 GB. We have no information on other variants right now, but Samsung has proven that it loves to amp the storage up, so a 512 GB or even a 1 TB edition are not out of the question.


Battery size? Oh, yeah… it’s big


We’ve been hearing a lot of interesting rumors about the batteries that’ll be keeping the lights on in the new S20 line. The bottom line is that the models will have 4,000 mAh cells at a minimum. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, in particular, will allegedly sport a 5,000 juicebox. Also known as “the powerbank-in-a-phone” capacity.

Ready for the 5G era



5G is the next big thing in mobile technologies and manufacturers are racing to future-proof their phones. Naturally, the Galaxy 20 family will support the new connectivity. To be more precise, the Snapdragon 865 models are expected to be 5G ready, since the Qualcomm chip supports the new modem needed for it, while the Exynos 990 ones would stick to the caveman 4G connectivity.

Since the Exynos 990 models will only be available in Europe, a “Dark Ages” joke would’ve been more appropriate here.

More cameras than General Grievous has hands



The leaks have been adamant — the Galaxy S20 Ultra will have five cameras. Well, to be fair, that’s three-and-a-half cameras.

Firstly, we will have a regular trio of wide-angle (108 MP), ultra-wide-angle (12 MP), and optical zoom cameras (48 MP). Note that we didn’t simply call the latter one “a telephoto lens”. Why? Because Samsung will be employing a periscope lens there, capable of delivering adjustable optical zoom, possibly up to 10x.

But wait, there’s more! The S20 Ultra will allegedly be able to hit 50x hybrid zoom (mixing digital zoom, optical zoom, and software algorithms to achieve a sharp picture) and up to 100x digital zoom. The feature would allegedly be called “Space Zoom”. In other words, we’d finally be able to zoom in on the Moon to finally see if it’s really a hologram or not.

Additionally, Samsung is prepping its Bright Night mode, which would essentially be a Night Mode on steroids.

This is all thanks to the new 108 MP sensor. It'll be able to pull the detail needed for the hybrid zoom, but also have the ability to bin its pixels together in groups of 9, giving us 12 MP photos taken with huge, 2.4 micron “virtual pixels”.



Wait, you said five cameras


Yes, the other two will be strictly Time-of-Flight sensors. These nifty little things are only meant to be assistants to the “main” cameras, feeding them information on objects and depth. Supposedly, this should help with focus and uber-accurate Portrait Mode edge cuts and blurs.

We've already seen a ToF camera on the Galaxy Note 10+. It enabled some nifty Augmented Reality features, but we feel it has been largely underused. What will Samsung do with 2 ToF cameras now?



Smart photo mode


Strings of code have revealed something called Single Take Photo. Basically, when you press the shutter, the phone will start looking for the “right” moment and automatically take a picture then and there. For example when trying to get everyone in a group photo to look good, a baby to look at the camera, or a pet to stop acting aloof and look cute for a second. Come on, Fido, I feed you, I walk you, the least you can do is help me with this Insta story!

Videographers, rejoice


The iPhone 11 Max was lazer-focused on videographers and content producers, but the Galaxy S20 Ultra will respond in kind. With features like Director’s View and Pro Video, Samsung is expected to give us a lot more control over the video-recording features. Think manual focus, ISO control, subject tracking, possibly even microphone gain control, among other cool features.

It’s also said that the phone will make good use of that 108 MP sensor, unlocking 8K at 30 FPS video recording. Now, that many pixels might not sound useful to the average user, but when it comes to cropping a shot in post-production, it’s a godsend.

Price and release date



OK, so you might be throwing money at the screen already, but that’ll do nothing just yet. We expect the Galaxy S20 phones to be announced on the 11th February at an event in San Francisco. The actual launch, however, will take a bit longer. Speculations say 6th of March.

As for price, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is expected to have a price-tag that suits its name. It’ll start at $1,099 is what we are saying. At least that's the expected price. Some are worried that the recent inflation in phone prices might spell a higher point of entry for the S20 Ultra. But we are under the impression that the userbase has dug its heels in and refuses to accept any more price hikes, so Samsung might not want to take the risk.

Related phones

Galaxy S20 Ultra (S11+)
  • Display 6.9" 1440 x 3200 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 5000 mAh

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16 Comments

1. User123456789

Posts: 1354; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Razer was not first 120Hz LCD. Xperia X was. Anyway .... I think the lower storage version of S20 Ultra will be no more than $1100. That might be 12 + 128 or 12 + 256. I think people can expect Note to be about 7,2".

2. paul.k

Posts: 305; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Oh yes, how could I forget the 120 Hz display option of the Xperia X that was FACTORY DISABLED and had no user-accessible toggle.

5. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 727; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Paul, are there any rumors related to new features powered by Microsoft? If all the new models come with 12GB of RAM it could hind to a deeper integration of Microsoft into Samsung Smartphones. Imagine that Windows comes pre-installed with the S20. Windows 10 can run on ARM chips aNd SD865 is the most powerful ARM chip. Maybe these are just the wet dreams of a Nerd but damn, I wish it becomes reality this year.

14. User123456789

Posts: 1354; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Mobile CPus are weak for windows desktop. Computers with it failed poorly.

13. User123456789

Posts: 1354; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Mi 9 has 90 Hz, but locked at 60 too. But it does not make it 60. That is the point. Sharp has 240Hz oled Aquos Zero II. Tech sites barely say about it. Then all people,will wrongly think cheap iphone clones brands brought it. Same way Xiaomi got credits for the design Sharp created 2 years before and sold in Japan, USA and part of Europe. Not my fault if all other brands use cheaper screen than Sony and Sharp.

3. fisher

Posts: 18; Member since: Jan 29, 2016

can't wait for s20 ultra review. because I am too poor, can't afford one

4. fatTony

Posts: 119; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

I cannot justify paying over a thousand dollars for a phone. Clearly there's a market for these things and there are people willing to pay for them. I'd really like to hear their reasoning, especially when these phones are trumped by the next model.

6. RoryBreaker

Posts: 303; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

To each their own, I like having the upgrades & latest tech for personal & professional uses. I'm just happy that phone makers have been making mid range devices that are completely capable of doing a great job.

19. Methlab

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 19, 2019

And I'm perfectly confortable with the old flagship that are still very capable (more capable than most new midrange phones if not all) and cost half the price of the latest flagships

7. Skizzo

Posts: 434; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

While I agree that phones are ridiculously expensive, and that it's hard to justify considering how good the mid-range has gotten, BUT just to answer your reasoning question, think of it this way... Is there ANY device that the average person uses more on a day to day basis than the smartphone?? Think of how many times one unlocks their phone. Think of just how reliant we've become on these Swiss Army style devices, these tools that do seemingly everything. I'd argue that there isn't a single device in your house more worthy of spending big money on (if that's important to you) than the single most used and useful device you own. Now, add to that the fact that most regular users change their phones every 3+ years on average now, and you may understand how one may be justifying the high expense of a phone you will use hundreds of times a day for the next 2-4 years becomes that much more easy to swallow. Basically it comes down to $$ per use, in which case, most will be thinking that if there is anything worth spending a ton of money on, it would be the single most important piece of tech that everyone owns and relies on. Not saying that the price of the device is justified from the manufacturer side of things, but just how someone may justify the expense to themselves.

20. Methlab

Posts: 32; Member since: Apr 19, 2019

Still doesn't justify the high asking price! Especially since these expensive toys have become so fragile that it's a whole job just trying to keep them from breaking

11. foldablephone

Posts: 78; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I used to think like this and clearly $1k+ is crazy when mid-rangers are so decent now. However I guess when you consider that most people use their phones for 2-3 hours every day (including music, streaming shows etc) and is normally their most used tech. If the S20 can last 2 years for the average user then that thousands bucks is only like $1.36 per day. When you consider how much the average public waste per day then I do still think that there is value, even on $1000 phones.

15. fatTony

Posts: 119; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

Thank you all for your valuable input. I'm cybersecurity professional so I don't use my phone as a Swiss army knife, like a lot of people do, and am comfortable with a mid range device (don't care for multiple cameras or massive screen). I see it differently as a result. I guess personal preference is the key. Again, thank you all for your input.

16. blastertoad

Posts: 52; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Everything is always surpassed so why buy anything? Sorry that logic always bugs me. As for why my lastest device is a S series Samsung here are some of my reasons. Security: I work in sales for a small company and need to display / demo things on my phone regularly and hand it to clients. Samsung has knox and secure-folder. These are both software made by blackberry enterprise group to do hardware level verification (knox) and software encryption (Secure-folder). In secure folder I can have my banking, work social media, private images and notes as well as digital copies of ID all stored behind a separate password from my phone. Any apps installed in secure folder are complete installs separate from primary storage, not just secondary logins. Aftermarket support: Tons of 3rd party accessories like cases, screen protectors, and skins. With more options you get more offering with warranty and better quality products. So when my phone is in someone else's hands and takes a tumble, my glass screen protector with 3M adhesive that is optically clear and never clouds and has no dot pattern breaks and I request a replacement through a pre registered web portal and have a new on within the week at $0 or shipping cost. Factory support: I need my device for business. So if it fails I get 1 week turn around warranty with a loaner device. If when purchasing I happen to get a defective device I have 15 days to get an over counter replacement. No waiting, shipping or jumping through rma forms. (had single bad pixel on my note 4, had it replaced within 5 hours of noticing it). I/O: I don't have to guess if my device has MHL or it's usb C port supports video out, or if the phone has usb host mode. I know if I want or need to plug in any accessory I can. Many mid rangers have usb host (OTG) but not video out (MHL). Software: My updates are guaranteed and timely. No I may not get the latest os version, but I am getting security updates for 3 years. Many mid range phones have irregular if any updates, and some get fake updates. I don't get crap like cleanmaster preinstalled or other ad-ware / malware. Also software features. Gear VR was fun, I still put it on every month or 2 to play a tactics game where you control space craft on a 3d grid (skylight i believe). Dex is not the first desktop type interface but it works very well and smooth. Bixby, yes people hate the button and it's unfortunate placement. But Bixby isn't just voice. Bixby vision straightens and aligns documents in scan mode, and has saved me tons of time typing with photo to text capabilities that process fast and offer translation and easy export. R&D: I enjoy mobile devices. Their generational increase in power, camera quality and other capabilities are fascinating. By buying higher margin devices from the likes of Sony, Samsung, Huawei or LG you are directly contributing to the continued development of these amazing devices that the general public take for granted.

8. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1865; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

Will put the S20 ULTRA on payments for a few months and trade it in for the Note Monster a few months down the road. That way I won't pay whatever the full price the S is and get to enjoy the new features that the Note Monster will have. Win Win!

12. foldablephone

Posts: 78; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

This is genuinely the first Samsung phone I’ve been excited by in years! Looks like Sammy pulled out all the stops on this one. Will be interesting to see how Huawei/Apple respond later this year with their offerings.

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