With just a month left to unpacked, the buzz surrounding Samsung's upcoming crop of flagships is naturally getting stronger and stronger. The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra are getting unveiled on February 11 at the Samsung Unpacked event alongside a new foldable device (possibly the Galaxy Z Flip). All in all, early February is shaping up to be a great month for Samsung, and we can't wait to see what the manufacturer has in store for us.
But how will the old Galaxy phones compare against the new ones? There's still a month remaining, but we've got more than enough data to conjure a preliminary specs comparison of sorts, detailing the major differences between the new and the old generation of Galaxy devices.
Before we continue, however, we should probably clear some things about the naming. It seems the Galaxy S10e was an one-off, as the most affordable version of the next Galaxy S20-series is expected to simply carry the Galaxy S20 name. Moreover, it won't come with a flat display like the S10e, so it would be a direct successor to the regular Galaxy S10. The S20+ should then be considered a direct successor of the S10+, while the S20 Ultra would be in a league of its own.
In terms of design, we expect the Galaxy S20 to closely follow the design language introduced by the Galaxy Note 10 back in summer 2019. A center-positioned punch hole to facilitate the venerable camera will be featured up and front. The broad draft was laid out by the Note 10-series, but it looks as if the Galaxy S20-series will further perfect and polish that newfangled design language.
The most stark difference would probably be the enormous camera island at the rear, which will house the multiple cameras - the main wide-angle, the ultra wide-angle, the telephoto, and the ToF sensor(s), depending on the model. The looks might put you off at first, but this year's Galaxy models could come with the most impressive set of cameras on a Galaxy so far. That said, the Galaxy S10 generation isn't that different, at least from a design perspective. They look just as premium in their glass-metal attire, with triple cameras, vibrant colors, and slick looks.
Displays are getting bigger all across the board. The regular Galaxy S20 is said to come with a 6.2" AMOLED display, likely with an aspect ratio of 19:9, which might work just fine thanks to the likely exceptional screen-to-body ratio that the flagship would sport.
Galaxy S20 leaked design
That's a small bump over the S10's 6.1" AMOLED screen, but we doubt the S20 will be that much larger. However, the S20 Ultra will be quite the hefty phone thanks to the beefy battery, large 6.9-inch display, and the 5X/10X periscope camera setup that will be making the cut. Meanwhile, the S20+ will act as a neat middle-ground between the Galaxy S20 and the S20 Ultra: with a 6.7" display, it will introduce a big increase over the 6.4" Galaxy S10+.
However, the big change in the display section will be not display size itself, but refresh rate. The current industry standard of 60Hz for display refresh rate is about to get trumped on the next Galaxy generation and effectively doubled to 120Hz for a buttery-smooth experience that should be way more noticeable and useful than the middle gap of 90Hz, found on some devices like the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro.
In terms of hardware, the Galaxy S20 series can be summarized with one word - more. We will be getting more of everything, including chipsets, memory, storage, and most importantly, battery life. Powered by the next-gen Snapdragon 865, 12GB of RAM as the base minimum, and hopefully 256GB of storage, the new Galaxies are unlikely to leave you longing for more.
Compared to the tamer yet still capable hardware in the older Galaxy S10-series, the S20-series would come as a natural upgrade. As a refresher, the S10e, S10, and S10+ had top-tier hardware upon their launch - Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820, with 8GB of RAM in the base version (6 for the S10e), as well as 128GB of storage that was also expandable via an SD card. None of the new Galaxies are expected to have SD cards, following the footsteps laid out by the Note 10.
5G is currently anticipated on all US models thanks to the Snapdragon 865 chip, which supports 5G out of the box, whereas international models powered by the Exynos 990 are likely not getting 5G support. Here's a comparison between the Snapdragon 865 and the Snapdragon 855.
Exynos 990 (Galaxy S20)
Snapdragon 865 (Galaxy S20)
7nm (TSMC N7P)
7nm (TSMC FF)
7nm (TSMC N7P)
2x Exynos M5
2x Cortex A76
4x Cortex A55
1x 2.84GHz A77
3x 2.42GHz A77
4x 1.8GHz A55
1x Kryo 485 Gold (custom Cortex-A76) @ 2.96GHz
3x Kryo 485 Gold (custom Cortex-A76) @ 2.42GHz
4x Kryo 485 Silver (custom Cortex-A55) @ 1.80GHz
2x Lightning @2.66GHz
4x Thunder @1.7GHz
Adreno 650 at 587MHz
Apple custom quad-core
Exynos 5123 (Category 24)
Downloads up to 7.3Gbps (mmWave), 5.1Gbps (sub-6GHz), or 3Gbps (4G LTE), 8xCA Uploads: up to 422 Mbps
X55 5G modem add-on
up to 7 Gbps over 5G, and 2.5 Gbps download speeds on LTE
Snapdragon X24 LTE (Category 20)
Downloads: up to 2Gbps, 7xCA
Uploads: up to 316Mbps
X50 5G modem add-on
Intel XMM7660 (Category 19)
Downloads: up to 1.6Gbps, 7xCA
Uploads: up to 225Mbps
Yes, dual-core NPU
Yes, octa-core Neural Engine
4K HDR at 150fps 8K HDR at 30fps
4K HDR at 60fps
UFS 3.0 storage support for up to 2.9GB/s speeds
LPDDR5 memory support
Single-camera up to 108MP
120Hz display refresh rate
LPDDR5 memory support
4K HDR Bokeh Video
8K 360 VR video playback
Always-on noise cancellation
Machine learning capable of 1 trillion operations per second
Cameras are expected to be the grand highlight of the Galaxy S20. First of all, all new Galaxies will be getting new camera sensors - the S20 and S20+ are likely getting improved 12MP sensors with big 1.8-micron pixels, whereas the Galaxy S20 Ultra is likely getting the new 108MP camera sensor that would output 27MP images thanks to pixel binning. There might also be more variable aperture steps, additional ToF sensors for improved depth perception, greater zoom levels, and way more on the software front.
On the topic of cameras, the Galaxy S20 is set to have a 12MP main camera joined by a telephoto and an ultra wide-angle snapper. while the Galaxy S20+ is set to have te same setup but add a ToF camera sensor for good measure. Finally, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is said to come with the 108MP main camera that we already mentioned above, but add a 48MP 5X or 10X telephoto zoom that would allow for up to 100X hybrid digital zoom. A ultra wide-angle and two ToF camera sensors are also expected to make the cut at the rear of the Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera island.
All in all, quite an improvement over the humble Galaxy S10-series, which were the first to introduce ultra wide-angle cameras on a Galaxy flagship.
Price and release date expectations
The Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ will make their official debut on Tuesday, February 11, alongside the premium Galaxy S20 Ultra, the foldable Galaxy Bloom, and an updated pair of wireless earphones dubbed the Galaxy Buds.
Pricing should be more or less similar to the Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ at launch, with the traditional $50 price hike expected and possible. The Galaxy S20 is expected to start at $799 and be the most popular new Galaxy around, while the S20+ would most probably cost $999. Finally, the top-of-the-line Galaxy S20 Ultra will likely carry a $1,099 price tag.