Samsung will finally match Apple with the Galaxy S20 Ultra build materials

By choosing not to follow up on last year's Galaxy S10e with a flat-screened and "affordable" member of the fast-approaching Galaxy S20 family, Samsung risked making it even harder for consumers to distinguish between three exceedingly similar high-end phones.

But the "regular" S20 is expected to sport a significantly smaller curved display than the S20+ and S20 Ultra giants, the latter of which will differ from the former plus-sized model in many key ways and areas. We're talking everything from battery capacity to camera resolution, storage space, and according to a new rumor started by Max Weinbach on Twitter (who else?), a small but very important difference is to be expected in the build quality department as well.

Let's hope Samsung delivers the goods this time around

Some of the company's hardcore fans may still cringe at the memory of a marketing mishap that no one ever tried to justify or explain in any way. Somehow, Samsung was initially under the impression that the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ combine "stainless steel and glass" materials to "minimize bezel", a publicity claim made in a promotional video shortly after the two high-enders were unveiled back in August and repeated on the company's website.

That was obviously not the case, and Samsung quickly edited its advertising copy, replacing "high-polish stainless steel" with "high-polish metal." Steel is not technically a metal, but an alloy of iron and carbon, while stainless steel is rarely used on smartphones. Instead, most handset manufacturers nowadays combine glass with aluminum, which is a metal often used in its own combination with various other metals, creating pretty strong alloys.

But aluminum alloys can't match the robustness and resistance to corrosion of stainless steel, which is why we're very excited to hear Samsung might finally be able to make the jump to a tougher, and yes, prettier exterior for its ultra-high-end devices. Of course, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will follow in the footsteps of a number of other mobile devices rocking a super-premium stainless steel frame, including the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, the XS and XS Max, the iPhone X, LG V10, Nokia 8 Sirocco, and even the ancient iPhone 4.

Galaxy S20 Ultra vs S20 Plus - all the differences rumored so far

Because stainless steel is heavier than aluminum, the S20 Ultra is tipped to weigh in at 221 grams vs. 188 grams for the S20+, 175 grams for the S10+, and 196 grams for the Note 10+. But if you also consider the massive 6.9-inch display of the S20 Ultra (compared to the 6.7-inch S20+) and its gargantuan 5,000mAh battery (compared to 4,500mAh capacity for the S20+ cell), that number almost starts to feel small. Especially when the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max tips the scales at 226 grams in a similar stainless-steel-and-glass combo.

Still, the main thing expected to make the Galaxy S20 Ultra stand out from its siblings is an absolutely bonkers rear-facing camera system comprised of a 108MP main shooter, a 48MP telephoto sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a pair of Time-of-Flight sensors enabling neat 3D effects and advanced AR experiences. The 40MP single selfie snapper of the S20 Ultra also sounds pretty exciting, compared to the same old 10MP front-facing camera on the other two S20 variants as on 2019's Note 10 and S10-series devices.

What we don't know just yet is whether or not Samsung also has a ceramic version of any of its S20-series phones in the pipeline. The S10+, remember, comes in Ceramic Black and Ceramic White flavors in addition to white, black, blue, and pink glass models, but two special editions with two special build materials is probably a little too much to ask for just one flagship generation.

Related phones

Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Display 6.9 inches
    3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP (Quad camera)
    40 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5000 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI



26. OneLove123

Posts: 1347; Member since: Aug 28, 2018

So, stainless steel is a thing now? I've had it on my LGV10 way before the iPhone knew the material existed. You're telling me Apple copied LG with their stainless steel? Ahahahaha

25. cevon3239

Posts: 259; Member since: Jan 01, 2020

This is a complete joke. Samsung phone have been made of better quality since day one. Even when they both made plastic phones, Samsung's were better. The plastic ones didn't turn colors or burn like iPhone models did. No Samsung phone in history bent as easy as the iPhone 6 family. Stainless Steel is just as easy to damage as aluminium and glass is glass. iPhone has been proven to be less durable than most Android brands in general. No one cares about useless stainless steel other than Apple fan who can't brag about phone features. Please writers, stop feeding the trolls.

24. MsPooks

Posts: 383; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

I love all the fakes here pretending they even have a clue what metal is/was used on their phones, and worse yet: that it had any influence on their purchase decision.

22. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I'm confused, the Note 10 is gorgeous... I can't imagine the S20 being better just because it uses "technically metal".

19. Vancetastic

Posts: 1979; Member since: May 17, 2017

Heavy, with glass on both sides. Nope. I use my phone, and it being needlessly fragile for "luxury" feel is just silly to me.

17. Cat97

Posts: 2087; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Sorry but I don't see why would you use stainless steel in a smartphone and make it like 10% heavier for no reason. Apple customers care about such gimmicks because they need to show their status, but Android customers only need a good, practical phone. Aluminium is a much better build material for a device. A nicely textured plastic back like some Blackberry phones would also be much better than a stupid glass back that costs up to $300 or even more to replace when an unbreakable plastic material could have been used from the start. Apple did some good things with iOS, leading to Android, but they are also setting some absolutely stupid trends like glass backs or heavy stainless steel frames, too bad that the other manufacturers don't have their own alternative ideas.

12. cmdacos

Posts: 4429; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Completely pointless and useless. Just adds weight with no benefit at all for the average user.

11. pimpin83z

Posts: 673; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

"Samsung will finally match Apple with the Galaxy S20 Ultra build materials" Soooooooo this now puts Samsung over the hump compared to Apple because everything else is Samsung=Apple, right?

16. tbreezy

Posts: 287; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Let’s wait and see if Samsung really does get stainless steel and not another Note10 mess.

20. pimpin83z

Posts: 673; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

A 'mess' that's selling. You're trying too hard. Keep it up, though. Your asininity is hilarious.

7. TadTrickle

Posts: 177; Member since: Apr 08, 2019

It's going in a case anyway, so it wouldn't matter to me. They've come a long way since, say the s3 days. What next ? Gold? Platinum?

6. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2282; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the iPhone that was famous for being bended?

8. Feanor

Posts: 1452; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

That was the iPhone 6, which switched from stainless steel to aluminium. iPhones were stainless steel from 4 to 4s and then again from X to current generation. All iPhones in between were aluminium (and aluminium-glass combo of course).

14. tbreezy

Posts: 287; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Exactly this. Nothing better than the feeling of the stainless steel on ones hand, iPhone X, XS, XS Max, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max feel like luxury devices when held next to devices made with aluminum.

5. Jimrod

Posts: 1607; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Shame, the S10e finally made me jump ship from Apple after about 11 years - I wanted a premium smaller phone, my SE battery was dying and I wanted something more "current" with a decent screen-body ratio. Now that option's been taken away I won't be getting an S20 or anything else for the foreseeable future I guess!

13. tbreezy

Posts: 287; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

iPhone 9 may be for you.

18. Jimrod

Posts: 1607; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Depends if it's just a cheap 8, which it probably will be... Companies just seem to think people want small phones to be "affordable" when plenty of us don't care about the price, just want them to be good and current spec, there aren't any options available to prove the point though!

2. dazed1

Posts: 815; Member since: Jul 28, 2015


1. Ali888

Posts: 112; Member since: Apr 13, 2018

Let's hope they don't match them with the ridiculously sharp edges of the cameras that no one talks about

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