Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S20 5G makes two unexpected compromises

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Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S20 5G makes two unexpected compromises
Commercially released stateside three months ago to the day, the ultra-high-end Galaxy S20 family had a missing link until earlier this week. It was a big one, mind you, as the smallest and cheapest model in Samsung's latest flagship lineup could not be purchased directly from the nation's largest wireless service provider.

Of course, there was nothing stopping you from buying the 6.2-inch handset in a US unlocked variant and activate that on Verizon, but unlike the S20+ and S20 Ultra, the "standard" S20 lacks mmWave 5G technology. And because Big Red's insanely fast 5G Ultra Wideband network just so happens to be based exclusively on that type of spectrum, not everyone was willing to make the compromise and settle for 4G LTE speeds across the nation.

No love for digital hoarders


Enter the special Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW edition, available now for $999.99 at full retail or 150 bucks less than that with Verizon installment plans. Even better, you can also score a $150 gift card when bringing an existing phone number to the carrier, as well as save an extra $350 with an eligible trade-in.


At first glance, those are some pretty cool deals for an enhanced version of a device that normally costs $999.99 with support for sub-6GHz 5G networks, aka low and mid-band spectrum, aka T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T. Then again, nothing is free in this world, especially in this mobile tech world, so as it turns out, Samsung and Verizon decided to quietly cut a few corners to maintain the aforementioned price point.

Buy the Galaxy S20 5G UW here



As discovered by XDA's Max Weinbach and a number of understandably dissatisfied Redditors who happened to order and receive the Galaxy S20 5G UW early, this bad boy ships without expandable storage. 

The theory is this wasn't so much a cost-cutting move as a space-saving decision, with the physical room freed up by ditching the microSD card slot possibly occupied by mmWave antennas needed to ensure support for Verizon's controversial 5G Ultra Wideband network.

Multitaskers beware!


Whether or not that was the case, it can be annoying (to say the least) to spend a thousand bucks on a phone with 128 gigs of internal storage space and no physical way to expand that. Keep in mind that even the Galaxy Note 10, which came without a memory card slot around the world, could accommodate no less than 256 gigs of data internally.

Meanwhile, the other compromise was almost definitely made to keep production costs in check, with the 12GB RAM count of every other 5G-enabled Galaxy S20-series device downgraded by four gigs on Verizon. That's right, the S20 5G UW "only" comes with eight gigs of the good stuff, which is not a bad count by any standards but it's still... less.


Heavy multitaskers are likely to notice the difference already, not to mention how things are expected to evolve further down the line for stuff like hardcore mobile gaming and even productivity tools. 

At the end of the day, maybe Big Red should have just jacked up the price by $100 and made the Galaxy S20 5G UW a little heavier compared to the "regular" variant rather than cripple the phone this way and mentioning absolutely nothing about the two drawbacks on its official product webpage

But hey, at least the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW is up for grabs in a pretty Cloud White color, as well as Cloud Pink and Cosmic Gray paint jobs.

Related phones

Galaxy S20

PhoneArena Score:

9.1

User Score:

9.7
  • Display 6.2 inches 3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Triple camera) 10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI

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