/Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Unpacked event today shows off 5G, battery life, $850 price – CNET

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Unpacked event today shows off 5G, battery life, $850 price – CNET

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samsung-s20

Hello, big eyes. This could be the Galaxy S20.


XDA Developers

Samsung is getting set to unveil its newest Galaxy phones today, Feb. 11, said to be called the Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy S20 Plus 5G and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (RIP Galaxy S11, a name that died before it even arrived). We’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for new rumors and speculation in advance on the big reveal at Samsung Unpacked. Some of the more exciting rumored features include the 5G support thought to be baked into the phones’ names, upgraded camera tech, some fun new colors, a giant battery, a beast of a processor and extra-fast 120Hz screens.

The Galaxy S20 phones won’t be alone. We also expect Samsung to reveal a foldable phone called the Galaxy Z Flip, a clamshell design meant to challenge the Motorola Razr (which is available for preorder now and goes on sale Feb. 6). While the Galaxy S20 phones will anchor Samsung’s Unpacked event, we anticipate seeing more products come to light, like the Galaxy Buds Plus and maybe the Galaxy Watch 2.

5G may sneakily be the most important new Galaxy S20 feature to impact the mobile industry. These phones could help tip the scale in bringing 5G to the masses, at least in the top tier. After all, Samsung is the world’s biggest phone brand, and the Galaxy S should be the company’s most popular premium phones. 

There’s good reason for Samsung to anticipate big sales. The company is already coasting off a strong 2019 that saw the excellent Galaxy Note 10 and unforgettable Galaxy Fold. If the brand has its way, big changes coming to the Galaxy S20 phones could spell out another blockbuster year.

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Samsung’s official Unpacked invitation gives a few clues about the phones we’ll see next month.


Samsung

Price: Galaxy S20 Ultra could cost $1,200

We expect the Galaxy S20 series to more or less align with the iPhone 11 series, with the standard version well under $1,000 and the most advanced model breaking the $1,000 mark. The base model price was all but verified Friday when a listing for the S20 appeared Friday on Amazon AE, the company’s site for the United Arab Emirates, for a price of 3,112.72 Arab Emirate dirham, or approximately $847.

The latest mix of rumor and speculation about the Galaxy S20 pricing comes from Max Weinbach of XDA Developers:

  • Galaxy S20: $850 (900 to 1,000 euros)
  • Galaxy S20 Plus: $950 (1,050 to 1,100 euros)
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra: $1,200 (1,300 euros)

For reference, here were the Galaxy S10 prices for the base storage configuration:

  • Galaxy S10E: $749, £669, AU$1,199
  • Galaxy S10: $899, £799, AU$1,349
  • Galaxy S10 Plus: $999, £899, AU$1,499
  • Galaxy S10 5G: $1,300, £1,099, AU$2,950
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Rumored renders for the Galaxy S20 in Cloud Blue.


91Mobiles

Specs: Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra

The exact names of the three Galaxy S20 models have been bouncing around, but people are starting to settle on Galaxy S20 5G for the “standard” version, S20 Plus 5G for the middle version (not Pro) and S20 Ultra 5G for what is presumably the largest, most advanced of the three.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S20 startup screen?


Max Weinbach/XDA Developers

Here are the rumored specs in aggregate, based on Max Weinbach from XDA Developers, My Smart Price and Twitter leakers Ice Universe and Evan Blass. The Amazon AE leak also corroborated rumors about the display, battery and camera array, but the model in the listing featured an Exynos 990 processor, not the rumored Snapdragon 865.

Galaxy S20 5G (rumored specs)

Galaxy S20 Pro/Plus 5G (rumored specs)

  • 6.7-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Cameras: 12-megapixel main, 64-megapixel telephoto and 3x digital zoom, 12-megapixel ultrawide, time-of-flight sensor
  • 10-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 128GB of storage (starting)
  • 12GB RAM
  • 4,500-mAh battery with 25-watt fast charging
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor

Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (rumored specs)

  • 6.9-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Cameras: 108-megapixel main, 48-megapixel telephoto with 10x optical zoom, 12-megapixel ultrawide, time-of-flight sensor
  • 40-megapixel wide front-facing camera
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card support, 12GB or 16GB RAM
  • 5,000-mAh battery with optional 45-watt fast-charger
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor
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An artist’s rendition of the Galaxy S11, based on the rumors and leaks.


Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET from Concept Creator

New colors: Cosmic black, cosmic grey, cloud blue, cloud pink

Samsung may be embracing a lighter hue, if this latest is right. Mobile tweeter Ishan Agarwal posted images said to be official renders of the S20 phones. According to Agarwal, the S20 Ultra will come in black and grey, with the S20 Plus available in black, grey and blue, and the S20 in grey, pink and blue.

Note that color availability often varies by region, and that Samsung typically introduces special shades and even special backing material for select phones and regions. The leaked Amazon listing showed a Cloud Blue model.

New feature: Quick Share, Samsung’s version of AirDrop

A software feature could come to the Galaxy S20 phones that makes them act more like the iPhone in one specific way. Called Quick Share, the rumored tool could make it easy to transfer photos, video and other files from the phone to other compatible devices.

Quick Share could mimic the effect of Apple’s AirDrop tool for iPhones and iPads, but with Samsung’s ecosystem in mind.

Exactly which devices are compatible with the Galaxy S20 matters. Hopefully, Samsung’s renewed partnership with Microsoft means that Windows 10 computers would get the green light, and not only devices like Samsung laptops, TVs and tablets.


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Confirmed: Feb. 11 launch date in San Francisco

Samsung has officially announced its Unpacked event for Feb. 11 at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. It’s widely believed that Samsung will also take the wraps off its second foldable phone, perhaps called the Galaxy Bloom, which bends into a square, similar to the Motorola Razr.

Look for the Galaxy S20 to go on preorder shortly after Feb. 11, with phones shipping a week or two after the reveal. I’ll continue to update this story with fresh rumors, so come back for more.

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A peek at the Galaxy S20? We’ll know soon enough.


Cashkaro

Cameras: 108-megapixel camera, periscope lens, monster optical zoom

We’ve highlighted which phones might get which cameras. Let’s dig into those a bit more, because a rumored 108-megapixel main camera sensor for the S20 Ultra is something to talk about.

Logic holds that the larger the camera pixel, the more light can flow in, the better the photo is. That’s why more megapixels won’t necessarily mean better photos. The camera processing plays a huge role in image quality. Is this madness?

It sounds like madness. But Chinese brand Xiaomi already beat Samsung to it with the Mi CC9 Pro, which has a 108-megapixel camera.

A 108-megapixel camera may sound wild, but the Snapdragon 865 chip we talked about above can support a 200-megapixel camera. You may not be using all 108 million pixels all the time, but having that extra resolution can be helpful for zooming in and cropping. If you like the sound of all that, thank Qualcomm for making it happen.

Twitter leaker Weinbach corroborates that the S20 Ultra 5G will be the only one to get the 108-megapixel camera of the three new phones, with a 48-megapixel 10x optical zoom lens and a 12-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens for group and landscape shots to go along with it.

Meanwhile, leaker Ice Universe tweeted that the S20 and S20 Plus will have 12-megapixel cameras, while the two higher-end devices will also have time-of-flight sensors (ToF), which are useful for portrait video mode and AR applications.

A cross between the Note 10 and Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S20 renders are out and so are the concept designs, which I love because they can bring the rumors to life.

So what might we get with the S20? Rounded shoulders, which have become the Galaxy S trademark, but with a more squared-off look reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 10. A slim body. Curved sides for all models, unlike the Galaxy S10E’s flat screen, which I actually really liked.

The camera array seems to be rectangular and off to the left, according to renders and possible photos. It might also stick out from the surface, a lot like the iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4. Cameras that stick out are more vulnerable to breaking when you drop your phone, so a case is an absolute must.

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Another artistic rendition of the Galaxy S20.


Concept Creator

5G guaranteed, but there’s a catch

I mentioned 5G earlier. This is a rumored feature, but also a given. The Galaxy S20 is 99.9% likely to use the powerful Snapdragon 865 processor, which chipmaker Qualcomm won’t make available to phone brands without the 5G modem it pairs with. Ipso facto, you get a phone with the Snapdragon 865, you get a 5G-ready phone.

The same goes for any regions that will package the Galaxy S20 with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 990 5G processor, which often happens in Asia, especially Samsung’s home country of South Korea. (Ice Universe says Samsung is “determined” to use Snapdragon 865 for South Korean models.)

I promised a catch and here it is. While the Galaxy S20 will be 5G-ready, not every phone may be able to access 5G. Cities and countries that are 4G-only will only be able to use 4G networks, so the 5G Galaxy S20 could very well act like a 4G phone.

We’ll see how it all shakes out, but I’d be surprised if Samsung used any chip other than Snapdragon 865. The Galaxy S series is its mainstream flagship and Samsung is the world’s largest phone-maker. Samsung will want to put its best foot forward by delivering the phone with the “best” chip.

Screen: 120Hz AMOLED display

We talked about phone screens earlier, but here’s what else we’re likely to get: the ability to turn on a 120Hz screen refresh rate. That will make animations and scrolling a whole lot smoother than the standard 60Hz refresh rate we have now.

While a 120Hz refresh rate is great for gaming and other quick transitions, it’s a battery hog. Still, the OnePlus 8 is getting support for a 120Hz screen. The Galaxy S20 could put the power in your hands with settings to switch between 60Hz to preserve battery life and 120Hz if you want to rev up animations.

This is pretty much a done deal since both the Snapdragon 865 and Exynos 990 5G support 210Hz screens.

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Suggested renders for the Galaxy S11 and S11E.


Pricebaba

In-screen fingerprint reader

I loved the concept of an in-screen fingerprint reader until I used it in the Galaxy S10. The accuracy, speed and convenience never quite lived up to the promise for me.

My best-case scenario would be for the Galaxy S20 return to some form of secure face unlock, combined with the in-screen reader. Samsung already knows how to do this well. Remember, the series got iris scanning in the S7, but dropped it for the S10. Google has now done it better, with the Pixel 4’s gesture tracking lending a hand.

We could at least see a more robust form of in-screen biometric scanner if Samsung decides to take advantage of the Snapdragon 865’s support for two-finger scanning, which is meant to improve the technology on all fronts. I sure hope it does.

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In One UI 2, right, app folders open lower on the screen so that it’s easier for you to interact with them one-handed.


Samsung

Android 10 and Samsung One UI 2

There’s little doubt that every Samsung phone in 2020 will run on Android 10 (corroborated in the Amazon leak) and the company’s own One UI 2, which was announced in October and is now available in beta.

I’m much more excited about Android 10, which brings systemwide dark mode to phones, gesture navigation, some seriously impressive live captioning and new privacy settings. Samsung One UI 2 aims to push icons and screen controls toward the bottom of the phone so they’re easier to reach one-handed.

Storage and RAM

Let’s not forget onboard storage, external memory and RAM. According to Weinbach’s recent tweet, the S20 Ultra will have:

  • 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage options
  • 12GB and 16GB RAM configurations
  • MicroSD card slot for external storage, with support for up to 1TB

The Galaxy S20 may have more surprises waiting for us yet. CNET will be live on the ground Feb. 11 at Samsung Unpacked, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco to bring you all the news.

Originally published earlier this season and updated frequently.