October 16, 2021

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Galaxy S20 Ultra vs S10 Plus: I used two Samsung phones a week

Galaxy S20 Ultra vs S10 Plus: I used two Samsung phones a week

There is no question Galaxy S20 Ultra Great phone. But starting at around 200 1,200, it comes with a good price. Needless to say, if you want a premium phone with reliable performance, powerful cameras and a battery it is not the only option from Samsung, you will have it all day (and then some). For example, there is the Galaxy S10 Plus, which came out last year. (And don’t forget the new one, $ 700 Galaxy S20 FE. Here’s how Compared to the S20 Fan Edition S20 Ultra And the rest of the S20 lineup.)

To work out whether you should pay more for the S20 Ultra or lower for the S10 Plus, I used both phones for a week and compared the camera quality, overall design and how they worked as my daily driver side by side. Watch the video at the top of the article for my full impressions or read for a brief version.

Angela Long / CNET

The Samsung flagship phone for 2020 has all the bells and whistles you need: a 6.9-inch large screen with a 108-megapixel camera, 120 Hz refresh rate and 5G connectivity. While some camera features, such as the 100x zoom, may not be hyped, it still looks proven in the future. But remember, as long as you have cash it is worth considering.

Read the S20 Ultra review.

Excellent camera and 100x zoom of the Galaxy S20 Ultra

You can now know or read that the S20 Ultra camera is its true ace on its sleeve. There are four rear cameras: 108-megapixel stills, ultra-wide angle, telephoto periscope lens and wide angle that can shoot depth sensor.

The S10 Plus, at the same time, has three rear cameras, but no depth sensor.

I have found that for most photos, especially those taken in bright, outdoor lighting, it can be difficult to separate the cameras when taking photos with a wide lens. Both take pleasant shots in the default settings, sharp shots with sharpness and good dynamic range (if any, the S20 Ultra saturates slightly more colors than the S10 Plus). If I needed more to work with, the S20 Ultra’s 108-megapixel sensor on its regular wide camera would crop me photos into town and refram me after the shot was taken.

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Lexi Savvides / CNET

Speaking of zoom, the other difference between the two phones is that the S20 Ultra uses a hybrid optical zoom (its true optical zoom is 4x) to reach 10x and the shots are very good. On the other hand, the S10 Plus fully digital zooms in once you cross the 2x optical reach. Side by side with the S20 Ultra at the same magnification, there is no competition: the 10X zoom photo on the S20 Ultra is clearly visible, while the S10 Plus looks like a shot mush. But I really take the S20 Ultra Zoom. I took an OK shot at 30x using digital zoom, but once I zoomed in closer to 100x, things went awry A lot Mess.

The S20 Ultra can shoot 8K video, but unless I want to prove my videos in the future for the benefit of the new 8K TV (or be able to reframe for 4K for video editing purposes) I have imagined shooting once or twice in this resolution. At the time of writing, the unlocked S20 Ultra I am using exhibits some auto focus issues, especially noticeable when shooting video at all resolutions.

You can learn more about the differences in photo quality, cameras and plenty of models in the video embedded above.

Does the S20 Ultra bigger prove to be better?

Not turning around it: the S20 is an ultra big phone. With a 6.9-inch screen, it weighs in at 220g (7.76oz). For me, it’s a little bigger to use comfortably with one hand. It fits in my pocket, but the S10 Plus feels a good size at 175g (6.17oz) overall. Your mileage will definitely change with your preference in the size and weight of these phones!

When it comes to display quality, both phones are excellent, but the S20’s Ultra’s 120 Hz refresh rate I was very impressed. It is not activated by default (you need to turn it on through settings), but after I turned it on, it made scrolling through the screens and gaming a smoother looking experience.

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Angela Long / CNET

If you want a headphone jack, get the S10 Plus. Or, get a 3.5mm adapter from USB-C for the S20 Ultra. Truth be told, dongles are annoying and easy to forget. The S20 Ultra box comes with USB-C headphones. Both phones have reverse wireless charging and a screen fingerprint reader.

Battery life and performance is very close to the call

Both of these phones are perfectly performance animals. You can find the full range of performance results in our reviews. In real-world situations, I find no noticeable difference between the two when doing multiple resource-intensive tasks such as recording 4K (or 8K on the S20 Ultra), browsing the Internet or gaming. Note that I am using the S20 Ultra with 12GB RAM more than the available 16GB variant, which enhances the performance of the older phone.

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When it comes to battery life, when I use the S20 Ultra with 120Hz turned on, the battery depletes at a particularly fast rate. I start the day with a 100% charge, but my battery is reduced by 70% or 1 hour screen time per 1 hour. I was able to get full day use with enough juice on both phones. The S20 Ultra has a high capacity battery and the option of a 45W charger for faster charging (which comes at an additional cost). Note, however, that your experience will vary depending on how you use your phone.

The big performance question is around 5G. If you want 5G, you need to get the S20 Ultra. S10 Plus 4G LTE only. (Note that the S10 5G Edition is available, which is a different size and has different specs for the S10 Plus.) Available only on a few major hubs when writing a 5G rollout across the US, The S-20 Ultra gives you future proof of use of the phone on major carriers As coverage increases. The S20 Ultra supports millimeter-wave 5G networks used by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, as well as low and midband bands used by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.