Why choose the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung's latest flagship phone is always among the most highly-anticipated handset launches of the year. It's no different with the Galaxy S20 Ultra – and with good reason. Let's take a look at the market-leading features that make this phone stand out from the crowd.
- 5G capability
- 8K Video Snap
- 108 Megapixel camera and Space Zoom
- Samsung Knox Security
- Qi Wireless Charging
- Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
The Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra is one of a new generation of phones capable of accessing 5G, the very latest in mobile network technology. 5G isn't replacing 4G entirely, but it builds on top 4G networks to ensure a much faster connection for consumers. Hence, 5G-capable cell phones will still use 4G technology when needed.
What you'll notice, as the owner of a 5G handset, is that in those situations where there are a lot of people trying to get online at once and you'd usually expect the network to struggle, you'll now see an almost instant internet connection. If you live in a 5G area, the speeds you'll get over mobile data may well be quicker than connecting to wifi.
It's those lightning speeds – Rootmetrics has measured speeds over 450Mbps –that are going to draw people in, as well as being able to say you're one of the first people you know to have a 5G phone.
The UK's 5G coverage, driven by the big four mobile operators (EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three) is increasing all the time but is a long way off the near-universal coverage of 3G or 4G. It's worth checking out providers' websites before signing up to a deal.
8K Video Snap
You read that right. Not satisfied with 4K (Ultra HD) resolution, Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S20 Ultra with a camera capable of shooting 8K video. That resolution is so insanely good that you can pull any individual frame out of the video to create a 33MP still. And extracting stills is super easy – just tap the Snap button while watching an 8K video and the picture will be saved automatically like a screenshot.
A one-minute 4K video does take up 600MB of memory, but as the Galaxy S20 Ultra is available in 128GB and 512GB models, this is unlikely to be a problem, and you can expand the storage further to 1TB using a microSD card. And 8K Video Snap isn't all the S20 Ultra's video mode has to offer. A larger sensor and anti-rolling stabiliser, powered by sophisticated AI, stabilises video like an action cam, allowing you to capture incredibly smooth action footage – say goodbye to blurry messes.
108 Megapixel camera and Space Zoom
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra features a wide-angle camera with a frankly ridiculous 108MP camera. As if that's not enough there's also a 48MP telephoto camera and 12MP Ultra Wide camera. There's even a 40MP front-facing camera for spectacular selfies. These are big numbers and what they refer to is the number of pixels that make up each photo. The more pixels, the sharper the image.
A 108MP camera will give you images so sharp that you may not immediately be able to see quite how impressive they are by looking at a phone screen, even one as big as the S20 Ultra's. Where the S20 Ultra's camera comes into its own is when you zoom into an image. The phone's Space Zoom feature lets you pinch in, again and again, revealing details in your pictures that you didn't even know existed.
According to Samsung, there's three zoom features working together here. There's a 10x Hybrid Optical Zoom and a 100x Super Resolution Zoom working together to create the 100x Space Zoom. The upshot is, you'll be able to focus in on your pictures like never before.
Samsung Knox Security
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, like the S20 and S20+, is protected by Knox, Samsung's own industry-leading security platform. As the name Knox suggests, this is belt and braces security from Samsung and it starts with a dedicated security chip that acts as a physical barrier against hardware attacks and protects user data stored on the phone.
While some of Knox's security features work quietly in the background to protect your phone from threats, other features on the S20 Ultra will protect your data while also making life that little bit easier. Samsung Pass stores all your passwords and usernames securely, allowing you to use biometric authentication tech such as Face Recognition and Ultrasonic Fingerprint to access your banking or email apps.
There's also Secure Folder, which provides a separate, encrypted space in which to store your data, and Samsung Blockchain Keystore, which stores your digital keys in an isolated area until you need them and underlines Samsung's commitment to cryptocurrency support on its newer handsets.
Qi Wireless Charging
Like the majority of Samsung's recent releases, the Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with wireless charging capabilities. In order to utilise this feature, you'll need a Qi (pronounced 'Chee') wireless charging pad. These are widely available and it means that you only have to place your phone face-up on the pad for it to start charging. To make it better, you can charge two devices at once, maybe your phone and a friend’s.
If you really want to impress your friends, you can get sofas, lamps and tables with built-in wireless charging, allowing your to charge your phone in the easiest, laziest way possible. And by downloading apps such as Aircharge, you can easily navigate to the nearest public wireless charging facility and get a battery boost when you're out and about. McDonald's, Premier Inn, Costa Coffee and YO! Sushi are just some of the places offering wireless charging.
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra features a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display on a big 6.9-inch screen (1440x3200 pixels). This is an improvement on the previous generation of AMOLED displays, with colour, HDR and brightness all upgraded. The S20 Ultra also has HDR10+ certification, so you know you're getting an optimised viewing experience with cinema-grade colour and contrast.
In short, this is about as good a phone screen as it's possible to get at the moment and with the giant size of the screen (you're going to need two hands to work a lot of the apps) you could actually have a pretty good movie viewing experience on one of these.
The S20 Ultra's improved brightness also means improved outdoor visibility. This is something that Samsung's handsets have been improving on over the past few years, but the S20 Ultra takes it to another level, giving you sharp contrast on text and images even in the brightest sunlight.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra any good?
It's a good phone all right, with some of the best specs we've seen across a number of features. The quad camera system, including a 108MP wide camera, and 8K Video Snap are the headline-grabbers, but the upgraded AMOLED screen and top-notch security features underpin the S20 Ultra's credentials.
What colours does the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra come in?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra only comes in three main colours – Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, and Cloud White. There are a few extra colours but availability depends on your country and region.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G capable?
Yes, it is. And there are 5G deals available from some of the UK's biggest networks including EE, Three, Vodafone, O2, Sky Mobile, iD Mobile and Tesco Mobile.
How much does the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra cost?
The S20 Ultra is Samsung's latest flagship model, so to buy the handset outright at the time of writing is going to cost you upwards of £1,000. And you'll need a SIM-only deal on top of that. A much better option is to check out the pay monthly mobile deals at the top of this page.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra too big?
There's no denying that with its 6.9-inch screen, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is big. It's also 220 grams, making it heavier than the Note 10+. Samsung has packed a lot into this handset, but most people will need two hands to operate it.
What's the difference between the Samsung Galaxy, S20, the S20+ and the S20 Ultra?
There are some differences in the specs – the S20 and S20+ come with a 64MP camera as opposed to the S20 Ultra's 108MP – but the most obvious difference is the size. The S20 has a 6.3-inch display, the S20+ has a 6.7-inch screen while the S20 Ultra clocks in at 6.9 inches.
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