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Galaxy S20 5G vs iPhone 11 (2021): Which Base Smartphone Model is Better?

Updated 25 March 2020: The Galaxy S20 5G is Samsung’s base model in its recently launched 5G smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S20 5G, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra. We compare the base models of Samsung’s and Apple’s flagship series, the Galaxy S20 5G and iPhone 11, to see how they fare against each other.

Galaxy S20 5G vs iPhone 11 Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20 5GApple iPhone 11
Galaxy S20iphone 11
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price 
Display120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display60 Hz Liquid Retina HD LCD display
Screen Size6.2″6.1”
Resolution3200 x 1440 pixels1792 x 828 pixels
Pixel Density563 ppi326 PPI
Dimensions151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
Weight163 g194 grams
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 865A13 Bionic chip with
Neural Engine
Storage128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Expandable StorageUp to 1TBNo
Rear Cameras64MP Telephoto, 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra-Wide12MP Ultra Wide and Wide
ZoomUp to 3X Optical Zoom and 30X Digital ZoomUp to 2x Optical Zoom and 5x Digital Zoom
Front Cameras10MP12MP Smart HDR
VideoRear: up to 8K 24 fps
Front: up to 4K 60 fps
Rear: Up to 4K at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
Front: Up to 4K at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
Face IDYesYes
Battery4000mAh3110 mAh
Battery LifeVaries depending on settingsVideo Playback: Up to 17 hours
Video Streaming: Up to 10 hours
Audio Playback: Up to 65 hours
Wireless ChargingCompatibleCompatible
Water ResistanceIP68IP68 
Android VersionAndroid 10.0 with One UI 2.0N/A
ColorsCosmic Grey
Cloud Blue
Cloud Pink


The Galaxy S20 has a slightly larger display than the iPhone 11

Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 (left) comes in three colors while the iPhone 11 (right) has more color choices

The Galaxy S20 sports a 6.2-inch display, the smallest screen size among the S20 series recently unveiled by Samsung. The iPhone 11’s 6.1-inch display is slightly smaller. With dimensions of 152 by 68 by 7.9 mm, the Galaxy S20 is slightly taller but a lot slimmer than the iPhone 11 that measures 150.9 by 75.7 by 8.3 mm. This slimmer body makes it easier to hold the Galaxy S20 and alleviates the need for a phone ring holder.

Both the Galaxy S20 and the iPhone 11 sport an aluminum frame and a glass back design. Their all-screen design got rid of the physical control buttons which can now only be found on the side of the handsets. To achieve their thin bezels, both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 do not have the traditional headphone jack anymore.

Their rear cameras are both located at the upper left corner, with the Galaxy S20 sporting one more than the iPhone 11’s dual camera. Unlike the high-end iPhone 11 Pro series, the base model iPhone 11 offers a wide array of vibrant colors such as red, yellow, white, black, green, and purple. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is launched three colors: cloud blue, cloud pink, and cosmic gray.


The Samsung Galaxy S20 has a better panel with its higher resolution, pixel density, and refresh rate than the Apple iPhone 11.

The Galaxy S20 comes with 563 ppi while the iPhone 11 has 326 ppi

Equipped with a 120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, the Galaxy S20 sports the same display as the top-end models from the S20 line-up. This is a significant upgrade from the iPhone 11’s 60 Hz Liquid Retina HD display as it is only an LCD screen.

Their pixel density and resolution are also remarkably different. The Galaxy S20’s resolution is 3200 by 1440 pixels with a density of 563 pixels per inch (ppi), whereas the iPhone 11’s pixel density is only 326 ppi for its 1792 by 828-pixel resolution. Using them side by side will show a noticeable difference as the colors in the Galaxy S20 look brighter than the iPhone 11’s.

Although Apple devices are consistently very touch-responsive and have smooth panels, the smoothness of the Galaxy S20’s 120 Hz refresh rate can’t be matched by the iPhone 11’s 60 Hz refresh rate. We’ll have to wait and see whether Apple will double its refresh rate once it releases its 2020 iPhone models.


Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 are powerful smartphones, but the Galaxy S20 supports 5G and loads applications slightly faster

Expect unrivaled connection speeds with 5G networks

Apple’s custom-built A13 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 11 series was the fastest and most powerful processor when it was launched in the fall of 2019. The Galaxy S20 5G processor challenged that with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Giving the Galaxy S20 5G further advantage is its 12 GB RAM. iPhone’s 4GB RAM has difficulty competing with that.

While both the Galaxy S20 5G and the iPhone 11 load applications fast, using them side by side will show that the Galaxy S20 can boot and load applications slightly faster.

As Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 supports 5G, the Galaxy S20 5G can also be used with major carriers that have rolled out their 5G networks. This means better video streaming, gaming, and overall much faster download and upload speeds. Loyal iPhone users will have to keep their eyes peeled on whether Apple will release handsets that support 5G during its 2020 event. Currently, none of the iPhone devices are 5G-capable.


The Samsung Galaxy S20 has three rear cameras and can capture 8K videos while the Apple iPhone 11 only has two that can take up to 4K videos.

galaxy s20 vs iphone 11
Both these smartphones’ cameras can produce high-resolution photos with crisp details and blurred backgrounds

The iPhone 11 is equipped with dual 12MP ultra-wide and wide cameras that let you capture more space even from a closer distance. The Galaxy S20 also has 12MP wide and ultra-wide cameras like the iPhone, but it kicks it up a notch with its 64MP telephoto and better zooming capabilites.

When you compare photos taken through the S20 and iPhone 11 side by side, you’ll notice that the Galaxy S20’s colors look more accurate than the iPhone 11’s, especially when using their portrait mode. iPhone tends to make skin tone look redder than it actually is. With that said, when taking photos with still subjects in the daylight, both deliver great results despite the iPhone having only two cameras. When it comes to taking nighttime photos though, the Galaxy S20 5G does it better.

Their front cameras can capture 4K videos for up to 60fps and both deliver beautiful quality videos. As for their rear cameras, the iPhone 11’s can record 4K videos, whereas the Galaxy S20 can capture stunning quality 8K videos for up to 24 fps. Just a caveat, you will need to mount the S20 5G on a tripod or a gimbal stabilizer if you want to film 8K videos as the 24 fps makes it shaky if you don’t. When filming 4K videos, the iPhone 11 has better stabilization, but the Galaxy S20 5G works better with low light and delivers clearer audio.

Meanwhile, selfie-loving smartphone users will benefit from these handsets’ high-resolution front cameras. The Galaxy S20 is equipped with a 10MP front camera while the iPhone 11 comes with a 12MP front camera that can do a ‘slofie,’ a slow-motion selfie. As mentioned earlier, the iPhone’s camera tends to make the skin look a bit redder, something that doesn’t happen on the Galaxy S20 5G.

Battery and Additional Features

Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 are IP68-rated, but the Galaxy S20 5G offers a larger battery capacity

Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 (in photo) are dust and water-resistant

For longer usage hours, powerful processors should be paired with a large enough battery capacity. The Galaxy S20 5G is equipped with a 4000 mAh battery while the iPhone 11 with a slightly smaller 3110 mAh battery. Even with the Galaxy S20’s 120 Hz refresh rate on, it still performs slightly better than the iPhone 11.

Removing the headphone jack in the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 paved the way not just for thinner frames, but for waterproof features as well. IP68-rated, both handsets can withstand splashes, rain, dust, and submersions for up to a certain depth. However, even with the same IP rating, they are designed to survive different depth levels. The iPhone 11 can be submerged for up to a depth of two meters while the Galaxy S20 is water-resistant for up to 1.5 meters of freshwater.

In addition to the better battery, the S20 trumps the iPhone 11 when it comes to offline storage. Smartphone users who need a lot of space for their photos and videos will appreciate the Galaxy S20’s optional expandable storage of up to 1TB in addition to its 128GB internal storage. On the other hand, the absence of external storage slots on the iPhone 11 is consistent with all Apple smartphones. The iPhone 11 comes in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options.


The Galaxy S20 is packed with more features and better cameras and offers overall better value for your money than the iPhone 11

Both the Galaxy S20 5G and the iPhone 11 are powerful, reliable smartphones whose cameras and processors are still better than most smartphones in their class. With that said, we’ll have to choose the Galaxy S20 5G as even though their regular price is 999 USD, they typically go on sale at 200 USD cheaper than their launch price.

On the other hand, the Apple iPhone 11 starts at 699 USD, even much cheaper if you have an iPhone you can trade. Price tags aside, go for the Galaxy S20 5G if you’re after an additional camera with higher resolution, expandable storage, longer battery, and want a 5G-compatible device. If you already have an Apple ecosystem, then the iPhone 11 is a no-brainer.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.