Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G (2020): Are The Upgrades Worth It?

Updated 24 March 2020: With 5G networks slowly spreading to more and more cities, getting a smartphone capable of harnessing its blazing speeds is a smart idea. Samsung’s first dedicated 5G device, the Galaxy S10 5G, was an impressive step, but the release of the Galaxy S20, which features built-in 5G connectivity for all three models, has cut its parade quite short. Below we cover the upgrades the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G received compared to last year’s Galaxy S10 5G.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
Samsung's latest flagship phone

Featuring a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind 64 MP camera, the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G lets you capture every moment. Featuring 30x Space Zoom, Bright Night, and Single Take AI, with 6.2" Infinity-O display and 120 Hz refresh rate.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20 5GSamsung Galaxy S10 5G
 Samsung Galaxy S20 5G - Cosmic GraySamsung Galaxy S10 - Prism Black
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Display120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Display60 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Display
Screen Size6.2″6.7″
Resolution3200 x 1440 pixels3040 x 1440 pixels
Pixel Density563 ppi505 ppi
Dimensions152 x 68 x 7.9 mm162.6 x 77.1 x 7.9 mm
Weight164 g198 g
CPUExynos 990 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 865Exynos 9820 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM12GB8GB
Storage128GB, 256GB256GB, 512GB
Rear Cameras12MP Wide, 64MP Telephoto, 12MP Ultra-Wide12MP Wide, 12MP Telephoto, 16MP Ultra-Wide, 3D Depth Camera
ZoomUp to 30X Digital ZoomUp to 10X Digital Zoom
Front Cameras10MP IMX 37410MP, 3D Depth Camera
VideoBack: up to 8K 30 fps
Front: up to 4K 60 fps
Back: up to 4K 60 fps
Front: up to 1080p 60 fps
Battery4000mAh4500mAh
Water ResistanceIP68IP68
Android VersionAndroid 10 with One UI 2.0Android 9 with One UI
MicroSDYesNo
3.5 mmNoYes
Colors43

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is larger and heavier than the Galaxy S20 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G Design
In a new branding move, Samsung made the Galaxy S20 (left) the smallest new model. In contrast, the Galaxy S10 5G (right) was the largest of the S10 series.

There are plenty of slight design differences between the Galaxy S20 5G and the S10 5G. First, all of the camera placements have shifted around. The selfie cameras of the S10 5G is now centered on the Galaxy S20, while the horizontally spread camera array at the back has been grouped up to the top left. It’s also been rumored that Samsung is dropping the Edge display that’s been a prominent feature of Galaxy S phones since the S6 Edge. As a result, expect a flatter 2.5D glass on the S20 5G similar to other current flagships.

There are only three color options for the Galaxy S10 5G, Crown Silver, Majestic Black and Royal Gold, and all of them have a distinctly premium vibe. Meanwhile, you get a nice mix of fun and corporate choices with the Galaxy S20: Cloud Pink, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black.

Size might be the biggest difference between these two Galaxy generations. Samsung decided to make the Galaxy S20 the smallest in the lineup, with the S20+ and S20 Ultra both being larger. In contrast, the Galaxy S10 5G is the largest among the four S10 phones. Still, its 6.7″ screen only matches that of the mid-sized model of the S20+.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has a bigger display but lower refresh rate and resolution than the Galaxy S20 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G Display
As impressive as the screen size and quality of the Galaxy S10 5G is, the higher refresh rate of the Galaxy S20 pushes it ahead.

As mentioned, the Galaxy S10 5G was designed to be the biggest in the S10 lineup while the new S20 5G is the smallest among its siblings. Well, that might be its only real edge over the new generation of Galaxy phones, which now sport Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays.

Samsung is doubling the maximum refresh rate of all S20 models to 120 Hz, which translates to even slicker interfaces. They will also have a higher maximum resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels compared to the 3040 x 1440 of the S10 5G. With a higher resolution and smaller 6.2″ display, the S20 5G will enjoy even crisper details with its 563 ppi vs the 505 ppi of the S10 5G.

The Korean tech giant also worked on enhancing its supersonic fingerprint sensor, and rumor was the new S20 would be capable of recognizing multiple fingerprints simultaneously. This could lead to improving phone security, such as requiring two fingerprints for financial transactions, for example. However, we were sorely disappointed to find out that the in-screen fingerprint sensors of the S20 are exactly the same ones on the S10 series.

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G will be faster than the Galaxy S10 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G Performance
There’s a new chipset powering the 2020 generation of Galaxy smartphones and it’s fast.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the new generation of devices outperforms the previous in terms of speed and power. While the Galaxy S10 5G is easily one of the fastest Android smartphones right now, the upcoming flagship line has been equipped with a more powerful system-on-chip. All Galaxy S20 5G models have either the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 990, which are straight upgrades from the Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820 of the S10 series.

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Samsung Galaxy S10
Powerful camera and intelligent features

Enjoy uninterrupted views with the Cinematic Infinity Display on the slim and streamlined Samsung Galaxy S10. Create and share memories to cherish with Single Take AI, Epic Shot, and Quick Share features.

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Qualcomm has provided us a taste of the speed we can expect from the Snapdragon 865. Last year their reference device posted benchmark scores that nearly matched the reigning fastest mobile device, the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Actual performance is slightly better, with at least 12GB of RAM in the S20 phones and only 8GB on the S10. There’s no question about the S20 being straight up faster than any S10 model here.

Another considerable advantage of the Galaxy S20 5G is it launches with Android 10.0 and OneUI 2.0. This lets it have all the latest goodies of the popular OS, and we’ve yet to see what Samsung has in store for their reskin’s next version. In comparison, the S10 5G still rocks on Android 9 Pie and OneUI. While software updates can bring that up to the latest versions, there might be a few new features only available to the S20 series.

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has more cameras than the Galaxy S20 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G Cameras
3D Depth Cameras on both the front and back of the Galaxy S10 5G enable Live focus video like the above.

Here’s where being top of the line really matters. As the most advanced model of its series, the Galaxy S10 5G features additional exclusive cameras such as the 3D Depth Cameras on both front and back. These time-of-flight sensors enhance photos and videos with crisper foreground and background focus, blurring the other smoothly. Meanwhile, as the smallest S20 model, the S20 5G doesn’t have ToF sensors like its bigger brothers do.

Still, Samsung is significantly improving the telephoto capabilities of the new Galaxy line. Their Telephoto lenses now use 64MP sensors and are capable of up to 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. This easily outshines the 12MP telephoto camera and 10x digital zoom of the S10 series. However, none of the new S20 models will have a ToF camera to pair with the front selfie camera though, so that’s something the S10 5G has to itself.

Video quality on the Galaxy S20 5G goes up a notch with up to 8K resolution at 30 fps, with selfie videos on 4K quality and 60 fps. In contrast, the S10 5G is capable of half that. New photography modes and extra features also further the S20’s lead over the S10. With an improved Night mode and more powerful zoom, along with enhanced image processing, you’ll get much better results with the newer S20 cameras.

Battery and Other Features

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has a bigger battery than the Galaxy S20 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G vs Galaxy S10 5G Battery
Battery capacity is another area where the Galaxy S10 5G trumps the rest of the S10 line.

The Galaxy S20 5G is equipped with a 4000mAh battery, the lowest capacity in the line. That’s still on par with the S10+ though, which was the biggest until the S10 5G came along. The 4500mAh battery of the S10 5G gives it enough juice to power ultra fast Internet connections all day, and we can expect it to hold up well even with power consumption tweaks on the new S20 devices.

Both smartphones start at 128GB internal storage, though the Galaxy S20 can only go up to 256GB while the S10 5G can have 512GB storage. However, you can easily expand the S20 with more memory since it retains the MicroSD slot while there’s none on the S10 5G.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is definitely worth picking over the Galaxy S10 5G.

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Samsung Galaxy S10
Powerful camera and intelligent features

Enjoy uninterrupted views with the Cinematic Infinity Display on the slim and streamlined Samsung Galaxy S10. Create and share memories to cherish with Single Take AI, Epic Shot, and Quick Share features.

Check Price at Sprint.com Check Price at Verizon.com
We are reader supported. When you buy through our links we may earn an affiliate commission.
Deal Finder
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
Samsung's latest flagship phone

Featuring a revolutionary, first-of-its-kind 64 MP camera, the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G lets you capture every moment. Featuring 30x Space Zoom, Bright Night, and Single Take AI, with 6.2" Infinity-O display and 120 Hz refresh rate.

Check Price at Sprint.com Check Price at Verizon.com
We are reader supported. When you buy through our links we may earn an affiliate commission.

With all of the big upgrades that the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G has over the S10 5G, it’s really easy to recommend opting for the new generation of Galaxy smartphones. If you’re after a 5G-capable phone, all of the S20 models will have it built-in, and they will almost certainly be faster and feature better cameras. It doesn’t help that the S10 5G is quite expensive, and pricing tiers will place the S20 5G at the lowest.

Still, if you want a price-dropped premium flagship phone that can give you blazing wireless speeds, there might be no better Android choice right now than the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. It has depth-sensing cameras not found on other S10 models, and it’s the biggest and most beefy of them all to boot.

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Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.