Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G (2020): It’s All In The Cameras

Updated 25 March 2020: Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S20 has hit the shelves, bringing some serious camera and performance upgrades for fans. We compare its three 5G models with each other to help you decide which to get if you’re shopping for a new premium phone. Here’s a side-by-side look at the larger variants, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G and the Galaxy S20+ 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G Comparison Chart

ModelSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5GSamsung Galaxy S20+ 5G
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Cosmic BlackSamsung Galaxy S20+ Cosmic Grey
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Display120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Display120 Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED Display
Screen Size6.9″6.7″
Resolution3200 x 1440 pixels3200 x 1440 pixels
Pixel Density511 ppi525 ppi
Dimensions167 x 76 x 8.8 mm162 x 74 x 7.8 mm
Weight221 g188 g
CPUExynos 990 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 865Exynos 990 / Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM12GB/16GB12GB/16GB
Storage128GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB
Rear Cameras108MP Wide, 48MP Telephoto, 12MP Ultra-Wide, ToF Camera12MP Wide, 64MP Telephoto, 12MP Ultra-Wide, ToF Camera
ZoomUp to 10X Optical Zoom and 100X Digital ZoomUp to 3X Optical Zoom and 30X Digital Zoom
Front Cameras40MP10MP IMX 374
VideoBack: up to 8K 30 fps
Front: up to 4K 60 fps
Back: up to 8K 30 fps
Front: up to 4K 60 fps
Battery5000mAh4500mAh
Water ResistanceIP68IP68
Android VersionAndroid 10.0 with One UI 2.0Android 10.0 with One UI 2.0
MicroSDYesYes
3.5 mmNoNo
ColorsCosmic Black, Cosmic GrayCosmic Black, Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue

Design

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is bigger and heavier than the Galaxy S20+ 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G Design
Though the Galaxy S20 Ultra (left) is only slightly bigger than the Galaxy S20+ (right), you’ll feel the difference in your hands. (Credit: Ishan Agarwal)

Samsung made sure that any product they’re tagging with “Ultra” deserves it. The Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is huge, featuring the biggest display on a Samsung smartphone yet. It’s also packing some serious heft, making you wonder how long it would take your hand to feel some strain from holding it. As the mid-sized model, the Galaxy S20+ 5G looks and feels large, while being as thin as the smallest S20.

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Aside from size differences, all Samsung Galaxy S20 models look identical in front. A tiny punch hole sits at the top center of the touchscreen, shifting from its previous top right location in the previous generation. Its bezels are slimmer than ever, almost like the Note 10 Plus, so you’ll get as much screen real estate as you want. Flip it over and look at their backs though and you’ll discover a big dissimilarity.

No longer are the camera arrays in the middle, as they’ve nearly always been on Galaxy smartphones, they’re now in the top left, and are bigger and more prominent than before. Moreover, the sensor panel on the Galaxy S20 Ultra is a lot wider than that of the S20+, due to a more impressive telescopic lens.

Build quality also sees further improvement, as all S20 models have an IP68 rating. They’re water resistant up to 5 meters, a nice step up from the previous limits of 1.5 meters. You’ll also be able to select between four different color options: Cloud Pink, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Grey and Cosmic Black.

Display

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G has a larger display but smaller pixel density than the Galaxy S20+ 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G Display
Each of the Samsung Galaxy S20 models sport the same resolution and max refresh rate. (Credit: OnLeaks, Pricebaba)

Samsung equips the same Dynamic AMOLED display technology and functionalities in each Galaxy S20 model. They have a maximum resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels and are capable of a 120 Hz refresh rate. Finally, Galaxy smartphones can go toe-to-toe with other Android flagships in offering this smooth and responsive interface to users. Note that resolution drops down from WQHD to 2400 x 1080 FHD+ when in 120 Hz to save battery life.

With similar resolutions and different display sizes, the pixel densities between Galaxy S20 phones differ. The 6.7″ Galaxy S20+ has a slightly higher 525 ppi compared to the 511 ppi of the 6.92″ Galaxy S20 Ultra. Actual sharpness will be pretty tough for the naked eye to discern, but even with the lower FHD+ resolution these are still crisper than most current flagship smartphones.

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The Galaxy S20’s Premium Hole Infinity Display has a much smaller cutout for the front camera and the screen reaches the edges of the sides. Samsung also kept the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor under its touchscreen, though users are reporting some issues regarding its speed and coverage, which will be addressed in an upcoming update.

Performance

Both Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G and Galaxy S20+ 5G have the same processing power.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G Performance
All S20 models will use chipsets depending on region, although the Galaxy S20 Ultra is available in a 16GB RAM variant.

Just like in previous Galaxy phones, Samsung arms the S20 with a different chipset depending on region. North America will receive Galaxy S20 units with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, while the rest of the world will get the Exynos 990. Both chip systems provide comparable processing power, and they’ll utilize 12GB RAM across all three models. There’s a 16GB RAM variant for the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G though, which pushes it ahead of the pack.

As to actual performance, the Snapdragon 865 is very impressive. Interestingly, it almost reached the benchmark scores of the current fastest mobile gun in the west, the iPhone 11 Pro Max which has Apple’s latest A13 Bionic chip. The Galaxy S20 certainly claims the Android crown at the moment, with up to a 20% performance increase over the previous Galaxy S10 series.

The S20 has the latest Android 10 Pie and One UI 2.0. There are additional software features added for the Galaxy S20, such as Quick Share, an AirDrop-like file sharing functionality for Galaxy devices. You can get 5G connectivity in all Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered models, as it’s one of the built-in features of the chipset.

Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G has more powerful cameras than the Galaxy S20+ 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G Cameras
You can just make out the Space Zoom 100X etched out on the camera hump of the Galaxy S20 Ultra (left).

One of the top highlights of the new Galaxy S20 series are its cameras. Samsung piled upgrades on nearly every sensor, especially on the larger Galaxy S20 Ultra. It has the highest MP selfie camera on a Samsung phone ever, courtesy of a 40MP sensor using the brand’s ISOCELL tech. Meanwhile the front camera of the smaller S20 models is a 10MP Sony IMX 374, the same one on the Galaxy Note 10 and S10.

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The rear main cameras further widen the gap between the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the S20+. While both feature a 12MP Ultra-Wide sensor and Time of Flight (ToF) camera, the S20 Ultra sports a massive 108MP primary Wide camera versus the 12MP Wide lens of the S20+. It will use pixel binning technology to create larger pixels and reduce signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in better images in low light conditions.

Perhaps even more impressive is the Telephoto lens on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It’s only 48MP compared to the 64MP of the S20+, but it’s capable of up to 10x optical zoom, letting you close in on subjects much nearer than the 3x optical zoom of the latter. It uses a periscope lens system to go up to 30x hybrid zoom and 100x digital zoom, which is exactly as impressive as it sounds. Etched at the back right beside this sensor is the words “Space Zoom 100X” just to remind you what it’s capable of.

The Space Zoom term also alludes to enhanced nighttime and sky photography features added by Samsung. The company has been making strides towards sharper dark and low light images and this is its best attempt yet. All Galaxy S20 models feature the same new photography features, such as QuickTake and Single Take AI.

Battery and Other Features

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

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Galaxy S20+ 5G Battery and Other Features
Samsung will also be releasing protective cases such as these during the Galaxy S20 launch. (Credit: Ishan Agarwal)

Given the upgraded cameras, more powerful chipsets and larger displays of the Galaxy S20 5G models, all three are packing bigger batteries than the previous generation. The S20 Ultra has a 5000mAh pack while the S20+ has a 4500mAh battery. Note that using the 120 Hz refresh rate consumes battery charge faster, so you need to keep that in mind if you won’t be able to recharge it for a while.

Owing to the larger images you’ll accumulate with the S20 Ultra’s cameras, the largest Galaxy S20 will come in 128GB and 512GB internal storage sizes. Meanwhile, the smaller S20 models will only be able to go up to 256GB. Fortunately, Samsung will be leaving in a MicroSD slot for expandable storage of up to 1TB.

Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of the 3.5 mm headphone jack, which will no longer be present in this year’s release. An early adopter promotion for the Galaxy S20, which looks to commence after the Galaxy Unpacked reveal event, bundles the Galaxy Buds+ for free on pre-orders of the S20 Ultra and S20+ from select regions.

Verdict

Get the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G if you want the best cameras that Samsung will offer this year, otherwise, the Galaxy S20+ .

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Cosmic Black

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20+ Cosmic Grey

The clear best reason to splurge for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G is its cameras. They boast spectacular numbers and the results are comparable to the best that you can get with Apple and Google’s devices. Of course, we can’t fail to mention its gigantic display, though it can be tough for those with smaller hands. Still, the biggest thing that will make you pause from grabbing the S20 Ultra instantly is its price, which will likely be worth it only if you’re able to capitalize on its strengths.

As such, we’d recommend the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G for the greater majority. It’s tagged at a more reasonable price range, especially with the ongoing $200 price cut that Samsung is currently offering it at. You get topnotch cameras and performance to go toe-to-toe with other flagships, and the display isn’t that much smaller than the Ultra’s but it’s still plenty large for practical use.

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

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