The Samsung S20 lineup was quite an improvement from its predecessor S10 lineup. The S20 Ultra released features we have not seen from any device to date, including the impressive 100x zoom (Space Zoom) and a 108 megapixel main camera, putting it at the top of the list for smart phones. If size is not your thing, the S20 still comes packed with a 12 megapixel camera and great battery life. The storage space is also more then adequate. All of the S20 series comes with 128gb of storage. The Plus and the Ultra have the option of 128/512gb storage options, and all of them have the ability of using up to 1tb of expandable storage.
The Samsung S20 Ultra comes in at a whopping 6.9-inch display. If a large display is not your thing, the S20 has a 6.2-inch display, and the S20 Plus has 6.7-inch display. All the S20 variants come set default at 120Hz refresh rate. However, you will get a better battery life reducing the frame rate to 60Hz. The Ultra will have a slight reduction in the resolution, but with the increased frame rate, not enough to notice a difference.
Doing a side by side, the Ultra’s camera clearly wins: a 108 megapixel rear facing camera, and a 40 megapixel front facing camera, not to mention the rear facing cameras 100x Zoom, labeled Space Zoom by Samsung because of its unbelievable zoom capabilities. I find the Space Zoom to a little gimmicky. The stabilization requires a tripod for any kind of clarity, and the image ends up still blurry. All in all, it’s a step ahead and the standard cameras we see from its competition.
The S20 and S20 plus still came with a 12 megapixel main camera. It is not as impressive as 108 megapixel, but the quality is still better then most other flagship devices. You will still find Samsung’s artificial color enhancements on all of its S20 lineup, something Samsung has not perfected yet.
The Network: 5G?
All 3 S20 devices are shipped from the factory with 5G capabilities. The S20 Plus and S20 Ultra support the super fast 5G data transfer called millimeter wave, also known as mmWave. The Galaxy S20 uses 5G, but a different form of 5G called Sub-6. This is a slower speed then the 5G that the S20 Plus and Ultra are equipped with, but it is still much faster then the 4G we all know.
Verizon is an exception to this. Verizon announced that they would release a special variant of the S20 device that will support the mmWave network out of the box.
The different speed types are noticeable as 5G becomes more accessible globally. I have personally tested 5G here in the Tampa Bay area. The connectivity is spotty for sure. If you are lucky enough to be in an area that has 5G coverage, you will notice the difference. I will post results here shortly.
Should I buy an Carrier Unlocked device Vs. Locked?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 typically comes locked to the carrier that it was purchased from. The only other official option to obtain an unlocked model is by ordering it on the Samsung site directly, or from a third party. Verizon used to be the case where they shipped their phones unlocked, but that has since changed. I am still waiting on confirmation if the US Cellular model is shipped unlocked.
What to look for when buying from a third party?
Buying a Samsung Galaxy S20 from a third party source has many benefits over buying directly from the store. Unless a device has been water damaged, there isn't much else that should be wrong with it that can not be seen with some basic checks before handing over your hard earned cash.
Aside from the apparent physical damage, first thing is check the IMEI. The IMEI can typically be checked directly on the carriers website. The IMEI could have numerous statuses, from being blocked for fraud, lost or stolen, and/or financial block. We will have a write up soon that goes more in depth on that and how to check the devices IMEI. Its best to bring an active sim card other then your own to test the device on the spot. This is the best way to test if the device is unlocked. If the device is locked, please use the following service to carrier unlock the device.
Next thing to check would be the S20's camera.
If there is or was ever any issues with the devices camera, an error would display during its functionality. Use the front camera and rear camera, pan out and in using the zoom. Try portrait mode. Dont forget to take a picture. If there is any problem with the devices camera, you would know it from doing these basic tests.
Try charging the device, make sure the charging port is functional. I would even go as far as bringing a laptop with you to ensure the data portion of the port is not damaged.
If there is any of damage that was not disclosed when discussing the sale, or prior to buying online, then you should either decline the sale, or offer a lower price, if you are ok with accepting the damages.
Using these practices will not guarantee that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the device. It will reduce any possibilities of these issues coming up in the future. Should you find yourself running into an issue with the IMEI being bad or blacklisted, please use our guaranteed service to repair the IMEI. We suggest reading our guide on how to check the IMEI and repair the IMEI with a clean IMEI if needed (coming soon).