As expected, yesterday Samsung announced the new Galaxy S20 series of smartphones, with three models that will include 5G wireless capabilities. Amazingly, 5G isn't even the biggest feature. In fact, it's a little confusing--but we'll get to that in a minute. In reality, everything about the S20 is essentially the current Galaxy S10 models taken to the extreme.

For example, they have better screens, bigger batteries, more powerful processors, and dramatically improved cameras. That's the biggest news--Samsung has clearly gone all-in on the cameras on these new devices.


Samsung may have gotten tired of everyone talking about the cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro, or the Google Pixel 4. That's the message I take away from the fact that Samsung has seriously stepped up the cameras on these new phones. For example, the S20 and S20 Plus include 12MP wide and ultra-wide cameras, as well as a 64MP telephoto camera.

That high-resolution telephoto is what makes the 30X digital zoom, which Samsung calls Super Res Zoom. Essentially it simply crops the image, but since it's such a high res photo to start with, the result ends up being far more usable than what you find on other cameras.

The S20 Ultra is even more impressive, with a 108MP wide-angle lens, and a 48MP telephoto. That gives it the ability to create 100X Super Res Zoom photos. It also has a 40MP selfie camera. One note is that all of those cameras will shoot 12MP images by default, but take advantage of the higher pixel count when needed for the digital zoom feature. Oh, and all of the new models will shoot 8K video.

Finally, the 10MP selfie camera has been moved to the top center of the display, instead of the right corner, similar to the current design for the Note 10.


Each of the models features a 120Hz refresh rate. To simply it, that means that they refresh the display 120 times per second. As a result, animations and scrolling are far smoother than standard 60Hz displays.

Interestingly, unlike other displays that automatically adjust the refresh rate based on what you're doing, the S20 simply has the option to switch between the two. While the higher rate will reduce the battery by about 10 percent, all three models have large enough batteries that you probably won't notice. 


At some point, 5G starts to feel a little bit like something we keep waiting for, but we're not actually sure is real. This year could be the year that it starts to feel real for people, and the Galaxy S20 could be a big reason why. That said, it is a little confusing because not all 5G is created equal. There are actually two different types--the fast kind, and the really fast kind. 

The S20 lacks the really fast kind, known as millimeter-wave technology (mmWave). Instead, it includes what is known as sub-6 GHz. It's still fast, but you won't see those ultra-fast 1GB/S speeds you've been hearing about. To get that, you'll have to spring for either the S20 Plus or the S20 Ultra. 

Still, the availability of 5G in all three flagship devices from Samsung means that far more users will have access to faster mobile networks. And, while carriers are still building out their networks outside of major metro areas, that means that 2020 might actually be the year that 5G becomes more than just hype and changes everything from video streaming to the way we work.

Here are the complete specs for the three models, which are available for preorder on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint starting February 21:

Galaxy S20:

  • 6.2-inch display

  • 128 GB internal storage

  • 3 rear cameras: 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra-wide and 64MP Telephoto

  • 10MP Selfie camera

  • $999

Galaxy S20 Plus:

  • 6.7-inch display

  • 128 GB or 512 GB internal storage

  • 3 rear cameras: 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra-wide and 64MP Telephoto

  • 10MP Selfie camera

  • Up to 30x digital zoom

  • $1,199 or $1,299

Galaxy S20 Ultra:

  • 6.9-inch display

  • 128 GB or 512 GB internal storage

  • 3 rear cameras: 108MP Wide-angle, plus 48MP Telephoto and 12MPUltra-Wide

  • 10MP Selfie camera

  • Up to 100x zoom

  • $1,399 or $1,599