Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely ongoing evaluation: Let’s speak about digital camera, battery, that 6.9-inch display screen

Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely ongoing evaluation: Let’s speak about digital camera, battery, that 6.9-inch display screen


The Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely is a dear cellphone with energy options.

James Martin/CNET

After months of lockdown the place I reside, reviewing the Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely 5G has been an absolute blast. Samsung’s most superior cellphone for energy customers is pricey — it begins at $1,300 (£1,179, AU$1,894) for the 128GB mannequin — nevertheless it’s additionally full of options and has an arresting (some would possibly say divisive) design, all of which makes it enjoyable to discover. There have been some bumps alongside the best way — no cellphone is ideal — but in addition some very nice perks of utilizing a premium machine with a fantastically detailed 6.9-inch display screen.

My favourite approach to evaluation a cellphone is to reside reside with it and use it as naturally as potential. These are weird occasions, as a result of I can not go to the locations and do the issues I usually would when testing a cellphone’s options, like utilizing the Be aware 20 Extremely’s S Pen capabilities throughout conferences, taking pictures pictures of my buddies at night time or recording avenue performers to check the Extremely’s new professional video mode. It additionally would not assist that I reside fairly removed from my standard testing grounds.

In some methods this situation is the proper check of a cellphone in these occasions. Life is not the identical immediately and we do not understand how the ongoing coronavirus pandemic might completely change the best way folks work and reside. A do-everything machine for work and play makes good sense for our prepandemic occasions, however how does it match right into a world the place extra folks could earn a living from home and be much less socially energetic, significantly till there is a widespread vaccine?

Listed here are my prime observations up to now. Be aware that since that is an ongoing evaluation, so my impressions might change and deepen as time goes on. 

Galaxy Be aware 20 (128GB, $999)

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Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely (begins at 128GB, $1,299)

Order from Samsung | Verizon | AT&T | Xfinity Cellular | T-Cellular | US Mobile | Finest Purchase 


That Be aware 20 Extremely digital camera bump means enterprise.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Be aware 20 Extremely is additional large, particularly the digital camera bump

Every little thing about Samsung’s new cellphone is supersized, from the 6.9-inch display screen to the massive — and I imply HUGE — digital camera array on the again. It is 2 inches tall and over an inch large, and it juts out prominently. 

Samsung has finished a good job of creating this digital camera mount look as jaunty as potential, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not my favourite look, and when you do not use a case to spherical it out, I am involved that any drop or scrape will scratch the digital camera first. This has occurred to me with a cellphone earlier than, and my ultrawide pictures had been by no means good once more. Additionally, f you lay the Be aware 20 Extremely down, say on a tabletop, and write on the display screen, the digital camera mount will trigger the cellphone to rock.

For me, the Be aware 20 Extremely is a tad too large to comfortably slot in my fingers, and it towers comically out of my again pocket in a approach that might make a bystander nervous.

Though the display screen is large, which is terrific for studying of any type and watching video, I might level out that in immediately’s surroundings the place my laptop computer appears like an extension of my arm, I am extra more likely to observe a house exercise on the 13-inch laptop computer display screen as an alternative of on a cellphone.

Be aware 20 Extremely: What I like proper now

Colour: I can see why Samsung made mystic bronze its signature shade and swapped out a shiny end for a glossy, refined matte sheen. It is lustrous and understated with out being boring, and looks like far much less of a grease lure.

Informal pictures: Taking pictures is enjoyable. Photos are vivid and 5x optical zoom retains image high quality excessive sufficient to make me hold utilizing it. Ultrawide-angle pictures are all the time an awesome instrument to have within the photograph arsenal to supply dramatic impact. Sure, the Be aware 20 Extremely continues Samsung’s tendency to oversaturate some pictures, and 108-megapixel pictures can produce blended outcomes. Extra on this in my last evaluation. Total, I am proud of most of its pictures.

Zoom pictures is wanting higher: I am glad the Be aware 20 Extremely steps again from the Galaxy S20 Extremely’s 100x “area” zoom. My greatest shot at 50x AI-assisted zoom was one I lucked into (see above). It appears to be like good, however even with an onscreen viewfinder and a stabilizing pressure like a tripod, the picture jumps like loopy.

Display screen high quality: The display screen is 6.9 inches and, as all the time, vibrant and sensible. This was glorious for studying the information, watching movies and scrolling by way of pictures. See the flip facet to brightness beneath. For the reason that bezel’s so slim, I hold unintentionally urgent the edges of the cellphone (extra beneath), however the picture itself is terrific, even on the default FHD Plus setting of two,326×1,080 pixels (it goes as much as WQHD Plus, which is 3,088×1,440 pixels). 

Stylus tips: My favourite Galaxy Be aware instruments are right here, like taking a extremely exact screenshot utilizing the S Pen, utilizing the Be aware 20 Extremely’s magnifying instrument to learn on-line menus and too-small font (so easy), and simply making a display screen recording or GIF of a portion of the show. You may as well double-click the S Pen button to erase what you’ve got written. There are a number of extra apart from, like writing on prime of a PDF you may import into the notes app (sure!) and annotating a display screen. A brand new format within the Notes app makes it simpler to change amongst menu objects. 

Selfie shutter button: Taking a selfie utilizing the S Pen is a breeze while you press the stylus button with one hand with out having to stay your arm out at a clumsy angle or fear about dropping the cellphone. Face tone filters for selfies are a pleasant approach so as to add some heat or tone it down if an image is oversaturated. 

Telephone calls: Who makes use of a cellphone anymore? I do, particularly now that I take numerous work calls whereas out on a stroll. Each name has sounded nice in my space, each over mobile and through apps like WhatsApp and Slack. In fact, your scenario might differ relying on the service the place you reside, and the identical goes on your 4G or 5G connection.


The S Pen nice for display screen navigation, writing and any precision work like taking screenshots of precisely the half you want.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Be aware 20 Extremely options I am conserving a detailed eye on

Battery life: After an uneven first day, the Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely’s 4,500-mAh battery is behaving extra like how I would anticipate for a flagship cellphone — whew. On my heaviest day of use up to now, it was at 35% after 12 hours (which included an hour and a half of Google Maps navigation) and slowly drained to 16% by 7 a.m. This was utilizing the default 120Hz display screen setting with adaptive brightness and no battery optimization setting. I’ve now turned that on, so we’ll see the way it goes.

Edge contact rejection: I’ve began to note that the razor-thin bezels could also be interfering with how I take advantage of the Be aware 20 Extremely, particularly after I’m mendacity down on my again or facet, and particularly when typing. The notification shade will out of the blue begin sliding down as if I’ve summoned it, the sting display screen could come out or another problem would possibly interrupt my typing. It is not a deal breaker for me at this stage, however it’s one thing that is occurred most mornings and evenings. 

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First Look: Be aware 20 and Be aware 20 Extremely


It is heavy: After an particularly grueling day, I wished to veg out watching Netflix earlier than drifting off to sleep. After 10 minutes, my hand grew heavy making an attempt to carry up the cellphone. I switched to my cellphone stand, propping the Be aware 20 Extremely on the stand and placing the stand on my stomach. It wobbled and swayed each time I laughed. It even fell off as soon as. I lastly put the stand and cellphone on my nightstand and flipped to my facet to observe, till I bought a crick in my neck and known as it quits after about an hour. Nice sound and picture high quality, although.

The S Pen placement: It could be one thing I merely have to get used to, however up to now, the transfer from the precise facet of the cellphone to the left is not working all that effectively for me. There’s nothing inherently mistaken with the design, however for some purpose reaching for it appears like a chore. Did it transfer to accommodate the digital camera {hardware}? We’ll see if I heat as much as the adjustments because the assessments go on.

Nighttime display screen brightness: With the lights out, Android’s Wind Down mode on and the brightness slid to its lowest setting, the display screen is simply too vibrant to induce sleepiness. It is extra more likely to rev me up throughout middle-of-the-night wakeups than lull me again to sleep. I would like to see a extra aggressive midnight setting. 


The Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely has a vibrant, huge 6.9-inch show.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Wired headphones do not come within the field. My colleague Patrick Holland embraces this — and perhaps for you, it isn’t a giant deal as Samsung transitions customers to wi-fi earbuds like its Galaxy Buds Reside (aka Galaxy Beans). However the Galaxy Buds Reside price $170 and Samsung spent years touting the $99 worth of the wired headphones that got here within the field. For those who did not care all that a lot about getting wi-fi headphones (for instance, they all the time fall out of my ears or decide up wind noise exterior), you are mechanically shedding the $99 worth of the bundled headphones, plus the $170 or nonetheless a lot you wind up spending on one thing else. So when you do not have already got headphones you need to use, your price of possession simply went up.

It could get a little bit toasty. My CNET colleagues and I’ve observed the Be aware 20 Extremely appeared to each generate and dissipate numerous warmth — this has been a every day incidence. Nothing out of the unusual, simply an emanating heat that telephones (and laptops and different electronics) can get once they’re working exhausting. On a scorching summer season day, this hasn’t been probably the most nice sensation in my pocket and hand, however positively not a deal breaker.

There’s nonetheless a lot to see because the Be aware 20 Extremely begins to settle in as my every day cellphone for the following week. Preserve checking again as this evaluation develops daily. 

Be aware 20 cameras: 108MP, professional video mode, 8K video seize

The digital camera array is the place Samsung desires the Be aware 20 telephones, and particularly the Be aware 20 Extremely, to shine. It is taken a step again from the ostentation of the Galaxy S20 Extremely, which boasted a 100x House Zoom characteristic and a essential digital camera able to taking pictures a 108-megapixel photograph, to pay attention as an alternative on the thought of cropping in for extra element. 

Be aware 20 vs. Be aware 20 Extremely digital camera

Galaxy Be aware 20 Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely
Most important digital camera 12-megapixel (F1.8, Twin Pixel AF, OIS, 1.8μm, 79-degree FOV, 1/1.76 inch picture sensor) 108-megapixel (F1.8, OIS, 0.8μm, 79-degree FOV, 1/1.33 inch picture sensor)
Ultrawide angle 12-megapixel (F2.2, 1.4μm, 120-degree FOV) 12-megapixel (F2.2, 1.4μm, 120-degree FOV)
Telephoto 64-megapixel (F2.0, 0.8μm, 76-degree FOV) 12-megapixel (F3.0, 1.0μm, 20-degree FOV)
Entrance-facing digital camera 10-megapixel (F2.2, 1.22μm, 80-degree FOV) 10-megapixel (F2.2, 1.22μm, 80-degree FOV)
Zoom 3x hybrid 5x optical
Tremendous Zoom 30x 50x
Laser auto-focus sensor No Sure
Video seize 8K 8K

Samsung nonetheless gave the Be aware 20 Extremely an 108-megapixel digital camera possibility — you faucet it to show it on while you need the total decision. In relation to zoom, the Be aware 20 falls again to 50x zoom, with the Be aware 20 settling in at 30x. 

It is fascinating to see Samsung backtrack like this, however the firm appears to be responding to suggestions that the S20 Extremely was too costly and its 100x zoom wasn’t ok or helpful sufficient to justify the value.

The Be aware 20 Extremely has 5x optical zoom, although the digital camera shortcut instruments make it simpler to choose 2x and 4x zoom earlier than leaping to 10, 20 and 50x zoom settings. You possibly can go extra granular by pinching and zooming within the viewfinder. 

Quicker autofocus within the Be aware 20 Extremely can be designed to offer it an edge over the usual Be aware 20, so you may snap pictures of squirmy pets, amusing facial expressions and flapping hummingbirds quicker, with out lacking the shot. 

A professional video mode packs in additional guide instruments and choices for capturing footage, which ought to make aspiring moviemakers completely satisfied. This has been one among Samsung’s weaker areas for a number of years, in contrast with the newest iPhone. Just like the Galaxy S20 Extremely, each telephones help 8K video seize. Simply remember, it will make video recordsdata monumental on and off your cellphone. We’re nonetheless testing this mode and we’ll additionally give attention to it in a separate digital camera deep dive.

Supporting writing is one thing Galaxy Be aware telephones do greatest.

Richard Peterson/CNET

The Be aware 20 Extremely has a brand new S Pen stylus and word app tips

What would the Galaxy Be aware be with out its stylus? For loyalists, scribbling, navigating and annotating are a part of the cellphone’s allure. So is the truth that the Notes app permits you to do all the above. Listed here are the most recent options for each Be aware 20 fashions.

New S Pen gesture navigation: Pointing the pen tip away out of your physique (and at a distance from the cellphone), press and maintain the stylus button whereas making one among 5 new gestures to return, go house, open a current app or take a screenshot with Sensible Choose. You may as well squiggle the pen to seize the complete display screen.

The S Pen is extra responsive on the Be aware 20 Extremely when the 120Hz display screen possibility is on.

Handwriting recognition will get higher, with instruments together with autostraighten. 

Samsung Notes will get reside auto-syncing in the end. This can retailer a word within the cloud so that you can entry from some other machine — so long as you are signed in to a Samsung account.

Connect and time-sync voice recordings: You will get your voice word to sync with what you write so it will play again from the time you point out the phrase.

Import a PDF to annotate or spotlight: As a substitute of printing out a web page or downloading it to signal after which add or ship out once more, you may merely mark your signature and export it again.

Different Be aware 20 options and goodies

  • UWB help for sharing recordsdata like a digital key. Level to share with different Samsung gadgets utilizing UWB. 
  • Help for Google’s Close by Share.
  • 120Hz refresh fee by default, with an choice to flip into 60Hz to save lots of battery life.
  • New Gorilla Glass Victus on either side.
  • Colours: Mystic bronze shade (matte), mystic black and mystic white (shiny).
  • Xbox Recreation Cross Final offers you entry to over 100 video games you may play on the fly. 
  • Samsung’s Microsoft partnership: Drag-and-drop and syncing from Home windows gadgets and apps to your Samsung cellphone, together with notes and reminders.
  • Samsung DeX, the imaginative and prescient for changing your pc along with your cellphone, now allows you to join to a different display screen wirelessly to view your content material, say in your TV display screen in your lounge. 
  • You possibly can pair a Galaxy Be aware 20 with the brand new Galaxy Buds Reside to activate noise cancellation. Within the taped demo I noticed, you continue to hear numerous static and distortion, nevertheless it did reduce out interfering conversations.

Be aware 20 and Be aware 20 Extremely specs

Galaxy Be aware 20 vs. Be aware 20 Extremely

Samsung Galaxy Be aware 20 Samsung Galaxy Be aware 20 Extremely
Show dimension, decision 6.7 inches; 2,400×1,080 pixels 6.9 inches; 3,088×1,440 pixels
Pixel density 393 ppi 496 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 6.36×2.96×0.33 in 6.49×3.04×0.31 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 161.6×75.2×8.3mm 164.8×77.2×8.1mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 6.84 oz, 194g 7.33 oz, 208g
Cellular software program Android 10 Android 10
Digicam 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 108-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digital camera 10-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video seize 8K 8K
Processor Snapdragon 865 Plus Snapdragon 865 Plus
Storage 128GB 128GB, 512GB
Expandable storage No As much as 1TB
Battery 4,300 mAh 4,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen
Connector USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack No No
Particular options S Pen stylus; 5G connectivity; Wi-fi PowerShare; water resistant (IP68) 5x optical zoom, UWB sharing, S Pen stylus; 5G connectivity; Wi-fi PowerShare; water resistant (IP68)
Worth off-contract (USD) $1,000 $1,300 (128GB); $1,450 (512GB)
Worth (GBP) £849 £1,179
Worth (AUD) AU$1,499 AU$1,849

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