13 things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S20 series

Samsung raises the bar for other mobile manufacturers with the new and improved Galaxy S20 series. Three mobile phones that together bring 5G to the wider masses, offer a 108-megapixel super camera and enter the gaming world with fast 120Hz displays.

If you look beyond all the great features that Samsung talks about the most, there are some interesting and noteworthy things you should know before you pay for your Galaxy S20, S20 Plus or S20 Ultra. Here is a list of lesser known things about the new Galaxy S20 series.

1. The first mobile phones with the official USB Fast Charger certification

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series is the first with the official USB Fast Charger certification. The certification means that the phones support Programmable Power Supply (PPS) which will ensure better management of the heat generated when fast charging occurs, and optimal charging with compatible wireless chargers. The Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus both handle fast charging with 25W while the S20 Ultra supports up to 45W.

2. The Samsung Galaxy S20 does not fully support 5G

All three Galaxy S20 Series models have 5G support, but the smallest Galaxy S20 model differs slightly from its more expensive sibling models. The Galaxy S20 only supports the most common Sub-6 technology, while the Galaxy S20 Plus and Ultra also support mmWave. The difference between them is that the Sub-6 has a lower speed than mmWave, but in return can handle longer distances and is not affected as much by obstacles such as walls. The reason why the Galaxy S20 does not support mmWave is because the phone cannot accommodate the two additional antennas needed, it’s simply too small.

3. The Galaxy S20 series 120Hz display is a real drain on the battery

The Galaxy S20 series display can run in both 60Hz and 120Hz. The latter is a so-called high-speed mode that is useful when, for example, you want to game and want as soft and smooth picture as possible. It can be tempting to run at 120Hz all the time, but keep in mind that battery life is reduced a lot and the screen resolution is lowered from 3,200 x 1,440 to 2,400 x 1,080 pixels in high-speed mode.

4. The first updates to the Galaxy S20 fix camera problems

When reviewers tested the Galaxy S20 series, it was noted that the phones suffered from serious camera problems. Among other things, the autofocus was so unreliable that some people had difficulty photographing with their Galaxy S20 phone. Samsung listened to the criticism and the software updates have solved the problems.

5. 8K video takes up 600MB of space - every minute!

When you record 8K video, you get a razor-sharp and detailed image with four times higher resolution than most TVs and mobile phones today. Great if you value quality, but bear in mind that every minute of 8K video takes up the full 600MB of storage on the phone. If you record a lot of videos in the highest resolution, you should buy a memory card or choose a variant of the Galaxy S20 with more storage.

6. Save 33 megapixel photos from your 8K videos

If you record videos in the highest 8K resolution with your Galaxy S20, you can extract high resolution 33 megapixel photos from the videos. It’s a higher resolution than most conventional cameras can handle today, and makes it a little easier to choose between still photography and video recording when you are unsure of what is best. Just keep in mind that video recording in 8K resolution comes with a high cost.

7. Videos can’t zoom to 100x

When taking photos with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the maximum range is 100x when zooming in good light conditions. With video recording, you don't reach that number. Instead, you are limited to only 20x if you have a Galaxy S20 Ultra and record videos. With the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus, the range is further reduced and stays at just 13x.

8. Video calling with Duo works in full-HD

Samsung and Google have a collaboration that allows the Duo video calling app to stream in full-HD, which was previously only possible with Google's Pixel series. Google Duo is a simple and convenient video service for sending video messages or streaming video calls between mobile phones and smart screens, such as with the Google Nest series.

9. You can lock apps and games in the internal memory

All Galaxy S20 mobile phones come with 12GB of internal memory. That's more than many laptops and the high volume allows Samsung to give users a little more freedom than before. Amongst other things, it’s now possible to lock specific apps and games in the internal memory. Because the internal memory is much faster than the usual storage, the locked apps also load much faster when needed.

10. The Galaxy S20 Ultra can't handle true slow motion at 960fps

All three models of the Galaxy S20 series can record slow motion videos at 960fps. However, only the two cheaper variants are capable of true 960fps. The Galaxy S20 Ultra can only handle true 480fps and uses so-called interpolation to shoot extra frames so that the result is 960fps. All Galaxy S20 models record for a maximum of one second while the Galaxy S10 series can handle up to 0.4 seconds at the highest speed.

11. The Samsung Galaxy S20 gets two major upgrades of Android

Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S20 series is guaranteed two major upgrades of Android. After that you can only expect minor updates with bug and security fixes that will make your mobile phone more secure and stable. One or two major upgrades are normal for Android flagship models and can be compared to the iPhone series where new models get five major upgrades.

12. Easier to share music with “Music Share” and the Samsung Galaxy S20

If you have connected your own Galaxy S20 phone to a Bluetooth wireless speaker then you can share that speaker to other Galaxy S20 phones nearby with the Music Share feature. Convenient for example in the car or for the stereo system at home. At the time of writing, it only works with Samsung's latest Galaxy S20 mobile phones and you enable the feature via Settings> Connections> Advanced> Music Share.

13. You can use your Galaxy S20 as a computer

Your mobile phone is primarily that - a phone - but just like with previous Galaxy S phones, the Galaxy S20 series can be connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and used as a computer. The feature is called Samsung DeX and gives you a desktop environment reminiscent of your regular computer when the mobile phone is connected to a monitor. The Samsung DeX may not replace your regular computer, but it’s a workable solution for occasions when there’s an emergency.