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6 key features of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra that improve performance

The latest high-end smartphones come with an enormous number of functions and clever hardware to justify their ever-increasing prices. The aptly named Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a perfect example with a 108 megapixel camera and up to 16 GB of RAM, and state-of-the-art devices like the Galaxy Note S20 go even further.

But do you need such absurd high-end hardware? Or will a cheaper phone meet your needs? Let’s take a look at the features of the Galaxy S20 Ultra and see if they’re worth the price.

Screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz

The refresh rate of a screen measures how often the display is refreshed per second. Most phones have a screen that updates at 60 Hz or 60 frames per second. Devices such as OnePlus 7 Pro and Google Pixel 4 have higher refresh rates of 90 Hz. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra brings it to 1

20 Hz.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra to touch the phone
John Velasco / Digital Trends

A higher refresh rate means less blurring when moving quickly, so you may notice a difference in how fluid the screen looks when swiping and scrolling. In addition to a 60 Hz screen, the difference is clear. However, a softer feeling alone is not enough to justify the higher refresh rate, since this also places greater demands on processing power and the battery.

This feature has reached a wave of gaming phones where you will see the greatest benefit. If you have a cell phone game with a high frame rate, a high refresh rate can result in less blur in the image and better response times to your input.

10 × optical zoom camera

Smartphone cameras have improved rapidly in recent years, but the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is taking photography to a new level. It has a triple-lens setup that combines a 108-megapixel lens with a 48-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens.

One of the main functions is the incredible zoom level that the S20 Ultra offers. It supports 10 × optical zoom and 100 × digital zoom. That’s crazy.

Take pictures with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
John Velasco / Digital Trends

We’ve seen incredible zoom levels on Huawei and Oppo phones, but the S20 Ultra goes one step further. Do you need to be able to zoom to that degree?

In a word, no. We have found that the 2x optical zoom on the iPhone 11 Pro or Google’s Pixel 4 is sufficient for most situations, regardless of whether you want to zoom onto the stage when you are in the background or cut out a foreground better shot. Check out our current camera shootout to find out why.

The bottom line is it’s cool to be able to zoom that far and take a decent shot, especially if you’re a kind of spy. But it goes well beyond most people’s needs.


Apps and games on your phone are loaded into RAM or memory. When you return to an app or game in RAM, it loads faster than if you had to restart it from scratch. All the apps you ran will stay there until your RAM is full and needs to do something.

With more RAM, more processes can be executed at the same time, so that large multitaskers who like to jump in and out of several apps enjoy a lot of RAM. It’s hard to tell how much RAM your smartphone needs, but 12 GB is a lot for a mobile device.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra held in the hand
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The memory of smartphones and tablets has increased significantly in recent years. In 2014, 2 GB of RAM were standard in the top phones. Up to 2017 it was 4 GB. Only three years later, Samsung tripled that.

The disadvantage is that additional RAM places a slightly higher demand on your battery. In fact, your phone’s RAM uses the same amount of power regardless of whether you use everything or not. Realistically, 8 GB is a generous amount for most people these days, making 12 GB seem like an overkill. If you are not a big player, the option to leave games in RAM so you can pick up where you left off is a very attractive feature.

5G connectivity

The potential benefits of 5G are exciting, but at the moment it’s largely unrealized potential. Most people still don’t live in an area with 5G coverage. As 5G begins to roll out, it’s limited to a handful of cities and expensive. Don’t be fooled by redesigned 4G networks like the 5GE from AT&T. Real 5G networks are still being built, and even in the few cities where you can currently find them, coverage is very local and limited.

Still, 5G connectivity is a great future-proof feature for your next phone. If you plan to rock the S20 Ultra for the next two years or more, you can look forward to 5G support. If you live in a rural area, you are unlikely to benefit from this feature for some time, but city dwellers should think about it.

Fast charging with 45 W.

The standard 25 W charger in the packaging of your Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra quickly charges the enormous battery. However, you have the option to upgrade to a 45 W charger. Samsung offers a 45W charger for $ 50, but you can buy one from other companies for less money. Just make sure it supports the USB-C power delivery standard.

We have a summary of quick chargers with some options of 45W or higher. Whether it’s worth it depends on your charging habits. If you plug in or use a wireless charger overnight, quick charging won’t make much difference to you.

If the Note 10 Plus has something to offer, the difference in charging time of 15% or less can be counted in minutes. However, batteries slow down the charge rate when they are full. The 45 W charger comes in handy when you run out of battery and want a quick charge instead of a full charge.

8K video recording

This leap in video quality is pronounced – we are talking about quadruple pixels of 4K. Chances are that you don’t have an 8K TV yet, and probably not for a while, but they’re getting on the market slowly, so this could be another good future-proof feature.

Some phones with 8K video support are likely to be seen this year as this is one of the features supported by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor. Aside from the fact that you may not have anything to view 8K footage yet, capturing video at this resolution takes up a lot of space, so it’s definitely not for everyone.

However, it is worth noting that the 8K video you take with the S20 Ultra can also be used to take high-resolution photos. Therefore, early 8K users and photographers or videographers may be interested in this feature.

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