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Home / WorldTech / It is powerful. It is wonderful. But do you really need that?

It is powerful. It is wonderful. But do you really need that?



  Uploads% 252fvideo uploaders% 252fdistribution Thumbs% 252fimage% 252f94303% 252fb494f0db A5A6 4B5B 8db1 d5af8cb48dac.png% 252f930x520.png? Signature = elgkubk5iqgpa2wweuc5lgkkl5o = & source = https% 3a% 2f% 2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Beautiful 120 Hz display • Long battery life • Smooth performance • Impressive 108MP camera sensor

Too large • Auto focus is faulty • Frustrating fingerprint sensor in the display • Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a powerful phone with crazy technical data. However, it is unlikely that you will use the special features on a daily basis.

Of the three phones in the Samsung Galaxy S20 family, it is easy to understand why someone is immediately interested in the S20 Ultra.

For starters, it's equipped with a 6.9-inch display, a 108 megapixel camera sensor and 5G modem, and a 5,000 mAh battery – and that's just a fraction of what it offers.

The S20 Ultra is also equipped with Samsung's Space Zoom, which combines optical zoom technology with digital zoom with AI. The handset can zoom up to 100x without loss.

Yes, that's right. With the Ultra, you can enlarge your subject 100 times. And although the phone is definitely capable of it, I'm not sure if the function is really necessary. It's also frustrating to use it sometimes, which I'll go into later.

Although I am certainly a fan of the high quality images that the Ultra delivers in both daylight and low light conditions, such an intense camera sensor is not necessary for everyday use.

Samsung advertises the Ultra for its improved image stabilization (compared to the Galaxy S10), the 8K video recording capability and the 100x zoom mentioned above. However, these are not the features you absolutely need when taking photos to publish them in your Instagram stories.

At a starting price of $ 1,400, this is also not a phone that you should drop so much money without thinking about what you will actually get.

A gigantic and fragile build.

  This is a phone built for giants.

This is a phone that was built for giants.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

Aesthetically, the S20 Ultra doesn't look too different from its predecessors, but you can tell that the design has been given a facelift. Samsung has abolished the line's very structured, boxy look in favor of softer curves.

On the right side is a power switch, which also serves as a Bixby button to call up the Samsung voice assistant. The volume rocker is located directly above. There is a USB Type-C port on the bottom. But in contrast to the Galaxy S10 series, Samsung has omitted the headphone jack here.

  Goodbye, headphone jack.

Goodbye, headphone jack.

Image: Zlata ivleva / mashable

Instead of opting for a horizontal camera module that extends across the back of the phone, Samsung has instead packed the sensors into a more rectangular form factor on the left side of the phone. And although it looks much more modern, the quad camera setup takes up a large part of the back surface of the phone.

The camera shock also sticks out quite a bit from the phone. So if you don't have a case on it, placing it on a flat surface means that it not only rests on the lens, but also rocks back and forth.

The S20 Ultra is a huge phone. In my tiny hands it almost looks like a pill. And in the bigger hands of some of my very big friends, still looks far too big.

Like the rest of the Galaxy phones, the Ultra is made of glass with metal in between. makes it very fragile.

I know that a glass finish looks and feels much higher quality and that it also enables wireless charging. But I can't help but wish Samsung had at least offered consumers a matte option or other alternative build that doesn't tend to break.

  The camera module actually blinds.

The camera module actually blinds.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

It wasn't long before I became increasingly frustrated to maneuver this thing. The Ultra hardly fits in my coat pockets and sticks out of the back pockets of my jeans. It almost felt like I was babysitting the phone every time I picked up the phone. I had to hold it in a certain way – almost always with two hands – so I didn't accidentally drop it.

And no, I didn't put a case on the phone (which is certainly an "I" problem) because it would make the phone even thicker and stronger.

Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful phone. But its size, fragility, and cost are the main reasons why I would almost prefer staring at the phone remotely than holding it.

Breathtaking and smooth display

The 6.9-inch AMOLED display of the S20 Ultra (511 ppi) is breathtaking and offers users a dynamic Quad HD + resolution with HDR10 +.

It is also equipped with the Samsung display "Infinity-O". This enables very minimal steadies. And unlike the S10 with a front-facing camera on the right, the Ultra's hole-punch selfie camera has been moved to the center of the display.

  I prefer the hole punch in the middle over the side.

I prefer the hole punch in the middle over the side.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

I was definitely more of a fan of the Ultra when I initially turned it on out of the box. And I think I can attribute this feeling to the fact that I have just spent two weeks checking two foldable phones: the Motorola Razr and the Galaxy Z Flip. So I felt more comfortable when I reunited with a large, traditional smartphone display.

Until I realized that the screen, like its structure, is too big for my hands. For reference, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a comparatively "smaller" 6.5-inch display, which I thought was too big for my hands. For this reason, I finally decided on the more compact iPhone 11 Pro.

I can hardly navigate with one hand in the Ultra, but even when I stretch my thumb over it, I can't reach certain things on the screen. I finally realized that I could only use this phone successfully with two hands.

But that also means that Samsung has not exaggerated that the touch response rate has been improved. Because the screen is so big, I accidentally typed and triggered random things in apps or even certain letters and symbols when I was writing messages at a speed that felt like a fast pace.

Regardless of this, the display is still very nice, especially if a refresh rate of 120 Hz is set. After unpacking, however, the display is set to 60 Hz, which also feels snappy.

That said, you should definitely opt for this higher refresh rate. Scrolling through articles or timelines on Twitter and Instagram felt so quick and responsive that I really didn't want to fall back on the 60 Hz default setting. Unfortunately, this setting drained the battery considerably on days when I recorded a lot of content (which I will discuss later).

  There is nothing nicer than a refresh rate of 120 Hz.

There is nothing nicer than a refresh rate of 120 Hz refresh rate.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

As for the Ultra's built-in fingerprint sensor, well … if there was a way to test my patience, it would be.

Every time I pressed my finger at the bottom of the display just above the print outline, I was told that it was not recognized. Most of the time I had to enter my PIN.

Ultimately, I switched back to face recognition instead, which worked much better and faster.

Excellent performance and excellent battery life

] The Ultra has a Snapdragon 865 processor and is available in various configurations. You have the option between 12 GB RAM and 128 GB internal memory or you can expand up to 16 GB RAM with 512 GB memory. There is also a microSD card for up to 1 TB of additional storage space.

But of course this more powerful configuration also raises the price to $ 1,600 … which makes me wince a little. Considering the amount of memory that is recorded in 8K video, the latter of the two storage options is certainly the best choice.

With 5,000 mAh, the Ultra has a powerful battery. But it is definitely a hit if you take a lot of photos and videos or if the refresh rate is set to 120 Hz.

  The battery is hit when you record a lot of content.

The battery is hit when you record a lot of content.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

On Saturday I took the phone off the charger at around 11:30 a.m. I sent some messages all day with apps like messenger and telegram and used Google Maps a few times. But I mainly used the phone to test the camera. When I got home at 6 p.m., the phone was 31 percent charged.

The next day, I wasn't busy with video recording, but I took a lot of photos. I pulled the Ultra out of the socket around noon that day, and by midnight it was 11 percent.

This 12-hour battery life corresponds to that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max with a 3,969 mAh battery.

With the display set to 60 Hz, however, the battery lasted about three to four hours on a typical working day. So if I used it for apps like Slack, Gmail, Telegram, Messenger and social media scrolling, I would say I have about 15 to 16 hours a day.

While that's damn good for the amount of photos and videos I've taken, it's important to note that the battery life gets even longer when you shoot with the Ultra 4K and 8K videos. In this case, you should probably keep the lower refresh rate.

An intensive camera with appropriate image processing.

  Warning: much saturation ahead.

Warning: much saturation ahead.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

On the back of the Ultra is a quad camera setup with:

  • 108-megapixel wide-angle lens with 1: 1.8 aperture

  • 120-degree 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with 1 : 1.8 2.2 aperture

  • 48 megapixel telephoto lens with 1: 3.5 aperture

  • time-of-flight sensor for depth

The sensors are up to three times larger than that of the S10, which means that they can absorb more light for better details and clarity regardless of the brightness of the surroundings.

At the weekend I compared the photos I took with the Galaxy S20 Ultra to those on the iPhone 11 Pro and came to the conclusion that I preferred the Ultra.

But that doesn't mean that it has no errors. Like the faulty autofocus and the tendency to oversaturate photos. It is also difficult to identify motifs and sharpen them clearly.

The size of the phone made it even more difficult. When shooting with one hand, I often couldn't tap the screen to focus the camera.

I had to put down everything I was holding or take the extra step of (sometimes violently) tapping the display to make sure it focused on the topic.

Below are some examples of the fight

  Example No. 1 of the buggy autofocus.

Example No. 1 of the buggy autofocus.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable
Example 2. Ahh, look at all this blur. "class =" "data-fragment =" m! 4cb5 "data-image =" https://mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224594%252Ffdc2da44-22eb-473b-adf1-61f17f2b4012.jpg%252Foriginal .jpg? signature = tS0M8w4QFx8JDzMfkO2rXW9M-cs = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com "data-micro =" 1 "naturalwidth =" 950 "sizes =" (max-width: 300px ) 280w, (max-width: 400px) 356w, (max-width: 700px) 638w, 950w "src =" https://mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224594%252Ffdc2da44-22eb-473b- adf1-61f17f2b4012.jpg% 252Ffull-fit-in__950x534.jpg? signature = g8gjqppFdYDUVWAPiJLM5OJ0px4 = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonawps =c = "https://samcp_product_src" src "src" src "srp" mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224594%252Ffdc2da44-22eb-473b-adf1-61f17f2b4012.jpg%252Ffull-fit-in__280x157.jpg?signature=p4X_r-VbAaOt1HBdaDZfGMLpThc=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint- api-production.s3.amazonaws.com 280w, https: //mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224594%252Ffdc2 da44-22eb-473b-adf1-61f17f2b4012.jpg% 252Ffull-fit-in__356x205.jpg? signature = LjSi2mFLwg220ETNvPqQFpKXTFA = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amwrzian: 35.mamronian .mashable.com / uploads% 252Fcard% 252Fimage% 252F1224594% 252Ffdc2da44-22eb-473b-adf1-61f17f2b4012.jpg% 252Ffull-fit in__638x368.jpg? UsAGQ3uHgFRN2L1dWl0AD0f9y3o signature = = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production .s3.amazonaws.com 638w, https: //mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224594%252Ffdc2da44-22eb-473b-adf1-61f17f2b4012.jpg%252Ffull-fit-in__950x5348JJUxvx534JJPxvq5GJJ4Xv550JJPxDx534JJLxv5 = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com 950w "/>

Example 2. Ahh, look at all this blur.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

Since other reports of extremely bad auto focus have surfaced, Samsung has released a statement that claims that a software update to resolve the problem will be released. I will definitely update this story if the update fixes anything.

The following is a mix of wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle shots. As you can see, certain colors are highlighted.

  An ultra wide angle shot.

An ultra wide angle shot.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

  Wide-angle shot with the S20 Ultra.

Wide-angle shot with the S20 Ultra.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

You can see that the green in the trees on the Ultra is much more punchy. Even the brown tones on the dock are much clearer.

  Taken with the iPhone 11 Pro.

Taken with the iPhone 11 Pro.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

The differences are subtle. The photos of the iPhone 11 Pro look more realistic, what the Ultra can do, but not consistently.

After comparing the photos from both devices, it is clear that the results of the Ultra are mixed depending on what you are photographing.

If your motifs are already colorful, the Ultra can improve these colors excellently. But taking pictures of nature or people can lead to overcompensation.

  So many bright colors.

So many bright colors.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

Of course there are moments when supersaturation is necessary. I really like how it burst oranges and yellows.

  All colors.

All colors.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

In the photo of the mosaic above, you can also see how well the color pickup works. All the shades match exactly what I've seen personally.

Now to Live Focus, which gives photos a bokeh effect. I mention this in my camera comparison of 11 Pro and Ultra, but blurring can be a bit difficult. Sometimes I found that bokeh was exaggerated and often bled into people's hair or facial features. You may have to adjust it to get it just right.

  Live Focus shot.

Live Focus recording.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

I definitely prefer the standard shot below over that above. The background with Live Focus looks strangely artificial. It also bothers me that it didn't blur the structure behind them, which sheds a bit of the blur.

  Standard wide-angle shot with the Ultra.

Standard wide-angle shot with the Ultra.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

I definitely prefer the standard wide-angle shot above. In the meantime, I've compared Live Focus to Portrait mode on the iPhone 11 Pro. The photo of the Ultra seems to have been heavily edited and my friend looks washed out. With the 11 Pro you have a lot more space for your own changes.

  Portrait mode on iPhone 11 Pro.

Portrait mode on iPhone 11 Pro.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

  Live focus on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Live focus on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

And then there's the selfie mode. This 40 megapixel camera felt really daunting at first. I didn't want it to show everything . But I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, it smoothes the skin to a point where it looks a bit unnatural. But the internet is a scary place – if I upload a selfie, I'll probably edit the photo anyway.

  A strange mix of smoothing and detail in selfie mode.

A strange mix of smoothing and detail in selfie mode.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

If you zoom in on the photo, you can see my pores and some dry skin patches. So it doesn't smooth everything out completely. Overall, however, there is a good balance.

  Selfie in low light conditions without night mode.

Selfie in low light conditions without night mode.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

Above is a selfie I took in a dark restaurant where the only light came from tea candles and a window. It is not as crystal clear as in broad daylight.

We also balanced the phone against a glass of water so that it was a bit shaky. But I think the selfie camera did a good job for the limited amount of light in the area.

Speaking of low light: When autofocus is activated, the camera takes some good-looking pictures without the help of night mode. [19659134] Low-light shot. "class =" "data-fragment =" m! 4eef "data-image =" https://mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224692%252F35829e9f-6d6b-410e-a7ae-8476919fc732.jpg%252Foriginal .jpg? signature = MhJif7mqCaXwMJADAZOuHgcZNQk = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com "data-micro =" 1 "naturalwidth =" 950 "sizes =" (max-width: 300px) 280w , (max-width: 400px) 356w, (max-width: 700px) 638w, 950w "src =" https://mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224692%252F35829e9f-6d6b-410e-a7ae- 8476919fc732.jpg% 252Ffull-fit-in__950x534.jpg? Signature = osYyEy62FviTjxIxVgbtmdNeNSA = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com "src_pse = // jpg" s = "mpg" s "=" jpg "s. mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224692%252F35829e9f-6d6b-410e-a7ae-8476919fc732.jpg%252Ffull-fit-in__280x157.jpg?signature=5OITReG7H_Geae18abzMYx2q2P4=&source=https%3A%2F%2Fblueprint-api-production. s3.amazonaws.com 280w, https: //mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224692%252F3582 9e9f-6d6b-410e-a7ae-8476919fc732.jpg% 252Ffull-fit-in__356x205.jpg? Signature = SuYpDIRN1DDPPS73zPJWkW0sGKE = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s36amzazondriver.sian .mashable.com / uploads% 252Fcard% 252Fimage% 252F1224692% 252F35829e9f-6d6b-410e-a7ae-8476919fc732.jpg% 252Ffull-fit in__638x368.jpg? signature = q7Fj1DuMOZlJLOH-7XMH59CeoI4 = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api -production.s3.amazonaws.com 638w, https: //mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fcard%252Fimage%252F1224692%252F35829e9f-6d6b-410e-a7ae-8476919fc732.jpg%252Ffull-fit-in__950x534 osYyEy62FviTjxIxVgbtmdNeNSA = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com 950w "/>

Low-light recording.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

Samsung claims to have doubled the image processing in the night mode of the Galaxy Note 10.

  Wide-angle shot in low light conditions without night mode.

Wide-angle shots in low light conditions without night mode.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

As you can see from the photos, night mode really saturates certain things . People's skin tones look lighter, the structure looks washed out and the red tones are super poppy.

  Recording in night mode.

Recording in night mode.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

And let's not forget Single Take. When Samsung first introduced the feature, I thought it was really great. This feature allows you to record up to 10 seconds of video and then use AI to suggest the best photo or GIF.

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It is for things like blowing out birthday candles or sporting events. I didn't think I would use it first, but after a while it was actually fun.

Sure, the AI ​​really adds cheesy music to the video (as shown above), but I think it's an underestimated feature. Especially for those who want to upload a lot of lifestyle content to their social accounts.

  One of the photos from Single Take.

One of the photos from Single Take.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

But it is also available for the S20 and S20 +, so the Ultra is no different from the rest of the product range.

Samsung has also improved its super steady function over the S10. In addition to canceling motion in four axes (up, down, and side to side), fluctuations of up to 60 degrees in both directions are also canceled.

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And let me tell you, it's very smooth. I don't call myself a video director or anything, but it literally looks like I'm using a camera dolly.

A bit more impressive but unnecessary zoom

Let's talk about space zoom. As already mentioned, the S20 Ultra offers up to 100 times lossless zoom. And although that sounds super cool, it really isn't that useful.

Going over 30 times is frustrating because the camera becomes very shaky and it is difficult to focus on your subject.

The following are some examples of different zoom levels. (I'm very sorry that this pair is creepy.)

  10x zoom

10x zoom

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

I took these pictures when I stood on the roof of my friend's house, which overlooks the Highline.

Both 10x and 30x zoom are pretty impressive in terms of quality. And it was not difficult to capture the couple up close.

  30x zoom.

30x zoom.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

But then there is 100x zoom below. Is the S20 Ultra clearly capable of taking pictures from this close range? Yes, it is. Can these photos be used? Definitely not. I mean, where will I post something like that?

  100x zoom. I'm sorry for this couple that I'm so scary.

100x zoom. I'm sorry for this couple that I'm so scary.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

Here is another example of a 100x zoom with the Statue of Liberty. I have tons of these photos, but there is no point in sharing them at all considering that they all look like this. Blurry, poor quality and unusable.

  Can anyone say that this is the Statue of Liberty?

Can anyone say that this is the Statue of Liberty?

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

As I mentioned, it's not as easy as pointing and shooting. A tripod is required for the space zoom function to stabilize the picture.

While the Ultra uses motion-stabilizing AI software to make recording easier, the camera is very sensitive. So you need additional help if you really want to stop the phone. The target guide can really only do so much.

It is worth mentioning that the photos with 30 times enlarged are of a much better quality. Here are some examples:

  A really strange balcony with 30x zoom.

A really strange balcony with 30x zoom.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

  A cute little duck with 30x zoom.

A cute little duck with 30x zoom.

Image: brenda stolyar / mashable

  Stained glass on a church with 30x zoom.

Stained glass on a church with 30x zoom.

Image: Brenda stolyar / puree

These are not the sharpest photos. However, please note that the iPhone 11 Pro only zooms up to 10 times and the Pixel 4 only zooms up to 8 times.

It is useful to zoom 30 times at a concert. 100x zoom is not. Therefore, it's probably better to save money and opt for the Galaxy S20 or S20 +, which zooms up to 30x instead of the Ultra.

Where in the world is 5G?

Ahh, 5G – the ultimate buzzword. But it's here, people. Type of.

The S20 Ultra and S20 + have Sub-6 and mmWave functions. The Galaxy S20 only has Sub-6 5G.

However, it doesn't matter much at the moment. Especially if you don't live in an area where 5G is available.

Don't feel compelled to buy this phone for 5G only unless you don't plan to update your phone for years and are ready to wait until it hits your area.

It is available in certain cities across the country, including New York. So I went out and did some speed tests. And now, I was unsuccessful. But I'm not giving up yet.

I will continue to search for 5G services based on Verizon's map. So look for an update again.

But the fact that I have to look for it should be enough to convince you that activating 5G is not as easy as just going outside.

Should You Buy the Ultra?

Unless you're a photographer or videographer, you'd better choose a cheaper phone. Given the fact that the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 + have the same features, minus the 100x room zoom, you can use one of these phones instead.

The fact that it's the Ultra can't be over-done. But it still deserves a high score. It has a beautiful display, impressive camera sensors and runs smoothly.

  You probably won't use all of these features.

You probably won't use all of these features.

Image: zlata ivleva / mashable

It's just a little annoying that the phone's 100x room zoom gives such inferior results. And we have to wait and see if Samsung fixes the auto focus.

If you're looking for more realistic photos that give you more blank canvas for editing, you're better off with the iPhone 11 Pro Max. If the saturation doesn't bother you so much, the Pixel 4 XL is a cheaper option.

Regardless of whether I used it as a main phone, I never fully used all functions. I only zoomed 100x because I wanted to test the function. I never found a reason to shoot in 8k because I don't have an 8k monitor to stream. And 5G service was hard to find.

It's too damn massive. To take really good pictures, you have to carry a tripod around.

If you have the money to spend and the content to shoot, feel free to buy it. Will someone now give me this adorable Cloud Pink Galaxy S20 for my tiny hands?


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