Samsung Galaxy S20 worth the update? It depends on the life of the camera and battery.

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The camera performance of the Galaxy S20 Ultra could make a difference.

Sarah Tew / CNET

"Whoa. Is is he Galaxy S20 Ultra"I was so surprised that I said it out loud. Samsung unpacked event It was the first time that I had in my hands the biggest and worst Samsung Galaxy S20 device. Because unfortunate circumstancesI had to skip the typical briefing for journalists, so it wasn't until I held the S20 Ultra earlier this week that I was able to form my first concrete opinion.

Here is the first, but the least important of the group: the S20 Ultra is a massive and heavy phone with a huge size camera module that reminded me of The Rock. CNET senior editor Lynn La went even further, calling the parent "beefy" and grotesque ".

Touring submenus looking for new and exciting tools to jump, I realized. The MVP features of the Galaxy S20 Ultra distill these fully redesigned cameras, the longevity of the Ultra's 5000 mAh battery and, to a lesser extent, 5G. You can't really control any of these in an artificially lit demonstration room, no matter how spacious.

Understanding if it is worth buying the S20 Ultra or if it is worth updating will take time, sure, but I have opinions.


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Dissecting the amazing camera specifications of the S20 Ultra is quite simple in theory. There is a 108 megapixel camera, a "space zoom" of 100x and a "folded zoom lens" of 48 megapixels.

It was easy to point the camera with intense zoom at the beautiful accessories around the room, such as an elegant yogurt parfait tray and journalist friends, to quickly measure how well each camera function performed. That's fine and it's necessary in a closed demonstration space, but you really don't know how good the photos are until you start taking photos of real-world scenes.

The value of the camera is also not reduced only to the image quality. You should also keep in mind how easy it is to use the function correctly, edit photos and share them. For example, after trying the "Single Shot" mode that captures up to 10 photos and four videos at the press of a button, I was beginning to have the clear impression that using this mode means that I could spend a lot of time eliminating all the extra time shots that you don't want That was confirmed with some casual shots I took with Single Take in the Galaxy Z Flip folding phone

Testing the zoom function in real life is especially important. When I pointed to the S20 Ultra around the demonstration room and zoomed in at 30x, 50x and 100x, I was not immediately impressed with what I saw. But he wasn't pointing to anything significant, like a decorative cornice in a palace, an egret wading in the ocean or a dazzling artist on stage. The benefit of zooming to that magnitude is to reduce the distance through technology when you can't zoom in close enough to frame and take the picture.

Comparing the zoom capabilities of the Galaxy S20 Ultra with those of the Huawei P30 Pro It will be essential too. The periscopic lens of S20 Ultra uses a technology similar to the P30 Pro to create a 5x optical and digital zoom of up to 50x. I remember that I was impressed by Huawei's ability to capture distant objects with greater fidelity than not. The same goes for him Pixel 4 and 4 XL & # 39; s "super zoom" sensors.

Battery life is the final ingredient here. 5,000 mAh is the largest available capacity, but we also have to take into account how many resources the huge screen of the phone actually uses, how 5G could change the battery equation (which will vary by network). Activation of the 120Hz refresh rate option is also expected to dramatically drain the battery life compared to the standard 60Hz display settings.

I am excited to hear the answers to these questions from the Galaxy S20 Ultra in the coming weeks when a review unit arrives. Very soon, when someone asks me if the Galaxy S20 Ultra is worth the price of $ 1,400, or if it is worth an update of the Galaxy S10, I can give a clear answer. For now, it's simply: wait and see.

Originally published earlier this week.


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