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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review Rundown

SamsungPublished on 21 Mar 2021Last Edited on 14 Nov 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Overview

Neoscore* 0%
Pros**
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Great camera
  • Great call quality
Cons**
  • Nothing in particular

Summary

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of Samsung's biggest Android phones, which at launch was its most daring sales pitch. Its cameras are a nice jump from the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, although issues with inconsistent autofocus and overexposure kept the Ultra from being the best camera phone even at launch. The new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra offers a slight spec upgrade and better camera performance, but has a lower launch price of $1,199.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.

Rundown

ndtv[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 95%
Reviewers from ndtv have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the best devices that Samsung has put out yet. The camera system on the device is excellent, and you are going to get a good shot pretty much irrespective of lighting conditions. Video recording maxes out at 8K for the primary camera and 4K 60fps for the selfie shooter. It packs in top-notch performance, but also warms up under load. The phone is a bit too bulky for comfortable day-to-day use.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Top-notch performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent camera performance
  • Fast charging
Cons[**]
  • Lacklustre low-light camera performance

anandtech[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 94%
Reviewers from anandtech have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the single fastest, most responsive, and most fluid phone I’ve had the pleasure to use, quite far ahead of any second contender. The combination of a 120Hz screen with the new Snapdragon 865 is a match made in heaven. There’s still a lot of work to do until we get the full review finished, notably still waiting on the Exynos variants.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic 120Hz display
  • Fast SoC
  • Excellent battery life
Cons[**]
  • No 120Hz mode
  • Slow SoC

androidauthority[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 77%
Reviewers from androidauthority have found the following[***]:
One year from launch and the Galaxy S20 Ultra is actually a better 5G phone than it was initially. US wireless networks have expanded their support for sub-6GHz-flavored 5G. It's a good camera phone, but not a great one. The biggest issue is that it's still notoriously slow to focus, and focus is a touch soft.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Great battery life
  • Excellent performance
  • Great camera
Cons[**]
  • Camera is still a bit slow
  • Camera software still needs work

digitaltrends[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 94%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra is almost everything you could ask for in a high-end smartphone. With 128, 256, or 512GB GB storage and 12 or 16 GB RAM, you'll not want for anything while gaming, multitasking, or using the Ultra in your day-to-day. Top that off with 5G support for all the major U.S. networks, and you have an entertainment and work powerhouse.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Excellent cameras
Cons[**]
  • No IP68 water resistance
  • No wireless charging

gsmarena[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 59%
Reviewers from gsmarena have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a very capable camera system, both front and back. It has an amazing image quality before you factor in ghost touches and the inability to run 120Hz at the max resolution. Live focus (aka Portrait mode) is good most of the time, even if sometimes it does go crazy with misinterpreting what's going on in the bordering regions of subject separation. The screen is also among the biggest on anything that can reasonably be called a'mainstream' flagship smartphone.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous screen
  • Bigger, better-than-average camera
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • No 120Hz at max resolution
  • No wireless charging

nextpit[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 76%
Reviewers from nextpit have found the following[***]:
The fivefold optical zoom really makes composition a pleasure - and delivers really beautiful photos in good lighting conditions. Samsung does not give enough priority to exposing the faces in an ideal way, making them appear poorly lit in bright environments. The 100x zoom is a nice party gag and at best useful for reading the time at the church tower.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic image quality
  • Five-fold optical zoom
  • Very good battery life
Cons[**]
  • No telephoto lens
  • Poor image processing
  • Unreliable autofocus

nextpit[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 91%
Reviewers from nextpit have found the following[***]:
Samsung has packed either 12 or 16GB of RAM into the S20 Ultra, depending on whether you choose a model with 128 or 256 or 512GB of storage space. In Europe and other selected markets, all S20 models are equipped with Samsung's own Exynos 990. In the USA, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 eight-core processor is used. Samsung has gone big on the camera this year and there are a lot of numbers to tackle.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent cameras
Cons[**]
  • No 5G
  • No wireless charging

notebookcheck[8]

Sentiment Score[*] 71%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following[***]:
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a superb gaming device. Its Mali-G77 GPU performed significantly faster than its own predecessor. Only after extensive gaming sessions did we ever notice minor lags and stuttering. The two speakers make for a decent audio experience at medium volume. It supports dual audio and can play music on two connected devices.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Bright 120 Hz display
  • Good battery life
  • Fast SoC
Cons[**]
  • Mediocre speakers

pcmag[9]

Sentiment Score[*] 58%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
, but focus still takes too long to lock. The camera lets you take photos before the focus has locked, which means trouble if you're too quick on the trigger. Samsung still needs work to catch up with Apple and Google on low-light performance. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the first US phone to record 8K video.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Big, bright screen
  • Great battery life
  • Good low-light performance
Cons[**]
  • Camera can take too long to lock
  • Bulky and heavy

pcworld[10]

Sentiment Score[*] 97%
Reviewers from pcworld have found the following[***]:
There just aren't enough superlatives for how incredible the S20's display is. It reached an eye-piercing 1,350 nits with auto-brightness enabled. Samsung is using UFS 3.0 storage on all S20 models. Every handset is packed with at least 12GB of LPDDR5 memory.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic 120Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent performance
Cons[**]
  • Not as fast as the S10e
  • No wireless charging

techadvisor[11]

Sentiment Score[*] 64%
Reviewers from techadvisor have found the following[***]:
The S20 Ultra is not a phone that most people should buy. It's too big for most people to afford, too ugly for the remaining few to ever want to show off its technical achievements. Still, at best it's capable of outclassing every competing flagship, even if it's maddeningly inconsistent and struggles in closeups. The 120Hz refresh rate is the crowning jewel to what might be the best phone right now.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous 120Hz display
  • Great battery life
  • Fast charging
Cons[**]
  • No 5G support
  • Middling camera

techradar[12]

Sentiment Score[*] 96%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
-rate and zoom versatility – you get 20x video zoom in 4K, whereas you're stuck at 6x in 8K. You can also clip 33MP photos on the Galaxy S20 Ultra while recording, or in post if you're shooting 8K video. Samsung's One UI 2.0 software reskins Android 10 with a one-hand-friendly layout.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Super-fast 5G
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent cameras
Cons[**]
  • No microSD card slot
  • No wireless charging

theverge[13]

Sentiment Score[*] 78%
Reviewers from theverge have found the following[***]:
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is a no expense spared, no stop un-pulled kind of phone. Samsung set out to show that it could outdo every other Android phone on the market. It's fast, powerful, beautiful, and has a battery that lasts. The main justification for that expense is the all-new camera system.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fast, powerful, and beautiful
  • All-new camera system
  • Long battery life
Cons[**]
  • No headphone jack
  • No 5G support

tomsguide[14]

Sentiment Score[*] 83%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
On paper the Galaxy S21 Ultra seems like a clear winner. It has a hybrid zoom with 3x and 10 x optical lenses, support for Samsung's S Pen stylus, plus an extra year of Android and security updates. Samsung is also trying to build better experiences into the S20 line, starting with Google Duo integration. On top of Android 10, which includes new features like Smart Reply and enhanced privacy and notification controls.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous 120Hz display
  • Great battery life
  • Solid performance
Cons[**]
  • Camera could be better
  • No 5G support

trustedreviews[15]

Sentiment Score[*] 90%
Reviewers from trustedreviews have found the following[***]:
The One UI 2.1 software on the S20 Ultra is one of the best you'll find. Customisability is key here, whether it’s changing how the phone performs while you’re gaming to how fast or high-res the screen is. DeX mode remains for allowing you to connect the phone to a Mac or PC to access info and apps from the phone. A new direct share function is a bit like AirDrop – letting you quickly send files, via Wi-Fi Direct, to other S20 devices.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Good battery life
  • Good cameras
Cons[**]
  • No 5G support
  • No dedicated button for Bixby

whathifi[16]

Sentiment Score[*] 93%
Reviewers from whathifi have found the following[***]:
The S20 Ultra has a massive 6.9in QHD+ AMOLED Infinity-O screen. Samsung claims it can capture three times more light than ever before. Wireless charging speeds are faster over the Galaxy S10 models, thanks to Fast Wireless Charging 2.0. The phone will be on sale from March 13th in Europe.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Gorgeous AMOLED screen
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • Camera bump isn’t great
  • No microSD card slot

wired[17]

Sentiment Score[*] 84%
Reviewers from wired have found the following[***]:
The S20 Ultra's camera is undoubtedly one of the most versatile available today. The presence of a 5G modem didn't enhance my everyday experience of using the phone. Don't buy this phone just because Samsung touts 8K or 5G. It's just not a good deal for the price of a good Android phone.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic 120 Hz screen
  • Excellent performance
  • Excellent battery life
Cons[**]
  • Camera is inconsistent
  • No microSD card slot
  • No headphone jack

References

1. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review. ndtv. 2020-06-03 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
3. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra one year later: Is it still worth buying?. androidauthority. 2021-03-13 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
4. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review: Five months later, brains match brawn. digitaltrends. 2020-08-02 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra long-term review. gsmarena. 2021-03-15 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
7. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review: perfection exists only on paper. nextpit. 2020-03-30 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra - High-End Smartphone Reeks of Poor Implementation. notebookcheck. 2020-03-31 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
9. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review. pcmag. 2020-03-27 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
10. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review: Too much more for most. pcworld. 2020-03-06 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
11. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review. techadvisor. 2020-03-13 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
12. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review. techradar. 2021-02-02 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
13. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review: shutter bug. theverge. 2020-02-27 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
14. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review. tomsguide. 2021-02-05 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
15. ^ Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review. trustedreviews. Retrieved 2021-03-22.
16. ^ Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review. whathifi. 2020-02-11 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
17. ^ Review: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. wired. 2020-02-28 Retrieved 2021-10-14.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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