Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S20 versus Galaxy S9 – upgrade or not?
Okay, you now have a Galaxy S9. But Samsung has also just launched the new Galaxy S20 series. Is one of the new models a good upgrade for you? Below we list what you need to know.
Comparison: Galaxy S20 versus Galaxy S9
Just to be right at home: the Galaxy S20 models are of course better than the Galaxy S9 models. We are now two years further, and in that time Samsung has made a lot of progress in a number of important areas. But in which areas exactly? And how big is that progress? We list the most important improvements.
The Galaxy S20 is much better because …
We can explain here that the hardware in the Galaxy S20 is faster than that of the Galaxy S9. However, the S9 is – certainly now with Android 10 – more than fast enough for pleasant use. And you will find gadgets such as water resistance in both device series. No. The areas on which the S20 brings real improvement are the camera and the battery. And let's also say something about the support and the arrival of 5G. Yes? Are you coming along?
To start with the latter: the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have batteries with a capacity of 3000 and 3500 mAh respectively. The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus in turn receive 4000 and 4500 mAh. These are considerable differences, and although it is actually still awaiting the first thorough battery tests of the S20 series, we assume that all this is not only necessary to provide the faster hardware with power. Certainly not if you decide not to use the S20 in the 120Hz screen display mode. And do you definitely want a larger battery? The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a whopping 5000 mAh battery on board – 67% larger than the S9.
Not only are the batteries of the different Galaxy S20 models larger, but you can also charge them faster by supporting Wireless Charging 2.0. The larger capacity does not even result in longer loading times – on the contrary even.
The second important area where Samsung is making major leaps forward with the Galaxy S20 series is the camera. Or to be precise: the cameras. The Galaxy S9 has just one more, the S9 Plus has two cameras at the back – all with a 12 megapixel resolution. The Galaxy S20 has three, and the S20 Plus and Ultra even four. Now, of course, it's not about the amount of cameras.
With the Galaxy S20 itself you get a 12 megapixel main camera, a 12 MP wide angle lens and a 64 MP telephoto lens. The S20 Plus adds a Time-of-Flight camera, which can "see" depth much better than an old-fashioned dual camera setup. The S20 Ultra makes it totally colorful, with its 108 MP main camera, 48 MP zoom camera with periscope lens, a 12 MP wide-angle lens, and a ToF camera.
To make a long story short: with a Galaxy S20 you simply have many more options for taking all kinds of photos. You can zoom in further and more beautifully. You can also "zoom out" with the wide-angle lens. And in low light, the cameras in the S20 series are much better.
Incredible zoom (100x only on the S20 Ultra)
Longer software support
Okay, we also wanted to add a third bonus point, based on our overview of future Galaxy S20 updates. The Galaxy S9 has had its second and last major Android upgrade in January. Furthermore, that train no longer works, although you must know that the device will receive the latest security patches for at least another year.
The Galaxy S20 is now at the start of its support period. With that device you are in good security again until the beginning of 2024. And in the coming two years you will of course get the upgrades to Android 11 and 12. That is of course always the advantage of a new phone – the same also applies to much cheaper Galaxy A51. So if you mainly want the longer support, and the superior cameras don't really interest you much, then also read our Galaxy A51 review.
In the Netherlands, 5G networks are still in their infancy. What am I saying? Baby socks. But they will come in the coming years. Apart from the cheapest Galaxy S20, all models are "5G-ready" – ready to use ultra-fast internet on the new networks.
As mentioned, the total list of improvements in the Galaxy S20 series is much longer. From the larger storage capacity – at least 128GB – to the possibility to charge other devices wirelessly, the smooth 120Hz screen, and more. Nevertheless, the above points are, in our opinion, the most important thing in the daily lives of most users.
Our Galaxy S9 (Plus)
Are there also things that you "lose" when you switch?
Look, good that you ask! Because indeed, depending on what you yourself find important, there are also minuses to the Galaxy S20. They may not be the main lines, but we will nevertheless list them.
The finger scanner in the display of the Galaxy S20 is quite fast and accurate. But not as fast and accurate as the old, proven capacitive sensor on the back of the Galaxy S9. The placement in the screen is better for many, but the operation is not nearly as optimal as the sensor of the S9. Moreover, the latter also has an iris scanner, which is a safe alternative to face recognition. The Galaxy S20 has the latter, but no iris scanner.
Wider screen edges
It sounds a bit strange, because the bezels of the Galaxy S9 are of course not huge. But: those of the Galaxy S20 are very narrow. That is very nice, but when you read our Galaxy Note 10 review you know: screen edges can also be too narrow. If you put your phone in a protective cover, this problem is immediately resolved – but if you prefer not to do so, you have already been warned.
Old-fashioned headphone jack
One of the gadgets that has been disappearing from phones lately is the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The Galaxy S9 has it, the Galaxy S20 no longer. You get an AKG headset that you can plug into the USB-C port, and that's not bad. But if you want to use your own "old-fashioned" headphones, you really need a dongle.
The cameras camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy S20 vs S9: upgrade?
You now get it: we cannot tell you whether you have to upgrade from your trusted Galaxy S9 to the Galaxy S20. But if you do it, you now have a reasonable idea of what to expect. Again: all Galaxy S20 models are (much) better than the Galaxy S9 (Plus). A world opens up to you, especially in the camera field. But: some things change without being finer. You now know those things too, so that hopefully you can make a well-informed choice. In any case, don't forget to check out our Galaxy S20 hands-on preview.
Do you indeed want to go for a Galaxy S20 (from € 899), S20 Plus (from € 1099) or S20 Ultra (from € 1349)? You can already reserve one in Samsung's own shop HERE. With an S20 Plus or Ultra you even get a set of Galaxy Buds + wireless earphones directly. You can also check more information about this Galaxy S20 pre-order promotion.
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