Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 trio officially debuts in PH

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Remember when we told you it won’t be long before 5G-ready smartphones will start penetrating the Philippine market? Well, they’re now starting to arrive one by one.

Right after Huawei launched what it said was the first 5G smartphone in the local market, Samsung rolled out its new 5G-capable smartphone model – the S20 Ultra, the most premium from its flagship S20 series.

The first quarter of 2020 isn’t over yet, but the South Korean manufacturer has already released seven premium smartphone devices – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite, A71, S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Fold, and the Z Flip. Not one of this, take note, is meant at the budget segment. 

This year was also marked by two things when it comes to Samsung’s pre-existing lineups. The first being a ‘Lite’ version for 2019’s Note 10 device, and an ‘Ultra’ version for the S20 which wasn’t seen in the S10.

Based on the testimony of fashion photographer BJ Pascual and wedding videographer Jason Magbanua, the obvious strength of the S20 Ultra is its camera setup.

The Ultra’s camera configuration closely resembles those found on the vanilla and Plus versions, and this largely pertains to what Samsung head for IT and mobile communications DJ Koh said as the new iconic design they will adopt and maintain.

All three S20 devices can record 8K-quality videos at 24 fps. On paper, these specs sound good, but it performs even better in real life. The resolution is aided greatly by the displays on the series, which comes with HDR10+ and buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate support.

The Ultra has the lesser pixels-per-inch (ppi) among the three at 511ppi, but it has a 6.9” Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display that is roughly the size of a phablet.

Although the panel on the S20 vanilla and Plus versions is exactly the same with the Ultra, the vanilla comes with 563 ppi on its 6.2” screen and the Plus is at a 525 ppi (a drastic drop from the vanilla as well) on a 6.7” screen.

A 10MP Dual Pixel AF selfie camera is found at the S20 and S20 Plus, while the Ultra touts a higher resolution camera of 40MP with PDAF. All three though, have a Field-of-View (FOV) set at 80°.

The rear cameras of the S20 and S20 Plus vary greatly when directly compared to the Ultra. Only the S20 vanilla comes with a triple rear camera setup though, which consists of a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP main shooter, and a 64MP telephoto camera. 

Meanwhile, the Plus is equipped with a quad-cam configuration – a 12MP ultra-wide, a 12MP main, a 64MP telephoto, and a dedicated DepthVision Camera, the latter being a more sophisticated hardware-backed bokeh lens. It comes with Optical Image Stabilization which can offer minimal aid when using its Space Zoom (Super Resolution Zoom to 30x and Hybrid Optic Zoom to 3x).

A behemoth camera tray is found on the Ultra, taking up almost 25% of the back panel. No amount of electronic or hardware-induced stabilization and steadiness of its users’ hands will make videos shot on the 100x Space Zoom look pleasant. The use of external accessories is recommended if the user wants to take advantage of this feature.

Aside from that issue, the Ultra’s shooters look impressive and deliver stellar results. The lenses include a 12MP ultra-wide, a 108MP main, a 48MP telephoto, and a DepthVision camera. Obviously, Samsung did not skimp on the megapixels for this unit.

The vanilla S20 is powered by a 4000mAh battery, while it’s 4500mAh for the Plus and 5000mAh for the Ultra. All three are already running Android 10 and have an IP68 rating as well.

Photo shows (from left) fashion photographer BJ Pascual, Ms Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, wedding videographer Jason Magbanua, and Samsung Philippines president James Jung during the launch

The S20 series will be available next month on March 6. The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes in two colorways – Cosmic Gray and Cloud Pink – retailing for P49,990. The Galaxy S20+, meanwhile, will be available in three color variants – Cosmic Gray, Cosmic Black, and the pre-order exclusive Cloud Blue and is priced at P55,990. The costliest among the three at P69,990, the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be available in both Cosmic Gray and Cosmic Black.   

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