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Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S10: Which One to Buy?

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This guide compares Samsung’s all-new Galaxy S20 to the older Galaxy S10 for potential buyers trying to decide which phone to buy. The Galaxy S10 is an excellent phone with plenty to offer along with a new lower price tag, but you should still consider the Galaxy S20 and its fancy cameras.

Samsung made all the screens bigger, added more cameras, and extended battery life with the Galaxy S20 series. Here’s what you need to knowwhat’s different, and what to expect when you either one of these awesome phones.

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 Galaxy S20Galaxy S10
Screen Size6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Screen Resolution3200 x 1440 & 120Hz3040 x 1440 & Only 60Hz
Storage & RAM128GB & 8-12GB RAM128GB & 8GB RAM
ProcessorSnapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 995Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820
Cameras12MP main, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide lens, ToF12MP main, 12MP telephoto, 16MP ultra wide-angle lens
Camera Features3x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom, 8K 30 fps video, 960 fps slo-mo2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, 4k, 960 fps slo-mo
Front Camera10 Megapixel10 Megapixel
SoftwareAndroid 10 (One UI 2.0)Updated to Android 10
Battery Size4,000 mAh3,400 mAh
Charging & Wireless Charging25w Fast Charge & Fast Wireless Charging15w Fast Charging & Fast Wireless Charging
Fingerprint SensorUltrasonic In-Display SensorOlder Ultrasonic In-Display Sensor
MicroSD ExpansionYesYes
Other DetailsUSB Type-C, WiFi 6, 5G, Stereo Sound, IP68 Water ResistantUSB Type-C, WiFi 6, Stereo Sound, IP68, 3.5mm headphone jack
Price$999Launched at $899

Samsung released three different Galaxy S20 models again this year. The smallest and most affordable is the 6.2-inch Galaxy S20, which starts out at $999. Then, there’s a bigger 6.7-inch Galaxy S20+ and a massive 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. All three models will come with 5G no matter what, at least in the United States. Now that the phones are no longer brand new, we’re seeing heavy discounts of over $200, making the S20 $799 or less.

After looking at the detailed spec sheet above, the Galaxy S10 and S20 are closer than you probably expected. Samsung added a bigger screen with a high refresh rate, newer internals, improved the cameras then packed in a big battery cell to make up for the larger display and 5G. If you already have the Galaxy S10 it isn’t a very big upgrade, but for those with older phones, you’ll seriously want to consider the new Galaxy S20.

The most important changes are to the screen, cameras, then battery life and charging speeds. So, here’s more info for each of those categories.

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S10: Display & Design

At first glance these two screens might seem similar, only the Galaxy S20 is a little bigger, but there are actually a few very big differences.

The first one being Samsung’s new 120Hz display technology. Following a trend of higher refresh rates like we saw from OnePlus and Google in 2019, the Galaxy S20 packs a high 120Hz refresh rate, up from 60Hz in the Galaxy S10. This allows the screen to refresh 120 times per second, twice as often as previous models, making everything look and feel smooth, fast, and fluid. It also has a faster 240Hz touch response rate, which will help with gaming and such.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20: 6.2-inch, 120Hz, 3200 x 1440 Quad-HD AMOLED
  • Samsung Galaxy S10: 6.1-inch, 60Hz, 3140 x 1440 Quad-HD AMOLED

Another thing you’ll notice right away is the camera cutout at the top middle of the phone. This is a small circle physically cut out of the screen for the front camera, instead of adding a notch like Apple or Google.

The Galaxy S10 had a big camera cutout

Some love it, some hate it, but this year it’s smaller, less noticeable, and in the center instead of off to the side like the Galaxy S10 shown above. Samsung had to move the clock and date last year to make room, but this year that isn’t a problem with the camera in the middle.

Then, the last aspect of the design is something most people will be happy to hear. The Galaxy S20 screen isn’t as curved as the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 lineup. It’s actually almost flat. This change makes the phone more durable, prevents accidental screen touches, and will help with accessories like screen protectors and cases.

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S10: Cameras

The upgrade owners will use the most is in the camera department, as Samsung has worked very hard to make the Galaxy S20 camera best-in-class. Even though the “megapixel” numbers don’t look much different, the Galaxy S20 sensors are bigger and much improved. Plus, if you skip the S10 and choose the Galaxy S20 you’re getting a quad-camera setup.

  • Galaxy S20: 12MP main, 64MP 3-30x telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide lens, ToF (Main sensor size is a bigger 1.8um) bigger is better
  • Galaxy S10: 12MP main, 12MP 2x telephoto, 16MP ultra-wide lens (Main sensor is 1.4um)

Samsung is using an upgraded yet similar main camera as previous models, which takes great photos already. The telephoto lens is a 3x optical and 30x digital zoom, instead of only 2x on the Galaxy S10, which is a huge difference.

Basically, you can zoom in further with better results and clearer photos. Plus, thanks to a 64MP telephoto lens Samsung is now able to offer 8k video recording on the Galaxy S20.

If you’re coming from something like a Galaxy S8 or S9, it’s worth waiting and paying a little more for the Galaxy S20. If you don’t need all those bells and whistles though, the Galaxy S10 is still amazing for photography.

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S10: Connectivity (5G)

One thing you might want to consider is 5G connectivity. While this isn’t a huge deal right now, it will be later this year and in 2021. The Galaxy S10 doesn’t have 5G unless you buy a specific model with it included. Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 lineup all come with 5G built-in, which makes them more future-proof.

Battery life does take a small hit if you actually use 5G, but it also means the Galaxy S20 will be capable of faster internet speeds better for streaming and gaming, among other things.

Galaxy S20 vs Galaxy S10: Battery Life & Charging

Another big difference on the spec sheet you might have noticed was in the battery and charging category. Thanks to a bigger screen with a higher refresh rate and 5G Samsung needed to throw a bigger battery in these phones.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20: 4000 mAh (25w fast wired charging, fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging)
  • Galaxy S10: 3,400 mAh (15w fast wired charging, fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging)

Clearly, the Galaxy S20 has a substantially bigger battery than the S10 did last year, which is a big deal. And from what we’ve seen in reviews battery life actually is pretty great even with that big screen. Additionally, the Galaxy S20 charges way faster thanks to a new 25w fast charger in every box.

Galaxy S20 Release Date & Price

And finally, perhaps the most important question for you is “how much is the Galaxy S20?” The Galaxy S10 is still a great option, on sale all the time, and you can buy it right here. Samsung pulled an Apple, too, and lowered the price of last years model across the board.

They are expensive!

The Galaxy S20 got released on March 6th, and at first they were very expensive smartphones. However, we’re already seeing a good $200 discount and Samsung just launched a first-of-its-kind buyback program, too.

As a comparison, the Galaxy S10 was $899 when it came out in 2019, so these have a big premium for the features offered. That said, Samsung is now asking only $749 for the Galaxy S10, and only $599 for the Galaxy S10e, making it potentially the best phone to buy right now. If you’re still set on a new phone, these are the best Galaxy S20 deals.

Final Thoughts

In closing, we want to mention a few other small changes. Samsung added a better 10MP front-facing camera, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and more. Everything is better, basically. On the flip side, you’ll be losing the 3.5mm headphone jack if you upgrade. If that’s important to you, get ready to buy some wireless headphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is a great phone and you’ll absolutely love it. We think it’s worth buying over the Galaxy S10 even though that phone is seeing several heavy discounts now that the Galaxy S20 is here. If you have a little extra money though, the Galaxy S10+ is a compelling option too.

Either option you choose, you’ll have an excellent phone with great cameras, plenty of features and the latest version of Android. You really can’t go wrong with either of these devices.

So, choose what’s right for you and enjoy it.

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