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Galaxy S20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: Which One to Buy?



With the new Galaxy S20 finally here and Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro readily available, potential buyers have a tough choice to make between the two. Especially those who want great cameras on their phone. If that’s you, here’s our iPhone 11 Pro vs Galaxy S20 comparison to help you decide which one is right for you.

Thanks to three rear cameras and a big screen the iPhone 11 Pro is pretty great. However, Samsung’s all-new Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ look pretty amazing too and have huge upgrades in the camera department.

These phones have plenty to love so here’s how the two compare.

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 is one of the biggest upgrades in years. All three new Galaxy S20 models will have larger screens and several improvements, with the most noteworthy changes going to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

In late 2019 Apple released three new iPhone models, all of which have awesome camera capabilities, fast performance, beautiful screens and powerful internals. They’re also really expensive. So, the three big Galaxy S20’s are Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 11 Pro.

Galaxy S20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: Specifications

Galaxy S20iPhone 11 Pro
Screen Sizes6.2 and 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED5.8 and 6.5-inch AMOLED Display
Screen Resolution3200 x 1440 & 120Hz2436 x 1125 & Only 60Hz
Storage & RAM128GB & 12GB RAM64GB & 4GB RAM
ProcessorSnapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 995Apple A13 Bionic
Cameras12MP main, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide lens, ToF12MP main, 12MP telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide lens
Camera Features3x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom, 8K 30 fps video, 960 fps slo-mo2x optical zoom, Auto-HDR, 2K, OIS, panorama
Front Camera10 Megapixel12 Megapixel and 3D Sensor
SoftwareAndroid 10 (One UI 2.0)iOS 13+
Battery Size4,000 and 4,500 mAh3,046 and 3,969 mAh
Charging25w Fast Charge & Fast Wireless Charging18w Fast Charging & Wireless Charging
Security & BiometricsUltrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Sensor3D FaceID Unlock
Other DetailsUSB Type-C, WiFi 6, 5G, Stereo Sound, IP68 Water ResistantApple Lightning,Stereo Sound, IP68, mute switch
PriceLaunched at $999, $1,199Launched at $999, $1,099

This comparison goes over the screen sizes, specs, cameras, and price for those on the fence. Obviously the Android vs iPhone (or iOS) comparison is unique as some people will never leave their platform of choice, but these phones and the experience are more similar than you probably think.

As you can see above, being a little newer Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series has some very notable upgrades or improvements over the iPhone. And that’s before we even mention the insane Galaxy S20 Ultra specs.

As we now know, Samsung has three different S20 models available. Those being the smallest and most affordable 6.2-inch Galaxy S20, a bigger 6.7-inch Galaxy S20+ that’s pretty similar to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and then a massive 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G.

These will compete with the iPhone 11, then the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Overall these are all powerful and capable phones, so you’ll have to decide if you want to pay extra for the S20+, what size of screen you want, or if you care about 5G. If you’re coming from something older like an S8+ or the iPhone X you’ll be happy with either phone.

Looking at that list above, Samsung wins in the screen size and resolution, they have double the storage starting out at 128GB, plus you can add a microSD card instead of paying Apple’s premium. Battery sizes are bigger, although that doesn’t mean better because Apple’s software is way more efficient and sips on battery. And finally, we can’t really say anything about those crazy camera specs until we test the Galaxy S20 ourselves. They sound amazing though.

Galaxy S20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: Display & Design

Samsung continues to make its smartphone screens bigger and bigger, almost too big. However, with tiny bezels the phones aren’t physically much bigger than you’re used to, they just sound huge.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20: 6.2-inch, 120Hz, 3200 x 1440 Quad-HD AMOLED
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 5.8-inch 60Hz, 2436 x 1125 HD AMOLED

Here’s where things get interesting. Overall, the 6.2-inch Galaxy S20 isn’t much bigger physically than the iPhone 11 Pro with its 5.8-inch screen, thanks to no bezels and no notch at the top. It’s bigger, but not too much bugger. Part of that is because Samsung put the front camera in the display, instead of above it. Letting them stretch the screen to the very top and bottom of the hardware.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20+: 6.7-inch, 120Hz, 3200 x 1440 Quad-HD AMOLED
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 6.5-inch 60Hz, 2688 x 1242 HD AMOLED

Then, another big change is 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 120Hz refresh rate, up from 60Hz in previous models and all iPhones. This allows the screen to refresh what’s on the screen 120 times per second, twice as often as the iPhone 11 Pro.

The higher refresh rate makes everything from apps, games and even the operating system look faster, feel faster, run smoothly, and just seem better. Remember how much better 120Hz and even 240Hz HDTVs looked a few years ago in your living room? That same type of quality and performance jump is happening on our phones. The S20 has a 240Hz touch rate too, which is up from the regular 120.

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 Apple’s huge notch. This allows for a bigger screen that stretches to the top of the device without making the phone too big.

Just like you’ll forget about (or get used to) the notch, the same thing happens with the circle cutout on Samsung phones.

And finally, you’ll notice the Galaxy S20 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner on the back either. That’s because Samsung put that sensor inside the screen too, just like the front camera. Samsung is using ultrasonic fingerprint technology that can read the ridges of your fingerprint, accurately and securely, through the screen. Apple has the FaceID sensors in the notch above its display.

I’m sure most Samsung and Apple users all wish they had a regular fingerprint scanner like the good old days, but these new biometric security measures seem to work well enough.

Overall the design isn’t crazy different, it’s just all screens on the front and all cameras on the back, covered with fragile glass all around.

Galaxy S20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: Cameras

Perhaps the single biggest upgrade is in the camera department. While both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 Pro have a 12MP main camera, everything else is way different.

  • Galaxy S20: 12MP main, 64MP 3-30x telephoto, 12MP ultra-wide lens (4th ToF sensor on S20+ and Ultra)
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 12MP main camera, 12MP telephoto 2x optical zoom lens, 12MP wide-angle lens

Apple finally went big with the iPhone 11 Pro and added three powerful cameras to the back. The main 12MP camera has a big 1.4µm sensor and a fast f/1.8 aperture. This basically means the sensor is big and captures a ton of detail, and it’s fast enough to get tons of light for beautiful photos.

As for the Galaxy S20, its main 12MP camera has a bigger 1.8µm sensor and a slightly faster f/1.5-2.4 aperture lens. Then, Samsung upgraded the telephoto lens to a 3-10x optical and digital zoom, instead of only 2x. Both the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 Pro should have similar wide-angle cameras, and then the Galaxy does have one extra ToF sensor for depth-sensing and other things to help get better photos.


Galaxy S20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: Battery Life & Charging

This next category is difficult to talk about since both Android and iOS use batteries differently. And, we all know iPhone’s can last as long or longer than a Samsung with a far smaller battery.  What is important, though, is how fast they recharge.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20: 4,000 and 4500 mAh (25w fast wired charging, fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging)
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 3,064 and 3,969 mAh (18w wired fast charging, fast wireless charging)

Not only is the battery quite a bit bigger, but the phone will recharge super fast. Samsung added its new 25w fast charging technology for these phones. Then, Apple still provides a stupid slow 5w charger in the box but will let you spend extra and buy the faster 18w charger.

Our only concern with the Galaxy S20 series is how big of an impact 5G and the 120Hz display will make when it comes to battery life.

Galaxy S20 vs iPhone 11 Pro: Connectivity (5G)

Your phone signal and internet speed for gaming, streaming videos, and other content is getting upgraded on the Galaxy S20 too. We’re talking about 5G of course. Samsung’s new phones have 5G speeds, although it won’t be a huge deal for most people. When you do have a 5G connection though everything is way faster. From downloading apps and games, watching videos, streaming Netflix and more.

Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t have 5G, and only comes in a 4G version. That said, we’re pretty sure the new iPhone 12 or iPhone 2020 will have 5G built-in.

Galaxy S20 Release Date & Price

And finally, perhaps the most important question for you us “when can I buy the Galaxy S20+?” or “how much is the Galaxy S20+?” With all the upgrades this year you’ll want to think about trading in your Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone for a new S20.

The Galaxy S20 release date is March 6th following a mid-February launch event. They’re not available quite yet, but as you can see, they’re expensive. More expensive than most people expected, and higher than what Apple charges for its phones. Keep in mind that these all come with 128GB, while Apple charges a big premium to get a phone with anything more than 64GB.

  • Galaxy S20: $999
  • Galaxy S20+: $1,199
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra: $1,399
  • iPhone 11 Pro: $999
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: $1,099

When you buy Apple’s models in higher storage configurations those prices go a lot higher and end up being similar to Samsung.

Final Thoughts

In closing, these are two of the best phones around but also some of the most expensive. With Samsung, you’re paying for the latest and greatest though, which might make the high price tag more manageable for most people.

You’ll be happy with either phone because they both are big, premium, fancy phones with great cameras, excellent battery life and fast performance. On the other 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 looks like a great phone that buyers will enjoy. We think it’s worth waiting for, and we think it’s worth buying over the Galaxy S10 even though that phone is seeing heavy discounts. We could see a few iPhone 11 Pro deals from carriers too, so keep that in mind if you’re on the fence or decided to stay with Apple. After the March release date expect a lot of sales and deals.

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