samsung
The new Galaxy S20 phones — all three of them. Photo: Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

  • The Samsung Galaxy S20's headlining feature is its upgraded camera, which comes with a 64-megapixel sensor on the S20 and S20 Plus model and a massive 108-megapixel sensor on the S20 Ultra.
  • The phones also have improved screens that are capable of reaching higher refresh rates, which should make navigating the phone's software feel snappier.
  • Taken together, the new features on the Galaxy S20 indicate that Samsung is putting much of its resources into the camera.
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With its newest flagship smartphone, Samsung is betting big on the camera.

The company took the wraps off the Galaxy S20 on Tuesday, the latest addition to its flagship Galaxy S lineup. The three new phones, which go on sale March 6, have the same general look and feel as their predecessors, but with upgraded camera sensors that the company claims should make them better at capturing detailed photos.

The Galaxy S20 comes in three variants: the R18,999 Galaxy S20, the R20,999 Galaxy S20 Plus, and the R26,999 Galaxy S20 Ultra. The new phones will be available to buy in March in South Africa.

Here's a look at the most significant new features you're likely to notice the most when picking up a Galaxy S20.


1. The upgraded camera sensors

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Samsung has upgraded the camera sensors for all three of its new smartphones. The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are both getting a 64-megapixel telephoto camera, while the Galaxy S20 is getting a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera. The S20 and S20 Plus also both have 12-megapixel main and ultra-wide-angle cameras, while the Ultra model has a 48-megapixel telephoto camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens.

Taken together, the changes should mean that the new Galaxy lineup is capable of taking crisper, higher-resolution photos than their predecessors, especially in low-light situations.


2. The Single Take shooting mode

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Samsung's Galaxy S20 phones are getting a new camera mode called Single Take, which captures multiple photos and videos taken in different shooting modes with a single press of the shutter button.

It's not a groundbreaking addition, but it's a convenient trick that's bound to save some time since it means you wouldn't have to switch between different shooting modes. In the example above, you'll notice the same photo was taken in a variety of different formats, from a short clip to a longer video and a still image with a black-and-white filter.


3. Better zoom

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The Galaxy S20 should be better-equipped to handle zoom shots as well, considering the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have a 3X optic zoom and a 30X digital zoom, while the Ultra version has a 10X optic zoom and 100X digital zoom. Both represent a significant step up from the Galaxy S10's 2X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom.

I briefly played around with the Galaxy S20 Ultra's zooming capabilities, and found that it was capable of providing a clear shot from approximately 20 feet away. At a 37X zoom, I was able get a sharp shot with legible text, as shown above.


4. A 120Hz screen

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

The screens on Samsung's Galaxy S20 lineup are capable of reaching refresh rates of 120GHz, a capability that should make animations and navigating the operating system feel faster and more fluid. It's a small but welcome improvement that comes after rival phone makers like Google, OnePlus, and Razer have already launched phones with refresh rates that are higher than the average rate of 60Hz.


5. 5G on all models

All models of the Galaxy S20 support 5G, a departure from Samsung's approach last year when only one variant of its flagship phone supported the next-generation wireless network. It may not be immediately useful since carriers are still expanding their 5G networks, but it ensures that those shelling out more on one of Samsung's new smartphones won't find their device falling behind as 5G networks ramp up in the coming years.

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