10 features Samsung's Galaxy S20 phones have that Apple's latest iPhones are missing
- Samsung's newly announced Galaxy S20 phones have several features that make them different from last year's Galaxy S10 and Apple's latest iPhones.
- They all support 5G connectivity, unlike the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, and come with larger cameras with higher-resolution sensors.
- Plus, their screens can reach a refresh rate of 120Hz, a feature Apple offers on the iPad but not the iPhone.
- The new Galaxy S20 phones launched on Friday, March 6.
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Samsung on Friday launched its new Galaxy S20 lineup, which offers a camera setup with larger sensors, 5G support across all variants, and a screen with a higher refresh rate, among other changes. All these features differentiate the lineup from last year's Galaxy S10 - and Apple's latest iPhones.
It's worth noting, however, that Samsung's phones are more expensive than Apple's.
Here's a closer look at some of the features found on Samsung's Galaxy S20 that are missing from the iPhone.
Samsung's new phones all offer larger screens than Apple's iPhone 11 family.
The Galaxy S20 has a 6.2-inch screen, while the Galaxy S20 Plus has a 6.7-inch display and the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch screen.
The iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch screen and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display.
A notch-free screen
Starting with the iPhone X in 2017, Apple replaced the traditional bezel with a "notch" cutout just above the screen to provide space for the iPhone's front-facing camera and facial-recognition sensors. Two years later, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro still have that same notch.
But Samsung has taken a different approach with its Galaxy S20 phones and last year's Galaxy S10. Those phones have a smaller cutout that resembles a hole punch; Samsung calls it an "Infinity-O" display.
Higher-resolution camera sensors
The cameras on Samsung's new phones are also much different from those on Apple's.
The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have camera systems that consist of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera. The Plus model has a fourth camera for depth sensing.
But it's the Ultra model's camera that really stands out. The high-end model comes with a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a depth-sensing camera. Samsung also says the 108 megapixels on the Ultra can group to form a larger 12-megapixel sensor that can take in more light.
The iPhone 11 has a dual 12-megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens, while the Pro models have triple-camera systems with an additional 12-megapixel telephoto camera.
Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra also has a higher-resolution 40-megapixel selfie camera, while the other two models have a 10-megapixel front-facing camera. The iPhone has a 12-megapixel selfie camera.
A camera that can zoom in closer
In addition to having higher-resolution sensors than Apple's iPhones, the Galaxy S20's camera can zoom in further than the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro's cameras.
The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have an optical zoom of up to 3X and a digital zoom of up to 30X, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra has an optical zoom of up to 10X and a digital zoom of up to 100X.
The iPhone 11 has a digital zoom of 5X, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 2X optical zoom and a 10X digital zoom.
It's unclear how handy the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 100X zoom is in practice, however. Photos zoomed in to that degree usually look noisy and blurry, as my colleague Antonio-Villas Boas noted when he tested the S20 Ultra's camera against the Google Pixel 4's and iPhone 11 Pro Max's. That being said, the S20 Ultra still outperformed the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Pixel 4 when zooming in to a lesser degree.
A camera that can take photos in different modes with one press of the shutter button
It's not just the camera hardware that Samsung changed with its Galaxy S20. The company added a feature called "single take," which captures video clips and stills in multiple formats with a single press of the shutter button.
The iPhone doesn't have this specific feature, but the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro do have a feature called QuickTake that lets you shoot a video without switching out of photo mode.
More storage in the base-level model
The base model of Samsung's newest devices comes with 128 GB of storage, whereas the entry-level iPhone 11 and 11 Pro have 64 GB of onboard space.
All of Samsung's new smartphones support 5G connectivity, but the less expensive Galaxy S20 can connect only to slower mid-band networks. The Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, on the other hand, support superfast millimeter-wave 5G networks, though the downside is that these speedier networks don't have long ranges.
None of Apple's latest iPhones supports 5G, but that could change this year, as the company's iPhone 12 lineup is expected to support the next-generation network.
Still, it's worth noting that 5G networks have yet to mature in the United States.
A screen with a 120Hz refresh rate
You can boost the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra's screen refresh rate up to 120Hz, while most smartphones' refresh rate is 60Hz.
Boosting the refresh rate should make navigating the operating system and scrolling feel smoother and more natural. Apple's iPad Pro models can refresh at 120Hz through a feature the company calls ProMotion, but this hasn't made its way to the iPhone.
A fingerprint sensor embedded in the screen
Apple axed the fingerprint sensor in favour of Face ID when it killed the home button in 2017 with the iPhone X. And it hasn't brought it back.
Samsung's Galaxy S20 devices and last year's Galaxy S10 devices (excluding the S10e) each have a fingerprint sensor embedded in the display, giving users the choice to unlock their device through a fingerprint or facial recognition.
Apple's newer smartphones, including the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, support only facial recognition.
Reverse wireless charging
Samsung's Galaxy S20 lineup, as well as its older Galaxy S10 phones, can wirelessly charge other devices by resting them on the phone's back.
There were rumours that Apple was planning to bring this feature to the iPhone 11 lineup, but no such feature exists on the iPhone.
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