Phone Comparisons: Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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If you’re looking to purchase a new flagship phone, the Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison may interest you. These two phones are Google’s and Samsung’s current flagship smartphones, respectively. Truth be said, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is one generation ahead, due to Pixel’s late release scheduled, but there you go. What’s going to be especially interesting to check out later this year, is the Pixel 5 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison. Until then, though, this is what interests all of us.

Both of these smartphones are quite powerful, though the Galaxy S20 Ultra packs in more powerful internals. As already mentioned, it’s a generation ahead, so it has more advanced hardware. Is it enough to convince you to purchase it? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is considerably more expensive than the Pixel 4 XL, and that may be a red light for you.

We’ll compare the two phones across a number of categories, as we usually do. We’re kicking things off by listing their specifications, and then we’ll compare their designs, displays, performance, and so on. That’s more or less it, let’s kick off the Pixel 4 XL vs Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison, shall we.

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Specs

Google Pixel 4 XLSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Screen size6.3-inch QHD+ Smooth Display (flexible OLED, 90Hz)6.9-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display (120Hz)
Screen resolution3040 x 14403200 x 1440
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM6GB12GB/16GB
Storage64GB/128GB; Non-Expandable128GB/512GB; Expandable up to 1TB
Rear cameras12.2MP (1.4um pixel size, f/1.7 aperture, 77-degree angle lens, PDAF, OIS, EIS)
16MP (1.0um pixel size, f/2.4 aperture, 52-degree angle lens, OIS, EIS, PDAF)
108MP (f/1.8 aperture, 79-degree angle lens, wide-angle)
48MP (f/3.5 aperture, 24-degree angle lens)
12MP(f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree angle lens, ultrawide)
Depth Vision (ToF camera)
Front cameras8MP (1.22um pixel size, f/2.0 aperture, 90-degree angle lens, fixed focus)40MP (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree angle lens)
Battery3,700mAh, Non-Removable,  18W Fast Battery Charging (USB-PD 2.0), Qi wireless charging5,000mAh, non-removable, 45W fast battery charging, fast wireless charging, reverse charging
Dimensions160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2mm167 x 76 x 8.8mm
Weight193 grams221 grams
ConnectivityLTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-CLTE, 5G, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIR-based facial scanning, Titan M moduleIn-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)
OSAndroid 10Android 10
Samsung One UI 2
Price$899 (64GB) / $999 (128GB)$1,399
BuyAmazonSamsung

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Design

Both of these devices are made out of metal and glass. Despite that, however, they both look different, and feel different in the hand. On one hand, the Pixel 4 XL offers way fewer curves than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It is considerably less slippery, and it’s also noticeably lighter than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The phone’s back is flat, as is its front. Even the sides of this phone are less slippery than what the Galaxy S20 Ultra has to offer.

Many would say that the Galaxy S20 Ultra is a more appealing phone, though. It’s hard to disagree with that. The phone offers considerably thinner bezels, and even though it has a display camera hole, it’s really small. The Pixel 4 XL’s top bezel is thicker than its bottom bezel, and that makes it look weird to begin with. The Galaxy S20 Ultra offers curved back, and curved front, while its frame is barely there, as glass curves on its from both sides. That only adds to its slipperiness, though.

The Google Pixel 4 XL is made out of glass and aluminum, and it weighs 193 grams. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is made out of glass and stainless steel, and it’s quite hefty at 222 grams. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is taller, wider, and thicker than the Pixel 4 XL, while it also includes a considerably larger display.

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra has four cameras on the back, and those are located in a rather huge camera sensor. That sensor is placed in the top-left corner of the phone’s back, the same as the one on the Pixel 4 XL. That being said, this is more a matter of preference than anything else, but we’ll give this one to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. That phone looks way more modern, and sleeker overall. If you don’t want such a huge, heavy, and slippery phone, though, the Pixel 4 XL is a great option… it sure looks different than anything else out there.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Display

Both of these phones have OLED displays, but they’re quite different. The Google Pixel 4 XL comes with a 6.3-inch QHD+ (3040 x 1440) P-OLED display. That display offers 20:9 aspect ratio, and it is flat. The Galaxy S20 Ultra, on the other hand, sports a 6.9-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED display with 20:9 aspect ratio. That panel is curved, by the way, slightly, but still curved.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review AM AH 5

The Pixel 4 XL’s display is protected by the Gorilla Glass 5, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s comes with Gorilla Glass 6. Both displays can reproduce HDR content, but only the S20 Ultra is HDR10+ certified. On top of everything, the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s display offers a higher refresh rate than the Pixel 4 XL. It comes with 120Hz refresh rate, compared to 90Hz refresh rate on the Pixel 4 XL.

In practice, both displays are great. They both offer deep blacks, great colors, and are great overall. The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s does seem a bit better to the eye, though. Samsung really hit the jackpot with this panel. On top of that, 120Hz refresh rate only helps it shine. Do note that, at the moment, you cannot use 120Hz refresh rate and QHD+ resolution, though. Samsung is working on optimizing the display, but this is the situation for the time being (at the time of writing this article). All in all, the Galaxy S20 Ultra wins here, it offers more in the display category.

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Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Performance

In the performance department, both of these phones are great. The vast majority of consumers won’t see the difference or care. Both phones come with high refresh rate displays, well-optimized software, and high-end specifications. All three of those factors make sure that the performance is quite smooth. We are here to nitpick, at least a little bit.

So, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is blazingly fast. The phone managed to chew threw everything we threw at it, and then some. That 120Hz display refresh rate only adds to the overall feeling of speed. The phone managed to multitask perfectly, open up apps really fast, run games, and so on.

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The Pixel 4 XL, on the other hand, despite the fact it has older hardware, did not lag behind. The Pixel 4 XL is still an amazing performer. If you really look for a difference between the two, you can notice the difference in refresh rates, as the Galaxy S20 Ultra does feel a bit smoother if you pay attention. But everything else is almost on par. Still, as we said, we’re here to nitpick, so we’ll give an edge to the Galaxy S20 Ultra, as it’s a tiny bit faster.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Battery

In terms of battery, the Galaxy S20 Ultra reigns supreme. Google has included a 3,700mAh battery inside the Pixel 4 XL, and it turns out that it can’t handle that phone the way it should. The Pixel 4 XL’s 90Hz refresh rate, in combination with everything else is taking a toll on this battery. In our testing, we were able to get around 5 hours of screen-on-time from this phone, though other outlets got even less than that. Depending on your usage, you may even pull out more than that.

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra has been a lot better in that regard. With 120Hz refresh rate and 1080p resolution (we couldn’t use WQHD and 120Hz at the same time) the phone managed to cross the 6.5-7 hours of screen on time regularly, pretty much. The device can offer amazing battery life if you revert back to 60Hz, though you shouldn’t. Once you use that 120Hz refresh rate, you’ll hardly ever go back.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Review AM AH 18

The Galaxy S20 Ultra also offers much faster charging than the Pixel 4 XL. You’ll get 45W wired charging with the Ultra, if you use a 45W charger. The phone also offers 15W wireless charging, and 9W reverse wireless charging. The Pixel 4 XL is limited to 18W wired charging, and wireless charging on top of that.

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Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cameras

So, what about their cameras? Well, the Pixel 4 XL offered a noticeably better experience than the Galaxy S10 series in that regard, but what about the all-new Galaxy S20 Ultra? Well, the two phones are kind of equal in that regard, at least in our eyes. We simply cannot decide between the two, as each of these camera setups has something different to bring to the table. The Pixel 4 XL is still our favorite point-and-shoot camera, as in using its main lens on auto mode. It’s also amazing in low light.

The Pixel 4 XL can offer kind of unrealistic shots, but they look amazing. If you’re looking for a camera that will provide more true-to-life results, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is the way to go. Not only does it provide more realistic images, but it also provides more detail as well. That thing packs in a 108-megapixel sensor which uses pixel binning to provide 12-megapixel shots, and it does a great job at that. The phone has slightly focusing issues, but Samsung already released an update for that in Korea, which did the trick. We have some complaints for both of these cameras, but this is not a camera review, they’re both great, nonetheless.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra also does a great job in low light, though we still prefer the Pixel 4 XL for such scenes. The S20 Ultra does bring an ultrawide camera to the table, though, which is something the Pixel 4 XL doesn’t have. This sensor is great for taking landscape shots, and it should be on every phone, especially flagship phones. All in all, both cameras are truly great, and this is a tie in our book.

Winner: Tie

Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Audio

In the audio department, both phones are pretty good. Both of these devices includes a set of stereo speakers. The main speaker sits on the bottom of both phones, while the secondary one is placed above the display (front-facing). Speakers on both phones really good, they’re quite loud, and don’t distort that much at high volumes. The Galaxy S20 Ultra may be able to provide slightly louder output, but not by much.

Neither of the two phones have a 3.5mm headphone jack, by the way. You’ll have to use either a Type-C port for wired connection of your headphones, or utilize Bluetooth connectivity. Either way you go, you’ll get a really good output. The two phones offer really solid audio through headphones, though the Galaxy S20 Ultra has slightly better highs and mids. Some people will hardly be able to tell the difference. The point is, you won’t be disappointed with either of these phones in the audio department.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The overall winner

Google Pixel 4 XLSamsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Design
Display
Performance
Battery
Cameras
Audio

That brings us to the end of the Google Pixel 4 XL vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has won this comparison. The device has slight advantages in the vast majority of the categories we’ve listed above. The question is, is it worth the extra cash you need to splash out? Well, we’d say no, at least not for the vast majority of people. At the time of writing this article, the Pixel 4 XL is priced at approximately $800 on Amazon. You’ll have to splash out about $500 extra to get the Galaxy S20 Ultra, unlocked. For most people, that doesn’t make sense. If you want a more powerful, larger phone, and you don’t mind the extra weight… well, then go for it.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra AM AH 15
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Design

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra