Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Samsung had recently introduced its new Galaxy S20 smartphones. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the most powerful of the newly-announced handsets, and in this article, we'll compare it with one of the most powerful Samsung phones of last year. To be more precise, this is the Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison.

Samsung did introduce one Galaxy S10 phone that is technically more powerful than the Galaxy S10+, the Galaxy S10 5G. That phone did not sell nearly as much as the Galaxy S10+, so we'll focus on the 'Plus' model. The Galaxy S10+ is still quite powerful, but Samsung made a huge step forward with the Galaxy S20 series, including the Galaxy S20 Ultra, of course.

We'll compare the two phones via a number of categories, ranging from display and design, to cameras and performance. Needless to say, the Galaxy S10+ is currently considerably more affordable than it was last year, so some of you may still opt to get it over the Galaxy S20 Ultra. In any case, let's kick off this Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison, shall we.

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Specs

Sony Galaxy S10+Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Screen size6.4-inch fullHD+ display (Dynamic AMOLED)6.9-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display (120Hz)
Screen resolution3040 x 14403200 x 1440
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM8GB12GB/16GB
Storage128GB / 512GB; Expandable128GB/512GB; Expandable up to 1TB
Rear cameras12MP (f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 1.4um pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
12MP (f/2.4 aperture, 52mm telephoto lens, 1.0um pixel size, OIS, 2x optical zoom)
16MP (f/2.2 aperture, 12mm ultrawide lens, 1.0um pixel size)
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 cameras10MP (f/1.9 aperture, 26mm wide-angle lens, 1.22um pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF)
8MP (f/2/2 aperture, 22mm wide-angle lens, 1.12um pixel size, depth sensor)
40MP (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree angle lens)
Battery4,100mAh, Non-Removable,  15W Fast Battery Charging (both wired and wireless), 9W reverse wireless charging5,000mAh, non-removable, 45W fast battery charging, fast wireless charging, reverse charging
Dimensions157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm167 x 76 x 8.8mm
Weight175 grams221 grams
ConnectivityLTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-CLTE, 5G, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)
OSAndroid 9 Pie
One UI
Android 10
Samsung One UI 2
Price$953 (128GB)$1,399
BuyAmazonSamsung

Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Design

Both of these phones are made out of metal and glass. The metal used here is not the same in both phones, though. For the Galaxy S10+, Samsung used aluminum, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra uses stainless steel. Still, the vast majority of both phones consists out of glass, of course. Considering that the Galaxy S20 Ultra is both larger and utilizes stainless steel, it's considerably heavier.

The Galaxy S10+ is shorter, narrower, and thinner than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It weighs 175 grams, while the S20 Ultra weighs 221 grams. Just to be clear, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is larger than the S10+ mainly due to its display size. It packs in a considerably larger display than the S10+. It does have slightly thinner bezels than the Galaxy S10+, in case you were wondering. Both phones include a display camera hole, though the Galaxy S20 Ultra's is considerably smaller. There's a good reason for that, it includes only one camera in there, while the Galaxy S10+'s includes two front-facing cameras. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's display hole is centered at the top of the display, while the Galaxy S10+'s is moved to the right, it's placed in the top-right corner of the phone's display.

Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra AM AH 4

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Both devices are curved on both the front and the back. The Galaxy S10+'s display is more curved than the Galaxy S20 Ultra's, by the way. Both phones include multiple cameras on the back, and we'll talk more about them later on. The Galaxy S10+'s cameras are aligned horizontally, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra's are aligned vertically, for the most part. The positioning for those camera modules is also different.

All in all, it's impossible to confuse which phone is which between these two handsets. The Galaxy S20 Ultra definitely looks more modern, mainly due to a smaller display camera hole, and its placement. So, the Galaxy S20 Ultra wins this round. Do note that you should avoid it if you don't like heavy phones, though, because you'll feel its heft.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Display

Both of these phones have quite compelling displays, that's for sure. Both phones include Samsung's Dynamic AMOLED panels. The Galaxy S10+ features a display with a pill-shaped camera hole, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera hole is more subtle. That pill-shaped camera hole is placed in the top-left corner of the display. The Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera hole is centered at the top of the display.

None of these two solutions are ideal, of course, but the Galaxy S20 Ultra's looks much nicer. Having said that, both of these displays are curved. Those display curves are more pronounced on the Galaxy S10+, though. Both displays come with rounded corners, as expected. The Galaxy S10+ includes a 6.4-inch QHD+ (3040 x 1440) display, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra features a 6.9-inch WQHD+ (3200 x 1440) panel.

These two displays, as you can see, also differ in terms of aspect ratio. The display on the Galaxy S20 Ultra is taller. In terms of image reproduction, the Galaxy S20 Ultra takes the cake. It is slightly better in that regard, but better none the less. The contrast is better, and colors seem to be ever so slightly punchier.

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra's display has one major advantage over the S10+s panel. It offers high refresh rate, 120Hz, to be accurate. The Galaxy S10+'s display is stuck at 60Hz, in case you were wondering. Such high refresh rate makes everything move smoother on the display, the whole UI, thus it makes using the Galaxy S20 Ultra a more pleasant experience. The difference is easily noticeable. The Galaxy S20 Ultra takes the win in this category as well.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Performance

In terms of performance, both of these phones are on an extremely high level. The S20 Ultra does have an advantage here, though. The Galaxy S10+ is fueled by the Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820, both of which are still quite powerful. It comes with an ample amount of RAM, and its software is actually quite good.

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra does have both faster RAM, and faster storage, in comparison. On top of that, it comes with more RAM, and it has a more powerful processor on the inside. The Galaxy S20 Ultra ups LPDDR4X from the Galaxy S10+ to LPDDR5, and UFS 2.1 to UFS 3.0. Hardware doesn't really have to mean that the difference is visible in regular usage, though, right? Well, yes, but in this case, it is.

The Galaxy S10+ is not a slow phone by any means, it's extremely snappy, but it does hiccup from time to time, which is not something we've noticed with the S20 Ultra. During our brief testing, the phone handled everything with the utmost ease. On top of that, it has that high refresh rate display which makes everything that much smoother. Long story short, while both phones can handle everything you throw at them, the S20 Ultra will do that with less hiccups, it will be more fluid.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

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Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ had great battery life at first, but it quickly dropped down to good. Having said that, we did not have enough time to properly test the Galaxy S20 Ultra's battery life, but we have to say that it did not drop fast at all. We've opened a ton of applications, did some light gaming on the phone, multitasked, and so on… and the phone did not break a sweat when it comes to battery. At first, it seems like it will drain the battery considerably less than the S10+, but we cannot say for sure just yet.

That can be attributed to better software optimization, larger battery, or the fact that the Snapdragon 865 is more power efficient. The same goes for LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 flash storage. In fact. We can say, for sure, that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will offer better battery life than the Galaxy S10+, but we cannot give you any firm numbers just yet.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra also offers faster charging than the S10+. It comes with 45W wired charging, with a 45W charger that is included in the box. The Galaxy S10+ caps out at 15W. Both phones offer fast wireless charging, and Wireless Power Share 2.0 (reverse wireless charging).

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Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung took a considerable step forward with the Galaxy S20 series, and cameras are a part of that. The company upgraded cameras across the board, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra got the most significant upgrade. The Galaxy S10+ did not bring major improvements on the camera hardware front compared to its predecessor, it was mainly software. Having said that, the Galaxy S10+ was, and still is an extremely capable camera smartphone. How does the Galaxy S20 Ultra compare? Well, it takes things a step further, that's for sure.

Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra AM AH 1

We've noticed that the shots taken with the S20 Ultra are sharper, in most cases, and also brighter. The improvement in terms of camera sensors is visible. Wide-angle shots are also improved, and the same goes for the bokeh effect. Needless to say, the Galaxy S20 Ultra can zoom in really far thanks to that periscope camera. Those zoomed-in photos are not great, the S10+ can't do them at all, so… there you go. Also, forget about using the periscope camera feature during the night.

When it comes to low light shots, we could not have taken proper shots in the dark with the S20 Ultra, but in some questionable lighting, the phone did a better job than the S10+. As mentioned earlier, images end up being brighter, while keeping plenty of detail. The Galaxy S20 Ultra takes the cake in this category.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S10+ vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Audio

If audio is your cup of tea… well, these two are quite close in that regard. Both phones include stereo speakers. The main speaker on both phones is placed at the bottom, while the secondary one is included above the display. That secondary display is front-facing, by the way. Speakers on both phones are tuned by AKG, and we did not notice much difference between them. They're both quite loud, and on point. The distortion is almost non-existent. So they're on par, basically.

The Galaxy S10+ has one advantage over the Galaxy S20 Ultra, though, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack. That may not be a big deal for the vast majority of you, but for people who use 3.5mm headphones, and audiophiles, it surely is. Nobody likes dongles, let's face it. What about audio quality through headphones? Well, the two phones are quite close in that regard as well.

We've noticed a well-balanced sound, both through a pair of headphones, and over Bluetooth when it comes to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It actually sounded excellent, as did the S10+ when we last test it. The Galaxy S20 Ultra may have slightly better highs, though that could just be a placebo effect. We'll give the Galaxy S10+ an advantage here, as they're on par in every way, but the S10+ has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S10+

The overall winner

Sony Galaxy S10+Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Design
Display
Performance
Battery
Cameras
Audio

So, it was not difficult to predict that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will win in this comparison. The Galaxy S10+ is still a great phone, though. It is still well-worth your money, especially considering it's much more affordable than the S20 Ultra at this point. If you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to Samsung, though, the Galaxy S20 Ultra should be your choice. The phone offers improvements across the board, except maybe in the audio department, where it's more or less on par with the Galaxy S10+. The bottom line is, both of these are great phones, but the Galaxy S20 Ultra is more powerful in almost every way, but it's also considerably more expensive.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra