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Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II

AH Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II comparison
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In this article, we’ll compare the Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II. Both of these phones are high-end offerings from their respective companies. In some ways, they are similar, but for the most part, they’re quite different. Both devices offer premium build, which we’ll talk about soon, and both offer high-end specifications. Their specs are somewhat different, as are design approaches here.

What’s also considerably different in comparison is their software, which we’ll briefly touch upon as well. Neither of these two phones is exactly affordable, but there are far more expensive phones available out there. Having said that, we’ll compare the two phones across a number of sections. We’ll start off by listing their specifications, and will then move to the design, display, performance, battery, camera, and audio section. Let’s kick off the Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II comparison, shall we.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S20Sony Xperia 5 II
Screen size6.2-inch WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display (120Hz)6.1-inch fullHD+ OLED display (120Hz)
Screen resolution3200 x 14402520 x 1080
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM12GB (LPDDR5)8GB
Storage128GB; Expandable up to 1TB128GB/256GB; Expandable
Rear cameras12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 79-degree angle lens)
64MP (f/2.0 aperture, 76-degree angle lens)
12MP(f/2.2 aperture, ultrawide 120-degree lens)
12MP (f/1.7 aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, 24mm lens)
12MP (f/2.4 aperture, 70mm telephoto lens, PDAF, 3x optical zoom, 1.0um pixels size)
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 16mm ultrawide lens, 124-degree lens, Dual Pixel PDAF)
Front cameras10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 80-degree angle lens)8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)
Battery4,000mAh, non-removable, 25W fast battery charging, fast wireless charging, reverse charging4,000mAh, non-removable, 21W fast battery charging (USB-C PD)
Dimensions152 x 68 x 7.9mm158 x 68 x 8mm
Weight164 grams163 grams
Connectivity5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)Side-facing fingerprint scanner
OSAndroid 10
One UI 2.0
Android 10
Price$999$949.99
BuySamsungSony

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II: Design

Both the Galaxy S20 and Xperia 5 II are made out of metal and glass. These two phones do feel completely different in hand, though. What they do have in common, however, is the fact they’re quite slippery. That’s something we’re used to when it comes to glass-made smartphones, though. The Sony Xperia 5 II is taller than the Galaxy S20, but it’s narrower. The two phones are equally thick, pretty much, even though the Galaxy S20 does feel thinner due to its shape.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 AM AH 6
Samsung Galaxy S20 back

The Galaxy S20 is a bit more curved on the back than the Xperia 5 II, that’s for sure. The Galaxy S20 also comes with a slightly curved display, while Sony decided to include a flat panel on the Xperia 5 II. The Galaxy S20 does have thinner bezels overall, but it includes a display camera hole. The Xperia 5 II does not feature a display camera hole, nor a notch, but it does have some bezel above and below the display.

Their rear camera modules are placed in the same spot, pretty much, but those modules are different. Both camera modules do protrude on the back, while brandings for each company are visible on the back as well. These two smartphones weigh exactly the same, they both measure 163 grams. That means they’re not exactly heavy, especially compared to the vast majority of phones out there. Both phones look really good, it’s all a matter of personal preference.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II: Display

These two devices offer compelling displays, to say the least. Both of them come with high refresh rate OLED displays. The Galaxy S20 sports a 6.2-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display That panel supports HDR10+ content, and it comes with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Sony Xperia 5 II, on the other hand, features a 6.1-inch fullHD+ OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. This display supports HDR BT.2020, and it’s a Triluminos display.

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Both of these displays are protected by the Gorilla Glass 6, which is great. Both phones are considered to be compact, even though they’re not exactly small. They are small in comparison to the vast majority of phones these days, sure, which is why most people refer to them as compact. They sure are great alternatives to their big siblings, the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Xperia 1 II. If you like those two phones, but you find them to be too big, the Galaxy S20 and Xperia 5 II are great alternatives, despite the fact you’ll have to deal with somewhat smaller displays.

Now, are those displays any good in general usage? Yes, they’re great, in fact. You won’t notice the difference in resolution between the two phones, as displays on both are extremely sharp. The colors are vivid, punchy, while blacks are deep. Viewing angles on both phones are also excellent, and both displays get more than bright enough outside. We don’t have any major complaints on these displays, they’ll be more than enough for pretty much anyone. 120Hz refresh rate only helps things, as you’ll enjoy using these panels even more.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II: Performance

As expected, both of these devices offer great performance. Both of them are high-end phones, with top-of-the-line hardware, so any performance issues would indicate some serious problems. Luckily, that is not the case with either device. Both of them can handle pretty much anything you throw at them. No matter if you’re a casual user, or if you actually like to game on your smartphone, these will suffice.

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Both phones can also do some image and video editing, and a ton of other, processor-intensive tasks. Speaking of the SoC, both devices are fueled by the Snapdragon 865 SoC. That is Qualcomm’s most powerful processor at the moment, alongside its ‘Plus’ variant. On top of that, both phones are equipped with plenty of RAM, and well-balanced software. Speaking of which, both run Android 10, but are supposed to get Android 11 in the near future.

Their software offerings are quite different, though. The Galaxy S20 ships with One UI 2.5, while the Xperia 5 II offers something much closer to stock Android, though not exactly. Both skins have improved a lot, and are really great at this point in time. So, the bottom line is, don’t expect any performance issues here. Both phones are excellent in every performance aspect, pretty much.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II: Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S20 and Sony Xperia 5 II are well-equipped in the battery department. Both phones come with the exact same battery capacity, 4,000mAh battery packs. Their display sizes are almost the same, even though the Galaxy S20 offers a higher resolution. Do note that you still can’t use a 120Hz refresh rate and QHD+ resolution at the same time on the Galaxy S20, so that brings it down to the same level as the Xperia 5 II.

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What about actual battery life? Well, both are fairly good in that regard. The Xperia 5 II does seem to manage to offer a bit more juice in most cases, but they’re fairly similar. Most users should be able to cross that 5.5-6-hour mark in a single day, unless you’re pushing that SoC hard, of course. Processor-intensive tasks will mess things up. Both phones offer good battery life, not excellent, but good. Battery life will differ from one user to the next, of course.

Speaking of battery life, when the time comes to recharge these devices, the Galaxy S20 has a slight advantage. The phone supports 25W wired charging, on top of 15W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging as well. The Sony Xperia 5 II is limited to 21W wired charging, and it only comes with an 18W charger. It does not support wireless charging, nor reverse wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II: Cameras

Both of these phones are capable of taking some great pictures. Both of them include three cameras on the back, and a single one on the front. The sensors are not the same, but camera types are. You’ll get a wide main camera, ultrawide camera, and a telephoto camera on the back of each device. Both phones capture really detailed, and color-rich images while there’s enough light in a scene. The Galaxy S20 pictures tend to be a bit more saturated, though, for better or worse.

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Samsung Galaxy S20 AM AH 10
Samsung Galaxy S20 camera

Now, in low light, both do a really good job, and it’s a tossup between them. They manage to recognize a lot of details, and pull them from the shadows. Images also turn out well-balanced. Neither of them can compare to something like the Pixel 4a or 5 in low light, but they do a really good job regardless. Video recording is also excellent on both, and they can both record 4K video at 60 FPS. The Galaxy S20 can also pull out 8K video at 24 FPS, but we wouldn’t recommend that.

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs Sony Xperia 5 II: Audio

There’s not much difference in terms of audio quality, as both phones deliver. Both of them have a set of stereo speakers included, and those speakers do get quite loud. They are also sharp enough, and the distortion is barely noticeable, and only at the very highest of volumes. The vocals turn out quite sharp through them, while they’re well-balanced overall. We don’t have any major complaints here.

If you do need a 3.5mm headphone jack, though, the Sony Xperia 5 II does offer it. Speaking of which, the sound through a good pair of headphones is good on both phones. You’ll get a well-balanced sound across the spectrum. The vast majority of people won’t have any complaints here.

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