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Has Samsung Gone Too Far?

by Steve Danforth

Samsung’s new flagship smartphone has just landed, and on paper, at least, it’s an absolute monster. Claiming all sorts of records, the s20 Ultra has caused quite a stir. Is it the most expensive smartphone ever released? Excluding some mysterious luxury brands, It sure is. Samsung put a 100x zoom lens on a smartphone? Sure, why not.  Even the “normal” version, the Samsung Galaxy s20 pink is an “extra” device in so many ways, but should you race out and buy one? Or has Samsung, in its thirst for dominance, gone too far?

Numbers Don’t Lie.

By the numbers, the s20 Ultra is indeed ultra. A whopping 6.9inch AMOLED display, refreshing at a super-smooth 120hz, make viewing and using the screen a joy. A massive, fast refreshing screen chews through power, luckily the s20 Ultra has an equally as massive, fast-charging battery, at 5000mah, the s20 should have enough juice to run that gorgeous screen all day, with power to spare.

Speaking of power to spare, the performance from the Samsung Galaxy s20 Ultra is as expected, blisteringly fast. Along with its smaller s20 siblings, the Ultra is the first handset to receive Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon processor, making it extremely capable at all tasks. The Ultra can be upgraded on purchase to an insane 16gb of RAM, coupled with the new 865 CPU, and you have one of the fastest phones on the market.

100 Times.

The camera on the s20 Ultra follows the trend of ridiculousness, with a 108-megapixel sensor and 100x zoom. The average person would never need 108 megapixels, but the average person is not going to be buying this phone. The astounding claim of 100x zoom is watered down a little by the fact that the optical zoom is only 10x, but this is still an insane lens system in an insane camera.

Last year’s flagship Samsung phone, the Galaxy s10 plus, had an impressive camera system, capable of taking some beautiful pictures, so, one would hope the s20 Ultra can improve on that experience. Disappointingly, while 108 megapixels is a huge jump up from previous models, the software still needs some work. Early images from the s20 Ultra honestly didn’t look that much better than the s10+.

The 100x zoom claim is crazy, but it’s the addition of a 10x optical zoom that I find more interesting, the previous s10 plus had only 2x optical zoom.The s20 Ultra’s Contemporaries, like the iPhone 11 pro, at best, can offer 5x.Optical zoom is the preferred method of zooming, as the optics move to magnify light.

Digital zoom is just like zooming in on an image that has already been captured, while digital zoom does the job, it can produce blurry, grainy photos. Perhaps bird watchers and sports fans can get excited about 100x digital zoom, but it seems we will have to wait a few weeks for the software to catch up.

For now, it seems the s20 Ultra has the potential to be a great camera phone but is let down by new release software and bugs. It’s too early to judge the s20’s camera against competitors.

Is It All A Bit Much?

The s20 is a supercar of a smartphone, its expensive, its beautiful and it goes fast, but it comes at a high cost. Whether the cost of owning this smartphone is worth it, well, that depends on what you are looking for in a device. Most people will get by just fine with a phone a third of the price, and not even realize what features they are “missing out on.”

A big screen is a drain on battery life, but another killer is a constant connection to the 5g network. The new 5g network promises to deliver fast data speeds, and the s20 is compatible and ready to connect, at the cost of battery life. While the s20 boasts a large battery, it needs it.

The s20 Ultra is a fast phone, there is no denying the numbers, but how does it stack up to its rivals? Well, because of the newness of the handset, it’s hard to tell, but early benchmarks seem to favor Apples 11 pro max. Whether these benchmarks are biased in Apple’s favoris unclear at the time of writing, the s20 Ultra hasn’t had as much time to optimize its performance.

Who Are You?

Samsung has desperately tried to capture the premium share of the smartphone market. For the longest time, Apple has ruled the roost and profited handsomely. With each new flagship release, Apple and Samsung trade blows, the war forever wages over who makes the” best smartphone.”

Traditionally, if you wanted a premium smartphone, you bought an iPhone, now with the s20 Ultra that could all change. If you want the best of the best, for the sake of it, Samsung’s latest offering is hard to pass up. If you want the latest and greatest, if you’re going to own the bleeding edge of technology right now, the s20 Ultra is your phone.

The s20 Ultra is a ludicrous phone in so many ways; it’s hard not to like it. Alongside its range of wild folding phones, Samsung is continuously pushing the envelope on smartphone design. While some might not be able to stomach the asking price, others will see the Ultra for what it is, a statement piece, a demonstration of the best technology available.

While Apple sticks to the script with iterative designs, Samsung raises the bar. No other company is taking risks like Samsung is, and we, the consumers, are better are reaping the rewards. Is the s20 Ultra the best smartphone money can buy? With early-release software bugs and optimization issues, Its too early to tell, but the numbers are promising.

With a humungous screen, battery, and cost, the s20 Ultra is big, bold, and utterly insane.No other smartphone is offering an ultra experience like this. Has Samsung gone too far? Well, how far do you want to go?

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