Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs the Apple iPhone 11 Pro: And fight!

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Got heaps o’cash lying around? Here’s the lowdown on the top flagships. 

If you had to choose, would it be Apple or Samsung? With the variety of choices in the smartphone market these days, it’s hard to choose between just two of em. But it looks like it’s Samsung’s turn to take the spotlight.

Last night the Korean giant just rolled out the Galaxy S20-range. All models have notable, enhancements over last year’s Galaxy S10 and look to challenge Apple’s iPhone 11 line for your attention. We see the Galaxy S20 Plus as the rival for the iPhone 11 Pro, given that the standard Galaxy S20’s match is the base iPhone 11. Yeah, we’ll leave the S20 Ultra out of this one to give the iPhone a fair chance…

Based on specs, which is the more powerful handset? We delve into the details to help you make the choice. 

Oh, those glass panels

Let’s preface this by saying that both these devices are absolutely slathered in glass panels. At the same time, both approach the modern smartphone design in different ways. 

Up-front, they’re both mostly screen. The iPhone 11 Pro has the ginormous notch (we’re still butthurt about that notch), while the Galaxy S20 Plus has the single punch hole centred on the top of the screen. The iPhone also boasts a flat glass display (that we prefer tbh), while the S20 Plus features a curved ‘Infinity’ display. 

Around back, you get the (both massive) camera modules. Samsung takes the cake on this one, boasting the biggest camera bump we’ve probably ever seen on a smartphone. Remember when we thought the iPhone’s notch was big and clunky? Well… 

Apple’s OLED screen looks great at 5.8in and 2436×1125 resolution, but Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen is both larger and crisper at a whopping 6.7in and QHD+ resolution.

That’s a pretty significant size difference. We know bigger isn’t always better — especially if you find the phone too large to comfortably use. That’s your call. If you love large Apples, the iPhone 11 Pro Max comes close to the Galaxy S20+ at 6.5in.

Shooting celestials

Although the iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t have the kind of zoom capabilities found on the Huawei P30 Pro, we’d argue that it’s the best all-around camera system found on a smartphone today.

We gave it a glowing review, pointing out the crisper images and dynamic range that matches DSLR cameras in some instances, as well as an excellent portrait mode, a stunning night mode, and “epic” video shooting. This triple-camera setup is truly fabulous.

Can Samsung’s updated quad-camera array compete? Samsung’s flagship cameras have long been good, but not the best in recent years. This one has 12-megapixel wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras, along with a 64MP telephoto camera and a DepthVison camera. 

Our hopes are high, but we won’t know until we get out into the real world with the S20+.

Pump up the power

Apple’s smartphone chips have been the fastest on the market in recent years, routinely coming ahead of the Android competition. Currently, Apple’s A13 Bionic chip in the iPhone 11 Pro leads the pack.

Samsung is using its new Exynos 990 chip in Europe and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip in North America and elsewhere. Recent history suggests that neither chip will top Apple in benchmark testing, but we still expect the Galaxy S20+ to feel super snappy and powerful.

Samsung Packs Perks

The 4,500mAh battery pack of the Samsung Galaxy S20+ is nearly 50% larger than the 3,046mAh cell in the iPhone 11 Pro, so there’s bound to be some advantage here – although the larger, higher-resolution screen will gobble up much of the excess power. We’re guessing. 

Both phones offer wireless charging, while Samsung has the added advantage of reverse wireless charging – that is, the ability to top up another wirelessly rechargeable device on the back.

Storage-wise, you’ll get twice the starting tally on the Galaxy S20+: that’s 128GB vs. 64GB on the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple also offers 256GB and 512GB models for extra cash, while Samsung’s also comes in 512GB. On top of that, Samsung’s phone storage can be expanded out with microSD cards up to 1TB.

Want 5G speeds? You won’t find them on any iPhone today, but you will find it in the Galaxy S20+. So there’s that even though SA is lacking a bit in rolling out 5G coverage. 

Initial Verdict: Could be Close

We already love the iPhone 11 Pro – it’s an excellent, high-end handset that has a great screen, brilliant cameras, and a fantastic operating system with the best mobile app selection around. It’s also incredibly pricey, starting at a staggering R22,000… for the 64GB

The Galaxy S20+ comes in at just under that — R21,000. But this one sizes in at 128GB base storage, so clearly Samsung has the upper-hand price-wise. 

We’ll have to wait for our full review to see whether the overall experience is just as good as the iPhone 11 Pro, if not even better. We’ll finalise our verdict here once we know for sure.

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