Samsung Galaxy S20+: The fourth camera does not make a difference, nor does its fake zoom
Undoubtedly, Samsung has geared its S20 series to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The Ultra has gained all the headlines, occasionally for the wrong reasons, and contains a plethora of standout hardware. By contrast, both the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ offer significantly fewer eye-catching features than the Ultra does.
Take the fourth rear-facing camera in the Galaxy S20+, for example. Samsung does not include the sensor in the Galaxy S20, but its inclusion does not add much to the camera capabilities of the Galaxy S20+. Disappointingly, Samsung opted for a 0.3 MP ToF sensor, the value of which is dubious at best.
Secondly, the decision to use a 64 MP sensor for 8K videos and zoom shots, but a 12 MP sensor for the main rear-facing camera in the Galaxy S20+ is an odd one. The same applies to the Galaxy S20. The 12 MP main camera has stellar image quality, but the lower megapixel count will likely throw a few people off.
Samsung's decision not to install a real 3x optical telephoto camera is another sore point too, in our opinion. Likewise, while the option of shooting in 8K is marvellous in a technical sense, Samsung disables many of the options that it enables for lower resolutions. You may often find yourself manually adjusting the focus too, which is inexcusable on such an expensive smartphone. We also found it annoying that Samsung applies restrictions to the options available when shooting in 4K and 1080p at 60 FPS.
The Galaxy S20+ is a joy to use in other senses, though. Samsung has equipped the device with an extremely bright and colour accurate display, for example, and it lasts significantly longer on a single charge than its predecessor does.
Overall, the Galaxy S20+ offers excellent all-round performance, but you should be aware that Samsung has made some compromises. If you contemplate spending close to US$1,000 on a smartphone on those terms, then we would recommend looking elsewhere for your next smartphone. Regardless, we would still urge you to read our full Galaxy S20+ smartphone review for a deeper look at what the device has to offer.