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Samsung Galaxy S20+ Review: A perfect phone for 'work from home'

There's a lot to love in S20+. Good design, outstanding screen, fantastic display, brilliant camera and reverse wireless charging, the stereo audio speakers are the boxes ticked right. Here's our review of the Samsung Galaxy S20+.

May 07, 2020 / 08:16 AM IST

Galaxy S20+ is the latest offering from Korean smartphone major Samsung's stable for 2020.

We take the phone to the real world and test it to see how it behaves in our daily lives. After all, this is how you will use the Galaxy S20+.

Meet Gaurav Choudhury, Deputy Executive Editor of Moneycontrol.

Until March 24, Gaurav would spend most of his day at the Network 18 office, doing several video shows and a dozen meetings on not just different floors but also different buildings.

Come March 24, PM Modi announced a nationwide lockdown. Work From Home in this one month of lockdown has become the new norm, but a lot of us faced issues doing so.

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Gaurav too had a challenging task while performing day-to-day activities such as recording TV and digital shows, conferences and meetings while at home. We put Samsung Galaxy S20+ through its paces to find out if this premium smartphone can help Gaurav carry out his work smoothly from home.

Gaurav's day begins at 5:30 am with an hour of a strenuous workout.
During the lockdown, he is unable to go to his gym so what comes in handy are online fitness apps.


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Design and Display

The S20+ sports a 6.7-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, with assistance for HDR 10+. The smartphone sports a 120 Hz refresh rate, which is a first in any Samsung device. However, at higher refresh rate the display resolution is limited to Full HD+. The bright display, punchy colours give you a delightful viewing experience -- perfect for watching fitness videos.

The audio quality from the stereo speaker setup is loud and clear which is an important metric when you need to listen to the instructions while doing your exercise. The S20+ comes with pre-installed Samsung Health App -- which helps you set goals and track your daily progress, workout intensity, sleep quality, calorie and water intake etc.

Next up for Gaurav is to track the news of the day. He has to skim through all the e-papers before he begins his work.

This is where the large screen helps to read the fine print with ease. The Galaxy S20+ does away with the curved display.

The flat panel is practical in terms of its usage. Although the screen is huge measuring 162mm x 74mm x 7.8mm, it is comfortable to use with one hand. Meanwhile it time for Gaurav to get into office conference calls.

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The S20+ is slim and sleek, weighs 186g, which won't feel too heavy to hold during long phone calls. There is Gorilla Glass 6 at the back and front and is held together by a metal frame, ensuring a good grip despite being thin.

It’s also well protected with water and dust resistance, again a plus.

Through the day, Gaurav has to write his own opinion pieces for Moneycontrol, send out scripts for video shows and also check several of reporters' stories before they get published. Doing all that on the huge display with the support of a 120Hz screen is nearly effortless. Speaking about the overall design and display, the Galaxy S20+ looks and feels like a truly premium device which will impress at first sight. Work From Home has induced several changes in the way we work.

Performance

The Galaxy S20+ is quite a powerful beast which can handle resource-intensive applications without showing signs of stress, slowdown or heating. It comes with the fastest processor from Samsung’s in-house Exynos line-up of chipsets -- the 990 SoC which works extremely well during extended mobile sessions or excessive usage of apps, hours of video calls or binge-watching on live news across TV channels/digital platforms.

Through the day, Gaurav has to be part of several shows on CNN-News18. Since the lockdown, he has had to shoot with a phone camera and do live shows by connecting via Skype video calls.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ comes with a quad-camera set up at the rear featuring a 12-megapixel wide angle lens, a 64-pixel telephoto lens, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 0.3-megapixel Time of Flight (ToF) depth sensor.

When tested this seemed to be a solid camera set up that helps you get bright picture quality (no doubt, the studio lights cannot be matched) even in-home lighting, the S20+ camera gave impressive results. The on-board video stabilisation features also help in live shows by limiting jerks. The big plus also is that S20+ can record videos at extreme high resolutions of 8K.

The presence of the additional mic at the back also comes in handy when Gaurav has to shoot without the earphone. Additionally, the AKG earphones which come packed in the box bring in much more clarity, so those come in handy while doing live shows on CNN-News 18.

Gaurav also has to shoot a number of digital videos for Moneycontrol's website and its social media platforms in selfie-mode instead of the primary rear camera.

The front camera is equipped with a 10-megapixel lens which not only clicks impressive photos but shoots crisp selfie-videos as well. In fact the S20+ front camera is the best on a Samsung phone.

There’s also a new feature called 'Single Take' that lets you capture a single shot in various ways including videos, Live focus, cropped and Ultra Wide.

Memory, Storage and other interesting features

Another plus on the phone is that it is powered by an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage which can be expanded to 1TB. This is great for storing all the video links and archive them. Even uploading the videos for Gaurav's show edits is faster.

In the evening post early dinner, Gaurav goes through all the global e-papers. Now, there are a whole range of expected features such as the natural screen mode which is great for working on documents, browsing the web or even reading, the blue light filter can be used to put less strain on the eyes.

The ‘vivid’ option on the other hand just livens up everything and that’s great for binge-watching YouTube which Gaurav loves to for trying out new recipes when he gets time on weekdays, However, weekends is when he dons the Master Chef hat at home.

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The Galaxy S20+ gets a massive 4500mAh battery. With Gaurav's packed schedule which requires him to be online through the day, the battery would last about 12 hours. Thankfully, the 25W fast-charging support meant that the phone was fully charged within 60 minutes, which is impressive.

The Galaxy S20+ is a flagship phone, so you’re getting some of the best of what Samsung has to offer.

So would you spend Rs 73,999 on this premium phone?

There's a lot to love in S20+. Good design, fantastic display, brilliant camera and reverse wireless charging, the stereo audio speakers are the boxes ticked right.

The battery life, however, could have been better and the fingerprint sensor also needs some improvement. If these are no deal breakers for you, then Samsung Galaxy S20+ is, all things considered, the best that Android has to offer to you in the world of smartphones especially if you are looking for a phone for your 'work from home' needs.
Sakshi Batra

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