The Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of Samsung’s biggest Android phones, and at launch was its most daring sales pitch: you could own the world’s most advanced 5G phone with massive camera specs... if you’re prepared to spend more money than ever on a non-foldable smartphone.
The Ultra is designed for early adopters, and three things stand out: it has a massive 6.9-inch display with next-gen fluid-scrolling tech that will stretch your hand; five cameras to capture 108MP photos, 40MP selfies and 8K video, and 5G antennas with peak speeds 66 times as fast as 4G LTE.
It's a nice jump from the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus cameras, although issues with inconsistent autofocus and overexposure kept the Ultra from being the best camera phone even at launch. Even with a camera software update, we still find the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus to be better in most non-zoom scenarios.
And now there's a new max-sized, max-specced phone out there: the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. This actually has a marginally smaller 6.8-inch screen, but it has even more power, better camera performance, and support for Samsung's S Pen stylus. It's undeniably the better phone then, but will also likely cost you even more than the S20 Ultra does currently - though notably the S21 Ultra's launch price is lower than the S20 Ultra's was.
You might also want to consider the Samsung Galaxy S21 or Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus - phones which are upgrades in some ways and downgrades in others.
In any case, back on the subject of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, while the cameras are inconsistent, they do shine for far-off subjects. The 48MP telephoto lens allowed us to get up close and personal thanks to an impressive variety of zoom lenses. It far surpasses the 2x optical and 10x digital zoom of previous Samsung phones, and the limited 8x digital zoom on the Google Pixel 4 – although 100x zoom snaps were hardly Instagram-worthy, 30x zoom looked fine on a tripod.