The Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip are two of the most expensive phones you can buy in 2020, and each one justifies its high price in a different way. The S20 Ultra has a traditional smartphone design that's loaded with the best specs Samsung could get its hands on. The Z Flip is still plenty powerful, but compared side-by-side with the S20 Ultra, its specs aren't nearly as impressive. Where the Z Flip obviously shines is with its folding form factor, which some people might place a lot of value in.
You get better specs with the S20 Ultra
Design-wise, the Galaxy S20 Ultra isn't nearly as interesting as the Z Flip. It's the same normal slab of metal and glass that we've seen a thousand times before, and at first glance, it might not look like anything all that special. However, as you start looking at each individual component that makes up the S20 Ultra, you quickly realize that there's a lot going on.
A perfect example of this is the display. We've seen big AMOLED panels countless times from Samsung in the past, but the S20 Ultra's is the first one to have a 120Hz refresh rate. This means the S20 Ultra's display refreshes twice as fast as any other Samsung phone, making everything on it look wonderfully smooth and fluid. Once you see it in person, it'll be hard to go back to the traditional 60Hz.
Another area where the S20 Ultra trumps the Z Flip is in the camera department. The dual 12MP sensors on the Z Flip are fine, but the S20 Ultra cranks things up a notch in a way we haven't seen from Samsung in a long time. The primary camera is a 108MP sensor, allowing you to capture an enormous amount of detail with your shots. Pair that with the 48MP telephoto camera, and the S20 Ultra is capable of 10x hybrid optic zooming and up to 100x for the new Super Resolution Zoom feature. That's not even mentioning the 12MP ultra-wide camera and time-of-flight sensor. If you care even a little bit about being able to take good photos and videos, the S20 Ultra is the clear winner.
Moving to the inside of the phone, the S20 Ultra keeps things just as interesting. It's powered by Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon 865 processor, comes with 12 or 16GB of RAM, and supports up to 512GB of internal storage. You're also getting a huge 5,000 mAh battery, up to 1TB of expandable storage, and the option to connect to sub-6 and mmWave 5G networks if your carrier supports them.
|Galaxy S20 Ultra||Galaxy Z Flip|
|Operating System||Android 10
One UI 2.0
One UI 2.0
2636 x 1080
300 x 116
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+|
Up to 1TB
|Rear Camera 1||108MP wide
|Rear Camera 2||48MP telephoto
10x Hybrid Optic Zoom
100x Super Resolution Zoom
|Rear Camera 3||12MP ultra-wide
|Rear Camera 4||Time-of-flight sensor||❌|
|Battery||5,000 mAh||3,300 mAh|
|Charging||45W wired charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
|Quick Charge 2.0
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
|Security||In-screen fingerprint sensor
|Capacitive fingerprint sensor
Sub-6 / mmWave
But the Z Flip is arguably more exciting
Moving over to the Galaxy Z Flip, it places all of its chips on the design front. If the Galaxy S20 Ultra is a boring rehash of the same smartphone design we've had for years, the Z Flip is anything but.
When it's open, the Galaxy Z Flip does look like a traditional smartphone. There's a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel, hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera, and slim bezels all around. However, when you're done using the phone, you can close it shut to make it substantially more portable than most other devices. This is great for pants with small pockets, cramped bags/purses, or if you just like the idea of being able to store your phone without having its display exposed to the elements.
Adding to the Z Flip's futuristic design is its small secondary display you see when the phone is closed. It's pretty tiny at just 1.06-inches, but it can be used for showing the time and other relevant notifications, making it possible to stay connected no matter if it's open or shut.
In exchange for the foldable form factor, the Z Flip does make some spec/feature sacrifices compared to the S20 Ultra. You get the slightly older Snapdragon 855+ processor, only two rear cameras, a substantially smaller battery, and no support for microSD cards. The Z Flip also doesn't connect to 5G networks, which could be an issue if you plan on keeping the phone for a couple of years.
What kind of phone do you want?
If you want a phone that offers the very best specs and features, making it future-proof for years and years to come, get the Galaxy S20 Ultra. No, it doesn't fold, but it has more than enough power to get you through today, tomorrow, and whatever else the future holds.
On the flip side, there's an argument to be made for the Galaxy Z Flip. Its folding design is a big deal, whether you're looking at it from a practical point-of-view or just want a phone that looks like nothing else your friends and family have.
Depending on where your wants/needs lie, either of these phones should serve you admirably well.
Traditional design with top-of-the-line internals
No matter where your priorities lie, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is bound to be an appealing phone to you. Need a lot of power? It has a Snapdragon 865 with up to 16GB of RAM. Love taking pictures? There's a 108MP camera with up to 100x zoom. Want a phone that lasts all day? You get a huge 5,000mAh battery.
The wow factor is real
What it lacks in specs compared to the S20 Ultra, the Galaxy Z Flip makes up for with its folding design. You can use the Z Flip just like you would any other phone, but when you're done, it folds up into a compact square you can take anywhere. If you have small pockets, this is a dream come true.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Spruce up your Galaxy S20 Ultra with these leather cases
You can never go wrong with a leather case, especially when it's for a phone as premium as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Here are our top picks!
Keep your Galaxy S20 Ultra's display pristine with these screen protectors
Samsung pulled out all the stops for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but that doesn't mean its display is impervious from scratches and cracks. Be smart and keep it safe with a screen protector.
Your Galaxy S20+ deserves only the best leather cases
A big and powerful phone like the Galaxy S20+ deserves a premium case to go along with it. Here are our picks for the best leather cases for the handset!