Galaxy S20 vs. Motorola Edge Plus: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S20
Samsung Galaxy S20 (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20

The Galaxy S20 is one of the hottest Android flagships you can get right now, and rightfully so. It continues Samsung's legacy of offering a breathtaking display, great cameras, and speedy performance while delivering all of the upgrades you'd expect in 2020. We're especially fond of the 120Hz refresh rate, long battery life, and refreshingly compact size.

Samsung Galaxy S20

Perfectly refined

Compact size is easy to use in one hand
120Hz AMOLED display is gorgeous
Excellent battery life
Has expandable storage
Works with all U.S. carriers
In-screen fingerprint sensor isn't the best
5G is only sub-6

Motorola Edge+

Motorola Edge Plus

If you've been waiting and waiting for Motorola to get back in the flagship game, the new Edge+ is for you. There's a lot on offer here, including a 90Hz display with a waterfall design, the latest Qualcomm processor, great cameras, and a huge battery. It's just a shame that it's being sold as an exclusive to Verizon here in the U.S.

Motorola Edge+

Only for Verizon

90Hz waterfall display
Surprisingly easy to use one-handed
Huge 5,000 mAh battery
Motorola's software is fantastic
There's a headphone jack
Exclusive to Verizon in the U.S.
No official waterproof rating

If you have $1,000 and want a high-end Android phone, we think you'll be quite happy whether you get the Galaxy S20 or Motorola Edge+. The S20 has a more technically impressive display thanks to the sharper resolution and faster refresh rate, in addition to expandable storage, better cameras, and much wider availability. Comparatively, the Edge+ takes the lead with a bigger battery, a cleaner build of Android 10, and better 5G support. All of that's great, but the phone's exclusivity to Verizon is anything but.

There's not much to dislike about the Galaxy S20

Even if you don't keep a close eye on the Android space, you've probably still heard of the Galaxy S20. Samsung does an incredible job of marketing its phones to the public, helping them stand out and get recognition where other companies fail.

Marketing aside, the Galaxy S20 is — hands down — one of the best smartphones available in 2020. There are a few reasons for this, the first of which has to do with its display. The Galaxy S20 comes equipped with a 6.2-inch screen and paired with a narrow 20:9 aspect ratio with minimally-curved edges, it's easy to use in one hand in a way that most flagship phones aren't. You're also treated to a crisp 3200x1440 resolution, a vibrant AMOLED panel, and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Simply put, this is one of the very best displays you can find on a smartphone.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy S20Motorola Edge+
Operating SystemAndroid 10One UI 2.1Android 10My UX
Display6.2-inchDynamic AMOLED3200x144020:9 aspect ratio120Hz refresh rate6.7-inchOLED2340x108019.5:9 aspect ratio90Hz refresh rate
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
Storage128GBUFS 3.0256GBUFS 3.0
Expandable Storage✔️
Rear Camera 112MP primary cameraf/1.8 aperture108MP primary cameraf/1.8 aperture
Rear Camera 264MP telephoto cameraf/2.0 aperture3x hybrid zoom8MP telephoto cameraf/2.4 aperture3x optical zoom
Rear Camera 312MP ultra-wide cameraf/2.2 aperture123-degree FOV16MP ultra-wide cameraf/2.2 aperture117-degree FOV
Rear Camera 4Time-of-flight sensor
Front Camera10MPf/2.2 aperture25MPf/2.0 aperture
AudioStereo speakersUSB-CStereo speakers3.5mm headphone jack
SecurityIn-screen fingerprint sensorIn-screen fingerprint sensor
Battery4,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging25W wired charging15W wireless charging9W reverse wireless charging18W wired charging15W wireless charging5W wireless charging
Dimensions151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm161.07 x 71.38 x 9.6mm
ColorCosmic GrayCloud BlueCloud PinkSmoky SangriaThunder Grey
Carrier CompatibilityAT&TSprintT-MobileVerizonVerizon

Samsung Galaxy S20

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

On the back of the S20, you get a trio of cameras — including a 12MP primary camera, 64MP telephoto camera, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. That may not sound very impressive on paper when compared to the 108MP sensor on the Edge+, but in real-world use, the S20 is a joy to shoot with. Pictures are vivid with color, night shots look great, and video recordings look fantastic (you can even shoot in 8K if you want).

Powering the S20 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a large 4,000 mAh battery. This equates to blistering performance and great endurance for a phone with this small of a footprint. Your charging options are great, too, with the S20 offering 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging.

Tying all of this together are a few smaller features that complete the whole S20 experience. The 128GB of internal storage can be expanded with a microSD card, an IP68 rating keeps the phone protected from dust and water, and the S20 uses NFC and MST technology so you can use Samsung Pay at virtually any store.

The Edge+ is great, but it comes with a huge caveat

Motorola Edge Plus Review

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

The Galaxy S20 is a phenomenal phone, but that doesn't mean the Edge+ is any less of a device. In fact, depending on where your wants/needs lie, it might even be a better purchase.

Looking at Edge+'s display, it's an interesting beast. It has a lower resolution and refresh rate compared to the S20, but it still looks plenty good to our eyes. The big draw, however, is its waterfall design. The edges of the Edge+'s screen seamlessly flow over the sides of the phone, and the end result is quite eye-catching. Motorola's also baked in a few software tweaks to take advantage of those drastic curves, such as adding extra virtual buttons to them when gaming. Palm rejection can be a bit wonky at times, so we're glad that Motorola allows you to disable the edges at any time if you really don't like them.

We're met with a similar situation for the camera department. The Edge+'s cameras aren't quite as good as the S20's, but most folks should still be happy with their performance. Low-light shooting leaves a bit to be desired, but overall, it's a pretty capable setup.

Motorola Edge Plus Review

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

As for the other specs, you're treated to the same Snapdragon 865 processor, more RAM at 12GB, double the internal storage (but it's non-expandable), and a downright massive 5,000 mAh battery. The Edge+ also has a feature you won't find at all on the Galaxy S20 — a 3.5mm headphone jack. In fact, the Edge+ is one of the few flagship phones that still offers it.

Finally, there's something to be said about the Edge+'s software. Both it and the Galaxy S20 ship with Android 10 out of the box, but we prefer how Motorola handles things. The user interface is very clean and reminiscent to what you'd find on a Google Pixel, with Motorola throwing in a few tweaks to make the stock Android experience even better (Moto Actions and Moto Display are two highlights). Motorola's track record for software updates is among the worst out there, but with the company now promising at least two major OS upgrades for the Edge+, we're at least moving in the right direction.

The carrier conundrum

I suppose we should talk about that "huge caveat" for the Motorola Edge+. Where the Galaxy S20 can be used on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, the Edge+ is only compatible with Verizon. That's a deal-breaker for a lot of people and is ultimately the biggest drawback to the Edge+. It offers an excellent user experience, but if you don't use Verizon for your phone service, you're simply out of luck.

That makes the Galaxy S20 the default choice for a lot of you reading this, and even if you do use Verizon, you may still be better off with the S20. It has a more impressive display, better cameras, a legit water-resistance rating, and expandable storage for the same exact price. Then again, if you really value clean software or a headphone jack, the Edge+ could be the better fit.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.