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.
|Samsung Galaxy S20||Motorola Edge+|
|Operating System||Android 10
One UI 2.1
20:9 aspect ratio
120Hz refresh rate
19.5:9 aspect ratio
90Hz refresh rate
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
|Rear Camera 1||12MP primary camera
|108MP primary camera
|Rear Camera 2||64MP telephoto camera
3x hybrid zoom
|8MP telephoto camera
3x optical zoom
|Rear Camera 3||12MP ultra-wide camera
|16MP ultra-wide camera
|Rear Camera 4||❌||Time-of-flight sensor|
3.5mm headphone jack
|Security||In-screen fingerprint sensor||In-screen fingerprint sensor|
|Battery||4,000 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Charging||25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
9W reverse wireless charging
|18W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W wireless charging
|Dimensions||151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm||161.07 x 71.38 x 9.6mm|
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
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.
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.
Samsung's latest flagship doesn't skip a beat
Every year, Samsung's Galaxy S phones are among the best on the market. The Galaxy S20 continues that trend, offering a seriously powerful flagship in a wonderfully compact size. You get a 6.2-inch AMOLED display with a buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate, three top-notch cameras, expandable storage, and more. Unlike the Edge+, you can buy and use the S20 on any carrier you'd like.
Only for Verizon
A return to form
It's been a long time since we've seen a proper Motorola flagship, and thankfully, the Edge+ doesn't disappoint. There's a lot to like about the phone, including its waterfall display, excellent performance, clean software, and the presence of a headphone jack. It's definitely worth checking out as an alternative to the S20, but unfortunately, you'll need to be a Verizon customer in order to purchase it.
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