Samsung is taking things to the next level with the S20+. The phone has meaningful upgrades in every area, including a stunning 120Hz AMOLED display, 64MP camera with 30x hybrid zoom, 5G connectivity, and a 4,500mAh battery. Google, unfortunately, played it safe with the Pixel 4 XL.
The Galaxy S20+ is better than the Pixel 4 XL in almost every aspect
Both the Galaxy S20+ and Pixel 4 XL are aimed at the premium segment, but they could not be more different. The S20+ is all about delivering the latest internal hardware money can buy, whereas Google focused instead on the overall software experience.
The Galaxy S20+ offers the latest internal hardware backed by great new cameras.
As such, the S20+ easily beats the Pixel 4 XL when it comes to the hardware side of things. You get twice as much RAM, double the storage, a bigger battery that lasts longer, 25W fast charging, and much more.
Let's break it down. The Pixel 4 XL has a 90Hz OLED screen, and it's great to use on a daily basis — interactions are silky smooth, and that makes a tangible difference. You get the same experience with the S20+, but the 120Hz display takes things to a whole new level. Interacting with the display is an absolute joy, and the color vibrancy on offer with the AMOLED panel makes the screen on the S20+ the one to beat in 2020.
The Pixel 4 XL has 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM, whereas the S20+ has 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM on all variants. That makes the S20+ a much more worthwhile investment for long-term use. There's also a microSD slot on the S20+. The Pixel 4 XL has a paltry 64GB of storage for the base variant, and you'll have to shell out an additional $100 to get the 128GB model.
The Pixel 4 XL has a great camera, but there are far too many drawbacks elsewhere.
The obvious highlight with the Pixel 4 XL is its camera, and in this area Google is the brand to beat right now. We'll have to wait until the S20+ retail units show up to see if Samsung is able to measure up to Google this year, but the new 12MP sensor shows a lot of promise. There's also the fact that the S20+ has a 64MP zoom lens with 3z optical zoom and 30x hybrid zoom, and a 12MP wide-angle lens. The Pixel 4 XL, meanwhile, is the only flagship to not offer a wide-angle lens.
With the S20 series, Samsung is going all-in on 5G connectivity, with all three models featuring a 5G modem. The S20+ variant sold in the U.S. lets you connect to both sub-6 and mmWave networks, making it that much more versatile.
The S20+ also beats the Pixel 4 XL when it comes to battery life. The Pixel 4 XL lasts a day with medium use, but more often than not you'll have to plug in before the day's through. With a 4,500mAh battery and 25W fast charging, the S20+ wins this round. Both phones offer IP68 dust and water resistance and wireless charging, but the S20+ has 15W wireless charging and it also charges other devices wirelessly through Wireless PowerShare.
|Category||Samsung Galaxy S20+||Google Pixel 4 XL|
|Operating system||Android 10
One UI 2.0
|Display||6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 6
|6.3-inch 90Hz OLED
Gorilla Glass 6
1 x 2.84GHz A77
3 x 2.42GHz A77
4 x 1.80GHz A55
1 x 2.84GHz Kryo 485
3 x 2.41GHz Kryo 485
4 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485
|RAM||12GB LPDDR5||6GB LPDDR4X|
|Storage||128GB/512GB UFS3.0||64GB/128GB UFS 2.1|
|MicroSD slot||Yes (Up to 1TB)||❌|
|Rear camera 1||12MP f/1.8
4K at 60fps
|Rear camera 2||64MP, f/2.0
0.8um, OIS, telephoto
3x optical zoom, 30x hybrid
|Rear camera 3||12MP, f/2.2
|Rear camera 4||ToF sensor||❌|
|Front camera||10MP, f/2.2
4K video, autofocus
|Connectivity||5G NSA, Sub-6/mmWave
Wi-Fi ax 4x4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, AptX HD, A-GPS
|Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
AptX HD, NFC, A-GPS
|Charging||USB-C PD 3.0
25W fast charging
15W wireless charging
10W wireless charging
|Security||In-display fingerprint sensor (ultrasonic)||Face unlock|
|Colors||Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cosmic Gray, Cosmic Black||Just Black, Very White, Oh So Orange|
|Dimensions||161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm
|158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
Here's why you should buy the Galaxy S20+
It's an easy decision to choose between the two phones. The Galaxy S20+ has better hardware, a more versatile camera, better battery life, 5G connectivity, and more memory. You're just getting more for your money, and that makes the S20+ the obvious choice.
It's just not worth it to pick up a Pixel 4 XL for $800.
If you're buying a premium phone, you'll ideally want to use it for a few years and then trade it in or sell it. If the last two years have shown us anything, it's that Pixels' resale value is horrendous — it's unlikely you'll make much money by selling off your Pixel 4 XL in a year or two. Samsung's Galaxy S flagships have fared considerably better in this regard, and you should get better resale value for the S20+ a few years down the line.
I like using the Pixel 4 XL. I love all the little additions that Google offers on the software front, and features like Now Playing and At A Glance make a difference. But would I recommend the phone for $800? No. You just don't get enough value to justify the price tag, and when you know that Google will eventually launch the Pixel 4a with most of these features at $400, there's no reason to buy the Pixel 4 XL.
Honestly, if you want a premium phone in 2020, the S20+ is the obvious choice. Samsung has nailed the basics here, and features like 120Hz screen and 30x hybrid zoom make it a great all-rounder.
Latest and greatest
Setting the bar high for flagships in 2020
With robust hardware and a versatile camera that offers 30x hybrid zoom, the Galaxy S20+ stands tall over other flagships. You're getting incredible hardware in just about every area, and when you factor in the 120Hz panel and 5G connectivity, the S20+ becomes the obvious choice.
Great camera, average phone
The Pixel 4 XL is first and foremost a great camera, and that often comes at the cost of other features. The internal hardware isn't quite up to the mark — particularly against the S20+ — and while you get fast updates and a clean Android interface, the phone just isn't worth $800.
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