Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs. Pixel 4 XL: Which should you buy?
Samsung Galaxy S20+
The Galaxy S20+ has an array of upgrades that make it stand out. There's a gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED panel with silky smooth interactions, the latest internal hardware you'll find on a phone today, 5G connectivity, and a 64MP zoom lens with 30x hybrid zoom. Combine all of that and you have one of the best phones of 2020, even if you have to pay a lot of money to get it.
Samsung Galaxy S20+
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Google Pixel 4 XL
If camera quality is what you're looking for, the Pixel 4 XL is the obvious choice. Google is still the brand to beat in this particular area, and the Pixel 4 XL brings a host of new features to what was already the best camera on Android. Sure, there are a few drawbacks with the hardware itself, but when it comes to the camera side of things the Pixel 4 XL is a winner.
Google Pixel 4 XL
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.
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 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.
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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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.