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Earlier today, I got my hands on Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 Ultra, a phone built to be a photo and battery powerhouse. Trust me, my colleagues and I are going to review every nook and cranny of this $1,400 device. Brace yourself for hundreds of photos, deep dive camera features and photo comparison tests with the best brands on the market.

For now, I’m afraid you’ll have to content yourself with the handful of pictures I took this afternoon around downtown San Francisco. I shot photos with every camera, including with the 100x Space Zoom lens, a first for Samsung, and a feature designed to rival excellent zoom functionality on Google’s Pixel 4 and Huawei’s P30 Pro and Mate 30 Pro

These photos are not touched up or edited in any way unless stated (e.g. cropped). However, note that they have been processed by CNET’s content image tool — you won’t see every pixel, but you’ll hopefully see enough to give you an early idea of the S20 Ultra’s camera performance.


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Many more photos are coming your way, including low-light shots (it isn’t quite dinner time yet here on the West Coast), indoor shots, group shots and basically any scene that catches my eye. For me, a photo is only as good as its personal meaning. I’ll share the pictures of items and people that I would naturally want to showcase. If it captures a moment, a feeling or an emotion better than another camera, then to me, it’s already done 90% of its job. (Don’t worry, my colleagues will be more technically inclined.)

I’m also testing the regular and 8K mode video camera, but those files are huge and harder to share here. There will be plenty of footage in the final review, though.

Galaxy S20 Ultra cameras

  • 108-megapixel main camera: You need to select the 108-megapixel quick setting to take a super high-resolution photo. Part of the benefit of such a high-resolution image is getting a more detailed view when you crop in (see below).
  • 12-megapixel wide-angle lens: Samsung redesigned the sensors, so this isn’t the same camera as on the Galaxy Note 10 or S10 phones.
  • 48-megapixel telephoto camera: 10x hybrid optic zoom, up to 100x “space zoom”. The higher the zoom, the shakier your photo will be (a monopod or tripod is key).
  • DepthVision camera: I didn’t go out of my way to test this yet, but it’s meant to assist with various camera modes.
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Main camera and standard resolution.


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Ultra-wide angle shot.


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Main camera, standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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Main camera, standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

*The 108-megapixel resolution version of this image was too large to load.

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Crop from standard resolution image.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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Crop from 108-megapixel resolution image.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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Main camera, standard resolution.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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SF Museum of Modern Art. No zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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10x optic hybrid zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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30x optic hybrid zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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100x optic hybrid zoom.


Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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Obligatory backlit selfie. There ya go.

This story will be updated often with new photos. Keep checking back for more!

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