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and are the two biggest phone-makers in the world, and their current flagship are some of the best you can buy. (Though the new is a worthy competitor). As the base models for their latest lines, Apple’s and Samsung’s are also the least expensive models, starting at $699, £729 and AU$1,199 (64GB) and $999, £899 and AU$1,499, respectively. (The prices listed for the Galaxy S20 are for the 128GB model with — though there are cheaper 4G Galaxy S20 variants sold in the UK and Australia.) We’ll see how the stacks up when it is finally released, . Apple also released the more affordable , and Samsung recently added the to its lineup, another alternative for the budget-conscious.
Depending on whether you’re an iOS or user will largely influence your preference between the two, but if you’re OS-agnostic or you’re just curious about each phone’s advantages and disadvantages, we discuss their cameras, design, performance, software and extra features to see how they compare. And for more, check out CNET’s .
It’s not every day that an iPhone comes in as the “cheaper” phone, but compared to the Galaxy S20’s starting price, Stoneitech the is more affordable. (Even if you spring for the 128GB model, it’ll still be cheaper than the Galaxy S20, at $749, £779 and AU$1,279.) Keep in mind, however, that it doesn’t have as many goodies as the Galaxy S20 — like expandable memory, 5G and a high-refresh display. Nevertheless, it’s a fast and elegant phone with a top-notch camera that takes brilliant photos and captures exceptional video.
Yes, the is expensive. But this beautifully designed handset comes packed with features that aren’t just nice-to-have, but actually useful and keeps the phone ready for future technologies and trends. That includes 5G connectivity, a 120Hz screen and 8K video recording. As for the basics, like a fast processor and a fantastic camera, the Galaxy S20 also has that covered.
How we tested
Cut through the chatter
The iPhone 11 has two rear cameras, which includes an ultra-wide lens. This allows you to take sweeping landscapes shots, or creative closeup images that look just as dramatic. The iPhone 11’s brightens and captures.
Another camera upgrade on the iPhone 11 is , which improves photo quality and optimizes details for pictures taken in medium-light settings, like inside a building or room. (To see this in action, read CNET’s.) Video quality is smooth and you can on the iPhone 11’s selfie camera, which Apple has as “slofies.”
The Galaxy S20 has a triple-rear setup, which includes a telephoto camera. This, along with its 30x zoom, means you can zoom in much closer on objects while retaining clarity. (Though, based on CNET’s Galaxy S20 review and camera comparisons, the 10x zoom is about as close as you want to go for taking photos).
The Galaxy S20’s low-light mode also works great and it has a countdown clock so you know how long you have to hold the handset still to take a shot. Another tool, Single Take, lets you use several different camera features in one go. Just tap the shutter once and the Galaxy S20 will capture a 10-second video. From there, you’ll get a bunch of curated photos and videos, like wide-angle and an animated live-focus picture and smartly cropped image. Though gimmicky, it can come in handy when you don’t have much time and want to get the most out of a scene.
What makes the S20 standout, however, is its ability to capture videos in 8K resolution. While you can only directly benefit from this if you have an to view content on, or (if you’re a video editor) you want to crop in on 8K video. Regardless, 8K is the way devices and platforms, like and YouTube, respectively, are heading. Keep in mind though that 8K video files are humongous. A one-minute video will take up about 600MB of storage.
Winner: Both phones take beautiful pictures in all types of settings. But what phone suits you best depends on what kind of photographer you are. If you want to take great shots and video without having to think too much about it, the iPhone is your best bet. But if you want a phone that’s packed with features and tools you can tweak, the Galaxy S20 is the way to go.