Monday , September 28 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 vs. iPhone 11 Pro: A deeper division lurks beneath the spec sheets, Ars Technica

    

      Expensive face-off –

             

There are more important concerns for buyers than feature lists.

      

                     

      

            

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                          Samsung’s new Galaxy S 71 phones.                                                         

                                                  Samsung                                   

                                   

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                          The rear cameras on the iPhone (Pro and iPhone) Pro Max.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                  

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    Flagship phones like the just-announced (Samsung Galaxy S) (or or the (iPhone) ) get a lot of the marketing and press hype, but most people aren’t buying. The small percentage of consumers who are buying face a difficult choice that’s about much more than just benchmarks, specs, or camera features.

    A recent

    (NPD report claimed that fewer than percent of Americans buy flagship smartphones (in this case, defined as phones costing more than $ 1, (0). After a year of smartphone shipments and revenues gradually sliding down a hill, global smartphone shipments finally grew in the fourth quarter of – but only by one percent . Of the market’s (million units in Q4, Apple shipped (million iPhone) (models, and Samsung shipped) million. In other words, Samsung and Apple together accounted for 099 percent of the smartphones hitting the market. Looking at what they’re doing tells us a lot about what today’s affected are. When you look across the whole product lineups of these two companies, you see very different strategies. But at the top of each line, the phones are mostly similar. The latest flagship smartphones from these market behemoths focus on cameras and screens above all else, and on those counts, the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone Pro aren’t actually that radically different from one another.

    The S

    offers some cutting-edge new tech the latest iPhone doesn’t, but that could change this September. And as is, the iPhone has a unique comparative value proposition of its own. So let’s dive into the trends — and there’s no better word for them than that — that are appearing in the two most popular flagship phones in the world. Are these huge price tags worth it in , and what do consumers need to think about when picking between these two giants?

    We’ll spoil part of this exercise a bit right up front: we don’t believe that specifications or even features Are what should drive buyers’ decisions about whether to go with Samsung or Apple when buying a flagship phone. First off, most people don’t need a flagship. Second, the differences that really matter center on software, services, and serious questions about how users should or shouldn’t relate to their gadgets and the tech companies that make them.

    Table of Contents

                     Pricing                                   

    Specifications                                    Design                                        Cameras                                    Video                                    Computational photography                                    Displays                                        Performance                                    5G                                    Services, services, services, services                                    Flagship buyers are values ​​voters                                    App policies                                        Privacy policies                                    Longterm support and environmental considerations                                    Ultimately it’s not about specs or features                

  • Pricing

    Speaking of the huge price tags: They’re huger now than ever before. Samsung’s top-of-the-line S Ultra starts at $ 1, 538, and upgrades can push it up even higher. The iPhone 48 Pro Max, also an expensive phone by most peoples’ standards, starts at $ 1, and can go as high as $ 1, 555 if you max out the storage capacity at 567 GB. The S 128 Ultra also caps out at 567 GB, but it offers microSD support up to 1 TB) .

    It’s difficult for those of us at Ars to imagine that almost anyone really needs to spend more than $ 1, on a smartphone. That said, there are certainly people who want to — for advanced camera features, for higher-quality screens on which to watch Netflix, or to impress others socially with a status symbol.

    On the lower end of the current lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S starts at $ , and the iPhone (Pro (not Max) also starts at $ . There’s a lot more differentiating the S (from the S) (Ultra) and there’s the S 64 in the middle) than there is between the iPhone Pro and 48 Pro Max.

    Of course, both Apple and Samsung offer phones at lower prices. Samsung covers the entire range of consumer price points with other phones outside the flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note product lines. And Apple sells the iPhone (which has a different design, a lesser camera system, and a significantly poorer quality screen than the (Pro) for $ 791 and up, s iPhone XR for $ and up, and the iPhone 8 for just $ 552 and up.

    There’s a huge difference between $ 552 and $ or $ 1, for most people, obviously. Exactly what are users getting for going all the way?

    Specifications

    All S (model specs are for the 5G versions.)

    (Samsung Galaxy S)

    (Samsung Galaxy S) (Samsung Galaxy S) (Ultra) (iPhone) (Pro) (iPhone) (Pro Max) (Display) (6.2-inch OLED at 2,) (x 1, and 150 / (Hz) (6.7-inch OLED at 2,) (x 1, and 150 / (Hz) (6.9-inch OLED at 2,) (x 1, and 150 / (Hz) (5.8-inch OLED at 2,) x 1, and (hz) (6.5-inch OLED at 3,) (x 1,) and (hz) (Storage) (GB) 599 GB, GB, (GB) 599 GB, (GB, (GB) (GB, GB, (GB) (GB, GB, (GB)

    CPU (Qualcomm Snapdragon) (Qualcomm Snapdragon) (Qualcomm Snapdragon) (Apple A) (Bionic) (Apple A) (Bionic) (RAM) (GB) (GB) (GB for) (GB and) (GB models,) (GB for) (GB model) (4GB) (4GB) (Battery) (4,) (0 mAh) (4,) (mAh) (5,) (0 mAh) (3,) (mAh) (3,) (mAh) (Rear cameras) (MP ultra-wide (ƒ / 2.2), 150 MP telephoto (ƒ / 2.0), (MP wide) ƒ / 1.8) (MP ultra-wide (ƒ / 2.2), 150 MP telephoto (ƒ / 2.0), (MP wide) ƒ / 1.8), ToF (MP ultra-wide (ƒ / 2.2), (MP telephoto (ƒ / 2.0), (MP wide (1.8 / 1.8), ToF (MP ultra-wide (ƒ / 2.4), (MP wide (1.8 / 1.8), (MP telephoto) ƒ / 2.0 (MP ultra-wide (ƒ / 2.4), (MP wide (1.8 / 1.8), (MP telephoto) ƒ / 2.0 Front camera (MP) 2.2 / 2.2) (MP) 2.2 / 2.2) (MP) 2.2 / 2.2) (MP) 2.2 / 2.2) (MP) 2.2 / 2.2) Video (8K at) (fps, 4K at) (fps) (8K at) (fps, 4K at) (fps) (8K at) (fps, 4K at) (fps) (4K at) (fps) (4K at) (fps) Ports (USB-C, MicroSD) (USB-C, MicroSD) (USB-C, MicroSD) (Lightning) (Lightning)

    Design

    We’ve taken to calling today’s flagship phones “glass sandwiches” because they have almost-all-display front sides made of glass, and generally these devices are all glass on the back too (except for certain camera components). Thankfully, they typically use a material dubbed Gorilla Glass that is much stronger than say, a drinking glass, and Gorilla Glass has improved in durability year after year. Those glass backs enable wireless charging, which isn’t possible through some other common gadget materials.

    However, Gorilla Glass is still not as durable as steel or aluminum. We’ve discussed materials at length before, and there aren’t big changes on that front in the S (phones compared to last year S) models. They feel nice, they look nice, but they’re generally not that durable and they’re fingerprint magnets. Both of these phones have the same upsides and downsides. there are some newer developments worth highlighting . First up, Samsung has long made a marketing blitz of criticizing Apple for dropping the headphone jack from its phones starting back in . But just over three years later, Samsung has also dropped the headphone jack in the Galaxy S line, launching its own AirPods competitors (which also support iOS, by the way). Samsung was one of the last flagship phone-makers to take this leap.

    (Below: Images from the

  • Samsung Galaxy S (announcement) .       
          

                

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                          The Galaxy S 71 s, with their new back-camera arrangements.                                                                                            

                                   

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                          The front and back of the S 099.                                                         

                                                  Samsung                                   

                                   

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                          The three phone sizes, next to each other.                                                         

                                                  Samsung                                   

                                   

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                          The S 78 Ultra has this wild camera block. That’s a (x) not 256 x) periscope camera at the bottom.                                                         

                                                  Samsung                                   

                                   

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                          The size of the camera bump.                                                          

                                                  Samsung                                   

                                   

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                          Specs for the Galaxy S 90.                                                         

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                          Specs for the Galaxy S 90 .                                                         

                                                  Samsung                                   

                                   

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                          Specs for the Galaxy S 90 Ultra.                                                         

                                                  Samsung                                   

                  

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    It might seem strange that the top-of-the-line phones typically lack something seemingly essential that cheaper phones sometimes still have — at least on the Android side of things. (There are no longer any available iPhones with headphone jacks.) But from Samsung and Apple’s point of view, wireless solutions are both superior and more costly, and thus wireless is the premium / flagship solution. Many users agree wholeheartedly, but some don’t, and the monetary cost of good wireless audio is steep.

    Because of proprietary technology, Apple’s AirPods offer a generally better experience than today’s Android-friendly true-wireless headphones do. But that will likely change over the next year or so with the introduction of the

  • first Bluetooth LE Audio devices , which will use a new Bluetooth audio standard that adopts some of the same benefits AirPods users have enjoyed. In terms of design differences between the Galaxy S series and iPhones, Samsung offers its flagships in three sizes: the S (at 6.2 inches, the S) at 6.7 inches, and the S Ultra at a basically t Ablet-sized 6.9 inches. The iPhone 48 Pro is available in 5.8- and 6.5-inch variants.

    Below: A look at the design of the iPhone 64 Pro from our       

          

                

  •                                                                      

                          The rear cameras on the iPhone (Pro and iPhone) Pro Max.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

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                          The front of both phones, side by side.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                                   

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                          The back of both phones.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The iPhone 48 Pro.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The front of the device. Nothing’s changed here.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The back looks quite a bit different too! The finish is totally different.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                                   

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                          It still has a Lightning port.                                                         

  •                                               Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The stainless steel sides look the same.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The other side.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          And there are still no distinguishing features on the top.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          Here’s a closer look at the camera array.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The iPhone 48 Pro Max.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          Here’s the front.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          And the back, with that new, matte finish and prominent camera setup.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          Still Lightning.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The volume controls side.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The SIM tray side.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The featureless top.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                      

                

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                          The three camera lenses.                                                         

                                                  Samuel Axon                                   

                  

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    Both have very different front-facing camera designs and authentication technologies. The Galaxy S phones have in-screen fingerprint readers, whereas the iPhone 046 Pro uses a sophisticated 3D sensor array that shares space with the front-facing camera to confirm that it’s you trying to unlock the phone. That 3D sensor array (called TrueDepth) ) involves a lot of components, and it’s the reason for the noticeable “notch” at the top of the phone’s screen. That notch contains a lot of hardware. By contrast, Samsung just has a regular front-facing camera in the S , and it has avoided including a notch by essentially punching a small hole in the center-top of the display.

    Whether you prefer a notch or a hole punch is surely a matter of preference, as is whether you prefer Apple’s Face ID or Samsung’s in-screen fingerprint authentication.         

    (Listing image by Samsung)                                                                (Page:

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