Dezeen Magazine

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with 108-megapixel camera

Samsung has launched its first full range of 5G smartphones that have AI-powered camera systems, a 108-megapixel sensor and 100x zoom.

Each device in Samsung's Galaxy S20 series – the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra – incorporates 5G technology. The devices support the complete set of 5G standards, including both millimetre wave (mmWave) and sub-6 GHz frequencies.

Samsung's Galaxy S20 smartphones also have its most advanced cameras. Each device has a camera system that is powered by AI and the most advanced model – the Galaxy S20 Ultra – has its largest image sensor to date of up to 108 megapixels (MP).

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

The Galaxy S20 and S20+ have the same three main cameras – a 10-megapixel (MP) front camera, a 12MP rear and ultra-wide camera and a 64MP telephoto camera. The S20+ has an additional rear depth sensor to assist with portrait photos.

These larger sensors are able to take in more light, giving high image quality in low light situations.

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

The more advanced Galaxy S20 Ultra features a 40MP front-facing camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 48MP telephoto camera as well as the 108MP wide-angle camera.

For comparison, Apple's latest iPhone 11 has a 12MP camera, while the S20's predecessor – the Galaxy S10 – featured a 16MP unit.

Before the Galaxy S20, the only mainstream handset on the market to employ 108MP resolution was the Mi Note 10 by Chinese technology company Xiaomi, which was revealed in November 2019. Despite beating Samsung to the punch, Xiaomi co-developed the Mi Note 10 sensor with Samsung.

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

"As we enter this new decade, 5G will completely change how we communicate and how we experience the world around us," said Tae Moon Roh, president and head of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics.

"As all three Galaxy S20 variants come with 5G connectivity, Samsung is providing a next-generation device for transforming people’s lives."

"Now, more than ever, we capture our lives and tell our stories through our smartphones, and that is why the camera is the single-most important feature for consumers purchasing a new smartphone," added Roh.

"With an incredible, AI-powered camera, you can capture the moments as they happen and connect more seamlessly with the people you love," he continued.

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

Samsung's Space Zoom technology is also incorporated in the Galaxy S20 range, using a combination of hybrid optic zoom and super resolution zoom, which includes an AI-powered digital zoom.

This allows up to 30x zoom on the Galaxy S20 and S20+, or up to 1000x zoom using the folded lenses on the S20 Ultra, which uses AI-powered, multi-image processing to maintain high resolution.

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

The AI technologies featured in the Galaxy S20's camera allows users to capture a number of different photos and videos, such as live focus, cropped, and ultra wide, at the same time in a single take.

"There are those times when you want to capture the moment, but by the time you've decided on the right camera, the moment's gone," Drew Blackard, Samsung's head of US mobile product management, explained at the reveal event.

"With single take mode, S20 uses AI to capture different versions of that exact same moment, using each of its different cameras," he continued. "Just take a short clip of up to 10 seconds, and single take captures different versions of that game-winning goal."

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

When the user is finished filming, the smartphone will select a handful of the images it thinks are the best so that the user can pick their favourite. It also offers 8K video shooting with anti-rolling stabilisation and AI motion analysis.

"My wife and I are really excited about this one," Blackard added. "We've got 14-month-old twins at home, and they never sit still for a photo, so now we'll never have to worry about missing the moment."

The S20 uses AI to keep these photos and videos organised by grouping content to make users' galleries easier to navigate.

Samsung launches Galaxy S20 smartphone with AI-powered camera

The Galaxy S20 is the least expensive of the three models, with an edge-to-edge 6.2-inch display, while the next step up is the S20+ with a 6.7-inch display, and then the S20 Ultra a 6.9-inch display.

The Galaxy S20 series will be available from 6 March 2020 in various shades including cosmic grey, cosmic black, cloud blue and cloud pink.

Alongside this range, Samsung also launched its foldable Galaxy Z Flip smartphone, which has a 6.7-inch flexible glass display with a bendable centre that allows the phone to fold down to half its size.