Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Killer feature not the zoom

19th February 2020 3:28 PM
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THE killer feature on Samsung's S20 Ultra phone is not the 100 times space zoom.

It's not even the fact that it can shoot 8K video or that it takes incredible photos at night.

Based on the reaction of Australian tech journalists in Sydney this week, it's a thing called Single Take which solves the biggest problem we have in trying to capture 'the moment'.

If you're the person in charge of recording photos and video at a children's birthday party, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Do you shoot video of your son or daughter blowing out the candles or try to get the best moment in a photo - or scramble to do both?

And if you're into the whole Instagram thing, what about the Boomerang video and special filter photos?

Single Take allows you to do all of the above with the press of a button.

And the results we have seen are extraordinary.


Samsung S20 launch in Australia: Samsung shows off its Single Take camera feature during the S20 launch in Sydney.
Samsung S20 launch in Australia: Samsung shows off its Single Take camera feature during the S20 launch in Sydney.


We did a photo shoot with bartenders making cocktails at Botanic House in Sydney during the Australian unveiling of the S20 range.

The Boomerang-style video of the action sped up was particularly good, as were the various photographs produced with different filters.

Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics Australia said pre-sales for the S20 had already been strong with very sharp interest in the top of the range Ultra model which boasts a 108-megapixel resolution.

Sydney creative guru Sam Evans showed off some stunning videos shot in 8k - as well as some incredible zooms of a bee on a flower at the Sydney Botanical Gardens.

He said because the camera was shooting at such high resolution for photos and videos you could crop within the photo or video to 'zoom in' on the key moment without a loss of detail.

One of the features he particularly liked was the ability to take 32 megapixel still photos from your video. Quick crop also allows you to capture photos within the photo.

Samsung Galaxy S20 launch Australia: Sam Evans talks about the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone during the Sydney launch.
Samsung Galaxy S20 launch Australia: Sam Evans talks about the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone during the Sydney launch.

Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus have a 3X optic zoom and a 30X digital zoom, while the Ultra version has a 10X optic zoom and 100X digital zoom.

At 100 times, the images are far from sharp. But they are much better than what you would expect from a phone.
Improvements to stabilisation mean that even hand held you can see the close-up object - though at 100 times zoom you definitely want it set up on a tripod.

Samsung believes the S20 range closes the gap between great phones and proper DSLR cameras.

"This camera is so good it shouldn't be on a smart phone,'' Mr McGregor told the launch.

The Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus features a 64-megapixel telephoto camera, while the Galaxy S20 has a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera. The S20 and S20 Plus also have 12-megapixel main and ultra-wide-angle cameras, while the
Ultra model has a 48-megapixel telephoto camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera.


Another big selling point of the S20 range is 5G capability.

Customer demand for the faster network had grown from 1% of inquiries in 2018 to 18% now.

The other big demands of consumers, according to Samsung, is how they can capture a clear photo of a moving object with a phone, how to zoom in while maintaining image quality and how to avoid blurred photos in low light.

Sydney photographer and design Demas Rusli showed off some of the amazing night shots he had achieved using the S20 phone.

"The images come up much cleaner. The sensors are much bigger,'' Rusli said.

"No matter what mode you are in you are going to get much more cleaner photos, especially at night and in the dark.'

While the Ultra is pitched at the 'pro photographer' or video blogger, the interface of the entire S20 range is super easy to use with great suggestions on how to get better photos and videos as you are shooting.

The Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra.
The Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra.


For gamers, the faster screen refresh rates will give S20 users an edge over their iPhone rivals.

The S20 screens are capable of refresh rates of 120GHz, something that makes even things like web browsing and switching between apps feel faster.

The battery size on the S20 ranges from 4000mAh to 5000 on the S20 Ultra.

The S20 also introduces a new quick share option, similar to Apple's Airdrop (or the existing Wi-Fi direct) for sharing videos and photos with the latest Galaxy devices.

You can also do with the same with your music on a road trip by sharing your music playlist with mates.

Spotify has also been integrated with Bixy Routines to allow you to wake up to the music you want and go to sleep with something different.

The writer travelled to Sydney as a guest of Samsung Australia