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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Google Pixel 4 XL: specs, size and design comparison

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Google Pixel 4 XL: specs, size and design comparison
There’s a new kid on the block. Its name? Galaxy S20 Ultra. It’s here to challenge Android flagships and it’s not messing around. In the other corner of our virtual boxing ring is Google’s Pixel 4 XL

With the Pixel 5 still about 8 months away, it’s up to the Pixel 4 to stand up against Samsung’s latest creation. Perhaps not the fairest fight but that’s what we have available right now, so let’s get to it.

Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Pixel 4 XL design and size comparison


Looking at the two phones from the front, you might think we’re comparing two phones that came out a couple of years apart and not mere 4 months. While the S20 Ultra has slim bezels and a tiny hole for the camera, the Pixel 4 XL comes with thicker borders around the screen and a massive top bezel that looks completely out of place in 2020.

Overall, the Pixel looks more utilitarian with its flat display and matte black frame while the Ultra is sleek and modern, giving off a luxurious vibe.


When you turn the S20 Ultra around, however, you’re greeted with something more professional than luxurious: a massive camera module. Suddenly, you feel like that’s a camera first and a smartphone second. The Pixel 4 XL camera, which until recently we considered big, now pales in comparison. The look of the Ultra is definitely an acquired taste but it doesn’t fail to pull your attention towards the phone’s main advantage over the other S20 phones. But more about the cameras later.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Dimensions

6.57 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches

166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm

Weight

7.83 oz (222 g)

Google Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 XL

Dimensions

6.31 x 2.96 x 0.32 inches

160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2 mm

Weight

6.81 oz (193 g)

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

Dimensions

6.57 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches

166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm

Weight

7.83 oz (222 g)

Google Pixel 4 XL

Google Pixel 4 XL

Dimensions

6.31 x 2.96 x 0.32 inches

160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2 mm

Weight

6.81 oz (193 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page

Unsurprisingly, the Ultra beats the Pixel when it comes to size. A 6.9-inch display means a big body, no way around it. Thanks to the aforementioned top bezel, however, the Pixel 4 XL is not much smaller despite its 6.3-inch screen.

Both displays are OLED with QHD resolution and high refresh-rate but the S20 gets extra points for having 120Hz instead of the Pixel’s 90Hz. One caveat, however, is that in order to take advantage of the high refresh-rate of the Samsung, you have to turn down the resolution to 1080p.

Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Pixel 4 XL specs comparison


The differences continue to pile up with full force when we get to the specs of the two phones. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important ones:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Google Pixel 4 XL

Display

Size

6.9 inches
6.3 inches

Technology

Dynamic AMOLED
OLED

Screen-to-body

90.70 %
82.21 %

Features

120Hz refresh rate, HDR video support, Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
90Hz refresh rate, HDR video support, Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor

Hardware & Performance

System chip

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SM8250
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SM8150

Processor

Octa-core, 2840 MHz, Kryo 585, 64-bit, 7 nm
Octa-core, 2840 MHz, Kryo 485, 64-bit, 7 nm

GPU

Adreno 650
Adreno 640

RAM

12GB LPDDR5
6GB LPDDR4

Internal storage

128GB
64GB, not expandable

OS

Android (10), Samsung One UI
Android (10)

Battery

Capacity

5000 mAh
3700 mAh

Charging

Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
USB Power Delivery

In short, the S20 Ultra has more of everything. More powerful CPU and GPU thanks to the Snapdragon 865, twice the memory which is also much faster (LPDDR5 vs LPDDR4) and twice the storage with the option to add more via the MicroSD card slot.

To top it off, the battery is 35% larger as well, which should result in great battery life despite the massive display.

One thing the Pixel 4 XL has as an advantage is the radar system embedded in the top bezel. Besides the relatively useless air gestures, it’s purpose is to serve as a secure face unlock. Needless to say, no one buys a Pixel because of it, but we had to mention it so there’s at least some trading of punches.

But we all know the Pixel’s major strength is its camera, so how does it stack against the Ultra in that department?

Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Pixel 4 XL camera specs comparison


Before we continue with what is basically Samsung trampling over Google, we should say that there’s a lot more than hardware that determines the quality of smartphone photography. Google has always managed to squeeze a ton of performance from uninspiring hardware using its camera software.

And yet, there are things that software can’t do, and the Samsung phone can do many of those things thanks to the aforementioned giant camera module. Here’s what it has in store:

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G vs Google Pixel 4 XL

Camera

Rear

Quad camera
Dual camera

Main camera

108 MP
12.2 MP

Features

OIS, PDAF
OIS, PDAF

Specifications

Aperture size: F1.8; Focal length: 26 mm
Aperture size: F1.7; Focal length: 28 mm; Sensor size: 1/2.55"; Pixel size: 1.4 μm

Second camera

48 MP
16 MP

Features

Telephoto, OIS, PDAF
Telephoto, OIS, PDAF

Specifications

Aperture size: F3.5; Focal Length: 102 mm; Sensor size: 1/2"; Pixel size: 0.8 μm
Aperture size: F2.4; Focal Length: 45 mm; Pixel size: 1 μm

Third camera

12 MP
 

Features

Ultra-wide, Autofocus
 

Specifications

Aperture size: F2.2; Focal Length: 13 mm; Pixel size: 1.4 μm
 

Fourth camera

0.3 MP VGA
 

Features

ToF
 

Video recording

7680x4320 (8K UHD) (24 fps), 3840x2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (240 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (960 fps)
3840x2160 (4K UHD) (30 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (120 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (240 fps)

Features

OIS, HDR, Time-lapse video, EIS
OIS, Time-lapse video, EIS

Front

40 MP
8 MP

Video capture

3840x2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps)
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)

As you can see, there’s no question which phone has the better hardware. The Galaxy S20 Ultra not only has two additional sensors but the ones that correspond to what the Pixel has, are way better.

108MP main sensor vs a 12MP one? Again, megapixels aren’t everything, but they do offer some advantages like combining the data from 9 pixels into one (called nona-binning) for sharper and brighter low-light photography.

And the 2x telephoto lens on the Pixel? Just not enough in 2020. The Samsung comes with a 5x optical zoom tele-camera that goes up to 100x with the help of Samsung’s new camera features such as Super Resolution Zoom and Space Zoom. Space Zoom! Now that’s “Ultra”!

The two additional sensors on the S20 are just the cherry on top. We don’t know how far along Google is with the design of the Pixel 5, but if it wants to remain relevant, it better bring some new hardware to the table because the competition isn’t playing around.

Conclusion


As we said in the beginning, this comparison is not quite fair. It’s obvious Samsung went for overkill with the S20 Ultra and that’s reflected in its price as well. But now that it exists, we can’t help but consider it whenever smartphone cameras are the focus of attention and if other manufacturers don’t want to be shamed, they better bring their a-game and do it soon.

Now all that’s left is to get the S20 Ultra and put it through its paces to see if it can deliver on the order its hardware made.

Related phones

Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Display 6.9 inches
    3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP (Quad camera)
    40 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5000 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    Samsung One UI
Pixel 4 XL
  • Display 6.3 inches
    3040 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP (Dual camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 3700 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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