Cell Phones

Help me decide on a new phone.

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  • Nov 5th, 2020 4:39 pm
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[OP]
Member
Nov 10, 2015
327 posts
282 upvotes
Thornhill, ON

Help me decide on a new phone.

Hi guys,

I currently have an s9+ that is showing its age. I am past due for an upgrade through rogers as well. Im looking at options for a new phone and wanted some input. I use my phone for work and take lots of pictures, so battery life and camera quality are on the top of my list. I am debating between these phones:

S20, ultra
Note 20, ultra
Pixel 5

Are there other phones i should consider? I do not like iphones. Is the s20 fe a good happy medium or is it worth it to go for the ultra?

Let me know your opinions. Thanks
17 replies
Deal Fanatic
May 18, 2009
6379 posts
1542 upvotes
Richmond Hill
i love my n20u
9/10 for cam
8/10 for battery
Member
Oct 14, 2006
212 posts
100 upvotes
Richmond
I vote for one of these:

  • S20 FE
  • Note 20 Ultra
  • Pixel 4a 5G or Pixel 5
  • OnePlus 8 Pro

The regular S20's plus the Ultra are rather lacking. It's hard getting a good photo 100% of the time. You should always take 2 or 3, just in case. Many shots are not perfectly in focus - not crisp - so if you digitally zoom on say a Pixel, you realise there's actually more detail there than with the optical zoom on those S20's, because they got the focus point wrong. That's silly. The Note 20 Ultra tried to solve that with the laser autofocus, and it does help a lot - but the Dual-Pixel PDAF (Phase Detection Auto-focus) of the Pixel line and S20 FE is just a champion at quickly and properly locking onto targets. You point, you press the button, you get an in-focus shot. The S20 FE is the only high end Samsung phone this generation to have that technology.

The OnePlus also has advanced PDAF for its main shooter, so again - shots will nearly 100% of the time be properly focused.
https://www.gsmarena.com/oneplus_8_pro-9919.php

Max Tech on YouTube did blind comparisons between the Note 20 Ultra, S20 Ultra and Note 10 Plus, and found that if people don't know which is which, about 75% of the time they prefer the Note 10 Plus. Dual Pixel PDAF plus dual aperture is a winning combination for making shots turn out nice, very reliably.

In short, if you like reliable and stunning photography, avoid:
  • -All S20's other than the FE.
  • -The regular Note 20 (overpriced for what you get)

The Note 20 Ultra in capable hands is an impressive phone. With Pro Mode, it can do a lot. But the sensor is not quite as point and shoot as many others. You will have to learn its quirks and temperament, and take 2 or 3 shots while learning it, just in case.


I have a Pixel 3 XL right now, and out of around 17000 photos taken, can you guess how many were out of focus? It's an easy guess. ;) Dual Pixel PDAF ftw.
Deal Fanatic
May 18, 2009
6379 posts
1542 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Kramy wrote: I vote for one of these:

  • S20 FE
  • Note 20 Ultra
  • Pixel 4a 5G or Pixel 5
  • OnePlus 8 Pro

The regular S20's plus the Ultra are rather lacking. It's hard getting a good photo 100% of the time. You should always take 2 or 3, just in case. Many shots are not perfectly in focus - not crisp - so if you digitally zoom on say a Pixel, you realise there's actually more detail there than with the optical zoom on those S20's, because they got the focus point wrong. That's silly. The Note 20 Ultra tried to solve that with the laser autofocus, and it does help a lot - but the Dual-Pixel PDAF (Phase Detection Auto-focus) of the Pixel line and S20 FE is just a champion at quickly and properly locking onto targets. You point, you press the button, you get an in-focus shot. The S20 FE is the only high end Samsung phone this generation to have that technology.

The OnePlus also has advanced PDAF for its main shooter, so again - shots will nearly 100% of the time be properly focused.
https://www.gsmarena.com/oneplus_8_pro-9919.php

Max Tech on YouTube did blind comparisons between the Note 20 Ultra, S20 Ultra and Note 10 Plus, and found that if people don't know which is which, about 75% of the time they prefer the Note 10 Plus. Dual Pixel PDAF plus dual aperture is a winning combination for making shots turn out nice, very reliably.

In short, if you like reliable and stunning photography, avoid:
  • -All S20's other than the FE.
  • -The regular Note 20 (overpriced for what you get)

The Note 20 Ultra in capable hands is an impressive phone. With Pro Mode, it can do a lot. But the sensor is not quite as point and shoot as many others. You will have to learn its quirks and temperament, and take 2 or 3 shots while learning it, just in case.


I have a Pixel 3 XL right now, and out of around 17000 photos taken, can you guess how many were out of focus? It's an easy guess. ;) Dual Pixel PDAF ftw.
for S20, i would just avoid the ultra version as it has auto focus issues. The ones below ultra are fine.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2013
1146 posts
492 upvotes
Markham
If you're interested in the S20 FE, it can now be had for $657.50 according to this post samsung-pre-order-samsung-s20-fe-get-bo ... #p33383115

Act fast as it supposedly ends today.

(For the record, you can even use old non-smartphones for the trade-in bonus as long as you have the IMEI number. It'll be a $0 trade-in value, but you still get the $150 trade-in bonus.)
13:6W-365. 14:11W-2134. 15:10W-1749. 16:4W-8120. 17:11W-2797. 18:8W-210. 19:7W-466. 20:20W-9316. 21:18W-1995
Zoomer $40.50/6GB
Selling: Panini Basketball Cards
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2003
2348 posts
918 upvotes
S20 FE if you want to stay with Samsung, Pixel 5 if you don't
[OP]
Member
Nov 10, 2015
327 posts
282 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
Thanks for the detailed input.
Looks like ill have to look a little closer at the fe and pixel!
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2008
6334 posts
2366 upvotes
Black Friday coming up very soon, something to consider
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 2, 2001
4588 posts
1952 upvotes
GTA
kammj1 wrote: Pixel 5
Lol how did this phone get on your list? The s20u has a 5000mah battery compared to the n20u, i'd go with the s20u.
Deal Addict
Mar 18, 2015
1968 posts
839 upvotes
Antarctica
shabby wrote: Lol how did this phone get on your list? The s20u has a 5000mah battery compared to the n20u, i'd go with the s20u.
Great camera and smooth updated android?

Although if you like Samsung and want a gaming powerhouse it's intriguing why they aren't looking at S20 and the FE versions instead of the pixel.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 2, 2001
4588 posts
1952 upvotes
GTA
Crichtonfan wrote: Great camera and smooth updated android?

Although if you like Samsung and want a gaming powerhouse it's intriguing why they aren't looking at S20 and the FE versions instead of the pixel.
Camera is good but processing is slow due to the midrange soc, updates are quick but buggy, you're beta testing android for Google basically. Also overpriced, I wouldn't touch googles stuff with a 10 foot pole.
Deal Addict
Mar 18, 2015
1968 posts
839 upvotes
Antarctica
shabby wrote: Camera is good but processing is slow due to the midrange soc, updates are quick but buggy, you're beta testing android for Google basically. Also overpriced, I wouldn't touch googles stuff with a 10 foot pole.
Haven't beta tested anything so far on my end. The software is fine. I admit the hardware can be a roulette due to google changing things every gen but thankfully my pixel 3 has been free of issues and going strong into its 3rd year.

Family owns a bunch of iPhones - X, 11, and the Samsung S10+ rounded up by a one plus 6T. The pixel pics always wow everyone. Slow or not, it's a great camera.

Thankfully the pixel 5 is priced slightly better this time so it's still a good buy. But not a good buy if you absolutely want to play demanding games or need a battery larger than 4000mah.

I have used galaxies since the captivate and I wouldn't use one as my daily driver even if given for free.
Member
Oct 14, 2006
212 posts
100 upvotes
Richmond
yesstyle wrote: for S20, i would just avoid the ultra version as it has auto focus issues. The ones below ultra are fine.
That depends upon how critical you are.

S20 Ultra - ~1/4 shots have wrong focal point = "Problem"
Regular S20 - 1/20 shots have wrong focal point = "Fine"
Dual Pixel PDAF = Always in Focus.

But then again, most people snap blurry photos, pinch zoom, then proclaim they are great. Most people are not harsh critics. They expect too little of their hardware.

If it lacks the sharpness that my 2018 Pixel 3 XL delivers, I would be disappointed - so I would be disappointed by the entire S20 lineup except the FE, which shares that highly accurate autofocus.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 5, 2013
5691 posts
1428 upvotes
Manila, Philippines
kammj1 wrote: Hi guys,

I currently have an s9+ that is showing its age. I am past due for an upgrade through rogers as well. Im looking at options for a new phone and wanted some input. I use my phone for work and take lots of pictures, so battery life and camera quality are on the top of my list. I am debating between these phones:

S20, ultra
Note 20, ultra
Pixel 5

Are there other phones i should consider? I do not like iphones. Is the s20 fe a good happy medium or is it worth it to go for the ultra?

Let me know your opinions. Thanks
I also have a S9+ that I use for my daily drive. I was considereng taking the following.
1. Samsung FE
2. Samsung A71
I need a phone with big screen and big Battery.

Freedom Mobile
Line 1 $50 20gb with 35% F&F LG Velvet
Line 2 $50 20gb with 35% F&F Samsung S21
Line 3 $65 20gb with 35% F&F iPhone 11
Line 4 $65 20gb with 35% F&F iPhone 11


Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2013
1146 posts
492 upvotes
Markham
Kramy wrote: I vote for one of these:

  • S20 FE
  • Note 20 Ultra
  • Pixel 4a 5G or Pixel 5
  • OnePlus 8 Pro

The regular S20's plus the Ultra are rather lacking. It's hard getting a good photo 100% of the time. You should always take 2 or 3, just in case. Many shots are not perfectly in focus - not crisp - so if you digitally zoom on say a Pixel, you realise there's actually more detail there than with the optical zoom on those S20's, because they got the focus point wrong. That's silly. The Note 20 Ultra tried to solve that with the laser autofocus, and it does help a lot - but the Dual-Pixel PDAF (Phase Detection Auto-focus) of the Pixel line and S20 FE is just a champion at quickly and properly locking onto targets. You point, you press the button, you get an in-focus shot. The S20 FE is the only high end Samsung phone this generation to have that technology.

The OnePlus also has advanced PDAF for its main shooter, so again - shots will nearly 100% of the time be properly focused.
https://www.gsmarena.com/oneplus_8_pro-9919.php
Interesting. I got the S20 FE because I finally wanted to upgrade from an old S8, didn't want to pay $1000+ on a new phone, and saw the S20 FE HOT Deals thread about a month ago.
I didn't even know it had Dual-Pixel PDAF for its Camera, (or even knew what it was for that matter)!
After using this phone for a month I do agree it's very easy to take good photos with it!


edit: I just checked gsmarena and noticed that S20, and S20+ also have Dual-Pixel PDAF. Only the S20 Ultra doesn't have Dual-Pixel.
https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?& ... one3=10084
13:6W-365. 14:11W-2134. 15:10W-1749. 16:4W-8120. 17:11W-2797. 18:8W-210. 19:7W-466. 20:20W-9316. 21:18W-1995
Zoomer $40.50/6GB
Selling: Panini Basketball Cards
Deal Addict
Mar 18, 2015
1968 posts
839 upvotes
Antarctica
d1ulove3 wrote: I also have a S9+ that I use for my daily drive. I was considereng taking the following.
1. Samsung FE
2. Samsung A71
I need a phone with big screen and big Battery.
S20 FE would be a better upgrade to the S9+ compared to the A71.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 5, 2013
5691 posts
1428 upvotes
Manila, Philippines
Crichtonfan wrote: S20 FE would be a better upgrade to the S9+ compared to the A71.
I know.

Freedom Mobile
Line 1 $50 20gb with 35% F&F LG Velvet
Line 2 $50 20gb with 35% F&F Samsung S21
Line 3 $65 20gb with 35% F&F iPhone 11
Line 4 $65 20gb with 35% F&F iPhone 11


Member
Oct 14, 2006
212 posts
100 upvotes
Richmond
knacks wrote: Interesting. I got the S20 FE because I finally wanted to upgrade from an old S8, didn't want to pay $1000+ on a new phone, and saw the S20 FE HOT Deals thread about a month ago.
I didn't even know it had Dual-Pixel PDAF for its Camera, (or even knew what it was for that matter)!
After using this phone for a month I do agree it's very easy to take good photos with it!


edit: I just checked gsmarena and noticed that S20, and S20+ also have Dual-Pixel PDAF. Only the S20 Ultra doesn't have Dual-Pixel.
https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?& ... one3=10084
Ahh, you're right! I somehow missed that. I thought they had regular PDAF on the main shooter, but it appears it's the telephoto that has it. My bad. No dual-aperture on any of them, though.

Dual-Pixel PDAF for the win! Makes for very easy photo taking.

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