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Best phones in South Africa - all the winners

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

The ultimate flagship - at an ultimate price

Release date: March 2020
Weight: 166g
Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.9-inch
Resolution: 3200 x 1440
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 12/16GB
Storage: 128/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP+48MP+12MP
Front camera: 40MP
Reasons to buy
+Best specs of 2020, period+5x optical, 100x digital 'Space Zoom'+Enormous 6.9-inch display
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive-Extras not worth price bump-Space Zoom dubious worth

The Galaxy S20 Ultra is, indeed, ultra – billed as the ultimate Samsung phone thanks to top-of-the-line specs on paper. It's an evolution of the max-specced Samsung Galaxy S10 5G from last year, though the Ultra's execution isn't the best.

Screen: The 6.9-inch Infinity-O AMOLED screen is the sharpest we've seen, coming in at a whopping 3200 x 1440 resolution (WQHD+) given the model's slim bezels and the narrowest punch-hole we've ever seen. Plus its maximum refresh rate has been bumped up to 120Hz (though only if you bump the resolution down to FHD+) and touch sensor improved to 240Hz. It retains an in-screen fingerprint sensor, leaving the phone's back unblemished.

Battery life: The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a massive 5,000mAh battery, which should help with the drains from the 120Hz and 5G connectivity, along with whatever Wireless PowerSharing and mundane binging or gaming you're doing. It should last you a day or more, though we still haven't hit the two-day battery life threshold yet. 

Camera: The massive 108MP main shooter allows you to crop into photos after the fact without as much distortion. However, the appeal is limited. Serious creatives with time on their hands may get use out of this feature more than most people. While there is a 16MP ultra-wide lens roughly akin to that from last year's phone, it's the zoom capabilities that take the cake. The 100x 'Space Zoom' is mostly for showing off, as photos at that zoom are muddied - but scan it back out and it will blow other phones out of the water, especially since the competition typically maxes out at 10x. Here, see our massive S20 Ultra camera test for a deep dive.

Mini verdict: The S20 Ultra is truly cutting-edge, with a 100x 'Space Zoom' and, yes 5G, capabilities compatible with both mmWave and sub-6 networks. But you'll pay a premium for the privilege: the phone starts at $1,399, and while its camera has unbelievable specs, like a 108MP sensor, it doesn't always get exposure or autofocus right, leading us to recommend the S20 Plus.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review