Galaxy S20 Ultra Teardown: These Cameras are CRAZY!!!


Samsung’s new flagship, the Galaxy S20 Ultra,
is here—and if you’re wondering what happened to the S11 through S19, well, isn’t it obvious? This phone ate them. It’s… a monster, with a camera bump to
match. Inside that camera bump you’ve got a 108-megapixel
sensor, and another camera with a hundred ex zoom, which is pretty useful… I guess. All the hardware specs are insane, but our
favorite has to be this screen with its 120 Hz refresh rate. Here it is next to the iPhone 11 Pro Max,
slowed down to about one-fifth speed. Additionally you’ve got an advertised five
thousand milliamp-hour battery, and…you know what, we’re not convinced all of these
features can physically fit in here. Let’s take it apart, just to make sure. A giant phone like this requires giant tools:
we start with hefty helpings of heat from our heat gun and some power lifting from our
Heavy Duty Suction Cup. The adhesive holding this back cover down
feels slightly more difficult to remove than recent galaxy phones, but it looks about the
same, so it’s probably just our minds playing tricks on us. The giant Mahi driver from our Manta kit will
help us remove all the screws holding the antenna and metal shield in place, however
may need a better view to see it happen. Frustratingly, some of these screws are in
wells, making them a little tricky to dig out once they are unscrewed. We disconnect and lift up the wireless charging
coil to remove one last screw and the antenna/shield combo lifts free. Next we peel back the rest of that wireless
charging coil and get our first clear view of how this thing is put together. It looks… pretty much just like a Note10+5G,
minus the stylus. Instead you get a lot more battery. We pop out the lower frame and speaker just
because it’s there and then we tackle the giant motherboard. This stacked motherboard is a monster! It’s thick and home to not only the giant
camera assembly but also this 5G millimeter-wave antenna, resting on its own little heat sink. The camera assembly features a 48MP Telephoto
Camera, a 12MP Ultra Wide Camera and the monster 108MP Wide-angle Camera which has a sensor
about double the surface area of the iPhone 11 Pro/Max’s primary 12 MP wide-angle sensor. There’s one other item of interest found in
the camera assembly, this light bending periscope . At one end is a prism with its own optical
image stabilization, which redirects the image 90-degrees through this sliding 4x zoom lens. That combined with some sensor cropping and
digital zoom gets you to 100x magnification. It’s pretty unusual hardware for a smartphone,
allowing for true optical zoom at the expense of a little extra interior space. As usual with Samsung phones, the battery
is cemented in place, and once again alcohol is the solution to all our problems. Well alcohol and a little patience. The alcohol softens the adhesive and constant
pressure from our heavy duty suction cup allows us to remove this ultra large battery. This thing packs in 19.30 Wh and is a huge
increase in capacity over its contemporaries like the iPhone 11 Pro Max which is 15.04
Wh, and the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G which is 16.56 Wh. We spot two more millimeter-wave antennas
along the edges of the S20 Ultras frame and with those removed we’re left with the display. For the most part we hate removing Samsung
displays. They’re fused on tight, time-consuming and
precarious to pry off, but maybe this display is different? No, it’s not. This 6.9″ AMOLED Display may have a super
fast refresh rate, but it’s still painfully slow to replace if you crack your screen. For all the amazing advances in this phone,
about the only thing Samsung didn’t level up is the repairability: we’re scoring it
a 3/10, which is pretty average by Galactic standards. Samsung has the means to do better here, but
they’ve stuck with the same glued-together design that’s frustrating to open and makes
basic screen and battery repairs frustratingly difficult. The S20 Ultra is not without some positive
points though: you’ll only need a single screwdriver, and unlike S10 models, the charging
port isn’t soldered to the main board. If you could repair the last Samsung phone,
you’ll be able to fix this one.

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