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iPhone 12 vs Samsung Galaxy S20: the latest smartphone features, specs and cameras compared

Margi Murphy
·4 min read
iPhone 12 vs Samsung Galaxy S20: the latest smartphone features, specs and cameras compared
iPhone 12 vs Samsung Galaxy S20: the latest smartphone features, specs and cameras compared

Now we know what the latest iPhone looks like, we can ask how it compares with its market rival: the Samsung Galaxy S20. 

Apple's virtual iPhone launch - the first of its kind thanks to Covid-19 restrictions - was filled with technical terms and phrases like "Lidar", "Ultra-Wide Band" and "nano ceramic crystals". 

It announced a £699 iPhone 12 mini, one of four 5G-enabled phones unveiled by the tech giant and the most affordable flagship-series phone the company has announced in several years, alongside the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro went on sale on Friday, October 23, while the mini and Pro Max will go on sale on November 6.

Both the Apple and Samsung phones come in various size and price points, so we have compared the standard model iPhone 12 with the Galaxy S20. 

iPhone 12 vs Samsung S20 price

Samsung and Apple are neck and neck with the S20's 5G version beginning at £799 compared to the iPhone 12's price of £799. 

The iPhone 12 can cost as much as £949 for a model with more storage.

Apple iPhones
Apple iPhones

iPhone 12 vs Samsung S20 camera and storage

The iPhone 12 comes with 64GB extending up to 256GB for an additional price, while the Galaxy S20 comes with 128GB storage 

iPhone 12 and Samsung S20 compared
iPhone 12 and Samsung S20 compared

The iPhone 12 has a dual lens 12MP camera system and 4K video recording. It can support 2x optical zoom and 5x digital, meaning less blur from far away. 

The Samsung S20 also has a 12 MP dual lens and 4K video, but only offers 1.1x optical zoom and 3x digital. Both boast improved night mode and camera stabilising software, which will make your photos look professional even in the most photographer-unfriendly settings. 

Today, however, smartphone photography is about software as much as specs. Both phones apply serious amounts of computational power to improving photos, and it's difficult to take bad photos with either.

Read more: iPhone 12 and 12 pro Review

iPhone 12 vs Samsung S20 battery

Apple said its new iPhones delivered 5G speeds of up to 4 gigabits per second and would be able to balance speed with battery life, which early 5G networks have often been tough on. However, in most real world cases the speeds will be more like two or three times faster than current 4G networks, while 5G coverage around the UK is still patchy.

This means that when a phone does not need 5G connections, such as when streaming music, it will rely on the less power-sapping 4G networks.

The iPhone 12 promises up to 17 hours of video playback and up to 11 hours of streamed video playback, while the S20 offers different metrics - 14 hours internet usage at 4G use, and up to 20 hours talk time. 

In both cases, battery life is always a function of what you are doing with your phone. Reviewers have praised the S20's battery life. It's too early to tell when it comes to the iPhone, although last year's iPhone 11 represented a big step forward.

Samsung S20
Samsung S20

iPhone 12 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 quality of image, display and processor

The new iPhones feature a new flatter design that is 11pc thinner, 15pc smaller and 16pc lighter than previous models, which means the iPhone 12 fits the same 6.1-inch screen into a smaller form factor than last year's iPhone 11. The Galaxy S20 is marginally bigger, but has an incrementally larger 6.2-inch display. 

Both claim to have extra tough screens. The iPhone has a "ceramic shield" protective screen, fusing "nano-ceramic crystals" into the glass makes it 4 times less likely to smash when dropped. 

Explained: Apple's new iPhone 12 range
Explained: Apple's new iPhone 12 range

The S20's OLED display has been seen as an advantage over Apple but the iPhone maker has upped its game this year with a sharper and brighter display, although when it comes to pure pixels per inch, the Samsung still wins.

Apple has long been seen as holding an advantage when it comes to chips, the iPhone 12 is running on the new A14 bionic processor – which it claims is the "fastest chip ever in a smartphone". Samsung's phones use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. 


If you think they might be too close to call, perhaps the announcement that Apple would be shipping all iPhones without a charger or headphones anymore might clinch it for you, just remember, it's for a very good reason. 


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