Calling the S20 Ultra a troubled device is an understatement. A lackluster camera and underwhelming design coupled with a ridiculously high price tag made it a hard phone to recommend. Despite those flaws, I really like my S20 Ultra, which I've had since launch. The build quality is incredible, and the display and battery life are, in my opinion, unparalleled. eBay is currently selling this phone open-box for $980, which still makes this an expensive smartphone. But if you're already eyeing the Ultra, a $420 discount is something you can't miss.
The first Galaxy S20 units are already receiving the July security patch in Korea and Europe, but in the US, the slow carrier rollout of the June update continues to arrive on many people's phones. People using a Galaxy S10 device on T-Mobile can look forward to the patch, which is only now starting to roll out to them. Along with the security enhancements, the phones are getting smaller system and performance improvements.
Every year there seem to be plenty of articles discussing how to make your new Samsung phone feel like a Pixel. I even wrote one, for those of you who do want a Pixel-like experience. I don't necessarily think it's a good idea, however — if you want your phone to be like a Pixel, you should've bought a Pixel in the first place. It also gives the impression that One UI is terrible, or at least worse than stock Android. While some might agree with that, I certainly don't. In my opinion, One UI is the best flavor of Android out there, and it has lots of features and tricks that deserve more attention.
Good Lock is one of my favorite parts of One UI, which is why I've droned on about it so many times. In short, Good Lock houses several modules that allow you to tweak your Samsung software experience, offering a degree of control that rival custom ROMs. Several of those modules just received new updates today, most of which are small bug fixes. However, One Hand Operation + got a more significant update, bringing some new features, as well.
T-Mobile will shut down Sprint's 5G network in order to rework its spectrum into its own 5G grid. While those with a Galaxy S20 series device on Sprint will be able to use 5G on either network, other 5G phone owners will eventually have to migrate to those S20s. The upcoming changes have been announced as the recently-merged carriers begin integrating their separate cellular infrastructure into a cohesive network — a process that's expected to take 3 years.
Samsung used to be known for updating its devices notoriously late, but gradually, it has become one of the most active manufacturers when it comes to software and security patches, often even outpacing Google itself. As such, SamMobile reports that the company has already started rolling out the Android July security patch to its S20 series, beginning in Korea. The new release brings zoom and video stabilization improvements to the camera and sunsets Samsung's Android Auto competitor.
On many Android devices, Google Search lets you view tons of 3D models like animals, pets, skeletons, cells, Neil Armstrong's spacesuit, and much more. With the tap of a button, you can move these objects into your home and see them as though they were in your camera's viewfinder. It's even possible to snap photos and take videos. The list of supported phones is ever-expanding — devices like the Sony Xperia 1 II, the Poco X2, the Xiaomi Redmi K30, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 Lite made the cut we when checked in at the beginning of June, and now a few more are popping up, including the flagship Galaxy S20 series.
The S20 series costs far too much, regardless of how good they are. That probably sounds rich coming from someone who bought an unlocked S20 Ultra the day of the announcement, but it's true. These prices have undoubtedly had some impact on sales, too, with the S20 severely underperforming. It's a shame, because other than a slightly disappointing camera, they are, in my view, the best phones on the market right now. If the price is the only thing putting you off, though, now is an excellent time to grab one from Microsoft, as they have all three models available for up to $300 off.
Samsung is rolling out its phone-as-a-subscription Samsung Access service here in the US. Starting as low as $37 a month for the baby S20 model, Samsung Access includes the phone, Samsung Premium Care device protection, 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and access to Microsoft 365 Personal. Although there's a pile of terms and conditions associated with it, the service also lets you upgrade your phone every nine months — or earlier, if you'd like to pay more.
As a long-term Samsung user, I've witnessed first-hand the Hollywood-style comeback Samsung has made in terms of how its phones get updates. Gone are the days of waiting almost a year for significant version changes, or being several months behind on security patches. Not only have Samsung devices been receiving updates faster than ever before, in some cases, Samsung has even beaten Google to the punch. It's now done so again, with Samsung starting its rollout of May's security patch for the S20 series.