There’s a lot to like about the new Samsung Galaxy S20 series: 5G support, that new Ultra camera system, the 120Hz displays, bigger batteries, and a whole lot more. But no phone is perfect, and not everyone has the same taste in smartphones. If you were waiting to see what the Galaxy S20 lineup had it store and came away disappointed, we’ve rounded up some of the best Samsung Galaxy S20 alternatives you’ll want to check out.
1. Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10, or S10 Plus
This one kind of flew under the radar during the announcement, but the Galaxy S20 line ditched the headphone jack. You know what still has the headphone jack? The entire Galaxy S10 line.
Also, with the announcement of the S20 line, Samsung dropped the price of the Galaxy S10 line by $150. That means the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is going for $849, the Galaxy S10 is now $749, and the Galaxy S10e now costs $599. That’s right — the top-end Galaxy S10 Plus can be yours for $150 less than the lowest-tier Samsung Galaxy S20 model. Not bad!
With the Galaxy S10 line, you’re getting a solid spec sheet with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, plenty of RAM, big OLED displays, a microSD card slot, and again, a headphone port. They were recently updated to Android 10 with One UI 2.0 as well, so the software experience should be similar to the S20.
These are also all 4G phones, and the Galaxy S10 5G is still too expensive at this point to recommend over any of the S20 phones.
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2. OnePlus 7T or OnePlus 7T Pro
The topic of “value” always comes up when a phone launches for around $1,000. I’m not going to say the Galaxy S20 phones aren’t worth what Samsung is charging for them, but I will say there are certainly better values out there. OnePlus phones have always provided fantastic value for the specs and features they offer, and the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro are the ones to buy right now.
On paper, the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro fare well against their Galaxy counterparts. They both offer 90Hz displays, super fast charging, great looking and speedy software, and they receive software updates quickly and frequently. The 7T Pro even has a pop-up selfie cam. They both also have the Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC and lots of RAM under the hood to keep multitasking moving along nicely.
OnePlus 7T review | OnePlus 7T Pro review
For as much as the 7T line offers, you’d expect it to cost at least $800-$900, right? Wrong-o. The OnePlus 7T costs $599 on OnePlus.com and can be found even cheaper on Amazon. The OnePlus 7T Pro isn’t available in the US, so our friends in Europe and other parts of the world can pick it up from Amazon or OnePlus.com for £699.
There are tradeoffs with going for a OnePlus phone, though. Their cameras aren’t as good or as flexible as Samsung’s, there’s no wireless charging, and no official IP ratings. If you can look past those faults, we think these phones are some of the best Samsung Galaxy S20 alternatives out there.
OnePlus 7T Flagship performance, value price
The OnePlus 7T offers stunning performance and tons of extras features and yet costs significantly less than most flagship phones.
OnePlus 7T Pro The best OnePlus has ever made
The OnePlus 7T Pro is the international variant of OnePlus’ 2019 flagship. It packs all the best hardware you can find in a phone but costs several hundred dollars less than other phones with similar specs. Not to be missed.
3. Google Pixel 4 XL
Samsung’s Galaxy S phones have always had all the bells and whistles, and that can be overwhelming for some people. If you want a smartphone that doesn’t bombard you with too many extras, take a look at the Google Pixel 4 XL.
The Pixel 4 XL has perhaps the best, most easy to use smartphone camera out there. Just point, shoot, and you’ll get good photo nearly every time. The camera system isn’t as flexible as the S20’s, so you might miss that wide-angle goodness from Samsung’s latest phones. However, Google’s phone offers the fantastic Night Sight and astrophotography modes that will make shooting in the dark much easier.
Google is also one of the first — if not the first — manufacturers to roll out new Android updates to its devices every month. Google also, you know, makes Android, so the Pixel 4 XL will be one of the first devices to receive Android 11 when it rolls out later this year. Even though Samsung has improved its software update rollouts recently, S20 users will likely need to wait a few months before the next version of Android rolls out to their devices. That’s not an issue with Google’s phones.
Google Pixel 4 XL The best from Google
The larger of the two Pixel 4 phones, the Google Pixel 4 XL boasts a 3,700mAh battery and a 6.3-inch OLED display. The display’s 90Hz refresh rate makes navigation extremely smooth. There’s also a Soli radar for Motion Sense and Face Unlock.
4. LG G8X
The Galaxy S20 has many things going for it, but audio isn’t one of them. LG is one of the last Android OEMs that seem to be taking audio seriously, and that’s pretty clear when taking a look at the LG G8X.
The LG G8X is one of the best phones for audio you can buy.
First, the LG G8X has a headphone jack. Awesome! LG included a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC with a DTS:X 3D Sound System to help drive audio with improved fidelity through the 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone also includes user-adjustable audio presets so you can customize your audio the way you want to hear it.
It also has stereo speakers, where the earpiece serves as one channel and the bottom-firing speaker the other. This can make the sound a little imbalanced, but audio playing through the G8X’s speakers gets super loud. Finally, Bluetooth 5 with aptX is thrown in for good measure.
And that’s just audio. The G8X also has a great display, overall good hardware, and the option for a crazy dual-display attachment that is actually quite useful.
LG G8X ThinQ A revised LG G8
The LG G8X eschews the front-facing 3D ToF camera in favor of a bigger battery and a second screen accessory. Otherwise, you’re getting all the usual LG bells and whistles, including a 3.5mm port, water resistance, and wireless charging.
5. iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro
You’re reading this on an Android website, so I understand this might be shocking. But Galaxy devices are the most popular Android smartphones in the world, right behind the iPhone. Don’t get me wrong — I wouldn’t be recommending the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro if they weren’t good phones, but they are.
The iPhone 11 is the more affordable of the two and probably the best option for most people. It starts at $699 – $300 less than the bottom-tier Galaxy S20 — and has most of the features that come with the higher-end Pro model. It has a new dual-camera system that can take good photos at night, it has Apple’s new A13 Bionic SoC, and its battery life is fantastic.
The iPhone 11 Pro (we reviewed the iPhone 11 Pro Max) also has good battery life and a high-quality AMOLED display. Its cameras are damn-near the best you can buy on any smartphone, too, even compared to the Google Pixel 4.
Of course, you should only consider the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro if, you know, you like iOS or want to switch ecosystems.
Apple iPhone 11 The iPhone for everyone
Apple released two phones in 2019, and the iPhone 11 is the cheaper of the two. It’s not lacking in specs or features, though — the iPhone 11 has Apple’s new dual-camera setup and Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset.
There are many, many more options out there that aren’t listed here. If you can think of another Samsung Galaxy S20 alternative, sound off in the comments.