There’s a lot to like about Samsung’s 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 S21 series
If you’re still considering last year’s flagship lineup, why not spring for this year’s model instead? Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 family is here, and it’s packed with new improvements.
Better yet, Samsung is finally doing something about the exorbitant price tags. You’ll only have to fork over $799 for the entry-level Galaxy S21, though the S21 Plus costs $999, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra rings in at $1,199. Part of Samsung’s strategy to cut costs includes a plastic construction on the Galaxy S21, so you may want to weigh your material preferences carefully.
With the Galaxy S21 line, you’re getting solid spec sheets with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, plenty of RAM, big OLED displays, and absolutely remarkable camera arrays. They ship with Android 11 with One UI 3.1 as well, so the software experience should be similar to the S20.
2. OnePlus 8, 8 Pro, and 8T
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 weren’t worth what Samsung charged for them at launch, but I will say there have always been better values out there. OnePlus phones have always provided fantastic value for the specs and features they offer, and the OnePlus 8, 8 Pro, and 8T are the ones to buy right now.
On paper, the OnePlus 8, 8 Pro, and 8T fare well against their Galaxy counterparts. They offer 120Hz displays, super-fast charging, great looking software, and they receive software updates quickly and frequently. The new generation has even moved to the punch-hole selfie camera. They both also have the Snapdragon 865 SoC and lots of RAM under the hood to keep multitasking moving along nicely.
OnePlus’ newest 8T slots in right between the two slightly older devices in terms of pricing. You’ll get the same Snapdragon 865 Plus chip, 8 or 12GB of RAM, and a powerful 4,500mAh battery. The OnePlus 8T also moves the camera array to the corner, a significant change from the central-mounted cameras of the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.
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 on the OnePlus 8 and no official IP ratings on the smaller device, either. If you can look past those faults, we think these phones are some of the best Samsung Galaxy S20 alternatives out there.
3. Google Pixel 5
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 5.
The Pixel 5 has one of the best, easiest to use smartphone camera out there. Just point, shoot, and you’ll get a good photo nearly every time. The camera system isn’t as flexible as the S20’s, though it now features an ultrawide shooter for a bit of variety. Google’s phone also 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 5 will be one of the first devices updated each time a new version rolls out. Even though Samsung has improved its software update rollouts recently, S20 users often have to wait around before they see an upgrade to the latest and greatest.
4. LG V60
The Galaxy S20 has many things going for it, but audio isn’t really 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 V60.
The LG V60 is one of the best phones for audio you can buy.
First, the LG V60 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 imbalance the sound a bit, but audio playing through the V60’s speakers gets super loud. Finally, Bluetooth 5 with aptX is thrown in for good measure.
And that’s just audio. The V60 also has a great display, overall good hardware, and the option for a crazy dual-display attachment that is actually quite useful.
5. iPhone 12 series
You’re reading this on an Android website, so I understand this might be shocking. But Galaxy devices are the most popular smartphones in the world, right behind the iPhone. Don’t get me wrong — I wouldn’t be recommending the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro if they weren’t good phones, but they are.
The iPhone 12 is the middle child of the four phone family, and it meets the needs of most people. It starts at $799 – $200 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 A14 Bionic SoC, and its battery life is impressive.
The iPhone 12 Pro also has good battery life and a high-quality AMOLED display. Its cameras are easily among the best you can buy on any smartphone, too, even compared to the Google Pixel 5.
Of course, you should only consider the iPhone 12 family, you know, you like iOS or want to switch ecosystems.