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 9
OnePlus has slowly been making the move into true flagship territory with its recent releases and completes the jump with the OnePlus 9 Pro. However, if you don’t want to spend close to a thousand dollars, the vanilla OnePlus 9 is an excellent value proposition as well, coming with all the bells and whistles you’d expect, without the hefty price tag.
Find out more: OnePlus 9 series buyer’s guide
OnePlus is also finally ready to take on the best from Samsung with an upgraded camera setup and a new partnership with Hasselblad. The OnePlus 9 comes with powerful 50MP and 48MP main shooters. It’s Hasselblad’s software tweaks that take the OnePlus 9’s photography capabilities to the next level, making for some of the best smartphone cameras from OnePlus yet. Inside, you’ll find the Snapdragon 888 humming away backed by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, so you can expect better performance than what you’d get with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series.
Currently priced at around $650, the OnePlus 9 isn’t that much more expensive than the Galaxy S20 devices either. However, if you’re looking to get similar specs and features at a more affordable price, the OnePlus 8T is worth considering as well. You get everything the S20 series offers and is priced almost the same as well.
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 cameras 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. Xiaomi Mi 11
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is also an excellent alternative to the Galaxy S20. You get the latest processor with the Snapdragon 888, a large, 6.81-inch display, a large 4,600mAh battery, and 55W fast charging. Xiaomi also chose a triple camera array with the regular Mi 11, headlined by a 108MP main sensor, which you’d only get with the Galaxy S20 Ultra. On the front, you’ll find a 20MP lens for all of your selfie-shooting needs.
Our verdict: Xiaomi Mi 11 review
If you’re looking to get the latest and greatest from Xiaomi, you’ll have to turn to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. However, the cheaper price tag of the standard Mi 11 makes it a very compelling choice, even if it is more expensive than what you’d get the S20 phones for right now.
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.