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Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Which Is Better?

author Luis Silva (December 2020 Updated: March 2022 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy S20 Plus may cost you a few bucks more, but it also has better specs.

It features better performance (+61%), a glass back, and external storage.

What else do they have to offer?

The Galaxy S20 Plus also features a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.7") display, and more RAM (12GB vs. 8GB). But the Pixel 5 will give you a cleaner user interface and a lightweight body (37 g./1.31 oz less).

How much more will those additional features cost me?

If you ignore carrier offers, it should be about $67 more expensive.

Is the Pixel 5 still worth buying in 2022?

The Google Pixel 5 is clearly worth buying in 2022, even if there are better phones out there. Sure there are other devices like the Galaxy S21, but this one does have good cameras, good battery life, and excellent glass protection.

Is it still worth buying the Galaxy S20 Plus in 2022?

Just because the Galaxy S20 Plus was released last year doesn't mean I won't recommend it. You can thank Samsung for its good cameras, good battery life, excellent glass protection, tons of RAM, and 8K recordings. It doesn't mean you can't take a quick peek at the Vivo X60 Pro, though.

Just keep reading if you want to know everything about them, how they compare to similarly priced rivals, and how the industry is scoring their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Google Pixel 5, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

CONTENTS

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Introduction

While Samsung's Galaxy S20 Plus hit stores in March 2020, Google's Pixel 5 went on sale in October 2020.

We are looking at how the Pixel 5 and the Galaxy S20 Plus compare to each other to help you decide which might be the right one for you.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Release Date 2020, October 2020, March 0y.
OS Updates 3 years 3 years 0y.
Security Updates 3 years 4 years 1y.

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

About performance: Geekbench 5 scores the Galaxy S20 Plus 61% ahead of its rival in the multi-core ranking. If you forget this number, you'll remember it every single day since day one.

Be aware that the Pixel 5's performance is under the pattern if you consider related-priced phones. The average score is 2428, but it got 1647.

It's safe to say that the Pixel 5 can be tagged as mid-range and the Galaxy S20 Plus more like a lower high-end.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (with the Adreno 650 GPU) and the Exynos 990 (with the Mali-G77) are market-dependent. Click here for more info.

There's a performance increase of about 15% on the 865 for the Galaxy S20 Plus.

Performance*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
SoC Snapdragon 765 Exynos 990
Graphics Adreno 620 Mali-G77 MP11
Geekbench 5 Score 1647
2649
1002
OS Android 11 Android 10 and OneUI
Tek-Score
4.7
6.3
1.6

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Google Pixel 5 front transparent png Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus front transparent png

The Galaxy S20 Plus is the title-holder here, and that's as clear as glass.

If you're into small displays, the Pixel 5 is the one. There are just not that many choices in its class.

Considering the Pixel 5, you should know that 83% of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 88% have an Always-On display.

Regarding the Galaxy S20 Plus, I should say that 96% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 83% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Size 6.0
6.7
0.7
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1440x3200
2080800
Refresh Rate 90hz 120hz 30
Dots per Inch 429.53
523.74
94.21
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 699 nits
797 nits
98
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.7
9.8
1.1
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6 Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Tek-Score
7.9
8.3
0.4

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Google Pixel 5 back transparent png Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus back transparent png

You should note that the Pixel 5 is in the neighborhood of 85% above its adversaries at about this price tag. But you can pick either one.

About the Pixel 5: DXOMARK gave this shooter a score of 129. By including its wide-angle lens, it'll get 138 points. For a thorough review, click here.

I hope this helps: all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 88% feature Optical Image Stabilization. On the other hand, only 17% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Galaxy S20 Plus: The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 123 points. And if we consider its wide-angle lens, we'll get to the final score of 135** points. If you want to know more about every tidbit, check it here.

Last (but not least), just to let you know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. Still, only 12% of them feature a macro lens.

We can classify these two as high-end.

Have you noticed yet? If you want a telephoto lens, just ignore these two and check the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max or the OnePlus 9 Pro instead. Or you can go crazy because smartphones like the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are simply something else.

**Please take this with a grain of salt, particularly on mid-end cameras with less than 40MP and no zoom lens. They just changed their protocol, and there aren't enough reviewed cameras to extrapolate a backward-compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.7
1.8
0.1
Lens 27mm
26mm
-1
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 138
135
-3

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus vs.
Megapixels 16
64
48
Aperture 2.2
2.0
-0.2
Lens 17mm -
Lens Type Wide-Angle -
Megapixels - 12
Aperture - 2.2
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type - Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels - 0.3
Lens Type - Depth Sensor
Score 9 12 3
Selfie Camera Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus vs.
Megapixels 8
10
2
Aperture 2.0
2.2
0.2
Lens 24mm 26mm 2
Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus vs.
Tek-Score
8.1
7.9
-0.2

Who has the best frame?

If you're still undecided about them, the Pixel 5 is a better choice based on its weight.

Remember that the Pixel 5 is approximately 12% smaller than most similarly priced devices.

The Galaxy S20 Plus is 37 g. (1.46 oz) heavier than the other, weighing about 151 g. (5.33 oz). If you want a big screen in a lightweight phone, I've come up with an adapted "display size to phone weight ratio" score. The Pixel 5 got 8.4, meaning it's one of the lightest phones for its display size. In the meantime, the Galaxy S20 Plus has 5.9, so nothing to state here.

You can drop the Pixel 5 into the water, up to 1 to 3 meters deep, just like the Galaxy S20 Plus. Remember that it shouldn't be for over half an hour, in standby mode, so no underwater photos.

Looks*
vs.
Body Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Size 144 x 70 x 8 mm
(5.08 x 2.47 x 0.28 in)
161 x 73 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.58 x 0.25 in)
1631
Weight 151 g. (5.33 oz)
188 g. (6.63 oz)
37
Build Front glass and aluminum back Front and back glass
Colors Just Black and Sorta Sage Cosmic Black, Cloud Blue, Cosmic Grey, Cloud White, and Aura Red
Screen To Body Ratio 87.67%
92.21%
4.54
Disp.Size To Weight Score 8.4 5.9 -2.5
Looks 9.1/10
10.0/10
0.8
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
9.1
7.6
-1.5

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The Pixel 5 has a 4080 mAh battery, and the Galaxy S20 Plus has a 4500 mAh. But according to GSMArena's tests, you shouldn't expect any real contrast here.

The Snapdragon 865 also has better battery efficiency (about 10% more screen-on-time) when you compare it to the Exynos 990.

Battery*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Capacity (mAh) 4080 4500 420
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 82% left
82% left
0
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 66% left
66% left
0
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 69% left
70% left
1
Bat. To Phone Size Score 7.1 3.6 -3.5
Sub Tek-Score
7.2
7.3
0.0
Fast Charging 18w
25w
7
Wireless Charging 12w
15w
3
Reverse Charging 5w
9w
4
Tek-Score
6.9
7.0
0.1

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A42.

Which has more storage?

None of them.

The Galaxy S20 Plus offers 128GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. Plus, you'll most likely get less RAM but more storage from almost all of their competitors. 8Gb for RAM and 133Gb for storage, on average.

Storage*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
RAM (GB) 8GB
12GB
4
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD No microSDXC (shared SIM slot)
Tek-Score
6.0
7.5
1.5

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The Pixel 5 for sure, as it has 5G.

About the 3.5mm jack: Now may be the time to consider moving to wireless earbuds. You can buy an adapter, but the wireless buds are your only option. You can have it anyway if you just ignore these two. The Oppo Find X3 Lite can help you with that.

The Galaxy S20 Plus is LTE or (LTE and) 5G compatible. If you'd rather have 12GB of RAM, you should consider the 5G version of the Galaxy S20 Plus.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Network 5G LTE (also available in 5G)
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
4.6
3.6
-1.0

Which is more affordable?

Here's what we've found out:

Google Pixel 5

Reference: $682

Google Pixel 5

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Reference: $749

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus VS
Amazon - 0.98 -
eBay 1.30 - -
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. But first, let's see where its rivals are. They're in the ballpark of 6.7 for the Pixel 5 and 7.1 for the Galaxy S20 Plus.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Stand Out?

If what you're looking for is the lightest possible device with aluminum back, then the Pixel 5 is the one for you. Still, you should also know what you'll lose if you can really get an S20 Plus, and it's a lot, even for the Exynos variant.

The S20 Plus will give you much more performance, up to 120hz of refresh rates, a bit more dots per inch, a full glass body, 4 extra GB of RAM, and external storage support.

The Pixel 5 is more like a glorified mid-range if that's what you want.

Pros Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Always-On-Display
#4 Fast Charging Cameras
#5 Wireless Charging Fast Charging
#6 Glass Protection Wireless Charging
#7 MicroSD Slot
#8 Glass Protection
Cons Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
#1 MicroSD Slot Weight
#2 3.5mm Jack 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Pixel 5 Galaxy S20 Plus
Gaming Score
6.6
7.7
1.1
Tek-Score
6.77
7.29
0.52
Your Score

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Google Pixel 5 Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Google Pixel 5 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $519
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $424
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $497
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $482
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $424
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $534
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $436
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $519
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $543
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • OnePlusrival9
    $530
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
  • OnePlusrivalNord 2
    $440

 Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $709
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $680
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $650
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $675
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $749
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Mini
    $729
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13
    $829
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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