Buyer’s guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison


In the spring of 2020, we had a comparison of the current flagships, the new Galaxy S20 and the iPhone 11 Pro, which caused, as usual, a discussion of the unfairness of comparing the “old” iPhone and the “new” Galaxy S20, since half a year had passed between their release.

Both companies release their flagships as opposed to each other, with a difference of six months, it happened historically. Now the advantage is on the side of the iPhone 12 Pro, since six months on the smartphone market is a huge time. And in fact, we have a model of 2021, the next Galaxy S30 will be, as usual, in March, and until then, the competition will unfold between the iPhone 12 Pro and S20.

Let’s evaluate what each of the manufacturers gives their customers, how different the approach of the companies is. What is the price / quality ratio of each of the companies, and most importantly, what are the gains and losses of specific models.

A couple of words why the iPhone 12 Pro and Galaxy S20 are compared, since for some people this is not obvious, although everything is banal and lies on the surface. In Samsung’s lineup, the S20 model opens the lineup, while the iPhone 12 Pro is higher than the iPhone 12. But in terms of screen diagonal, hardware and capabilities, these devices coincide. The competitor for the iPhone 12 Pro is not the S20 + or the Note20 / 20 Ultra at all, but the S20.

Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparisonBuyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison


  1. Market value
  2. Design, dimensions, body materials
  3. Display and its capabilities
  4. Battery, charging, operating time
  5. 5G, SIM cards and other little things
  6. Memory capacity, performance, saving on little things
  7. Камеры
  8. Conclusions and afterword

Market value

For iPhone owners, the price of a device is a fetish, often a sign of success – the more the better. I am sincerely surprised that Samsung’s minus is written that over time the price of smartphones changes, as for me, it is a good practice that makes devices available to people with different incomes. A pre-order that gives you some of the new accessories like wireless headphones? In the Apple world, this clearly indicates that such a manufacturer is bad, the buyer must pay for everything and in full, and if he does not, then what kind of connoisseur is he? During the year, the price of the iPhone changes insignificantly (in the past it was so), usually the discount reaches from the force of 7-10% within the framework of certain sales. But in the secondary market, the cost of devices falls in exactly the same way as other manufacturers. There are a huge number of people who buy iPhone not as a device to be used, they are investors and at the time of purchase they are already preparing for a happy moment of sale with a minimum markdown. In fact, it is extremely difficult to sell such a device without noticeable losses, but the myths persist (bought for the same money that I bought a year ago, bought it instantly).

All of this ultimately led to the fact that Apple felt that their loyal audience would eat up any “innovations” in the field of cost and delivery. So, now only a cable is supplied with a smartphone, there is no charging block, and it must be purchased separately for 2 rubles. For ordinary buyers, this causes misunderstanding, they look at the sellers with round eyes and ask how this is possible. When buying the most expensive smartphone in its class on the market, the lack of charging looks at least a dubious decision.

Let’s take a look at the cost of the iPhone 12 Pro:

  • 128 GB 99 rubles
  • 256 GB 109 rubles
  • 512 GB 129 rubles

Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

At the moment, the cost of the Galaxy S20 (8/128 GB) is 58 thousand rubles (official retail, we do not take into account the gray market). The presence of a slot for memory cards solves the issue of built-in memory, you can de facto get any volume up to 1 TB, which is basically impossible in an iPhone.

By good tradition, in each point of our comparison, an assessment will be made of what is better in a particular device, each point gives one point. In terms of cost, it’s hard to argue that the advantage is on Samsung’s side. The difference in the cost of the basic version is 42 thousand rubles! The iPhone 12 Pro is 70% higher than the Galaxy S20. This is just a striking difference, which must be explained by something significant – new technologies, device quality, and so on. But for now, the score goes to Samsung.


Galaxy S20 – 1 point
iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points

Design, dimensions, body materials

Let’s start with the objective parameters, dimensions and weight:

  • iPhone 12 Pro – 146.7×71.5×7.4 mm, 187 grams;
  • Galaxy S20 – 151.7 × 69.1×7.9 mm, 163 grams.
  • I scolded the iPhone 11 Pro for the fact that its ergonomics are very different from the Galaxy S20, it seemed to me to crash into the hand. Everything is learned by comparison, since the chopped edges of the old iPhone 4/5 design in the new size are monstrous ergonomics in everyday life. It is impossible to even closely imagine a modern flagship as poor in ergonomics as the iPhone 12 Pro, this is the economy on new design and materials. Read the text about why straight lines for device design are cheaper, I think it will be at least curious.

    The thickness of both models is comparable, but the iPhone is heavier. The ergonomics of this device are worse, this is a fee for stainless steel and satin glass on the back. Someone perceives weight as a necessary element of an expensive apparatus, but in practical terms it makes no sense. The S20 uses an aluminum chassis as well as Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

    The good thing about the matte iPhone case is that there are no hand marks left on it, while the glossy S20 has them clearly visible. For those who carry their devices in cases, this does not matter.

    The camera block in the iPhone 12 Pro stands out more, it looks sloppy and ugly (a matter of taste, you may, on the contrary, like it very much). Of the minuses – the fact that dust constantly remains on it, traces of hands, it looks dirty.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    The quality of the dark blue case is such that notches appear on it (two days of use, and here it is!). The chassis steel is exposed.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    What can I say here? The brick ergonomics of the iPhone 12 Pro doesn’t look appealing, it’s not a modern device. The quality of the materials is formally excellent, in fact there are nuances again, and you cannot carry the device without a cover, it is necessary here. While with the S20, you can choose how to carry your smartphone, whether with or without a case.


    Galaxy S20 – 2 points
    iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points

    Display and its capabilities

    Apple uses screens from Samsung in their devices, as there are no other suppliers of OLED screens of this quality. At the same time, Samsung does not give its direct competitor the best screens, it cannot afford them. The screen settings on the iPhone 12 Pro are very sparse – you can enable TrueTone (adaptive backlighting and on-screen color correction) as well as a blue filter. This, in fact, is where your possibilities end. The screen of the iPhone 12 Pro remains exactly the same in terms of characteristics as in the iPhone 11 Pro, there have been no changes over the year. Cause?

    The answer lies in the fact that Apple purchased a large number of screens for the 11th generation (the diagonal is almost the same, for the supplier they are the same matrices in terms of production). Unfortunately, Apple was unable to forecast demand and ordered more displays. As a result, the company paid fines for the unselected volume. In 2019, Apple paid $ 689 million to Samsung, and in 2020 the fine was $ 950 million. But also the company was forced to use old matrices, while the market moved ahead in terms of technology. But for the buyers of the most expensive smartphones, albeit good, but old technologies will come down, they are used to buying something in a bright wrapper that is not worth the money.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparisonBuyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    The Galaxy S20 has AlwaysOn Display, which allows you to see the time without turning on the device, as well as notifications on the screen. This feature has not been replicated at Apple for many years, although it was recently added to the Apple Watch, which recognized its need. The fact that Apple’s flagships are devoid of AoD shows the level of engineers and the fact that they cannot purchase the most modern screens, they always have one or another flaw.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    Now let’s take a look at other key screen characteristics such as resolution. The Galaxy S20 supports dynamic resolution changes – 1600×720, 2400×1080 (default) and finally 3200×1440 pixels.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparisonBuyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    The iPhone has only one screen resolution – 2532×1170 pixels. As a result, the image density is different, 460 ppi on the iPhone and 566 ppi on the Samsung. The backlight brightness in both models is the same in manual mode, in automatic mode it is also comparable. Samsung has an algorithm for adaptively adjusting the backlight to suit your preferences, the device learns how you like the screen to work in different conditions, remembers your preferences. This option has been in Samsung smartphones for several years, and it is constantly evolving, there is nothing like this in the iPhone.

    The ability to adjust the colors on the screen – rich or natural (the second option is an analogue of TrueTone, in fact, this is where Apple got its own technology, it was borrowed from Samsung).

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    Among the interesting options is the ability to turn on the screen refresh rate at 120 Hz instead of 60 Hz, scrolling becomes smoother, the interface works differently. On the iPhone, it is only 60 Hz, there is no choice.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparisonBuyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    I will not even talk about such “little things” as increased screen sensitivity for working with gloves, analysis and improvement of the picture in videos and photos before displaying them on the screen – these are standard features for Samsung and what has always been absent in the iPhone, they have again, there is no such technology.

    It’s not enough to take a good Samsung screen and put it in your product. You still need to have the technology to turn this screen into an engineering marvel, there is no technology in Apple and never has been. Hence the rather obvious conclusion – the iPhone loses in terms of screen capabilities, but the Galaxy S20 leads by a huge margin.

    I will not remember much about the fingerprint sensor built into the screen in the Galaxy S20, this is another technology that is not available for the iPhone.

    In the iPhone 12 Pro, a new type of glass is declared that is resistant to drops (ceramic shield), it was difficult to check this parameter, but the glass is not resistant to scratches, it quickly becomes covered with them.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparisonBuyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    The oleophobic coating is noticeably worse than on Samsung, hand stains are clearly visible on the new device, it needs to be constantly wiped clean.


    Galaxy S20 – 3 points
    iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points

    Battery, charging, operating time

    So, the objective characteristics of batteries are as follows:

    • iPhone 12 Pro – Li-Ion 2815mAh (iPhone 11 Pro had 3046mAh)
    • Galaxy S20 – Li-Ion 4000 mAh.

    The iPhone does not come with any charger, so you have to buy it separately, let’s say you buy a 20W fast charger. The Galaxy S20 comes with 25W fast charging. Total charging time for each device:

    • iPhone 12 Pro – 94 minutes;
    • Galaxy S20 – 65 minutes

    Wireless charging times are also different (7.5W for iPhone, MagSafe out of stock at time of comparison):

    • iPhone 12 Pro – 4 hours;
    • Galaxy S20 – 2 hours 20 minutes

    What can I say? Despite the large battery capacity, the Galaxy S20 has better battery capabilities and recharges faster in all modes. It also has reversible wireless charging, so you can recharge your accessories on the go, like watches or wireless headphones, including those made by Apple. Apple’s ecosystem is such that you can’t recharge AirPods with your smartphone yet.

    But now is the time to talk about the opening hours, as there are a lot of myths here. Allegedly, the Galaxy line lives very little, but the iPhone is able to work, work and work. And this is somewhat true, since the iPhone lacks the capabilities that the Galaxy offers, as well as the usability. Turn off the screen at 120Hz, turn off background apps and do other such things – you get the same battery life on the Galaxy S20. But why do that? Why turn a modern smartphone with a bunch of interesting features into junk? As for me, it’s better to use them, especially since getting a charge anytime and anywhere on the Galaxy S20 is not difficult, you are not tied to a power outlet, as with the iPhone. And again, here is the obvious and undeniable victory of the Galaxy S20.

    But even if you want to arrange a competition in the operating time, you will find out something like the following (operating time for the iPhone 12 Pro / Galaxy S20 in each mode):

    • Watching YouTube via Wi-Fi (application, auto settings) – 6 hours 40 minutes, 10 hours 30 minutes;
    • Web browser (Safari / Chrome) – 12 hours and 12 hours;
    • Web browser (Chrome / Chrome) – 10 hours and 12 hours;
    • “Heavy” 3D games – 3 hours 5 minutes and 7 hours 30 minutes.

    Plus or minus, uninterested people get comparable results all over the world, you can familiarize yourself with similar tests here.

    In day-to-day life, the S20’s large battery makes up for with better screen capabilities, but it’s a solid day of work under load. Whereas the iPhone 12 Pro in my use cases dies by 5-6 pm. The miracle did not happen, the small battery makes itself felt. I don’t play games much, but now I don’t run them on the iPhone at all, is it a joke that an hour of playing drains the battery by a third! And the settings do not really matter here, the problem is in the performance of Apple’s A14 Bionic processor, it cannot cope with modern “heavy” games in terms of battery consumption.


    Galaxy S20 – 4 points
    iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points

    5G, SIM cards and other little things

    There are currently no 5G networks in Russia, so the presence of such a module in the S20 and 12 Pro is of speculative interest for most buyers. On the other hand, this module provides other opportunities that should not be underestimated: better performance in 4G networks, in particular, frequency aggregation in LTE Advanced. Clings to the network more securely and better than previous models.

    In the Galaxy S20, you can install two nanoSIM cards (there is also an eSIM), while the iPhone shipped to Russia has a slot for only one card (the second can be supplied with an eSIM). It turns out that if you want to put a second SIM card in the iPhone 12 Pro, but this is somewhat more difficult for most residents of the country. A trifle, but still.

    The implementation of the radio part is better in the Galaxy S20, for example, the operation in the access point mode is predictable and does not have such a heap of problems as on the iPhone (disconnection of the point, invisibility to other devices, overheating of the case, short operating time).


    Galaxy S20 – 5 points
    iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points

    Memory capacity, performance, saving on little things

    The iPhone in the base model has 128 GB of memory, which is not enough for a model, usually 256 GB is offered for that kind of money. The S20 also has 128GB of storage and the ability to install a memory card up to 1TB! The amount of RAM is not visible to the user, but in the iPhone it is 6 GB (hurray, they used to put 4 GB and said that it was no longer needed), while in Samsung it is 8 GB.

    In the mass unconscious, “common sense” suggests that the device that has a processor that shows a greater number of virtual parrots in synthetic tests works faster. Alas, this is far from the case. It is impossible to make smooth and pleasant scrolling on the screen with a frequency of 60 Hz, this is a limitation that cannot be circumvented in any way. And in the way that any list is scrolled, you can see the difference between these models. Check out how the S20’s Instagram feed scrolls compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. Even at 60Hz, scrolling is much smoother, due to a different interface, system optimization, and more RAM. The difference is visible to the naked eye, and this is just one example, and there are hundreds of them in different applications.

    The reason is that initially Apple strongly optimized its own applications, squeezed everything possible from the code. But third-party developers have never done this, in Android the problem was solved as simply as possible – they increased the performance of smartphones and the system in order to deal with such code in third-party programs, to remove any lags. Apple does not know how to do this and does not consider this to be its problem. Surprisingly, in 2020, it is the iPhone that is a jogging brake, microlags in most applications, no smoothness of movement. And what about 2021 and the new generation of Android flagships?


    Galaxy S20 – 7 points
    iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points


    Since the quality of shooting and the final photo is a subjective thing, I will not evaluate this parameter. I’ll just say that the shots are, plus or minus, comparable on the iPhone and Galaxy S20, but the possibilities for shooting are much greater on the S20. Here is the x30 zoom, and the x10 hybrid zoom is quite applicable, and the usual x3 gives more possibilities than the x2 on the iPhone. Similar operating modes, Pro mode, when you can adjust anything, any parameter for photos and videos. In the iPhone, there is nothing like this even remotely, you are tied to a minimum of settings and you can not do anything yourself. Recording video in 8K will be a toy for many, but marketing is also a good statement, the S20 has it, but the iPhone does not.

    One of the iPhone 12 Pro features that fans hail as unparalleled and years ahead of the market is Dolby Vision HDR support. It’s good that the iPhone 12 Pro has the ability to record HDR video and view it on the device (broadcasting to a TV set will no longer work), but the same Samsung has supported HDR10 +, and for a long time, and content in this format can be sent to TV and other devices. Once again, Apple has got a thing in itself.

    Another important difference is the presence of LiDAR in the iPhone 12 Pro, it serves for night photography, fast focusing on objects in low light conditions. Look at the picture of me in the dark.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    And this is how the Galaxy S20 shoots in the same place and at the same time.

    Buyer's guide. Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 comparison

    Do you need any further explanation that LiDAR is a pointless thing that does nothing when shooting? Let’s take a look at sample photos.

    One could say that there is parity in features, but, alas, there is none: video recording, photo capabilities – all this is a cut above in the Galaxy S20. This is a device that lets you take good pictures in automatic mode, just like on the iPhone, and gives you a lot of creativity with manual settings if you need to.


    Galaxy S20 – 8 points
    iPhone 12 Pro – 0 points

    Conclusions and afterword

    You know, and it has even become a kind of sport – how and how much the new iPhone will worsen, but at the same time the cost will be raised to heaven. The new flagship from Apple is indicative of the fact that last year’s screen was left in it, but it was not the last squeak even then, the display is good, but that’s all. We left exactly the same cameras, they changed very slightly. The novelty emanates from the delivery set, which has been reduced as much as possible. But the main thing that boggles the mind is the difference in cost – the iPhone 12 Pro is 70 percent more expensive, or 42 thousand rubles. For this money, you can buy another good smartphone or something else, in a word, find how to spend it. And if there was anything like that in the iPhone, this difference could be justified, but there is nothing but the name of the manufacturer. The interface does not work as fast, the components are good, but they are much inferior to the Galaxy S20. The iPhone 12 Pro is perceived as a model at an exorbitant cost for fanatics of the brand that do not see anything around and do not understand that outside of Apple there is a world in which there are interesting solutions head and shoulders above. On the other hand, you have to pay for fanaticism, why not?

    Read the materials about the iPhone 12 Pro, they are good at revealing its capabilities, or rather, the lack of them against the background of competitors.

    And the shortest conclusion is simple – if you do not know how to count money, do not know their prices, then you have a direct path to the world of Apple, only in it you can kindle a fire with a bundle of money, but what is there to kindle! Just keep drowning constantly, since every sneeze in this world costs more money than Android. Service, app purchases, whatever. But you can describe intangible positive vibrations from the fact that you were sold the valuable Mexican jerboa fur for that kind of money. We will surely see similar comments below, there will be many of them.

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