Samsung brings ultra specs and performance on S20 Ultra!

We finally got our commercial unit of Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and proceeded with our benchmark activities. Our ASUS ROG Phone 2 has finally met its match.

samsung galaxy s20 ultra gaming review, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Gaming Review: ASUS ROG Phone 2 is shaking!, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasBefore anything else, here’s a quick look at what you can find inside the box.

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Silicon Case
  • Quick Start Guide
  • SIM Ejector Tool
  • Super Fast Charger
  • Type-C to Type-C cable
  • Earphones with Type-C jack plug

Comparison vs ASUS ROG Phone 2

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For the purpose of reference, here’s a quick run of specs comparison of both devices.

Galaxy S20 Ultra ASUS ROG Phone 2
Display 6.9-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X 6.59″ FHD+ AMOLED
511 ppi 391 ppi
HDR10+ certified Not HDR10+ certified
120Hz display support 120HzHz/1ms
Rear Quad Camera Dual Camera
Ultra Wide: 12MP, 120°, f2.2 Ultra Wide: 13 MP, f2.4
 Wide: 108MP, 79°, f1.8 Wide: 48 MP, f1.8
Telephoto: 64MP, 24°, f3.5
Depth Vision
Space Zoom
Hybrid Optic Zoom 10x
Super Resolution Zoom up to 100X
Front Selfie: 40MP, 80°, f2.2 Selfie: 24M, f2.2
Dimension 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm, 220g 171 x 77.6 x 9.5 mm
Processor Exynos 990 Qualcomm SDM855 Plus 2.96Ghz
GPU Mali G77 MP11 Adreno 640
Memory 12GB RAM (LPDDR5) 12GB RAM (LPDDR4X)
128GB internal storage 1TB internal storage
Micro SD Slot (up to 1TB microSD) Micro SD Slot (up to 1TB microSD)
Battery 5,000mAh 6,000mAh
5G Non Standard (NSA), Sub6 N/A
Authentication Lock types: pattern, PIN, password; Biometric lock types: Fingerprint, Face recognition Lock types: pattern, PIN, password; Biometric lock types: Fingerprint, Face recognition

 

samsung galaxy s20 ultra gaming review, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Gaming Review: ASUS ROG Phone 2 is shaking!, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasNow, here’s what we can say about the specs comparison chart above:

  • Exynos 990 is a superior and smarter processor despite its size. It also natively supports 5G in various configurations.
  • S20 Ultra features a more powerful and modern RAM configuration – LPDDR5 vs LPDDR4X. This is a material advantage because it’s needed because games need read access all the time.
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra’s Mali G77 is a new GPU, and we have assessment of its power in our synthetic and actual gameplay benchmarks below.
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra, overall, has better display than ROG Phone 2. It is also HDR10+ certified, so it’s far better especially for content producers. Both can support games that can run up to 120Hz.
  • By a huge margin, we can already tell that Galaxy S20 Ultra’s camera set is better than ROG Phone 2’s. From sensor down to features, Galaxy S20 Ultra is better in this department. We’ll have a separate article about its camera features.

Comparison vs Other Flagship

Antutu Benchmark

Galaxy S20 Ultra also showed impressive performance in our Antutu benchmark. Other reviewers got more than 500K score in the benchmark, but this still proves that S20 Ultra has dominated the competition.

Synthetic Benchmark

Let’s take a closer look at all the results of the synthetic benchmark we performed on the smartphone.

Antutu 497,223
3D Mark (Sling Shot Extreme) Open GL ES 6461 (Open GL ES)
Vulkan 5157 (Vulkan)
PC Mark  (Work 2.0) 11576
Geekbench Single Core 699
Multi-Core 2625
Androbench Seq. Read 1,518.78 MB/s
Seq. Write 674.9 MB/s
CPDT Benchmark Seq. Read 489.57 GB/s
Seq. Write 203.22 MB/s Sequential Write

 

Apart from our Antutu, we performed several other benchmark tools: 3D Mark, PC Mark, and Geekbench for overall performance, and Androbench and CPDT for storage performance.

As you can see in the chart, our overall reading shows impressively high benchmark scores. It could have performed better in terms of Vulkan rendering, but it’s still among top scores in that category. The same goes for PC Mark, which analyzes usual work and day-to-day applications; and Geekbench, which gives overall 3D rendering performance in various benchmark subsets.

samsung galaxy s20 ultra gaming review, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Gaming Review: ASUS ROG Phone 2 is shaking!, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasGalaxy S20 Ultra however bombed in CPDT Benchmark compared to ASUS ROG Phone 2. This is a surprising result because we expected it to perform just as good as the ASUS gaming smartphone.

Benchmark vs ASUS ROG Phone 2

samsung galaxy s20 ultra gaming review, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Gaming Review: ASUS ROG Phone 2 is shaking!, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget Pilipinas

We compared Galaxy S20 Ultra’s performance with ROG Phone 2, and this is what we found out. As expected, most, if not all of the departments, were aced by Galaxy S20 Ultra. This proves that S20 Ultra currently holds the title of the king of flagship at this time.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra ASUS ROG Phone 2
Antutu 497223 485332
3D Mark (Sling Shot Extreme) 6461 (Open GL ES) 6093 (Open GL ES)
5157 (Vulkan) 5374 (Vulkan)
PC Mark (Work 2.0) 11576 13338
Geekbench 699 (Single Core)  719 (Single Core)
2625 (Multi-Core Score) 2320 (Multi-Core Score)
Androbench 1,518.78 MB/s Sequential Read  1441.54 MB/s Sequential Read
674.9 MB/s Sequential Write 408.55 MB/s Sequential Write
CPDT Benchmark 489.57 GB/s Sequential Read 1.10 GB/s Sequential Read
275.97 MB/s Sequential Write 301.30 MB/s Sequential Write

 

Now, let us check out actual gameplay experience. We played Call of Duty Mobile Battle Royale, finished some quests on Black Desert Mobile, tried the latest Dragon Raja and continued our tasks at World of Dragon Nest. These are the most requested games on our channel and website, and they are high watermark benchmarks, which would determine the phone’s overall gaming performance.

In terms of actual gaming performance, both devices exercised laudable performance. You can see sample videos of how we played the game with the following settings:

  • Black Desert Mobile
    • Effects: High
    • Resolution: Max Settings
    • Texture: High
    • Frame Limit: Max Settings
  • Dragon Raja
    • Character
      • Texture: V
      • Material : V
    • Scene
      • Texture: V
      • Material: V
      • Scenes: V
    • Precision
      • Resolution: V
      • Effects: V
      • Shadow: V
    • Other: V
  • Call of Duty Mobile
    • Graphic Quality: Very High
    • Frame Rate: Very High
    • DOF: Enabled
    • Bloom: Enabled
    • Real-time Shadows: Enabled
  • World of Dragon Nest
    • Frame Settings: 60 Frames
    • Show Other Players: 10
    • Graphic qualities: Very High

Black Desert Mobile

When I played Black Desert Mobile, it felt like S20 Ultra outperformed the ROG Phone 2 by a small margin. Colors are punchier and look better on S20 Ultra. ROG Phone 2 does not disappoint either. It just felt like Black Desert Mobile run better on the S20 Ultra.

Due to its weight, S20 Ultra is more comfortable to hold. It felt a little cooler too when playing triple games such as Black Desert Mobile on Samsung’s flagship smartphone. The dynamics definitely changed when we used the accessories of ROG Phone 2 at our disposal. We’ve got extra controllers and connectivity hardware that basically enhanced our gaming experience.

Dragon Raja

Dragon Raja is one of the most talked-about games lately. Its console-like graphics and beautiful cutscenes make it worthy of the buzz it has been receiving. For flagship smartphones like S20 Ultra and ROG Phone 2, we felt that it’s a must to try these games out on the devices. The game is not yet available via Google Playstore so we downloaded it via APKPure and installed it.

I experienced performance hiccups when I played this game on ROG Phone 2. It loaded much faster on this device though than on the S20 Ultra. I just thought that the game worked better on the S20 Ultra, overall.

Call of Duty Mobile

It is much better to play this game on ROG Phone 2 than on S20 Ultra. The phone’s added control features plus full 60fps support make the gameplay experience much better. In fact, despite enabling 120fps on S20 Ultra, our Gamebench benchmark did not record that it reached beyond 30fps.

FPS FPS Stability Power CPU Memory
Min Max Average
S20 Ultra 0 61 30 44% 888mA 6.61% 607MB
ROG Phone 2 0 120 59 84% 936mA 11.24% 908MB

 

Is this a game optimization issue? We’ll find out soon.

World of Dragon Nest

This Open World game is getting a lot of traction lately. It’s vast and there’s so much to do! You can actually literally go in a lot of places and finish tons of quests without getting into a loading screen. It looked good on both smartphones albeit zero support on 120fps. Regardless of this, I can’t actually see any difference in terms of performance while playing this game on either S20 Ultra or ROG Phone 2.

A Glimpse of What’s Next

samsung galaxy s20 ultra gaming review, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Gaming Review: ASUS ROG Phone 2 is shaking!, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasSamsung poured out everything on the S20 Ultra. It is definitely better than the Plus variant, and its features give consumers a lot of reasons to consider it over anything else… if they have the money to buy it.

samsung galaxy s20 ultra gaming review, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Gaming Review: ASUS ROG Phone 2 is shaking!, Gadget Pilipinas, Gadget PilipinasThen again, you have the ROG Phone 2 – a hulking gaming smartphone that still stands out among the rest. It met its match with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it still definitely holds a lot of compelling advantages: it’s cheaper, cooler, faster in some games and has more accessory line up.

Chief Editor at | Website

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.