Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Galaxy Word 20 Extremely might not be Samsung’s newest, biggest handset — that honor goes to the superb Galaxy S21 Extremely — however it’s filled with some high tech, an enormous display screen and a superb digital camera. That each one makes it an outstanding handset to seize the wonderful, distant panorama of a street journey across the Scottish island of Mull. 

Learn extra: How the iPhone 12 Professional’s digital camera compares to the Word 20 Extremely

This is what I preferred in regards to the telephone. 

Superior 5x zoom

It is a provided that the Word 20 ought to be capable of take cracking images in its normal zoom mode. And it does — they’re vivid and vibrant and filled with element. But it surely’s the zoom expertise that I actually liked on my journey. The 5x optical zoom let me get wildly totally different compositions in my photographs which are merely out of vary of the 2x zoom on the iPhone 11 Professional I additionally had with me.


Taken from the ferry going to Mull, I used to be ready to make use of the 5x zoom to get a fantastic shot of this lighthouse.

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It is nice for panorama pictures. As a substitute of simply taking a wide-angle shot of every little thing in a scene, I might zoom in and deal with sure components, capturing a extra intimate shot. The photographs themselves are pin-sharp, too, and it really works beautifully for video.

I shot a video diary of my time in Mull, explaining the place I went and what I search for in my panorama pictures. Each little bit of footage in it was shot on the Word 20 (largely in 4K decision) and it was the zoom expertise that elevated my photographs to a extra cinematic stage than I could in any other case have gotten. Which brings me on to…

Stabilized photographs, even when zoomed

Zooming in on a DSLR with an extended lens usually means lots of shaky photographs, and normally requires a sturdy tripod. The Word 20’s improved optical picture stabilization labored effectively nevertheless, smoothing out any shaking from my palms, and being so easy once I filmed as I used to be strolling that it appeared prefer it was shot utilizing a stabilizing gimbal. 


Utilizing the super-wide lens, I used to be in a position to seize this dramatic shot of the Eas Fors waterfall cascading into the ocean.

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It is an enormous assist if you’re capturing zoomed in, when any shaking shall be much more noticeable. Right here although, the telephone was in a position to lock onto objects in a scene and maintain them locked in body. There have been a number of scenes in my video the place it struggled a bit — normally when there is not an apparent level to “lock on” to — however the footage was simply stabilized digitally in Adobe Premiere Professional.

Large show

The sheer dimension of the 6.9-inch show on the Word 20 makes it sensible for capturing images and video because it’s really easy to compose your photographs. It is vivid too, that means it was simple to see even below the brilliant sunshine I had for a number of moments on my journey.


My experience for the journey: the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, with a TentBox pop-up tent on high. Nice enjoyable, and an attractive shot from the telephone.

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It is also an enormous profit with regards to enhancing my photographs, as it’s miles simpler to alter sliders in Adobe Lightroom Cellular on a much bigger display screen. I edited photographs taken each from the telephone itself, and ones I would imported from my Canon 5D MkIV, and whereas I would additionally taken my 12.9-inch iPad Professional ($930 at Amazon) for enhancing, I discovered it simpler to only sit again with the Word 20. 

It additionally made watching downloaded Netflix exhibits rather more pleasing whereas I used to be brewing my morning espresso on an MSR tenting range. 

S Pen makes picture enhancing a dream

It was additionally in the course of the enhancing that I actually discovered use of the S Pen. Adjusting small sliders in Lightroom may be achieved extra precisely utilizing the high-quality tip of the stylus, moderately than jabbing with a finger. It is also far simpler to “paint” in results, equivalent to selectively lightening or darkening components of a picture, utilizing the stylus in a lot the identical means I’d use my skilled Wacom graphics pill at dwelling. 


Utilizing the stylus for extra accuracy, I used to be in a position to paint in additional gentle on these previous boats to assist them stand out from the scene.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The draw back is that it is tiny and in case you do not push it again into the slot on the underside of the telephone, you are nearly assured to lose it. On one event it managed to flee and fall down the facet of the driving force’s seat of the Jeep Wrangler I would borrowed for the journey. I did not discover at first and it took a while for me to fish it out. From then on I made positive it was additionally absolutely clicked again inside earlier than placing the telephone away.

It is more durable than it appears to be like

The glass again and comfortable gold colour of the telephone makes it appear like a little bit of a poser’s telephone. One thing that appears luxurious sitting on the desk of a pleasant cocktail bar, however would not put up with a lot abuse. The truth is, it is much more sturdy than it appears to be like. It took not less than three tumbles to the bottom — one in all which was onto a rocky pathway, and neither the show nor the glass again confirmed any cracks. 


The super-wide lens performed a corker right here, capturing a stunning shot on this conservatory-cafe, regardless of the combined lighting situations.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The factory-installed display screen protector is closely marked from the abuse it acquired, however the show itself is ideal and a alternative protector would make the telephone look as new. The IP68 ranking additionally meant that it had no downside holding the water out on the various instances I shot footage within the rain, or being commonly drenched in water as I took a small boat journey out to the tiny island of Staffa. 

I am shocked at how effectively this telephone withstood the calls for of my island journey, significantly because it wasn’t even in a case, which it most definitely would have been had I’ve spent my very own cash on it.

It wasn’t all upside, although. This is what I did not like in regards to the Word 20 Extremely.

Battery life could possibly be higher

Utilizing the telephone to shoot lots of 4K video footage with the display screen brightness on max is an immense drain on energy. However nonetheless, I used to be shocked at how shortly the telephone appeared to suck away the juice, requiring a recharge from a cell energy pack within the midafternoon, regardless of having been absolutely charged at 9 a.m. that very same day. 


One other success with the 5x zoom lens, this time getting used to border a reasonably composition with the colorful homes within the harbour of Tobermory.

I discovered myself having to be an increasing number of sparing of once I used it and stored it in airplane mode to make sure that energy wasn’t being needlessly squandered on looking for nonexistent mobile sign (Mull is one thing of a blackspot, signal-wise). 

Video microphones choose up wind noise

Being fairly an uncovered island within the Atlantic ocean, it is no shock that the island can get very windy. I recorded my video utilizing solely the built-in mic and deliberately did not use an exterior microphone with wind-shield to see the way it performs. In extraordinarily robust winds I did not even trouble making an attempt to file myself speaking on digital camera as any microphone would have failed. 

However even when the wind appeared mild, lots of my clips nonetheless suffered from wind noise. Because of this, I recorded a lot of the dialogue in my movie as voiceover at dwelling, with only some of the less-affected photographs left in. You may nonetheless hear wind noise within the movie although and it is a disgrace that among the clips I shot needed to be fully discarded. 

If you wish to use the Word 20 as a vlogging digital camera, be sure you put money into a microphone that may plug into the USB-C port.

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