The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra are Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, and all 3 models support 5G connectivity. That’s because the S20 series were the first widely available devices with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 mobile platform which basically mandates 5G support. While the Galaxy S20+ and the Galaxy S20 Ultra support both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G networks, the regular Galaxy S20 only supports sub-6GHz 5G networks—unless you buy it through Verizon. The Verizon Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW model costs the same $1,000 as the unlocked model but features support for Verizon’s Ultrawide Band (mmWave) network. Curiously, it seems that Verizon and Samsung made a few specification compromises in order to keep the S20 5G UW’s price the same as the unlocked S20.
When Verizon first announced the Galaxy S20 5G UW last month, we had assumed that the internal specifications will be the same as the unlocked model. However, we now know that Verizon’s Galaxy S20 only has 8GB of RAM in contrast to the other 5G-enabled Galaxy S20 devices that have at least 12GB of RAM. (The 4G Galaxy S20 and S20+ sold in some markets like India also have 8GB of RAM, though.) Having 8 versus 12GB of RAM won’t make a huge difference for the average user, but it could affect how well you can multitask in Samsung DeX or in general, especially when gaming.
The biggest compromise in Verizon’s S20 model, though, is the fact that it lacks a microSD card slot for expandable storage. If you take a look at Samsung’s product page for the Verizon Galaxy S20 5G UW, you might notice that it says the device’s “SIM Slot Type” lists “SIM + Micro SD.” In the “External Memory Support” section, however, it says “No Support.” This is obviously confusing, but several customers who received the device are reporting that the device does not actually support expanding the storage via a microSD card!
It’s possible that Samsung and Verizon decided to reduce the RAM capacity and use a different SIM card tray in order to keep the price of the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S20 5G UW on par with the unlocked S20. We’ve seen other Verizon 5G devices cost up to $100 more than their unlocked counterparts, after all.
These compromises may not be problematic for everyone, but they have already proven disappointing for some customers who took to Reddit and the customer reviews section for the phone to complain. It’s unfortunate that Samsung and Verizon weren’t more upfront about these compromises, leaving customers to find out after they already bought the device.