New Samsung Galaxy S20 leak points to a 120Hz display, but no headphone jack

Samsung Galaxy S phone
(Image credit: TechRadar)

There are almost too many Samsung Galaxy S20 to keep up with this week, with the latest news strongly hinting at a 120Hz display but no 3.5mm headphone jack. And by 'strongly hinting' we mean 'nearly definitively confirming', as someone has had time with an alleged S20 Plus phone well before the February 11 launch event. 

This is essentially the Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus, of course, though all of the rumors have been coalescing around the Galaxy S20 name for Samsung's new phone series. Taking that into account, this S20 news backs up a previous leak, back when we were all calling it the S11, which first mentioned a choice between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates as an option within the Samsung OneUI beta software. 

Today's S20 Plus leak for the basically confirms those options in the larger handset, according to XDA Developers contributor Max Weinbach. He has photo evidence from a source with alleged access to one of the S20 Plus handsets. In other words, this could be coming to the whole Samsung smartphone line in 2020.

(Image credit: XDA Developers / Max Weinbach)

This leak also suggests the S20 Plus will have a 3,200 x 1,440 WQHD+ resolution display, which are longer dimensions thanks to a 20:9 aspect ratio. But you won’t be able to get 120Hz at this max resolution – the faster refresh rate will be capped at FHD+, per the leak.

By default, Samsung's top-end flagships in recent years have all had QHD+ displays, but by default resolution has been 1080p out of the box. You had to change to QHD+ in the settings menu, which did drain the battery life faster. We're not certain most people notice the pixel-packing difference on handsets of this size. So the 120Hz existing only at FHD+ may be non-factor.

Today's S20 news comes shortly after OnePlus revealed it’s working on 120Hz screen tech after releasing phones with 90Hz displays in 2019, while older rumors suggested the iPhone 12 line could get 120Hz displays as well.

No headphone jack for the Galaxy S20 Plus?

The XDA leak included another tidbit: a hands-on video from the source.

This short video shows the ‘domino’ style rear camera block, though further info supplied to XDA affirms that the headphone jack is nowhere to be found. If true, and following the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 omission of a 3.5mm port, this finally spells the end of headphone jacks for Samsung flagships.

And, appropriately, this should be the end of Samsung's long sneering at Apple for ditching the headphone jack starting with the iPhone 7. Samsung started down this road by losing them in the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus six months ago. Samsung reps justified the removal by claiming it allowed a bit more (100mAh) battery and improving haptic feedback.

It’s not completely gone from Samsung top-line phones in 2020: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite has a headphone jack, as we saw at CES 2020. Lastly, the XDA leak affirmed that the S20 phones would be retaining its predecessors’ in-screen ultrasonic scanners instead of swapping them out for optical scanners.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.