Samsung’s smaller Galaxy S20 finally launched on Verizon Wireless this month, but with a couple of big compromises. The biggest one? Verizon’s Galaxy S20 makes a huge cut to the RAM without cutting the price, just for the sake of 5G connectivity.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series as a whole supports 5G connectivity, but only the larger S20+ and S20 Ultra natively support mmWave 5G. That super-fast technology is what Verizon has been rolling out in the United States and, for the most part, it’s basically been a requirement for launching a 5G smartphone on the carrier in 2020.

As a result of the smallest Galaxy S20 not supporting mmWave, Verizon decided to launch the series without that model. Finally, in June, that model made its debut, mmWave support in tow. It had the same outward appearance (aside from an exclusive color), but inside, a few changes have been made. For example, the microSD card slot is gone.

On top of that, Digital Trends confirmed that Verizon’s Galaxy S20 has 8GB of RAM. That’s a fine total, but it’s 4GB less than the 12GB the unlocked and other carrier models ship with.

12GB of RAM is definitely overkill, but cutting it to 8GB without telling users — Verizon’s listing for the device has no mention of the memory total — or cutting the price down to match feels borderline insulting.

samsung galaxy s20 verizon cloud white

The reason is simply because of the mmWave radios, but therein lies the problem. Verizon’s mmWave 5G rollout is only available in a few areas around the US and, even in those areas, it’s still incredibly limited. So sacrificing 4GB of RAM to make room for that is just… not okay. Samsung said on the matter:

The Galaxy S20 5G UW was designed to meet the needs of our carrier partners and Galaxy fans alike. To support the addition of mmWave components, we had to make certain design and hardware decisions to provide a device with the form factor and price point as other S20 models.

There is an actual effect on users as a result of this change, too. On the regular S20 models with 12GB of RAM, Samsung allows users to “pin” up to three apps in memory so they won’t ever stop. On Verizon’s S20, that’s limited to just one app.

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Ben Schoon

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