Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra Unveiled

After a long spell of rumors and leaks, Samsung has officially revealed its new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. Samsung’s Note series is known for being bold and going all out in terms of specs. And their new additions live up to that tradition. However, the regular Note 20 and its bigger brother, Note 20 Ultra, have some significant differences than anticipated.

Before diving into the overview, the regular Note with 128 GB of storage and 8GB RAM costs $999.99, which is priced a bit over the top regarding the lack of 2020’s standard features like the higher refresh rate screen, periscope zoom lens, and a microSD storage expansion.

Whereas, Note 20 Ultra has everything you could ask for in today’s smartphone. The top tier spec sheet comes with a price to match as Samsung Note 20 Ultra costs $1,299.99 for the 12 GB RAM and 128GB storage variant and $1,449.99 for 512GB.

Both Note 20 and 20 Ultra share some of the key features and specs like the 5G support, improved S Pen, fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. Plus, Note 20 and 20 Ultra are also one of the first phones to feature the latest version of Corning Gorilla Glass, Victus, which is supposedly more resistant to drops and scratches.

Note 20 and 20 Ultra are available for preorders from today (August 6) and will release on August 21, 2020.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Overview

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Credit: XEETECHCARE

Note 20 Ultra is a beast and it checks all the boxes of an excellent smartphone. It features a glass back and a huge 6.9 inch 1440p Dynamic AMOLED curved display upfront with minimal bezels and features 120Hz refresh rate. Spoiler alert, you cannot use 120Hz at 1440p, yes you heard it right. You have to scale down to 1080p to enjoy the buttery-smooth 120Hz. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best-looking displays in the current market.

It houses a triple camera setup, including the primary camera (108MP, f/1.8), Ultra Wide (12 MP, f/2.2), and Telephoto (12MP, f/3.0). Previously, Galaxy S20 Ultra had issues regarding slow focus, which wasn’t solved even with the software update, but Note 20 Ultra overcomes the issue. Besides that, Samsung also realized that no one needs the overly hyped, Space Zoom, which can take photos up to 100x zoom. With Note 20 Ultra, the Space Zoom is toned down to 50x, which is still impressive, and you don’t have to store the pixelated photos.

Note 20 Ultra boasts the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor backed by 12 GB of RAM with an included storage expansion slot. However, the latest Android flagship processor still lacks behind Apple’s A13 Bionic from last year. It includes a 4,500mAh battery with support for 25W fast charging. The new, improved S Pen is also available with a response time of blazing-fast 9ms, competing with Apple Pen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Overview

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Credit: XDA Developers

With Ultra missing in its name, it compromises some of the specs to bring down the price.
Starting from the back of the phone, it has a plastic back, making it lighter and softer, but still feels good in the hands. It features a smaller 6.7 inch 1080p Super AMOLED+ display at 60Hz. It’s a flat display, which actually adds to the Note’s boxy aesthetics. The hole punch cut out and bezels are slightly bigger than the Ultra.

It still holds the triple camera setup but with smaller camera bump, thanks to the 64 MP non-periscope telephoto lens. It maxes out at 30x zoom, which I think is more applicable and impressive than 50x or the overly insane 100x. Meanwhile, both the primary camera and ultra-wide cameras are of 12MP.

Besides that, there are some shortcomings on Note 20. There’s no higher refresh rate and 1440p display, which is simply not acceptable for a price tag of $999 in 2020’s standard. Though it rocks on the same solid Snapdragon 865 Plus, it maxes out at 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage. On top of that, it also doesn’t include expandable storage.

The new S pen is also present, but it has a higher latency of 26ms compared to Ultra’s extremely fast 9ms. It’s not a deal-breaker, but worth noticing. It also has a smaller 4300mAh battery in place of 4500mAh.

It’s a good option if you are a fan of the Samsung Note series and love using the S Pen, but OnePlus 8 pro has better offerings, excluding the pen feature. Does an S Pen really cost $100?