The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is an affordable Note-style phone with a few twists. It offers foldable cameras, a super-wide-angle lens, waterproofing (IP68), and wireless charging. Here are our initial impressions of the device.
In this review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at one of the latest smartphones to come out of the South Korean tech giant Samsung’s new flagship device, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra! However, we think that with the Galaxy Note 20, Samsung has done a good job of making this device worth your time. And with the South Korean giant continuing to release new devices or upgrade devices within their lineup, it’s going to be interesting to see what other smartphones we’ll get.
But before we get into anything else, we’re going to start by taking a quick look at what prices you’re looking at when purchasing the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in different countries.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Prices
In terms of pricing, the device is currently available for purchase online in several different countries:
- In the United States, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra retails at $999. It’s possible to purchase the device from US carriers, but only for an additional $100.
- In Canada, the device is priced at C$ 1,099,
- In Australia, it’s just under AU $1,200 through Samsung’s website.
- In the UK, we can see a few online devices with prices ranging between £799 and £900, depending on which retailer you opt. But keep in mind that the prices could change when you go to purchase the device.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Specifications
- Dimensions: 6.28 x 3 x 0.43 in. (158.1 x 76.3 x 10.8 mm)
- Weight: 6.21 oz. (176 g)
- Battery Size: 5,000 mAh
- Colors: black, white, blue, and purple.
- RAM: 8 GB | Storage Capacity: 64 GB (microSD card slot is not included).
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9810 octa-core processor (eight cores clocked at 2.96GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz). Under the hood, there’s also 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot that can support cards up to 512GB (obviously not included in this particular device). On the back, there’s a 12MP dual camera setup consisting of an f1.5/f2.4 primary lens, while on the front, you’ll find an 8MP selfie camera.
The 5.8-inch display features a 1440 x 3040 resolution and comprises an AMOLED panel with HDR support. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a microSD card slot as well, one that supports cards up to 512GB in size (once again, this isn’t included in this particular device).
Other features include:
- A headphone jack,
- IP68 water and dust resistance (dust proof and waterproof),
- Iris scanner on the front.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac/b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct support,
- Bluetooth v5.0/BLE/ANT+,
- GLONASS/GPS and NFC
- As far as battery life goes, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a 3,300 mAh battery that supports fast wireless charging technology (although this isn’t included in this device).
Overall, it’s pretty clear that there are a lot of similarities between the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Galaxy S10+. Both devices use Samsung’s Exynos 9810 processor and sport an edge-to-edge display and IP68 water and dust resistance. But there are a few differences here and there.
The first is how Samsung handles the latest enhancements Qualcomm has made to its Snapdragon chipset family. The Exynos variant of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the world’s first mobile device to support Google’s new and faster 5G (LTE) modem because it is manufactured on a 10nm process. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s Snapdragon variant supports the upcoming Wi-Fi 8.0 standard, which has yet to be announced by any cellular carriers out there.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 9810 octa-core processor (eight cores clocked at 2.96GHz and four cores clocked at 1.8GHz). Under the hood, there’s also 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot.
Exynos 9810 vs. Snapdragon
So what’s the difference between the Exynos 9810 and the Snapdragon variant features added to the smartphone? Let’s take a closer look. First, it seems as though Samsung has done a good job of keeping features integral to using its device. For example, Samsung is continuing to fix bugs within its S Pen feature, which, among other things, includes a handy note-taking tool that we found pretty useful when reviewing devices like the Galaxy Note 10+, which had no jotting tool whatsoever.
Samsung’s latest S Pen is slightly larger and includes a smaller dot to help navigate the display. But, overall, it doesn’t seem as though there’s much of a difference in how Samsung handles its S Pen feature here on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra by sheer comparison with other devices in its lineup. It also includes new features like a wider angle lens for taking phone selfies, which takes pictures using just the front-facing camera.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Design
In terms of physical appearance, Samsung has done a good job of ensuring that its latest flagship device sits comfortably in your hand. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is pretty minimal in appearance, which isn’t all that surprising given that it’s a phablet. It’s still not as compact as the regular-sized Galaxy S10+, but then again, most people are going to prefer a larger display anyway. Samsung is also said to be offering a new way of typing with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The company has recently announced a new feature called Air Actions, which will enable you to perform certain actions by just performing key combinations on your smartphone, including replying to messages, taking screenshots, and locking or unlocking your device you’d expect. Before this, Samsung had a feature meant to allow you to perform actions with the S Pen, but it only worked in certain countries—and now it’s being fully rolled out across the globe.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Storage
As far as memory is concerned, Samsung’s latest device in its Note lineup features a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 512GB in size. Unfortunately, you’ll need to purchase a microSD card to expand your storage capacity, as this isn’t included in the package. In comparison, some people will opt for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra because it has some unique features that distinguish it from other smartphones. We suspect that others will purchase this device due to its higher-end hardware, enabling it to run more smoothly than other Android smartphones on the market.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Processor
Samsung is working with Qualcomm to make its new 5G processor, the first mobile chipset to support Google’s collective 5G infrastructure. It will allow users to browse the Web quicker and even download files in a shorter time than ever before, and it’s also said to enable faster data transfers between computers.
One of the reasons Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 isn’t featured in this particular device may have something to do with some unique and exclusive features associated with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 chipset.
Samsung recently announced that its own Exynos 9810, based on a 10nm process, will be exclusively sold in North America by Verizon Wireless. This is said to help deliver a 5G experience better than ever before, and it’s said to feature twice the memory bandwidth of other SoCs on the market.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Connectivity
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also supports Samsung’s own Wi-Fi 8.0 standard, which may or may not be supported by carriers in North America when it finally arrives in stores, but that remains to be seen. You can use the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with mobile networks like AT&T and T-Mobile, but that doesn’t mean the device will arrive in stores until early next year.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Battery
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra should sport wireless charging capabilities and support NFC connectivity and MST payments. The battery is also said to be pretty capable, with a 5,000 mAh capacity. Of course, that’s a pretty big battery considering this phablet is already heavy. Still, Samsung has always been excellent in setting out the maximum capacity its batteries can hold in terms of charge.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Security
Security is one thing that Samsung is excellent at, and that’s what you’ll get with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It comes with the latest 5G security features, which should help keep your device safe from hackers who may have gotten their hands on your personal information in the past few years.
Samsung is also adding its version of a “Digital Wellbeing” feature to its new device, which comes with a timer that tells you when you’ve been using your device for too many minutes each day. It’s said to help you limit your time spent on the phone and track how much time you spend on apps like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
Finally, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with Samsung’s latest S Pen stylus alongside four other colors. Its S Pen has also been improved from the Galaxy Note 9, which means you can now easily convert any language you’re writing into another language with just a few taps.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Pros
- Huge screen
- The camera technology is top of the line and features Auto Focus,
- Image Sensor and Dual Pixel technology.
- Superb image quality.
- 4K video recording at 60fps while in 3D mode.
- Great battery life.
- Software optimizations should help improve performance.
- It comes with wireless charging, NFC, and MST.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Cons
- Availability is still uncertain.
- High-specification pricing
- Some may find the size unwieldy for daily use.
- It lacks a microSD card slot for expandable storage capability.
- It does not include a headphone jack or a USB Type C port for charging and syncing data.
The Samsung Smart Switch is also supported on this device, allowing you to transfer your contacts and text messages from an old phone to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20-Ultra, which will save you from having to set up a whole new phone system again on your new device.