Compare and Recycle

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Devices Are Here, But We Wanted More

The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event introduced us to a plethora of new devices in the Samsung ecosystem, including two new smartphone models. These are the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. We have gathered all the information and will be giving you our hot take on these greatly anticipated Note 20 devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Price

Diving straight into the price, which is usually one of the first questions to ask, if you were hoping for something cheap, prepare for disappointment. The Galaxy Note 20 5G will set you back £949 with 256GB of storage. A cheaper option is the 4G version, which is £849. Either way, you will be paying a lot of money for this device.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a bigger and beefier sibling to the Galaxy Note 20, and as such, it is even more expensive. For the 256GB of storage option, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a price of £1,179. For even more storage space (512GB), this will cost you £1,279. This device is undeniably expensive and not one you should buy on a whim. We would only recommend spending this amount of money if you believe you are going to make the most of all of this device’s specs.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Design

Another disappointment regarding the Galaxy Note 20 is that the design of the device has had various downgrades. It has a clunky rectangular design with a 6.7-inch flat display as opposed to the curved edges that we have become accustomed to seeing on other Samsung devices, which will make it more awkward to put in and take out of your pocket.

Additionally, for a price of close to £1000, the Note 20 has a plastic back which Samsung calls “Glasstic” and is made of polycarbonate with a brushed finish to make it feel ceramic. Not what we would call sleek. Having said this, the device is rather sturdy, as it comes with Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass Victus.

The Galaxy Note 20 also only has a 60Hz refresh rate. While a few years ago this would not have been much of an issue, these days we expect premium smartphones to have at least a 90Hz refresh rate. Considering that users will have to fork out at least £849 for this device, we were hoping for something a bit more modern, so we cannot help but wish that it had more. It also has a Full HD screen rather than the QHD display that we have seen in previous Galaxy devices, which is a shame as Samsung have incorporated innovative screen technology on some of their other devices in the past.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra differs from the Galaxy Note 20 in that it has a 120Hz refresh rate. This is a feature that we are glad to see in a device in the top-end premium range, as it provides a seamless scrolling experience for looking through your social media feeds and photos.

This Note 20 Ultra’s display measures at 6.9 inches, making it a very large device. Like the Galaxy Note 20, it is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus to prevent the screen from easily shattering if dropped. Some users will prefer a device of this size for a variety of reasons, such as watching films or TV programmes on their device, gaming and of course making notes, which is the principal USP of the Galaxy Note 20 devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra display compared to the Galaxy Note 20. Image: Samsung

In terms of the all important S Pen, Samsung have made some notable improvements. The S Pen comes with new gestures, is faster, more accurate and more responsive than ever before. This is because of AI point-prediction technology which makes the S Pen easier to write with. You can also use the S Pen for taking notes alongside recording audio notes in a simpler way by syncing and creating an interactive notes timeline. In terms of colours, both Note 20 devices offer Mystic Bronze (which looks like a pink-brown), Mystic Green and Mystic Grey options.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Cameras

The Galaxy Note 20 comes with a 12MP f/1.8 main lens, a 64MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. While the camera setup is not as sophisticated as the one on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the main rear lens performs well as you would expect from a premium device. The same can also be said of the telephoto lens, which can do a 30x zoom without sacrificing the image quality.

The selfie camera lens can be found in the middle of the top of the display on the Note 20, concealed nicely in the screen. For anyone that was hoping to do away with the notch, this is an aesthetically pleasing option.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra rear camera. Image: Samsung

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has three rear cameras: a 108MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/3.0 telephoto lens and a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, and the front of the device has a 10MP selfie camera. An appealing feature which was also found on the previous Note devices is that you can take photos using the S Pen, which is convenient if you do not have another person to take a group photo for you. This is not a necessity, but still a practical feature to have.

Samsung have given us a notable improvement of an issue of the S20 Ultra as well. The S20 Ultra which came out before the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra had problems with autofocusing. This caused photos to appear blurry, ultimately defeating the point of what was heralded as innovative smartphone camera technology. Thankfully, Samsung has resolved this by adding a laser to focus on subjects and prevent blurriness.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Battery and Performance

In terms of battery life, the Galaxy Note 20 should be adequate for everyday use. The size is 4,300 mAh, which ought to allow for plenty of usage throughout the day without running out of charge. It also comes with fast charging technology, meaning that you can charge your Galaxy Note 20 up to 50% in around 30 minutes. While fast charging is a useful feature, Samsung could have given us better fast charging. Instead of 45W as is featured on many other devices, Samsung only gave us 25W on the Galaxy Note 20. On the other hand, the Galaxy Note 20 does come with 15W wireless charging as well as Samsung’s popular wireless power share feature.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a huge battery at 4,500 mAh, which should easily last for the entire day with normal usage. Like the Galaxy Note 20, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra only supports 25W fast charging as opposed to 45W, which is what we had hoped to see. While this is not the end of the world, we would expect to see features such as these on such a costly device. We want our money’s worth, so we cannot help but be disappointed when features such as these are omitted from the final model.

In terms of the chipset, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will get the Exynos 990 in the UK, as will the Galaxy Note 20. In terms of storage space, you will have a choice of either 256GB or 512GB if you need additional space for extra apps. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also comes with 5G as a standard feature, so you will be able to enjoy faster download speeds and connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Release

The Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are available for pre-order in the UK from Samsung now, meaning that you will be able to get your hands on these devices by Friday the 21st of August 2020. The advantage of pre-ordering the Galaxy Note 20 or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra now is that you will have a choice of either a free subscription to Xbox Games Pass or a pair of Galaxy Buds Live depending on your region. Either way, a sweet deal.


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