The long-awaited launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is finally here! Like last year, Samsung has unveiled two new devices in the category – the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note Ultra. If you were hoping to get another “small Note” like we did last year, you’re out of luck since the regular Note 20 comes with a 6.7-inch display (FHD+) and a steeper price point.
But let’s jump into the detail and see how these two new Note 20 devices differ from each other and what upgrades they have over last year’s models.
The main thing most people will be interested about is the new Snapdragon 865+ used to power both of these phones. The upgraded chipset is slightly more powerful than the SD865 used in the Galaxy S20 series that made their debut earlier this year. Like the S20 devices, the Note 20 Ultra comes with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, but the regular Note 20 is limited to 8GB. That’s still a respectable number, but a bit of a disappointment since it’s not a future-proof as Samsung’s other flagship devices this year.
Samsung is using its AMOLED displays for both devices, but the Note 20 will have a flat panel while the Note 20 Ultra will get the usual Edge panel with a slight curve. While Edge displays are more aesthetically pleasing, flat panels are easier to use, so we’re not really convinced that the Note 20 is getting the short end of the stick in that regard. That being said, the 6.9-inch display on the Note 20 Ultra will have a WQHD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate while the Note 20’s will be FHD+, 60Hz.
The other main difference between the new phones is the cameras they feature on the back. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 has a 12MP, f/1.8 (standard), 64MP, f/3.0 (3x telephoto), and 12MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide) while the Note 20 Ultra’s three cameras have been upgraded to 108MP, f/1.8 (standard), 12MP, f/3.0 (5x telephoto) and 12MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide). You still get 8K/24fps video capture as you did on the S20 devices.
Other specifications include 25W fast charging over USB C, 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging as well. The Ultra comes with a 4500 mAh battery while the Note 20 has a slightly smaller cell at 4300 mAh.
Being Note devices also means that you get the S Pen. While the functionality is still pretty much the same as what we got last year, Samsung has reduced S Pen latency (which was already quite low) by 40%, making pen input feel dramatically smoother. They have also added a few new gestures that will allow you to navigate the phone UI. The new air gestures allow you to navigate back, home, go to recent apps, activate smart select, and capture a screenshot.
The Note 20 devices will also be getting an upgraded Samsung Notes app which will allow you to sync your notes over the cloud to your tablet and PC.
Samsung DeX is also getting an upgrade that allows the Note 20 series to wirelessly stream the phone’s desktop interface to any Miracast-compatible device. The phone’s upgraded horsepower will also allow the phone to perform other tasks while the desktop is going used. This has been one of the biggest issues with DeX since the phone practically became useless in the past when using the desktop mode for work or watching videos.
The collaboration between Microsoft and Samsung goes even deeper this year with the new Link to Windows feature that will allow you to screen mirrors up to 6 apps from the phones to a Windows PC with enhanced drag and drop functionality for transferring files between the two. Samsung Note will also offer syncing capabilities with OneNote and Outlook and the phone is also getting support for XBox Game Pass Ultimate which will allow nOte 20 users to stream over 100 games directly to their phone.
The final piece of the Galaxy Note series is the price. The regular Galaxy Note will be sold for $999, but if you’re thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy Note Ultra you’ll be shelling out $1,299 for the added RAM and the upgraded cameras. If the phones are pre-ordered from Samsung, they’ll be throwing in a $100 gift card with a Note 20 purchase and a $150 card if you buy the Note 20 Ultra.
Pre-orders for the phones start on August 6th with retail availability coming August 21. Color option for the Note 20 will include Mystic Bronz, Mystic Gray, and Mystic Green while the 20 Ultra will come in Mystic Bronz, Mystic Black and Mystic White.