Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra phone review

Sajjad Hussain
Oct 7 · 11 min read
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Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the most flexible and powerful Android productivity tool on the market, with excellent connectivity, long battery life, excellent stylus and huge screen. This is also redone. Samsung’s huge, luxurious Qualcomm chip and the latest Gorilla Glass Tablet PC should be the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Where the S20 Ultra stumbled in the camera department, the Note 20 Ultra is equipped with a laser autofocus module that can repair previous malfunctions and make it a reliable super zoom phone. The only thing I really hesitate about is the maximum starting price of $1,299 for Note, which is out of touch with our economy hit by the pandemic.

You already know it’s big

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is huge. With a height of 6.49 x 3.04 x 0.32 inches (HWD), it is taller than the Galaxy Note 10+ (6.39 x 3.04 x 0.31 inches). It is not wider than the iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.20 x 3.06 x 0.30 inches), but it is much taller. I can’t really hold it with one hand, while the other hand can hold it comfortably. This is a real phablet. The 6.9-inch screen is on the edge of the device, and the waterfall slides down from the side, so if you hold it in a deadlock, you will encounter some problems with touching the edges.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a very deep camera bump

In addition to providing more protection, you may also want to put your phone in a phone case to eliminate the camera bumps on the back-it’s a large rectangle with sharp edges that might scratch other things in your pocket. It is narrower than the S20 Ultra’s camera module, but slightly taller, and the S20 Ultra’s camera module is already a bit hilly. The obstacle seems to be the price you pay for a 5x zoom periscope camera.

Note 20 Ultra is the first phone we saw on Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus. This is a new type of reinforced glass. Samsung and Corning say it is stronger than the S20 series and the standard Galaxy Note 20. The scratch resistance on other devices is twice that of Gorilla Glass 6, which is related to the large camera bumps. The phone also has an IPX8 waterproof rating.

Note 20 Ultra comes in three colors

Samsung said that the brightness of the 6.9-inch AMOLED screen of the Note 20 Ultra is increased by 25%, although this means that it is 25% brighter than the Note 10. It is about 10% brighter than the S20 display we are introducing here. Like on the S20 Ultra, you must choose between resolution and refresh rate. You can perform WQHD with a resolution of 60Hz, a resolution of 3,088×1,440 or a resolution of 1080p with a resolution of 120Hz, a resolution of 2,316×1,080. I really don’t understand why you can’t do WQHD at 120Hz like OnePlus 8 Pro, which is the winner of the best screen on the market right now.

It has the same in-display fingerprint sensor as the S20 series. It’s okay I hope it has a bigger contact goal, but it is the same for today’s courses.There are two powerful speakers the bottom is very obvious, the top is not so obvious. When used together, their combined sound quality is significantly better than that of a small cell phone.Another notable physical change is the location of the S Pen. It is now on the left, not on the right.

Performance current leader

We received the Note 20 Ultra device with 128GB of storage space. The price of the 512GB model is $1,449.99. Both models have a microSD port for external storage.

The phone uses the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, which can magnify the “performance core” of the system to 3.06GHz. In the test, Geekbench scored 973 single-core and 3,249 multi-core. Compared with the single-core Galaxy S20 series, the increase is about 5%, while the multi-core is almost the same. In the GFXBench car chase test, 29fps was displayed on the screen (a 3fps increase over the S20) and 57fps was displayed off the screen (a 5fps increase). The PCMark score is 13,340, the highest score we have seen so far, several percentage points better than the Galaxy S20+.

Like the Galaxy S20 series, the Note 20 Ultra has all forms of 5G (the same is true for the regular Note 20), and provides carrier-specific and universal unlocked models. These are still the only phones on AT&T and T-Mobile that can combine their low, medium, and high-band networks. AT&T and T-Mobile’s high frequency band coverage is not very large. T-Mobile only has it in seven cities, while AT&T is said to have it in 35 cities, and you can’t find it in almost any city. However, if you are in those T-Mobile cities, this will be a help.

The call quality is comparable to other flagship phones based on Snapdragon 865; like other leading smartphones, Note 20 Ultra supports HD calls and Wi-Fi calls. If you are using AT&T, please keep in mind that if you are not buying directly from the operator, it may prohibit Wi-Fi calls from your mobile phone. There are no technical restrictions; this is only AT&T’s policy.

I tested the Note 20 Ultra on Verizon LTE and got excellent performance. The phone can provide speeds of up to 400Mbps on only 50MHz of the common licensed spectrum without using any of Verizon’s more mysterious or shorter-range technologies (such as LAA, CBRS or 5G). In the same location, the phone also showed a better signal than the Galaxy S20-depending on the location, between 1–9dB is better. This consolidates the performance of the Note 20 Ultra as the best connected phone on the market today.

In addition to 4G and 5G, this phone has all the other network standards you can think of, including Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. Its latest technology is UWB, which is the standard used in recent iPhones, and I haven’t seen a suitable use yet. UWB can help you determine the distance and direction from another UWB-based device. Its original purpose was to allow people to transfer files between two nearby mobile phones. Samsung also said that it will be used for home smart locks.

The battery life of the 4,500mAh battery is also excellent. Streaming video over Wi-Fi with 75% brightness in WQHD mode, I got more than 12 hours of screen on time, which is really great. If you use some advanced display functions (such as 120Hz or S Pen), the battery life may be reduced because the refresh rate of the screen will adapt to the content displayed on the screen.

The mobile phone uses USB-C, Samsung’s 22W fast charger or wireless charging for charging. I noticed that, just like it no longer promises 100x zoom, Samsung does not promise 45 watt charging now. In previous tests, we found that Samsung’s 45W charger will not charge faster than its 22W charger, so this decision is reasonable.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra supports reverse wireless charging, so you can charge the headset on it

Software Very Samsung

Samsung cannot leave Android alone. Never want to be a slave of Google, it will always add new features.

The most exciting and efficient feature here is to link the Note 20 Ultra to other devices, such as a PC, watch or TV. In a typical Samsung fashion, there are multiple ways to do all the work. The “Call and text on other devices” feature will forward your call to the Samsung tablet or Samsung watch. By linking to Windows, you can drag and drop files on a Windows PC and answer messages. The Smart View screen will be projected onto the TV. Samsung’s DeX mode can now also project the TV screen onto the TV, making it a huge presentation monitor.

However, the feature I am most excited about is not yet available: it has the ability to mirror up to six Android applications on the PC via Link to Windows. Samsung used to have something called SideSync that could do the same thing, but it was not widely understood or used.

Wireless DeX allows you to project your phone screen to the TV

I used “Link to Windows” to connect the Note 20 Ultra to a Windows PC, and got the dialer, messages, photos, and notifications, but trying to mirror the application didn’t work. Linking to Windows should be able to mirror one application at a time, if not six, then hope that the software update promised in September will solve the problem.

I also use DeX to connect the phone to my TCL 5 series Roku TV, which is quick and easy. In this mode, the phone’s screen becomes a touchpad, and you can tap the icon and move around. The difference between DeX and screen projection is that it correctly uses the entire screen of the TV, and the screen projection ends up with a large black bar due to the different aspect ratio-therefore, it is not only suitable for presentations, but also suitable for remote operation Streaming application.

S Pen Faster, but better?

I gave the S Pen of Note 20 Ultra to my daughter, who is an art student and she uses Galaxy Note 8 as her regular phone. She said that at least for art, she didn’t find it better than the S Pen that comes with Note 8 or Note 9. Samsung says it has reduced the pen delay of the Note 20 from 40ms to 9ms, and the pen tip has a new, rougher feel compared to previous devices-it does feel (along a good way) Drag on the screen. But my daughter focused on the material of the pen itself that felt smoother and slippery than the earlier Note models.

The screen mode of Note 20 works here. The 120Hz screen is refreshed approximately every 8.3ms. The 60Hz screen is refreshed every 16.6ms. Lowering the pen waiting time to 9ms means that your ink refresh rate is approximately the refresh rate of the 120Hz screen. But the mobile phone only allows 120Hz refresh rate in 1080p screen mode, so if WQHD resolution is required, it can be restored to 60Hz, and lower latency is a bit wasteful.

S Pen is still the best stylus on mobile devices. It is sensitive to pressure and tilt, has extensive application support, and it does not last as long as the Apple Pencil. (That is, the writing size of a pencil on an 11-inch tablet is quite large; it is ridiculously large over the phone.)

Since Samsung has used the S Pen for some time, it is really useful in applications that want to use it, such as taking notes in OneNote, annotating PDFs or drawing in Adobe Sketch.The stylus is not only suitable for artists, you can also use it to mark documents

The new software here is just gravy. I am happy that Samsung’s built-in Notes application should be synchronized with Microsoft OneNote, but I cannot try it because it will require a software update. There is also a new feature, you can remotely control the phone by waving the S Pen in the air, but the gestures involved are difficult to remember and copy, so I think almost no one will realize its existence.

Camera Samsung fix it

The Note 20 Ultra camera is an updated fixed version of the Galaxy S20 Ultra camera, which is a good thing. There are three cameras on the rear: a main f/1.8, 108 megapixel camera; a main camera. f/2.2, 12 megapixel 5x zoom camera; and a/f/2.2, 12 megapixel ultra-wide. 5x zoom can use up to 10x digital zoom to simulate 50x zoom. There is a 10-megapixel selfie camera on the front.

50x zoom has a high degree of distortion, but at least Samsung does not promise 100x zoom

The biggest problem with the Galaxy S20 Ultra is that the phase detection autofocus speed of its 108-megapixel main camera is slow and sometimes unreliable. The Note 20 adds a laser autofocus module that can solve this problem: it has the instant and accurate autofocus that modern flagship smartphones expect, and I have no problem focusing quickly and refocusing on objects at different distances.

As for zooming, it turns out that setting a 5x optical zoom on your phone can indeed increase the photo quality by 5x, which provides you with a lot of flexibility when choosing subjects that keep your distance from social. As you might expect, the native 5x zoom of the Note 20 provides 5x sharper and clearer photos than the 3x digital zoom of the S20, while the 10x noise is also less. At 20x or higher resolution, anything you shoot will have a lot of digital zoom artifacts, but the Note 20 at least starts from a better place.

The 5x zoom of the Note 20 Ultra (left) is sharper and clearer than the S20+ (right)

You may wonder how much this will cost. In my experience, compared to the Galaxy S20+, its colors are slightly saturated. This is not a big deal, unless you have photos of two phones side by side, you are unlikely to notice, but photos taken with S20+ will look more intense. In fact, some people think that less saturated colors are more natural.

The colors on the S20+ (right) are more intense than those on the Note 20 Ultra (left).

The 108-megapixel sensor still has a very shallow depth of field. If you want to shoot very close objects, the focus is not in the corners. At the same time, the full 108-megapixel mode provides more images than anyone really needs. In the 1:1 pixel view, it is noisy and is prone to artifacts unless you want to take pictures under very bright natural light. Since it also creates a 24MB file, photography experts can try more.

But I just set the expected value here at around 108MP. The Note 20 Ultra camera is better or better than any other smartphone camera on the market, and it provides a lot of interesting and powerful features for mobile photographers. Just don’t think that you will get independent high-end camera quality from this kind of thing, because we have reached the limit that small smartphone sensors and small smartphone lenses can do.Note 20 Ultra (left) and S20+ (right) have about the same night mode

Note 20 Ultra records 8K video at 24fps, 4K video at 60fps and 1080p video at 120fps. (You may not need 8K video, but you can crop it afterwards.) The laser autofocus module solves the video focus problem of the S20 Ultra, so you don’t have the pulsating focus problem that I saw on the S20 Ultra.

The new Pro Video mode enables more flexible audio recording. You can use only the front microphone for directional recording with omnidirectional audio, or use Bluetooth or USB microphones for audio recording (although Bluetooth microphones are still highly compressed like Bluetooth microphones).

Images zoomed in at 20x on Note 20 Ultra (left) and S20+ (right) are forged, but less on Note 20.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is supposed to be equipped with Galaxy S20 Ultra, equipped with a working camera, the price is slightly lower, and has a lot of productivity and creativity. This is currently the most mobile phone. I think it’s more than the upcoming $1,399 Microsoft Surface Duo phone — although you don’t have that many screens here, you have a more convenient stylus, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, better cameras, and many more Other functions. advantage.

But we are still in a pandemic state, which means I have a lot of trouble recommending the $1,299 phone. I chose the high-end phone Galaxy S20 5G for a price of 300 dollars cheaper. Note 20 Ultra is a good reason for this $300 price: S Pen, larger screen, new video recording mode and better RF signal performance. But in the end in the mass unemployment crisis, this phone is still a $1,299 phone, and I can’t conscientiously name it “Editors’ Choice”.

What about the regular Galaxy Note 20 that costs $999? I haven’t tested it yet, but it is worth noting that it is not just a smaller version of the Note 20 Ultra. Note 20 lacks Ultra’s zoom camera (it performs virtual 3x zoom by cropping the middle part of the 64MP sensor), no laser autofocus (although it may not be needed because it does not have a 108MP camera), it does not have a microSD card slot, and With 1080p, 60Hz screen.

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