Categories: Samsung

Samsung Note 20 Ultra Complete Hands-on Review Price & Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the most versatile big-screen phone yet, making it best for power users who are willing to pay a premium.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is big, bold and very expensive. Here’s the pros and cons so far.

  • Dynamic 6.9-inch 120Hz display
  • Smoother S Pen performance
  • Streams Xbox games
  • Powerful Snapdragon 865 plus chip
  • 108MP camera with laser auto focus

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (starting at $1,299) could be the best big phone yet, and it packs a lot more premium features than the regular Galaxy Note 20. It boasts a bigger 6.9-inch display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, a sharper 108MP camera with laser auto focus and a more responsive S Pen.

I’ve spent the last day using the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and I’m really impressed by the display and the zoom capability of the camera. And while the new S Pen gestures are nifty, they require a learning curve.

The Note 20 Ultra also offers a bigger battery than the standard Note 20, more RAM and a microSD card slot. Just like the regular Galaxy Note 20, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also has a fast Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, streams Xbox games and syncs your S Pen notes to the cloud.

The Ultra is protected by the brand new Gorilla Glass Victus front and back and both phones get a stainless steel frame – that’s a first on a Samsung smartphone. Oddly enough, the Note 20 comes with a plastic back – that one we hadn’t seen in a while on a high-end Samsung handset.

Both Notes get the S Pen too, at least this much is still guaranteed. It’s been moved to the left of the phone now, a major change from all previous generations. It comes with added gestures and it’s got improved latency for an even more pen-on-paper-like feel – on the Ultra, that is, the vanilla model doesn’t get that either.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Specs

  • Body: 164.8×77.2×8.1mm, 208g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), stainless steel frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins); Colors: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White.
  • Display: 6.90″ Dynamic AMOLED, 1440x3088px resolution, 19.3:9 aspect ratio, 496ppi; HDR10+, Always-on display, 120Hz@FHD/60Hz@QHD refresh rate.
  • Chipset: Exynos 990 (7 nm+) – Global, Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (7 nm+) – USA: Octa-core (2×2.73 GHz Mongoose M5 & 2×2.50 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) – Global, Octa-core (1×3.00 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585) – USA; Mali-G77 MP11 – Global, Adreno 650 – USA.
  • Memory: 128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10, One UI 2.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/3.0, 120mm periscope, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom, 50x hybrid zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm; LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama.
  • Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.2″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF; Dual video call, Auto-HDR.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS & OIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 25W, USB Power Delivery 3.0, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging 9W.
  • Misc: Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; FM radio (Snapdragon model only; market/operator dependent); Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), ANT+, Bixby natural language commands and dictation; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified); S Pen Stylus, 9ms latency (Bluetooth integration, accelerometer, gyro).

The camera housing on the back of the Note 20 Ultra kind of reminds me of brass knuckles — and not in a good way. My bigger issue is just how massive this camera patch is. It lifts the entire back of the phone when sitting on a desk or table.

Measuring 6.49 x 3.03 x 0.32 inches (164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm) and weighing 7..3 ounces (208 grams), the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is not as big as the Galaxy S20 Ultra (6.6 x 2.7 x 0.34 inches and 7.7 ounces), but it’s still a handful compared to the Galaxy Note 10 Plus (6.4 x 3 x 0.31 inches and 6.9 ounces) which had a smaller 6.8-inch display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Big display

The massive 6.9-inch OLED quad HD+ display on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is big, bold and colorful. More important, this is the first Samsung phone to offer a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy S20 lineup introduced a faster refresh rate to Samsung phones, delivering smoother scrolling as well as better visuals, especially for games and movies. But it was a feature you had to manually adjust. With the Note 20 Ultra, the refresh rate automatically adjusts based on what content is on screen, which should save on battery life.

When using the display I found scrolling to be super smooth and fast in Chrome with Adaptive mode turned on. You can always choose 60Hz manually if you want to save every last drop of juice.

There’s more of curve to the Note 20 Ultra’s screen compared it the flat panel on the Note 20. Personally, I’m not a fan of the curved panel. It sometimes causes some text to be distorted, and it can also lead to accidental screen touches.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra cameras

The camera array is where Samsung wants the Note 20 phones, and especially the Note 20 Ultra, to shine. It’s taken a step back from the ostentation of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which boasted a 100x Space Zoom feature and a main camera capable of shooting a 108-megapixel photo, concentrating instead on the idea of cropping in for more detail.

Samsung still gave the Note 20 Ultra an 108-megapixel camera option — you tap it to turn it on when you want the full resolution. When it comes to zoom, the Note 20 falls back to 50x zoom, with the Note 20 settling in at 30x.

It’s interesting to see Samsung backtrack like this, but the company seems to be responding to feedback that the S20 Ultra was too expensive and its 100x zoom wasn’t good enough or useful enough to justify the price.

The Note 20 Ultra has 5x optical zoom, which should make photos taken in that range crisper and clearer than using digital zoom alone. We’ll soon see.

Faster autofocus in the Note 20 Ultra is also designed to give it an edge over the standard Note 20, so you can snap photos of squirmy pets, amusing facial expressions and flapping hummingbirds faster, without missing the shot.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra battery health and charging time ?

Equipped with a fairly large 4,500 mAh battery, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra should be able to last you through most of the day. We’re most curious to see how well this phone lasts on our battery life test given the dynamic nature of the phone’s 120Hz display. With the 120Hz mode on, we saw a dramatic decrease in endurance on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, with the phone running out of power 3 hours faster than when we kept the display at a 60Hz refresh rate.

To Great Bttery back up, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra includes a 25W fast charger that should get you back to 50% capacity in 35 minutes. Samsung does not say if the Note 20 Ultra supports 45W Fast charging, but it does support Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 if you have a wireless charger that goes 10W or higher then.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Price

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (starting at $1,299) could be the best big phone yet, and it packs a lot more premium features than the regular Galaxy Note 20. It boasts a bigger 6.9-inch display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, a sharper 108MP camera with laser auto focus and a more responsive S Pen.

Zaid Siddiqui

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