Samsung’s two-year smorgasbord of flagship products was held today and announced, among other things, the latest Galaxy Note phones. This year̵7;s update is called Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, after the naming conventions in the Galaxy S20 series in February. Both pack giant screens, pens and 5G radios.
Let’s start with what the phones have in common. They are both based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ platform, both with Samsung’s current small design language with a central “hole punch” 10MP front camera, both have a triple rear camera (although not identical), and both have a new stylus design with a “paper feel” “when typing on the screen. The S-Pen now integrates with the mobile version of Microsoft Office.
Both phones have IP68 water resistance, wireless charging, 8K 120 fps video recording with “pro” controls, an on-screen fingerprint reader and Android 10.
Note 20 is technically the smaller of the two phones, but it’s no slouch. With a screen size of 6.7 inches, it is massive even by current standards and quite a lot larger than last year’s 6.3-inch note 10. It’s strange that it uses “only” 1080p resolution. It also packs 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but oddly enough, there is no MicroSD card slot. The back uses “glasstic”, a smooth-treated plastic that seems very much in place on an expensive phone.
The rear cameras are a 12 megapixel primary and 12 megapixel ultra-wide, with a 64 megapixel telephoto with 3x optical zoom and 30x “hybrid zoom.” Note 20 uses a surprisingly extra 4300mAh battery, fixed in an 8.3 mm thin body. The Galaxy Note 20 starts at a whopping $ 999.
When you move on to the best Note 20 Ultra, you get an even more massive 6.9-inch screen, which is upgraded to 120Hz and 1440p resolution and covered in Gorilla Glass 7 from Corning. If you use the S-Pen with that screen, you will find that its latency is only 9 milliseconds, only a third of that on the Galaxy Note 20. Standard. The body is full glass on both sides, which was the standard for row before now.
When it comes to design, the Note 20 Ultra is a bit sharper, with a more cylindrical look on the corners. The battery has been upgraded to 4500 mah – still seems quite small for something so big! – and it uses 12 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. There is an upgraded 512 GB model as well, and both get the MicroSD card slot as standard Note 20 does not.
But the real draw for the upgraded Ultra is the camera. In addition to a laser autofocus system – still very rare among smartphones – you get the very ballyhooed 108 megapixel sensor seen on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The other two are both 12 MP, paired at wide angle and “periscope” 5x optical zoom lenses. The latter zoom factor is 50x with a hybrid optical and digital system.
Note 20 Ultra starts at $ 1299 for the 128 GB model. It will be available in white, black and bronze, while the cheaper Note 20 will be available in gray, green and bronze. Both phones will land in primary markets, and with the usual carrier partners, on 21 August.