Samsung's lineup of Galaxy Note devices for 2020 include the specs-behemoth Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the slightly more cost-effective Galaxy Note 20. Excuse the pun, but there's a lot to unpack here in terms of unique features and hardware.
These are the first smartphones with support for Xbox cloud gaming, and they've received some serious security upgrades over their predecessors. Of course, there's a lot more than the headlining features, so let's take a closer look at all the gory details of the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, stylized and marketed as the "Galaxy Note20 5G" and "Galaxy Note20 5G."
The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will keep all the upgrades Samsung gave the Galaxy S20 lineup, including the 120 Hz display and a bigger battery. However, it refined many features that carried over, improving the autofocus on the 108 MP camera, the screen-to-body ratio, and more. It's one of the first phones to support Xbox cloud gaming, as mentioned earlier, allowing you to play over 100 Xbox games in the palm of your hands.
Both models were announced on Aug. 5, 2020, at Samsung's online-only Unpacked Event, with preorders opening up stateside the following day. The actual release date did come until Friday, Aug. 21.
- Announcement date: August 5, 2020
- Preorder date: August 6, 2020
- Release date: August 21, 2020
In the U.S. market, Samsung chose to nix the 256 GB variants this year. So you won't find any from U.S. retailers, but you could get a 256 GB model outside of the U.S. if you need it. In the States, both devices have the base 128 GB option, but the Galaxy Note Ultra 20 also has a 512 GB model available. If 512 GB wasn't enough for you, only the Ultra model has a microSD tray for expandable storage up to 2 TB. However, both models use the UFS 3.1 storage standard and F2FS file system.
- Storage available: 128 GB (Note 20) | 128 GB or 512 GB (Note 20 Ultra)
- Expandable storage: up to 2 TB microSD on the Note 20 Ultra model only
- Standard: UFS 3.1
The Galaxy Note 20 runs for $999, and the Note 20 Ultra goes for $1,299 for the 128 GB model and $1,449 for the 512 GB version. Again, the 256 GB model is not being marketed yet in the U.S. Each phone comes with a SIM ejection tool, USB-C data cable, and travel adapter (charging brick).
- Starting price: $999 (Note 20) | $1,299 (Note 20 Ultra)
The speaker and S Pen are in new locations, on the opposite sides of where they were on the Note 10. The S Pen is the same size as its predecessor, but depending on which model you get, you'll have a vastly different experience. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra reduces input latency from 42 ms to 9 ms. The Galaxy Note 20 only reduce it down to 28 ms, which is still better than last year.
One thing to be aware of is that the Galaxy Note 20 has a reinforced polycarbonate back instead of glass — but don't worry, it still has wireless charging.
- Frame: aluminum
- Display material: glass (Gorilla Glass Victus)
- Rear material: polycarbonate (Note 20) | Gorilla Glass Victus (Note 20 Ultra)
- Finish: mystic grey, mystic bronze, mystic green (Note 20) | mystic black, mystic bronze, mystic white (Note 20 Ultra)
The Galaxy Note 20 is about the same size as the Galaxy S20+, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is actually smaller than the S20 Ultra. It's IP68-rated for dust and water protection and works on all the big carriers.
- Height: 6.36 inches (Note 20) | 6.49 inches (Note 20 Ultra)
- Width: 2.96 inches (Note 20) | 3.04 inches (Note 20 Ultra)
- Depth: 0.33 inches (Note 20) | 0.32 inches (Note 20 Ultra)
- Weight: 6.84 oz (Note 20) | 7.34 oz (Note 20 Ultra)
- Dust/water resistance: IP68 under IEC standard 60529 (1.5 m up to 30 min)
- Supported carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
- Infrared blaster: no
Both models ship with Android 10 installed as the base OS.
- Version: Android 10
The Galaxy Note 20 runs the latest version of Samsung's One UI, 2.5. In this, you get a few features including the new 24 fps cinematic shooting mode for video, audio source control, wireless DeX, and much more. The biggest change compared to One UI 2.0 is the ability to use Android 10's gestures on third-party launchers, applying the official fix instead of using the workaround.
- Version: One UI 2.5
Like the Galaxy S20 series, the Note 20 Ultra's 120 Hz refresh rate is limited to 1080p resolution. This is also an adaptive refresh rate, which means it will dynamically adjust between 60 Hz and 120 Hz depending on the app running, current battery life, and heat.
The screen-to-body ratio is slightly better than the Galaxy S20 Ultra while maintaining the same size screen. The maximum brightness level is also 20% higher at 1,500 nits. For those who dislike the curved display, the Galaxy Note 20 uses a flat screen.
- Screen size: 6.7 inches (Note 20) | 6.9 inches (Note 20 Ultra)
- Screen resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels (Note 20) | 3088 x 1440 pixels (Note 20 Ultra)
- Total pixels: 2,592,000 pixels (Note 20) | 4,446,720 pixels (Note 20 Ultra)
- Pixel density: 393 ppi (Note 20) | 496 ppi (Note 20 Ultra)
- Screen type: Super AMOLED PLus (Note 20) | Dynamic AMOLED 2X (Note 20 Ultra)
- Curved: on Note 20 Ultra only
- Notch: no
- HDR: HDR10+
- Screen-to-body ratio: 89.2% (Note 20) | 91.7% (Note 20 Ultra)
- Aspect ratio: 20:9 (Note 20) | 24.25:9 (Note 20 Ultra)
- Minimum brightness: Unknown
- Maximum brightness: 1500 nits (Note 20 Ultra)
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 Hz for touch-sensing) (Note 20) | 120 Hz (240 Hz for touch-sensing) (Note 20 Ultra)
- Color temp: Unknown
- Color gamut: Unknown
All variants of the Galaxy Note 20 come with 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, while the Galaxy 20 Ultra upgrades it to 12 GB. Both phones will use the latest chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 865+. This is the same SoC as the Galaxy S20 but with an 11% clock speed increase on the highest core.
- Memory: 8 GB (Note 20) | 12 GB RAM (Note 20 Ultra)
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
- Chip size: 7 nanometer
- CPU frequency: 3.1 GHz + 2.42 GHz + 1.80 GHz)
- CPU cores: 4 Gold + 4 Silver
- GPU: Adreno 650
- GPU frequency: 656 MHz
Both phones support Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, as well as Wireless PowerShare for five watts of reverse wireless charging. Better yet, they also come with Super Fast Charging and a 25-watt charger in the box. However, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra supports up to 45 watts using the Samsung 45-Watt USB-C Super Fast Charging Wall Charger. You can also use third-party chargers as long as they support USB PD 3.0 and PPS, such as the ELECJET PowerPie 20,000 mAh Power Bank.
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Note 20 Capacity: 4,300 mAh, 3.85 volts (16.56 watt-hours)
- Note 20 Ultra Capacity: 4,500 mAh, 3.86 volts (17.37 watt-hours)
- Wired charging port: USB Type-C
- Wired charging speed: up to 25 W with Super Fast Charging
- Wired charging max: up to 45 W with Super Fast Charging 2.0 (Ultra only)
- Wireless charging: up to 15 W with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
- Reverse Wireless charging: PowerShare
- Resolution: 10 MP
- Aperture: ƒ/2.2
- Zoom: Unknown
- Flash: yes, screen flash
- Image stabilization: Unknown
- RAW support: yes
- Object detection: yes
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra swaps out the ToF sensor of the Galaxy S20 Ultra for a Laser Auto-Focus, virtually eliminating all the focusing issues plaguing the other Ultra phone. There is also no ToF sensor in the Galaxy Note 20. Additionally, the Space Zoom is limited on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to 50x, instead of the 100x found in the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
- Note 20 resolution: 12 MP (ultrawide), 12 MP (wide-angle), 64 MP (telephoto)
- Note 20 Ultra resolution: 12 MP (ultrawide), 12 MP (telephoto), 108 MP (wide-angle) (12 MP when using pixel binning)
- Note 20 pixel size: 1.4 µm (ultrawide), 1.8 µm (wide-angle), 0.8 µm (telephoto)
- Note 20 Ultra pixel size: 1.4 µm (ultra-wide), 1.0 µm (telephoto), 0.8/2.4 µm (wide-angle)
- Primary image sensor size: 1/1.76" (Note 20) | 1/1.33" (Note 20 Ultra)
- Note 20 aperture: ƒ/2.2 (ultrawide), ƒ/1.8 (wide-angle), ƒ/2.0 (telephoto)
- Note 20 Ultra aperture: ƒ/2.2 (ultra-wide), ƒ/3.0 (telephoto), ƒ/1.8 (wide-angle)
- Zoom: 3x optical, 30x digital (Note 20) | 10x optical, 50x digital (Note 20 Ultra)
- Flash: High CRI LED
- Image stabilization: yes, OIS + EIS (primary)
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal
- Object detection: yes, food, faces
- Formats: JPEG, RAW
Video recording is the same as the Galaxy S20 series and includes the new Video Pro Mode and 8K 24 fps maximum video recording. They also added a 24 fps video recording to 4K and 1080p for more cinematic video. Video Pro mode adds microphone controls, allowing you adjust the direction of audio recording.
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, 4K, and 8K
- Max frame rate: 720p at 30fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 4K at 60 fps, 8K at 30 fps
- Slow motion: 720p at 960 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 4K at 120 fps
- Time-lapse: yes, 1080p
- Photos: yes, 33 MP still photos during 8K recording
- Zoom: yes, see above
- Flash access: yes, see above
- Image stabilization: yes, OIS
- Object detection: unknown
- Autofocus: tracking
- Audio: stereo
- Formats: H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC)
Dual Audio is available on both devices, allowing you to stream audio to wireless speakers or headphones simultaneously. The speakers are calibrated by AKG, as are the USB-C earphones. Ultra high-quality audio playback is available, up to 32-bit PCM and DSD64/128.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: yes, top firing and bottom-firing
- Mics: unknown
- Max speaker volume: unknown
The Note 20 models all have the usual suspects when it comes to sensors.
- Sensors: Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
And the Galaxy Note 20 will once again support dual-frequency GNSS.
- GPS: yes, L1 + L5
- aGPS: yes
- Glonass: yes, L1
- BeiDou: yes, B1
- Galileo: yes, E1 + E5a
- QZSS: no
Both the Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra support 5G in both Sub 6 GHz and mmWave ranges. We currently don't know exactly which bands they'll work on but expect the same broad coverage as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The Note 20 Ultra adds ultra-wideband (UWB) to help improve Nearby Share. By pointing your phone in the direction of another UWB-equipped Galaxy device, the phone lists that person higher on the share sheet.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (Wi-Fi 6)
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: nano-SIM, eSIM
- Port: USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2)
In an interview with GregglesTV, Ross Young confirmed both phones are expected to use the second-generation ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner known as 3D Sonic Max. The sensor is 17 times larger than the previous version and can read two fingerprints at the same time. It can also determine the material of the object it is interacting with, which should improve accuracy. This will decrease the possibility of false positives to the same level as Apple's Face ID.
The other possible significant upgrade is to the dedicated security chip, Secure Element (S3K250AF), that Samsung debuted in the Galaxy S20 series. The Note 20 and 20 Ultra are rumored to be equipped with the second-generation, S3FV9RR, though we haven't confirmed this yet. This chip received the highest security certification of a mobile component, includes twice the storage space, and supports device authorization. Samsung Knox will be on board with all its protection.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes, in-display (3D Sonic Max)
- Face scanner: yes
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
- Dedicated Security Chip: yes, Secure Element (S3FV9RR)
The Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra should come with the same accessories and paperwork as the Galaxy S20, including the 25 W Super Fast Charging adapter, USB-C cable, and AKG-tuned earbuds with a USB-C connector. Both devices will likely have a screen protector pre-applied.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra
- Data Cable
- Travel Adapter
- Ejection Pin
- Earphones sound by AKG
- Quick Start Guide
- Clear Cover Protective Film
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