The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review. What a bomb!

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

August has been the month of Galaxy Note for years now. Samsung in fact, it takes advantage of a relatively quiet period to present one of its top of the range to the world, thus capturing the attention of millions of fans. In reality, this strategy is, in our opinion, almost superfluous: Galaxy Note, with its peculiar characteristics, now has its own consolidated audience that eagerly awaits the arrival of the latest model. 

This year there are two newcomers. The major is called Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra 20 and it is the evident fusion between the S20 Ultra presented in February and Note 10 Plus, which landed on the market in 2019. We loved it and we will tell you why in this review.

The video review

A captivating coloring

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is available in 3 different colors: Mystic Black, Mystic White e Mystic Bronze. The latter is certainly the most particular of the three, as well as the one we have had the opportunity to test in the last few days. It goes without saying that it will grab the attention of everyone around you, clearly distinguishing itself not only from its siblings but also from all the rest of the competition. Not everyone likes him though: some find him too flashy, others too feminine, yet he has the obvious advantage of being opaque. This means that compared to his brothers he doesn't keep fingerprints, so you don't have to spend your time cleaning him.

Leaving aside the coloring, let's talk about the design of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The new top of the range from Samsung shows up with the boxy lines of its predecessor but inherits the S20 Ultra's rear photo module. A choice that we did not particularly appreciate because it makes the device a bit unstable once placed on a flat surface. However, this is not an insurmountable obstacle: a cover is enough to bring everything back to normal.

Compared to the 2019 model it changes then the position of the keys, now moved to the right, While the S Pen is on the left. Instead, the display grows very little: while the Note 10 Plus offered a 6,8 "screen, Note 20 Ultra reaches 6,9". The panel, curved at the edges, is un Dynamic AMOLED 2X protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 7 and with a refresh rate that reaches 120 Hz. To avoid affecting the autonomy of the device, Samsung has decided to opt for the adaptive mode, leaving it to the artificial intelligence to switch from 60 to 120 Hz when necessary.

Let's not forget the presence of the fingerprint reader under the display, really fast, and the IP68 certification for resistance to dust and water.

And the ergonomics? The dimensions of the Note 20 Ultra are obviously generous but you will not have great difficulty in managing it, even if you will often need both hands. On the other hand, the change of the S Pen has us a little confused but nothing that it is not possible to get used to in a few days

An improved S Pen

La S Pen, the stylus paired with Galaxy Note, is the real distinctive element of this device. Apparently it seems superfluous but, once you get used to it, you will always use it, not only for your notes but also to navigate and use any other application.

Design and dimensions are the same as the stylus of Note 10 and Note 10 Plus but we have some interesting hardware and software news. First of all the latency goes from 59 ms to 9 ms. Apparently a useless data but you will immediately notice the difference: the feeling is practically the same as the pen on paper, without annoying delays. Writing and drawing thus become even more natural and you will hardly be able to do without it.

On the software front we find instead 5 new air actions, that is gestures that you can do "in the air" by holding down the button on the S Pen. Among these we find the possibility to return to the home, take a screenshot and go to the previous screen; in addition we find the features present last year such as the zoom once the camera is opened or the possibility of using the stylus to take a photo from a distance. A nice convenience if you don't want to or can touch the display though they all require some practice.

Finally, to accompany the new S Pen we find Samsung Notes, proprietary software that allows you to take notes and allows you to synchronize notes across all your devices. The Korean giant now allows you to save files in new formats, including Power Point, to straighten the text and, starting from November 2020, to sync also with Microsoft OneNote. 

Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G Smartphone, Display 6.7" Super...
  • The precision of the S Pen meets the power of the Galaxy Note20. Thanks to the versatility of Bluetooth, the control ...
  • Advanced performance with 8GB of RAM and the powerful Exynos 990 processor. You can store thousands of photos and videos at high ...
  • Large 4300mAh smart battery ensures worry-free prolonged use. With Charging ...
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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: the hardware

It almost goes without saying: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is really powerful. Under the body we find il processor Exynos 990, 12 GB of RAM and 256 or 512 GB of internal memory. All this allows you to carry out all kinds of activities, including gaming. We remind you that the partnership with Microsoft also includes optimization for Project xCloud, the Xbox streaming game service that will be available starting from September 15th, included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription. You can then play about 20 different games on Note 20 Ultra and Note 100, normally only available on PC and Xbox One.

On the connectivity front we have instead 5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS ed NFC, while the audio is entrusted to the lower speaker and the ear capsule that guarantee truly excellent results. The volume is high and the sound is clean and balanced. The listening experience is not affected even by accidentally covering the two speakers, so you don't have to worry about holding the smartphone in a particular position to listen to videos and music. 

Finally, a few words for the software. On board we find again Android 10 with One UI 2.5 by Samsung. Samsung's custom interface offers us no big surprises. The software is the same as the other top of the Korean range: thus we find the features of the S Pen, the themes, the night mode and above all Samsung DeX which now also works wirelessly. You can then use 2019 Samsung TVs and other Miracast-equipped screens as a second screen. 

How long does the battery last?

Battery life has never been the strong point of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Plus and neither is it of the Note 20 Ultra. THE 4500 mAh, thanks to the energy-intensive CPU and 120 Hz, they bring you at the end of the day, but nothing more. 
On the other hand, you can use 25W fast charging and 15W wireless charging to give it a boost of energy when it needs it.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: the camera

The photographic sector is really similar to that of Galaxy S20 Ultra. Not only for the protruding module but also for the sensors that compose it. 

Below is a brief summary table.

Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra 20Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
108 MP main


12MP ultra wide angle

Telephoto lens from 12 MP

108 MP main


12MP ultra wide angle

Telephoto lens from 48 MP

Size photo: 9000 x 7000 pixelsSize photo: 12000 x 9000 pixels
Sensor Laser AFFotocamera 3D ToF
Front of 10 mp40 MP front

But how does it behave in everyday life? We asked our expert.

Only a few months have passed since the arrival on the market of Samsung S20 Ultra, what was supposed to be the flagship of the company from a photographic point of view. Today, instead, we find ourselves in front of an instrument that, in my opinion, is even more performing in this respect. The new Note 20 Ultra, in fact, is capable of producing images even more defined and with a very wide dynamic range.
The three-camera module delivers very good results at all focal lengths. The 12 MP ultra wide-angle lens, which is often the one that can create more problems, struck me for the constant rendering throughout the frame. There are no light drops at the edges and the dynamic range is really good. These are very important aspects especially for panoramic and landscape shots.

There are steps forward compared to the S20 Ultra also with regard to the sensor with telephoto lens. It is a 5x optical structured with a periscope system and which can reach 50x with a hybrid system. Samsung therefore renounces the 100x but continues to call this "Space Zoom" too. Obviously at the maximum extent the results leave a lot to be desired, as if we were in front of something abstract. But with Note 20 Ultra, compared to S20 Ultra, even in this abstract there is some detail that allows us to have more than a vague idea of ​​what has been photographed. Here too, therefore, the work on the software side at Samsung is excellent. THE results at 5x are excellent and how they remain good quality even at 15 or 20x.

And here we are at the main camera. We find the 108 million pixels of the S20 Ultra, but above all we find an update regarding the autofocus. The new laser system is faster and more accurate. Speaking of quality, however, the advice is to work using the now famous pixel binning to count on pixels larger than the original ones and therefore make the sensor take in more light. The results will be more pleasing. A classic of Samsung is to have images that are slightly too saturated and too contrasted: with Note 20 Ultra, it is true that in some cases the contrast is perhaps too marked, but it is also true that in most of the cases we have examined the photographs are well balanced and natural.

Finally, even on night photographs I noticed a clear improvement. With the Note 20 Ultra, at the same sensitivity as the S20, the images are better in all respects. The light is uniform from edge to edge and therefore all elements of the scene are clearly visible. It clearly lacks detail, but at high sensitivities and with such small sensors it's hard to ask for more than the Note 20 Ultra offers.

In conclusion I found the images made with Note 20 Ultra really pleasant, but what struck me most of all was the incredible work from a software point of view. The main module is basically the same as the S20, but the results definitely reward the Note 20 Ultra.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra main sensor Galaxy S20 Ultra main sensor Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ultra-wide angle Galaxy S20 Ultra ultra wide angle 108 MP of Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 108 MP of Galaxy S20 Ultra Zoom 50x di Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Galaxy S50 Ultra 20x zoom Galaxy Note 20 Ultra night mode Galaxy S20 Ultra night mode Galaxy Note 20 Ultra wide angle night mode Galaxy S20 Ultra wide angle night mode

    Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: technical sheet

    As always before drawing the necessary conclusions, let's review the technical specifications of the device:

    Dimensions: 164,8 x 77,2 x 8,1 mm
    Weight: 208 g
    Display: 6,9″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X – 1440 x 3200 pixel
    CPU: Exynos 990
    RAM: 12 GB
    Memory: 256 / 512 GB
    Network: 5G – Dual SIM
    Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, GPS, NFC
    Battery: 3.140 mAh
    Rear camera: 108 MP + 12 MP + 12 MP
    Front Camera: 10 MP
    Videos: 8K @ 24 fps
    Operating system: Android 10 with One UI 2.5

    Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: what a bomb!

    1.329 € they are not few but surely Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is worth it all. Samsung's new smartphone offers a great display, truly super sound, top-of-the-range performance and an improved camera compared to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. In addition, you can count on the S Pen, which gives a very natural feeling, and on the always useful Samsung Dex.

    Of course, it's not without its flaws: autonomy is still a sore point and the rear camera module still doesn't convince us. It's up to you to decide if these are enough flaws to make you change your mind or if it can become your new smartphone. We loved it and can't wait to experience the younger brother as well.

    Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra 20

    • Great display
    • Top performance
    • Audio above the average
    • Improved camera
    • S Pen very comfortable
    • Unconvincing autonomy
    • Protruding camera module

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