Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – impressive and different


Samsung this week announced the models of its new Note series, Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, to which we were privileged to get a first look. These are two powerful devices that come with an upgraded version of the S-Pen, but other than that the two do not show any significant hardware improvements compared to the Galaxy S20 series. This time there is also a more significant split between the two models revealed in terms of specifications and even design.

The situation that has arisen this year as a result, is that the Note series is no longer intended only for ultra-premium devices, although it is the series equivalent to the S20 with devices that include an advanced stylus pen. While in each of the series there is an Ultra model device, which is now the word that symbolizes the best and most powerful. What we are used to that the Note branding used to symbolize for the whole series.

Galaxy Note 20: Two different models (very)

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 series brings with it two very interesting devices, but with a slightly different strategy. These devices are of a very high standard, fast, professional and fun to use with excellent multimedia capabilities. On the other hand, the Note series no longer represents ultra-premium devices. This is a series that in 2020 the whole essence is the combination of the S-Pen.
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Galaxy Note 20 series (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

From the short time we had with the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, we were able to be very impressed with them. The design of the two devices, although very different, looks great. The Ultra model is more similar to the classic Note series models, with a square body and rounded sides, a convex screen on the sides and an almost completely borderless mirror, a metal frame in a glass sandwich and a back that has undergone a matte color process that is more fingerprint resistant. The base model, comes with a design more similar to the S20 series, much less square with rounded corners, flat screen, thin but more prominent edges than the ultra model, metal frame and plastic back – an unclear choice for a premium device.

Although the back of the Note 20 is made of plastic and the feeling is slightly different, it is still a pleasant device to hold with a build quality very close to the ultra model. Both devices have a Samsung logo on the back that has a metallic color that I actually really liked. The photo array is large and prominent in both, but this time Samsung gave it a design touch and were not ashamed of it. There is a metallic frame around each lens that matches the color of the device. This is perhaps the largest photo set we have seen on smartphones, but also the most beautiful given the circumstances.

Both smartphones are fast to use and come with excellent screens and a photography system of the highest standard, as we are used to from Samsung. The problem is that it will be a little harder to decide which model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to choose due to the significant difference in the specifications of the two devices.

The Note models will arrive in Israel with Samsung’s Exynos 990 chipset, the same one we saw in the Galaxy S20 devices. It knows how to give good performance, but has gained a slightly negative reputation this year due to the significant gap created between it and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset. From our experience you will probably not feel any difference at all, but on the other hand it can not be said that you have the most powerful chipset today even though it is a premium device.

The screens of both devices come in sizes of 6.7 inches for the base model and 6.9 inches for the ultra model. Although they are large screens, the grip for my taste was comfortable in both cases. Here we discovered another difference that went a little too far, while while the Ultra model comes with Samsung’s most advanced AMOLED screen that includes QHD resolution and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz (in FHD only), the base model comes with a Super AMOLED Plus screen in Full HD resolution and without High refresh rate – features we got even in the base model of the S20 series.

Galaxy Note 20 series (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

Galaxy Note 20 series (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

With the difference in the photography system between the two devices, we can actually live in peace. This is one of the only places where we feel comfortable finding differences between basic and “ultra” models. The main camera of the Note 20 Ultra comes with a large sensor with a resolution of 108 megapixels, while the base model comes with a more standard sensor of 12 megapixels. The zoom capabilities are also different, with the base model coming with a telephoto camera with a maximum zoom of 30x, the Otra model comes with a periscope camera with a maximum zoom of 50x.

There are other differences in particular, like the smaller battery capacity in the Stangart model that we understand and accept, while only the Ultra has a MicroSD expansion slot – a difference that we get less.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

Improved and up-to-date software over time

The new notebooks for the Note series come with Samsung’s latest user interface, One UI 2.5. One of the interfaces that despite its exaggerated colorfulness I like the most today (except for the interface in the clean Android). The interface has undergone further cleaning and has become easier on the eye. It’s very fast and Samsung’s sick days with interfaces that slow down over time have happily passed them by (after reviewing the One UI interface over time in recent years).

The operating system with which the device is launched is Android 10 and Samsung listened to the reviews and undertook in advance to update to at least 3 other versions of the operating system. The sensitivity of users to software updates has become more significant in recent years and it is great that Samsung has decided on this approach.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Photo: Ronen Mendzicki, Gadget)

Samsung’s deep collaboration with Microsoft and the overall construction of the ecosystem around Samsung’s mobile products will significantly enhance the experience for those who use them, an experience much more similar to what Apple offers in sync with its other products. There are a variety of synchronization capabilities with Windows, Office and Microsoft cloud services. On the other hand, it means that you will have more things installed on the device directly out of the box (like Office, OneDrive, Outlook and LinkedIN).


This is just the first glimpse, but we have highlighted the essential differences between the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra devices for those who already want to sign up for the pre-order. A full overview will come later when we will have more time with the devices. We can say that both are very impressive, with a variety of beautiful colors (the bronze looks great!), But the essential difference between them requires some thinking about what suits you best and the S-Pen should be a part of it.

To pre-order on the KSP website – click here (A deposit of NIS 99 is required for the advance booking).

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
System on chip:
  • 2 Cores Mongoose 5
  • 2 Cortex-A76 cores
  • 4 Cortex-A55 cores
  • 2 Cores Mongoose 5
  • 2 Cortex-A76 cores
  • 4 Cortex-A55 cores
Working memory:
size:6.7 inches6.9 inches
resolution:2400×1080, 393ppi3088×1440, 494ppi
Main camera:12 + 12 + 64 megapixels12 + 12 + 108 megapixels
Video shooting:8K @ 30fps8K @ 30fps
Image stabilizer:YesOISYesOIS
Secondary camera:10 megapixels, f / 2.2 aperture key, video up to 4K10 megapixels, f / 2.2 aperture key, video up to 4K
Removable battery:
material:Plastic, metal, glassMetal, glass
Weight:194 g208 g
Dimensions:161.6×75.2×8.3 millimeters164.8×77.2×8.1 millimeters
Operating System:Android 10Android 10
user interface:OneUI 2.5OneUI 2.5
Storage capacity:256GB256GB / 512GB
External extension:YesmicroSD (up to 1TB)

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