Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review – “Not Just a Note”

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is not the kind of “Note” you used to Note! Yes, and this is especially true for previous Note owners. This, the Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G is a new iteration in the Samsung Galaxy Note series.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was released exactly 365 days after the Note 10 plus was released in 2019. Perfect timing for Samsung and their perfect smartphone. No, that was an obvious mistake, no smartphone is perfect.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra looks and feels like a perfect device. But no, they are just a few things that took the perfection away. But recently, the Note 20 Ultra is still the top best android phone that is having head-to-head with the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

We have a new Note, and it’s not what you’re used to. It’s a much better, faster, and smarter Galaxy Note. It’s the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra!


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review

  • Design/Display

The Samsung Note 20 Ultra gets its design scheme from the previous Note. But it does take things up a notch higher in terms of size, weight, and aesthetics. This weighs over 200 grams which is slightly higher than the previous iteration. 

Such increase is probably due to an increase in battery capacity, size, and form factor – which is a stainless steel frame sandwich between the Gorilla Glass Victus coated front and back.

The back of the device looks pretty except for the one dent – the huge camera bump that makes this device rocks on a surface. A nice pouch should solve this problem and also the problems of the glass back shattering. But a pouch wouldn’t protect the front, would it? 

I certainly have no problems whatsoever with the display quality of the Note 20 Ultra.

This is one of the best displays currently available. It’s a 6.9-inch Super AMOLED panel with a max refresh rate of 120Hz. But Samsung doesn’t let you go full swing with the high refresh rate on this device. You’re restricted to FHD if you choose to use 120Hz while switching to QHD will take you back to 60Hz. 

This is a precautionary measure from Samsung. What is it, I do not know: it could be the battery, or just trying to reduce the workload on the processor.

Come to think of it, the likes of OnePlus and Xiaomi gives you the freedom to go ahead with max values on all parameters. But in all honesty, I don’t think you’ll be missing out on much here. 

It’s a great display no doubt, its 91.7% screen-to-body ratio makes it even more gorgeous save for the curved edges which are prone to accidental touches.

  • Camera

At this point, you’ve got to like the camera bump on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It probably bumped the image quality produced on this device. Who knows what lies beneath that surface that made it so huge?! But what we do know is that we’ve got a huge 108MP main lens which is capable of 50X space zoom.

This is a massive upgrade from the previous camera system on the Note line. We have a 12MP telephoto lens and a 12MP periscope zoom lens as well. Both do a great job in complementing the main lens. And the addition of a laser autofocus system translates to better image quality. 

The camera system here delivers on all angles. From low light shots to indoors shot, night shots, under direct sunlight, portrait, wide-angle shots, and close-up shots, the Samsung Note 20 Ultra gives you nothing but absolute quality. This can be said about the video quality as well.

But the selfie camera is not that exciting. It’s a similar camera hardware found on the Note 10+. But it’s still a good selfie camera. Maybe we need to see a bump in the notch to see an improvement in the selfie camera, will that be possible Samsung? What do you guys think?

  • Battery

Back in the days, the Galaxy Note series ranked in the top echelon of smartphones with great battery life. But going by our review theme, it’s no longer that Note. We have a new Note and a new 4500mAh battery. 

With a huge display that comes at 1500 nits of brightness, I expected nothing less than 5000mAh. But I don’t call the shots here. The battery here will serve you for just a little over 6 hours on normal use. Switching to FHD @ 120Hz will increase the rate at which the battery drains, but not that much.

If you eventually run out of juice, the 25W charger could give you a full charge in just over 2 hours. But do you prefer a much faster charger as we’ve seen from OnePlus, Xiaomi, and Oppo? 

Keep in mind that the faster the charging speed, the more heat the battery generates which isn’t good for the overall battery life. Let’s hear your thoughts below.

  • Software / Performance

“…There are just a few things that took that perfection away.” This right here is one of the few things. By this, I mean the software experience which is why I had it come last. But this is a much better software than the previous Notes we’ve seen from Samsung.

OneUI is slowly getting into shape. Here you have OneUI 3.0 based on Android 10. Users of the Note 20 Ultra should be getting the next 3 Android versions if we’re to go by the recent announcement by Samsung. 

You’re getting a whole lot of features here, from Wireless DEX to Air Controls and even a much improved Bixby assistant. All thanks to the Snapdragon 865+ (USA only) SoC you don’t have to worry about performance. You’re getting the absolute best when it comes to performance.

  • Storage / Memory

If you still crave the Micro SD card slot, then this may be the last Note with its support. It can be expanded up to 256GB but doing this will leave you with one SIM card slot.

But the storage options of 128 to 512GB are big enough for most. You might never have to use an SD card on the Note 20 Ultra, but it’s there, just in case you do need it.

You’ve also got more than enough RAM that you could be needing. It’s a 12GB RAM device and that’s what you get from an ‘Ultra’ smartphone – the numbers. But these are not just mere numbers, they all translate to a much better performance.

The S-pen

The S-pen makes the Samsung Galaxy Note series the best Note device (asides from the iPad) available. It comes with a whole lot of interesting features that make it stand out. 

It’s still the same S-pen, but this time, it has a faster latency of 9ms. This makes it feel like you’re writing with an actual pen. This is a huge boost for creatives who use the S-pen to its fullest. But if you care less about the S-pen, this shouldn’t even matter to you.

Key Specs of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • Main camera: 12MP (telephoto), 108MP main (wide), 12MP (ultrawide)
  • Front camera: 10MP (wide angle)
  • Display: 6.7″ Super AMOLED Plus, 1080×2400P, 20:9 aspect ratio, HDR10+
  • Network: LTE / EDVO / HSPA / GSM / 5G
  • Memory: 12GB RAM (hybrid SIM slot)
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB ROM
  • Software: Android™ 10, One UI 3.0
  • CPU/GPU: Exynos 990 7nm+ (Octa-core Cortex A55 & A76), Mali-G77 GPU
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, WiFi 6, USB-C, OTG
  • Battery: 4500mAh (25W fast charging), Qi wireless (15W), reverse wireless charging (4.5W)
  • Sensors: proximity, gyroscope, barometer, compass
  • Color: Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic White
  • Weight: 208g
  • Misc: Ultrasonic fingerprint, Samsung Dex, Bixby, IP68 rating (water and dust)

Price of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 

The price of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is approximately $860 (on Amazon). In Nigeria, you can get the Samsung Note 20 Ultra at the range of N520,000 to N530,000. In India, it costs 105,000 rupees to get the Note 20 Ultra.

Where to Buy Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and prices?

Here are the prices you can get this device on some of your favorite online stores:

  • in SLOT Nigeria: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB + 256GB) ~ N525,000
  • on Jumia Nigeria: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB + 256GB) ~N529,000
  • on Konga Nigeria: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB + 256GB) ~ N524,000
  • Amazon: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB + 256GB) ~ N454,000
  • eBay: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB + 256GB) ~ $860/N328,000
  • Flipkart: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB + 256GB) ~ ₹105,000

Kindly NOTE.: Prices correct at the time of writing and are subject to change depending on when you’re reading this post.

CONCLUSION: Is Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Worth Buying?

Definitely YES! The Samsung Note 20 Ultra is currently the king of all android smartphones, and also top 1% smartphone leading the world right now. 

But why is Samsung Note 20 Ultra that good?

With a much better S-pen, a better display, and a faster processor, the Note 20 Ultra is not the Note you used to Note. This opens new opportunities for creatives to harness their crafts. Or perhaps you just need a darn good smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra gives you all you could want plus more.

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