Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G review: Ultra in every way!
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is a luxury device aimed at people who want the latest innovation in the world of phablets. The premium price tag and colossal size didn't stop it from being preordered by many people online, so much so that Samsung bragged about its preordered performance in select markets, such as the UK. If you want to know what Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G can do, why its cost is so high, and whether it is the right choice for you, read this detailed review:
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G: Who is it good for?
This massive Android phablet is a good choice for:
- People who are looking for a phablet with excellent hardware and performance
- Users who want one of the best camera systems on the market
- People who want to enjoy watching high-resolution movies on a large mobile screen
- Users who are interested in productivity and using their smartphone as a PC replacement
- People with large hands who can hold a smartphone this big
- Users with a generous budget who can afford luxury devices
Pros and cons
Here are some of the best things about the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G:
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- An immersive screen that's great both for movies and productivity
- Excellent sound quality on both the stereo speakers and the bundled earphones
- The cameras feature some impressive specs
- The S Pen is responsive and precise
- Excellent build quality
- Fast and precise fingerprint sensor
- You can connect it to a PC or use it as a PC replacement, with Samsung Dex
- Fast charging both via USB and wirelessly
There are also some downsides to consider:
- The sheer size and weight of this smartphone don't make it a suitable choice for people with smaller hands
- We would have liked a battery with a larger capacity
- Samsung should use a Qualcomm processor in all markets, not just the USA
- It is not a great choice for mobile gaming
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is a premium phablet with a hefty price tag, destined for people with generous budgets. It is an excellent choice if you want the best screen or a fantastic camera system. It is perfect for enjoying high-resolution movies and for work. The S Pen is fast and precise, and it offers a great way to take notes. Also, if you want to replace your PC with a smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is one of the best choices available on the market right now.
Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G comes in a large black box with the N20 logo and the S Pen on the top. On the sides, the device's full name is printed in black letters, and you see some stickers with information about the serial number and the IMEI code of the Android smartphone that you just bought.
When you unbox everything, you find the smartphone itself, its charger, a pair of high-quality AKG earphones, and the data cable.
Inside a smaller box, you find the SIM eject pin, the quick start guide, and the warranty card. Unfortunately, Samsung doesn't bundle a protection case for your newly purchased smartphone. Considering how much of this phone is built using glass and how expensive it is, it would have been a welcome accessory.
Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is an experience worthy of a premium device. Inside the package, you get everything you need, except for a protection case, which needs to be purchased separately.
Design and build quality
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G follows the classic Galaxy Notes design language that people know from previous years, with rounded corners and a slightly curved display. The bottom bezel is thinner than on prior models and the selfie camera cutout too. This is a giant 6.9" smartphone, that weighs 7.34 oz or 208 grams. It is 164.8 x 77.2 mm or 6.49 x 3.04 inches in length and width, and it has a thickness of 8.1mm or 0.32 inches.
On the back, the most visible feature is the oversized camera hump that contains three lenses, the flash, and a laser sensor. It is enormous, and it makes the smartphone heavier towards the top-right corner. Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is available in three colors: Mystic Bronze, Black, and White. For testing, we received the Mystic Black version, which is the biggest fingerprint magnet of all versions.
On the bottom of the smartphone, you find the S Pen, the USB charging port, that also functions as an audio port, a speaker, and a microphone.
On the top side of the smartphone, you find the SIM tray and another microphone.
On the right side of Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, there are the volume keys and a programmable side key that no longer works as a Power button, as it does on many other Android smartphones.
The smartphone is built with premium materials that are designed to last. The frame is all metal, and the screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass version 7 (Victus), the most durable glass on the market today. Both the S Pen and the smartphone have an IP68 certification, that is deemed fit enough to withstand dust, dirt, and sand, and is resistant to submersion up to a maximum depth of about 5 feet or 1.5m underwater for up to thirty minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is a giant smartphone, made with the best materials available, that has a design worthy of a luxury product.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G packs some powerful hardware. First of all, it features a Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ system on a chip (SoC) in the United States, or a Samsung Exynos 990 processor with eight cores, in other markets. We would have preferred for Samsung to use the Qualcomm processor in all markets. The graphics chip inside this smartphone can be an Adreno 650 in the USA or a Mali-G77 MP11 chip in other markets.
There's also 12 GB of RAM, and 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB of storage space for your apps, pictures, and videos. Considering that you can record 8K videos on this smartphone, I would recommend the 256 GB or 512 GB storage options. However, there's also the possibility of extending the storage space using a microSDXC card.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G bundles an outstanding camera system. On the back, we have the following:
- 12 MP ultra-wide camera, with an aperture of f2.2
- 108 MP (yes, that's correct) wide-angle camera, with optical image stabilization, and an aperture of f1.8
- 12 MP telephoto camera, with an aperture of f3
- A laser sensor with autofocus
- The flash
The selfie camera on the front features a 10 MP objective, auto-focus, and an aperture of f2.2. These are some impressive specs, that allow you to record videos in 8K resolution and 24 frames per second, or 4K resolution and 30 or 60 frames per second.
The screen is impressive, both in terms of size (6.9") and technology. Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G has Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 16 million colors, a resolution of 1440 x 3088 pixels, a density of 496 pixels per inch (ppi), a screen to body ratio of 91.7%, with HDR10+, and a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz.
This device works with 5G mobile networks and Wi-Fi 6 wireless networks with MU-MIMO 4x4 transfers. It also has a Bluetooth 5 chip, a GPS chip, NFC, and a USB Type-C 3.2 port.
Also, there are many sensors on it: an ultra-fast fingerprint reader (under the display), an accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass, and barometer.
The audio equipment on the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is top-notch too: the smartphone has both stereo speakers and earphones made by AKG that feature surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included). The audio jack is gone; instead, you can use the USB-C port for connecting the bundled earphones. A nice touch is that the bundled AKG earphones come with extra earbuds of different sizes to fit any ear comfortably.
A 4500 mAh Li-Ion battery powers the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. Considering how large the screen is, and how much energy it consumes, we are underwhelmed by its capacity. However, this downside is offset by Samsung bundling 25W fast charging when using the USB cable and supporting fast wireless charging 2.0 at 15W.
The S Pen is Bluetooth enabled, with a battery that lasts up to 24 hours of standby time, and a diameter of 0.7mm. It also has a latency of 9 ms, and it works at up to 4096 pressure levels.
The specifications sheet for Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is incredibly long, and we covered the most important details. If you want more information, visit this page: Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G Specs.
To learn more about the smartphone experience, the cameras, bundled apps, and performance in benchmarks, go to the second page of this review.