Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hands-on review: Impressive device with minimal updates and premium price

A critique of the Galaxy Note 20 Extremely smartphone soon after 3 weeks of use reveals surprising discoveries about the system.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra arrives in three colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze and Mystic White.


The Samsung Galaxy Be aware 20 Ultra is indisputably a major-notch flagship smartphone that is impressively significant with a cost tag to match. 

The phone was unveiled at Samsung Unpacked on August 5, and Samsung despatched TechRepublic a review device the up coming day. Just after 3 weeks of everyday use, it can be straightforward to say that this is the best cell phone but that Samsung has created. But at a specified place, you can find only so a great deal additional that a cellular phone can do. Samsung presently has designed planet-course phones, so the Galaxy Take note 20 Ultra is the latest of a lengthy line of good equipment. 

It can be certainly a gigantic cellphone, with a 6.9″ display, but in a entire world where by smartphones provide as a substitute for tablets, this operates out just wonderful. I uncovered myself grabbing the Galaxy Observe 20 Ultra to stream the most up-to-date episode of The Umbrella Academy even with my iPad or Television set quickly out there. It was just a lot easier, and the photograph excellent was remarkable.

SEE: Photographs: A initially glance at the Samsung Galaxy Observe 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (TechRepublic)

I also stopped utilizing the Kindle application on my iPad to browse an ebook, though I did nonetheless grab my son’s Nintendo Change for an occasional spherical of Animal Crossing. (Those people fish aren’t heading to capture them selves.) The display screen on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was lots significant adequate for reading and gaming.

A person of the factors for the photograph high quality is mainly because the Galaxy Note 20 Extremely has a 120Hz refresh amount, moreover an adaptive refresh amount. It is variable, and this is a very first for Samsung. The monitor dynamically adjusts with what is actually remaining displayed at the minute. It drops down to 10Hz if practically nothing is transferring on the display.

Speaking of gaming, Samsung is selling Microsoft’s Xbox Recreation Move Ultimate services with the cellphone. There’s an Xbox library of much more than 100 Xbox game titles that you can stream from the cloud. This consists of Minecraft Dungeons, Forza Horizon Four and Gears of War Five Greatest Version. 

There are on-device optimizations for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so gamers will be capable to stage up their gaming expertise with a Bluetooth controller for an immersive console-like gaming knowledge. The screen on the Galaxy Notice 20 Ultra is truly bigger than the Nintendo Swap, so it presents an even improved gaming practical experience. 

The battery lasted for a day and a 50 percent, and often two times, based on how considerably I utilised my telephone to look at The Umbrella Academy’s Klaus and Number 5 time journey when I was streaming Netflix. It can be a 4,500mAh mobile and it is powering a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor with a independent modem for 5G. That is an extra electricity attract, so that tends to make the battery lifetime all the additional extraordinary. 

You can not generate about the cellular phone with no mentioning the most apparent function of the phone—the substantial digicam bump on the back. The bump houses three cameras as nicely as a sensor and a flash. I requested Ray Couey, director of strategic alliances at Samsung Electronics The us about the layout. He explained that Samsung established the bump to make room for all of the technology within the digital camera although retaining the cellular phone as trim as probable. 

A person disappointing element of the phone, at least to me, was the absence of wired earbuds. I’ve gotten utilized to having that spare established for when I don’t want to use a Bluetooth headset. Couey advised me that Samsung designed that choice because, “We are obtaining that a range of folks that were really needing the wired headset was truly really very low. And so a great deal of people have been by now employing Bluetooth headset for whichever motive. And so when we were being looking at how can we lessen our eco footprint, this came up as aspect of the packaging element.

I am guessing that Samsung ideas on absolutely everyone utilizing their new Galaxy Buds Live with the cell phone, which were released at Samsung Unpacked, and the wireless earbuds are priced at $169.99. They have lively noise cancellation that can be toggled on and off.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 In addition cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

I do like that it takes advantage of Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, which Corning said has twice the scratch resistance as the final variation, Gorilla Glass 6, and can be dropped from 2 meters devoid of harm. I have essentially under no circumstances cracked a monitor however on a person of my smartphones, but I always like being aware of that my gadget has the latest and best glass probable. 


Picture: Samsung

I am also variety of thrilled that Samsung has reduced the latency on the S Pen stylus. It has an 80% enhancement more than the Notice 10’s stylus. It is really down to 9 milliseconds, aiming for a low latency that graphic artists and architects will appreciate. I never have a Galaxy Notice 10 on hand, but I do have a Galaxy Note 9, and I could definitely convey to a distinctive variance. It feels like you happen to be actually composing with an ink pen. Air Steps nevertheless exist with the S Pen, so that users can remotely management their smartphone with the stylus. The command choices have expanded to include five more gestures.

I confess even though, that I are likely to forget about about the S Pen following a when. It can be fun for a couple of days when I very first begin utilizing a new Be aware device, then I place it absent and stop making use of it. Ideally that will not likely be the situation with the Galaxy Take note 20 Ultra now that there are even far more utilizes for it. 

Of system, you will find DeX. I have a tendency to not use it myself, however. I know. You should not notify Samsung. But it can be a most loved of some people, and it can now link wirelessly and can be utilized on any intelligent Television that supports mirror forged. 

And hues. I was sent the new Mystic Bronze shade. I am not a substantial admirer. I obtain it to be a variation of the rose gold shades of yrs past. If I had my druthers, I’d go with Mystic Black or Mystic White. I do seriously like the textured haze outcome that cuts down on fingerprints and smudges. It was the very first point I discovered about the system.

The cost is very hefty. But that is the norm these days for major-notch smartphones. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra commences at $1,299 for the 128GB variation, and the 512GB design is $1,449, and a 512GB MicroSD card bumps up the storage to above 1TB. The more compact Galaxy Observe 20 starts at $999.

The phone was offered for order beginning August 21, and you can uncover it at all the standard locations, including Samsung, Ideal Acquire, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. 

Technical specs

Display: 6.9″ WQHD+ (Edge) 120Hz

Rear Digicam: 12MP, 108MP, 12MP 5x Op, 50x Di

Front Camera: 10MP

Battery: 4,500mAh

Storage/RAM: 128GB and 512GB/12GB

Processor: Snapdragon 865+

5G Networks: Sub6/mmWave

Shade: Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, Mystic Black

Other: Car Refresh Rate, SD Card, UWB, S Pen 9ms, IP68, Stereo SPK

Price: Beginning at $1,299.99

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