The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is beast of a phone that meets the bar in many ways. While it offers top specs in nearly every category, the phone still feels like it is playing catch-up to competitors. Samsung clearly assembled a fine device that will serve many people well, but it's not the all-around winner we hoped it would be.
We tested the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review unit over a period of 10 days, using it as our primary device. It was running Android 10 with Samsung's One UI 2.5. It received one minor software update during the testing process to smooth over a few bugs, but has since been upgraded to One UI 3.1, which contains major new features. Samsung supplied the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review unit to Android Authority.
Samsung’s Note 20 Ultra carries over the basic shape of the Note 10 Plus in that it has two curved pieces of glass sandwiching an aluminum frame. If you compare the two, the similarities are obvious. The frame is nearly identical between them, though the overall chassis of the Note 20 is slightly thicker to accommodate the larger battery and taller to accommodate the larger display. It’s a gigantic phone. With a nearly seven-inch screen, how could it not be? It’s about the same dimensions as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which was roundly chastised as being too large. Moreover, where the S20 has rounded corners, the Note 20 Ultra has pointy corners. It’s quite a package to put in your pocket.
There's a big exposed camera on the back of the phone, but the 5x optical zoom works really well. A cleaner photo is invaluable, and if you want a smaller shot at the same zoom level, that means you don't agree with physics or reality (or both).
Some have complained about the dust getting into the camera body of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, although we didn't see that much in our extensive testing. Complaints seem to be largely limited in Korea. For most of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra cases everything is evenly matched so hitting the camera isn't a problem. Considering this is a big and heavy cell phone, it is best to protect your investment with it.
1.First Note with a 120Hz screen refresh rate for smoother motion
2.Max resolution is WQHD+, but drops to 1080p with 120Hz enabled
3.Best-looking curved display with a small front camera punch hole
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has the best display on any smartphone - this was usually the case with Samsung's new phones for about six months before the company retired with its newer display technology. Get the Galaxy S30.
1.Amazing telephoto camera with a 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom
2.Special '108MP' photo mode isn't very useful and just takes up storage
3.960fps super slow-mo videos are fun, but remain at a low 720p resolution
4.Samsung has the easiest-to-use feature-packed camera UI
1.Great overall performance
2.Excellent primary and optical zoom cameras
3.Good screen and speakers
4.Impressive construction quality
5.S-Pen is genuinely useful
1.Awkward camera bulge
4.Photos still exhibit smoothing
But at this high price is it worth it? The answer is twofold. If you have been a Note user and all features are being used by you, please select this. But if not, then for that high demand you need to get something unique to stand out. Personally, I would recommend picking up the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip as it is different and it will help you stand out. At this price point, banknotes might work better, but the fold can be folded up and kept in a pocket.