Putting an end to the flood of leaks and rumors, Samsung has taken the wraps off the Galaxy Note 20 series at a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event today. The Galaxy Note 20 series includes the vanilla Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, which bring along some major differences across the board. The Note 20 devices are chunkier, have a new finish, a flagship Qualcomm chipset, huge new camera setups, and new S Pen features to boot.
Galaxy Note 20 Series: Specs and Features
Design & Display
Samsung is debuting a new ‘Mystic’ finish with the Galaxy Note 20 lineup. It’s merely a fancy name for a textured matte finish on the glass back panel. We will need to get our hands on the Galaxy Note 20 to see if it’s like the iPhone 11 Pro or not. But wait, we will have to point out that it’s only the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra that boasts a glass back panel. The vanilla Galaxy Note 20 boasts a polycarbonate back panel with the mystic texture layer on top.
The rear panel only includes the camera modules and Samsung branding. You will find a punch-hole display and an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor on the front.
Turning our attention to the front, the Galaxy Note 20 features a 6.7-inch Full-HD+ flat AMOLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate. Yes, you are reading it right. Samsung is only offering a 60Hz panel with the standard Note 20. This is very disappointing for a user who will spend close to $1000 on this smartphone. The panel also boasts a 20:9 aspect ratio and 2400 x 1080-pixel resolution.
The Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, includes a slightly bigger 6.9-inch Quad-HD+ AMOLED 2X curved display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Only the Ultra variant has a higher refresh rate, along with a 3088 x 1440-pixel resolution. Both the displays come with HDR10+ certification, which means you can stream HDR content on Netflix and Prime Video.
Galaxy Note 20 series is also protected by the recently announced Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. This is the first smartphone to feature this new glass protection on top.
Both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are powered by the recently announced Snapdragon 865+ chipset from Qualcomm. This is coupled with the Snapdragon X55 modem, which enables 5G connectivity on the Note 20 series, and provides download speeds up to 2Gbps. You will also find up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB of built-in storage.
The Galaxy Note 20 series is IP68 certified and runs Android 10-based OneUI 2.1 out-of-the-box. Samsung has also furthered its partnership with Microsoft to offer you access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to enjoy cloud gaming on the move. It is even offering you a 3-month free subscription as a pre-order benefit, so you can stream Xbox games on your Note 20 device easily.
As you can see in the image above, the Galaxy Note 20 includes a smaller triple camera module as compared to the massive S20 Ultra-like triple-camera array aboard Note 20 Ultra.
The Galaxy Note 20 features a 12MP (f/1.8) primary camera with OIS, a 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree FOV, and a 64MP (f/2.0) telephoto camera with 3x hybrid zoom and 30x Space Zoom. This camera setup is almost exactly the same as the vanilla Galaxy S20 from earlier this year.
On the other hand, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also takes cues from its Ultra sibling in the S-series. The smartphone packs a 108MP (f/1.8) primary camera with OIS, coupled with a 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree FOV, and a 12MP (f/3.0) telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and 50x Space Zoom. There’s also a Laser auto-focus and dual-LED flash baked next to the vertical camera setup.
The company isn’t going for the crazy 100x Space Zoom like the Galaxy S20 Ultra this time around. The 100x zoom photos don’t really have much clarity and sharpness but at least you can see some details at, say 30x or 50x zoom. Both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra support up to 8K @ 24fps video recording, Pro mode, and a slew of other camera features.
New S Pen Features
Before we talk about the new features, you should know that the S Pen placement has moved from the right to the left end of the bottom edge. This could be a big change for long time Note users. Galaxy Note 20 series includes a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen that now also works as a pointer, with a range of around 10 meters. You now have new Anywhere actions to let you better control the device with the S Pen.
Samsung DeX, for those familiar, has enabled Galaxy phone users to initiate a mini desktop environment using a dedicated dock to connect a monitor and additional peripherals for the longest time. The most recent iteration saw you merely use a USB cable to initiate the DeX mode on your Windows or Mac PC.
However, in line with recent rumors, Samsung has today debuted Wireless DeX with the Galaxy Note 20 series. It enables you to get a PC-style desktop experience on your TV, while still allowing you to use your phone or turn it into a trackpad. You can now easily share your presentations (via Miracast) to a TV and control it from the Galaxy Note 20 during a meeting.
Battery & Charging
The two Galaxy Note 20 phones have only a minor difference on the battery front. The Galaxy Note 20 includes a 4,300mAh battery while the Note 20 Ultra comes equipped with a 4,500mAh battery. This is smaller than the 5,000mAh battery pack aboard the Galaxy S20 Ultra though and that’s a bit disappointing.
Both the variants support 25W fast-charging via the USB Type-C port at the bottom. I believe Samsung should have jumped on the super fast-charging hype by now but it’s probably waiting for mass adoption. The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra support 15W wireless charging and 9W Power Share (reverse wireless charging) as well.
Price and Availability
Galaxy Note 20 has been priced starting at $999.99 (around Rs. 74,999) and will be available in three color variants, namely Mystic Green, Mystic Gray, and Mystic Bronze.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, starts at a whopping $1299.99 (around Rs. 97,299) and will also come in three variants, namely Mystic White, Mystic Black, and Mystic Bronze.
Both the variants are currently up for pre-order in the US and will be widely available starting from 21st August. We are currently unaware of the India prices of the Galaxy Note 20 series but stay tuned for more information.