Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10

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Samsung has announced its new Note-branded smartphones, the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. In this article, we’ll compare the base Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy Note 10, its predecessor. The Galaxy Note 20 is the device that many people will probably be interested in, considering the considerable price hike the ‘Ultra’ model brings.

That being said, it will be interesting to see how this handset compares to its predecessor. The Galaxy Note 20 is expected to be a better phone overall, but that remains to be seen. Even if that ends up being the case, the Galaxy Note 10 still has a lot to offer, and some of you may opt for it over the brand new Galaxy Note 20.

We’ll compare these two phones across a number of categories, ranging from the design and display, to their performance, battery life, and so on. That being said, let’s kick off the Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy Note 10 comparison, shall we.

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Specs

Galaxy Note 20Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Screen size6.7-inch fullHD+ display (Dynamic OLED, 60Hz)6.3-inch fullHD+ display (Dynamic AMOLED)
Screen resolution2400 x 10802280 x 1080
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 865Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820
RAM8GB8GB
Storage128GB; Non-Expandable256GB; Non-Expandable
Rear cameras12MP (f/1.8 aperture, 1.8um pixel size, 79-degree FoV)
64MP (telephoto, 76-degree FoV, 0.8um pixel size, 3x optical zoom)
12MP (ultrawide, 1.4um pixel size, f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree FoV)
12MP (f/1.5-2.4 aperture, 1.4um pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
12MP (f/2.1 aperture, 52mm telephoto lens, 1.0um pixel size, OIS, 2x optical zoom)
16MP (f/2.2 aperture, 12mm ultrawide lens, 1.0um pixel size)
Front cameras10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 26mm wide-angle lens, 1.22um pixel size)10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 26mm wide-angle lens, 1.22um pixel size, Dual Pixel PDAF)
Battery4,300mAh, Non-Removable, 25W Fast Battery Charging (USB-PD 2.0), 15W Qi wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging3,500mAh, Non-Removable, 25W Fast Battery Charging (USB-PD 2.0), 12W Qi wireless charging, 9W reverse wireless charging
Dimensions161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm
Weight192g (Sub6), 194g (mmWave168 grams
Connectivity5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi, USB Type-CLTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIn-display ultrasonic fingerprint scannerIn-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner
OSAndroid 10
One UI
Android 9 Pie
One UI
Price$999$949.99
BuySamsung (not yet available)Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Design

In terms of the design, these two phones are quite similar, at least when you look at them from the front. The in-hand feel is quite a bit different, plus there’s a notable difference in size, so they’re definitely not that similar. Let’s start with the looks, though. It may seem like both phones are made out of metal and glass, but that's not the fact. The Galaxy Note 20 actually comes with a polycarbonate back for some reason. Both are quite slippery, though. The Galaxy Note 10 is a bit boxier than its successor, but not by much.

Both devices offer extremely thin bezels, and a display camera hole which is centered. Both devices also pack in three cameras on the back, and an S Pen stylus. That being said, the Galaxy Note 20 has a lot larger display, and taller display aspect ratio. Therefore, the phone is considerably larger than its predecessor. It is over 10mm taller, a few millimeters wider, and even a bit thicker. On top of all that, the Galaxy Note 20 is also around 30 grams heavier.

We wonder why Samsung opted for such a size hike, but that’s not the point here. Both phones are large, that is true, but the Galaxy Note 10 is considerably smaller at the same time. It’s much easier to use with one hand, and it’s also more pleasant to hold because of its size. Both devices are annoyingly slippery due to their build materials, though. Getting a case may be the best idea. If you prefer smaller phones, the Galaxy Note 10 will suit you more. If not… well, the Galaxy Note 20 is a great phone.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Display

In terms of the display, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a much bigger boost than the Galaxy Note 20. That handset comes with a 120Hz QHD+ panel, while the Galaxy Note 20 sports a fullHD+ 60Hz panel. That actually places that device right next to the Galaxy Note 10, at least on paper. The Galaxy Note 20 does have a taller display aspect ratio, and thus slightly higher resolution, but these two displays are quite similar.

Samsung, for some reason, decided not to offer a high refresh rate display on the vanilla Note 20. Both phones do offer AMOLED displays, though, and both displays are quite great. Both panels do support HDR10+ output, and both are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass, in case you were wondering.

Now, both of these panels are great. You do get those deep blacks with both, plus they’re both well-optimized. Colors are punchy, but not too much, though you can change that in the settings. Both displays are more than sharp enough for pretty much everyone, and viewing angles are great, simple as that. I don’t really think many people will have much to complain about here, unless your eye is trained on high refresh rate displays, of course. They’re pretty much the same in the display department.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is still an excellent performer, a year after its release. What about the Galaxy Note 20, does it crush it in this regard? Well, I wouldn’t say that it crushes it, no. The Galaxy Note 20 does offer more power, technically, it comes with a more powerful SoC, first and foremost. There are also some other differences in the hardware department that affect performance.

The thing is, you don’t really see that in real-life, at least not yet. Both phones can push the most demanding games without a problem, while both are snappy in everyday performance as well. The Galaxy Note 20 will load apps a bit faster than the Galaxy Note 10, but that’s not really a difference many people will notice nor care about.

Both devices multitasking extremely fast, and both take advantage of that stylus and its features in the best way possible. Samsung’s software has come a long way over the years, and that definitely affects performance. The Galaxy Note 10 is still a great performer, and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. If you don’t want to splash out more cash on the Galaxy Note 20, you’ll be just fine with the Galaxy Note 10.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Battery

Now, in terms of battery and battery life. The Galaxy Note 20 does come with a lot larger battery pack, it has 800mAh more than the Galaxy Note 10. It also comes with a larger display, though, 0.4 inches larger. How does that reflect on battery life, though, considering that the Galaxy Note 20 also has a more battery-friendly chip.

Well, you’ll be glad to know that the battery life on the Galaxy Note 20 is really good, and better than on the Galaxy Note 10, at least that was the case for us. You should be able to get 5-6 hours of screen on time without a problem with the Galaxy Note 20, and based on your usage, even above and beyond that.

In terms of charging, well, the two devices are quite similar. Both cap out at 25W when it comes to fast wired charging. The Galaxy Note 20 has faster wireless charging at 15W, compared to 12W on the Galaxy Note 10. The Galaxy Note 10 does have 9W reverse wireless charging, though, compared to 4.5W on the Galaxy Note 20. All in all, I’d say that the Galaxy Note 20 offers more in the battery department.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is a flagship phone, technically, but not as flagship as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. That doesn’t make much sense, but this phone comes with a different camera setup compared to the Ultra. It is more similar to the Galaxy Note 10, than it is to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note 20 features a 12-megapixel main camera, similar to the one on the Galaxy Note 10, but not the same. That camera is extremely capable, and noticeably better than the one on its predecessor. The processing is still a bit too aggressive, though, but pictures in low light are considerably better, and have less noise.

You can get some really great-looking shots in pretty much all scenarios, in most cases. You’ll be glad to hear that the focusing issues are a thing of the past, as the Galaxy Note 20’s focus is both fast and reliable. The phone takes great-looking pics in good lighting, with a lot of detail, and it offers great dynamic range as well. The ultrawide camera is worse in quality compared to the main lens (similar to the one on the Galaxy Note 10), but not by a lot. You also get access to 3x optical zoom here, which is always welcome.

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Audio

The audio aspect did not change much compared to the Galaxy Note 10. You’re still getting a set of stereo speakers, which provide great sound, actually. We did not notice much difference in sound output, to be quite honest. The speakers are plenty loud, and the distortion is barely noticeable at high volumes.

A 3.5mm headphone jack is not a part of either of these phones, while both offer speakers tuned by AKG. When it comes to wired audio, once again, the two devices provide similar results. Samsung rarely fails in the audio department, and it did not really fail in either of these cases. The vast majority of users will be more than happy with the balanced output here, across the spectrum.