Samsung Galaxy Note 20 & Note 20 Ultra Announced: Bigger, Smarter, Pricier

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Samsung has just “Unpacked” the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, among a few other products. 

The new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are Samsung’s most powerful smartphones to date. And they also bring in a number of new features as well as changes to the S Pen. As well as a price increase, because what else is new in 2020?

The S Pen has been improved & gains new Air Actions

Every year, Samsung makes some changes to the S Pen, but this year, the changes are pretty significant. 

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Galaxy Note20 Mystic Gray Back with S Pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 – Mystic Gray

The first big change is the latency. The S Pen now has a latency of just 9 milliseconds. That’s nearly 40% better than the previous generation. That is a pretty big deal, especially for those that do a lot of doodling on their smartphone with the S Pen. As the latency is almost instant now. It also puts the S Pen on par with the Apple Pencil, as far as latency goes. 

Samsung also added some new additions to Air Actions. While there isn't really aren’t many new Actions here, Samsung has added new gestures. Five of them to be exact. Which allow you to almost completely control your smartphone with your S Pen, from a distance. 

There are now gestures to go back, open recents and much more. Which is going to make presentations even more impressive, from your smartphone. 

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Top-of-the-line specs for the Galaxy Note 20 Series

Galaxy Note 20Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Display6.7-inch Flat FHD+
20:9 ratio
60Hz
6.9-inch Curved QHD+
19.3:9 ratio
120Hz
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 865Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM8GB12GB
Storage128GB128GB/512GB (with micro SD)
Battery Capacity4300mAh4500mAh
Charging Speeds25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W powershare25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W powershare
SoftwareAndroid 10, OneUI 2.5Android 10, OneUI 2.5
Rear Cameras12MP wide
64MP telephoto, 3x Zoom
12MP ultrawide
108MP wide
12MP telephoto, 5x Zoom
12MP ultrawide
Front Camera10MP10MP
Dimensions161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
Weight192g (Sub6), 194g (mmWave)208g
Price$999$1299
Colorsmystic gray, mystic green and mystic bronzemystic black, mystic white and mystic bronze
AvailableAugust 21August 21

Refined design for a refined Note

Samsung has not redesigned the design of the Galaxy Note 20, but it is now refined. It looks cleaner, but still very similar to the Note 10 and the S20 series that was announced last year and earlier this year, respectively. 

The company has refined the camera module, so that it looks cleaner, but still has a pretty massive camera bump. The cameras all look to be the same size this time around, instead of having three different looking sized cameras like the Galaxy S20 series sported. 

Perhaps the most interesting and exciting part of this new design is the new textured haze effect. This change is going to reduce smudges and fingerprints. And that’s a pretty big deal. As we all know, glass-backed smartphones are prone to showing every single time you touched your phone. Particularly the darker colors. 

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Galaxy Note20 Ultra Flat on Table
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – Mystic Bronze

Samsung is using a new “Mystic” color palette for the Galaxy Note 20 series this year. The Galaxy Note 20 will come in three colors: mystic gray, mystic green and mystic bronze. While the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will come in mystic black, mystic white and mystic bronze. 

Microsoft makes the Galaxy Note 20 series a gaming powerhouse

Samsung smartphones have already been pretty powerful, among the most powerful smartphones in the world. But Microsoft just made the Galaxy Note 20 series powerful for a reason. 

The Galaxy Note 20 series will be the first smartphone to support Microsoft Xbox Game Pass. Allowing you to play over 100 games on your smartphone. This also means that you can play them on the go, or at home. This works over WiFi, 4G and 5G networks. And there is also support for Bluetooth controllers. 

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That’s not all that Microsoft has done with the Galaxy Note 20 series though. Samsung has also announced the Samsung Notes can sync with Outlook and OneNote. As well as have reminders sync with Outlook and ToDo. There are also some more additions to Link with Windows, which now supports multiple windows. 

Galaxy Note 20 can shoot cinematic videos in 8K

The Galaxy S20 was the first smartphone to debut with 8K video recording capability, and the Galaxy Note 20 continues that trend. 

New with the Galaxy Note 20, users are going to be able to record 8K video in either 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratios. Now the latter is pretty important, as filmmakers record in 21:9. So those movies that we (used to) go to the movie theater to watch, those were all in 21:9. 

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On the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung is using a brand new 108-megapixel sensor as the main camera. This has a brand new hybrid auto focus system. That is using phase detection and laser auto focus together. Samsung is claiming that this camera setup will provide faster and more accurate auto focus. 

Galaxy Note20 Ultra Control Zoom
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – Camera App

Space Zoom is still available, but it’s not as crazy as on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. So the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will give you 50x Zoom, instead of 100x Zoom. It can also do optical zoom up to 5x. 

For the regular Galaxy Note 20, Space Zoom is limited to 30x. 

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The cameras here are pretty similar to the Galaxy S20 and S20 Ultra setups, respectively. 

Samsung DeX continues to get better

DeX is continuing to get better, and now, you can use it completely wireless. 

With the Galaxy Note 20 series, you are going to be able to use DeX wirelessly on any TV that supports Miracast. Samsung also noted that all of its TVs from 2019 and newer support Miracast. 

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This means that you can easily throw videos and photos up onto the TV, and it is also great for presentations. Especially with the new gestures that are available for the S Pen. 

Pricing & Availability

The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will be available for pre-order starting on August 6 at 12:01AM. Samsung is also offering some freebies for those that pre-order. With Galaxy Note 20 pre-orders getting a $100 gift certificate to Samsung.com, and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra pre-orders get a $150 gift certificate. This is going to be good for buying some cases or other accessories you might need. 

These two phones will be available starting on August 21. 

Galaxy Note 20 will start at $999 for the 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage model. While the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is going to cost you $1299 for the 12GB of RAM and 128GB model. There was no price mentioned for the 512GB model. At least the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is cheaper than the S20 Ultra was.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra