The Pixel 5 is the most powerful smartphone Google announced in 2020. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is basically the most powerful handset Samsung announced… ever. That being said, in this article, we’ll compare the Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Truth be said, this is a rather odd comparison. Why? Well, the Google Pixel 5 is technically an upper-mid-range smartphone, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the premium flagship offering… based on the specs, at least.
These two phones are the best these two companies have to offer at the moment, so… there you have it. The Google Pixel 5 is considerably more affordable than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, so that’s definitely worth noting. In this article, we’ll try to find out if the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is worth all that extra cash. You can almost buy two Pixel 5's for the price of one Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
We’ll compare the two phones across a number of categories, as we usually do. We’ll kick off by listing their specifications, and then move to the design, display, performance, battery, cameras, and audio aspects of both devices. That being said, let’s kick off the Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comparison, shall we.
|Google Pixel 5||Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra|
|Screen size||6-inch fullHD+ OLED display (90Hz)||6.9-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display|
|Screen resolution||2340 x 1080||3088 x 1440|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus / Samsung Exynos 990|
|RAM||8GB (LPDDR4X)||12GB (LPDDR5)|
|Storage||128GB, non-expandable||128GB/512GB; Expandable (up to 1TB)|
|Rear cameras||12.2MP (f/1.7 aperture, 27mm lens, 1.4um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, OIS)|
16MP (ultra-wide, f/2.2 aperture, 1.0um pixel size, 107-degree FoV)
|108MP (f/1.8 aperture, 0.8um pixel size, PDAF, OIS, 79-degree FoV)|
12MP (telephoto, 1.0um pixel size, 20-degree FoV, f/3.0 aperture) -> Space Zoom (50x), 5x optical
12MP (ultrawide, 1.4um pixel size, 120-degree FoV, f/2.2 aperture)
|Front cameras||8MP (f/2.0 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.12um pixel size)||10MP (f/2/2 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 80-degree FoV)|
|Battery||4,000mAh, non-removable, 18W fast battery charging, 18W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging||4,500mAh, Non-Removable, 25W Fast Battery Charging, Qi charging (15W), Reverse Wireless Charging (4.5W)|
|Dimensions||144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0 mm||164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm|
|Weight||151 grams||208 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||Rear-facing fingerprint scanner||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)|
|OS||Android 11||Android 10|
Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Design
When it comes to the design, these two phones could not be more different. Let’s talk about build materials first, shall we. The Google Pixel 5 comes with an aluminum unibody build, but… there’s a huge but here, it has a plastic overlay on top of it… kind of. This is not your regular plastic, it’s less slippery and it feels nicer than regular plastic. It’s great for grip, actually. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, is made out of metal and glass, and it’s a lot more slippery than the Pixel 5.
Having said that, the Google Pixel 5 is also a lot smaller. It is a lot shorter and narrower, while they’re almost equally thin. The Google Pixel 5 is also much lighter than the Note 20 Ultra (151 vs 208 grams). If you don’t want a huge phone, the Google Pixel 5 is an ideal choice. Not only can you operate it comfortably with one hand, but it’s also less slippery, which is a huge plus when it comes to one-hand operation.
Both devices have really thin bezels, though the Pixel 5 has uniform bezels. The device also has a flat display, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s display is curved. Their rear camera modules are placed in the same spot, but are vastly different. The Pixel 5 has a physical fingerprint scanner on the back, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra includes an in-display one. Both phones offer a display camera hole. The one on the Pixel 5 is located in the top-left corner, while the Note 20 Ultra’s is centered.
Needless to say, these two phones are considerably different from the design perspective. If you’re looking for a more compact smartphone, which is not as slippery, the Pixel 5 should be your choice. If you want all that screen real estate, and don’t mind a slippery, large phone, the Note 20 Ultra is the way to go.
Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Display
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a better display, definitely. Specs aren’t everything, though. Yes, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra display does look better in real-life as well, but the vast majority of people won’t even notice. Why? Well, the Google Pixel 5’s display is excellent as well. The Google Pixel 5 features a 6-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) OLED panel. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a 6.9-inch QHD+ (3088 x 1440) Dynamic AMOLED 2X display.
Both of these displays support HDR10+ content. Both of them are also high refresh rate displays. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does offer a higher refresh rate at 120Hz, though, compared to the Pixel 5’s 90Hz panel. The Pixel 5’s display is flat, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s is curved. The Pixel 5’s panel is protected by the Gorilla Glass 6, while the Gorilla Glass Victus is laid on top of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra display. As you can see, the two phones are extremely different in the display department as well.
As already mentioned, both displays do look really nice in real life. Both offer punchy colors, they’re quite vivid, with great viewing angles. Both displays are also well-protected. The difference between 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rate is not huge, so don’t let that worry you too much.
Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Performance
Based on hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a considerably more powerful device. Does that show in day-to-day usage? Well, yes, the device is faster, but in regular usage, you’ll hardly notice that. The Google Pixel 5 is plenty fast, it does everything you’d expect out of it just as fast as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, almost. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does load apps and games faster, plus it may perform a bit better on the most graphically-intensive games out there. In regular usage, though, both phones will perform admirably.
The Snapdragon 765G may be a mid-range processor, but it’s a very capable chip. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra should, technically, keep performing great for longer, due to its more powerful hardware. The Pixel 5 does come with Google’s iteration of Android, which is lighter than One UI, considerably. If you need the best of the best, well, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of those phones. If you’re not bothered by slightly quicker app and game load times, and you’re not a heavy gamer, the Pixel 5 will serve you just as well.
Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Battery
What about battery life? Well, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does come with a larger battery. On the other hand, it has a considerably larger display, which offers a higher resolution and refresh rate. That being said, The Google Pixel 5 does provide more juice, in our experience. Your mileage may vary, though. The Google Pixel 5 was able to provide over 7 hours of screen-on-time, consistently, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra stepped over the 6-hour mark in most cases, without issues. Those numbers will differ from one user to the next, greatly. Everyone uses their phone in a different way, and that reflects on battery life, of course.
Now, when it comes to charging, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does offer faster charging. The phone offers 25W fast wired charging, backed by 15W wireless charging, and also reverse wireless charging. The Pixel 5, on the other hand, supports 18W fast wired charging, 18W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging is supported. The difference is not huge, but there you go.
Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Cameras
Google’s Pixel phones are often lauded as the best smartphones for still shots. Is that still the case? Well, it’s safe to say that the Pixel 5 is one of the best, though may not be the best. It all depends on what you’re looking for, really. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra definitely offers better hardware, though Google’s algorithms are still key for Pixel 5’s excellent shots. It all depends on the setting and various other factors.
The Pixel 5 shots are easily recognizable. They offer an excellent dynamic range, and those specific look that makes them easy to recognize. Google’s algorithms do a great job when it comes to portrait mode as well, and Night Sight performs admirably in low light. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can take extremely sharp images during the day, while Samsung also worked a lot on its camera offerings. Images coming from this phone do not look oversaturated as they did before, they’re excellent, to say the least.
In low light, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can also provide excellent images. It’s a tossup, it all depends on the scenarios. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does an excellent job with portrait shots in low light, actually. It can also pull out a ton of details in such shooting scenes. Ultrawide cameras are really good on both phones.
When it comes to audio, they’re both well-equipped. Both phones come with physical stereo speakers, and even the positioning is quite similar. The speakers on both phones are really good. They get pretty loud, and they remain quite sharp until you crank up the volume all the way up. At that point, a little bit of distortion is noticeable. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra speakers do sound a little bit better, though the difference is minuscule.
In terms of audio via headphones, well, it’s also quite similar. Both phones can provide really good audio across the spectrum. Having said that, neither of the two phones come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. So, you’ll either have to utilize a Type-C port with a dongle or Type-C headphones, or connect your headphones via Bluetooth.