A Samsung flagship phone always creates the right buzz. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is being regarded as the best of the best that Samsung has ever offered. This device gets a 108MP camera and, of course, the forever-loved SPen Stylus. You can be assured that Samsung has done its best when it comes to the hardware and software for the Note series. The Note 20 Ultra 5G is also a fully-loaded device with top of the line features. Let us find out how they all fare under the Note banner.
The Note 20 Ultra comes with a 6.9-inch screen with nicely curved sides and borders around the phone. The Note phones have always been large devices and this time it is no different. For a few, the large screen is still a high point in a device, but for others, it would be a difficult phone to fit in a pocket or use with one hand. But the form factor of the device is appealing.
The real design element pops up when you flip the phone around to see the camera module at the back. This piece of art did look a bit off-centre when I got the device, but it seems to grow on you over time. The rear has a frosted matte finish and the camera rings have highlights. The device also has an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
Samsung has used Corning’s new Gorilla Glass Victus for the screen and the back of the phone, although the camera lenses are protected by a panel of Gorilla Glass 6. A thin screen protector also comes pre-applied.
The power and volume buttons are on the left. The SIM tray is at the top. The S-Pen silo has been moved to the left of the bottom.
Performance and software
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s performance makes it a brilliant phone. I never felt even the slightest lag while using the device. The screen is nice and crisp. Multitasking on the device is seamless. The S-pen responds well, and for sure, makes the task much simpler. The speakers on the device are satisfactory and performance-wise left me delighted. Playing games is a pleasure on the Note 20 Ultra. The device is a great choice for binge-watching too.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra runs on Android 10 with OneUI2. There are two important software additions here: the Samsung Notes app which works with the S-Pen and the DeX desktop experience. The SPen has also been updated with ‘air gestures’ that you perform while holding its button down. The Notes app is also pretty feature-rich, with the ability to mark-up PDFs and pictures, including screenshots, and timestamp notes to an audio recording.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has the Exynos990. It is an octa-core chip with two highperformance custom 2.7GHz cores, two more 2.5GHz CortexA76 cores, and four more power-efficient 2GHz Cortex-A55 cores. It features an integrated Mali G77MP11 GPU. Samsung is offering only the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage and 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. This is a hybrid dual-SIM phone. The 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen supports HDR10+ and has a QHD+ resolution of 1440×3088, although it’s set to run at 1080×2316 by default. You also get a 4500mAh battery and USB-PD fast charging. A 25W charger is included in the box. There’s also Qi wireless charging and reverse charging.
One more department where the Note series has been doing well is the camera. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra gets a 108-megapixel primary camera at the back. There is also a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 12-megapixel periscopic camera that can achieve up to 5x optical zoom and 50x super-resolution zoom. The front camera has a 10-megapixel resolution.
The pictures on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are simply brilliant in the daytime. Even if outdoor conditions are cloudy or grey, the results are perfect. Some pictures I took during the monsoon have left me pleasantly surprised. The wide-angle gets great results as well. You can also zoom in as much you want with this device to help you get the minutest of details you want to capture.
Night photography might not be as good as daytime photography, but the Night Mode helps you get some amazing pictures. Even indoors, under dim lights, the results have been pleasing. If you compare the pictures with other devices you will see that for the Night Mode, the Note 20 Ultra is a real winner. You can record video at up to 8K. Footage is stabilised well at 1080p but there can be slight jitters at 4K. There is also a Super Steady toggle that uses the wide-angle camera and crops the frame to adjust for shakes.
You can switch between the three cameras when shooting at 1080p and manually zoom up to 20x. Slow Motion and Super Slow-Mo modes are fun to use too. Night videos can be a little disheartening if you want to capture too much movement in them. Zooming in and wide-angle are not as good as you would want them to be.
Your selfie game can be on point with the Note 20 Ultra too. The pictures look great in the day as well as at night.
All in all, you will be satisfied with the camera section of the Note 20 Ultra.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a premium device meant for someone who is looking for an impeccable camera, a large screen and the abilities and ease of an S-Pen. The performance of the device is top of the line and so is the price. The phone has been launched in India at Rs 1,04,999. The only downside of the device is the pricing. Someone who is looking for the abovementioned capabilities but is willing to negotiate a little on the camera and size can opt for the younger sibling, Galaxy Note 20, which is priced at Rs 79,999.