SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 20

Image credit: Karlis Dambrans

The vanilla Note 20 is here and it is very different in terms of design as compared to it’s larger sibling the Note 20 Ultra. Nonetheless, they share the same internals in terms of the processor power. Features and specs of the Note 20:

  • Body: 161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3 mm (6.36 x 2.96 x 0.33 in), weighing 192 g (Sub6 5G), 194 g (mmWave 5G) (6.77 oz), Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic back, IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins) Stylus, 26ms latency (Bluetooth integration, accelerometer, gyro)
  • Display: 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, 108.4 cm2 (~89.2% screen-to-body ratio) when a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~393 ppi density), Corning Gorilla Glass 5 HDR10+
  • Software: Android 10, One UI 2.5
  • Chipset: Exynos 990 (7 nm+) – Global Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (7 nm+) – USA
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.73 GHz Mongoose M5 & 2×2.50 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) – Global

Octa-core (1×3.0 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585) – USA

  • GPU: Mali-G77 MP11 – Global Adreno 650 – USA
  • Storage & Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM- UFS 3.1
  • Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS 64 MP, f/2.0, (telephoto), 1/1.72″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x hybrid optical zoom 12 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm
  • Selfie Camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.2″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Video Capture: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps,1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS & OIS
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4300 mAh, fast charging 25W, USB Power Delivery 3.0, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging 9W
  • Misc: Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; FM radio (Snapdragon model only; market/operator dependent); Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), ANT+, Bixby natural language commands and dictation; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is meant to be the more affordable or budget friendly of the new Galaxy Note duo, buuuh it isn’t exactly “cheap” despite it being less expensive than the Ultra version by a few hundreds. It costs £949 for the Galaxy Note 20 5G with 256GB of storage and $999 in the US where it has 128GB of storage. On the other hand, the 4G-only variant isn’t available in the US, but it is in the UK and Australia for £849 / AU$1,499.

Design & Display

Image credit: Karlis Dambrans

 

Anyone familiar with the Note series will know that they are large devices. With dimensions measuring 161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3 mm (6.36 x 2.96 x 0.33 in) and weighing 192 g (Sub6 5G), 194 g (mmWave 5G) (6.77 oz) it is quite a larger device. On the front you will notice the lack of curved edges-doesn’t look at all premium, especially it being a Note. However, there are those that love a flat curve-free display. You’ll also notice a punch-hole right at the top center of the display which is hosting the 10MP selfie Camera. Around the edges of the display are very thin bezels. At the rear, there’s a triple camera in a vertical array similar to that on the S20 series. It’s worth mentioning that unlike the double glass front and back on the Note 20 Ultra, the Note 20 has a polycarbonate back panel. On the bottom you’ll find the USB-C port for the charger and headphones and that the S-Pen dock has been moved from the right to the left side.

Image credit: Karlis Dambrans

Image credit: Karlis Dambrans

For the display, another weird development- the display on Note 20 is a standard 60Hz refresh rate display… BUT WHY SAMSUNG??? The entire S20 series had a 120Hz refresh rate display and not only that but most if not all top-end phones are rocking higher refresh rate displays than 60Hz. Absolute downer! The display has a Full HD resolution and not QHD.

Samsung has improved its S Pen stylus in a number of ways, adding new gestures for interacting with the phone, and improving both the accuracy and the sensitivity of the stylus to make it more useful. Recording audio notes while scribbling down written notes using the S Pen is now handier; it’ll sync what’s being said aloud as you write on the screen, creating what amounts to an interactive handwritten timeline for the audio.

Internals

Image credit: Karlis Dambrans

The device boots with Google’s Android 10 operating system with Samsung’s own One UI 2.5 overlay. On top of that it features Snapdragon’s most powerful-the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus in the US, and Exynos 990 in the UK and most other markets but both chipsets are coupled with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB(US Only) or 256GB(UK/Global) of storage. Fortunately, the standard Galaxy Note 20 is 5G-enabled, however in some markets, including the UK (except the US), you’ll be able to get a 4G-only version if you don’t need 5G and/ or want to save some money.

Camera

Image credit: Karlis Dambrans

 

The rear triple array comprises a 12MP f/1.8 main, 64MP telephoto and 12MP ultra-wide cameras. Similar to that on the S20 and S20 plus. On the front is a 10MP selfie shooter.

Battery

The powerhouse in the Note 20 is a 4300mAh battery, the Note 20 also features 25W fast charging. You also get 15W fast wireless charging is supported and wireless power share for reverse wireless charging is here, too.

Verdict

The Galaxy Note 20 is a good phone but not worth the $1000 price tag, not to mention that it’s back cover is plastic. Meanwhile, you can find far better premium built phones on the market for far less than Samsung’s entry level Note. On top of that, the differences between the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are quite significant. It is really hard to recommend to anyone, but if you are indeed looking for a Galaxy Note I recommend you go for the cheaper Note 10 series as they are premiumly built devices and are still capable of everything you can throw at them.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is now available for purchase on Amazon UK.

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