Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities – major changes


August 5 is coming soon, when the new devices from Samsung will be officially demonstrated. The number of leaks related to these devices, both smartphones and accessories, is such that it exceeds reasonable limits. So it’s time to talk about the flagship of the Note line, the Note20 Ultra. Characteristics, photos of the device have leaked in many sources, so I won’t discover anything new, I’ll leave all sorts of little things behind the scenes.

Dimensions and weight 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm, 212 grams (TBD)
Body materials Corning Gorilla Glass 7, aluminum
Display 6.9 inches, 1440×3200 pixels (20: 9), Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 508 ppi, automatic brightness control, AlwaysOn Display, Corning Gorilla Glass 7, HDR10 +, 120 Hz refresh rate for FullHD + resolution
Operating system Google Android 10, OneUI 2.5
Platform Exynos 990 chipset, 8 cores (2 Exynos M5 cores up to 2.73 GHz, 2 cores ARM Cortex-A76 up to 2.6 GHz, 4 cores ARM Cortex-A55 up to 2 GHz), Mali-G77 MP11, 64 bit, 7 nm
Snapdragon 865 for US market
Memory 12 GB RAM, 256/512 GB ROM, microSD memory card up to 1 TB
UFS 3.1
Wireless Interfaces Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac / ax, dual-band (Wi-Fi 6 is not officially approved by the state in Russia), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, ANT +
5G: NSA, 5G sub-6
LTE: Enhanced 4 × 4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20, download speeds up to 2.0 Gb / s, uploads – up to 150 Mb / s
LTE Bands: B1 (2100), B2 (1900), B3 (1800), B4 (AWS), B5 (850), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B12 (700), B13 (700), B17 ( 700), B18 (800), B19 (800), B20 (800), B25 (1900), B26 (850), B28 (700), B32 (1500), B66 (AWS-3)
B38(2600), B39(1900), B40(2300), B41(2500)
5G Bands: N1 (2100), N3 (1800), N5 (850), N7 (2600), N8 (900), N28 (700)
Сеть Giga-LTE, LTE cat. 20 (operator dependent), frequency aggregation 
Dual SIM, nanoSIM
Navigation GPS / GLONASS / Beidou
Sensors and connectors USB Type C (USB 3.2), USB OTG
Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor
In-screen fingerprint sensor (ultrasonic)
Face unlock
Main camera Main: camera with four modules
Camera with three modules
– Primary: 108 MP, 0.8 μm, F1.8, PDAF, OIS
– Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, 1.4 μm, F2.2, OIS
– Telephoto: 12 MP, 1.0 μm, F3.0, OIS, PDAF, x5 optical zoom, x10 hybrid

Space Zoom
– Hybrid Optic Zoom 10X
– Super Resolution Zoom up to 50X

8K video recording (including 21: 9)

Front-camera 10 MP, 2PD autofocus, F2.2 (80 °)
Battery Li-Ion 4500 mAh, working time in mixed mode not less than a day (up to 8 hours of screen operation), built-in wireless charging WPC / PMA, fast charging in 60 minutes up to 100 percent
USB PD 3.0 support, 45W separate charging, 40 minutes charging speed
Wireless charging 15 W
Reverse charge other devices 9W
Degree of protection IP68, extra shock protection
Colours Mystic black
Mystic bronze
There will be other colors too
Sound Dolby, equalizers, effects, stereo speakers tuned by AKG (low and high)
Features S Pen, remote control with a stylus, such as a remote control for presentations or camera control. Plus the traditional S Pen capabilities

Samsung Pay (NFC, MST) 
DeX wireless mode

For ease of perception, I will split the text, as I do in reviews, although this is not a first glance, not a review, but a familiar discussion of what to expect in a new device. We will start, as usual, with positioning.


Samsung usually presents two lines of top-end devices, in the spring these are the flagships of the Galaxy, at the end of summer – the update of the Note line. Formally, Note series models can be considered intermediate flagships, they appear shortly before the release of a new line from Apple, update the characteristics of the flagship from Samsung, refresh it. But the most important thing is, of course, the S Pen and its capabilities, which no one has been able to replicate in smartphones. Among Note lovers, there are those who think that the S Pen is pampering, never use a pen, ignore it. And there are quite a lot of such people, but buying Note simply because of the characteristics, the cost makes no sense, this device is fully revealed precisely due to the S Pen and has no analogues on the market. It’s good to judge the capabilities of the S Pen in absentia, but it’s still worth trying and understand that it is convenient and your capabilities are expanded due to this tool. Probably, it was the presence of the S Pen that formed such an army of fans around the Note line, those who do not recognize anything else, choose this particular series. And if initially the Note line was distinguished by the most technological solutions (camera, processor, and so on), today they were reserved for the Galaxy S line, but the Note was left with the S Pen, this is its distinctive feature.

For the first time in the 2020 lineup, the S20 Ultra model appears, the prefix clearly says that from a technical point of view, this is the best you can get from Samsung. Maximum cost, availability of all technologies that you can imagine. And for the first time this prefix appears in the Note line, that is, the older model was named Note20 Ultra, that is, the Galaxy family device becomes the prototype. In fact, we can safely say that the S20 Ultra was taken to create the Note20 Ultra, these models are similar in almost everything – in the radio part, processor, chassis. If not twin brothers, then they are very close. And then there is a collision of what buyers will choose if the devices are as close as they will be bred on the market. The past years have proven that Samsung is pushing the cost, making the Note line more expensive. We will talk about positioning in the conclusions, but, looking ahead, I will say that, by and large, nothing has changed, the principle of forming a ruler has remained exactly the same.

Who is the Note20 Ultra for? Certainly for those who are ready to buy the most expensive Android smartphone and need an S Pen. For the rest, there is a regular S20 Ultra or lower models, there is no reason to buy the Note20 Ultra.

Design, dimensions, controls

Almost complete coincidence of dimensions with S20 Ultra, the devices are perceived as very close relatives. The only difference is the S Pen connector and the body color. While it is known about the bronze and black colors.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities - major changes

In any case, you will need a case, since the protruding camera block is inconvenient without it. You will be hitting the pocket of your trousers or other clothing with this block.

New in terms of materials is that this is the first device to receive Corning Gorilla Glass 7. Marketing messages will sound familiar – stronger, less scratch, better. From the non-obvious and the fact that they will not sound out of sin, this is the possibility of an oleophobic coating, in theory, it will remain on the screen twice as long. A trifle, but pretty nice.

The device is definitely masculine in terms of size and weight, although the example of the S20 Ultra shows that women can handle such models with ease.

From the usual moments – there is protection against water (IP68), a standard USB Type C connector and the absence of 3.5 mm, which, in my taste, is bad. But this is the fate for this connector, alas and ah.

I will not describe the standard things, since they are typical and there are no peculiarities here.


Let me quote a review of the S20 Ultra, as the screens are the same and no different. There are changes in the software aspect (OneUI 2.5 brings dynamic frequency control, it can vary depending on the application). But by and large, that’s all that has changed. Although more certificates have appeared, energy consumption has changed, but you will not see all this in everyday life, so there is no point in talking about it yet. Maybe something will change by the time of the review, we’ll see.

So, to quote the display section from the S20 Ultra review:

The diagonal of the screen is 6.9 inches, the maximum resolution is QHD, but the default is FullHD +. This is Dynamic AMOLED 2X, excellent color rendition, maximum brightness is adjustable over a wide range, in FullHD + resolution, which is the default, the screen operates at 120 Hz (240 Hz sensor). Scrolling becomes smoother, but battery consumption increases by 10-15%.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities - major changes

120Hz operation is only guaranteed in interface, standard applications. For example, in games 120Hz may not be supported, it depends on the applications themselves (they must be adapted for such screens). I don’t see a big problem in this, since the quality of both games and pictures still remains at the maximum level.

By default, the screen is set to color gamut “Saturated colors” (there is also “Natural colors”). In this mode, the brightness and contrast of the picture are maximized, and the colors hit the eyes. If the sky is not just blue, but blue. It upset me at some point, because it is impossible to navigate what you are photographing, the screen distorts the picture too much, but everything is fine on the computer. As a result, I turned on “Natural colors”, although they are muted on the menu.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities - major changesSamsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities - major changes

Traditionally, there is a blue filter, a dark theme, including the ability to set work on a schedule. Adaptive screen brightness adjusts to your preferences. In manual mode, you can set the brightness to 400 nits, in automatic mode it reaches 900 nits. This allows you to read your phone screen even under the brightest sun.

As always, there is AlwaysOn Display mode, it allows you to display the clock, calendar, picture in standby mode. At the same time, the screen does not consume a lot of energy, and it diversifies the look of the phone (there are small changes here, hello OneUI 2.5 again!).


The built-in Li-Ion battery has a capacity of 4500 mAh and supports USB Power Delivery 3.0. This allows you to get rid of a simple problem – a long charging of the smartphone. So, in Note20 Ultra, you can charge the battery up to 60% in 100 minutes (charging time depends on the ambient temperature). In half an hour, you will receive approximately 58% of the charge. A 25W charger is included and should be enough for most behind-the-eyes use scenarios. There is no point in buying a 45 W charger, since the charge speed increases by the first 50%, but the total time remains plus or minus the same.

Wireless charging supports up to 15W of power, which allows you to charge your smartphone in 100 minutes. It’s also very fast and extremely comfortable. For several years I have forgotten what charging at night is, I always charge my devices on the go, in between. And I never have problems with the fact that they were discharged at some inopportune moment. It takes 10 minutes to get a charge for several hours of non-stop operation. And this convenience, which is difficult to overestimate.

Reverse reverse charging allows you to recharge accessories or another smartphone, power up to 9W.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities - major changes

In practice, you can expect the Note20 Ultra to easily take a day of work under load, with moderate use – up to two days.

Communication capabilities

Here, what can be called “full stuffing” is a flagship, in which there are no restrictions and flaws, a 5G module is available (in Russia, it is disabled, just like eSIM on most operators, it will appear later), support for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax , will be available with licensing from the regulator), as well as maximum aggregation of LTE frequencies.

Support for payment systems Samsung Pay, Google Pay, the work does not raise any questions. There is, of course, full NFC for everything imaginable.

Bluetooth version 5.0, there is support for sending an audio stream to multiple devices. A proprietary QuickShare feature has appeared, which allows you to quickly send large files to other devices from Samsung (a sort of combed Wi-Fi Direct).

Review of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (SM-G988B / DS)Review of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (SM-G988B / DS)

Memory, chipset, performance

There are several memory options, in Russia there will be two, the basic 12/256 and 16/512 GB (in the S20 Ultra, the basic 12/128 GB).

The model is built on the Exynos 990 chipset (7 nm), there are no shortcomings in the speed of both the interface and third-party applications. This is a very fast chipset, it has a margin of safety for several years to come. In the USA, the model is supplied with Snapdragon 865, there are simply no special differences in performance, battery life and quality. The myths that Snapdragon is better have no basis at all. In some ways the chipset from Samsung wins, in something from Qualcomm. The question of understanding this difference and what exactly you need from the device. If you like to play heavy games, then Qualcomm. If you love taking pictures and filming videos, then Exynos. Although the difference in any case will be minimal and in practice almost imperceptible.

RAM LPDDR5, it is fast, and tests prove it (the test cannot even fully assess how fast the memory is, modern tests lag behind the development of technologies).


The block of cameras is somewhat similar to that in Ultra, but the cameras themselves, their modules are different.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra features and capabilities - major changes

To begin with, the ToF camera disappeared, but the laser light appeared. As well as in the main module, dual-pixel focusing appeared, which speeds up the system and allows you to quickly capture the scene. In the review of the S20 Ultra and the description of the camera, I argued that the new module appears for several years and will be consistently improved, we see the first such changes in the new model, when the algorithms are reworked and the device is pulled up to the level of the previous flagships of the company. It is the Note20 Ultra that becomes fast, trouble-free in the camera area, and this will be noticeable in everyday shooting (in the S20 Ultra there are no problems as such, but this is a new system, and you need to retrain it, here they tried to smooth out the sharp corners). For example, shooting in macro mode is getting easier, but such modes are being updated with an update on the S20 Ultra. The work of the main module of 108 megapixels is important, which is optimized – faster focusing, less blur during sequential shooting, the camera has been pulled to a new level. The changes, as always for the Note line, are not overwhelming, just another step towards improvement.

Ultra stated the digital zoom of x100, but in practice everything above x50 could not be used, I called the x100 mode digital binoculars, you look at something on the screen in the distance, but you don’t take the photo. It is possible that common sense prevailed, since this opportunity was simply abandoned and limited to x50 digital zoom.

At the same time, the module with the periscope provides x5 optical zoom, and the hybrid one – x10. The picture quality should improve in comparison with the S20 Ultra, but I will check this point already in the full review, now it’s too early to talk about it.

The Single Take option can now work for up to 15 seconds (today the video is being written up to 5 seconds), but I don’t think that many will appreciate this moment.

In general, the quality of shooting on the Note20 Ultra will correspond to that of any Samsung flagship, the details in the 108-megapixel module have been improved, the algorithms have been slightly changed. In the latest generations, the company has been consistently improving the quality of video shooting, here, in addition to the already familiar 20K video recording for the S8 family, a 21: 9 frame geometry appears. A kind of cinematic picture borrowed from Sony and their flagships. In the place of Samsung, during the presentation, I would show some short video from a famous director and demonstrate my admiration for this mode, the move is banal, but it always works with a bang.

Just like in Ultra, there is a system of several microphones, there is a Zoom-In for sound when you point the camera at the subject and the sound is amplified. But for the first time in my memory, it becomes possible to choose when recording a video on which microphones the sound will be recorded! That is, you can select pairs of microphones located on the device itself. Not only that, you can plug in an external microphone and record audio from it. This option looks very interesting and dramatically expands the capabilities of the smartphone (I crossed my fingers so that they would not cut it out before the official announcement, as has happened with new chips in the past).

A flagship with good quality photos, noticeably redesigned video algorithms. All this needs to be twisted and watched in real life in order to assess the quality of shooting and the capabilities of the device. But I will say in absentia that it is slightly better than in the S20 Ultra in terms of photos, and noticeably better in terms of video.

Take a look at the sample photos taken with the S20 Ultra to get an idea of ​​what level the main module is in the new model.

A few words about the S Pen

From what will be separately noted is the response speed (the previous one did not raise any questions, it became faster). Overall, it feels like the Bluetooth capabilities have been overhauled.

To explore the capabilities of the S Pen, I’m sending you to the Note10 + review, where they are described in as much detail as possible, this is the basis for the stylus.

Software features

I will not describe the changes in OneUI 2.5, since it is a little too early for this. This is an intermediate version, but useful features have appeared in it, and there are a lot of them.

For the first time on Note20 Ultra, a wireless mode for DeX will appear, that is, you can connect a smartphone to a TV, also connect a keyboard and mouse to a TV set, your work computer is ready! No wires required. The question remains open whether this feature will be added to the previous models (I bet, most likely not, damn marketing).

Collaboration with Microsoft is in full swing, in addition to Windows Link improvements, cloud sync from MS, we will see cloud gaming (xCloud project). You will need an XBox joystick, you can connect it directly to your smartphone, and you will also need an XBox Game Pass. The library of games so far contains about 90 titles, this will be quite a lot. The geography of this service is not clear, there is no doubt that it will be available in the USA, in Korea, but other countries, including Russia, are in doubt. But in any case, this is an interesting option for cooperation.

Preliminary findings and estimated cost

The main comment that will be heard at the time of the announcement of the Note20 Ultra will be the usual “nothing new has been shown”. Indeed, there are few cardinal differences from the same S20 Ultra, they have collected only little things, and dozens of such little things. But the new quality, as many expected, will not work. On the other hand, if we compare with last year’s Note10 +, then these are radically different models (there is support for 5G, that is, the device is already playing in a different league by default, on the other hand, this is not relevant in Russia yet).

Sales of Note10 + turned out to be good, the model came out in Russia at a price of 89 rubles, today the basic version is sold for exactly the same money (within the framework of discounts, the price is reduced by 990-15 thousand rubles, in the gray market the price is 20 thousand rubles). At the moment, the cost of Note70 + reached 10 thousand rubles, but these offers quickly ended, the model actually disappeared before the release of the new device. The cost of the S60 Ultra is one hundred thousand rubles (discounts bring its cost to 20 thousand rubles). Based on these prices, I would venture to suggest that a good price offer for the base model will be 85 rubles (exactly the same price at which the S99 Ultra came out six months ago). And here is a gain in memory, the presence of the S Pen, but the S990 Ultra can be taken to the price line of 20 thousand rubles. An unsuccessful price offer will be 20 rubles, there will already be a focus on prices for the iPhone 90, since the new line comes out at a higher price and the Note109 Ultra surpasses the older model in all characteristics. My opinion is that Samsung needs to bet 990 thousand rubles for this model, which will provide it with a good sales level for this segment. This device is never mass-produced, as well as the S12 Ultra. But as a niche model for those who want the very best smartphone, it will fit and will be very good.

PS I repeat, this is not a review, not a first glance. Discussion of those characteristics that have already leaked. Reflections on the topic, so join the discussion. Scold the apparatus, praise – in a word, we will discuss it. And think about how you would like to see the younger Note20, with what characteristics and cost.

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