Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra first look: a decent bug fix

A few days ago, Samsung introduced new devices of the Galaxy line. We were among the first to get acquainted with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 smartphones, as well as test them. We share our impressions and their key features.


Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Appearance and ergonomics


In the last year’s Galaxy Note 10, the power button was for some reason moved to the left side, which was extremely inconvenient. But when developing the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung engineers clearly listened to the users: the key was returned to its rightful place on the right. However, at the same time, the volume control swing was also moved, but this arrangement does not cause any complaints. Another noticeable change is the S Pen stylus that has moved to the left side. When holding the device with the right hand, it became much more convenient to reach the pen with the left.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a large and almost rectangular smartphone, but it is convenient to hold it in your hand. This is affected by the curved edges of the case in front and behind. The bending of the screen on the sides is minimal and does not cause discomfort during use. The display and backside are covered with the latest tempered Gorilla Glass Victus. It should withstand drops from two meters and less scratch than Gorilla Glass 6. We will leave the verification of these statements to bloggers from YouTube, but note the truly gigantic module of the main camera. It bulges out of the case, so the gadget is unstable on the table.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

On the upper side, there is a tray for two SIM cards, instead of one of them you can install a memory card with a capacity of up to 1 TB. At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C connector and a multimedia speaker that works in conjunction with a conversational speaker to create a stereo effect.


Display and S Pen


Almost the entire front side of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is occupied by a 6.9-inch dynamic AMOLED 2X matrix. A refresh rate of 120 Hz is supported, but, as with the S20 series, it only functions at Full HD+resolution. But when you select WQHD+, the standard 60 Hz is enabled. The manufacturer claims a 25 percent increase in maximum brightness, which is difficult to verify by eye. However, the screen is really bright and high-quality, it is a pleasure to work with it, especially in applications with support for 120 Hz.


Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

As usual, there are several presets in the options with different color settings. A dark theme is also available, supported by all standard and many third-party programs, and the Always on Display mode, which allows you to change the options for displaying the clock and notifications on the screen.


The main feature of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the proprietary S Pen stylus. This year, it was once again upgraded. Feels like the pen has become much more responsive, there is no delay in drawing at all. There is now support for five customizable gestures that allow you to remotely control your smartphone using the stylus. For example, with a swipe of the pen, you can go back to the previous menu or immediately to the desktop, call up recent applications, take a screenshot of a specific form, and start recording the screen. An interesting feature - you can take handwritten notes and simultaneously record audio comments. If you select a specific piece of text, the device will play the corresponding sound explanation.


Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Cameras


In the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the manufacturer limited itself to the minimum required set of cameras: a 108-megapixel module with a standard viewing angle, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and a telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom. There are no additional depth sensors or other sensors typical of other modern models.


We tested some new camera functions in practice. Especially impressed by the laser autofocus: the camera focuses on objects instantly, even if they move quickly in the field of view. Supports recording «cinematic» videos with a resolution of 8K, a frequency of 24 fps, and an aspect ratio of 21: 9. Also liked that Galaxy Buds Live headphones are convenient to use as a wireless microphone. This option can help out during interviews when there is no special equipment at hand.


Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Software


The Korean tech giant continues to improve on DeX’s proprietary desktop mode. It is now completely wireless: no docking station or cable needed. Now you can simultaneously broadcast video to the TV and continue using your phone, such as typing. In addition, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be easily turned into a touchpad that supports various gestures, such as swiping between applications. 


Active users of Microsoft services will appreciate their deep integration into the smartphone system. For example, notes from Samsung Notes are automatically synced to the OneNote feed in Outlook. In addition, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was the first gadget that can run mobile programs on a Windows 10 PC screen. So far, it is possible to work with a single application in this format, but Samsung and Microsoft promise to implement full-fledged multitasking by the end of the year.


Galaxy Note20 Ultra

Galaxy Note 20 - only the essentials


In addition to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, we were able to get acquainted with the usual modification. The devices are similar both externally and technically, but there are a number of important differences. The Note 20 has a flat-screen and does not support 120 Hz, only the standard 60 Hz frequency is available. The frames around the display are slightly thicker, and the opening for the front panel is larger.


Galaxy Note 20

There is no such high-speed laser autofocus, as in the older model. And the resolution of the main camera is 12 megapixels, while a 64-megapixel module with a 3x hybrid zoom plays the role of a telephoto camera. At the same time, the devices are no different in terms of software.


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