The release of new flagships is a great reason to think about buying last year’s flagships. Companies are switching to a more recent product, the old device is getting cheaper, but at the same time, it remains top in most parameters. In Samsung’s case, the situation is a bit peculiar because the company had two (even three, if we take into account the Fold) flagship lines, which are released at different times. And in connection with the Galaxy S21 smartphone release, it is more logical to like the Galaxy S20 series. But you can still pay attention to the Galaxy Note20 line, especially if you are looking at a smartphone for the future.
The last couple of months, I passed with the most charged representative of this series – the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G model, and I’m ready to share my impressions of the device.
I won’t focus much on the technical characteristics of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G in the text, but for clarity, I have given them in the specs table:
|Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G|
|Display||6.9 ″ Dynamic AMOLED, 3088 × 1440 (496ppi), HDR10 +, 120Hz|
|Memory||12 GB (LPDDR5)|
256 GB (512 GB version also available)
|Camera||108 MP (f / 1.8, OIS)|
12 MP (ultra wide, f / 2.2, 120 degrees viewing angle)
12 MP (telephoto periscope, f / 3.0, 5x optical zoom) 10 MP (front camera, f / 2.2)
|Modules||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, eSIM, UWB|
25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, 4.5W reversible charging
|Overall dimensions||164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm|
Is Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G Convenient?
Let’s start with the fact that using such a huge smartphone is frankly inconvenient. And in the case of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, it turned out to be a combo: firstly, a huge 6.9 ″ display was installed (and after all, 7 ″ tablets were once quite an independent niche on the market), and secondly, the screen has rounded on the sides. These two factors made it difficult for me to use my smartphone with one hand. And it’s almost impossible to type text in this way. Of course, over time, I got used to typing with one hand, but accidental clicks are constantly enraged when you try to reach the left edge of the keyboard. It seems to me that the optimal display size for a smartphone is 5.8 ″ -6.3 ″. And no matter how excellent the screen itself in the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is (high refresh rate, high-quality AMOLED matrix, etc.), the ease of use is still more important.
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G: Design
Overall, I don’t really like the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G’s look. Perhaps it’s the color (the bronze didn’t go too far for me), although the camera unit’s design is so-so. Well, the display with rounded corners did not cause a wow effect. With the Galaxy S21 line, the company made a real breakthrough. These are the first Samsungs in recent years that I liked because of the design in the first place. And the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G seems to me to be a device stuffed with modern hardware, for which performance is more important than looks.
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G: S Pen Support
One of the main features of the Galaxy Note line is S Pen support. I have not met during the entire time of using the smartphone situations in which the stylus would bring a huge amount of benefit. Undoubtedly, using the S Pen makes it much more convenient to make some inscription on the screenshot or draw something on the photo. But more often than not, he remained unused. I think Samsung did the right thing to add S Pen support to the Galaxy S21 Ultra but didn’t include it in the kit. Users who need a stylus will buy it, while the rest will do without an accessory. Why should a company waste extra resources?
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G: Performance
There is no point in talking about the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G performance for a long time. I rarely play on smartphones (most often only to test the device), so if anyone is interested in this aspect, watch the video above, where Sasha tells more on this topic. For me, the general impressions of the device’s performance are important. And in this regard, the smartphone completely suits me. There are no lags when switching between applications, programs are launched instantly, and rarely any utilities are unloaded from RAM. The experience of using the device is significantly affected by the increased screen refresh rate. However, you have to reduce the resolution to Full HD +, but this is not felt, but the difference of 120 Hz / 60 Hz is felt immediately.
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G: Camera Experience
The Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G cameras are optimal: primary sensor, ultra-wide, and telephoto. The smartphone really allows you to take fantastic pictures, but here, as a rule, it all depends on the skills and imagination of the user himself. Samsung, on the other hand, did everything necessary: installed top-end hardware and added good software. If you are into mobile photography, I think this is a good option for you. By the way, the device is also suitable for recording vlogs. There are various modes for shooting clips. The primary camera can record up to 8K. And there is a slot for a microSD memory card, which is also a plus. Moreover, it was abandoned in the Galaxy S21 line.
A few more words about the Galaxy Buds Live headphones that I used with the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. These beans, despite their very original shape, fit very comfortably in the ears. Again, I don’t really like the bronze colors (they also have a glossy finish), but they leave a pleasant impression. This applies to the sound quality and control (although sometimes you accidentally touch the touch panels) and the noise reduction system’s operation. Of course, the latter does not reach the in-ear headphones level but muffles the subway’s noise. But you can communicate with someone without removing the headphones from your ears. Therefore, if you need good-quality TWS headphones, not for all the money in the world (especially for some promotion or at a sale), I advise you to pay attention to this model. You can also read my Samsung Galaxy Buds Live Headphone Review: Beans In The Ears.
What is the result?
I would not buy myself a Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. And it’s not even about the high price (and at the start, they asked for $1290), but in the absence of any emotion in the smartphone for me personally. This is a great device in terms of hardware and software (although I would prefer pure Android instead of OneUI), but the design and dimensions are clearly not for me. Nevertheless, if you look at the dynamics of prices, then a little bit of the cost of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G begins to fall. I think an even more significant decline can be expected in the coming months. And accordingly, the device becomes more interesting to purchase.
Share your thoughts on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G in the comments below. What is more important to you in a smartphone – performance or design? And what is the main factor for buying a device? Also, ask questions about the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. I will try to answer while I still have the device.