Home Product Review's Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: a colossus with feet of clay

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: a colossus with feet of clay

Image Credits: Samsung India
Excellent finishes.
Disappointing performance.

Dimensions – 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm
Stylus still so precise.Ultra light autonomy.Weight – 208 g
Nice screenCharges slower than the competition.Screen diagonal- 6.9 inch
Very good daytime photo modules.Bad night secondary photo modulesScreen definition – px
IP68 certification (waterproof).No mini-jack or USB-C to mini-jack adapterResolution – 494 dpi
Screen type – Super Amoled

With this Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung bulks up the muscles and incorporates everything it does best. Latest generation processor, 6.9-inch 120 Hz screen and of course the stylus. Everything is there to make this smartphone a must-have … at least in theory. And in practice?


Despite the global pandemic, Samsung did not wish to postpone the launch of its new flagships. Here is the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra in india. Came to Market on August 21, the mobiles are presented as simple improvements of the formula that we knew. It is the larger of the two mobiles that we are testing here in inda. We are therefore facing an imposing Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, 16.5 cm high and armed with a stylus.

Lean are the novelties in this flagship, which retains an Exynos chip in its bowels; Samsung still refusing to ship Snapdragon chips in its European top of the range. A regretting choice as Samsung’s “home” chips are known to be less optimized, whether in terms of performance or autonomous

Ergonomics and design

For the design of this Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Samsung continues the momentum of Note 10. We therefore find a curved screen occupying 86.5% of the front and incorporating a central punch. The feeling of only holding a slab in the palm of the hand is back, and it remains very pleasant. It is therefore a very aesthetic front. However, difficult to get an identical consensus on the reverse side.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra presents a most imposing photo island. A real protuberance, it makes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra wobbly. Otherwise, the glass back is the most beautiful effect in newly launching mobiles. It does not retain fingerprints and also has nice reflections.

On its lower edge, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra houses its famous S-Pen stylus. If it has not changing physically, it is now house on the left side of the mobile. Samsung also ensures that the latency between movements and transcription to the screen drops to 9 ms.

In hand, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra manages to remain pleasant, despite XXL dimensions (164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm) and a notable weight (208 g). The side buttons, positioned on the right side, are accessible very nicely, although a little high end. For its part, the fingerprint sensor under the screen is fast and precise. Finally, the stylus seems safe in its sheath and is easy to handle once taken out.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers a port dedicated to a nano SIM card as well as a second, hybrid, which can be transformed into a microSD port. Finally, in good high-end, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is certified IP68; it is therefore waterproof.

Audio-Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Unfortunately, and like last year’s model, the terminal does not have a 3.5mm mini-jack connector or a USB-C to mini-jack adapter. This shortcoming costs him a star in this section devoted to ergonomics. Samsung forces us to use its supplied USB-C headphones or to fall back on any wireless headphones. Regrettable for a smartphone of this size.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch Oled panel displaying 1440 x 3088 px for a resolution of 496 dpi. Unfortunately, to achieve such quality, it will be necessary to give up 120 Hz. Indeed, the samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s panel is only able to go up to WQHD + at 60 Hz. To take advantage of a faster refresh rate, it will be necessary to be satisfy with a display in FHD + (2316 x 1080 px) for a resolution of 370 dpi.

Besides that, the slab of this Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is well calibrating. However, it is necessary to make a slight detour through the settings of the mobile to take full advantage of it. So, by going to the settings, select “screen” then “screen mode”. Once in this menu, choose the “natural” profile. This done, you will obtain a color temperature of 6596 K, extremely close to the 6500 K expected by the video standard. Unfortunately, the average Delta E is not as great. Positioned at 3.7, it shows slight chromatic drifts visible to the naked eye. This is the only thing we can fault this screen, which is as big as it is excellent. Oled obliges, the contrast ratio tends towards infinity. Overall, it is

In terms of performance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s panel is very satisfactory. Capable of climbing up to 978 cd / m², it adequately limits reflections (50.9%). Excellent performance to ensure exemplary readability, even in direct sunlight. In the dark, the screen shows itself capable of going down to 1.9 cd / m², which is low enough not to dazzle in the dark. Finally, the tactile delay (52 ms) and the zero afterglow time (OLED requires) are excellent.


In Europe, Samsung persists in delivering its high-end models with its in-house chips. A choice still so regrettable as it has been proven that the versions equipped with Snapdragon chips (delivered to the USA) are better. We will therefore have to do here with an Exynos 990 chip and 12 GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, the results are mix . With an overall rating of 89, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is just a little more powerful than the Galaxy Note 10+ (88), but less than the Galaxy S20 (89) and S20 Ultra (91).

On closer inspection, Samsung is not really making progress in its software optimization. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers a multitasking index of 99. In other words, it allows you to juggle between applications extremely smoothly. It is at stake that things get complicating. The smartphone only achieves an index of 77, well below what one would expect from a flagship of this stature.

This Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does have a “Performance” mode, but it only slightly improves the velocity of the mobile. It thus passes to an overall index of 89 thanks to a slight, but not sufficient, improvement in play (79).


At Samsung, it is claimed that the photo is the business of the Galaxy S. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is thus less ambitious than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Here no 100x zoom, it will be necessary to be satisfied with a 50x, digital of course and based on a 5x periscopic module. At his side, the Korean manufacturer has however kept the main module, at 108 Mpx. Finally, a third ultra-wide-angle module completes the imposing photo island.

Main module: 108 Mpx, f / 1.8, eq. 26 mm

As on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung has decided to integrate a 108 Mpx sensor on its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Without specifying whether it is the same, it is just as powerful and capable of capturing images in two different definitions. By default, it will shoot in 12 Mpx, thanks to the pixel binning technique . This merges several photosites, here 9, in order to capture more light. The theory therefore wants that this process improves the night shots. To take 108 Mpx photos, just change the format in the photo application. Samsung has made the maneuver very accessible and the mobile follows perfectly. So, no slowdowns in 108 Mpx, it is at least one thing that the Exynos 990 chip does brilliantly.

Let’s start by taking a look at the 12 MP snapshots. By day, the results are excellent, but not yet perfect. The sharpness is present, the exposure is correct and the colors are well represented. However, light image processing smooths the image and strengthens contrast.

At night, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also delivers very good results. The whole is perfectly readable and detailed. Still, the image processing slightly smooths the image.

108 MP mode

Now let’s compare the shots in 12 and 108 Mpx. Obviously, the difference is obvious. By increasing the definition of the photo, the sharpness is increased tenfold. The most impressive remains on the outskirts, where the amount of detail remains excellent. Unfortunately, the image processing persists and the contrast remains a little too forced. This gives overall very good shots, but less convincing than those of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, where the rendering was much more natural.

Night mode

Finally, the main module of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does have a night mode. This one is rather discreet. The greatly extended exposure time allows Samsung to reduce image processing, for a slightly more realistic rendering.

Ultra wide-angle module: 12 Mpx, f / 2.2, eq. 13 mm

The ultra wide-angle module of this Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is good without shining. By day, the pictures are readable, but overexposed and slightly blurry.

5x telephoto module: 8 Mpx, f / 2.2, eq. 13 mm

By day, the 5x telephoto module of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is relevant. It offers a readable, detailed and convincing rendering. The image processing is there, but the whole remains convincing, especially for such a module.

Front module, video and portrait mode

At the front, Samsung has integrated a module equipped with a 10 Mpx sensor and a lens opening at f / 2.2 to act as a selfie machine. It turns out to be very well made. The sharpness is there, the management of the backlight is suitable and the whole is satisfactory. Likewise, the portrait mode, whether done with the front or rear module, remains excellent. Even the curly hair is properly cut, and it looks quite nice. Finally, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can shoot in 8K. A performance that he manages to achieve without too many problems, apart from the appearance of a grain in the image.

Know More: Oppo Reno 4 Pro Review


As on the performance side, the autonomy of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is penalized by an Exynos 990 chip which is still not very optimized. Especially since by default, the mobile displays in FHD + (2 316 x 1 080 px) and in adaptive mode, navigating between 60 and 120 Hz. Under these conditions, the flagship only lasted 13:30, facing our autonomy protocol. It is also not uncommon to see the battery percentages drop visibly. A quarter of an hour of gaming or 4K video requires more than 10% of energy … To estimate the impact of 120 Hz on battery life, we then reduced the refresh rate. As a result, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, in 60 Hz and FHD +, only takes a little extra half an hour, or 13 h 59 min. Not enough to straighten the bar then.

With the 25W charger, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra charges in 1h15. A short time but far from being the most impressive.

Interface & OS

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with version 2.5 of One UI, the interface developed by Samsung and based on Android 10. We find all the features that characterize the manufacturer’s signature: Bixby, Always-on Display, Samsung Pay – the entire Samsung experience is rediscovered. We even find a newcomer, XCloud, Microsoft’s streaming gaming service. This allows you to access the Gamepass and play directly from your mobile.

The side screen is also back, allowing you to pin your favorite apps to a tab. It compensates for the large size of the mobile. Likewise, it is possible to activate the camera by double pressing the lock button. Note that if Bixby is activated automatically with a long press on this same key, it is possible to turn off the smartphone instead.


Difficult to present the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as the flagship of the flagships. Expected as a flawless release, the latest Korean iteration disappoints and stumbles on important points. Thus, its autonomy is very disappointing and its performance is far from excellent. Ironic for a mobile that affirms ambitions on the side of productivity. So yes, it is still a very good smartphone which also has excellent finishes, a very beautiful 120 Hz Oled screen and which deliver very good photos. But in an increasingly competitive market, this is no longer enough to stand out. Its format and screen become the standard and equivalent shots are offered by other manufacturers. Disappointing,who, him, was irreproachable. We would therefore advise you to turn to it instead, or to more balanced Oppo Find X2 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro unless you are driven by an irrepressible desire for a stylus.

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