With the world’s first online Unpacked event, Samsung has finally unveiled its brand new flagship series under their Note lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series for a starting price of $999 for the base variant with 256 GB storage. Long gone are the times when the Note used to be the costliest lineup that Samsung offered, with the introduction of the flip and fold series.
Pre-orders for both devices start August 6th, 2020 and sales start on August 21st, 2020.
As much of the device had already been leaked, the actual specs have been in rhythm with the leaks which turned out to be majorly true. The phone features a Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990 processor, depending on your region and bad luck. Even though the inclusion of Exynos processors was widely anticipated, fans were hoping for a miracle of sorts to have a standard Snapdragon chip across all regions as these have been widely criticized in recent times.
The device comes with the options of 8/256GB ($999 for the Note 20, $1,299 for the Note 20 Ultra) upgradable up to 12/512GB for the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra ($1,399) lineup. On paper, these specs are quite ahead of their time and should not be an issue for any sort of user. The Note 20 features UFS 3.0 storage, while the Note 20 Ultra features the ever so slightly faster UFS 3.1, which should be a decent add on to have.
The Note 20 features a 6.7″ QHD+ Super AMOLED Plus display panel with Gorilla Glass Victus, while the Ultra features a 6.9″ QHD+ Super AMOLED Plus panel. The Note 20 display can go up to only 60 Hz, which is a huge bummer. The Note 20 Ultra, however, can go up to 120 Hz on both resolutions, and considering the price, it better be able to pull that off. Samsung has been the king of displays for a very long time, and that doesn’t seem to have changed with this launch either.
As for the battery, the Note 20 features a 4,300 MaH battery and the ultra features a 4,500 MaH one. both phones support wired fast charge up to 45W, wireless up to 15W and reverse wireless charge up to 9W. Both devices should easily last you a full day of heavy usage without any bottlenecks.
Coming to probably the most exciting part, the cameras. In recent months, phones like the OnePlus 8 Pro, iPhone SE and Pixel 4a have brought amazing cameras to budget phones and put up great pressure on the flagships to outperform them and justify their prices.
The Note 20 features a 64 MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture and OIS and EIS for stabilization, a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 12 MP 5x telephoto and depth sensor. The Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, features a 108 MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture and OIS and EIS for stabilization, a 12 MP wide-angle camera, a 12 MP 5x telephoto with up to 50x digital zoom. Although the numbers are big, it will be interesting to see how well they transform into real-life usage.
Both devices feature a single 10 MP sensor for the front camera, support 4k up to 60 fps with Samsung’s highly appreciated super stabilization. Cameras have been pretty stagnant for the past few generations and I’m more excited to see how Samsung has updated its video processing algorithms. The S20 series had a horrible Auto-Focus issue which hopefully they’ve resolved before this launch.
No Note series is complete without talking about the s-pen, which has been updated by Samsung to incorporated new features like reduced latency to 9 ms.
Lastly, one important design change that Samsung seemed to have incorporated it the almost complete removal of curved edges from the Note Series. The curve aesthetic was drastically reduced with the launch of the recent S series lineup but now seems to have been completely removed. The curved edges always had a divided fan base because of the lack of any practical use of those. Notably, Samsung were the first manufacturers to include this design back in the day with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge, and it’s surprising to see them finally end the trend and look at other alternatives.
Absolutely pathetic decisions by Samsung to not include a higher refresh rate panel on the Note 20. Plus, a poly carbonate body for $999+ is totally unacceptable.