[REVIEW] Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra Features & Performance

Author’s blurb: Personally, I think it’s a dumb game to update your phone every year. But the new additions to the Note20 series make a compelling case, depending on how you use your phone.

As you may already know, the Samsung Galaxy Note series usually comes with high end specs for the year. But is it worth the upgrade if you have the Galaxy Note10?

The short answer: probably.

For the long answer, I’m going to go over what I think is worse, good, and better about the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra based on my experience with it.

Note: The Galaxy Note20 Ultra came with a special box that included a clip-on light ring and a selfie stick.

With that said, let’s start with the bad news.

The worst

If you are someone who loves symmetry, this phone will bore you because of its big camera bump.

I’ve never been a fan of it. It lifts the phone up so you can’t lay it flat horizontally, and depending on the thickness, some phone cases can’t even help level it. And in this case, I think it’s too thick to be leveled by a casing.

I’d say the camera bump is almost as thick as the S Pen itself.

I think Samsung has the ability to add a bigger battery to this phone and not make the bump that big, but I guess it’s just a signature look for the brand now.

As sturdy as the screen is, the curved edges are quite annoying, and I’ve had a lot of accidental touches just while holding the phone.

A curved screen is pleasing to the eye, but can be irritating in terms of practicality


The Note20 Ultra’s camera is still very capable. This time they removed the 100x zoom option so that it reaches a maximum of 50x which is much more useful.

Only a triple rear camera setup

Photo-wise the phone performs very well and I personally like the color reproduction of Samsung cameras with reds being a bit more prominent compared to other colors.

But with such a big 108MP main camera, you have to change the way you take pictures a bit.

For example, if you take great food photos, make sure you don’t get too close. Otherwise, you will get photos like the close up below.

On the video front, the Note20 Ultra now comes equipped with 8K recording capabilities, capped at 24 frames per second. While I’m sure not many people I know have an 8K TV, it’s still a nice addition to have.

Personally, I prefer to shoot my videos with Super Steady mode enabled to get crisp photos even when I’m walking around.

The Note20 Ultra’s battery is pretty decent and lasted me for over a day even after Netflix, light gaming, and surfing the internet.

But if you are a heavy user and prefer to have more battery life, you can turn off the variable refresh rate option.

You can set it as standard to save battery

This would mean that you will miss the smooth user interface present with the 120Hz displayand limit it to 60Hz to save more battery.

And speaking of screens, the addition of 120Hz isn’t the only feature Samsung has added to the phone.

The best

The Note20 Ultra comes with a Dynamic OLED 2X Infinity-O display with 1500 nits of brightness.

This means that the screen can be so bright that it is perfectly usable in direct sunlight. During that time, I struggled to read even text in direct sunlight with the 625 nits of brightness on my iPhone 11.

The vivid and vivid colors of the Note20 Ultra make the exciting shows during lunch quite the experience.

Large screen for watching videos on

Another huge improvement to the device is the new upgrade to Samsung Notes, Samsung’s own note-taking app.

The app can now record voice without adding third parties, meaning you don’t have to switch apps just to record your lecture notes or meetings.

As you browse through the notes you took, you can scroll through the recording and see what you wrote at that exact moment.

There are other added features like PDF writing, note straightening and even note to text available on the app now.

But for me the star of the show has to be the upgraded S-Pen.

Writing with is much more intuitive, thanks to the 9 ms latency on the new S-Pen (the previous S-Pen had 45 ms of latency). This means that “ink” or whatever you wrote appears as close to the tip of the S-Pen as possible.

This is also done to provide a more natural writing experience. Personally, I still wish the S-Pen had more resistance to make it look as real as possible.

Samsung has also added features like aerial actions, allowing you to control your phone by drawing aerial actions with your S-Pen. Trying it I struggled to use it consistently.

Having trouble drawing a circle with aerial actions


If you’re someone who uses the Note20’s note-taking features often for work or play, the upgrades to the low-latency S-Pen and 120Hz display are worth updating. level.

Of course, there are downsides too, mostly with just the camera bump and the price.

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is priced at RM5,199 and frankly, that’s not a price most people would pay for a mobile phone, at least not right now.

BenefitsThe inconvenients
Sharp and vivid displayHuge camera bump
Improved S-PenRather exorbitant price
Greatly improved Samsung Notes app

Conclusion: Even though I love the phone, the price is a little hard to justify a purchase unless you really, really have the money to splurge. Money aside, this could very well be the Android phone of the year.

  • Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra here.
  • You can read more about our VP Verdict series here.

VP Verdict is a series in which we personally try and test products, services, modes and applications. Want to suggest something else to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.

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Jothi Venkat

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