Samsung Galaxy note 20 Ultra Review

by birtanpublished on October 5, 2020

This is lisa from mobile tech review and this is the samsung galaxy note 20 ultra again i say again because we put out a first look review a couple of weeks ago i've been using it for about five days or so but now i've had almost three weeks and it's time for the full review we're gonna look at it now so the note 20 ultra is the bigger of the two notes for 2020. there's a regular note 20 not ultra that one's 9.99 this one is 12.99 the united states so 1300 this is one of the two things that are a con with the phone i mean whether or not it's worth it given what you get inside

All that sort of thing that's another thing but thirteen hundred dollars is a lot of money phone price creep isn't phone price creep it's a leaping monster coming at you right ever since the iphone hit a thousand dollars no problem everybody's been following suit and throwing everything they can into a phone and with a price to match the other thing is while no kidding kids it's a note phone so it's big and it's heavy it's not much different from the note 10 plus from last year which was the bigger

Note then but if you're coming from a couple of generations ago i mean this thing is a handful if you thought the oneplus 8 pro is big this one's even just a little bit bigger so this might be too much weight and too much bulk for some people's hands pockets wherever it is you stick your phone but the upside of that is lots of big screen i mean great for whether you're watching videos or you're reading ebooks and whatever else you might want

To read blinkist stuff for example and speaking of them shout out to our videos sponsor blinkist a cool app for ios and android where you can consume over 3000 non-fiction books really interesting titles at that in 15 minute snippets so you've got a lot of information condensed saves you a lot of time and right now given the fact that a lot of us are still working at home and then pandemic and for many of you that's still kind of new how do you do an experience i've been looking at some

Books that are on the topic of how to manage your time basically and how to function with this new kind of life that we have so you can do it podcast style and listen or you can actually read along if you want there's all sorts of other things too if you're into a little maybe self-improvement and lose that little gut that you've gained while staying at home for example or if you just want to be more healthy or if you're totally interested in something else like science astronomy

Technology all that sort of stuff the first hundred people to go to our link in the description which is blinkist forward slash mobile tech review are going to get unlimited access for one week to try it out for free they'll also get 25 off if you want the full membership trial is completely free so visit that link and give it a try and now back to our video so 6.9 inch beautiful oled or amoled as samsung calls it display with a little punch out for the camera is pretty inconspicuous

On the front certainly a nice display it is curved a little bit on the sides and i'm kind of over curved displays because of the annoying accidental edge presses and all that sort of thing but the curve is pretty small here so i haven't had much of a problem with it at all honestly i still have more of a problem touching the bottom by accident because we're talking almost no bezels here which is trendy and people like it by the way if you get the regular note 20 that is a 6.7 inch

Instead of a 6.9 inch display still pretty big so for us in the united states we get the qualcomm snapdragon 865 plus which is their latest greatest cpu and supports 5g and this supports all sub 6 so you get low mid band and millimeter wave if you happen to be in one of those tiny little footprint areas that has that super fast 5g mostly and city is like new york city yeah um now some people say oh you know 5g just isn't worth it and all that sort of thing and the 5g tax because the new 5g compatible

Qualcomm snapdragons are expensive but i've discovered actually that it is because i test so many phones and i'm always speed testing networks to see how 5g deployments are rolling out for mostly sub 6 no we're not a millimeter wave coverage area and one thing i have noticed is that even on 4g lte speeds are a lot faster like say 40 megabit per second versus 60 so on att as an example so that's nothing to sneeze out there because the 5g capable phones are also really good at

Aggregating bands together and all that sort of thing and well obviously the carriers are optimizing also for the most effective throughput there so while 5g might not be a lot faster than 4g lte the 4g speeds are improving so that kind of moves me towards saying all right it's not so bad after all now the caveat for those of you who are not in the united states where you get the samsung exynos 990 cpu which is the same cpu in the galaxy s20 family of phones uh you know exams used to be really good

Sometimes even faster than snapdragon but now they've been falling behind by a bit so you're probably not going to be as excited here this isn't to step up from the s 20 family usually we see the note take some improvements and all that sort of thing but not for you folks say in europe where you're getting the exynos cpu that also makes phones like the oneplus 8 pro which you will get the snapdragon cpu and a giant screen phone but with no s pen i may be a little bit more attractive if

You're a performance maven if you're looking at something like the note 20 ultra other than the fact that you might be an s pen lever i assume you are a specs maven because the whole point in this phone is that it's got everything at the max that you can get for the cameras ex there's the prime example we had basically the s20 ultra cameras here but with the issues fixed they added laser autofocus again i covered that in my first look video but as i continue to use this for three weeks now

I can tell you this thing just focuses in a heartbeat like it should right especially for an expensive phone but for any phone these days most of them do focus very quickly and the only gotcha you're going to get is with the main sensors 108 megapixels and the pixel bins to 12 megapixel by default but you could take full resolution images if you wanted but it's a relatively very large sensor which means let's lots of light in you can get a good image quality a little bit more slr like but also

The the depth of field on it can be very shallow at times so you have to be careful with that because sometimes you'll actually be out of the depth of field focal range of the camera you'll get the hang of it and samsung also has their shot suggestion option in the settings and normally i don't turn it on but i did because they know what's going on with the ins and outs of their fairly complex camera system the zoom on here is 5x optical and i love that because i love to take portraits of people of cats of animals

All that sort of thing where you don't want to get too physically close and the images are nice you have 50x zoom they got rid of the 100x space zoom and now we're down to 50x from what the ultra did but no loss there because what are you doing with 100x zoom except for saying look at the little blurry thing see i can see all the way over there oh my goodness the neighbor in her underpants no you don't want that anyway i hope and we have a wide angle camera which is also quite capable it takes pretty good night mode photos as you can see from

The examples so sometimes the the wide angle or the ultra wide angle is the one that gets left out from night mode now comparing this to other cameras um over the iphone it has well stronger telephoto zoom so that's a selling point right there i would say the samsung and the iphone family of phones shoot the best video out there pixels are great but they really focus on still imagery more than videos for example huawei's we don't get them much in this country so i can't say we do get oppo's and they're pretty good

On video but not as good as this but overall when it comes to image quality this is very good but it's still a samsung which means you're getting some over saturation of colors which can be okay it can look nice but it's also gonna you know sometimes over colorize the detail so it looks a little bit less sharp just a teeny and also they do over sharpen too and some people like a super crispy looking image what i would say is you don't get as much of a digital slr like image as you do from a pixel phone

They really do a good job of making a very natural image so do oppo phones the high end like the find x2 pro that i reviewed now with oneplus i would say they're still behind samsung but they're getting really close at this point but samsung's software and their imaging has been at the high and been very evolved so there's that the selfie camera on this it has the wide view in case you're there with your friends you remember when you actually were hanging out with your friends right

And the normal mode and it's okay it does the botox thing and i'm a woman of a certain age and even for me it's overdone it's a little creepy but it's it's okay it's decent it still has a problem with high contrast though you can see the backlit version of me and yeah the background is a little too overexposed conversely if i stand in the sun i get a little overexposed i expect a little bit better there samsung for this flagshippy phone that yeah could do better but in normal

Lighting you can see oh wait not that one that was before i shaved okay this one here you can see under normal lighting without harsh contrast that looks pretty decent other than the facial smoothing and let's face it when you've got a camera hump that is as big as a lego on the back you know you got to talk about the cameras a lot it's obviously a focal point pun intended of this phone another one obviously would be the s pen which you know i love i've been

Into notes for a long time because i'm i have terrible handwriting i don't take a lot of notes though the samsung notes app has really grown full featured over the years handwriting you got handwriting to text you have the handwriting tidying tool you have importing a pdf so you can sign pdfs on your phone you can export to word it's very good they have folder organization now thank goodness so all that's good oh and there is a windows client i bet you a lot of you didn't

Know that but no mac client but anyway i like it for drawing and now that the screen is so big i feel like i can do a little bit more than just sketch out thumbnails and it's lovely for that they have reduced the latency which means the pen feels faster and more fluid you've got pressure levels here you've got reasonably good handed palm rejection but i mean it's a small phone you don't need a lot of palm rejection here the only thing that gets in the way of total enjoyment is the

Glossiness because the pen will skate a little but i suppose you can get a matte screen protector for it and it is wacom emr as always so any wacom emr compatible pen for tablet pcs will work or the galaxy tab six or seven pens if you want something bigger the wacom bamboo ink so you have choices if you want to use something bigger in terms of durability we have gorilla glass victus now jerry everything has already taken his mohs hardness picks and scratched uh

It is still well it's glass it's going to scratch somewhere in the range of glass some but you have to be pretty darn abusive to the thing it looks like the the camera actually did pretty well to the glass over the camera speaking of the camera yes it creates a wobble on the desk as i said in my first look review once you put a case on it problem solved it doesn't wobble i have the best buy 20 clear case on it and it takes care of that issue though i hate to cover that mystic bronze satin

Finish on the back which is pretty grippy it is very pretty it's also available in mystic white and mystic black which i guess is more mystical than just black and white we have an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the front offers facial recognition they're not very secure 2d kind but fingerprint scanner for me works better than the s20 series it's i don't know if the tech is changing inside or some software but it's a bit better i really don't have a problem with it of course it has all the

Niceties of a modern expensive phone which means ip68 dust and water resistant it has nfc works with samsung pay you have google pay as well you have wi-fi six onboard and probably a lot of you don't have wi-fi six routers yet but hey it's going to be ready for you you get the idea not lacking for anything here the battery is 4500 milliamps on this that's a good size battery now we have a powerful phone with a very high resolution display which can do 120 hertz refresh as long as you choose

Either the low or middle resolution if you go from max resolution they're not going to let you do that because they're trying to protect battery life i imagine but honestly in the middle resolution setting i cannot see the difference between that and the highest anyway but yeah 120 hertz is nice no ghosting no than that you know when you scroll up and down really fast but the battery on this supports 25 watt fast charging not anything faster than that but that's pretty fast so that's fine and

It's an all-day phone i mean i use this very heavily because obviously i was testing it i was shooting more photos and videos than i normally would playing games you name it syncing data and it's it is an all-day phone in terms of screen on time i was getting at least six hours which is pretty good that's with auto brightness on at 120 hertz adaptive screen refresh other little tidbits mostly for american folks uh if you're using this on a t who is the devil incarnate when it comes to

Supporting unlocked phones we have the united states unlocked version and i am getting voice over lte on this i am getting 5g now on this at first their system didn't recognize it because we had it weeks before release but yeah so those things work i don't think you're going to get wi-fi calling on it probably unless you go for the et and t branded and bloated version of it t-mobile works just fine verizon absolutely no problems happy with that and for those who are wondering there is no factory-installed screen protector this time around

Previously with the s20 family samsung had been putting one on oh one last thing if the phone is working hard it gets a bit toasty on the back you'll feel if you're playing way too much call of duty mobile it will let you know by toasting up your fingers a bit you're not going to burn yourself or something like that but this is true of a lot of today's most powerful phones and as a little talk one more time for the regular note 20 yes it's 300 less but you get the plastic plastic bag which i know people

Don't feel is as well premium i can understand that you don't get a micro sd card slot for expansion you don't get as nice of cameras on it it's kind of to me like a lost cause maybe that's why samsung hasn't even sent us a review unit yet anyway it's a really good phone folks it should be for this price i'm pretty pleased with samsung did some here is the notes not much better than the s20 line it just has the s pen but this time they took everything they kind of could

Have improved say with the s20 ultra like the cameras particularly and then we got the flat bottom and top which makes it a little easier to rest on things hold on to and all that it's up to you as whether you feel like you want to spend this much money on a phone obviously if you're into samsung they have a range of phones that are less expensive going down to the a series for example and even the j series but as a premium phone with really like jewelry level good looks fantastic

Screen great speeds all that sort of thing and really very compelling cameras they're doing a good job here as they should right i'm lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech videos and hit the notification bell so you know about them too

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