Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip

Samsung has just announced the new versions of the Galaxy Note, its high-end stylus smartphone. We were able to take them in hand briefly a few days before the announcement. Here are our first impressions while we wait for our full test.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip Galaxy Note Ultra & Note 20 (right)


Information

Main features of Note 20 Ultra

  • Processor : Exynos 990
  • But by the full GPU acceleration tech : Mali-G77 MP11
  • RAM : LPDDR5 8 Go (256 Go) / 12 Go (512 Go)
  • Warehousing : 256 or 512 GB UFS 3.0 (expansion by micro SD card)
  • OS : Android 10 + One UI
  • Screen : Dynamic AMOLED touch 6,9 '' 19,3: 9 format; 3088 x 1440 pxls (496 dpi); 120 Hz refresh; HDR10 +; gamut sRGB and DCI-P3 
  • stiletto : S-Pen bluetooth with reduced latency (9 ms)
  • Protection : IP68 compliant; Corning Gorilla Glass 7 screen protector
  • unlocking : fingerprint reader under the screen, facial recognition
  • Front camera : 10 Mpxl (f / 2,2, photosites 1,22 μm, phase detection AF
  • Back camera : main module 108 Mpxl (f1,8, optical stabilization, photosites 0,8 μm, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization); 12 MP wide-angle (f / 2,2 photosites 1,4 μm), telephoto 5x optical (f / 3, photosites 1 μm, optical stabilization).
  • Video : 8K 24 im / s maxi; ralenti 120 im / s
  • Battery : 4500 mAh; fast charge 25 Watts via USB-C, 15 Watts wireless, reverse charge 4,5 Watts
  • Audio : stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos certification; aptX HD
  • Wirelessl : Wifi 6 ; Bluetooth 5
  • SIMs. : 2 x nano SIM (or 1 nano SIM + 1 micro SD card)
  • Dimensions : 164,8 x 77,2 x 8,1 mm
  • Weight : 208 g  
  • Price : 1320 € (256 Go) ; 1409 € (512 Go)

Main features of Note 20

  • Processor : Exynos 990
  • But by the full GPU acceleration tech : Mali-G77 MP11
  • RAM : 8 Go (LPDDR5)
  • Warehousing : 256 GB UFS 3.0 (expansion by micro SD card)
  • OS : Android 10 + One UI
  • Screen : Dynamic AMOLED 6,7 '' touchscreen 20: 9 format; 2400 x 1080 pxls (393 dpi); 60 Hz refresh; HDR10 +; gamut sRGB and DCI-P3 
  • stiletto : S-Pen Bluetooth with reduced latency (26 ms)
  • Protection : IP68 compliant; Corning Gorilla Glass 6 screen protector
  • unlocking : fingerprint reader under the screen, facial recognition
  • Front camera : 10 Mpxl (f / 2,2, photosites 1,22 μm, phase detection AF
  • Back camera : Main module 12 Mpxl (f / 1,8 photosites 1,8 μm); wide-angle 12 Mpxl (f / 2,2 photosites 1,4 μm); 3x hybrid telephoto lens 64 Mpxl (f / 2, photosites 0,8 μm, optical stabilization).
  • Video : 8K 24 im / s maxi; ralenti 120 im / s maxi
  • Battery : 4300 mAh; 25 Watts fast charge via USB-C, 15 Watts wireless, 4,5 Watts reverse charge.
  • Audio : stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos certification; aptX HD
  • Wireless : Wifi 6 ; Bluetooth 5
  • SIMs. : 2 x nano SIM (or 1 nano SIM + 1 micro SD card)
  • Dimensions: x 161,6 75,2 8,3 mm x
  • Weight : 192 g
  • Price Stk #: 959 € (4G); 1059 € (5G)

Design: is plastic fantastic?

Unlike last year, where the Note 10 and Note 10+ were difficult to discern at a glance, the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are easily recognizable by their display. That of the Note 20 Ultra measures 6,9 "and has overflowing sides (the famous Infinity Edge screen dear to Samsung) while the" short "Note 20 has to be content with a 6,7 '' panel with classic edges.




Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip Galaxy Note 20

Some will be happy, since waterfall-type borders are not always practical when taking notes or viewing videos. The two panels are of the Dynamic AMOLED type, perforated to make room for the front camera. No change in the placement of the fingerprint reader, still housed under the screen and based on ultrasonic technology. Note that the screen of both devices is protected by the new Gorilla Glass 7 from Corning.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip Note 10+ vs Note 20 Ultra (right)

If the rear of the Note 20 Ultra is also made of glass, that of the Note 20 must be satisfied with a good quality plastic… but a plastic all the same. This certainly looks good, and throws even more than that of the Galaxy A71, but does it really have its place on a very high-end smartphone? If it is more likely to withstand the shock of a fall, it can however be more sensitive to scratches. A test will tell us a little more about this aspect.



The photo module, which we will come back to later, takes more than ever the form of a domino that is impossible to miss. With three sensors, it protrudes significantly from the Note 20 Ultra shell and slightly less than that of the Note 20. The two products are available in three colors: gray, bronze and matt green for the Note 20 while the Note 20 Ultra is available in black, white and bronze.

S-Pen: the same, but faster

Essential differentiating point from the Galaxy Note, the S-Pen remains substantially identical to that equipping the Note 10 range. We therefore find the recognition of 4096 pressure levels as well as a Bluetooth connection. The 6-axis movement detection mechanism, inaugurated last year, continues to transform the S-Pen into a gesture remote control. Note also a strong reduction in latency time. It goes from 42 ms on the Note 10 to 26 ms on the Note 20 and 9 ms on the Note 20 Ultra (therefore identical to what Apple offers on the iPad Pro).

Samsung is taking advantage of Note 20 to update its Samsung Notes application. In addition to an improvement in handwriting recognition, the new version allows the straightening of handwritten text and the synchronization of notes with a Samsung tablet or a Windows PC (Mac OS remains excluded for the moment). Other welcome new features are the direct annotation of a PDF as well as voice recording while taking notes, a bookmarks mechanism that makes it easy to find the audio extract by selecting a text.


Screen: always on top?

Samsung has always paid special attention to the screen of its high-end smartphones. Those of the Note 20 and 20 Ultra are no exception to the rule, the manufacturer using the Dynamic AMOLED technology already encountered on the Note 10 and the Galaxy S20. That of the Note 20 measures 6,7 '' and displays 2400 x 1080 pixels (393 ppi; refresh rate 60 Hz) while the Note 20 Ultra is adorned with a 6,9 '' panel displaying 3088 x 1440 pixels (496 ppp; refresh rate 120 Hz). As far as we can tell, the image produced is nothing short of excellent. Here too, we will tell you more in a future test.


Gaming : same player shoot gain

When the Note 10 was announced, Samsung announced the launch of PlayGalaxy Link, a PC game streaming service for smartphones. For this occasion, the manufacturer presented a tailor-made lever (or almost). After a funeral without flowers or wreaths from its service a few months after its launch, Samsung does it again, but this time in partnership with Microsoft. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the Korean opts this time for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate integrating the streaming game service xCloud (available from September). And to celebrate, he is distributing a version adapted to his smartphone of the Moga XP5-X Plus controller.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip Moga controller offered by Samsung

DeX looses the thread

Samsung was the first manufacturer to offer a PC mode integrated into its premium smartphones. If at first it was necessary to go through a docking station, the manufacturer has gradually lightened the device by replacing the connection with a USB-C / HDMI cable. With the Note 20, DeX finally frees itself from the cable. This makes it even easier to establish a connection with a brand smart TV (provided it is not older than 2018) or in theory with any MiraCast compatible display.

Autonomy: improvement in sight

The Note 20 and 20 Ultra respectively have a 4300 mAh and 4500 mAh battery, rechargeable via the USB-C port or by induction. According to the manufacturer, the autonomy should be “excellent”. We hope so, since Samsung claims to have taken care to optimize the power consumption of the Exynos 990, considered too greedy on the S20 range and having disappointed in this aspect. And by the way, Samsung claims to have greatly improved the automatic management of the refresh rate in order to lower the energy requirements of the display.

Photo and video: like the S20, but better?

It is impossible to go into detail here in the description of the cameras on board the Note 20 and 20 Ultra. We will be satisfied to say that they are almost a copy and paste of those equipping the Galaxy S20. Both are equipped with a 10 Mpxl f / 2,2 front camera (1,22 μm photosites). The Note 20's back module consists of three sensors: 12 Mpxl for the main one (f / 1,8 photosites 1,8 μm), 12 Mpxl for the wide-angle (f / 2,2 photosites 1,4 μm) and 64 Mpxl for the 3x hybrid telephoto lens (f / 2, photosites 0,8 μm, optical stabilization).

Three sensors also for the Note 20 Ultra: 108 Mpxl for the main one (f1,8, optical stabilization, photosites 0,8 μm, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization), 12 Mpxl for the wide-angle (f / 2,2, 1,4 photosites 12 μm) and 5 Mpxl for the 3x optical telephoto lens (f 1, photosites XNUMX μm, optical stabilization).

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip Note 20 Ultra back camera

Samsung pays particular attention to the video part. The Note 20 and 20 Ultra offer 8K 120 fps capture, a pro video mode capable of generating “traveling” effects and repeated by improving the audio zoom. All of this is complemented by some useful gadgets and functions (such as slow motion at 120 fps) that we will not fail to analyze as soon as we have the product in hand.

What we think (for now)

Last year, the Note 10 and 10+ represented a big evolution of the range. With the Note 20 and 20 Ultra, Samsung offers a predictable but relevant development. Roughly speaking, we can see the newcomers as being Galaxy S20s equipped with a stylus. Do they present a number of new features large enough to justify the abandonment of a Note 10? Difficult to say as it stands.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: our grip Human arm - extract from the Samsung Mobile tariff

There remains the painful question of the introductory price. Pre-orderable as of today and available from August 21, the critters are selling their hulls at a high price. For the Note 20 equipped with 256 GB of storage, it will cost 959 € for the 4G version and 1059 € for the 5G version. The Note 20 Ultra is available in a 5G version for € 1320 (256 GB) or € 1409 (512 GB).

Obviously, Samsung continues to base its prices on those of Apple. They would be wrong to go without, as long as there are potential customers ready to pay such sums ... Logically, the price should gradually drop over the coming months, making the Note 20 a little more affordable for the common people.

In order to pass the pill, Samsung offers pre-order offers. If you are the gamer type, you will receive for any pre-order a copy of the Moga controller along with three months of access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. If the offer leaves you unhappy, you can instead get a pair of Buds Live headphones.

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