Galaxy Note 20 vs. Ultra: Which should you buy? – Video

October 10, 2020 John Mendoza No Comments

The Galaxy Note 20 is arguably Samsung’s most powerful phone, but there are two different models which can make it hard to decide between them.
If you are trying to decide which one you wanna buy, or you just wanna know the differences, I’m going to break it down for you one piece at a time.
Just one note before we begin, I’ve got the Galaxy Note 20 here the regular standard one that costs $1,000.
And you can tell because of this mystic green colour, the note 20 Ultra is what I’m actually using to shoot this video.
Now apart from the color, you may think that size is going to be the first difference.
You notice at first glance, that isn’t really true because we’ve got a 6.7 inch screen on the standard Galaxy Note 20 and a 6.9 inch screen on that.
On the ultrasound side by side, they don’t look that different.
But what is extremely noticeable is the back and again, not just the color, it’s the camera bump.
The camera module on here sticks out a little bit but it is much more noticeable.
On the ultra, it protrudes from the sides and you just have larger centre openings.
You will also have Gorilla Glass victus on the back of the note 20 Ultra which is strengthened glass on the note 20 you have.
Plastic Samsung calls that polycarbonate but it’s really the same thing.
If you put a case on your phone, you probably won’t really notice anyway, but I do think it is a little bit cheeky for Samsung to charge you $1,000 for a phone that basically has a plastic backing Especially when the company spent all this time conditioning us to believe that glass is more elegant and just a higher quality product overall.
However, one benefit is if you drop the note 20 the back of it probably won’t shatter.
Another difference you might notice is the flat screen on the note 20 versus the curved sides of the note 20 Ultra I’m a little bit mixed about this because I do love the immersive feel of the ultra with its curved screen.
However, because the screen truly is edge to edge on a curved screen, I always have the problem that I call the finger going over the edge of the waterfall if I’m trying to place my cursor at the beginning of an email, for example, The bezels here are still very narrow.
So I still did experience the accidental presses that I didn’t like on the note 20 Ultra, you’re not going to escape this with the flat phone.
So it really is just a matter of taste but I don’t think you’re going to really lose much of the experience with this flat screen.
Speaking of the screen, the regular note 20 doesn’t have a 120 hertz screen refresh rate.
It has the default 60 hertz that everybody had before we had fast refresh rates.
What does that mean?
Nothing if you’ve never used a phone with a fast screen, but if you did use it, then you might notice that this one feels slow.
However, if you don’t have the two phones side by side You’re probably not going to notice anyway.
This is where the note 20 Ultra truly stands out.
It’s not just because the camera mount on the back is physically larger.
It is because there are one or two tricks that the ultra has that the note 20 does it The most important one to me I think in my everyday photography is 5 x optical zoom.
Now the note 20 is no slouch, there’s three x optical zoom, but when I took both phones out on a photoshoot, I noticed that I did use the note 20 altras five x zoom all the way up to 50 x zoom.
A lot more than I used the regular note 20 I thought that the photo quality was much, much better on that phone as well for those telephoto shots.
So that was really important when I was trying to take hawks playing by or the seals out on the rocks that were just really too far to get close to.
For that kind of nature photography the Ultra really does have the upper hand.
When you’re taking a photo of a flower or a portrait of your roommate, then I don’t think it really matters as much.
The Ultra also has a 108 megapixel camera.
You’re not gonna use that every time but it does mean that if you take a photo with lots of detail or a picture that is far away and you crop in, you’ll retain more of those details than you would on a phone like this.
I think those are really marginal use cases.
They’re extras that are nice to have, but they don’t really impact most of the shots that you’re going to take on the phone.
The camera sensors are different and I do think that photo quality is better on the ultra.
Your selfie camera is going to be exactly the same.
For even more detail, you can check out this handy chart for camera specs.
Let’s talk about everything that the note 20 and the note 20 altra have in common because there’s quite a lot they are.
For example, both note phones.
That means that they have a stylus in the bottom this is the S Pen.
That also means that you can use it to write navigate and do all sorts of fun things.
Both phones also operate Android 10 straight out of the box and they will probably get the Android 11 update at the exact same time too.
They both use Qualcomm’s very speedy Snapdragon 865 plus processor though in some regions you might have Samsung’s Exynos chipset instead.
And then there are all those extras that the two phones have in common like wireless charging, eight Hey video recording, wireless power, share, waterproofing and all that jazz.
So here’s what’s different between the two phones apart from everything that I’ve already said about the screen and the campus.
One of them is battery the regular note 20 a little bit smaller.
So it’s the battery 4,300 milliamp hours rather than the 4500 on the Note 20 ultra-fit.
Guess what?
It doesn’t have that 120 hertz refresh rate sucking down more battery.
So you might actually I find that battery life is slightly better on this phone.
But really they’re both gonna last you all day on a single charge, and you’ll wanna charge it once a day.
There is no microSD card on the regular note 20 but there is one on the ultra.
However you do have 128 gigabytes of onboard storage But you don’t have the option to go up to 512 gigabytes as you do on the ultra.
There’s also a little bit less ram here, eight gigabytes instead of 12.
But that’s still pretty good.
So now you know the basic specs, what’s different, what’s the same and we come down to the question, which one do you buy?, regular note 20 or the note 20 Ultra And this is my dilemma because I actually prefer the note 20 Ultra.
I think that it is a slightly better phone.
If you’re gonna buy a phone, why not buy the most expensive phone that you can afford.
However, I think that it’s too expensive at 1300 dollars and then you’ve got the regular note 20 here and it has all the core specs that really matter.
It is a good solid phone and I do recommend it however I still don’t really think it’s worth paying $1,000 for it, that’s a sticking point for me.
I have a hard time recommending that you pay $1,000 for a phone with a plastic backing.
I think that is a premium price and you should have a top quality product.
Not that the quality isn’t there.
But design wise This is definitely the lesser phone.
But at the same time I don’t think it’s necessarily worth 300 extra dollars to buy the note 20 Ultra just for The glass backing the micro SD card slot that you may or may not use the faster screen refresh rate that you may or may not notice an even 5 x optical zoom, although I absolutely prefer the photos that come out of the note 20 Ultra Again it is hard to swallow 1300 dollars for the note 20 Ultra and did I also mention it is a big heavy pocket Buster so you really have to love a big phone to want it.
That said if you find a deal for the note 20 Ultra where you’re actually paying the price of the regular note 20 I would take it and consequently, if you can find a really good deal on the regular note 20 that maybe brings it down Say closer to $700, $800 and a lot of those deals are gonna be constantly around the corner.
Trade ins, Buy one get ones all sorts of offers then I would consider that but I would not pay full retail for either of these.
Here is another wrench that I’m going to throw in your phone buying plans.
If you don’t think that you’re gonna use the stylus much anyway, and if all you’re interested in is those core features on a phone with a nice design that has good solid cameras, excellent performance, long battery life, big screen, then I’m gonna actually recommend the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE or fan edition.
That phone has a 6.5 inch screen.
With 120 hertz refresh rate if that’s something that you’re interested in, the camera has three x optical zoom, just like the regular note 20 here.
It also has a 4500 milliamp hour battery so you’re going to get long lasting all day battery life and it retails for $700.
Here’s the S 20.
f he is the smartest buy if not the flashiest phone.
But if you truly have your heart set on one of the note phones either the ultra or the regular, my advice to you is pretty simple.
Buy the one that has the best price the day that you’re ready to purchase it.
If you need more help deciding between all of these phones, go to CNET and read our fully rated reviews.

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