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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Review 2021

It’s all too convenient to overlook the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. Definitely, with its 6.9-inch adaptive 120Hz touchscreen, diligent glass and metal design, and ridiculous triple camera bump, the $1,299 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is difficult to ignore. However, the standard Note 20 lacks any of these features, causing some to ignore it — perhaps wrongly — as a low-cost afterthought in Samsung’s lineup of luxury handsets.

Let it be known that when the Note 20 was unveiled, we were among those who dismissed it. However, although the $999 Note 20 lacks some of the more eye-catching features of its more luxurious counterpart, it is still $300 less costly.

That’s not a small sum of money these days. Also, if you want to purchase one of Samsung’s latest Notes to get stuff finished faster, the affordable Note 20 offers a way less on the Ultra. You also get the same reliable Snapdragon 865 processor, flexible S Pen, and the latest and greatest productivity-focused features from Samsung, such as the updated Notes app and portable DeX Mode projection.

If you really want the best camera and monitor on your smartphone, the Note 20 Ultra is right here to offer its services. However, if you have no issues in compromising on those aspects in order to get exactly the same features for less amount cash, the standard Note 20 has nothing cut-rate about it but its price.

Mark your Calendars and Top up your Wallet

The Galaxy Note 20 ends up costing 999 bucks and is available in only one single setup: 8GB of RAM and 128GB of capacity which is not expandable. For comparison, the Note 20 Ultra, which includes expandable memory, a larger touchscreen, and longer battery life, among several other specifications, commences at 1,299 bucks.

The standard Note 20 comes in 3 cool colors: Mystic Gray, Bronze, and Green. Recently Mystic Red was also added to the series. Oh, and like the iPhone 12, it also supports a 5G network connection, giving you immense browsing speed.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20: Attractive, Sleek and Reliable

First things first. The new Note 20 comes equipped with a back made up of plastic. Yeah, plastic. Not glass. We know that a lot of you are going to get upset over this but, to be very honest it doesn’t really matter. Why? Well because the way Samsung has blended the appearance of Note 20’s matte glass with matte plastic is just outclass.

The company has given the term “reinforced polycarbonate” to this blend. If you look at the back, you won’t be able to tell that it is plastic. The only way you can guess is by tapping it. The tapping sound will make you realize that the backside of the phone is actually plastic.

Moreover, the quality of the backside of the phone comes nowhere near to being cheap or brittle at all. In reality, this actually improves the Samsung Note 20’s strength and reliability. Even the finest Gorilla Glass shatters easily in comparison to the plastic. Also, having a plastic back means that your Note 20 will be a lot more resistant to those annoying fingerprints that you see in the normal glass back phones.

In the midst of the worries over the utilization of plastic, it is pretty much obvious that the Note 20’s casing is produced with chrome-plated metal, managed with brushed edges on the top and base that adds a much classier look to the entire body of the phone. While additionally supplementing the iced sheen of the back very smoothly. Believe it or not, initially, we expected to be disappointed by the Note 20’s design but surprisingly, we are satisfied to let you all know that the case here is quite the opposite.

Talking about the rest of the design, the bezels enclosing the display are sparse, but the glass covering the board is leveled out. This design feature provides a protective barrier between your phone’s display and the unintentional taps that happen every now and then.

Although the Galaxy Note 20 has a huge 6.4-inch screen, the phone itself doesn’t feel heavy at all. It has lightweight, somewhat equal to the iPhone 11 pro. The weight of the phone is easily manageable for the majority of people.

Of course, this is the flagship phone of Samsung, hence, having an IP68 water-resistant certification is a must.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Display Review

Let’s talk about the display. We are somewhat disappointed with Samsung. It is very underwhelming to see that such a high-end device comes only with a 60-Hertz refresh rate and a 2400 x 1080 resolution. Although, the size of the screen is bigger (6.7 inches), but the size does not matter at all. Also, phones costing literally half the price of Note 20 come equipped with a 90-Hertz of refresh rate. It’s a shame that Note 20 is left behind because of this.

The phone’s screen does not work as quickly as the other screens, but it responds to S Pen commands faster than the Galaxy Note 10. Moreover, Samsung has reduced the delay between the display and stylus to 26milliseconds, a forty percent increase from the previous phones. However, it is still a long way from the Note 20 Ultra’s outclass 9millisecond responsiveness.

Upon testing the display through the light meter, the Note 20 made 122.8 percent of the RGB color field in Natural mode, with a Delta-E color accuracy rate of 0.22. That is remarkably similar to the Note 20 Ultra, which obtained 121.5 percent and 0.24 across both measures, meaning that the consistency of on-screen hues would be similar even though you choose the less costly device.

Unfortunately, we cannot conclude the same about brightness. In our full-screen brightness comparison, the Note 20 scored 587 nits, compared to the Note 20 Ultra’s 662 nits and the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s 752 nits. The best OLED panels will now regularly exceed 700 nits, so the standard Note 20 represents a drawback here.

The Camera Specs

Although, the 108-megapixel primary and a 50x space zoom are absent in the new Galaxy Note 20. but, the outclass triple-lens camera will still amaze the living life out of you!

You’ll be clicking what you see with the Note ’20s/1.8, twelve-megapixel key lens the majority of the time. For ultra-wide images, Samsung has given a 12-megapixel lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto is just the cherry on top.

When zoomed in from a distance, the Note 20 becomes a much outstanding camera. Apple’s optical zoom also lacks demosaicing algorithms, which are used in most Android smartphones nowadays, particularly Samsung’s newest flagship phones. Using brilliant algorithms, the Note 20 can recreate pictures in such a style that makes digital zoom much clearer than it would be otherwise, making it snap a smoother, sharper, and far less disruptive picture at 10x capacity. In reality, if you know how to let it, the Note 20 will go up to 30x.

Apple’s Night Mode is usually our preference among all mainstream smartphone manufacturers’ low-light camera settings, but still, the Note 20 outperformed the iPhone’s maximum effort in this class. The photo clicked from the Samsung Note 20 is clearer and much less pixelated, with a little more color gradation. Apple’s tech blurs everything in bright color, resulting in a rounder, fuzzier, and less detailed effect.

Also after turning off all the face beautifying and smoothing functions, Samsung still hasn’t worked out how to accurately make people’s skin tones without creating ghostly results. It’s really the Note 20’s apparent photography flaw.

The S Pen

Although the S Pen has not yet improved significantly after last year’s model. but its purpose has most certainly improved. This is because of the latest One UI 2.5 upgrade to Samsung’s smartphones. The most noticeable change in One UI 2.5 is the inclusion of Air Action navigation. To return home, keep the S Pen out in front of the Note 20 and click the stylus button while going in an upside-down V-shaped motion. If you move your finger left or right, you’ll bring up the latest apps or move backward. To take a screenshot, zigzag backward.

Also, Air Actions aren’t particularly helpful for those who prefer traditional three-button control, but they are handy if your Note 20 is configured according to Android’s gestural panel interface and you have the S Pen with you.

The capacity to attach sound recordings to composed or un-composed notes is one of the Note 20’s ideals and freshest S Pen-related features. On the first try, when you utilize this feature, you’ll need to press the paperclip symbol in the upper right corner, at that point voice recording gets activated, and the S pen begins recording sound as you write down a note. At the point when you play the sound back, the Note 20 will show portions of the content that were embedded at that particular phase of recording progressively. It’s a cool and clear feature for somebody taking notes in a gathering or during a talk.

Samsung has claimed that they have also improved handwriting to text transcription in galaxy note 20. To be honest, we love that Samsung keeps working and updating this feature as it helps in keeping your phone organized. Even though most people don’t even use it, those who do, Note-20 will give them an amazing experience.

Another point about the Notes app: it is now designed to connect to the cloud and be available from any smartphone, whether it is another Samsung phone or laptop or your Desktop. Sadly, the desktop Samsung Notes application is only accessible for Samsung Computers, limiting its effect. Synchronizing to Microsoft OneNote is however possible, but only in a single path, via Samsung Notes to OneNote.

Also, the One UI2.5 will support the Galaxy note 20 and note 20 ultra. We wish that it remains exclusive to the Galaxy’s Note series but that’s never going to happen, of course. The company will start pushing the new UI upgrade on Galaxy S20, Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10 too. So, if you have any of the phones mentioned above, and you need to see the new UI, don’t go and buy the new Note 20. Just wait for a while and your phone will receive the new update on its own.

Processor Performance

With the Qualcomm snapdragon 865 plus processor at its back, the new Galaxy Note 20 has become such a beast! It can easily pull off multiple tasks and commands without even taking a breath. Whether you need to stream YouTube while making your notes or you are playing the Asphalt 9 along with Call of Duty running at the back, this phone is certainly the most powerful mobile phone of 2020.

Asphalt 9 is the type of game that is so heavy and demanding that a lot of cell phones tend to lag while running it, others have to drop the framerate of the game. But the overpowered Qualcomm snapdragon 865 plus processor gives such an immense overclocked GPU speed that the game became buttery smooth. It was really an eye-opening experience.

Although, some users have reported that their Galaxy Note 20 is facing heat-up issues. Considering the fact that environmental and climatic factors are at play here, it is very obvious that if you are to run Live Caption along with a live YouTube video and a turn to turn google navigation, all at full brightness, of course, the phone is going to react by releasing the heat. it’s a phone people, not a supercomputer.

Talking about the benchmarks, let’s see how well this phone performed. Having 8 gigabytes of RAM, the Note 20 is on the tail of the Note 20 Ultra, scoring a whopping 3,182 points in the overall system GeekBench5 test. The Note 20 ultra was a tad ahead scoring a good 3,294 points, but that’s understandable as the Note 20 Ultra comes with 12GB of RAM.

Upon testing it through the GFXBench’s Vulkan-based Aztec Ruins test for high-end devices, the Note 20 was able to score 1,446 frames in total, and 22 frames per second! Amazingly this is a bit faster than the OnePlus 8 pro but still, slower than the Apple iPhone 11 pro max.

The Note 20 is just as swift as smartphones get these days, but there is one annoying stumbling block in its specifications. This smartphone only has 128GB of built-in storage and therefore no micro-SD slot for expansion. That’s a sour bargain for Note owners, and it’s definitely a justification to choose the Ultra model, which has more extra storage and micro-SD support.

Lastly, about the Note 20 5G feature. The smartphone has compatibility with the fast but limited to range millimeter waves and the long-range 6Gigahertz 5G networks too! 

Link to Windows and Wireless DeX Mode

The Your Phone software has many functions that iPhone and Mac owners have loved for years, such as the power to export and answer calls from your desktop. Once you’ve embraced the burst of alerts Windows needs to plunge its teeth into your Note 20, the configuration is strong and simple to set up. It’s usually impressive, but Your Phone misses the mark as you try to communicate specifically with the Note’s interface through Windows. We confess that “swiping” across Android on your Computer display with your cursor is a very perplexing feeling the first time you do it, but the awe easily fades as you consider and realize the flaws.

The desktop-class De-X mode can be cast to the displays that support Mira cast wirelessly through the galaxy note 20. Well, this sure is a new feature because as far as we remember, you always needed a wired cable to project it to a TV or a computer.

The De-X again works somewhat smoothly, there are some hiccups and lags but that is normal when you try to mirror or project your phone’s display on a third-party device.

Good news for the gamers though! The Galaxy Note 20 now comes equipped with the Microsoft 15 bucks per month Xbox game subscription. This feature lets the gamers stream their Xbox games and even the PC games straight on their phone. For the initial run, about 100 games have been included in this beta program. As of right now, this feature is exclusive to the Note 20 but soon it will spread to other devices as well.

Battery Life and Charging

Though the Galaxy Note 20 loses a few attractive features to the Note 20 Ultra, thank God battery life is one of them. This phone has a 4,300mAh battery, which is comparable to the Ultra’s 4,500mAh capacity. The Note 20’s battery is charged almost as quickly with the provided 25W charger.

In our custom battery test, where the system wheeled through an infinite list of internet pages once connected to AT&T’s LTE network and set to 150-nits of screen brightness, the Note 20 lasted an average of 9 hours and 38 minutes.

As compared to the Note 20 Ultra, which endured 10:26 on 60Hz but just 7:59 on 120Hz, the standard Note 20 slips predictably among these limits. However, 9:38 is hardly epic, particularly given the Galaxy S20 Plus clocked 10:31 when set to 60Hz and the Galaxy Note 10 Plus clocked 10:47 in 2019.

Durability on a charge should have been the one advantage of the standard Note ’20s 60 Hz display, but it hasn’t helped much. Still, the handset charges up easily enough, taking just 30 minutes to cross 55 percent from dead. Furthermore, the Note 20 facilitates 15-watt fast wireless charging and also wireless charging of other devices through Samsung’s PowerShare application. This is something that iPhones still do not have.

Final Thoughts

The Galaxy Note 20’s greatest feature is that it does about everything well. It’s extremely strong, excels at usability and note-taking, and has a beautiful monitor and design. It’s the whole shebang.

What it lacks is the wow factor, which the Note 20 Ultra has in spades thanks to its 120Hz screen, insane cameras, and intimidating height. But we are not convinced that’s such a bad idea. Tech enthusiasts and early investors should clear their wallets for the Ultra, and I believe they will not be disappointed. Other customers drawn to the Note solely for the benefit of the S Pen as a realistic instrument, on the other hand, will get just what they want in the standard Note 20, minus any arguably frivolous bells and whistles, and save $300 in the end. The only items they risk losing are storage and a little battery life.

Before starting this Galaxy Note 20 analysis, we couldn’t find out who the Note 20 was about, but I think I’ve found it out now. Buy the Note 20 Ultra if you want to be dazzled by the very pinnacle of mobile technology. But if what you ever want is to get things done, the daily Note 20 is here to help.

Buy if

We know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 offers what Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is offering. The difference is there but the processor and GPU are all the same.

So if you need a fantastic camera with an attractive overall design of the body. And if you really need the note-taking features along with an outstanding performance. You should most definitely buy the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20.

Don’t Buy if

If you are all about the battery life and the display is everything for you, don’t buy this smartphone as it has a 60Hz display. Also, the projection to PC is sloppy and not completely smooth so there’s that. These drawbacks don’t even matter much for some people, but those who really want these features to be perfect should opt for a device other than this one.

Over All Specs

Price: $999

OS: Android 10 with One UI 2.5

Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (2400×1080; 60Hz)

CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus


Storage: 128GB; not expandable

Rear Camera: Triple-lens: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 64MP telephoto with 3x lossless zoom (ƒ/1.8); 12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2)

Front Camera: 10MP (ƒ/2.2)

Battery: 4,300 mAh

Size: 6.36 x 2.96 x 0.32 inches

Weight: 6.77 ounces

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