Earlier in the year we managed to get our hands on the Note20 Ultra from Samsung Malaysia for an extended review. After a good three weeks of treating the Note20 Ultra as if it’s our own, we’ve discovered why Samsung has always placed such high expectations for its flagship phablet (phone-tablet0, aside from its top-end Galaxy Series smartphone. Over the years, the phablet has been a mainstay for Samsung’s long list of high demand smart devices. As a matter of fact, Samsung has been the pioneer when it comes to phablet innovation through the years.
Note20 Ultra: Size and dimensions
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is huge and made to pretty much perform more than just regular smartphone features. To put it simply, it is a mini workstation for gaming, browsing, surfing and whatever it is you intend to do. As phablet, the Note20 Ultra shares the same screen as the Note20 5G we tried out earlier. The difference is in the materials and design, with the Ultra version getting a more polished bezel with a glass back. The back of the phablet uses less reflective glass to reduce fingerprints.
As the Note20 Ultra is a flagship product, it is finished with rounded edges on either side of the screen to make space for the Infinity Display. The top and bottom part of the phone is still quite squared away to make way for the speakers and charging port. The benefit of having a squared-off frame at the bottom allows the S-Pen to tuck neatly and easily on the bottom left of the phone.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra boasts a huge 6.9-inch display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate.
This is the best screen on a smartphone phablet, until Samsung comes out with a better one in the near future.
Right out of the box, the Note20 Ultra has an option to select 120Hz at 1080p or QuadHD at 60Hz for optimum resolution. The best option is to be choose the 120Hz 1080p where the screen isn’t big enough for you to see every individual pixel, therefore the QuadHD isn’t really necessary.
Refresh rate, thanks to the adaptive 120Hz, is straight butter. While using the phone for
browsing emails and reading documents, the Note20 Ultra will drop the refresh rate down to
what it only needs to conserve battery. However, when you start gaming or watching movies, you get fluid action at 120Hz. The only caveat here is that the screen is curved at the edges and some may argue this may make watching movies a little annoying.
What lies beneath
Next up, the performance aspect of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra is fast, fast, fast. Equipped with a
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, this makes the Note 20 Ultra one of the fastest phones
around. What does this mean? Well if we compare it to the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy Note 20
Ultra is capable of boosting the clock speed up to 3.1 GHz which is 10% more than the Galaxy
S20. And with a 12GB RAM, you get blazing speed and less loading time.
The Note20 Ultra in this country is only offered with 256GB memory storage, whereas globally the phablet has 128gb and 512gb options. It’s probably because Samsung doesn’t want to confuse local buyers. However, the Note20 Ultra gives you an option to increase the storage up to 1TB using a micro SD card.
After weeks of using it as a primary tool, we found out that the Note20 Ultra had been a joy whether it’s gaming, videos/movies binging and productivity/working. All thanks to the fast refresh rate and large display.
Vision to the world
The camera cutout reflects the relatively large size of the phone itself. Housing three rear
lenses, plus a laser auto focus sensor. Let’s start with the main camera. It’s a 108MP wide
camera and it’s coupled with a 12MP ultra-wide lens with a 120-degree field of view. The 12MP
telephoto lens delivered a 5x optical zoom and up to a 50x super resolution zoom. The zoom
function is impressive, however the moment you start going after the 10x zoom, it starts to lookWith a 108MP you can capture as much detail in your shots without worrying about cropping
later. This also allows the Note 20 Ultra to get closer shots and makes colors pop. For the front
camera, it comes with 12MP and a 120-degree field of view which would be very useful for
Moving on to video, you’d be happy to know that the Ultra Note 20 is capable of recording 8K
video with a 21:9 aspect ratio up to 24 frames per second. Yes yes, we know this may not be
necessary as not many have an 8K display to even enjoy your videos in all its 8K glory. But hey,
as we mentioned before, this phone could be an overkill. Also, the Note20 Ultra has a new Pro
Video mode that lets you fiddle with all the small settings to get your videos just right.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has quite a big battery, 4,500 mAh to be precise. For daily use, a single charge should last you an entire day, unless you overly using the phablet nonstop. It’s probably a good option to keep refresh rates at 60Hz instead of 120Hz, if you want your Note20 to last even longer.
The final take
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is phablet with its sheer size and long lasting capability, and with good reason given it retails at RM5,199. But what you get with it is a lot: Best-in-class display, a better S Pen, Near-excellent cameras and an impressive battery life.
If the Note20 range fits your bill, visit a Samsung retailer to find out more.