The recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra again raised the question whether the Note series is better than the S series phones.For the last few years this has been a thing of debate after the annual release of the STYLUS powered Note series which Samsung launches few months after the regular flagship S series.
For those who love the stylus aka S-Pen there is no better option than the Galaxy Note.The main point of discussion is which is the better flagship device.Both the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the S20 Ultra will take a huge toll of your hard earned money and hence a careful thinking is required.
If I have to put it in simple words then I will say the Note 20 Ultra is better in terms of productivity while the S20 Ultra has better entertainment value.Again I need to mention the S-Pen is the ultimate decider.It is a lovely tool to have and gives you an experience seconded by none.
Now if you already have a S20 Ultra should you upgrade to the Note 20 Ultra or if you are thinking of buying any one of the two which one should you go for? That’s the question I will answer or try to give you a clear image of what these two bring.Choice is yours.
WHICH HAS BETTER LOOKS?
The Mystic Bronze colour of the Note 20 Ultra is perhaps the best looking smartphone at this moment.In fact all the variants have that Mystic hues which is better than the Galaxy S20 Moreover the frosted glass finish on the back with a satin texture of the Note 20 Ultra is definitely better than the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s glossy finish.Also fingerprint smudges will be far far less on the former.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has an edge to edge finish with the frame being more prominent.The S20 Ultra on the other hand has rounded edges and is more squarer which also makes it wider at 8.8mm while the Note 20 Ultra is 8.1mm thick.Same goes for the rear camera module.Both are huge but square shaped in the S20 Ultra and rectangular in the Note 20 Ultra.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is also heavier and weighs 222g while the Note phone weighs 208g.Both are IP68 certified water and dust resistant.The Note is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus which is stronger and more scratch proof than the Corning Gorilla Glass 6 in the S20 Ultra.
3.5mm jack is absent in both.Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is present.
WHAT ABOUT DISPLAY?
The same 6.9″ Dynamic Amoled display is present in both the smartphones.The Note 20 Ultra being a little elongated has 91.7% screen to body ratio slightly more than the 89.9% of the S20 Ultra.QHD resolution is featured in both.Pixel density is slightly more in the S20 Ultra~511 to that of the Note 20 Ultra which has~496ppi.
Both displays have maximum 120Hz refresh rate for FHD resolution and 60Hz for QHD.But in the S20 Ultra you have to manually shift the refresh rates from the settings menu while the Note 20 Ultra has Adaptive Refresh rates meaning it shifts from the high to low refresh rates depending on what is being done.This ensures more battery life and better user experience.
I should mention that the fact that you cannot use the highest refresh rate for the highest resolution is a draw back and should have been upgraded by Samsung.
OS, PROCESSOR AND STORAGE
These are similar.OneUI based on Android 10 can be seen in both.The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra being the newer release has the current version of OneUI pre-installed.
For global markets the SoC is identical being the Exynos 990.US customers will taste the latest Snapdragon 865+ on the Note 20 Ultra which clocks maximum 3GHz processor and is definitely an upgrade from the Snapdragon 865 in the S20 Ultra.To be very honest Exynos chipsets are inferior to the Snapdragon ones and that has been proved in all benchmark tests.Both phones are 5G ready.
12gigs of RAM and 256GB internal storage variants are available for both with the Note 20 Ultra having a faster UFS3.1 storage.Again the two devices have a shared SIM slot for micro SD card.
WHOSE CAMERAS ARE BETTER?
Now that’s a tough question.Actually both house the same 108MP primary camera on the back.The 12MP ultra wide sensor is also identical.The difference is in the telephoto lens.The Note 20 Ultra features a 12MP periscope telephoto lens with 5X optical zoom and upto 50X hybrid zoom.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a folded 48MP periscope telephoto zoom lens with 4X optical zoom and upto 100X hybrid zoom or as they say Space zoom.Now on paper this may seem better than its counterpart but practically the 100X zoom produced blurry images and Samsung faced criticism for it.The 50X zoom of the Note 20 Ultra is more practical and produces better images.
Another criticism of the S20 Ultra was its autofocus issue for closer objects which has been rectified in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra by the laser autofocus sensor.Not to forget that the S20 Ultra also has a TOF depth sensor as a fourth camera.
8K [email protected] can be shot on both and the feature has been refined a bit in the Note 20 Ultra.Camera features like Single Take, Night Mode and the many Samsung modes are all present.
In terms of front camera the S20 Ultra is a clear winner having a 40MP punch hole selfie shooter whereas the Note 20 Ultra has a 10MP front snapper.Both can capture 4K [email protected]/60fps.
S-PEN:THE DEFINING FEATURE
S-Pen is undoubtedly the defining feature between the two phones.Samsung has innovated this S-Pen and taken it to completely new level of technology.This year’s S-Pen is better in having 9ms(milliseconds) latency and is at par with the Apple Pencil.The previous year’s S-Pen had 42ms latency.
S-Pen as you know is a Bluetooth integrated stylus.You can write notes on the screen even when it is locked and save it.This year the upgrade makes it possible to straighten any angular scribble with a single click.Drawing and editing are possible making it a go to phone for artists or designers who love to work on their phones.Gesture support enables the S-Pen to be used as a remote for the Note 20 Ultra and even click photos.
There are a lots of features but the main point is that the S20 Ultra doesn’t have a S-Pen.
DeX or desktop support is a very useful tool which Samsung provides in their flagships.Using it you can easily connect your phone with a desktop.The unique feature is you can use both devices simultaneously.Tge Note 20 Ultra brings in a further upgrade in supporting wireless DeX i.e no HDMI cable is required.
Wireless sharing between Notes and Galaxy Tabs have also been introduced in the Note 20 Ultra.This makes sharing any apps or videos super easy between the compatible devices by simply pointing one device towards another.
Another aspect where the S20 Ultra is a clear winner at least on paper.It has a 5000mAH battery which supports 45W fast charging ( you get 25W adapter inbox).The Note 20 Ultra on the other hand has a 4500mAH battery supporting 25W fast charging.
To its rescue the Note 20 Ultra boasts of an adaptive display and a revamped processor(onlyUS) thus increasing battery life.
As is clear from the above that the Note 20 Ultra offers you more but it also costs more.S20 Ultra being a slightly older smartphone has seen price drop though by a very very small margin.
In my personal opinion if you are willing to pay for a S20 Ultra then rethink and buy the Note 20 Ultra for the S-Pen.But if you have no affinity for a stylus then opt for the Galaxy S20 Ultra because the extra money will only bring a better refresh rate display and a better protected glass.
These two phones are really beasts and is way ahead than the competition.However the S-Pen( it comes again and again) is a show stopper.The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a definite choice for those who can afford it.
What do you think? Please let me know in comments.