Samsung’s new power phones have arrived. The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, which start at $1,000 (£849) and $1,300 (£1,179) respectively, were unveiled earlier this month alongside three other devices in a glitzy Unpacked launch that was moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Australian prices aren’t yet available, but $1,000 converts to about AU$1,390.)
Both phones are packed with top-notch tech that, on paper at least, puts them among the elite ranks of the iPhone 11 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro. As well as boasting a striking bronze finish, both the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra have similar core specs, including a cutting-edge Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, a 10-megapixel selfie camera, new S Pen gestures and 5G capabilities.
But they have some key differences too. Firstly, the Note 20 has a plastic back instead of the new Gorilla Glass Victus shielding used in the Note 20 Ultra — a surprising choice in a phone that costs $1,000. The pricier Note 20 Ultra has more bells and whistles, including a higher-powered camera with a 108-megapixel lens, faster refresh rate (120Hz) and a microSD card slot. It also supports Nearby Share, Google’s version of Apple’s AirDrop feature. As expected, the 6.9-inch Note 20 Ultra is both the larger and heavier handset of the duo, weighing a hefty 204 grams.
Both stylus-equipped Note phones come months after the launch of the Galaxy S20 family in February. Apart from the visible industrial design differences (the phones’ sizes and the inclusion of the S Pen), one thing that’s changed in the newer Note phones is the Space Zoom feature. Samsung’s decided to backpedal on the S20 Ultra’s hyped-up 100x zoom. The Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra instead have reduced Space Zoom capabilities of 30x and 50x respectively. The company likely made this design decision to help drive down the price.