Phone

Galaxy S20 Ultra versus Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Which should you pick?

Not counting any of Samsung’s newer foldable devices, the company has traditionally released two flagship phones, or lineups, every year, and 2020 is no different in this regard. The first half of the year saw the release of the Galaxy S20 Ultra as part of a trio of flagship phones, and H2 2020 is bringing us the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. In a way, this is the perfect time to be buying a new flagship phone, as the rest of the year should hold no other mysteries regarding Samsung’s premium product portfolio.

So, for those of you who have been waiting for Samsung to reveal its hand before deciding which of the company’s top-tier smartphones you should be buying this year, here are a few reasons why you should consider getting the Galaxy S20 Ultra over the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and vice versa.

Galaxy S20 Ultra versus Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Which one should you buy?

Both smartphones proudly carry the ‘Ultra’ label but despite this, they follow different philosophies and design languages. Whether you prefer the looks of the Galaxy S20 Ultra or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra boils down to personal taste, but technically speaking, the latter model caters more to the S Pen crowd. And as predictable as this answer is: if you think you can’t live without the S Pen then the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is your only obvious answer, especially since it boasts a new S Pen with improved 9ms latency. Otherwise, there are pros and cons to owning both these flagship models.

Firstly, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is newer so it comes with the latest One UI 2.5 version. Some, if not all of the new software features will be added to older smartphone models, including the Galaxy S20 Ultra, via firmware updates. However, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra guarantees the most recent and complete software experience out-of-the-box.

Then there’s the matter of build quality. Both smartphones are fit for the premium market, of course, but the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the world’s first handset to adopt Gorilla Glass 7. On the other hand, the Galaxy S20 Ultra makes do with Gorilla Glass 6.

In the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s favor, the phone does benefit from a bigger (by 500mAh) battery, Likewise, it’s offered with 12GB and 16GB of RAM, whereas the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has 12GB of RAM at the most (for the 5G model) and 8GB of RAM at the least (LTE).

Galaxy S20 Ultra versus Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Cameras

Mobile photography enthusiasts also seem to be facing an interesting choice. If you identify as such, you could be buying the Galaxy S20 Ultra for its eccentric 100x zoom capabilities, or you could be opting for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra which is limited to 50x hybrid zoom but replaces the 3D ToF sensor with a laser autofocus module. Laser autofocus should deliver better autofocus all around, and this is not something to be taken lightly especially since autofocus is one of the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s biggest shortcomings in the camera department.

However, selfie enthusiasts will likely pick the Galaxy S20 Ultra thanks to its 40MP sensor. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 10MP unit instead, so there’s nothing new here compared to the 2019 Galaxy Note 10 series.

At the end of the day, perhaps camera specs alone won’t tip the scales in favor of either smartphone model, but the new Pro Video Mode introduced with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might gain the attention of vloggers and other video content creators. The Galaxy Note 20 series is seemingly focused on video quality more so than the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Galaxy S20 Ultra versus Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: The bottom line

If you own an older flagship or non-flagship phone and you’re in the market for a new high-end device, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might be the way to go especially if you like the idea of the S Pen. If this is not a factor then you should be choosing between the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra according to your needs in the camera and memory departments. You might also be able to buy the Galaxy S20 Ultra at a discount since it’s almost six months old.

And if you already are a Galaxy S20 Ultra owner without much interest in the S Pen then there’s really no good reason for you to be sidegrading to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. That is, unless you really want to see how the laser autofocus module changes and hopefully improves the camera experience.

Are you looking to buy a new Galaxy flagship before the end of the year? Will it be the Galaxy S20 Ultra or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra? Or perhaps you have your mind set on another Galaxy phone? Join us in the comment section below and let us know.

  • Model: SM-N985F
  • Dimensions: Bar: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm
  • Display: 6.9 inch / 175.26 mm Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • CPU: Exynos 990
  • Camera: 108MP

  • Model: SM-G988B
  • Dimensions: Bar: 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8 mm
  • Display: 6.9 inch / 175.26 mm Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • CPU: Exynos 990
  • Camera: 12MP

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