The Galaxy S20 Ultra is one of the thickest Galaxy S flagships ever in the series’ decade-long history, partly because it has a space-consuming periscope zoom lens and because it is powered by a 5,000 mAh battery. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is not as good as the Galaxy S20 Ultra when it comes to pure numbers, especially with regards to battery capacity, with the former featuring a power cell that’s 500 mAh smaller.
But since the Note 20 Ultra still uses a periscope zoom lens, the result is that its camera bump is massive. Samsung India sent me a review unit and I unboxed it just a couple of hours ago, and it’s literally scaring me every time I set the phone down on my desk.
An accident waiting to happen
The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s camera bump sticks out as well, but it’s not nearly as obtrusive. And once you put on the case that comes with the phone, the S20 Ultra’s camera bump becomes even less of a worry. Sadly, it seems another way Samsung is cutting costs with its new flagships, at least here in India, is by not bundling a case in the box.
So I’m left using the phone without protection (except for the screen protector up front), and while that’s something I would have done anyway so I can talk about how the device feels to use in the hand in our review, I’m afraid I’m going to shatter that huge slab of glass covering the three rear cameras and laser autofocus sensor.
And that fear is well founded: Many Galaxy S20 Ultra owners have complained about the glass covering on the rear cameras breaking for no apparent reason. Worse, the unintended damage was not covered under warranty, so affected owners had to pay for it out of their pockets. Maybe Samsung has fixed that mysterious breakage issue on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but even if it has, that huge camera bump is still an accident waiting to happen.
Sleek and thin phone designs are well and good. However, in this case, it’s adding a cause for concern customers paying $1299 could do without. Of course, it remains to be seen if the protruding camera bump will actually cause issues over the long term. If it’s protected by Gorilla Glass Victus like the rest of the back panel, it may survive the repeated impact of being placed on a hard surface, but I hope Samsung won’t deny warranty claims if it doesn’t.