Introduction

The Galaxy Note 20 was unveiled by Samsung on August 5 during its virtual Unpacked event. The handset has a lot more differences with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra than many would have expected. Despite its differences, it’s not priced significantly lower than the Ultra.

Samsung has made some interesting choices for the Galaxy Note 20. Even though it shares its chipset and some other components with the Ultra, the things that Samsung has decided to cut are likely to push customers to just buy the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra instead.

Design

The Galaxy Note 20 has the signature boxy Note silhouette and it’s going to be pretty durable too, thanks to its stainless steel frame. However, Samsung has made the interesting choice of using plastic for the back panel. It boggles the mind that a 2020 “flagship” would opt for plastic over glass, especially when you consider the fact that no such compromise was made for even the cheapest Galaxy S20 model.

As you’d expect, all physical buttons are placed on the right frame. There’s a new camera housing at the back with circular cutouts for the cameras. A USB Type-C is located at the bottom alongside the speaker. Samsung has moved the S Pen slot to the left of the charging port. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack or a microSD card slot.

Display

The Galaxy Note 20 has a 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity-O display. It’s a flat panel and that helps really define the boxy design of this handset. Among Samsung’s questionable choices for this phone is the lack of the 120Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has it and so does the entire Galaxy S20 series but this feature is missing from the Galaxy Note 20.

Specs

Samsung is using the controversial Exynos 990 processor for the Galaxy Note 20 in most markets. Only select markets like the United States and South Korea get Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865+ chipset. It’s only available with 8GB of RAM but the LTE model gets 256GB storage as standard.

There’s 128GB storage on the 5G model and a 256GB option is also available. This certainly puts those who opt for the base 5G model at a disadvantage. 128GB will be the maximum storage that they can get on the device since there’s no microSD card slot. A 4,300mAh battery is keeping the lights on with 25W fast charging support. There’s no support for 45W super fast charging.

Camera

Samsung has equipped the Galaxy Note 20 with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 primary sensor with Dual Pixel AF and OIS. It’s paired with a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide and a 64-megapixel f/2.0 telephoto camera. The handset is capable of 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom and up to 30x Super Resolution Zoom. It also gets a 10-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera.

S Pen

The S Pen has received a major improvement this time around. Samsung has dropped its latency down to 26ms compared to 42ms on the Galaxy Note 10. This 50% improvement is good but it’s not quite as impressive as the 9ms latency on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Software

The Galaxy Note 20 runs on Android 10 and comes with One UI 2.5 out of the box. It gets several new features, including support for new cinematic aspect ratios when recording video in 4K. Samsung has introduced new software features for the S Pen as well. The Air actions feature has been enhanced with support for more gestures.

Price and Availability

Samsung started taking pre-orders for the Galaxy Note 20 on August 6, 2020. The handset hit shelves on August 21. The Galaxy Note 20 was offered in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Green and Mystic Gray colors at launch. Prices start at $999 for the 5G variant.

Downloads and Resources

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