Bottom line: The Galaxy Note20 represents another incremental update to Samsung's large-phone lineup. Perhaps the company's biggest challenge with the new phones will be attempting to market them to consumers in these uncertain times. Are people still willing to pay $1,000+ for a premium smartphone with Covid-19 still lingering? We'll find out soon enough.
Samsung on Wednesday during its Unpacked event officially unveiled the newest member of the Galaxy Note family, the original super-sized smartphone line that ushered in the era of the “phablet” nearly a decade ago.
The new Galaxy Note20 series consists of two versions: the standard Galaxy Note20 for “broader Note users” and the Note20 Ultra for those who “demand the ultimate in power and productivity.” The latter device features a 6.9-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O display operating at a resolution of 3,088 x 1,440 (496 PPI). The display is HDR10+ certified and boasts a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
A 64-bit octa-core processor built on a 7nm process powers the device although the exact chip you get will depend on your market and carrier. 5G versions of the phone will come with 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage while the LTE variant features 8GB of memory and can be configured with as much as 512GB of onboard storage. Both are expandable via microSD card slot.
The Note20 Ultra’s rear camera array consists of a 12MP f/2.2 aperture ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, a 108MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 aperture and 79-degree field of view and a 12MP telephoto lens with f/3.0 aperture and 20-degree field of view. There’s also a laser autofocus sensor thrown in for good measure and a single 10MP selfie camera up front with f/2.2 aperture and 80-degree field of view.
The Ultra carries an IP68 water resistance rating and packs a 4,500mAh battery. Its included S Pen works over Bluetooth and uses a Lithium Titanate battery that’s reportedly good for up to 24 hours of standby time on a single charge. Android 10 comes pre-installed out of the box.
Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra starts at $1,299.99 with pre-orders scheduled to open at midnight on August 6. Look for it to ship, along with the slightly more affordable (starting at $999.99) standard Galaxy Note20 on August 21.