Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: The differences you need to know about

Credit: Samsung

Where previous Galaxy Note lineups were primarily distinguished by size or by whether or not they had 5G connectivity, this year’s Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra have a bit more going on. 

What do the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra have in common?

Both the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra feature an Exynos 990 processor, IP68 water resistance, in-display fingerprint sensor, Qi wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, an S-Pen stylus plus fast-charging via USB Type-C. 

The two devices also run on the same software stack, which filters together the latest version of Android 10 with Samsung’s own One UI skin and introduces an updated Notes app plus several new integrations with Microsoft’s software ecosystem. 

What’s the difference between the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra?

S-Pen

While both the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra feature an upgraded version of Samsung's iconic S-Pen accessory with lower latency, there is a difference between what you’re getting from either device. According to Samsung, the S-Pen bundled with the Note 20 offers 40% lower latency than last year’s S-Pen. 

Meanwhile, the Note 20 Ultra’s S-Pen touts a steep 80% reduction in latency relative to the previous gen. The standard S-Pen experience isn’t anything to scoff at but, if you wanna crunch the numbers, the takeaway here is that the Ultra has a better stylus. 

Display

In both size, resolution and refresh-rate, there are some key differences between the display found on the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The standard Note 20 has a 6.7-inch 1080p OLED screen clocked at 60Hz. The Note 20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch QHD screen clocked at 120Hz. 

In addition, the screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is also a flat one while the Note 20 Ultra touts the kind of Infinity curved edges that have become synonymous with Samsung’s smartphones in recent years. 

Credit: Samsung

Regardless, the increase in resolution, refresh rate and raw screen estate makes the Ultra a clear winner here. 

RAM & Storage

Both the 4G and 5G versions of the Galaxy Note 20 come with the same 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Throwing your money at the more expensive option here gets you up to 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage.

Camera

Building on the more advanced camera setup introduced by the S20, the Galaxy Note 20 features a 12-megapixel main lens, a 64-megapixel telephoto lens and 12-megapixel ultra wide lens. 

Credit: Samsung

Then, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ups the ante with a 108-megapixel main lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and 12-megapixel ultra wide lens. The Note 20 Ultra also touts a new Laser Autofocus system that Samsung are clearly positioning as the answer to the technical problems that initially plagued the camera of the Galaxy S20 Ultra. 

Safe to say, if you want the Note phone with the best camera, the Note 20 Ultra is the way to go. 

Battery

This year’s Galaxy Note 20 has a 4000mAh battery while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a slightly larger 4500mAh battery. Obviously, those numbers aren’t going to tell the whole story but it does at least suggest that - out of the two devices - the Ultra will offer the longer battery life. Both devices support 25W fast-charging.

The Final Word

It might not be a massive surprise given the branding but the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers up several advantages over its cheaper counterpart. It’s got a larger screen, beefier specs, a better camera, a better S-Pen and a bigger battery. Whether or not those vectors of superiority translate into a meaningfully different or better end experience, we’ll have to wait and see. 

Credit: Samsung

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsungGalaxy Note 20Samsung Galaxy Note 20 UltraGalaxy Note 20 Ultra

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Fergus Halliday
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?