Benchmark. Samsung should rename the Note 20 Ultra phone, the Benchmark 20 Ultra. It’s not that it’s absolutely perfect or that there is no other phone like it. It’s because every time the Note series has a new phone added to its portfolio, it becomes the phone against which every other flagship phone will be compared. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do here. Compare this one phone to the rest of the world.
THE NOTE 20 ULTRA
I’m going to be brief. As a package of good looks, premium design, incredible screen, great performance, super usable S pen, and fantastic camera and optics, the Note 20 Ultra is a winning combination. It carries forward the legacy of the Note series very well with an angular monolith design, great new colors (including the much-advertised Mystic Bronze), metal build and a very premium finish. Hold the phone and you know you’re holding luxury in your hand. The large camera bump at the back (it juts out like it has a life of its own) isn’t as off-putting when you realize that the rest of the phone is much slimmer than any other. It’s the world’s first phone with the new Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 6.9-inch Quad HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate – one of the best screens on any phone.
The S pen is now even more productive and has lower latency. Inside resides the Exynos 990 chipset (still no Snapdragon version for India! Why, Samsung, why?) that does a great job but still lags behind its Snapdragon counterpart. It has a triple rear camera setup (housed in that mega bump but with great trim detail around each lens) with a 108MP primary sensor and support for 50X zoom (not as good as it sounds). The other two sensors include a 12MP ultra-wide and a 12MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom. It can record 8K video and the front selfie camera is an okayish 10MP that wasn’t as good as I expected. There’s 4500 mAh battery, 25W fast plus wireless charging and reverse wireless charging too. All in all, an incredible package. Costs about ~1 lakh.
VERSUS THE APPLE IPHONE 11 PRO MAX Ah, the battle of the champions. This comparison needs a whole separate column but I’ll make it easy for you. Looks – the Note wins it by a hair; screen – the Note; performance – the iPhone; camera – video is better on the iPhone; still pictures and other stuff on the Note. In the final analysis, the Note wins it with the S pen (that gives it a different edge over all other phones) and just newer tech all around (the iPhone is nearly a year old now).
VERSUS THE NOTE 20
Samsung released the Note 20 along with the Ultra. I’m still scratching my head as to why. Note 20 has been relegated to back shelf status. Plastic body, lower specs, smaller screen, lower resolution, S pen with lower functionality, camera, and optics that aren’t anywhere near the Ultra. Nope, Note 20 doesn’t make the cut. If you’re buying a Note phone this year, buy the Ultra.
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