Review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – Ultra Productive, Ultra Camera


When I tried the Galaxy S20 Ultra a few months ago, I was a little disappointed to see the bland design and problems with the camera auto focus. Now Samsung seems to want to fix the error with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra looks charming with its Mystic Bronze color and is also tough in various sectors. Advanced camera? Yes. Fast performance? Yes. Big screen satisfying? Yes. You could say the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the best productivity phone available today.

But behind its sophistication, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sold at a fairly expensive price which is IDR 17,999,000 for the 256GB variant. The 512GB variant is even sold at an even more expensive price, which is Rp. 19,999,000.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

It's great to see Samsung again showing its expertise in designing mobile phones on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The cellphone looks attractive with a choice of colors Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black. In this review, the color variant used is Mystic Bronze.

It should be noted that the Mystic Bronze color on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is not as brown as the one promoted by Samsung. Due to its design, cellphone colors often look different when viewed from certain angles and lighting. I mostly see the color like pinkish brown. Even so, I still like this Mystic Bronze color.

The back of the cellphone uses a glass material with a matte model which in my opinion is more attractive than the glossy glass model. Plus this dof model makes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra not easily dirty by fingerprints. I rarely find fingerprints clearly visible, if any, they can easily be swept away by a finger.

Both the front and back of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, which reportedly has even more durability. In testing conducted by PhoneBuff, the glass on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is indeed tough when there is an impact but it can still crack.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is large and a bit heavy like the Galaxy Note series with a slightly sharp tip. This shape makes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uncomfortable if it is often used with one hand or the cellphone is resting on the palm of the hand. This cellphone will certainly be used more often with two hands.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The camera protrusion on the back of the cellphone is very tight and makes the cellphone unable to be placed on its back straight. Fortunately, the glass on the camera is protected by a slightly protruding bezel.

The S Pen is now placed on the lower left side of the cellphone, which is different from previous generations. The color of the S Pen also follows the main color of the cellphone, Mystic Bronze, but looks more brown.

The fingerprint scanner sits under the screen and uses ultrasonic technology. Fingerprint scanning is quite fast and accurate. Problems only arise when the finger is wet enough.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

In the screen sector, there is no doubt about its ability. Samsung uses a high-quality 2X Dynamic AMOLED display on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The screen is bright with sharp colors. The screen size is also large, namely 6.9 ″ with a resolution of 3088 x 1440 pixels (WQHD +)

The screen is taper at the end compared to the Galaxy S series, making it able to display content more fully, especially when used for playing games or watching videos. On the side of the screen, it now appears curved again after previously Samsung began to slightly flatten the screen of their flagship cellphone.

The screen on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra supports a 120 Hz refresh rate which makes it able to display animation on the screen more smoothly. Uniquely, the 120 Hz implementation on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is done adaptively, which means that the refresh rate used varies depending on what the user is doing.

Samsung says this is to save more battery power because its cellphones don't continuously use the 120 Hz refresh rate. There is no option to always use the 120 Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as found on the Galaxy S20 series.

To use a 120 Hz refresh rate, the screen can only display resolutions up to 2316 x 1080 pixels (FHD +). So you can't use WQHD + resolution together with 120 Hz refresh rate, you have to choose either super high resolution or smoother screen display.

One thing that has disappointed some Galaxy Note fans in Indonesia may be the performance of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which is offered above and below those released overseas.

For example, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra abroad uses the latest Snapdragon chipset and 12GB RAM but in Indonesia it only uses the Exynos 990 chipset which is the same as the Galaxy S20 series and only 8GB RAM.

In my experience while using the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, its performance remains fast and is able to perform various activities smoothly, from using productivity applications to playing games with high graphics. In my opinion, only 8GB of RAM is enough for a cellphone and is still suitable for use for the next 2-3 years.

But still, if more RAM and a faster chipset are provided, why not. Fortunately in Indonesia, the smallest storage capacity provided is 256GB. For those who like to take photos or record videos, the large internal storage capacity will be a relief.

If the storage capacity is not enough, you can add a microSD card up to 1TB, which unfortunately has to choose between using a microSD card or using a second SIM card.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

For the speakers, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uses stereo speakers optimized with Dolby Atmos. The speaker sound output is loud and clear enough for a cellphone. However, the position of the speaker on the lower left of the cellphone makes it vulnerable to closed hands when the phone is used for playing games.

On the battery side, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uses a 4,500 mAh capacity battery. With this battery, I can use the cellphone with a screen on time of about 4 hours from a battery level of 100% to 10%. Not bad but not great battery life either.

When the adaptive refresh rate mode is activated, the battery will drain faster. I can only get screen on time under 3 hours with this mode. It's a little strange to see the adaptive refresh rate should make it more economical but in fact it is as wasteful as the Galaxy S20 series which uses a full 120 Hz refresh rate. Plus I feel that in adaptive mode, the cellphone feels warm in the hand more often.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - PC Mark

When I tested the battery life with the PC Mark application with the screen brightness set to 50%, the battery level at 100%, and a 60 Hz refresh rate, the resulting score was 9 hours 12 minutes. In adaptive refresh rate mode with the same test the resulting score is 7 hours 7 minutes.

For charging the battery, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra supports 25W fast charging technology. Somehow Samsung doesn't use the same 45W fast charging technology like on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Charging the battery from 10% to 100% with the default charger takes 1 hour 5 minutes. It is fast enough but not as fast as other flagship cellphones today which further increase their cellphone charging power.

Apart from being able to charge the battery with a cable, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also supports wireless charging and can also charge other devices wirelessly.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features three rear cameras with a 108MP wide-angle camera configuration, a 12MP ultra wide camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera. The three rear cameras are combined with a laser auto focus sensor. The front camera uses a 10MP camera.

The use of this laser auto focus sensor seems to solve the auto focus problem that is often experienced by the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This solution seems to be a success because the photos produced by the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra look good and I rarely find blurry photos except when my hands move a bit when shooting.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Camera 02

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Camera 18 1xAuto

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - 18 Ultra Wide CameraUltra Wide

As long as I use the main camera of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to take photos, the results always look good and satisfying. The colors are pretty accurate even though in the example above the sky color should be a lighter blue and the green leaves are darker.

The ultra wide camera on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is capable of capturing images with a 120 ° viewing angle, making it suitable for photographing landscapes. The photo results are good but not as detailed as the main camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Camera 31Auto

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - 32 Live Focus CameraLive Focus

The main camera of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is also able to record my facial details quite well, the pores and facial lines are clearly visible. I turned off the face “beautify” feature to produce a photo of a more natural face.

To produce a deeper and more varied bokeh effect, there is a Live Focus mode in the camera application. The application can do the separation of objects from the background well even though there are still areas that are missing, in this case the lower part of my right ear. And for some reason, in Live Focus mode, my facial skin looks a little smoother.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Camera 22 1x1x magnification

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - 22 5x camera5x magnification

10x magnification

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - 22 50x camera50x magnification

One of the strengths in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's camera lies in the photo enlargement. With a telephoto lens that supports 5x optical zoom and up to 50x digital zoom, this phone can easily photograph objects in the distance.

The enlarged photos on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are satisfying. Until 10x magnification, the image is still quite good, there is no significant decrease in photo quality. At maximum magnification, the image is a bit blurry and a lot of detail is lost.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - 35 2x camera

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does not have a macro camera and coupled with the characteristics of its main camera make it unable to photograph objects at close range well. To get around this, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's camera app suggests using 2x magnification to produce sharp close-up photos.

When I tried using the 2x zoom method, the “close-up” photos were much better than using the main camera.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 05 1x1x magnification

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 05 5x5x magnification

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 05 10x10x magnification

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 05 50x50x magnification

At night, the enlargement of the photo looks quite good, but since the 5x magnification, there is a lot of noise in the photo.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 01Auto

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - 01 Ultra Wide Night CameraUltra Wide

Night photos using both the main camera and the ultra wide camera of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are still satisfying results. Samsung seems to be improving their nighttime photo processing technology even more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 04Auto

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night Camera 04 Night ModeNight Mode

If needed, a Night photo mode is available to produce even better night photos. Sometimes if the camera application is in Auto mode, Night mode will be selected automatically to see the existing photo situation.

When this mode is active, it takes a few seconds for the cellphone to finish processing the photo, but the results will produce less noise, better detail is captured, and less glowing than photos recorded with standard auto mode.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Selfie Camera 01Selfie auto

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Selfie Camera 03 Live FocusSelfie live focus

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Night 04 Selfie CameraAuto night selfie

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra - Live Focus 04 Night Selfie CameraLive focus night selfie

The selfie camera on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra performs well in the daytime but not at night. At night my skin tone looks paler and smoother, plus a lot of noise in the photos.

For more photos from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, you can visit the following link: gtren.id/kameragalaxynote20ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

On the software side, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uses One UI 2.5 which is the latest version currently and is based on the Android 10 operating system. Its interface does not differ much compared to the previous version of One UI.

There are several interesting features on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, one of which is the Samsung DeX wireless connection. With the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra feature, it can be turned into a mini computer and connected to an external monitor or TV wirelessly. In addition, the Link to Windows feature is also available if you only want to access content on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from a Windows-based computer.

One thing that makes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra unique is its S Pen. Besides being able to write and write, the S Pen in this cellphone can perform various functions such as taking photos, navigating cell phones through gestures, translating text, to recording certain areas on the cellphone screen.

For software updates, Samsung ensures the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will get updates for up to 3 generations of the Android operating system. A step that should be appreciated and make this phone more attractive to those who want to use it for the long term.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The fast performance coupled with a large quality screen, the presence of the S Pen, and a sophisticated camera make the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra arguably the best productivity phone available today. In addition, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is very comfortable to use for consuming entertainment content such as games and movies thanks to its more boxy screen and stereo speakers.

What's a little strange about the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is that there is no longer an additional S Pen tip, no built-in case, and no 45W fast charging technology is used. This seems to be done to reduce the price of his cellphone.

In my opinion, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes at an inopportune time, in the midst of a pandemic which also has a broad impact on the economy. Seeing the high price, people might think many times before buying it.

But if there is money and you are concerned with productivity and a high-end camera, I highly recommend the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. If you are in the choice between buying the Galaxy S20 Ultra or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, it's better to buy the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra because it offers improvements to the camera.

Plus

  • Charming design
  • The big screen is stunning
  • Advanced camera
  • Fast performance
  • S Pen with abundant features

Minus

  • Battery draining in adaptive refresh rate mode
  • Lack of supporting equipment
  • Expensive

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • Screen – 10/10
  • Performance – 9/10
  • Camera – 9/10
  • Battery – 8/10
  • Software – 9/10
  • Design – 9/10

9/10

Summary

The fast performance coupled with a large quality screen, the presence of the S Pen, and a sophisticated camera make the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra arguably the best productivity phone available today.



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