(Pocket-lint) - Samsung revealed the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on 5 August 2020, alongside the Note 20, but it's the Ultra model that has the top specifications, just as the S20 Ultra does for the Galaxy S range.
How does the top Note model compare to the top Galaxy S models though? Should you go with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20+ or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra if you're in the market for the best Samsung has to offer?
Here are the similarities and differences between the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Galaxy S20+ and the Note 20 Ultra to help you decide which is right for you.
- Note 20 Ultra: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm, 208g
- S20 Ultra: 166.9 x 76 x 8mm, 220g
- S20+: 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm, 186g
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy S20+ all feature metal and glass designs, with curved edges, centralised punch hole cameras at the top of their displays and pronounced camera housings in the top left corner on the rear.
As you might expect, the Note 20 Ultra has a slightly different look the to Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy S20+. It is squarer in its approach, has a built-in S Pen and it features a more prominent camera system on the rear. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S20 Ultra and S20+ are almost identical with rounder edges than the Note but the S20 Ultra has a wider camera housing on the rear.
All devices have microSD slots, USB Type-C charging ports, no 3.5mm headphone jack and they all have an IP68 water and dust resistance. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the largest and heaviest, followed by the Note 20 Ultra and then the Galaxy S20+.
- Note 20 Ultra: 6.9-inch, AMOLED, 3088 x 1440 (496ppi), 120Hz
- S20 Ultra: 6.9-inch, AMOLED, 3200 x 1440 (509ppi), 120Hz
- S20+: 6.7-inch, AMOLED, 3200 x 1440 (524ppi), 120Hz
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and S20 Ultra both have 6.9-inch screens, while the S20+ is a little smaller at 6.7-inches. All have a Quad HD+ resolution, making the S20+ the sharpest in terms of pixels per inch but in reality, the difference is not something the human eye would be able to see easily, if at all.
Hardware and specifications
- Note 20 Ultra: SD865 Plus/Exynos 990, 12/8GB RAM, 128/256/512GB storage, S Pen
- S20 Ultra: SD865/Exynos 990, 16/12GB RAM, 128/256/512GB storage
- S20+: SD865/Exynos 990, 12/8GB RAM, 128/256/512GB storage
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, S20 Ultra and S20+ all feature an under display fingerprint sensor, 5G and LTE model variants and they all have microSD support for storage expansion.
The Note 20 Ultra runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, or the Exynos 990, while the S20 Ultra and the S20+ run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or the Exynos 990, region dependant.
In terms of RAM and storage support, the Note 20 Ultra 5G has 12GB with storage options of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. The 4G model has 8GB with storage options of 256GB and 512GB. Not all variants will be available in all countries though.
The S20 Ultra meanwhile, offers 16GB of RAM with 512GB storage in its 5G model, while the 4G model has 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The S20+ has 12GB of RAM in its 5G model with storage options of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB, like the Note 20 Ultra. The 4G model has 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage.
The Note 20 Ultra offers the S Pen functionality too, as well as the ability to connect DeX wirelessly and it has Ultra Wideband technology on board too.
- Note 20 Ultra: 4500mAh
- S20 Ultra: 5000mAh
- S20+: 4500mAh
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy S20+ have a 4500mAh battery under their hoods, while the S20 Ultra has a 5000mAh battery capacity. All offer similar overall performance.
All devices offer wireless charging and fast charging.
- Note 20 Ultra: Triple rear (12MP + 108MP + 12MP), 10MP front
- S20 Ultra: Quad rear (12MP + 108MP + 48MP + DepthVision), 48MP front
- S20+: Quad rear (12MP + 12MP + 64MP + DepthVision), 10MP front
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 has a triple rear camera system, comprised of a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle, a 108-megapixel wide-angle and a 12-megapixel telephoto. There is also a laser autofocus sensor on board to help achieve the 50X zoom and 5x optical.
The S20 Ultra meanwhile, has a 12-megapixel ultra wide, 108-megapixel wide-angle and a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor. It too has a DepthVision sensor and it is capable of 100X Zoom, although the long zoom isn't really that useful, so it's understandble why they dropped it for the Note 20 Ultra.
The S20+ has a 12-megapixel ultra wide, 12-megapixel wide-angle and a 64-megapixel telephoto, the S20+ offers 30X zoom. The large telephoto sensors on the Galaxy S20 models is really to support 8K video.
The Note 20 Ultra has a 10-megapixel front camera, as does the S20+, while the S20 Ultra has a 48-megapixel front camera.
Pricing and conclusion
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra started at £1199 or $1399.99 when it first launched. The S20+ started at £999 or $1199.99 when it first launched. The Note 20 Ultra starts at £1179 or $1299, placing it in between the S20 Ultra and the S20+.
On paper, the Galaxy S20 Ultra remains the device with the top hardware specs, offering more RAM and a larger battery capacity than the Note 20 Ultra, but you miss out on the extra power from the SD865 Plus processor (in those regions), the S Pen and the Ultra Wideband technology. If it's the S Pen you want, then it's the Note that you choose.
The Galaxy S20+ meanwhile offers plenty of reasons to buy it, including the same battery capacity as the Note 20 Ultra and a similar hardware loadout. It is also a little cheaper if the S Pen doens't bother you, and the only area where it really can't match the S20 Ultra is in zoom performance.