Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: which premium Samsung phone should you buy?

Note 20 Ultra and S20 Ultra both are the most powerful smartphones from Samsung yet.

Highlights
  • Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra and S20 Ultra have a lot in common
  • Both phones ship with high refresh rate Infinity-O display and 108MP primary camera
  • The Galaxy Note20 Ultra will be available in India with 5G support

Samsung launched two new Note-series smartphones, namely the Galaxy Note20 and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, at its online Unpacked 2020 event yesterday. The company has also announced the Galaxy Note20 series prices in India and pre-booking details. Both are flagship offerings, but it’s the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra that has all the bells and whistles expected from a high-end phone, including a faster refresh rate, QHD+ resolution, 108MP primary camera, and more. The phone is quite similar to the Galaxy S20 Ultra (review) smartphone from earlier this year. If you’re wondering exactly how different the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is from the Galaxy S20 Ultra, we break it down for you.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra vs S20 Ultra: prices in India and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra India price is set at Rs 1,04,999. The handset is expected to go on sale in the country later this month, but it’s up for pre-booking across Samsung.com and leading retail stores starting today. The Galaxy Note20 Ultra comes in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and Mystic White colour options.

As for Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, it’s retailing at Rs 97,999 in India. The handset comes in Cosmic Gray, Cosmic White, and Cosmic Black colours. The handset is available for sale via major e-commerce platforms and offline stores across the country.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra vs S20 Ultra: design

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra and S20 Ultra are both premium devices that tout a punch-hole screen, near bezel-less display, and a giant camera module at the back. The handsets have a volume rocker and power button on the right side of the frame and speaker grille and charging port at the bottom edge.

In all other aspects, the phones are quite different from each other. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a curved body and a flat display, while Note20 Ultra bears a boxy design, with a curved screen and S Pen housing at the bottom edge. The Note also sports the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, which is said to be tougher and 2x better scratch resistant compared to the previous generation Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra vs S20 Ultra: specifications

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra both come with dual SIM support run Android 10-based One UI 2.0 out of the box. The handsets also sport the same 6.9-inch Quad HD+ Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display with 1,440 x 3,200 pixels resolution, up to 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR10+ support. Both phones are powered by Exynos 990 SoC coupled with 12GB RAM in India; however, in the US, the Note20 Ultra rocks Snapdragon 865+ SoC, while the S20 Ultra ships with the regular Snapdragon 865 chipset. That said, the S20 Ultra in India doesn’t support 5G, whereas the Note 20 Ultra will come with 5G connectivity.

For photography, the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra sports triple camera setup at the back, which includes 108MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens, 12MP secondary sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 12MP periscope lens with f/3.0 lens, 3x optical zoom, and 50x space zoom. The camera setup also comes with a laser autofocus module for faster autofocus, along with 8K video recording support. Up front, the phone features a 10MP snapper with f/2.2 lens for selfies and video calling.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, in contrast, has quad rear cameras that comprise 108MP primary sensor with f/1.8, PDAF, and OIS. This is paired with a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture and 120-degree field-of-view; 48MP telephoto lens with f/3.5 aperture, PDAF, OIS, and 100x Space Zoom; and a DepthVision (3D ToF) sensor. The front camera of the handset sports a 40MP selfie snapper with f/2.2 aperture and PDAF. The phone can also record videos at 8K resolution and capture images with Live focus, cropped, Ultra Wide, and more.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra houses a 5,000mAh battery, while the Note20 Ultra packs a smaller 4,500mAh battery. While the former supports 45W charging (25W charger in the box), the latter supports only 25W fast charging. Both the phones come with an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner for security and connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra S Pen

This is the major difference between the two phones. The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra comes with S Pen stylus for easy remote navigation, jotting down notes, creating detailed drawings on the phone’s screen, click photos, use AR Doodles for a little bit of fun, even translate languages, among so many other features. With the S Pen on Samsung Galaxy Note20 series, the company has reduced the latency to just 9 milliseconds and added more gesture-based Anywhere Actions, such as the ability to capture screenshot and return to home screen with just a flick of the wrist. These features are something that Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra cannot match.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra vs S20 Ultra: verdict

As you can see, the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra and S20 Ultra both come with similar specifications. The noticeable differences between the two phones are cameras, battery, and of course, S Pen. While you won’t get the convenience of S Pen with Galaxy S20 Ultra, you’ve got a beefier battery and better cameras compared to the future-ready Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G smartphone. That said, we can only tell how good is Samsung’s new Note-series offering until we review it, so stay tuned for that.