As expectations for smartphones rise, the pressure on their makers to deliver ever-better devices intensifies. Our phones have become so integral to our lives – at work and play – that we’d be remiss in considering anything but the best. The latest buzz in this regard, of course, is 5G connectivity. Which brings us to the latest Samsung release – the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G.

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G with S Pen
Photo: Samsung

Better, Stronger, Faster

At the heart of Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone lies its in-house Exynos 990 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ chipset. Both 7 nm+ chipsets are 5G-compatible, and their octa-core architecture makes the Note 20 Ultra 5G well-suited to power-users and content creators on the go. Multi-tasking is lag-free (even with resource-intensive apps like Adobe Lightroom Mobile) and shuttling between multiple apps is bereft of hiccups.

When it comes to the performance of the Exynos 990 over the Snapdragon 865+ chipset (exclusive to US, Korean and Chinese markets), the spec sheet differences may be significant, but this does not translate well to everyday use. While it may be true that the Snapdragon 865+ does hold a better CPU score over its Exynos counterpart, benchmark tests are known to use rigorous and repeated instances of load testing to deliver a reliable performance rating. This is rarely, if ever, the case for the average user. Even among power-users, only a minority will push their devices to a similar extent.

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G in various colours
Photo: Samsung

Seamless Experience

It comes as no surprise that the Note 20 Ultra 5G’s large screen and pen computing make note-taking and split-screen multi-tasking an absolute breeze. By virtue of the Note 20 Ultra 5G’s 120-hertz Infinity O-Display, strokes are precise and flow almost as naturally as ink off a pen tip. 

Samsung touts the new S Pen as the “most powerful” of its kind, bearing significant improvements in both latency and power reserve. Being able to jot down notes without unlocking the phone and append screenshots with notations certainly makes a strong case in Samsung’s favour.

The S Pen is also practically a must-have if you need to do more delicate photo-editing on your device. Additionally, the ability to add audio bookmarks is particularly useful when it concerns interviews and after-action reports, automatically lining up jotted notes for easy reference upon playback.

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G with S Pen
Photo: Samsung

Snap-Happy 

The camera has practically become the new yardstick for measuring the quality of a smartphone, and the Note 20 Ultra 5G readily delivers with its triple-lens setup. The ability to capture full-resolution images with the 108-megapixel camera is perfect for aspiring camera photographers, as is the ability to achieve true 5x optical zoom. Night Mode, as always, handles low-light situations perfectly, while Single Take straddles the divide for those who want to take both photos and videos.

Video-wise, the Note 20 Ultra 5G is capable of producing 4K recordings at either 30 or 60 frames per second. An 8K option (shooting at 24 frames per second) is also available, even though enjoying playback can be a bit of a stretch due to the limited accessibility of 8K-ready TVs.

The Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G’s position as “top dog” within the Galaxy collection of smart devices is well-earned. It scores high marks in terms of hardware and boasts useful features that take full advantage of its technology. It is also possibly the most stylish Note iteration yet, which makes it all the more appealing to those looking to transition to a phone-with-stylus setup. 

 

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