Samsung's premium smartphone technique is in flux. Between its ever-increasing foldable phone portfolio and obscenely specced gadgets under the "Ultra" branding, it is easy to forget in regards to the Galaxy Note family and in particular 2020's primary Note model — the Galaxy Note 20.2019 marked the first year where Samsung provided two Note series phones at a similar time. Rather than settle into a pattern, the South Korean giant has switched things up again in 2020.We've already reviewed the Note 20 Ultra — a great phone with a gigantic price tag – which usurped the short-lived Note "Plus" line. But where does that leave the non-Ultra model, the Galaxy Note 20?
The Galaxy Note 10 changed the identity of the vanilla Note lineage, providing what some considered to be a watered-down tackle the Note formulation. However, if the Note 10 was a confusing smartphone, the Galaxy Note 20 is an outright confounding one.This is Android Authority's Samsung Galaxy Note 20 review.It was operating Android 10 with Samsung's One UI 2. 5. It bought one minor application update during this time containing the September safety patch and minor bug fixes. Samsung didn't supply a review unit. Android Authority purchased the Galaxy Note 20 for the intention of this review.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Face on, the Galaxy Note 20 looks unmistakably like a Galaxy Note phone.Instead of carrying on with the Note 10's shrunken tackle Samsung's phablet formulation, the Note 20 is a giant boi. Not Note 20 Ultra-big, not even Galaxy S20 Plus-big, but still taller than, say, the iPhone 11 Pro Max.See also: Samsung Galaxy Note series: A history of innovation
It also sports the Note series' rectangular-style and, obviously, a pop-out S Pen stylus. The front glass melds easily into the metal frame, the hardware buttons — a typical power key and volume rocker — are firm yet tactile, and every time you remove or dock the S Pen there's a subtle vibration that's a nice reminder of the phone's perfectly measured haptics.The Galaxy Note 20 oozes the kind of finesse and gentle attention to detail that you just'd expect from the world's most successful cellphone maker.And then you turn the telephone around…
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Rather than the ever-present glass sandwich build, the Note 20 opts for a rear casing with a brushed-like feel that Samsung calls "glasstic. " We've seen this fabric on a handful of mid-tier Galaxy A series phones. It looks like plastic and it feels like plastic. If you tap it, it sounds like plastic and if you press on it, it compresses like plastic.Why?Because it is plastic.Samsung can dress it up by means of fancy marketing, but there is no way to obfuscate the fact that this is a $1,000 phone that's almost 50% plastic on the external. That's not to say there aren't some merits to plastic over glass. Plastic doesn't attract a smorgasbord of smudges and fingerprint smears. Scratches are more common, but nowhere near as problematic as cracked glass.It also means the Note 20 is fairly light — just 192g compared to the Note 20 Ultra's 208g.Samsung's glasstic seems like plastic and appears like plastic. . . because it is plastic.
The front glass also gets a downgrade from the all-new Gorilla Glass Victus found on the Note 20 Ultra. Instead, the vanilla model uses Gorilla Glass 5 to hide the monitor. That's the type of trade-off some may be prepared to make for a $300 price reduction. But when every other part of the Note 20's design screams top class and you're buying and selling blows with other immaculate $1,000 devices, the unsatisfying feeling of plastic to your palm — itself exacerbated by the faux-frosted texture — acts as a constant reminder that Samsung cut a huge corner that's very hard to justify on a flagship phone.Sadly, the pinnacle-scratching design decisions don't stop there. Like the Galaxy Note 10 before it, the Galaxy Note 20 does not offer expandable garage.However, what's more perplexing is a likely innocuous change from the Note 10 series. The S Pen and bottom-firing speaker are actually on the left side of the base of the telephone.arcanetechs.com/i/blog/1600665007/aHR0cHM6Ly9jZG41Ny5hbmRyb2lkYXV0aG9yaXR5Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvMjAyMC8wOS9zYW1zdW5nLWdhbGF4eS1ub3RlLTIwLXJldmlldy1zcGVha2VyLXMtcGVuLXBvcnRzLTEyMDB4Njc1LmpwZWc%3D">
The S Pen placement is okay, the speaker area is not. When gambling a game or looking a movie my palm always coated the grille. You can still hear what's happening as a result of there is a top speaker in the earpiece, but that you could kiss stereo audio good-bye.The speakers themselves offer restricted depth and bass, but are clear and might get quite loud without distorting.Related: The best Samsung Galaxy Note 20 cases which you can get
The Galaxy Note 20 is not at all a poorly designed phone. In fact, it's arguably better than the Note 20 Ultra from a pure ergonomics viewpoint, as that almighty camera bump isn't any place near as chunky. Yet while the satisfactory ideas are widely excellent, that plastic back represents a trend that defines the Note 20 — not quite premium for a premium price.Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Samsung has an amazing pedigree for phone shows and that level of fine is maintained for the Galaxy Note 20's 6. 7-inch AMOLED panel. Mostly.
Peak brightness hit a decent 640 nits in our testing. This tallied with my experience of solid outdoor visibility, but I found it lacking in direct bright sunlight. The reveal trends against warmer temperatures and colours pop with that quintessential high assessment look you discover in a top-end Samsung phone. There also are alternate options to adjust RGB or the white balance to your liking as well as a blue filter, adaptive brightness, and plenty more toggles and tweaks in the Settings menu.See also: The best Samsung Galaxy Note 20 skins to buy
The total caliber is impeccable then, but sadly there are compromises here too. The least impactful concession is the 1080p greatest selection.It'd be fair to expect Quad HD during this price bracket, but even on a monitor this size it's hard to inform the difference unless you actively search for one.In fact, if you're really into tech and also you're using a trendy Samsung flagship you've probably set your phone to 1080p to take capabilities of the higher refresh rate — and there's the rub. The Galaxy Note 20 is a 60Hz panel. For a phone ostensibly designed for power users, here is a stunning omission that makes navigation on the Note 20 feel gradual. Other Samsung phones ask for a trade-off: lower determination for a faster refresh rate, up to as much as 120Hz.The Note 20 is the worst of both worlds.Samsung set its own bar for top refresh rate shows and the Note 20 falls way under it.This is particularly complex as the Note 20's display has a few points in its favor over the Note 20 Ultra. The screen is flat, which should delight curved display haters. I didn't adventure any unintentional touches and the telephone retains facets just like the handy Edge Panel despite the lack of curvature.Plus, what bezels there are remain razor-thin, though the punch-hole cutout is oddly a bit larger on the Note 20 compared to the Note 20 Ultra. Otherwise, the front-facing camera is identical, so I'm unsure what the reason is for this.There's also an in-reveal fingerprint reader of the ultrasonic variety. It's quite slow, taking 1-2 seconds to check in my fingerprint, though generally this comes at the advantage of greater accuracy in comparison to an optical reader. I totally found this to be the case.The Note 20 almost always unlocked first time.Overall, the Note 20 has a big and beautiful screen that is barely undermined by its refresh rate. 60Hz/Full HD on a flagship phone in 2020?That's poor form.Folks buying the Galaxy Note 20 over in the US get their hands on the model powered by Qualcomm's latest flagship silicon — the gaming-optimized Snapdragon 865 Plus with its 3HGz-barrier-breaking prime core. In Europe and Asia, although, the whole Galaxy Note 20 series features Samsung's own Exynos 990 chipset.This is the same processor that powered the Galaxy S20 family external of North America.Based on raw specs alone the divide between Snapdragon and Exynos might be getting much worse, but the benchmarks tell a a little bit various story.Based on an average across varied runs, the Exynos Galaxy Note 20 accomplished our Speed Test G test in one minute and 52 seconds. Unsurprisingly this comes out slower than the Snapdragon Note 20 Ultra tests we performed which averaged out at one minute and 32 seconds in 60Hz mode and one minute and 34 seconds in 120Hz mode.The excellent news is that Samsung has clearly made some tweaks behind the curtain following the backlash over the functionality disparity among the 2 Galaxy S20 models. Instead of a 30-second gap in Speed Test G scores between Galaxy S20 versions, the Exynos Note 20 controlled to cut that point to 20 seconds.That's small development but progress all the same.arcanetechs.com/i/blog/1600665007/aHR0cHM6Ly9jZG41Ny5hbmRyb2lkYXV0aG9yaXR5Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvMjAyMC8wOS9zYW1zdW5nLWdhbGF4eS1ub3RlLTIwLWdlZWtiZW5jaC01NDB4MTIwMC5qcGc%3D" aria-describedby="gallery-2-1159535"> Geekbench 5 Antutu 3DMark
Performance in the basic array of benchmarks was also first rate but not world-beating. The most splendid result is the 3DMark score which exposes the weakness of the Exynos 990's Mali GPU compared to Qualcomm's sophisticated Adreno GPUs.This all tallies with real-world use. While the Exynos Note 20 is technically underpowered, it never exhibited any lag or slowed down when I was zipping around menus or multitasking. Navigating across the phone can feel slow due to 60Hz refresh rate, but the CPU proved to be a superbly capable performer.It also ran every Android game I could think of, though it struggled to hit consistent frame rates when emulating GameCube games in Dolphin.Read more: Samsung Exynos processor guide
The bigger worry was heat. The Galaxy Note 20 gets hot very effortlessly, particularly when gambling games. It never became too hot to the point where you could not hold the phone, but it wasn't comfy either. This echoed our experience with the Snapdragon Note 20 Ultra, so it's not an Exynos issue. There's already been some confusion over Samsung's various cooling methods, but the heat considerations across two editions suggest there is more to the story.
Elsewhere, the Note 20 comes with 8GB of RAM as primary and 256GB of UFS 3. 0 garage. This is really one area where the Exynos edition wins out in the specs race, as the bottom Snapdragon Note 20 model only has 128GB storage. The loss of a microSD card will really sting for those buying the latter.Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
There was a time when the Note series was famous for industry-prime battery life. Those days are long past.In my time with the Galaxy Note 20 I was frequently hitting the top of the day with ~25% left in the tank and an ordinary of 6-7 hours screen on time.This was in keeping with relatively simple usage. Some Twitter here, a short ten-minute PUBG Mobile game there, plus checking emails, Slack, and other daily tasks for work and play. I'd call the results solid, but unspectacular.Under stress, the Galaxy Note 20 begins to falter. Our Rocky test, which many times runs Speed Test G until on a loop, managed to take the phone from a full charge to zero in three hours and 22 minutes.This is well below the pinnacle battery performers of 2020 and it would be fair to expect more from a phone with a 60Hz, 1080p reveal and a reasonably-sized 4,300mAh cell.The Note 20's battery life is solid, but unspectacular.Power control on Exynos SoCs is infamous for being sub-par, so this can explain the average effects considering the specs. On a good note, there are plenty of power management options accessible, including Samsung's own adaptive power saving mode in addition to Android 10's app management characteristic.As for charging the telephone, the Galaxy Note 20 averaged out at ~70 mins to hit greatest charge from flat when using the 25W USB Power Delivery brick that ships with the telephone.It also supports 15W instant charging and Samsung's 4. 5W Wireless PowerShare expertise for reverse charging accessories. These aren't the fastest speeds in the market whatsoever, but it at the least offers parity with the Note 20 Ultra.Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Samsung customarily reserves its best camera tech for the Galaxy S series and that is still true for the Galaxy Note 20. Nevertheless, the Note 20 is no slouch in the photography stakes and, in the right situations, can carry fabulous effects.gallery-caption margin-left: 0; /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-contains/media. php */ Standard 3x zoom Ultra-wide
The Galaxy Note 20 features a triple camera on the rear with a 12MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 64MP telephoto camera that supports up to 3x hybrid optical zoom. If you're conversant in the Note 20 Ultra then the drop from Samsung's top-tier 108MP basic shooter to a modest 12MP camera may be the massive takeaway.gallery-item float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 25%; #gallery-4 img border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; #gallery-4 . gallery-caption margin-left: 0; /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media. php */
In daytime, the Galaxy Note 20 produces the kind of crunchy, comparison-heavy images Samsung phone cameras are known for. Do you're keen on your snaps to look Instagram ready?Then you'll love the saturated look of images taken with the Note 20's main camera. This works especially well outdoors where blue skies and green fields threaten to burst out of the frame.The auto HDR does numerous heavy lifting in panorama scenes, white stability is fairly constant throughout, and the dynamic range is solid, though detail falls off a little if you crop in.The Note 20 lacks the laser autofocus found on the Note 20 Ultra, however the Dual Pixel phase detection does the job just fine.arcanetechs.com/i/blog/1600665007/aHR0cHM6Ly9jZG41Ny5hbmRyb2lkYXV0aG9yaXR5Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvMjAyMC8wOS9zYW1zdW5nLWdhbGF4eS1ub3RlLTIwLWNhbWVyYS1zYW1wbGUtMjctMS05MDB4Njc1LmpwZw%3D%3D" aria-describedby="gallery-5-1159583"> Standard Night mode
The praise maintains for low light performance. The committed Night mode takes ages to procedure images but is capable of remodeling dimly lit shots into almost daylight hours-like photos.The shots of the cat statue above were taken at 8PM as the night drew in with light coming from a close-by window. Even the consistent shooting mode keeps a lot of detail and manages to maintain noise to a minimal.com/i/blog/1600665007/aHR0cHM6Ly9jZG41Ny5hbmRyb2lkYXV0aG9yaXR5Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvMjAyMC8wOS9zYW1zdW5nLWdhbGF4eS1ub3RlLTIwLWNhbWVyYS1zYW1wbGUtMTktMS5qcGc%3D"> Standard 3x zoom
The telephoto lens may be underwhelming if you've been reading the advertising and marketing for the ridiculous 50x/100x Space Zoom of Samsung's recent Ultra phones.Technically, the Note 20 can reach up to 30x digital, though images turned to pure mush at anything beyond 10x zoom. For truly usable effects, the 3x hybrid optical mode is perfectly fine. Standard Ultra-wide
The ultra-wide camera mirrors the main shooter very well. While there's a loss intimately, you still get the same overly-saturated, dynamic effects, only this time with a wider 120-degree field-of-view.I really loved using the Note 20's ultra-wide sensor.arcanetechs.com/i/blog/1600665007/aHR0cHM6Ly9jZG41Ny5hbmRyb2lkYXV0aG9yaXR5Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3VwbG9hZHMvMjAyMC8wOS9zYW1zdW5nLWdhbGF4eS1ub3RlLTIwLWNhbWVyYS1zYW1wbGUtc2VsZmllLTEtZTE2MDAzNTExMzM3NDMtNjc1eDkwMC5qcGc%3D">
The 10MP selfie camera dials down the assessment and has some clear smoothing going on in post-processing, but generally the pleasant is decent. Portrait mode — or Live Focus, as Samsung calls it — zooms in a little bit for both selfies and consistent shots, though that you can change that with a brief tap. Edge detection was good-to-great in all cases and there are lots of additional filters and consequences for selfie-holics.#gallery-8 margin: auto; #gallery-8 . gallery-item float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; #gallery-8 img border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; #gallery-8 . gallery-caption margin-left: 0; /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-comprises/media. php */
As for the camera app, Samsung strikes an inexpensive stability between ease-of-use and providing quite a few of modes to keep your photography adventure fresh. The Pro mode is there for tinkerers and there is an AR Zone for those that want to decorate shots with emojis etc.My only gripe is the prime spot for Single Take in the carousel. The gimmicky mode captures 10 seconds of video and produces a whole lot of various images and clips. It's fun, but not in particular useful. It really should've been replaced with Night mode in the core camera UI.Related: The best Android camera phones you can purchase
Samsung's big draw for video is 8K (or so the limitless YouTube ads have told me) which that you may seize at 24fps in the 16:9 aspect ratio.You'll likely are looking to stick with 4K at 60fps unless you want to annihilate your storage, or 4K 30fps to take knowledge of the dependable tracking autofocus. Video captured on the Note 20 looks very crisp.Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 camera provides the products. It will possibly not boast the mouth-watering specs of Samsung's Ultra devices, but it proves once more that numbers aren't everything for mobile photography. You can take a look at full selection sample images in a Drive folder here.5
The Galaxy Note 20 runs Android 10 out of the box with Samsung's custom One UI skin on top. The latter is automatically recognizable and among the more unique skins accessible — or at least it was before OnePlus' heavily One UI-inspired Oxygen OS remodel.php */
Like the Note itself, everything is big, bold, and quintessentially Samsung. App icons are huge by default, while the notification bar and quick settings engulf the screen. The Settings menu isn't afraid to fill the monitor with white space (or black space when you have dark theme on) either. This is meant to make one-handed use easier and works rather well for the Galaxy S series.I wasn't quite as taken with this approach for the Note 20. This is a phablet with a built-in stylus. It's meant to be used two-handed!It would've been nice to see some exact tweaks to the UI specially for the Note's many use cases.Samsung is also fairly heavy-handed in pushing its own ecosystem with its own apps and services. If that is not your thing, that you can change just about all of this with Google apps if you want.Extra points just like the swipe up Samsung Pay card and the Samsung Daily feed can also be deactivated. That's not true for Bixby, but Samsung's oft-maligned assistant keeps to itself nowadays unless you go from your way to use it. Plus, Bixby Routines are actually kind of useful. Give Bixby some love, it needs it.Read more: Everything you wish to find out about Samsung One UI 2.5
Samsung's starting to be relationship with Microsoft is also glaring when using the Note 20, though again you are not forced into the rest. This manifests as a Link to Windows option in the Settings and is essentially the Your Phone app but without delay incorporated into the device. If activated, the function means that you can share SMS messages and photos with a PC or laptop and see notifications on your desktop. You can also mirror your entire phone screen as long as you're on the same Wi-Fi connection on both instruments. While it's nowhere near on a similar level of integration as Continuity for iPhones and Macs, it's a neat non-compulsory bonus for Windows users.
Not a Windows user but still want a PC adventure?You're in luck because DeX is back and this time it's gone wireless… type of. The computing device-style interface is now suitable with TVs that assist Android screen mirroring. If that sounds like vague standards, that's as it is. Samsung recommends a 2019 or later Samsung TV (on account of course it does) and sadly I do not have one of these to check it out. It still works just fine via USB-C-to-HDMI on PCs/Macs when you have a proper cable though.
Before we move on from application, it might be remiss of me to not mention Samsung's welcome promise of three years of Android enhancements and safeguard patches. That means the Note 20 could be supported the entire way by to Android 13. Good stuff, Samsung.Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
You can't talk a few Galaxy Note phone and never discuss the S Pen. The Note series' iconic stylus does not get as much love for the Note 20 in comparison to its Ultra compatriot. Instead of the latter's frankly crazy 9ms of latency, the vanilla Note 20 is rated at 26ms.That's still barely shy of the Apple Pencil and Surface Pen and a big benefit over the Note 10 series' 45ms. In practice, the S Pen felt extremely responsive.Read more: The evolution of the Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen
The S Pen feature set has also been multiplied. There are new Air Actions for taking screenshots, launching the camera, and generally navigating across the phone. I used them once to check them out and promptly forgot all the instructions.gallery-item float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; #gallery-10 img border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; #gallery-10 . gallery-caption margin-left: 0; /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-contains/media. php */
Samsung Notes bought some love too. I particularly liked the new folder paths as you can now prepare your scribbles into sub-folders instead of dump them all in one place. You also can sync them across other Samsung contraptions.
In brief, the S Pen is best than ever and still the Note's defining characteristic.5W opposite wireless charging
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
Let's not sugar coat things: the Galaxy Note 20 is overpriced.The Galaxy Note 20 5G starts at $999 in the US, £949 in the UK, and €1,059 across Europe. Considering all the downgrades from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the laundry list of absent flagship-tier facets, those prices are extremely hard to stomach.The model I tested was the 4G-only model, which is simply accessible in select markets, not adding North America.This adaptation goes for £849/€959, that's a bit of more palatable when you are not drawn to future-proofing your phone with 5G data speeds. I'm not sure you should have to force yourself to make that extra compromise, but it's there for those that should purchase it.Unless you really, desperately need the S Pen, there's very little reason to buy the Galaxy Note 20 over probably the most Galaxy S20 models. All three have dropped in price significantly since launch and the Galaxy S20 Plus can be had for under $800 on sale. If you wish the full-fat edition with that 108MP camera, ludicrous specs, and monster battery life, the Galaxy S20 Ultra goes for $1,099 on Samsung's reputable store — just $100 more than the Note 20.
Read more: These are the best Galaxy Note 20 options
Look extra afield and the competitors gets even hotter. The OnePlus 8 Pro won our mid-2020 Best of Android Editor's Choice award for a reason. It might not have the very latest Qualcomm silicon, but the rest of the kit represents peak flagship best for just $899. Big phone fans may even be tempted by the LG V60, an alternative Note 20 rival for just $899.If you completely need the S Pen in your life, last year's Galaxy Note 10 Plus bests the Galaxy Note 20 in a frankly embarrassing variety of classes. Faster charging, a better decision monitor, a far better grade of Gorilla Glass on each side no less, expandable storage, and more RAM as primary.It's still an excellent buy as we found in our twelve months review and that'll only become truer as the cost continues to fall.The elephant in the room is Samsung's history of aggressively discounting its phones. The Note 20 has these days dropped to under the $900 mark in quite a few promotions which is much towards where it should be. However, while the MSRP is still set at $999 and while that is the case, the Note 20 represents poor value for the cash.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
The Galaxy Note 20 is not a bad phone. Samsung doesn't make those, especially in the flagship space. But it does lack almost all of the wow factor facets you may expect from a top class phone in 2020.
Taking the inexplicably high price aside, the Galaxy Note 20 is an pastime in gambling things safe to a fault. Perhaps imagined as the low-key counterpart to the Note 20 Ultra — a phone we already deemed to be a bit uninspiring. Instead, you're just left wondering what on Earth took place in the course of the determination-making process to bring about such an underbaked final product.See also: Best Samsung phones you should buy
The glass sandwich blueprint of cellphone design is definitely overdue a reconsider, but the answer isn't swapping out glass for plastic. Samsung itself has set the trade baseline for prime refresh rate shows with the S20 series, yet the Note 20 is locked at 60Hz in 1080p.Things get even worse for buyers external of North America.The Exynos SoC is competent, but you're still getting an inferior edition of an already sub-par value proposition.As the biggest smartphone marker on earth, it's really no shock that Samsung releases a ton of phones annually. What is shocking is the sheer variety of top class phones on offer from the South Korean giant in 2020.Three Galaxy S20 models, two Galaxy Z Flips, one Galaxy Z Fold 2, and two Galaxy Note 20 devices — that's a lot of hardware for a calendar year. It's hard to shake the sensation that anything has to provide, and it appears Samsung may be thinking the same thing if the rumors in regards to the Galaxy S30 likely having an S Pen are to be believed.
The Galaxy Note 20 is overpriced and underbaked.For two generations Samsung has produced a true Galaxy Note phone meant for power users in the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and more recently the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Meanwhile, the last two entities in the vanilla Note line have muddied the legacy of the Note name beyond attention.The sad part is it did not have to be this fashion. If Samsung rebranded this phone to anything just like the "Galaxy Note 20 Lite" and dropped the price below, at least, $800, then all the trade-offs would unexpectedly become tolerable and the high points — the strong all-round camera performance, solid battery life, the shiny reveal, the S Pen — would heavily outweigh the negatives.But it isn't and that they don't.If the Galaxy Note 20 does prove to be the last of its name, Samsung will only have had itself guilty.That's it for our Samsung Galaxy Note 20 review. What do you are making of the fundamental Note 20 device?Let us know in the feedback.
Dated : 2020-10-31 09:49:02
Category : Reviews