Reviews Tech

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G review: Great smartphone but do you really use all the features?

When I received my review unit of the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, I was expecting it to function like most of the premium flagship smartphone. However, this Samsung device definitely packed with all kind of features that you might not aware even a week of usage and it’s a good thing.

Before I’m going to tell you more in this article, do remember to watch my video review where I go a little bit more in depth about the device. Watch it at the link above. Now back to the article review.

Note20 Ultra Specifications and Features: Excellent decision, but perhaps a larger battery would be better

So for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra in Malaysia, it is priced at RM 5,199 and there is only one variant: Exynos 990 chip with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. You can expand the storage via the MicroSD slot which support up to 1TB size. Out of the box, the smartphone is running Android 10 with One UI 2.5. This spec is really good as normal daily task feels fast and smooth. But also thanks to 6.9 inches Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 120Hz fast refresh rate which makes the device when browsing, scrolling and play games was so fluid.

The 120Hz fast refresh rate is an adaptive type so this means the battery consumption will be reduce as the display will know which app should use the 120hz or 60hz refresh rate. The body of the Ultra is using the latest Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back with stainless steel frame. This mean it will provide better fall protection on the front and back glass. The device has IP68 dust/water resistant rating too.

The phone also comes with a 4500 mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. Battery life was nothing to shout about as it last around 1 day max with a full charge. The phone also runs on stereo speaker setup which deliver quite good and loud audio quality. Other notable features on the phone is Samsung Wireless DeX, under display ultrasonic fingerprint, wireless charging 15W and Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.

S-Pen – Faster response give an excellent writing experience till date

For the S-Pen on the Ultra, Samsung has upgrade it to deliver 9ms latency. This low latency coupled with the 120hz refresh rate just perform the same experience as writing on a piece of paper. I definitely enjoyed drawing doodle on the Ultra’s large screen thanks to it’s latest upgrade.

Other features on the S-Pen is the Air Actions, Smart Select and Screen Write will help experienced stylus user to optimised their workflow. However, being used to non-stylus phone all this while, I just feel most of the S-Pen features to be useful for occasional usage. This is just a matter of each individual preference of usage so it might be vary to other users.

Cameras – Definitely for the content creators!

The 10 MP front camera couldO really take some nice selfie

Wow! This is what I could say to the Note20 Ultra front and rear cameras. The front 10MP selfie camera can take amazing pictures and it could provide a minor wide angle shot too. The Night Mode can be used on the front cam meaning any low-light conditions you can still take an amazing selfies. For video recordings, the front cam could shoot up 4K 60 fps which is impressive where some competitions still couldn’t offer 4K video recording capabilities.

Over to the rear camera, the Ultra has a triple camera setup: A 108MP main wide camera, 12MP ultrawide camera and a 12MP periscope telephoto lens that offers 5x optical zoom and max out with 50x Space Zoom. Taking photos while switching the camera lens is an amazing experience as you notice lesser colour shift. Picture quality is top notch too for all lens as it is not too saturated and most detail are quite clear. For the periscope telephoto lens, you definitely want to stay up to 30x zoom as anything beyond that, the picture quality is not really usable for your social media upload.

The rear camera also can shoot up to 8K 24fps videos however, it is only for the main camera. You can check out the video review as I provided a sample of video recording in 4K 30fps while switching from the ultrawide angle lens to the periscope telephoto lens. The zooming capabilities in video recording is only up to 20x but it is sufficient. The video quality is quite good for quick uploads to social media but you can still do some minor touch up to give the video quality even better.

Verdict: Only for those who really optimised their work and play on their smartphone

Alright, the phone is certainly packed with many features and performance but my only question is do you really need all the Note20 Ultra features? If you’re the person who regularly chase for the best Samsung flagship smartphone or a content creator, then I will recommend you to get it. The camera, great specs and 120hz fast refresh rate display certainly help a lot professional and content creator to keep up with their demanding task. The Ultra definitely will be a good buy for them. However for the masses that is not used to the S-Pen or most of the features, I would say you can only considered this in your best flagship smartphone experience list.

Lastly, I am glad to see Samsung did a great job improving the Note series with many upgrades and updates. Now I can’t wait to see what Samsung has installed for 2021.

*Please take note this review is based on the writer’s opinion after 2 weeks of experiencing the device.

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