As per the norm for Samsung, August brings the latest in the venerable Galaxy Note line of smartphones. As devices focused on productivity and performance, the Samsung Galaxy Note remains a popular choice – and this year, the South Korean company has made it easier to make the jump.
Bucking the trend of recent flagships, Samsung has streamlined its latest flagship Galaxy Note: there’s the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and the Galaxy Note 20. There’s no “middle child” in this series, so you’re left with an entry-level model and the high-end variant. Let’s break it down.
Photos taken at an exclusive media preview held in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Kicking things off is the flagship, top of the line, super premium Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. With a gigantic 6.9-inch screen and weighing a hefty 208g, this heavyweight of a smartphone faithfully follows the Galaxy Note tradition of packing the latest technologies in a single device.
With a generous 12GB RAM, 256GB storage, and powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 990 chipset, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also comes with 5G connectivity as standard for the Malaysian market, making it future-ready alongside only a handful of other devices available currently. Its new S Pen, which has a dramatically reduced input lag from 59ms to just 9ms, still slots seamlessly into the Note 20 Ultra’s body – while still having enough space internally for the largest vapour chamber on a smartphone and a 4,500mAh battery.
The new 6.9-inch curved Quad HD+ display is arguably the best in the market today. Samsung calls it Dynamic AMOLED 2X, and we’re told it’s an improved version from the Galaxy S20’s Dynamic AMOLED display. The Infinity-O display is Samsung’s display technology that offers a near bezel-free panel, with a circular cutout for the front-facing camera. The 120Hz refresh rate technology from the S20 series is present here as well, and not to forget, Samsung’s using Corning’s brand-new Gorilla Glass Victus, which is touted to be the most durable ever made.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra lies with the cameras. At the media preview session, we’re told that Samsung has built on and improved the cameras from the Galaxy S20 Ultra, and that we can expect significantly better performance. The company paid particular attention to the video recording capabilities, with a new Pro Video mode that will appeal to enthusiasts.
On the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, you’ll find a 108MP sensor as the main unit, accompanied by a new laser autofocus module aimed at eliminating the S20 Ultra’s previous autofocus issues. Alongside the 108MP sensor is a 12MP ultra-wide angle camera and a new 12MP telephoto shooter that features 5x optical zoom – and not the Hybrid Optic zoom as on the S20 series. Space Zoom, however, makes another appearance here, albeit offering a new 50x Super Resolution Zoom.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20
What’s interesting about the Galaxy Note 20 is the fact that size-wise, it would traditionally fit into the “Plus” (i.e. Galaxy Note 20+) model – which means this year, there won’t be a “mini” Note.
As the model designed for new Note users, the Galaxy Note 20 packs slightly less powerful hardware as the Note 20 Ultra. For the Malaysian market, Samsung is offering the Note 20 in both 4G and 5G variants – both will have 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage, and the Exynos 990 CPU as standard.
Besides that, there are several key differences between the Note 20 and the Ultra variant. For starters, it’s using a flat 6.7-inch display compared to the curved panel on the Ultra. It’s also a lower-resolution and previous-gen Super AMOLED Plus panel with no 120Hz refresh rate option (but since it’s a Samsung panel, it’s still no slouch).
Naturally, the Note 20 is smaller and lighter than the Ultra, weighing in at 192g. There’s the same S Pen as the Ultra, a slightly smaller battery at 4,300mAh, a 10MP front camera, and a completely different rear camera setup.
The Galaxy Note 20 features a 12MP main camera sensor, paired with a 12MP ultra-wide angle camera (that’s the same as the Ultra’s), and a 64MP telephoto unit that offers 3x “Hybrid Optic” zoom that we first saw in the Galaxy S20+.
Colours, Availability & Malaysian Pricing
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will be available in three colours: Mystic White, a reflective Mystic Black, and the Note’s signature colour this year: Mystic Bronze. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 20 will come in three colours too: Mystic Green, Mystic Black, and Mystic Bronze.
For the Malaysian market, Samsung has announced that the new Galaxy Note 20 series will be available in Malaysia from 21 August 2020. The pricing of the devices is as follows:
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G (12GB + 256GB): RM5,199
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G (8GB + 256GB): RM4,299
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 4G (8GB + 256GB): RM3,899
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Pre-Order In Malaysia
Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 in Malaysia will be open from today at 10am until 11:59pm, 20 August 2020. As usual, pre-orders for the phones will come with freebies, which includes:
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G (12GB + 256GB): Free Samsung Galaxy Buds Live worth RM699
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 4G & 5G: Free Samsung Galaxy Buds+ worth RM599
Note that if the pre-order is placed with full payment via Samsung’s Online Store, customers will receive e-vouchers worth RM450 (Note 20 4G & 5G) or RM650 (Note 20 Ultra 5G) instead. This can be used to redeem the Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Buds+, and other accessories at special prices (which can be found at the pre-order terms and conditions page).