Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leak reveals a big upgrade

Galaxy Note 20 design
An unofficial design for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. (Image credit: Pigtou and @xleaks7)

A leak has revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will have a significant battery upgrade, promising to make it a better phone than its predecessor as well as a stronger rival for the iPhone 12.

This information was dug up by SamMobile from the China Compulsory Certificate, the Chinese regulatory inspection equivalent to the FCC in the US. We had already seen what the 3C tests had to show about the Galaxy Note 20 Plus, but now we get to compare both of the expected versions of the phone and see what's different.

The big news is that the battery of the Note 20 has a reported capacity of 4,300 mAh. This is slightly smaller than the 4,500 mAh cell the Note 20 Plus is expected to have. But more importantly, this is 800 mAh more than the Galaxy Note 10, and the same size as the battery in last year's Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Battery life was one of the Note 10's notable flaws. In the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 4G LTE, the handset managed only 9 hours and 25 minutes. The Note 10 Plus lasted for 10 hours and 47 minutes, which is  better but still below the 11-hour mark required to make our best phone battery life list.

So it's promising that Samsung looks to be addressing the less than stellar battery life in its next-generation Note phones.  

(Image credit: SamMobile)

However, the Galaxy Note 20 will not only have to beat its predecessor in battery life, but also take on Apple's upcoming iPhone 12. That next-generation iPhone is expected to have strong battery life, especially if we use the current iPhones as a benchmark. 

In our testing, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max managed times of 10:24 and 11:44, respectively. This is very impressive given that both iPhone models have smaller batteries than the Note 10, with Apple's clever tinkering letting them outlast Samsung's phones. We haven't seen many reported battery specs for the iPhone 12, but one leak from EverythingApplePro says to expect a 4,400 mAh battery for one of the iPhone 12 Pro models.

So while we're pleased to see the Note 20 will have a much larger power plant installed compared to last year's model, Samsung needs to do more to give its users the longest battery life possible and stand a chance at beating the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro later this year.

Battery boost

A previous leak for the Note 20 put the battery size at 4,000 mAh, which stands in contradiction to this latest leak. The 4,000 mAh figure came from an anonymous source speaking to Samsung enthusiast site GalaxyClub, which normally publishes reliable leaks. However, we're inclined to go with the newest number since it's from a government agency tasked with recording these details accurately.

Like the Note 20 Plus leaked showed us before, the Note 20 will come with a 25W charger at the very least, just like the Note 10 series and the Galaxy S20 series. The Galaxy S20 Ultra and Note 10 Plus both offered optional 45W charging if you bought a compatible power brick, so we'll likely see that offer return on the Note 20 Plus, and maybe the normal Note 20 too if we're lucky.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus render

(Image credit: OnLeaks/Pigtou)

In a reveal that won't surprise anyone who's been following the Galaxy Note 20 leaks and rumors, the Note 20 will be 5G compatible. The Note 20 Plus was also revealed to have 5G, which follows on from the fully 5G-ready Galaxy S20 series.

Other rumors for the Note 20 series claim that we'll see a 6.7-inch display on the standard model and a 6.9-inch display on the Plus, both sporting 120Hz refresh rates and QHD resolutions. Both will contain at least 12GB of RAM, and either a Snapdragon 865 CPU (if you're in the US) or an Exynos 990 (if you're elsewhere in the world).

The Note 20's overall design, as well as its camera technology, will be carried over from the S20 series. The Note 20 Plus should feature the S20 Ultra's 108MP resolution but not its Space Zoom, and we may see an additional sensor just for focusing. Plus, we expect to see a new version of the S Pen stylus that defines this series of smartphones.

We'll likely see the Galaxy Note 20, along with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 according to other rumors, at an online-only Galaxy Unpacked event in August. There's no specific date yet, but given that Samsung has announced previous Galaxy Note series phones in August, we'd expect the same to happen again this year unless there's a delay.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.