A report from WinFuture claims that Samsung is teaming up with Xbox to offer the first smartphone with an optimized Project xCloud experience, with over 90 games on offer. The report also offers many attractive-looking renders for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20: Release date, price, specs, screen sizes and leaks
- Project xCloud Hands-on
- Plus: Xbox Series X ‘cares’ more about 120 fps gaming than PS5
Samsung and Microsoft have had a productive relationship for a while now, but it's been mostly confined to productivity features. That includes having Microsoft Office apps pre-installed on Samsung phones, and additional PC-crossover functionality with the Your Phone app.
There's only so much interest you can generate with Powerpoint and Excel though. The ability to play streamed Xbox games, even if it's only a small quantity of the overall Xbox library (thought to be over 3,500 titles strong), will be a major selling point to users who want to make use of the Note 20 Ultra for its entertainment value rather than for work.
How Samsung and Microsoft will optimize the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for xCloud game streaming wasn't made clear. As it stands you can currently use a beta version of Project xCloud on Android phones, with the experience being rather impressive on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.
But perhaps Microsoft will offer exclusive access to some xCloud games for people who buy the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Or the games streamed from Microsoft's custom xCloud servers could be optimized to work well with the 120Hz refresh-rate display the Note 20 Ultra is expected to have.
There's also scope for the Note 20 Ultra's chip and GPU to be used to help smooth out the game streaming experience, using hardware acceleration to reduce latency. And as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might be a stealthy gaming phone, it could even come with gaming-orientated peripherals and accessories to augment its gaming experience. But all this is speculation for the time being.
Featuring a 6.9-inch QHD display with the aforementioned 120Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset and 12GB RAM, the rumored specs for the Note 20 Ultra make it sound like an excellent device for mobile gaming. The display is also expected to use an LTPO panel, which can dynamically reduce the refresh rate down to 1Hz, meaning when the Note 20 Ultra isn't being used for gaming, it can scale back the power demands of its display, thus helping save battery life.
The Note 20 Ultra should also be great for photography, with its quad rear camera array containing a 108MP main sensor, a 13MP 5x optical zoom telephoto sensor, a 12MP ultrawide sensor and a laser depth sensor to help the other three out with photo effects and faster focusing.
The standard Note 20 still looks to be an attractive prospect, even if it's less powerful than the Ultra version. The basic model uses a 6.4-inch FHD display with a 60hZ refresh rate and 8GB RAM, but it uses the same Snapdragon 865 Plus chip as its bigger sibling. For cameras, it will use a 12MP main sensor, a 64MP telephoto sensor and a 12MP ultrawide sensor, with a time-of-flight sensor to help with photo effects.
August 5 is the day we will see the Note 20 debut, as it's the day of Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event. It won't be the only device appearing there for the first time, as we're also expecting the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Tab S7, and Galaxy Z Flip 5G to receive announcements too.
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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.