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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: How will they be different?

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra
(Image credit: Future and Windows United)

Those on the hunt for the ultimate Samsung phone later this summer will want to see a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra comparison. After all, the Samsung S20 Ultra represents the pinnacle of flagships for the brand, complete with a breakthrough Space Zoom camera and a massive 6.9-inch display.

But the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Plus look like formidable big-screen phones as well. They should offer a faster processor, more advanced S Pen functionality and new ultrasonic fingerprint sensors that go beyond the S20 series. And the Note 20 Ultra should have a killer camera along with a 120Hz display.

Based on the leaks and rumors thus far, here's how the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy S20 Ultra are stacking up.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Size and models

Galaxy Note 20 colors

(Image credit: Windows United)

The Galaxy Note 20 is expected to come in two versions: the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note 20 will reportedly feature a 6.42-inch display and the Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra will get a 6.87-inch display, which is about the same size as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. 

In terms of design, we've only heard that the new Note 20 models will have a similar center-mounted punch hole as the S20 lineup, but not much else. Based on leaks, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 could come in five color options: grey, copper. And the Note 20 Plus would have just two color options in black and copper.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Price and release date

The Galaxy Note 10 launched at $949 and the Note 10 Plus at $1,099, while the Note 10 Plus 5G cost $1,299. The latest Galaxy Note 20 price leak has the Note 20 starting at about $1,000, but we don't have a price for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The Galaxy S20 Ultra starts at a very high $1,399.

The Galaxy Note 20 will be unveiled August 5 at Samsung's virtual Unpacked event. The phone is rumored to have a release date of August 21.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Display

(Image credit: Future)

This should be one of the biggest differences between the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The Note 20 is expected to feature a full HD screen with just a 60Hz refresh rate, while the Note 20 Ultra will have a quad HD panel with a 120Hz screen. The S20 Ultra also has a 120HZ quad HD screen.

However, the Note 20 Ultra should be the first Samsung phone to use LTPO (low temperature polysilicon oxide) technology. Adopting LTPO panels will allow the Note 20 Plus to switch from as low as 1HZ all the way up to 120Hz. With the S20 Ultra you have only two options in 60Hz and 120Hz and it's not dynamic; you have to toggle between them.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Specs

Samsung will likely opt for a faster new Snapdragon 865 Plus processor for the U.S. versions of the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, which is an upgrade for the Snapdragon 865 in the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

For the international version of the Galaxy Note 20, Samsung is rumored to be sticking with the Exynos 990 in the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The more notable upgrade could be the RAM. One leak points to both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Plus shipping with a whopping 16GB of RAM standard. The Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with 12GB of RAM but has a 16GB option. 

As for storage, SamMobile reports that the the Galaxy Note 20 will come with 128GB of base storage. That would be a downgrade from the Note 10 last year but in line with the Galaxy S20 Ultra's starting 128GB. However, it's possible that the Note 10 Plus will come with 256GB of storage standard. The Galaxy S20 Ultra goes up to 512GB. 

The Note 10 didn't feature a microSD SD card slot while the Note 10 Plus did, so it's plausible that Samsung will continue that trend for the Note 20 and Note 20 Plus. The Galaxy S20 Ultra includes a microSD card slot.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Galaxy Note 20 Plus Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

(Image credit: Windows United)

The Galaxy S20 Ultra had some focusing problems out of the gate that Samsung needed to resolve, but overall its quad-camera setup proved impressive with a 108MP wide angle lens, a 48MP telephoto camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a VGA time-of-flight sensor.

The most exciting camera feature of the Galaxy S20 Ultra is its Space Zoom, which delivers 10x lossless zoom and up to 100x digital zoom. The results look very good up to 30x, but get shaky and blurry beyond that.

Based on what we've heard thus far, the Galaxy Note 20 may offer a three-camera system and the Galaxy Note 20 Plus may offer three cameras plus a dedicated auto-focus sensor. 

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: S Pen

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Note 20 should definitely see the return of the S Pen for taking notes and drawing, as that has been a hallmark feature for the Note line since the very beginning. We have not heard much about S Pen features, but there are rumors of a faster 9ms response time and a new virtual laser pointer feature.

Note that the S20 Ultra doesn't have S Pen support.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra charging

(Image credit: Future)

A report from Galaxy Club says that the standard Galaxy Note 20 will get a 4,000-mAh battery, which would be a big step up from the Galaxy Note 10's 3,500-mAh battery.

Another leak says that the Galaxy Note 20 handsets will have batteries ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 mAh, so the Note 20 Plus could have a capacity of 5,000 mAh. That would be the same as the S20 Ultra's battery.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports 25-watt charging out of the box, which we've found to be very quick, as well as 15-watt wireless charging. So it's reasonable to assume that Samsung will offer the same charging on the Note 20 and Note 20 Plus. 

However, the S20 Ultra does support an optional 45-watt charger, so Samsung could decide to put this in the box for the more premium Note 20 Plus.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: 5G

The Galaxy Note 10 didn't come with 5G standard, as Samsung made a special 5G version for various networks. This time around 5G will be baked into both the Note 20 and Note 20 Plus, and you should be able to connect to both sub-6GHz 5G networks (low band and mid band) as well as mmWave networks that offer faster speeds but less coverage.

Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy S20 Ultra: Outlook

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra both look like they will be formidable flagship phones for those who value big screens and the productivity the S Pen provides. Meanwhile, the S20 Ultra may continue to be Samsung's camera phone champ and could be the only phone in the lineup that boasts the company's Space Zoom tech. 

The biggest incentive to potentially buy the Note 20 Ultra over the S20 Ultra — other than the S Pen —  would be the rumored LTPO display technology. This would allow the Note 20 Plus to deliver the same smooth 120Hz refresh rate as the Galaxy S20 while saving battery life. We will update this preview Note 20 vs S20 Ultra comparison once the Note 20's launch.