The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are the most anticipated Android phones of the year. And we're just a few days away from getting our first official look at these two phablets.
Samsung's new big-screen phones are expected to deliver better performance, more S Pen features and improved cameras. But the start of the show should be the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which is expected to feature a 120Hz display along with a 108MP camera with 50x zoom.
The Galaxy Note 20 will face stiff competition this fall from the new iPhone 12 lineup, but based on all of the leaks and rumors we've seen, Samsung is poised to deliver some of the best big phones yet.
Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra so far, including the potential release date, price, specs and features.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 news (update August 3)
- The Galaxy Note 20 will launch August 5. See our full Samsung Unpacked Event preview and see how to watch the Galaxy Note 20 event.
- An AT&T promo has leaked the key Galaxy Note 20 specs two days before the phone's unveiling.
- A report claims that a Galaxy Note 20 purchase will come with a three-month to Xbox Game pass.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 rumored specs
|Galaxy Note 20||Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Note 20 Ultra|
|Screen size||6.7 inches (2345 x 1084)||6.9 inches (3096 x 1444)|
|Screen refresh rate||60Hz||120Hz|
|CPU||Snapdragon 865 Plus/Exynos 990||Snapdragon 865 Plus/Exynos 990|
|Storage||128GB||256 or 512GB|
|Rear cameras||12MP main, 64MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, time-of-flight sensor||108MP main, 13MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, laser focus sensor|
|Battery size||4,300 mAh||4,500 mAh|
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 release date
Samsung has announced that it's holding an Unpacked event on August 5 at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT. The electronics giant has said to expect five products at that event, and the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra should be the star attraction.
While the Note 20 will debut on August 5, we still don't know when it will ship. However, a number of rumor mongers are pointing to August 21 as the Note 20 release date.
The more premium Galaxy Note 20 Ultra model could be delayed a bit, says Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants. This is purportedly due to specific production issues related to the advanced LTPO display Samsung may be putting into the Plus/Ultra device.
However, Korean news site ETNews backs the notion that the Galaxy Note 20 will arrive in August, followed by the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in September and a Galaxy S20 Fan Edition release in October. In a subsequent report, ETNews said the Galaxy Note 20 will ship on August 21.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 price
Based on historical pricing, we don’t expect the Samsung Note 20 to come cheap. The Galaxy Note 10 currently starts at $949, with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus going for $1,099 and the Note 10 Plus 5G costing $1,299.
Samsung’s just-launched Galaxy S20 follows a similar pricing structure, with the Galaxy S20 starting at $999, the Galaxy S20 Plus at $1,199 and the Galaxy S20 Ultra at $1,399. Long story short? Don’t expect to pay less than $1,000 for the Galaxy Note 20.
One leak claims the Galaxy Note 20 could be more expensive than its predecessors. Twitter user @Ricciolo1 claims that the "Note 20 series will be the most expensive Note ever."
That was pretty much corroborated by information from MySmartPrice and Ishan Agarwal, who claimed that the regular Note 20 would be split into 4G and 5G models in some regions, and that the base 4G model would start at €999 ($1,169); the 5G version of the phone would cost €1,099 ($1,295). If that's true, the Note 20 Ultra would begin at several hundred euros more, at €1,349 — translating to a startling $1,578.
Of course, phone makers rarely do straight currency conversions, instead adjusting prices for local markets. That likely would place the 5G versions of the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra at $1,099 and $1,349, respectively.
Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Since a post by phone leaker Ice Universe said that there will be two Note 20 models, we think it's most likely that we'll see the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra on August 5. The most recent evidence of the possible existence of a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes via a Bluetooth certification for the device, originally spotted by MySmartPrice.
From what we've heard the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will stand out by offering a 120Hz display, more RAM and storage, a larger battery and more advanced cameras. This will reportedly include a 108MP main camera along with a dedicated laser sensor for improved auto focus.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is also set to be a stealthy gaming phone clad in a premium handset's body, as a new leak has revealed it will get an optimized Project xCloud experience from Microsoft, which will allow Xbox Series X games to be streamed to the larger Note 20. Another report claims both the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will come with a three-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hands on. Watch full video here: https://t.co/S8jazvRQYI#Note20 #note20ultra #GalaxyNote20Ultra pic.twitter.com/FamqBei1QYJuly 25, 2020
Hands-on photos of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from the larger of Samsung's upcoming phones.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 design
Based on leaks, the Galaxy Note 20 design looks similar to the Galaxy S20, though there is room for an S Pen holster for Samsung's stylus. Each design features Samsung's Infinity-O display.
Ice Universe has posted images of the Galaxy Note 20 alongside last year's Note 10. The visual Note 20 vs. Note 10 comparison shows a slightly larger phone — the Note 20 is 1 cm taller, Ice Universe says — without the Note 10's rounded edges.
Our first really good look at the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes directly from Samsung, which seems to have inadvertently published a photo of the phablet on its Russian website. The phone matches what we've been hearing about from the rumor mill, but that's a pretty big camera bump on the rear. It also lines up with another set of leaked renders from Ice Universe.
If you're more interested of photos of the phones in action, real-world photos of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have appeared, showing the giant phablet in hand and on its back with the S Pen stylus; there's also a photo of the phone's display.
So what will the Galaxy Note 20 look like when all these rumored specs and design cues are put together? Evan Blass gives us a pretty good idea by publishing a 360-degree look at the Galaxy Note 20.
As for Galaxy Note 20 colors, leak Jon Prosser says to expect four hues this time around for Samsung's phablet: Black, White/Grey, Copper and Mint Green.
According to German site WinFuture, the regular Galaxy Note 20 will feature a plastic back, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will use glass. This would be a big surprise, as Samsung has been using glass on all of its premium phones for years.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 display
Details about the Galaxy Note 20 specs sheet are appearing with greater frequency as we get closer to the phone's rumored launch. Ice Universe initially predicted the regular Note 20 will have a 60Hz refresh rate, while the 120Hz rate will be reserved for the more expensive Ultra.
In mid-June, Ice Universe provided more extensive information about the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, including videos and images of the device. Ice Universe describes the Note 20 Ultra as an "evolution" of the Note 10 Plus, and also confirmed this model carries that long-rumored LTPO display with a maximum 120Hz refresh rate.
Galaxy Note20 Ultra:Evolution version Note10+Snapdragon 865+QHD+120Hz can be turned on at the same timeLTPO displayNew camera functionNew SPen and features pic.twitter.com/t6GN5UwZnCJune 19, 2020
The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Plus are expected to have bigger displays than their Note 10 counterparts. Initially, the Note 20 was slated to have a 6.42-inch screen with resolution of 2345 x 1084. However, a leaked AT&T promo surfacing just before the August 5 Unpacked event pegs the Note 20's screen at 6.7 inches. Rumors have consistently put the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's screen at 6.9 inches with a resolution of 3096 x 1444.
Corning's new Gorilla Glass technology, Gorilla Glass Victus, could debut in the Note 20 line. Corning has stated that its new glass will be making its way to Samsung handsets "in the near future," and the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra would be the perfect debut opportunity. Unlike previous Gorilla Glass versions, Victus bolsters scratch resistance as well as shatter resistance, making it more well rounded than current strengthened glass solutions.
With the Note 10 series, Samsung introduced in-screen, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors that were a bit more sophisticated than the optical scanners used by most devices. The Note 20 could reportedly iterate upon that, Young says, with Qualcomm's new Sonic Max sensor that is both 17 times larger and can read two fingerprints at once for an added layer of security.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 cameras
Ice Universe has posted alleged camera specs for the Galaxy Note 20 Plus (or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, if you prefer). The larger of the two models will feature a 108MP main sensor, a 13MP telephoto lens, a 12MP ultra wide angle camera and the laser focus sensor to help alleviate focusing issues. As for that telephoto lens, it will feature a periscope-style design and be capable of a 50x zoom. That's shy of the 100X zoom on the S20 Ultra, but ahead of the 30x zoom that the S20 and S20 Plus deliver.
Ice Universe later restated that claim of a 50x max zoom for the more premium Note 20 variant, elaborating that while the 50x zoom will be half what the 100x Space Zoom on the S20 Ultra can achieve, Samsung is "focusing on the experience," hopefully meaning pictures taken at a 50x distance won't end up a blurry, unusable mess.
The regular Galaxy Note Note 20 will reportedly feature a 12MP main camera, a 64MP telephoto camera and a 12-MP wide-angle camera. And it should have a less powerful Zoom than the Ultra.
Those Galaxy S20 Ultra's camera specs were confirmed by a Jimmy is Promo YouTube video. That same site also teases Pro Video settings, which will provide more granular controls over how videos are shot.
A leak shows off the camera array for the Galaxy Note 20, and it's pretty much what you might expect with three rear lenses and what appears to be a time-of-flight sensor. It appears from that image that Samsung will use a periscope-style lens for the Note 20's telescope shooter.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 specs and processor
Leaked benchmarks show the Galaxy Note 20 topping the Galaxy S20 Ultra in Geekbench 5 testing. More significantly, the Geekbench listing reveals that the chip powering this alleged Note 20 can top 3GHz, suggesting that a Snapdragon 865 Plus variant of the mobile processor could find its way into Samsung's next phablet. And now the Snapdragon 865 Plus has been announced, which means it will likely show up in the Note 20.
Outside the U.S., Samsung is expected to use its own chips. Recent leaks point to Samsung using its Exynos 990 chip for the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, which should be slower than the Snapdragon 865 Plus.
Whatever chipset the Galaxy Note 20 uses, expect the phone to work with 5G networks. The entire Galaxy S20 lineup introduced earlier this year supports 5G, and Samsung will almost certainly follow suit with its new phablets. Regulatory filings about the Note 20's 5G connectivity in China confirmed as much.
One disappointing spec we've heard about comes from Sammobile, which reports that the Galaxy Note 20 could ship with 128GB of built-in storage. That would be a step back from the Note 10, which featured 256GB of storage. Of course, that phone didn't have a microSD slot for adding capacity, so perhaps this feature would return in the Note 20 to balance things out.
On the flip side, Samsung's next generation eUFS 3.1 storage could debut in the Note 20 series. These chips are in production now, and tipped to deliver sequential write speeds nearly three times faster than existing UFS 3.0 silicon. In real-world terms, the company says you can expect 100MB transfers to take about 1.5 minutes over eUFS 3.1 storage, versus 4 minutes on UFS 3.0.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 S Pen and special features
The S Pen remains one of the marquee features for the Galaxy Note lineup, so it's no surprise that the Galaxy Note 20 is expected to introduce new capabilities to the S Pen. That comes from phone leaker Ice Universe who tweets that Samsung's internal code name for the phone is "Canvas," suggesting a focus on drawing and writing capabilities.
S Pen can now act as a Pointer. Select your color and select icons on the screen, navigate around. Also can highlight an area. #Note20 #GalaxyNote20Ultra ps.. Subscribe to my channel for more pic.twitter.com/ZNaxR4lEpoJuly 8, 2020
Another Galaxy Note 20 leak points to a faster 9ms refresh rate of the S Pen, which should translate to smoother performance. However, we don't know if this feature is reserved for the Note 20 Ultra.
We hadn't heard a lot about other S Pen features, but one leak from Jimmy is Promo on Twitter says that the Galaxy Note 20 will offer a new virtual laster pointer mode for the stylus. You should also be able to control the cursor without having to touch the display. The laser pointer feature could also come in handy when using Samsung's DeX software.
Those same leaked S Pen features have also been confirmed by a second tipster.
Recent Samsung flagships have supported DeX mode, which allows you to turn your Galaxy Note into a portable computer by plugging it into an external display. Some new code indicates that DeX could add a wireless mode with the Galaxy Note 20. That means you'd no longer need a dedicated cable or a dock to take advantage of the feature.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 battery and charging
Rumors about battery sizes have been all over the map, but that leaked AT&T promo has provided some clarity right before the Note 20 launch. The Note 20 looks to be getting a 4,300 mAh battery, while the Note 20 Ultra is getting a 4,500 mAh power pack. Both would be upgrades from the Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.
The existing Galaxy Note 10 recharges in a snap, especially if you use Samsung's optional 45-watt charging brick. For what it's worth, regulatory filings say the Note 20 will charge at 25 watts out of the box, the same as last year's Note phones. This detail was corroborated recently by China's 3C certification board (via MySmartPrice), which listed the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Plus as shipping with 25-watt chargers.
Galaxy Note 20 outlook
With a lot of the Galaxy Note 20 details revealed prior to its August 5 unveiling, we're left hoping that Samsung uses its Unpacked event to really dig into the features of its new phone — particularly the S Pen enhancements and the expected dynamic refresh rate. We're hoping to hear more on how those features will benefit people who pay up for the new phablets.
And speaking of price, we hope that reports of more expensive phones don't pan out and that Samsung holds the line on last year's Note 10 prices for this year's models.
We'll find out in a couple of days when Samsung shows off what's new with the Galaxy Note 20.