The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Plus (or is it the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra?) are the most anticipated Android phones of the year. And we won't have to wait much longer to get a glimpse of them.
Samsung's new big-screen phones are expected to deliver more advanced 120Hz displays, improved cameras and blazing fast performance. Plus, we should see several enhancements to Samsung's hallmark S Pen stylus along with 5G connectivity standard.
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. And with the phones set to debut at a Samsung event in a month's time, it looks like the Note 20 could get the jump on Apple's latest phones.
Here’s everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 Plus and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra so far, including the phone's potential release date, price, specs and features.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 news (updated July 8)
- A Galaxy Note 20 Ultra video has surfaced that shows Samsung's flagship phone from every angle.
- A new Galaxy Note 20 S Pen leak reveals a handy new virtual laser pointer mode for Samsung's stylus.
- Samsung says its next Unpacked event will happen on August 5, and we expect to see the Galaxy Note 20 headlining that online-only product launch.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 rumored specs
|Galaxy Note 20||Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Note 20 Ultra|
|Screen size||6.42 inches (2345 x 1084)||6.87 inches (3096 x 1444)|
|Screen refresh rate||120Hz||120Hz|
|CPU||Snapdragon 865 Plus/Exynos 992||Snapdragon 865 Plus/Exynos 992|
|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||4,000 mAh - 4,3000 mAh||4,500 mAh - 5,000 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. While the electronics giant hasn't hinted at what to expect during that event, it's a pretty good bet that the Galaxy Note 20 is going to be the star attraction.
That same August 5 event also could see the release of the Galaxy Fold 2 along with several other Samsung products, including the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet and a 5G version of the Galaxy Z Flip. (Some had expected a new Galaxy Watch at the Note 20 launch event, but a new rumor says that the Galaxy Watch 3 will debut in July.)
While the Note 20 may 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 Plus or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra model (depending on how Samsung decides to name that variant) 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.
August 21st is the rumored date.June 16, 2020
However, Korean news site ETNews backs the notion that the Galaxy Note 20 will arrive in August, followed by the Galaxy 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.
However, according to a recent leak, the Galaxy Note 20 could be much more expensive than its predecessors. Twitter user @Ricciolo1 claims that the "Note 20 series will be the most expensive Note ever." While that's not much information to go on, Greek tech site Techmaniacs corroborated this claim with a prediction that the Note 20 could start at around $1,405 for the base model and up to $1,573 for the Note 20 Ultra.
Galaxy Note 20 vs Galaxy Note 20 Plus vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Most of the rumors have pointed to there being just two Galaxy Note 20 phones in the regular Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Plus. But there could very well be a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in the pipeline as well. (Or the Ultra could be released in lieu of a Galaxy Note 20 Plus.)
The Galaxy Note 20 is rumored to have a display ranking from 6.4 inches to 6.7 inches, and the Galaxy Note 20 Plus would have a 6.9-inch display. If it comes to market, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra could have a screen that's larger than 7 inches.
At one point, a post by phone leaker Ice Universe said that there will be two Note 20 models — a Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Plus, which would be keeping with Samsung's recent history with the Note lineup.
The most recent evidence of the possible existence of a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes via a Bluetooth certification for the device, original spotted by MySmartPrice.
Our Galaxy Note 20 Ultra overview has more on potential specs for this particular model.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 design
If the Galaxy Note 20 does come in multiple models, Windows United has given us some idea of what to expect with a series of Galaxy Note 20 renders. They show the possible design for the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Note 20 Plus and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The 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, but Windows United says that Samsung could go even bigger with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, surpassing 7 inches for the screen.
Another leaked Note 20 render — this one a CAD design apparently built for phone case makers — shows off a rather prominent and boxy camera array on the back of the phone. The bezels on this model are also thicker than what we expect from the Note 20, so we hope that Harmless Karl, the Twitter poster sharing these images, is correct when he describes them as a "rough design preview."
A Galaxy Note 20 Plus render from OnLeaks shows just how big that camera bump could be. And that would be a shame, as the rest of the phone looks pretty sleek, with a full-screen display and thin profile.
A newer Galaxy Note 20 leak — photos of a phone case that allegedly fits Samsung's upcoming phablet — confirms a lot of rumors we've heard so far about the Note 20 including camera placement and its squared-off edges.
We now may be moving past the leaked render phase of Galaxy Note 20 rumors and directly into leaked photos. 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.
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.
One interesting design rumor suggests Samsung will fit a sub-display front-facing camera behind the Note 20's screen that will disappear when not in use. Xiaomi and Oppo have produced concept phones with this technology, though no manufacturer has been able to release such a device yet. A leaked screenshot showing a Samsung phone without a selfie cam cutout is only fueling speculation about this feature.
If Samsung manages to pull it off, it'd be the first — and the achievement would mark a major milestone in terms of industrial design. Every company has been working toward that "holy grail" of a handset without bezels, notches or hole-punch cutouts. However, it doesn't seem like that innovation will be ready in time for the Note 20's launch — it might be more of a Samsung Galaxy S30 thing.
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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 display
Details about the Galaxy Note 20 specs sheet are picking up steam as we get closer to the phone's rumored launch.
The parade of rumors started back n February when Samsung took the wraps off of its new 5G-optimized OLED display. This screen is built to reduce power consumption and emit less blue light, which could result in a Galaxy Note 20 with impressive battery life if Samsung's new phablet adopts this screen. More recently, The Elec published a report on the Hybrid-oxide and Polycrystalline silicon — or HOP — display technology that could reduce power consumption by 20%.
According to reliable tipster Ice Universe, the Note 20 will feature a more “fine-tuned” version of the 120Hz refresh-rate displays that debuted on the Galaxy S20 series.
The Galaxy Note20 will use a more fine-tuned 120Hz refresh rate technology.February 4, 2020
We’re not exactly sure what that fine-tuning means, but it’s worth pointing out that the Galaxy S20 can’t use 120Hz at full QHD resolution because it would consume too much power. If Samsung is able to address this for the Note 20 series and allow you to enjoy both maximum smoothness and fidelity, it could be the ultimate phone for big-screen gaming and productivity.
Another detail about the Note 20's refresh rate emerged in some May tweets by Ross Young, a supply chain expert who reports on Samsung products. Young suggests that there will be a variable refresh rate for the Note 20, where Samsung's new phone will automatically feature the faster 120Hz refresh rate for apps that support that feature. For what it's worth, Ice Universe is no longer optimistic that Samsung can support both 120 Hz refresh rates and QHD resolutions, which would be a big blow for the Note 20.
Note20 series has completely solved the camera focusing problem, but WQHD+120Hz is still not optimistic.June 29, 2020
Young also expects the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Plus to have bigger displays than their Note 10 counterparts. The Note 20 will reportedly have a 6.42-inch screen with resolution of 2345 x 1084, while the Note 20 Plus screen will grow to 6.87 inches with a resolution of 3096 x 1444.
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.
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
By mid-June, Ice Universe tweeted 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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 cameras
Our first hint at what Samsung might be planning for the cameras on the Galaxy Note 20 comes via a leaked CAD schematic discovered in January. According to the image in question, the Note 20 will likely have all of the Note’s usual ports — including a slot for Samsung’s signature S-Pen. There also seems to be an extra-large camera module. More recently, leaker Roland Quandt posted a photo reportedly showing off a Galaxy Note 20 inlay mold that contains a Galaxy S20 Ultra-sized camera cutout.
Here's a fun one. This is a mold for an inlay for the official Samsung Galaxy Note 11 (Plus) LED View Cover. (Ignore the markings and the aspect ratio could be a little off, too). pic.twitter.com/kAZEFmTXhBMarch 31, 2020
That could be a hint that the Note 20 is adopting the Galaxy S20 series’ imaging stack, with a triple-lens setup for the base Note 20 and perhaps the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s quad-lens setup (complete with a 108MP lens) for the Note 20 Plus or Ultra. The Note series typically gets the latest Galaxy S cameras with slight improvements, so this upgrade seems within the realm of possibility.
In fact, phone leaker IceUniverse implied in a tweet that the Galaxy Note 20 will draw on the S20 heavily when it comes to specs and features.
Galaxy Note20's hardware specifications will not be significantly changed compared to the S20 series, including cameras.March 21, 2020
There are some caveats, though. A subsequent tweet from Ice Universe in May claimed that the Galaxy Note 20 won't have the Space Zoom camera featured on the Galaxy S20 Ultra earlier this year. That means no 100x zoom capability for the Note 20, though that feature wasn't terribly practical. (Photos zoomed in at 100x look pretty blurry, unless you have a tripod to minimize shake.) We're hopeful that if it can't have the Space Zoom telephoto lens, the Note 20 will at least adopt the 64MP sensor that the Galaxy S20 Plus uses for its telephoto lens.
Even without the Space Zoom camera, the Galaxy Note 20 would still have the 108MP main camera found on the S20 Ultra — or at least the larger model of the Note 20 will. Ice Universe says it might be a different 108MP sensor, though, to address the autofocus issues that some S20 Ultra users experienced. A subsequent rumor from Twitter user @Kuma_Sleepy suggests that the Note 20 Plus will utilize an identical primary sensor to the S20 Ultra, but supplement that with a laser autofocus system to fix the Ultra's focusing bugs.
To that end, Ice Universe has posted alleged camera specs for the Galaxy Note 20 Plus, the larger of the two upcoming phones. Expect 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.
For what it's worth, Roland Quandt of WinFuture says he's seen "hard evidence" that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will get the 108MP sensor Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
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.
While there had been rumors that Qualcomm might not release a Plus version of the Snapdragon 865, a new rumor has the chipset debuting in July. Ice Universe predicts the Snapdragon 865 Plus will power the Galaxy Note 20.
If there's no Snapdragon 865 Plus available, though, Samsung could turn to one of its own chips to power the Galaxy Note 20. ZDNet Korea claims it's "highly likely" that Samsung will use a new Exynos 992 chipset in the Note 20 if the Snapdragon 865 Plus doesn't emerge.
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
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
We haven't heard a lot about new 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.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 battery and charging
A report from Galaxy Club said that the standard Galaxy Note 20 will get a 4,000 mAh battery, which is a notable upgrade from the Galaxy Note 10's 3,500 mAh battery. It's not clear what the Galaxy Note 20 Plus could get, but it's possible it could borrow the 4,500 mAh pack from the Galaxy S20 Plus or the even bigger 5,000 mAh battery from the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Another Galaxy Club report indicated that Samsung is going with the 4,500 mAh battery for the Galaxy Note 20 Plus. If true, that's an upgrade from the Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but still smaller than the Galaxy S20 Ultra's battery. It's hoped that the LTPO technology Samsung's expected to use to manage screen refresh rates will also have a positive effect on power consumption.
However, the battery for that smaller variant could be even larger than we anticipated. SamMobile claims to have dug up certification information on the regular Note 20 for its Chinese launch, and in the relevant documents, the phone is listed to contain a 4,300-mAh battery. That's not only 300 mAh more than Galaxy Club's initial rumor, but a full 800 mAh more than last year's Galaxy Note 10 and its 3,500-mAh power pack. That should elicit a sizable boost to daily longevity, if it comes to pass.
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.
However, future Samsung handsets beyond the Note 20 could deliver another leap forward, thanks to a breakthrough new material called gallium nitride.
Several phone makers, including Samsung and Apple, are reportedly researching using gallium nitride in place of silicon to make charging adapters smaller and more efficient. If you want an idea of exactly what this technology can do in real terms, Xiaomi sells a gallium nitride adapter for its Mi 10 smartphone, which carries a battery weighing in at 4,500 mAh. The gallium nitride brick can fully recharge that phone in just 45 minutes.
What's more, Samsung, like other phone makers, may soon be under pressure from the European Union to once again build phones with removable batteries to reduce electronic waste. The last premium Galaxy handset with a removable battery was the Galaxy S5, released way back in 2014. Although this mandate likely won't be delivered in time to affect the Note 20, it could certainly influence future Samsung smartphones.
What we want from the Galaxy Note 20
While we know a lot about the Galaxy Note 20 even before the phone arrives, there are still a few boxes on our wishlist that we hope Samsung ticks.
5G across the board: Obviously, this is going to happen. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series supported 5G connectivity on every model, although the standard S20 initially lacked support for Verizon's mmWave-based 5G network. (A Verizon model of that phone has since come out.) We're expecting every Note 20 to feature 5G connectivity, and we hope that goes for every 5G network in the US.
Improved DeX mode: The Note 10’s DeX mode allows you to use your phone’s apps and files on your PC’s big screen, but it could use some improvements. We found DeX mode to be laggy on Samsung’s most recent phablet, and there are some limitations around the ways you can transfer files between your computer and phone. If Samsung can make DeX mode smoother and more robust, the Note 20 could be a true productivity powerhouse that could even replace your laptop or tablet.
Better battery life: The Note 20 lasted around 9 hours and 25 minutes on our battery test, which consists of endless surfing on LTE. That’s not bad, but it's a ways behind the iPhone 11 Pro Max (11:44), Galaxy S10 Plus (12:35) and Huawei P30 Pro (12:53). A longer-lasting Note 20 could make Samsung’s biggest phone even more ideal for those looking to get work done on the go, and could make it a compelling rival to Apple’s biggest iPhone 12 option later this year.
The iPhone 12 Pro vs. Galaxy Note 20 comparison is an apt one, as the new phones from Apple and Samsung generally launch within weeks of each other. With rumors that the iPhone 12 may be delayed, Samsung could have an added opportunity to make the case that its new phablet is the phone to get. Let's see if the Galaxy Note 20 can take advantage when it arrives in a couple months.