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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra 5G: 5 things to know

Samsung's new Note puts its game face on.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra 5G: 5 things to know
Marc Chacksfield
05 August 2020

It shouldn't have been this way. Samsung should have been announcing its latest handsets, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, to a packed auditorium. But that didn't stop the tech giant trying to get the party started inviting superstars BTS and a video wall of Samsung fans along for the ride.

The show, it's now regular Samsung Unpacked event, was still a glitzy affair and was all designed to showcase the "next normal", its latest line of technology that it hopes will help bring the world together, and entice a few people away from the might of Apple.

At the event, a number of products were launched. These included the Galaxy Tab S7 (£619 with an 11 inch screen), the Galaxy Tab S7+ (£799 with a 12.4-inch screen), all-new true wireless earbuds, the kidney-bean shaped Galaxy Buds Live (£179), a new Galaxy Watch 3 (which comes in 41mm and 45mm case sizes at £399 and £419) and a brand-new foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold 2.

The Galaxy Fold 2 has a 6.2-inch display on the front and a huge 7.6-inch folding display. There are improved cameras as well and the look of the thing is much more refined. We loved both the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, so are looking forward to this one. And there will be a Thom Browne Edition, too, which is good news.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra: 5 things to know

But the undoubtable star(s) of the show were the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Again, Samsung wowed us with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 a year ago, but can it do the same again?

Here are 5 things to know...


1. The S Pen just got super smart

Anyone that has a Note will know that the S Pen is Samsung's version of a stylus. Over the years it has developed into a must-have accessory (from the novelty it first was). The Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra push the S Pen once more, offering a better writing experience, with more lifelike precision, accuracy and responsiveness.

When you buddy this up with an improved Samsung Notes, the app automatically converts your terribly handwriting into something a lot more legible. It also has auto saving and syncing now, so you can use it between Samsung devices.

2. The Space zoom is out of this world

Samsung loves to improve its cameras on its devices with each new release and it's done the same here. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 comes with a triple camera system and a nifty 3x hybrid optical zoom. If you've played with the S20, then you will be right at home here.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra tops this, though, with triple camera system with a 5x optical zoom and 50x Space Zoom. This was first debuted on the S20 Ultra (as a 100x) and is the king of zooming, managing to get you up close and personal with things that are way in the distance.

3. The screen screams quality

There's a different screen size, depending on whether you choose the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The Note 20 has a 6.7in FHD+ screen running at a 60Hz refresh rate (which is decent for gaming).

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G houses a 6.9in WQHD+ AMOLED screen and doubles the refresh rate to 120Hz (even better for gaming). Given the original Note had a ‎5.3 inch screen and we all gawped at the size of the thing, Samsung has come along way to convince us all that bigger is definitely better.

4. You can play Xbox games on the Note 20 range

Okay, so this is one of the coolest features on the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 range. It has teamed up with Microsoft to offer Xbox game streaming through Microsoft’s Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Use this and you can play full Xbox games on the handsets and use an Xbox controller, if you have one to hand.

It's a great feature and one that will definitely take advantage of those decent sized screens and refresh rates.

5. The Note 20 is pretty much a PC now

With more and more of us working from home, it's definitely handy to have a PC in your pocket and that is what the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra wants to be. Once again, taking advantage of its partnership with Microsoft, the Note 20 has a number of link-ups with Windows 10 - including the ability to do full screen mirroring and you can multi-window drag and drop between your phone and PC.

If you are lucky enough to have a 2019 Samsung Smart TV, using Samsung DeX you will be able to use the Note 20 as a handset and take control of your TV screen - so you can do things like text your mates and game at the same time.

You can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 (from £849) and Note 20 Ultra 5G (from £1179) now. If you do this, then you can claim some free Galaxy Buds. Colour wise, for the Note 20 there's a choice of Mystic Green, Mystic Bronze and Mystic Grey. For the Note 20 Ultra 5G, you can choose Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White.

And, no, we have no idea why the colours are mystic.