Samsung has presented its new top devices for the coming autumn. The Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra seem to be a small update compared to their predecessors, which appeared at the end of last year.

The Galaxy Note phones usually appear in the fall and often take over functions from the Galaxy S devices, which will be released at the beginning of the year. This is no different this time. The Note 20 is similar to the S20, but appeals to a slightly different audience.

For many users, the Note phones revolve around the included pen, the S Pen. With this you can make notes or drawings on the screen. With this, Samsung mainly serves the business and creative market. This time the stylus is also present, although avid users will have to get used to it: it is now located at the bottom left instead of the right.

The pen is located in the bottom left of the device this time. Source: NU.nl.

More functions for notes

The pen has been improved in the Note 20. For example, the screen picks up pen contact faster, according to Samsung, there is now a delay of 9 milliseconds instead of 42 milliseconds. It seems like a small difference, but in practice every delay can be felt. During our short hands-on, the scribbles felt direct enough.

Improvements have also been made to Samsung's note-taking app. If you write a bit skewed, the software can automatically straighten the letters. It is also possible to organize notes better and view them on any device via the cloud. This makes the device even more useful for quick annotation.

Back of the regular Note 20. Source: Nu.nl.

Different screens and cameras

There are differences between the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. The Note 20 has a 6.7-inch screen and a refresh rate of 60Hz. The Note 20 Ultra is larger (6.9 inches) and offers a faster display (120Hz). The Ultra also has sloping screen edges, while the regular Note 20 has a flat screen, which we personally prefer because that reduces accidental screen touch.

The design of the device is mainly slightly different on the back than that of the Note 10. On the back, the camera lenses are placed in a rectangular island. That was a pill shape on the previous model. The new housing for the cameras looks a bit tighter.

We were unable to properly test the performance of the cameras during the short test. However, there are differences between the devices. The Note 20 has a standard 64-megapixel camera. With the Note 20 Ultra, that is a 108 megapixel camera. Both devices contain a wide angle lens.

The main difference is in the zoom range. The Note 20 achieves digital zoom thirty times, while the Note 20 Ultra has a range of fifty times. In practice, that difference makes little difference, because after zooming ten times, the quality of the photos deteriorates quickly and the result is grainy.

Preliminary conclusion

Only after a longer test can we say something about the battery life, the usefulness of the pen in daily use and the quality of the cameras in different circumstances. At first glance, these devices also seem to be very solid devices, which have been improved on the main points compared to their predecessors.

This makes the Note 20 mainly a logical update of the Note 10 released last year, without too many exciting additions. They are probably reserved for the next version of the Galaxy S.