Smartphone manufacturers have a problem: their devices are constantly getting a little better, but they're actually not really innovative anymore. If companies want to sell new devices, they have to come up with something.

Samsung has been particularly creative in its search for new functions for years: The South Korean company is launching smartphones that support the new 5G mobile communications standard, that can be folded and have almost borderless displays. Or which can optionally be operated using a pen.

Just like the Galaxy Note. With the smart pen, called the S Pen, it is the less secret star in Samsung's smartphone range. In South Korea, it sold a million copies within 25 days in 2019, according to company information - so far, no other model has sold faster there. On Wednesday, the company introduced the latest versions: the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Have you got a pen?

While the latest features of the camera count for most smartphones, the S 20 is once again in the foreground for the Note 20. With it, users can record handwritten notes on their display. In the future, this should go even faster: the time until the handwriting can be seen on the display should have decreased significantly. And if you write a few words wrong, you should be able to straighten them out with just a few clicks.

The smartphone with the traffic light cameras: the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 © Samsung

As with the Galaxy S20 series, three cameras are attached to each other like a traffic light on the back of the smartphone. Unfortunately, they also stick out a few centimeters on the note. From experience with the Galaxy S20, people who do not like to pack their smartphone in a protective case have reported that the smartphone can slip off somewhat uneven surfaces so quickly. The Note 20 has a wide-angle and an ultra-wide-angle camera with twelve megapixels each and a zoom camera with 64 megapixels, the Note 20 Ultra has one with twelve megapixels instead, but a wide-angle lens with 108 megapixels. What's really new: a laser autofocus that is supposed to focus on nearby objects faster.

Samsung once made really large smartphone screens suitable for the masses with the Note series. The Note 20 Ultra continues the tradition: 6.9 inches mean the largest screen so far, as manager Mary Lee emphasized at the Unpacked event. The Galaxy Note 20 has a screen size of 6.7 inches. The RAM there is eight gigabytes, the Ultra has twelve. Even if a nationwide 5G expansion is still a long time coming: If you want to try out the new mobile radio standard, you can order both devices with 5G capability.

Samsung has a gimmick for gamers: The new note should also be suitable for gaming. More than a hundred games, such as Minecraft Dungeons or Destiny 2 , should be available with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

At Samsung, the color names are all mystical this year: The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 comes in a mystical bronze, a mystical green and a mystical gray, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in addition to bronze also in a mystical white and a mystical black. The price starts from 925 euros for the Note 20 and from 1,266 euros for the Note 20 Ultra. The devices will be available in stores from August 21.