The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is finally official, is it a good time to pick up a good deal on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+?

The key differences between Samsung S20 Ultra & Note 10+. Let’s check the below points individually.

  • The size of the devices.
  • The build and design.
  • The video quality.
  • The internals.
  • The software.
  • The storage.
  • The security.
  • The audio.
  • The Battery.
  • The connectivity.

The size of the devices

The Note 10+ is slightly wider, but the S20 Ultra is a larger device overall. It’s taller, slightly thicker, and it also weighs more. Now, this is because it has a larger display, a 6.9 inch display versus the 6.8 inch display that we’ve got on the Note 10+.

Both of these are using dynamic AMOLED technology, and we do have a center punch out.This is the Infinity-O design from Samsung. It’s kind of out the way, doesn’t take too much away from the screen. The S20 Ultra does have a slightly smaller punch out, if that matters to you.

Both devices also have Quad HD+ resolution. They are HDR10+ certified, so they’re sharp. Their vibrant colors are really, really good, but the S20 Ultra does have a very big advantage, something that we’ve been waiting for for a long time from Samsung, and that is a high refresh rate display. So it can support up to 120 Hertz.

Now, this 120 Hertz will be at 1080p, so you are going to sacrifice some resolution here. But in exchange for that, you’re going to be getting a much smoother experience. You’ve also got 240 Hertz touch input, which again is going to make things a lot smoother. When you’re scrolling through, when you’re gaming for games that support 120 Hertz, things are going to be very, very smooth, and this is a big advantage that we’ve got here on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The build and design.

We’ve got similar materials on both devices here, an aluminum frame with glass panels on the front and back. Both devices are also IP68 water and dust resistant. However, there are some key differences.

Firstly, the Note 10+ you’ve got more squared edges to go with the Note theme, compared to the curved edges on the S20 Ultra. The Note 10+ also comes in a variety of colors. With the S20 Ultra, Samsung have only gone with a cosmic black and a cosmic gray, which are pretty plain-looking, whereas the Note 10+ has that aura glow color.

Looks really, really cool, different colors depending on the way the light hits it. And then we’ve got the camera arrangement.

Now, the Note 10+ has a very clean camera arrangement, very minimal across the side in a line, whereas the S20 Ultra has a very large, rectangular camera module. Now, this is probably the largest camera module that I’ve seen on any smartphone, and it does take up a lot of space.

So when it comes to design, for me personally, it would have to be the Note 10+ because of all of those color options, as well as that much cleaner camera arrangement. However, the S20 Ultra has that large camera module because of the improvements in the way of cameras.

Let’s break down differences here.

The Note 10+ has a quad camera arrangement, so we’ve got an ultra-wide camera at 16 megapixels, a primary camera at 12 megapixels, a telephoto camera also at 12 megapixels, which is going to give you up to two times optical zoom, or up to 10 times digital zoom, as well as a time-of-flight sensor, which is going to help with depth information. Now, the Note 10+ cameras have been very good.

In particular, the ultra-wide camera has been my favorite of 2019. Lots of detail, great colors.

The S20 Ultra also has a quad camera setup which has a similar function to the Note 10+. We’ve got ultra-wide, we’ve got a primary, we’ve got a telephoto, as well as a depth sensor, but these cameras are very, very different.

Let’s start off with the ultra-wide.

This is 12 megapixels, so we are losing out on a few megapixels compared to the Note 10+. But we do have a larger size for the pixels. They’re around 1.4 microns versus the one microns on the Note 10+. Now, what that basically means is those larger pixels are going to able to capture more light, so you’re going to get better low-light performance.

The primary camera is 108 megapixels. That’s a lot of megapixels, and you can shoot at that full 108 megapixel resolution. But by default, this is going to be set at 12 megapixels, and what that’s going to allow is, once again, much larger pixel sizes.

So it’s going to combine nine pixels into one, and you’re going to get larger microns for the pixel sizes on the S20 Ultra when you’re shooting at 12 megapixels. And Samsung have said that the sensor size on the S20 Ultra is three times larger compared to that of the S10+.

Now, this gives you some context of why that camera module is so big.

And in addition to that, you do have the telephoto camera which is going to give you up to 10 times hybrid optic zoom or up to 100 times super res zoom. Now, this is absolutely insane. It uses prism technology, something that we saw on the P30 Pro, as well as some of the Oppo Reno devices last year.

It’s going to allow you to get in very, very close to your subjects. It’s at 48 megapixels, but once again, at default you’re going to be shooting at around 12 megapixels to make the most of the large pixel size.

The video quality

The Note 10+ can shoot at up to 4k at 60 frames a second, a very good video camera overall. I’d say it’s one of the best when it comes onto the Android side of things.

The S20 Ultra can shoot at up to a 8k, which is, once again, absolutely insane. Having that amount of resolution on a smartphone, mind-blowing. We’ve got an improved super steady mode which is going to give you more steady video compared to that of the Note 10+.

You also have a pro video mode, so you’re going to be able to dial your settings. This is something that Samsung did have previously, but they kind of took away, and now they are bringing it back with the S20 Ultra.

I’m not sure whether this is going to come to the Note 10+ by a software update.

We’ve also got a feature called single take which might be useful to some. This is where you can shoot from multiple different cameras on the S20 Ultra at the same time. And the idea behind this is if you want to capture a moment, and you want some pictures, you want the ultra-wide, you want a bit of a boomerang as well, you going to be able to do this all in one go and then share it straight away onto social media.

We’ve also got some improvements for the front-facing camera. We’ve got 10 megapixels on the Note 10+. On the S20 Ultra we’ve got up to 40 megapixels.

Once again, at default it’s going to be at 10 megapixels to get the larger pixel sizes and get better low-light performance, but if you did want to shoot at the full 40 megapixels and get all of the details of your pause, then you can do that here on the S20 Ultra. And the S20 Ultra can also film at up to 4k at 60 frames a second from the front-facing camera, whereas the Note 10+ has a max of 4k at 30 frames a second.

The internals

The Note 10+ comes with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip set or the Samsung Exynos 9820. The S20 Ultra, being a 2020 device, one of the first devices this year with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip set or the Samsung Exynos 990 series.

Now, which one of these chip sets you get is going to vary depending on your region, but the S20 Ultra does come with a new internal, so you’re going to get improved performance, improved efficiency, as well as improved graphics. Now, for RAM, both of these do come with 12 gigabytes of RAM as a base. The S20 Ultra, however, does have a 16 gigabyte of RAM option available which is absolutely crazy.

The software

Both of these do have Android version 10. The Note 10+ did come with Android 9 initially. And we do have Samsung’s One UI skin on top. Now, there are some new features that we’ve got here on the S20 Ultra which I’m not sure if they are also going to be coming on to the Note 10+ or not.

One of these is quick share. This is Samsung’s version of Airdrop. It’s going to allow you to quickly and easily share files between Galaxy devices. I believe this should hopefully come to the Note 10+. We also have the ability to quick launch up to five apps on the S20 Ultra. This is really going to be taking advantage of that RAM. And this way if you’re gaming, and you want to kind of like leave it there, go away, you’re not going to have to worry about the RAM management closing that down.

If it’s one of your five quick launch apps, that’s going to stay there. And if you are somebody who likes to multitask a lot, then this is going to be a big advantage here on the S20 Ultra. I’m not sure if this is going to be coming down on to the Note 10+.

I think this is unlikely because it’s also going to be using a lot of the newer processing power, too.

The storage

The Note 10+ actually comes with a higher base version of 256 gigabytes versus the base of 128 gigabytes on the S20 Ultra.

So this is actually an advantage that we’ve got here on the Note 10+. Both devices are available in a 512 gigabyte variant, as well. Both also have support for a micro SD card, so it’s quite interesting that Samsung is still holding on to the micro SD card slot. And if you do want to expand your storage, you can get up to a terabyte on a micro SD card and increase the storage on these which is really, really great to have.

Both of these also support UFS 3.0 storage, so you’ve got some very fast storage on both of these. Now, one advantage that the Note 10+ has which the S20 Ultra does not, and pretty much no other device out there has, is the S Pen. And this, if you need a stylus for your smartphone, the Note is the device to get.

It works really, really well. And it’s in particular very useful for things like signing documents, editing images, just getting that precision which you just cannot get with your finger. The S Pen on the Note 10+ can also be used remotely which is very useful in lots of situations.

One situation where I find it particularly useful is to use the button on the S Pen as a remote trigger for taking images. Lots of uses for that. There’s also air actions. That’s where you can wave your S Pen around to switch between modes and things like that. But nevertheless, the S Pen is a very, very useful feature.

The security

Now, for security, both devices have an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor which works really well. Samsung didn’t go for the new 3D Sonic Max fingerprint sensor that comes from Qualcomm. Maybe they’re going to be going with that for the Note 20. Who knows?

The audio

Both devices do have stereo speakers tuned by AKG, but neither of them have a 3.5 millimeter jack. This is something that I guess people are just going to have to get used to. You do, however, get some USB type-C AKG earphones out of the box with both devices, which is really cool.

The battery

The Note 10+ has a 4300 mAh battery which has been pretty good generally in my experience. The S20 Ultra comes with a massive 5000 mAh battery. Now, I’m where I have to spend some more time with the S20 Ultra to see how good the battery life is. Because of the high refresh rate screen, I’m not sure how much of an impact that’s going to have on the battery life of the S20 Ultra. Now, both devices can support up to 45 watt fast charging.

However, out of the box you are going to be getting a 25 watt charger. This still does charge the devices very, very fast, but if you do want to get the ultra-fast speeds, you are going to have to buy that separately.

Both devices also have support for fast wireless charging, as well as wireless power share. This is reverse wireless charging where you’re going to be able to charge other devices such as other smartphones, as well as say your Galaxy Buds on your Samsung devices just by placing them on at the back.

The connectivity

The Note 10+ you can buy in a 4G variant or a 5G variant, as well. These are separate. The S20 Ultra is only going to be coming in a 5G supported variant, so of course, it’s also going to have support for 4G, but you’re not going to have the option of not having 5G, shall we say, and this is quite interesting.

Samsung really seems to be pushing on 5G, and this no doubt also has an impact on the price. So the S20 Ultra, of course, is coming in higher compared to the Note 10+. And I’ve been having a look around, for the Note 10+ for the 5G version, you’re looking at around about 1,000 pounds, or around 1,000 to $1,100 right now.

This price is no doubt going to be coming down. And if you do want to go for just the 4G version, and you’re not too bothered about 5G right now, then you’re going to be paying even less. Around 700 to 800 pounds or dollars is currently what it’s going for depending on where you get it.

Final Thoughts

So if you ask me is it worth spending the extra money on the S20 Ultra?

Well, for somebody who’s a tech enthusiast, I would say it is. You are getting a much better display with that high refresh rate, as well as the higher touch input, the improved internals, the improved cameras. I think this is the biggest jump up in cameras that we’ve had on a Samsung device in a very, very long time.

However, if you want to save a bit of money, and you want a really good device, then the Note 10+ is still a very, very capable smartphone. And if you’re somebody who likes the S Pen, then you’re not going to find that experience anywhere else.

And as the S20 Ultra starts coming into stores, no doubt the Note 10+ is going to drop further in price, and you might just be able to pick up a very, very good deal.

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