But is it worth that sky high, asking price well i've been using it as my full time smartphone for over a week now and here's, my in depth, samsung galaxy note, 20 ultra review and for the latest greatest tech? Please do plug subscribe and ding that notifications bell cheers now. First up, yes, the note 20 ultra is an absolute whopper. Coming from this thing directly from the google pixel 4a was a serious shock to the system. I'Ve got to admit at first it kind of felt like i was a small child who nicked his dad's phone. After a couple of days, though, i did find that i adapted to the size of this thing and thankfully, despite the fact, it is flipping enormous. It doesn't really have that much of a heft to it, it's, actually quite skinny as well, so do actually kind of like the design. Thankfully, as usual, samsung has chucked in loads of one handed help, even it realizes that its phones are bloody massive. So, for instance, you can swipe down the center of that bottom edge and it will minimize everything the nifty one handed mode making apps and everything much more bearable. And once again you can pull down that notifications bar from anywhere on screen. So it's not too often you'll, find yourself groping for that top edge of this mammoth display and also i'm really really happy to have that matte finish on the back end of the galaxy note: 20 ultra as well.
That means you're not constantly having to whip out your hanky to give it a bit of a buff and it's rather resistant to fingerprints and other greasy scuff marks and yeah that mystic, bronze color is still very divisive. I happen to quite like it. I think it's rather fetching some people. I show this phone to say it looks like cat sick and not just cat sick catsick from a very sick cat. But if you want to conform to society, it's all good samsung's, also offering a black and a white model. So just go grab one of those instead and as for that weird creaky sound that i detected in the unboxing uh. Some very clever viewers pointed out in the comments that's actually part of the camera housing rattling around in there and yeah. That does indeed seem to be the case. Uh still happens still slightly disconcerting, but here and so far after a week of use, the note 20 ultra seems pretty. Damn durable you've got a pre installed screen protector, which has soaked up a couple of light, scratches and then flipping around to that arse and that's still in perfect, nick, not a single scratch or scuff to speak of and, of course, you've got full ip68 water and Dust resistance on the note 20 ultra as well for a bit of added reassurance. Now, on the software front, what you've got on here is samsung's one ui version 2.5, the lit's freshest version of its launches slatted on top of android 10.
and as far as updates go it's a fairly sedate one, a few little tweaks few nice little bits of Polishing uh, going on on the surface level that, to be honest, most people, probably wouldn't, even notice. I actually had to get my old s20 ultra and compare side by side to actually see what differences there were. You'Ve got some worthwhile camera updates, which i'll get to in a bit and you've also got improved. Support for third party launches the likes of nova and launcher stuff, like that, in case, you get a bit bored of one ui. If you want a closer look at the software, i've done a full one, ui 2.5 tips and tricks guys go check that out for some of my favorite bits in here. As for that, ultrasonic fingerprint sensor built into the display well it's generally fine. Occasionally it can crap out if your fingers are just a little bit grubby uh, but generally uh fine. As for the face recognition, sadly, less reliable you've got to generally have pretty good lighting, otherwise it does kind of struggle a fair bit as far as pen stylus. Well, it's, definitely an improvement using this thing that sketchy on the screen feels incredibly natural, now almost like using a pen and paper except for obviously the smooth nature of the galaxy note 20 ultra's display. I also adore the way that you can record audio on this thing at the same time as your scribbler notes, and it all syncs up perfectly.
I demonstrated it over on that one ui tips and tricks guide. If you want to go check it out in action would have been really handy when i was doing like interviews for magazines and stuff like that, it could be really handy for students and lecturers as well. If lectures are actually still a thing that happens post coverage, but of course, if you already saw my galaxy note – 20 ultra unboxing video – you will know that i do not have a single creative bone in my body, so the s pen, doesn't really feel like it's Made for me i'm, not the kind of person who's going to be sketching masterpieces, while i'm sat on the bus going into bromley or something now, while our american chums get the snapdragon 865 bund in their galaxy note, 20 ultras here in blighty, we are lumbered with Samsung'S on exodus, 990 chipset, which doesn't perform as well in side by side tests, but at least in the ultra here it is backed by 12 gigs of ram. So finally, everyday running experience was, of course, absolutely fine. You can split screen with apps no problem and you still got your 5g support on top of that wi fi 6 connectivity as well. So as far as all that shenanigans goes it's the muts nuts. So to really test out the galaxy note. 20 ultra i donned my comfiest underpants, i cracked open a fanta orange and i schooled a bunch of prepubescents on how to thoroughly kick my ass call of duty and pubg mobile both ran well again as you'd hope.
Even after i cranked up the settings to those maximum levels, i saw only one little stutter in call of duty during an intensive two hour gaming session, and that was basically it. The note. 20 ultra did start to heat up pretty fast, though it could definitely be described as toasty after just 10 minutes of sweaty online action. Thankfully it didn't get much hotter than that, although i did quickly switch to a controller anyway, just for extra comfort it's. Definitely a little bit worrying how hot this thing gets and the north 20 ultra is 240 hertz touch response rate as well, it's perfect for, if you're, actually using those touch screen controls just like the s pen, absolutely zero latency, which is great for the likes of Pub g and that 6.9 inch display gives a very clear view of the action i wasn't bothered once by that teeny selfie cam orifice thing, unfortunately, it's the battery life. That really is the achilles heel of the samsung galaxy. Note 20 ultra at the very least in this exodus, 990 version. I found that it was almost always completely drained before i face planted the pillow at the end of a long day, generally, around sort of five to six hours of screen on time. Even fairly. Innocuous screen on time is enough to drain that battery fully and if you deem to try a bit of video calling on the note, 20 ultra or basically anything that uses those cameras.
Well, you can expect to see that battery drop by a full quarter in just an hour of use. Do take note, however, that reports from our american chums say that the snapdragon 865 model of the galaxy note 20 also seems to fare a bit better in the battery department, so that's definitely worth bearing in mind and likewise that snapdragon alternative sounds like it. Doesn'T heat up quite as badly as the note 20 ultra as well. The 20 ultra is fine for just everyday use, but as soon as you start using the camera doing a little bit of gaming or something like that, then the top end, especially i've noticed – gets very, very hot back to the good stuff, though, and that 6.9 inch Dynamic amoled screen is proven brilliant for a bit of summer. Outdoors entertainment, you get super vibrant punchy, colors got that hdr 10 plus support, and it is very bright as well so it's perfect for watching stuff outside, even when it's crazy sunny. I only really struggled with the proper dark scenes in the likes of umbrella academy and while we're on the subject of that mighty screen as well. I always get bit antsy with these edge edge to edge smartphones, where the screen actually curves around the very edges of the display, because obviously your palms are going to intrude a little bit during your natural one handed use. But thankfully, here on the galaxy note, 20 ultra i've never once had a problem with that samsung software smart seem to counter it really.
Well, i got ta say, though i still can't get over the fact that you can't set that display to 120 hertz full time. You can only set it to adaptive, so it'll swap between 60 and 120 when it feels like, and if you want to max out the resolution at wqhd plus, you have to kill the 120 hertz entirely and stick to the standard 60 hertz setting that's like paying 10 quid for an ice cream and then being told you can only have monkeys, blood or sprinkles, not both bollocks. To that i want both meat and ice cream cost me a 10 and the stereo speaker setup, and this thing is rather tasty as well. Definitely get a good bit of sound blasted out of them, so no worries if your family are having a massive argument. Just a few feet away, you'll still be able to enjoy your better netflix and i've had absolutely no issues with the bluetooth connectivity here on the galaxy note, 20 ultra either, probably just as well, because there's no actual headphone jack, so let's finish off, as always with A squint at that camera, tech and the galaxy note: 20 ultra buffs, a 108 megapixel primary lens with built in optical image. Stabilization you'll get a 12 megapixel ultra wide angle lens and a 12 megapixel telephoto lens, offering a five times: optical zoom, or up to 50 times hybrid zoom. So, by default the galaxy note 20 ultra will shoot your four doors with a 4 000 by 3 000 pixel resolution, or you can quickly and easily bump it up to the maximum powers of that 108 megapixel lens and shoot at 12 000 by 9000 for grabbing Insane levels of detail, although each photo will take up 30 megs of space.
Also at that 108 megapixel level, you don't get the same. Precision focus, so some close up subjects will actually be more fuzzy, it's, definitely best used for the likes of landscapes. Samsung'S autofocus, though, which uses a combination of pdaf and laser autofocus is shit hot. This could generally cope with mental youngsters. Although too much erotic motion does occasionally result in a blurry shot, which the note 20 ultra can at least identify and warn you about once the photo's been taken. Colour details are quite rich, even with samsung's scene detection mode switched off, although not to a hideous degree. I actually quite like vivid pixel. I like these results, as for the hdr chops, well, once again, not great they're, fine in low light, but in brighter conditions i definitely saw a fair few instances of over saturation, which makes the final snap look less than brilliant. It kind of sap some of the color and the general texture detail at nighttime. The results are fine, though, in low light, you can still get plenty of detail and a bit of color action on the go and, of course, you've got a dedicated night mode which brightens everything up, although it's still not as good as google's effort on the likes Of the pixel 4, which captures really accurate colors at the same time as for that zoom lens. Well, you get a five times optical zoom, and it is impressive up to around the sort of ten times hybrid zoom level.
Then things do start to get a bit fuzzy, even if you stay as still as humanly possible. You'Re gon na get a blurry crappy grainy shot, but where the naught 20 ultra really impresses and beats most rivals is its video recording chops. You can shoot up to 8k resolution horn movies or 4k at up to 60 frames per second, and it all looks really really good when played back on italy again, you get quite vivid colors, and the focus works really really well with active, crazy r subjects like This one, the hdr chops, seem a bit better for video on the galaxy note 20 ultra as well, especially when you're, using that hdr, 10 plus mode, which serves up some beautiful contrast and functions well at that 4k resolution. Although you can't use it at 60fps and with certain applications, including, unfortunately, my video editor, which don't fully support samsung's hdr 10 plus file format, you get this washed out. Misty look i've also got to mention that the audio capture is perfect as well. I especially love the ability to muffle audio coming from a particular direction using the pro video mode. This works really really well, and you can also uh pan zoom in nice and smoothly now as well, using that pro video mode great stuff. Indeed, you can zoom up to 20 times max and the focus does start to struggle a bit at that maximum level, but once again, at the sort of 10 times halfway point, it was absolutely fine, in fact, between that hdr, 10 plus mode and the fact that You can shoot ak resolution video at a 21 by 9.
Cinematic ratio means that basically, the naught 20 ultra is my favorite smartphone for shooting video right now, alongside the sony, xperia 1 mark ii flip around to the front and that 10 megapixel single lens selfie cam does an alright job for a bit of insta action. Again, struggles with quite bright lights, you might want to sort of avoid that whenever possible, but you got all the usual portrait mode, shenanigans and all that other good stuff to play around with and good news, if you're into a bit of vlogging, because you can actually Shoot 4k resolution footage at a full 60 frames per second here on the samsung galaxy note 20, ultra, which you can't do on very many smartphones at all, although this is of course a super premium, handset, so you'd kind of expect, the best sorry there's, my full Final verdict on the samsung galaxy note: 20 ultra samsung's, most premium smartphone right now, one of the most expensive blows of 2020, and i would say if you don't sleep on a massive sack full of cash, and you don't see the s pen as an absolutely essential Tool then you might want to look elsewhere but left money into thing and you got your heart set on the north 20 ultra well, i definitely say: try and hunt down the snapdragon alternative. If you live here in blighty, because you should see less heating issues and better battery performance, so that's what i think after using the note 20 ultra as my personal handset for a full week.