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Smartphone reviews, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 2021

hello gorgeous peeps i'm chris from texpert and this beast right here is the samsung galaxy note 20 ultra at 1 179 pounds one of the most expensive smartphones of 2020 thus far although also to be fair probably about the same as a couple of large lattes at your local starbucks but the ultra is of course samsung's most premium mobile phone today as well packing some major specifications as well as a fresh new upgraded s pen bund in its bottom opening but is it well worth that sky-high asking price well i've been using it as my full-time mobile phone 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: Design 

 now first up yes the note 20 ultra is an absolute whopper coming from this thing directly fromthe msn and yahoo pixel 4a was a major stun to the system i've reached confess initially it type of seemed like i was a child that nicked his dad's telephone after a pair 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: Sofware and features

 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: Performance game

 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: Display

 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 gotta 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review: Camera

 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 [ __ ] 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 gonna 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.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
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 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 but what are your thoughts be great to hear your opinions on this absolute behemoth definitely slap them down in the comments below and please do post subscribe and ding that notifications bell for more on the latest and greatest tech cheers everyone love you

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