The new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is supposed to be the best of the best that Samsung has to offer in a smartphone – minus a bendable screen. It's the most expensive conventional phone in Samsung's lineup, and includes the top-of-the-line 108-megapixel camera of the Galaxy S20 Ultra from earlier this year as well as the S-Pen stylus and all its associated functionality. Of course, being a Note series device, it also has to have an enormous screen plus all the latest hardware. This is a luxury phone for those who want the absolute best, but the Note series' usual focus on productivity also hasn't been forgotten.
Samsung has combined its best hardware and software features, plus top-end design and materials to produce the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Is this the right direction for the Galaxy Note series, or is it all too much in one package? Read on to find out.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra design
Galaxy Note series phones typically push the boundaries of size, and have often been derided for how large they are. The Note 20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch screen, but thankfully the curved sides and narrow borders all around mean that the phone itself isn't ridiculously huge. It's still more than a handful – but not completely outrageous by today's standards. You might have trouble fitting it in some pockets and you definitely don't want to use it one-handed all the time.
The 208g weight is also on the high side but not too much to handle. Samsung says it has done its best to make the Galaxy Note 20 ₹ 77,999 Ultra slim, and most of the body is just 8.1mm thick. However, the camera bump is absolutely massive, and sticks out another 2mm or so. This not only makes the phone top-heavy, but means you can't easily use it when it's lying flat on its back. It got in the way when holding this phone horizontally, and it also just felt awkward. A case will go a long way in reducing the gap between the phone's back and the module, and surprisingly Samsung hasn't included even a basic plastic one in the box.
Samsung has used Corning's new Gorilla Glass Victus for the screen and the back of this phone, though the camera lenses are protected by a panel of Gorilla Glass 6. A thin screen protector comes pre-applied. The frame is all metal and the top and bottom are flat, which is unusual for Samsung. The corners dug into my palms a little when holding this phone, and the top dug into my ear a bit when making calls. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is sold in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black in India. A white version exists in some countries and might make it here after some time.
The rear has a frosted matte finish and is not slippery, which is a huge relief. This makes the shiny frame stand out, and the look overall does grab attention. Samsung has also decided to highlight the rings around each rear camera, though thankfully these don't stick out even further from the module like on some other phones. It's also good to see an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
The power and volume buttons are on the left, and there's no Bixby button anymore. The SIM tray is on the top and I noticed that it isn't centred. The S-Pen silo has been moved to the left of the bottom, which will annoy some long-time Galaxy Note users. A light press pops it out partially, and then you have to pull it out all the way with your fingertips. The S-Pen can be inserted facing up or down, and thankfully it won't go in and damage the phone if you accidentally try to put it in backwards.