I’ve had the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in hand for 36 hours as of Saturday, and regardless that it widens my regular smartphone grasp, that 6.9-inch show is well worth the stretch – and so is using the camera, based on my latest snapshots.
Not everyone will get it. Actually, each time I take a look at a brand new premium Android phone, like a Note, everybody who’s not a techie says “Nice…. it appears to be like quite a bit like an iPhone.” This has already occurred after I was exhibiting off the Note 20 Ultra. The phone skilled in me cringes somewhat bit.
That assertion is sometimes true of different phones, however I stand by the truth that the Note 20 Ultra feels completely different from most different smartphones on the market. It bucks fashionable design traits with squared-off edges beneath a curved show, and Samsung hasn’t given up on the the stylus.
Actually, I feel that this year’s S Pen has some standout features which are underrated, which I will study quickly (spoiler: syncing scribbled-down notes with audio notes goes to be superb for college kids and journalists).
It is not a lot larger than my 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max, which I will be retiring till Apple’s iPhone 12 comes out. Samsung’s 6.9-inch show does not really feel like 0.four inches of additional. It is solely a tad longer because of Samsung’s higher screen-to-bezel ratio and the smallest entrance camera punch-hole we have seen yet (a lot smaller than the one within the Note 20’s show).
What’s extra, the Note 20 Ultra display has a 120Hz adaptive refresh charge, which provides it a fluid appears to be like as you play games, watch films or just scroll by way of your Instagram feed. Something with motion appears to be like buttery clean. It may be exhausting to return to any smartphone display screen with a jittery 60Hz when I’m executed testing the Note 20 Ultra.
Okay, no, you possibly can’t use the very best decision (QHD, or technically WQHD+) similtaneously 120Hz. However I guess most individuals do not know that their Samsung phone is 1080p out of the field – it appears to be like good regardless. All of these individuals who assume this “appears to be like like an iPhone” won’t miss these further pixels. And it is one thing Samsung can work on for the Galaxy S30 in six months.
Samsung has the most easy-to-use, fun camera
Day one with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra proved to me that Samsung continues to have the easiest-to-use full-fledged camera app.
It is the little factor, proper from the start, that permit me arrange a shot rapidly and recognize Samsung’s refined camera app performance:
- Double tapping the power button to rapidly launch the camera app. I do not even should look on the lock display screen to seek out some pesky icon that requires a protracted press.
- Making an open-hand gesture to set off selfies so I can maintain my arm out and body up the shot – with out having to retract and reset for each shot.
- Seeing a timer ring kind around the 10MP selfie camera punch gap as a substitute of badly guessing the place the camera is contained in the show. Invaluable for group selfies.
- Swiping wherever on the viewfinder portion of the display screen to flip between the entrance and rear cameras – to me, it acts like an enormous button, changing that tiny camera icon button that is in a random nook of almost each different phone.
When you’re a phone producer with out these fundamental features in your camera phone, I am judging you. Arduous.
Note: For the first Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra camera photographs beneath, I am standing in the identical spot, and in addition capturing from the hip (making an attempt to not get run over by site visitors).
It does not harm that Samsung’s camera takes great photographs. I nonetheless must do a deeper evaluation, however photographs of New York Metropolis appears to be like beautiful. The 12MP ultrawide lens captures a lot extra of metropolis landscapes, telling a very completely different story versus the 108MP fundamental and 12MP telephoto lenses.
The largest enchancment I see? Samsung’s telephoto lens, which maxes out at 50x digital zoom. No, it does not have that 100x ‘Area Zoom’ function, as seen in our S20 Ultra camera take a look at, however that high quality loss between 50x and 100x made it pretty unusable. It was a celebration trick we did not want.
The Note 20 Ultra’s 50x zoom attain is greater than sufficient, and the largest deal is the souped-up 5x optical zoom – not digital, not hybrid optical, however optical optical. It additionally has a barely wider aperture than the S20 Ultra telephoto camera: going from f/3.5 to f/Three to permit extra mild into the camera sensor, and besting the 0.eight microns with 1.Zero micron to seize particular person bigger pixels. There is a tighter discipline of view on this camera (20 levels as a substitute of the S20 Ultra’s 24 levels), and it is 12MP as a substitute of 64MP, however I do not see points, I solely see enhancements up to now.
There’s quite a bit to unpack right here. I’ve referred to as Samsung’s cameras ‘probably the most enjoyable camera on a smartphone’ prior to now, even when it wasn’t technically ‘the perfect’ pixel for pixel (that was usually a Google Pixel). With features like selective coloration in black-and-white picture filters (referred to as Shade Level in Dwell Focus), and the S Pen to remotely take selfies, I have been extra entertained testing Samsung’s easy-to-use cameras than another model. Our opinions take account extra than simply minute pixel high quality variations.
I will be again with extra Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra impressions as I proceed to make use of this phone, its 108MP, 8K video and that (actually) hanging S Pen. It is a huge, advanced handset, with an on-going overview and in-depth rolling updates