September 23, 2023


Sapiens Digital

Weekly poll: Did the Galaxy Note20, Note20 Ultra and Z Fold2 live up to expectations?

It would be a cliche to call the Galaxy Note20 Ultra “the best Samsung smartphone ever” even if it’s probably true. But it’s strange that we can’t call the vanilla Note20 “the second best”, it’s not even close.

The Ultra costs an arm and a leg – $1,300/€1,266 – and yet it is a bit cheaper than the S20 Ultra despite having double the storage. And the faster Snapdragon 865+ too. Well, sort of. Europe, India, Brazil and Australia are getting the old Exynos 990 chipset, so there’s no performance upgrade for them.

The Note20 Ultra also brings the second iteration of Samsung’s best camera hardware. The modifications are small and on paper they aren’t clear upgrades, but it’s all about results. The new periscope lens comes with a faster lens of longer zoom to offset the smaller sensor so it’s unclear which one will get the edge.

The Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with 120Hz refresh and 240Hz touch sampling rates may help turn the Note into a gaming phone. Even better, it allows the S Pen to reduce its latency to just 9 ms.

By the way, you can get up to €420 in credit if you trade in an old device. In the US the deal is even better – up to $650 for a working phone, but even one with a cracked screen can save you up to $400.

The Samsung Galaxy Note20 is priced at €950 and that’s for the 4G model – the 5G one goes up to €1,023. Unlike the Ultra, it seems that the vanilla model will be offered in both 4G and 5G versions in the same country, but even if you settle for LTE connectivity the price tag is rather high.

Especially since you won’t get the new Gorilla Glass Victus but GG5 instead. Also, the back is made out of polycarbonate. And worst of all, the screen is just 60Hz – not the end of the world, but even the base Galaxy S20 does 120Hz, so there’s little excuse. The removal of the microSD card slot just adds insult to injury.

On a more positive note, the Galaxy Z Fold2 seems quite awesome. Samsung promised to unveil the full details (and put the phone on pre-order) on September 1.

There is some preliminary info, though, which details extensive upgrades to the screen. The internal screen is a 120Hz panel with UTG. The bezels around it have shrunk and there’s no notch for the camera, just a punch hole. Also, the external screen is growing to 6.23” (with slim bezels and no notches), so it’s quite usable on its own.

Again, the full details won’t be official until September, including important things like the price. But we still wanted to get your first thoughts on the Z Fold2.

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