First impression – EXCEED
I am really glad that Samsung supplied the Grey Note20 and the Bronze Note20 Ultra. The grey is elegant and sophisticated, and the Bronze is not my colour. My wife quite likes it and calls it Dusty Rose – perhaps more apt.
The Note20 has a flat-screen, and the Ultra has a rounded edge screen – although not as rounded as past Notes or Edges. The 2.45mm camera hump is extreme – it has to be to house all the hardware. It rocks when placed on a desk, so use a case. We also recommend a tempered glass screen protector – your investment and next trade-in value depends on its good condition.
Screen – EXCEED
Centre 3.5mm O-hole
|6.9″ 3D flexible|
60-120Hz and 240Hz touch*
Dynamic AMOLED 2X (LPTO)
*Note: 4K is only 60Hz
Only 1080p with Dynamic Metadata and Tone Mapping
|Protection||Gorilla Glass 5||Gorilla Glass 7 |
Victus 2m drop
|Fingerprint under||Ultrasonic fingerprint||Same|
Blue light filter
Ambient light Gaming
|Up to 15,000 lux|
Low <4.4% Yes
Dual light sensors F/B 18ms G-T-G
L1 HDCP 2.2
|Up to 20,000 lux|
|AOD Proximity sensor||Yes – customisable|
TMD-9407 wake-up under glass
|Video playback||MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM||Same|
|Smart View||Screen mirror [email protected] |
USB-C Alt DP – up to [email protected] on TV
|Edge Panel (slide out from the right side)||Apps|
Smart Select Tools Messages
Both screens are perfect.
The GN20U screen has rare A+ award from Displaymate stating it is visually indistinguishable from perfect. It uses a new Diamond Pixel array that uses different sized RGB pixels based on their efficiency. While it has an adaptive screen rate (48/60/96/120Hz), this only applies to the 1080p setting.
The GN20 screen is no slouch – it is more of the Galaxy S20 generation. You are not losing much by buying this smaller screen.
Processor – EXCEED
|Processor||Samsung Exynos 990, 7nm|
|Modem||Exynos 5123 (separate)|
|Security||Integrated secure element (iSE)* layer stores and manages users’ data separately from the operating system. Includes a physically unclonable function (PUF) – a digital fingerprint, that generates an unclonable key for data encryption.|
Geekbench 5 Compute Open CL
It will play all modern games to up to the highest frame rates. It has a Game Booster mode.
Note the GN20U has a CS40L2 Cirrus Logic chip for UWB*
|Geekbench 5 single/multi-core||924/2820|
The Exynos 990 first appeared in the Galaxy S20. It is functionally equivalent to the Qualcomm SD865+ for the China and US markets. There is no downside in buying the Exynos – besides, that is what we get in Australia.
BTW the SD865+ in its Tab S7 has a Geekbench 5 score of 968/2810 (about the same). But its Compute score of 3516 is well below the Exynos at 5574.
It packages the CPU, GPU, NPU, AI Camera, Audio, Video, DSP, LPDDR5 and UFS 3.0 storage into one chip offering the lowest latency and highest performance between those components.
* The iSE S3K250AF performs a similar function to Google Pixel Titan M and Apple’s T2. But it is in addition to Samsung Knox software security giving it dedicated tamper-resistant strongbox for confidential and cryptographic data. Pins, passwords, crypto-currency credentials, and credit card payment tokens are stored separately from standard mobile memory and can’t be hacked. Add to that the Thales eSIM and NFC protection that makes the S20 series the most secure NFC/contactless payment smartphones on the planet.
CPU throttle test 15 minutes full load 60Hz screen – EXCEED
As you would expect, the devices have excellent thermal design and are capable of sustaining 100% load at less than 10% loss. The processor starts at 171,592GIPS and averages 157,521.
But we did get some odd readings in rerunning the test after prolonged uptime. The GN20U dropped to about 80% and stubbornly stayed there. That is not a major issue.
RAM/Storage – EXCEED
128GB or 256GB (220GB free)
128/256/512GB UFS 3.0
The RAM and storage are the fastest on the planet. We achieved approx. 1650/760Mbps sequential read/write – that is not far off PCIe NVME 2-lane SSD.
The key difference here is that the GN20U has a dedicated microSD and dedicated sim slot, but with USB-C 3.1 gen 1 5Gbps and OTG connectivity, it supports external SSDs to 2TB – no deal-breaker.
* Ultra-Wideband (UWB on the GN20U only) – what is it?
It is like ANT+ that allows you to find other nearby compatible smartphones and devices. It is smart enough to securely control compatible car and door locks as it has precise location, spatial and angle of arrival capability.
Samsung has a techy explanation here.
Sound – EXCEED
|Sound||Earpiece (L) and down-firing speaker (R)|
Dolby Atmos and Dolby Audio
No 3.5mm port
|Amp||2 x CS35L41 Cirrus Logic Mono Class D 5.3W 1% THD amps with DSP and speaker protection.||Same|
|Tests dB||Ringtone: 81|
Music: 78.1 but can get to 85dB
76.3 79.1 77.1
|Hands-free||Test: Loud and clear at both ends – better than most|
|Playback Codecs||MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF||Same|
|BT 5.0||SBC, AAC and Samsung Scalable (requires Samsung device like Buds Live)|
No aptX or LDAC
Dual simultaneous audio device playback
|Mics||2 with Acoustic Overload Point to minimise noise||Same|
We believe that an earpiece speaker can never match a bottom-firing speaker – it is about physics. There is a slight difference in volume levels from both, but overall, it is not noticeable.