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My advice: Have a few Qi charge pads around to top up. Qi is gentler on the battery too.

COMMS – EXCEED

CommsWi-Fi 6 AX HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM
1.2Mbps max for AX Test: Signal -328dBm and 1.2Mbps
BTBT 5.0 LE, A2DP
NFCPayWave and Mag Stripe
GPSDual-Band GPS <4M suitable for high-speed turn-by-turn navigation
USB-C3.2 gen 1 5Gbps

It is a pleasure to use Wi-Fi for file transfer. It is fast and holds signal strength further away from the AX11000 ASUS router than any other AX device we have tested.

S Pen – exceed

S Pen is the prime reason to buy. If you don’t intend using it, then buy the Galaxy S20 Ultra and save a bundle.

Samsung Galaxy Note20/Note20 Ultra

Note: Both do the same thing, but the GN20/GN20U has a 26/9ms lag due to the different screen and digitiser. We challenge anyone to tell the difference in lag times. I can’t tell the difference in use.

S Pen26ms lag (9ms on GN20U)
Bluetooth
Lithium Titanate Battery: 24 hours standby; 15-minute charge
4096 pressure levels
.7mm tip 5.8 x 4.35 x 105.08mm x 3.04g
ActionsAir actions
Air view
Live message
Samsung Notes
Screen off memo
Smart select
Screen write
Translate
Bixby Vision
Glance
Magnify
PENUP
Colouring
AR Doodle
Write on calendar

The S Pen experience is as good as the pen on paper experience. The new GN20U lower lag time improves on that. It is an even more silky smooth, precise experience. You can sketch, doodle, handwrite, professionally draw, translate and more. You can also use it as a remote camera shutter button.

Samsung Notes Productivity

  • Works powered on or off – write on the screen
  • PDF Mark-up
  • Sync note and audio recordings
  • A new pop-up note over video/podcast or video conference.
  • Converts handwriting to text very well
  • Add photos, voice notes and searchable tags.
  • Samsung Notes (.SDOCX). Image and text export to Microsoft 365 as well as OneDrive for other Android devices.

Samsung’s Notes app is terrific.

DeX – Desktop eXperience – EXCEED

You can skip this if you don’t use it as a productivity device. Samsung has details on how to use it here.

Samsung Galaxy Note20/Note20 Ultra

Both have wireless DeX (Smart View or Miracast [email protected]) in addition to USB-C to HDMI cable, DeX station and many modern USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 dongles. It is possible to get [email protected] screen mirror with a cable.

You can now run DeX in a window so that you can access the TV or monitor content as well. If you use the GN20/U as a touchpad, it now supports three-point Touch although we found it a little laggy.

Build – EXCEED

Colours
All prefixed with Mystic
Bronze (matte)
Gray
Green
Bronze
Black
White
DeXWireless and USB-CSame
IP ratingIP68Same
Size161.6×75.2.8.3mmx192g164.8×77.2×8.1x208g
BuildGG 5 front
Polycarbonate ‘glasstic’ back
Stainless Steel frame
GG 7 Victus front and back
Same
BoxUSB-C AKG tuned headset
USB-A to USB-C 2.0 cable (you will need to buy 3.2 Gen 2 to use higher speeds)
S Pen
25W charger
 Same

Android and OneUI 2.5 – EXCEED

AndroidGoogle Android 10
Samsung One UI
Promising three major OS upgrades
Same
SecurityPatch 1/8/2020
Qualcomm QBT2000 ultrasonic under-glass fingerprint detector
2D Face recognition
Pin/Pattern/Password
Tests:
Fingerprint 7 out of 10 positives
Face: 4 out of 10 (but I have a COVID beard)
 Same

A skin (One UI) can either be artistic or add value. Samsung OneUI adds both. It is more like the grease on the Android wheels that makes everything work so much better. But it is showing a little age too – elements of it hark back to Android 8 like its default to an App drawer, home and back keys at the bottom (that I like).

I can see now how Android 10 and 11 (just released) have moved away and I expect Samsung’s OneUI will need to go through a metamorphosis.

BTW – Samsung promised three OS upgrades. That means 10 to 11 to 12 to 13! Android 11 is the first to separate the hardware layer from the UI so that Google can issue OTA security patches.

There is little bloatware apart from Facebook, Spotify and Netflix and Microsoft OneDrive is there as the default backup cloud.

Accessibly – EXCEED

  • Voice Assistant
  • High contrast theme, font, keyboard, and Internet
  • Colour inversion, adjustment, lens
  • Magnifier window, widget
  • Sound detectors
  • Hearing aid support
  • Left/right sound balance
  • Mono audio
  • Mute all sounds
  • Live Transcribe/Caption on Android
  • Amplify ambient sound
  • Universal switch
  • Assistant menu
  • Interaction control
  • Touch settings (Tap duration, Ignore repeated touches, Touch and hold delay)
  • Mouse and Physical keyboard (Click after pointer stops, Sticky keys, Slow keys, Bounce keys)
  • Direct access
  • Flash notification

Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra cameras – EXCEED

Samsung Galaxy Note20/Note20 Ultra

Note: Field of View (FOV) varies from Samsung specs due to the test software reporting the cropped image size.

Camera rear Primary (wide)
Sensor
Aperture
Pixel
FOV
Focus

Video
Stabilisation
12MP
Not binned
S5K2LD
f/1.8
1.8um
67.8°
Dual Pixel PDAF

[email protected] HEVC
Gyro/EIS/OIS
All modes up to 60fps
108MP
Nonacell 18MP
S5KHM1
f/1.8
.8um (2.4um)
68.9°
Laser AF and PDAF
[email protected]
Same
Camera
Telephoto
Sensor
Aperture
Pixel
Focus
Stabilisation
Zoom
.
.
64MP
(binned to 16MP)
S5KGM1
f/2.0
.8um (binned to 1.6um)
PDAF
OIS
3x optical
12X digital
30X Hybrid
12MP Periscope
Not binned
Unknown
f/3.0
1.0um
PDAF
OIS
5X Optical
20X Digital
50X Hybrid
Camera
Ultra-wide
Sensor
Aperture
Pixel
FOV
Focus
12MP
Not binned
Unknown
f/2.2
1.4um
104.1°
FF
Same
Selfie
Sensor
Aperture
Pixel
FOV
Focus
Video
Other
10MP
SK53JI
f/2.2
1.22um
68°
Dual Pixel PDAF
[email protected]
Presents as cropped 7.1MP, 61.5° FOV
Same
Camera AiScene Optimiser
Shot suggestions
Flaw Detection
AR Doodle
AR Emoji
Night
 Same
OtherHDR10+ record
Super Steady VDIS
Zoom in mic
Slow [email protected]/720p/960fps
Hyperlapse
 Same

All the shots below were taken at the same time. They both show excellent colour and detail worthy of a premium flagship.