Samsung’s Galaxy Note series has maintained the two-pronged strategy first employed last year, but the company appears to have raised the stakes in 2020 by replacing the ‘Plus’ moniker with the ‘Ultra,’ the latter of which carries more weight in the eyes of most customers and Samsung alike. Simply put, last year the company had released the Galaxy Note 10+ as its most powerful S Pen flagship to date. This year, Samsung abandoned the ‘Plus’ suffix in favor of the ‘Ultra’ designation for the top-tier Galaxy Note 20 model.The question now is whether or not the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is worthy of that label, particularly when comparing the phone side-by-side with the Galaxy Note 10+, and today we’ll try to make it easier for you to answer that question through a direct comparison between the top 2019 and 2020 flagship models.High refresh-rate display, improved durability, new S PenThe latest Galaxy Note 20 Ultra benefits from the usual hardware upgrades you would expect from a smartphone that’s been launched a year after its predecessor. It replaces the Exynos 9825 / Snapdragon 855 formula for an Exynos 990 / Snapdragon 865+ chipset; it increases the battery capacity from 4,300mAh to 4,500mAh, but has the same memory configuration including 12GB of RAM and 256GB / 512GB of expandable storage. Well, as long as it’s the 5G model, as the 4G-bound Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has 8GB of RAM.Things get a bit more interesting when taking a closer look at the display specs and the new S Pen. To begin with, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features a slightly larger AMOLED panel clocking in at 6.9 inches. Then, the phone is protected by Gorilla Glass 7 instead of Glass 6 on both the front and back, and perhaps more importantly, the flagship now boasts a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.The higher refresh-rate display goes hand-in-hand with a new S Pen. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra solution has an improved latency of only 9ms and it benefits from a new S Pen pointer feature as well as a slew of Samsung Notes improvements. These features could make their way onto the Galaxy Note 10+ via firmware updates, but as it currently stands, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has the upper hand in regards to software.Different cameras and a few other similaritiesThe camera combo is also different, as Samsung’s new flagship uses an 108MP main sensor next to a 12MP telephoto shooter and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ditches the 3D ToF depth sensor that was used exclusively by the Galaxy Note 10+ last year in favor of a laser autofocus module. Unlike the Galaxy Note 10+, the latest Galaxy Note 20 Ultra boasts 8K video recording from day-one.Both phones have the same 10MP selfie camera, battery charging capabilities, and IP68 ingress rating, along with stereo speakers tuned by AKG, and dual-SIM capabilities. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a 5G phone out-of-the-box, albeit this functionality will be disabled in some markets.Check our online comparison tool for a closer look at how the Galaxy Note 10+ stands versus the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and stick around for our upcoming reviews. Until then, if you’re a Galaxy Note 10+ owner, let us know in the comment section if you’re tempted to buy the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and why.
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