The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (see our full review) has been one of my primary smartphones for the past several months. However, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus has also filled in this role and as a Note fan, it is tough to give up the S Pen.
In the past, the Note series launched with the newest innovations from Samsung, but the S and Note series have now closely aligned with specifications and technology so the distinction between the two rests primarily with the S Pen.
Samsung's Note 20 Ultra launches with specifications that match the S20 Ultra and go just a bit further with the addition of the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, some S Pen improvements, and an improved Samsung Notes experience.
Tale of the tape
Specifications don't provide the complete picture regarding the capabilities of a smartphone, but they are useful for comparison purposes and to provide you with an indication of what each device offers.
|Feature||Galaxy S20 Ultra||Galaxy Note 20 Ultra|
|Display size||6.9 inches||6.9 inches|
|Processor||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865+|
|Dimensions||166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm||164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm|
|Rear cameras||Four: 48MP tele, 108MP wide, 12MP ultra, 3D depth||Four: 12MP tele, 108MP wide, 12MP ultra, 3D depth|
|Front cameras||One 10MP||One 10MP|
|Other||60 and 120 Hz display, Space Zoom up to 100x||S Pen, Ultra-wideband, Display supports 1 Hz to 120 Hz|
Both Samsung devices have a 120MHz refresh rate display, microSD storage card, fast wireless charging, IP68 dust/water resistance, and wireless powershare capability so you can charge up other phones or accessories on the go.
While there are some minor differences in the processor and display technology (60 to 120 Hz vs dynamic 1 to 120 Hz), the key difference between the S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra really comes down to the S Pen. As you look above at the spec comparison and more details on the new Note 20 Ultra, it begs the question of whether or not Samsung should continue with the Note line. If Samsung reveals the rumored Galaxy Fold 2 with S Pen support, then I see little reason to continue a separate Note line.
Given the larger battery capacity and option for more RAM, this year the S20 Ultra may actually be the better phone for business. Both also have the same 5G support so you may be able to save a couple hundred dollars and choose the S20 Ultra if your employees don't find the S Pen essential to getting work done.
We'll be testing out the Note 20 Ultra here on ZDNet in the coming weeks. Let us know what you are most interested in and we'll make sure to test it out during our review.