The Galaxy Note 20 offers some notable improvements over the Note 9, but it also comes at a very high cost.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 has demonstrated what it can do using 5G, fast-refreshing displays, and powerful cameras. It’s an effort that could convince Galaxy Note9 owners of their two-year-old phablet to upgrade, as the new models are now among the most popular Samsung phones.
It’s not an easy decision to upgrade or not. Smartphones are being kept longer than ever these days. The Galaxy Note 20 is priced at $999, while the Ultra is priced at $4,000. This may persuade Note 9 owners that their phones still have a lot of life.
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Samsung’s 2018 phablets have seen a significant improvement with the new Galaxy Note models. This Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 comparison will show you what Samsung’s phablets have changed and whether or not the upgrade is worth it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 prices
You would have spent $999 to buy a Galaxy Note 9 with 6GB storage and 128GB of storage when it first launched in 2018. If you purchased the phone with an installment plan, your phone would be almost paid off.
The Galaxy Note 20 is the same price as the Note 9. However, you get 8GB of storage and 128GB on-board storage. The Note 20 doesn’t have a microSD slot like the Note 9. Upgrade to the Note 20 Ultra and you will get a $1199 phone with 128GB storage. You can increase the on-board storage capacity to 512GB for $1,449
Samsung offers up to $500 off the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra, with trade-ins of eligible devices. Both phones are available with special financing. Customers can pay $25 per month for the Note 20 to receive $500 in total. Samsung will purchase the phone back for any monies owed if the phone is in good condition.
Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 design & displays
Only one Note 9 model was available with a 6.4 inch AMOLED screen. Samsung allows you to choose from two sizes for the Note 20. Standard Note 20 has a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel. The Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, can be expanded to 6.9 inches.
While the Note 20 is the same price as the Note 9, Samsung used much cheaper materials to make its new phablet. Although the Note 20’s body is made of plastic, it looks and feels like glass. Although the illusion may look good at first, if you use the Note 20 regularly, you will notice that it isn’t made from the same materials used in the Note 9. The Note 20 Ultra is, however, a high-end model that lives up to its price tag. It has a matte-etched glass slab on the back and a metallic frame.
The Note 20 feels like a step down from the Note 9 in a different way. Samsung’s older phones have a resolution of 2960×1440. While the Note 20 has Full HD resolution, the Note 20 Ultra boasts a sharper screen with Quad HD resolution. The Note 20 Ultra screen has a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, which adjusts according to what type of activity you are doing. The Galaxy Note 9 doesn’t have a faster refresh rate, so scrolling will be slower and the supported games won’t be as immersive. However, Galaxy Note 20 does not support this feature.
The Note 20 feels different from the Note 9 in that it is a smaller phone. Samsung’s older phones had a resolution of 2960×1440. The Note 20 feels like a step down from the Note 9.
The Note 20 Ultra can produce 201% of the sRGB spectrum when it is in its default Vivid mode. It has a peak brightness of 662 nits. The Note 9 achieves 604 nits while achieving 224%. This latter number is higher than the Note 9, but the Note 9’s hues appear comparatively more accurate. The older phone scored a Delta E score of 0.34, while the Note 20 Ultra received 0.24. (Numbers close to zero in the Delta E test are better.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 cameras
Do you remember when two cameras were the pinnacle of luxury on a smartphone’s back? The Galaxy Note 9 still has a pair of 12-megapixel cameras to take mobile photos. The new Galaxy Note phones offer at least three sensors.
The Note 20 Ultra features the most extensive camera array, with a 108MP main shooter. The trio also includes a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 12MP telephoto lens that can support a 5x optical zoom. A laser autofocus sensor will improve the phone’s ability quickly to focus on shots. Standard Note 20 includes a 12MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera and 64MP Telephoto lens with 3x lossless Zoom.
These camera specs are similar to what Samsung offers with the Galaxy S20 phones this spring, but for Note 9 users this will be a significant upgrade in the quality of their phones’ images. The Note 20 Ultra can shoot 8K video at up to 24 frames per seconds in 21:9 aspect ratio, which is a marked improvement on the phablet Samsung offered two years ago.
The Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra both have a 10MP selfie camera. This is more megapixels that the 8MP camera on the Note 9.
We’ve now had the opportunity to test the Note 20 Ultra camera’s performance and can confirm it’s capable of producing some of the best photography you’ll ever see on a phone. The gallery below shows that Samsung has successfully cured the Galaxy S20 Ultra of its focusing issues with its new laser autofocus system. This allows you to get amazing results from the 108MP main sensor. The Note 20 Ultra’s foldable 5x optical zoom lens allows you to get in close to subjects, regardless of distance. This is a new standard in mobile photography and a area where Samsung has made great strides over the past two years.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 fulfilment
The Notes’ 2018 phablet is also performing better than the Note 9. While that was the best system-on-chip available for Android phones at the time (at the time), chip maker Qualcomm has made great strides in power and efficiency.
The result is the Snapdragon865 Plus, which powers the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra. Although the Snapdragon 865 Plus’s benchmark scores don’t match that of the Apple A13 Bionic chip, they are close to the performance Apple’s Snapdragon mobile processors. You’ll notice a greater processing power when you upgrade to the Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra if you have the Galaxy Note 9.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra scored 3,294 points in Geekbench 5’s system-wide test. Although this test was not available for the Note 9 launch two years ago it is safe to assume that the Snapdragon 845 in the Note 20 Ultra doesn’t achieve anywhere near that result. Even ordinary 865-powered phones like the Galaxy S20 UHT0_ only scored 3,076 points.
The Galaxy Note 20 models will also allow you to connect to 5G networks, which is something that was not possible with the Galaxy Note 9. The Snapdragon 865 Plus comes with a 5G-capable Modem and the Note 20 models can connect to 5G networks. If you live in an area that has 5G coverage, expect faster data speeds.
Galaxy Note 9 owners will experience more restricted storage, at minimum if they choose the smaller Note 20. The Note 20 doesn’t have a microSD slot, unlike the Note 9 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra. The 128GB onboard storage that this phone has is likely to be sufficient for your needs.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 S Pen
Samsung introduced Bluetooth connectivity to its S Pen in the Galaxy Note 9. This is one of the most important changes to Samsung’s S Pen. The S Pen could be used as a remote control to control music, snap photos, and run presentations. The S Pen was updated to include support for air gestures.
Galaxy Note 20 is continuing that trend by offering Anywhere Actions. These allow you to use the stylus to go to the home screen, take screenshots, and return to a previous app. The S Pen’s most significant improvement is its responsiveness. With a latency of only 9ms, the Note 20 Ultra is the most responsive. The 26ms latency, which is a 40% improvement over the Galaxy Note 10, means that the Note 20 Ultra has a faster response time.
The Note 20 now allows users to highlight written and typed notes using the S Pen. This feature can be used to attach audio recordings to the Note 20 — something we think will prove very useful in lectures or meetings. The Note 10 will soon get this feature in a software update. However, there is no word on whether it will make it back to the Note 9. The Note 20 also adds wireless support to DeX mode via Miracast, although this isn’t strictly for the S Pen. This means that you don’t have to connect your phone to an external display with a dock or cable to make it work in a desktop-style environment, like you can with the Note 9.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 battery
The Galaxy Note 9 had a 4,000 mAh battery that enabled it to last for a long time without needing to be charged. The Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra have larger batteries, 4,300 mAh and 4500 mAh respectively.
Problem with battery technology is that, even though phones get larger power packs, their demands increase. The Notes’ new displays have larger resolutions and faster refresh rates, depending on which model you choose. They also feature 5G connectivity and higher peak clock speeds.
This is why the Note 9 actually lasts an hour longer than the Note 20 Ultra in our custom battery testing — 11 hours 26 minutes for the older model, and 10 hours 26 minutes for the newer.
Although overall battery life hasn’t changed much, Samsung has improved its fast charging capabilities since the Galaxy Note 9 was released. The original Galaxy Note 9 had 15W charging. With the new Galaxy Note models, you get a 25W charger. Samsung claims that the Galaxy Note 20 can drain a battery as low as 50% in just half an hour. Our Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review unit was able to reach 56% after being empty for 30 minutes.
Wireless Power Share is a feature of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Note 10 Ultra. It allows you to wirelessly charge other accessories, such as a pair or Galaxy Buds, simply by attaching them to your phone’s back. That’s something the Note 9 can’t do.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9 verdict
In the world of smartphones, two years is a long time. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra will have significant improvements over the Galaxy Note 9. New phones feature a faster processor, larger cameras, larger batteries, and larger displays. The Note 20 Ultra has a faster refresh rate, which will allow for more immersive experiences.
Consider replacing your Note 9 if it is feeling worn out, slowing down, or lasts less time between charges.
There is still a decision to make. Some Note 9 owners might feel the Note 20 is a step back, given its plastic build and lower resolution screen. However, it has more powerful internals. The Note 20 Ultra packs many significant improvements and feels like a real generational leap over Note 9. However, it comes at a high price. It all comes down to your needs and what amount of cash you are willing to spend.