There is a certain expectancy, if you can call it that, in today’s flagship smartphones. Those anticipated specs, almost generic styling, a ton of hype et al. With the Note 20 Ultra 5G, Samsung decided to buck the trend, 108MP cameras, all-out bold design that walks the talk.
Admittedly I did get off to a rough start, and it’s funny how the unlikeliest of aspects could be obstacles to adoption. In my case, the silky smooth, curvaceously lovely form factor proved an uphill battle, a near irritating early obstacle. The fear of destroying an AED 5,299 smartphone courtesy a clumsy move or three wrecked havoc on my nerves, till the point I was able to procure a case. Once that was in place, I was at peace, and out to explore the device.
The Note series has made its name as a productivity and creativity tool. And boy, does this device deliver on multiple fronts. Start off with that AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display. Forget remote working multi-responsibilities, and this is your ultimate ally for a random surge of videos. which delivers 1500 nits for a colorful, glare-free view supporting HDR10+. It almost spoils you, as you get used to vibrantly dynamic, fluid imagery. Let’s not forget, it supports HDR10+ too.
And then we come to the real star of the show, the S Pen. Wow, I mean really wow. Samsung have proudly proclaimed this the world’s most powerful S Pen, and after a few days, I’m a dedicated convert. Key highlights include a very impressive 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and reduced 9ms latency ensure.
Combine that with the 120Hz refresh rate of the display, and you have an experience you would otherwise need to invest in a Wacom for. Aside from triggering actions with gestures in the air, I loved the MS Office integration element. The fact that you can sync your notes to Outlook, and open multiple mobile apps on your PC is a key highlight.
Step across to the camera, and again, prepare to be surprised, with a combination of a 12MP wltra wide camera, a monster 108MP wide-angle camera and a 12MP telephoto, aside from a 10MP selfie camera. The promise of 8K videos aside, there are a ton of inbuilt options like Live Focus Video and Zoom Speed Control for working with your images and videos that Samsung have included.
Obviously one of the first things I tried out was a 2am shot to test the much-touted low light capabilities. Pleasantly surprised, I moved on to the new telephoto camera loaded on the device, which features a 5x equivalent zoom.
On a sunny day on Sheikh Zayed Road, the imagery was quite well, and worthy of a flagship.
And what about the negatives? Interestingly enough, for a device with a 4,500mAh battery, I’ve been having occasional issues with lagging battery life. Randomly freezing screens come in a close. That said, these should be taken care of by upcoming updates.
So in conclusion? The Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G strikes the right columns on multiple fronts, a true flagship device that you should be downright proud to own.
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G (256 GB) will retail for AED 4,899, while the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G (512 GB) will retail for AED 5,249 in the UAE.