5 ways Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Plus specs may beat the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

5 ways Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Plus specs may beat the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
UPDATE: The Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are now official. Read more:


The largest Android push yet to materialize this year is Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 series and Fold 2 release at the end of the summer. While one might be reasonably expecting a Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G with an S Pen to be announced, Samsung has more worthy upgrades in minds, as we learned just in the past week. 

How much better can a 2020 phone get, you ask? Here's a quick list of 5 expected Galaxy Note 20 specs and features that may very well beat the S20 Ultra:

  • LTPO panel with dynamic display refresh vs LTPS battery hog
  • Faster EFS 3.1 vs 3.0 storage memory
  • Faster focusing camera
  • 2nd gen 3D Sonic Max - a larger, faster double finger scanner
  • Faster Exynos processor

Let's go through these one by one to gauge how significant Samsung's Galaxy Note 20+ upgrades would be over the spring flagship chicken Galaxy S20 Ultra now.

Galaxy Note 20+ LTPO vs S20 Ultra LTPS display specs

According to display supply chain analyst Ross Young, the Galaxy Note 20 and 20+ will sport displays with the following specs:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20: 6.42" 2345 x 1084, 404 PPI, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 120Hz with LTPO or 60Hz LTPS
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus: 6.87" 3096 x 1444, 497 PPI, 19.3:9 aspect ratio, 120Hz with LTPO refresh rate

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Now, the LTPS (Low-temperature polycrystalline silicon) vs LTPO (Low Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) part is interesting here. Without boring you with the details, we'd just add that the LTPO tech is 5-15% more power-efficient than LTPS on the S20 Ultra. 

Used on the Apple Watch for the first time, it will now transition into the iPhone 12 series, and, apparently, most everything that is coming out in the second half of the year.

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This, and the fact that it makes variable dynamic refresh rate easier could compensate for the difference in battery sizes between Samsung's flagships. On the S20 series, instead of hardware components to manage dynamic refresh rates depending on the content, Samsung has a software stack. 

While it does reference various refresh rate levels - from 48Hz to 120Hz - an automatic refresh rate solution hasn't been implemented on the S20 Ultra for some reason, so it stays either at 60Hz or at 120Hz at all times, and the latter is a battery hog. Thus, not only should the Note 20+ have a more frugal, but also more capable display than the Galaxy S20 Ultra.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20+ camera focus

The rich camera kit of the Galaxy S20 Ultra is so futureproof that it may be directly transferred to the Note 20 line. The fact that Note 20+ is most likely getting the Galaxy S20 Ultra camera should come as no surprise to anyone even remotely acquainted with Samsung's flagship phone strategies. 

Samsung's second generation 108MP sensor used in the Ultra is unique in that it merges the light information (called pixel-binning) from no less than 9 pixels into one big virtual for unprecedented amount of quality and detail.

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The bad part, however, is that Samsung's acclaimed Dual Pixel autofocus system that tags two opposite photodiodes to each and every pixel in a sensor for extremely fast and accurate focusing, has not been used with pixel-binning so far. According to a reliable tipster, Samsung will use extra focusing hardware on the Note 20 that would make the camera kit different than what is in the S20 Ultra.

The focusing information from the sensor can then be used to enhance the results from the main 108MP juggernaut, in a radical attempt to prevent the complaints about the Galaxy S20 Ultra autofocus from a close distance.

The breathtaking 48MP periscope camera of the Ultra, the 5x periscope zoom mechanism, and the 12MP ultrawide-angle one are expected to stay, though, it's just that pesky little thing next to the LED flash on the renders that may be said focus-assisting sensor.

As you can see on the leaked renders, Samsung will ditch the 100x Space Zoom gimmick for the Note series, meaning that we may have a different camera "island" on the back than what's on the S20 Ultra, at least as far as prints and the two-tone finish are concerned.

The Note 20+ storage and chipset would be faster than on Galaxy S20 Ultra

Recently, Samsung announced that it is entering mass production of new 512GB eUFS 3.1 memory for "flagship phones". The 512GB version of the S20 Ultra 5G still comes with the eUFS 3.0 standard which, albeit the current fastest, won't hold a candle to what Samsung is about to produce.

"Phones with the new eUFS 3.1 will only take about 1.5 minutes to move 100GB of data whereas UFS 3.0-based phones require more than four minutes," it quipped, which tells you all that you need to know about the future of storage standards. The random operation speeds are also greatly increased with up to 60% better performance.

Besides the 512GB packs, Samsung will also start producing the ultrafast eUFS 3.1 storage memory in 256GB and even 128GB capacities, which comes as tangential confirmation that Note 20 Plus will ship with 128GB of basic storage, just like the S20 series. Just faster when it comes to read and write speeds. 

The chipset front may also be different from the processor scheme that is in the Galaxy S20 family. While a Snapdragon 865+ is now unlikely, the Exynos 990 models of the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra, have been marred be slightly shorter battery life and higher chipset temperatures compared to the Snapdragon 865 models we get in the US. Perhaps that is why the latest rumor pegs the Galaxy Note 20 line arriving with a faster, more efficient Exynos 992 processor, which would be another difference with the S20 Ultra.

Faster Note 20+ fingerprint scanner covering larger area than on S20 Ultra

The display industry analyst who tipped the Note 20+ LTPO display tech, is also suggesting that Samsung may utilize Qualcomm's latest 3D Sonic Max in-display finger scanning technology. It was supposed to land in the S20 series, but apparently couldn't be implemented en masse so soon, so it was left for the Note 20 models in the summer.

Unlike the first iteration that only allows users to scan one fingerprint, the 3D Sonic Max offers a recognition area that is 17x larger than the previous generation, allowing for increased security via simultaneous two-finger authentication, increasing the ease of use. 

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Qualcomm also claims that its new fingerprint sensor is faster than the previous generation, but we have yet to hear by how much, and can't wait to pit that tech against the S20 series scanners if it makes it to the Note 20 models. If it does, that would be just another major area that the Note 20+ will improve over the Galaxy S20 Ultra juggernaut, not to mention the S Pen sword. What do you think?

Expected Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus specifications:

Note 20 Plus display size: 6.9" 120Hz 20:9 Super AMOLED display with 3D Sonic Max finger reader
Note 20 Plus chipset: Exynos 992 or Snapdragon 865 processor
Note 20 Plus memory versions: 128GB/256GB/512GB eUFS 3.1 storage
Note 20 Plus cameras: 108MP main+48MP periscope+12MP ultrawide
Note 20 Plus battery: 4500mAh

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