Possible Samsung Galaxy Note 20+ benchmark reveals a completely unexpected compromise


UPDATE: Max Weinbach claims the Galaxy Note 20+ could come with an as-yet unannounced Snapdragon 865+ processor under its hood rather than the standard 865 powering the Galaxy S20 family. This likely includes four CPU cores clocked at 1.8 GHz, three at 2.4 GHz, and one at 3.1 GHz, delivering a marginal overall speed upgrade that might explain why this pre-release Note 20+ prototype is capable of producing such impressive Geekbench scores already. The mystery of the 8GB RAM count, however, remains unsolved. Our original story follows.

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After throwing everything but the kitchen sink at buyers of the $1,400 and up Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung may have painted itself into a corner as far as distinguishing the upcoming Galaxy Note 20 from its existing flagship is concerned. 

Apart from an obligatory S Pen, there's not a lot left to bake into the company's "next big thing" in order to convince the masses they should choose that particular bad boy over the S20 Ultra and even the more than adequate S20 and S20+ high-enders. But what if Samsung isn't even trying to make the Note 20 that special, focusing instead on delivering a well-balanced quality/price ratio for hardcore stylus fans?

That's certainly a novel and intriguing concept, which appears to be gaining quite a bit of steam after a recent report pointing at a base 128GB storage variant and a hot new benchmark revealing the Galaxy Note 20+ could pack as little as 8 gigs of memory.

Wait, what?


It's true, an SM-N986U prototype of some sort was put through the Geekbench 5 motions earlier this week, scoring a solid 985 points for single-core performance and tallying a 3220 multi-core total. That suggests this (not so) mysterious device is running a fairly polished version of Android 10 on the software side of things, as a commercial Galaxy S20 Ultra unit, for instance, generally yields extremely similar or even slightly lower scores than that.


In case you're wondering, prolific Samsung leaker Max Weinbach seems pretty certain the aforementioned model number designates the Galaxy Note 20+ 5G (in a US unlocked variant), but while the handset unsurprisingly packs a Snapdragon 865 SoC, said state-of-the-art processor is apparently paired with a modest 8GB RAM count in this specific configuration.

That's modest by today's ultra-high-end standards, of course, matching the memory of last year's Galaxy Note 10 while falling short of what the Note 10+, S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra all have going on in that department. Granted, the S20 and S20+ also come in 8GB RAM versions, but only in combination with 4G LTE connectivity.

It would be truly bizarre for Samsung to cripple the 5G-enabled Note 20+ like that in the US, making it less appealing for hardcore multitaskers than the "regular" Galaxy S20, so there's a decent chance this benchmark proves to be fake. After all, it's not very hard to manipulate the identities of phones tested through Geekbench, and this SM-N986U prototype also seems a little fast and polished for something that might still be several months away from a commercial debut.

Back to square one?


If you choose not to give a lot of weight to the information "revealed" today, it may feel like we don't know the first thing about the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20+. And while it's definitely true that very little is etched in stone for the time being, many specs and features can be easily guessed by looking at the Galaxy S20 family.

In fact, two different but similarly reliable tipsters claimed not very long ago that the Note 20 series will essentially be the same as the S20 series with just an added S Pen and "squared off corners." Of course, it remains to be seen if Samsung has two or three main Note 20 models in the pipeline, and whether or not there will be any notable differences between US 5G configurations and 4G LTE-only variants likely to be sold in markets where "next-gen" wireless networks haven't taken off yet.


One detail that's essentially guaranteed is a Galaxy S20 Ultra-style camera module, while the aforementioned 128 gigs and up of internal storage should be a lot speedier than the current options of the S20 lineup

As much as "international" Samsung fans would like to think otherwise, the somewhat underwhelming Exynos 990 chipset is expected to power the Note 20 family across the old continent, with the US and other key markets getting the top-shelf Snapdragon 865 silicon in conjunction with an as-yet unknown memory count. It could be 12 gigs of the good stuff or it could well be 8 in certain variants to help keep the entry-level price reasonably low. 

At the end of the day, would a compromise like that be so bad if 12 and perhaps even 16GB RAM options are also offered?

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