128 vs 512GB: which Galaxy Note 20 Ultra storage option should you get?
If you haven’t decided which color you should get yet, you should check our other helpful article: Which Galaxy Note 20 color should you get?
But back to the question at hand!
Storage is an important part of every smartphone. No matter how fast the processor is or how good the cameras are, if you run out of storage, you’re in trouble. Of course, there are always ways you can clean up the storage of your phone, but that’s time-consuming and annoying, so it’s better to have as much storage as you’ll need right from the get-go.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra storage options, what are your choices?
With the Note 20 Ultra, Samsung made some weird decisions when it comes to storage options. Despite the hefty $1,300 price tag, the base version of the Note 20 Ultra comes with 128GB of storage. 128GB is standard even on some budget phones these days and although the Note 20 Ultra comes with the super-fast UFS 3.1 storage, which is more expensive, 128GB still seems a bit low for the price.
But worry not, Samsung also gives you the option to get the Note 20 Ultra with 512GB of storage. That’s the only other option, no 256GB variant available for this phone. The upgrade will cost you $150, bumping the total price to $1450.
There’s one caveat, though. For some inexplicable reason, only the black version of the Note 20 Ultra comes with 512GB. If you want to get the gorgeous Mystic Bronze version that’s on every marketing material about the Note 20 Ultra, you’re stuck with 128GB of storage.
Of course, the Note 20 Ultra, unlike its cheaper sibling, does come with a micro SD card slot which you can use to greatly expand the space you have available for your files. Not an ideal solution, but at least it gives you some flexibility.
So, with 512GB obviously more than enough for most user, the question is, will 128GB be enough for you?
Is 128GB enough for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra?
So, how much stuff can you fit on your 128GB Galaxy Note 20 Ultra? Well, first of all, the Android operating system and Samsung’s One UI and its accompanying apps take a good chunk of that, leaving you with about 107GB of free space to do as you please.
Most apps start with a small footprint, but as you use them they start ballooning in size and although you can delete most of it regularly without a hassle, it’s good to have about 20GB set aside for apps. A single game like Call of Duty: Mobile or PUBG: Mobile can take around 2GB of storage, a big bite out of your 128GB.
The rest will most likely go towards storing your photos and video, so let’s see how many you’ll be able to fit in the 80GB or so you have left.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra photo size
A standard Note 20 Ultra photo will take between 4.5 and 5MB. If you insist on taking max-resolution photos and go for 108MP images, then the size jumps to about 30MB per photo.
That means that in 80GB, you can store 16,000 12MP photos or about 2,660 108MP ones. A pretty large number, but let’s not forget that you’ll have videos as well, and those eat up space a lot faster.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra video size
Video file sizes can vary a lot, depending on the footage itself and codec being used for compression. Here are some rough estimates for different resolutions and framerates:
- 1080p@30fps ~ 90MB/minute
- 1080p@60fps ~ 175MB/minute
- 4K@30fps ~ 400MB/minute
- 4K@60fps ~ 700MB/minute
- 8K@24fps ~ 800MB/minute
If we assume you’ll dedicate about half of the remaining 80GB towards videos, here’s how much footage of each type you’ll be able to store in 40GB:
- 1080p@30fps ~7h 24min
- 1080p@60fps ~ 3h 48min
- 4K@30fps ~ 1h 40min
- 4K@60fps ~ 57min
- 8K@24fps ~ 50min
As you can see, if you’re a fan of higher resolutions, and if you’re buying the Note 20 Ultra, you probably are, then space can run out quite fast. Sure, recording 2 hours of 4K footage isn’t easy, but if you’re rocking the phone for a few years, it won’t be hard to hit that target.
All that said, is 128GB enough? Well, in the short term, meaning for a year or so, yes. If you’ll be on the cutting edge next year and upgrade to a different phone, then you probably won’t run out of space until then. But if you’re planning to hold onto your Note 20 Ultra for the full three years Samsung has promised updates for, if not more, than going for the 512GB version is a safer bet.
The additional $150 you’ll pay for the upgrade are about a 10% increase and if you spread them over a standard 2-year payment plan, that’s a little over $6 per month.
If you’re the power user the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was made for, then the peace of mind you’ll get from having 512GB of storage at your disposal is well worth the added cost. But if you’re just getting it because it’s the best Samsung has to offer right now, then save yourself the extra cash and you’ll be able to get that fancy Mystic Bronze model.