Derided by naysayers as being unwieldy, the device that took the phablet category mainstream is in its tenth iteration.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 line is stocked with a slew of bells and whistles, the devices work with others in Samsung’s line up to give you a full blown computer in your pockets for the best of productivity and leisure.
Featuring a boxier, less curved, more business-like display, the Note 20s, particularly the top-of-the-line Note 20 Ultra, come equipped with a 6.9-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate display.
This makes the display smoother, especially when scrolling on the device or gaming. A capable phone on its own, the following elevate the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to a new multitasking level.
Once considered a gimmick by some, the defining feature of the Note series -its stylus known as the S-Pen – has grown in is usability and usefulness over the years and the 2020 iteration is its most developed yet.
With the aforementioned 120Hz screen and Artificial Intelligence (AI) prediction, the latency has been reduced to a 9ms. Consequently, the S-Pen shines at its primary function, as writing now feels more natural, as on paper, with minimal lag.
But that’s only the start, the S-Pen can be used to remotely operate the rear and front-facing cameras, allowing access to the camera and taking pictures.
You’d be forgiven for mistaking the stylus for a magic wand as with Air Gestures, it is able to control media functions as well. Using the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as the source of for a power point presentation? With the S-Pen, slides can seamlessly be flipped remotely, without having to touch the device.
Phone or computer? Phone as computer. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 (or Exynos); 12GB of RAM and 128G, 256GB or 512GB of storage, the Note 20 Ultra is more powerful than most desktop computers from a two decades ago.
Baked into the software is Samsung’s Dex; a nifty feature that transforms the handheld Galaxy Note into a fully blown desktop computer. Previous generations required a dock or cord but the new Note 20 can connect wirelessly to an smart external monitor (read: Samsung’s UHD/QLED TV) and not merely mirror the phone’s screen but also provide a desktop –like experience with taskbars and windows.
The Note 20 can be used to navigate the desktop as a cursor would. Wirelessly connecting an external keyboard and mouse elevates experience significantly and can be used for everything from content creation and editing to Netflix binging.
Samsung is well aware that videos shot at resolutions as high as 8K – which the Note 20 Ultra is capable of – take up a lot of storage on the device. Unlike other manufacturers, Samsung provides a slot for a memory card, which can supplement the storage of the device by up to an additional 1TB!
Note’s best friend
The newly launched Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is the best companion device for the Note 20. Similar to the S-Pen, the watch can be used to control the phone’s camera as well as mirror the screen when the camera app is in use, giving you the ability to see what the camera as about to capture on the Galaxy Watch. Also, with the PPT controller the watch can be used as a track pad with cursor visible on the phone for precise selection.
The Galaxy Watch not only allows for the display of notifications from the Note 20, from emails to Instagram and Whatsapp messages, these notifications can be replied receive even by voice.
Out of battery on the Watch? With Power Share, the Note 20 can serve as a wireless power source for the Watch 3.
The bond between both devices is most evident with the ‘Location’ feature. In the event that the phone is misplaced, the Watch can be used to locate it, causing it to ring even if Silent mode has been activated. The Note 20 Ultra also returns the favour.
These are in addition to features like measuring sleep, steps taken and heart rate. The water proof Galaxy Watch 3 can measure blood oxygen levels, blood pressure and conduct an Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG). Oh, and it tells the time as well.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20, 20 Ultra and Galaxy Watch 3 are available in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black and Mystic White.