5 Things We Love About Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The CRN Test Center review finds a much-improved S Pen and strong battery life in the new Note.

It’s time to get scribbling on your smartphone.

At the CRN Test Center, we’ve been trying out Samsung’s stylus-equipped Note devices for years now—but the S Pen in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra feels like a breakthrough.

[Related: Samsung’s B2B Surge: 5 Takeaways From Channel Chief Mike Coleman]

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What follows are five things we love about Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. (Starting price: $1,299.99.)

No. 1: The S Pen stylus. Samsung has really cut down on the latency with the Note 20 Ultra. It feels much more like pen on paper this time. While Note fans in the past have found plenty of cases where using the S Pen was ideal, we expect that the Note 20 Ultra version will significantly increase the usefulness of the stylus. Another new addition that could boost the use of the S Pen: The Note 20 Ultra now lets you annotate on PDFs, too.

No. 2: 5G. On average, the download speed in our testing—over T Mobile’s network in Portland, Ore.—was 33 percent higher over 5G than LTE on the Note 20 Ultra. Using the Ookla Speedtest Intelligence app, we averaged an 80-Mbps download speed on 5G for the Note 20 Ultra. That was compared to an average of 60 Mbps on LTE with the same device in the same location. As with our tests of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, we found that using 5G on the Note 20 Ultra felt significantly faster, with videos and webpages loading instantaneously.

No. 3: Battery life. With the brightness set to 50 percent, streaming video over Wi-Fi for 8 hours only drained the battery by 50 percent, which is an impressive result. All-day battery life is a reality on the Note 20 Ultra.

No. 4: DeX. Connecting to the DeX Android desktop using Samsung Galaxy devices just keeps getting easier. This time, with the Note 20 Ultra, you can pull up DeX wirelessly on Smart TVs. While we didn’t have a Smart TV to try this on, we do think the arrival of this feature is another sign that the technology is advancing toward greater usefulness—and on its way to more mainstream adoption.

No. 5: The display. While the OLED screen looks stunning as always on the Note 20 Ultra, the 6.9-inch display also doubles the refresh rate to 120Hz. This means smoother display motion, which we really like on the Note 20 Ultra. The whole device just feels more responsive than phones with the standard 60Hz refresh rate.