The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Is a Huge Disappointment, and Here’s Why

So after what seemed like eternity while waiting for Samsung and what they have in store for us during its Galaxy Unpacked Event 2020, they have finally unveiled its flagship Galaxy Note series for 2020, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, and the Note 20 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra – courtesy: MKBHD

Now, for the sake of what this article is actually all about, i wouldn’t really be going deep into the specification and features of these smartphones, because i want to believe that most persons reading this post right now must have already read reviews and even watched unboxing videos of the said smartphones.

So we’re just gonna go straight to the point, and do what we came here to do, and that which is, addressing the elephant in the room, the vanilla Samsung Galaxy Note 20.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 full phone specification (GSMArena).
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra full phone specification (GSMArena).

Now to start with, before now, the Galaxy Note smartphone lineup from Samsung has always been seen as the best offering that Samsung could ever give in a given year, in the sense that they take everything that makes the S lineups so good, and even makes them better on the Note series, reason why the Note phones are always launched many months after the S series must have been launched within a year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy S20 Ultra – Courtesy: GSMArena.

And in addition to that, before now once again, we have always known Samsung to launch a single Note smartphone in a year, but not until last year when we began to see two different variants of its Note phone, starting with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Note 10 Plus devices.

So with that, undoubtedly we knew that they’d follow same footsteps as last year and will be launching more than one variant of its Galaxy Note 20 devices this year, but no one expected that the differences between both phones is gonna be this much, that it almost feels like the vanilla Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is made by a different manufacturer entirely, and maybe also meant for the midrange price segment of smartphones.

But lest i tell you that these both phones fall within the $1000 price bracket of smartphones, with the vanilla Galaxy Note 20 costing about $999.99, and the Ultra model going as high as $1299.99.

So, we don’t have a problem with the Ultra model of the Galaxy Note 20 smartphone. I mean, it checks all the boxes and comes with the all the bells and whistles that you’d expect on a fresh Samsung Galaxy Note phone.

The phone we have problems here with, is the vanilla Galaxy Note 20, and those are what we’re about to address right now, so without further ado, let’s get started.

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy The Vanilla Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Model In 2020

1. DESIGN

For a smartphone that costs up to a thousand dollars, and one that comes from the Samsung Galaxy Note lineup as well, I’m pretty sure that no one was expecting anything less than a premium glass build.

But what have we here? Plastic.

Don’t let the marketing terms fool you. I mean Samsung and other tech reviewers might have chosen to call it “Polycarbonate‘, but plastic still remains plastic.

Personally, I’m not saying that there’s anything bad with phone manufacturers shipping their smartphones with plastic build, after all, phones with plastic builds have in more cases than one, proven to be more durable (crack-proof) than those with front and back glass builds, especially when both phones come crashing to the ground.

But the thing here is, glass builds on smartphones have always been seen as a feature that is more reserved for smartphones that falls within the flagship premium smartphone segment, while plastic shines more within midrange, lower end and entry level smartphones.

So seeing a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, a phone that holds a very high reputation in all Samsung Galaxy smartphone lineup shipping with a plastic build, i mean, it is simply out of context, and painfully disappointing.

2 – . And to even add more salt to the injury, the vanilla Galaxy Note 10 model of last year, ships with a front and back glass build, and even adds a Gorilla Glass 6 protection on top of it, whereas the Note 20 comes with a Gorilla Glass 5 protection on its flat display. What a shame.

3 -. And oh, did i forget to tell you that Samsung didn’t include their iconic curved edge display on the Galaxy Note 20 smartphone, and reserved that feature for only the Note 20 Ultra model.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra displays.

I mean, it isn’t something that should be a bummer to people who are looking to buy the vanilla Galaxy Note 20 smartphone, but these are just little finishing touches that makes Samsung flagship smartphones different from all its other smartphone lineups, and even different from its competitors, and one which other manufacturers are fast emulating like the likes of OnePlus, Huawei, Xiaomi, just to mention a few, so why drop it on your own product? Shame Samsung, shame..

OnePlus 8 Pro curved display
OnePlus 8 Pro

Personally, I’d say that it seems like Samsung has completely lost it. I mean, placing the Galaxy Note 20 next to the Galaxy Note 10 even makes matters worse, cause it seems like the Note 10 is the newer smartphone, while the Note 20 is the like a phone from 2018.

And to be honest here, i’m scared of the future of smartphones in the Samsung Galaxy S lineups, a part of me is telling me that Samsung might continue this madness on the Galaxy S30 smartphones that will be launched next year.

And if it happens to be so, then a lot of people will have a really hard time in deciding which of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone that they should go for, because their differences both in terms of spec and design will be so much that many will disappointedly settle with any of the smartphones from its upper midrange segment like the Galaxy A series, and many will even be forced to switch to other brands.

4. DISPLAY

In terms of the display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 smartphone, i will say that it is more of a way one step forward, and ten steps backward approach.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 flat display

Aside from the not enticing flat display panel that was used on the phone which i already spoke about, the display itself is a 6.7 Inch panel that is capped at a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels (Full HD+), when even the most basic Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone tops at a resolution of 1440 x 3200 (Quad HD+).

Though we were already expecting something of such, cause this wasn’t the first time that Samsung was pulling such stunt on us in regards to its Note series of smartphones, i mean even the vanilla Galaxy Note 10 model of last year, also shipped with a Full HD+ resolution.

5 – . But what we weren’t a bit ready for, and one which is hard to swallow, is Samsung launching a thousand dollar smartphone with a 60Hz refresh rate. I mean, who does that?

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 120Hz adaptive screen refresh rate.
120Hz adaptive screen refresh rate on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Okay fine, even if they didn’t want to put the Galaxy Note 20 on par with its higher speced brother, the Note 20 Ultra or even the S20 series, then they should have given us at least a simple 90Hz refresh rate display. Most midrange smartphone from other manufacturers are already shipping with a 90Hz and above refresh rate display, so why must Samsung act like they’re the ultimate smartphone manufacturer here?

See why i said the display on this smartphone is a one step forward and ten steps backward approach. Even the S-Pen that comes with this phone is another case on its own.

6 – . While the one on the Ultra model is stated to have a delay latency of 9ms (milliseconds), the one on the vanilla Note 20 model has a latency of 26ms (milliseconds).

Personally, on real life usage, I’d say it shouldn’t be an issue at all, cause it was even an upgrade from the Note 10 models 46ms latency. So if nobody has ever complained about the S-Pen delay on the Note 10 models up till this moment, then i don’t think anyone should have a problem either with that of the Note 20’s.

But the point that I’m trying to make clear is, since these both phones are advertised and marketed as a productivity device, one which makes the S-Pen seem so important and are almost at the same price point, then i don’t think the vanilla Note 20 deserves the kind of low budget treatment that it is getting from its makers.

I mean, they could have just followed the Galaxy S series approach of demarcating smartphones with either difference in their display sizes, storage sizes, battery sizes, number and size of camera lenses as they already did, etc, and not omitting the basic spec and features that really makes the Note phones what it is today.

Personally if you placed last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 10 smartphone and this year’s Note 20 in front of me and asked that i choose one, i will gladly go for the Note 10 model.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus

So in conclusion, i will say that Samsung needs to go back to the drawing board, i mean, this is simply not it, we didn’t anticipate the Galaxy Note 20 models for so long just to get a half baked device at the same price point as the more polished one, and even at a higher price point against competing smartphone brands, offering better spec and features.

Personally, if you’d ask me what type of user or person can i comfortably recommend the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 to, I’ll say that I’d recommend it to someone who is coming from a phone such as the Galaxy S10 series, and is in dire need of the S-Pen, and can’t spend up to $1300 on a smartphone such as the Note 20 Ultra, then the vanilla versioned Note 20 might be it.

Another case scenario is someone who is coming from an old Note phone such as the Galaxy Note 9 from last two years, and don’t mind sacrificing a high resolution display for specs, then the Galaxy Note 20 is the perfect phone for such an individual.

But aside from those two, i don’t see any other tangible reason why someone will want to shed out $999.99 on a smartphone that is supposed to go on sale for nothing less than $600 – 700.

Alright guys, so that’s all for today concerning the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 smartphone, don’t forget to give this post a thumbs up by sharing it if you enjoyed reading it, and as always, I’ll see you all tomorrow, #Peace out.


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Image CreditsMKBHD