The Galaxy cảnh báo 20 is infused with just enough Samsung pedigree to lớn be worth consideration but was initially dragged down by a laundry list of compromises và an indefensibly high price tag. Now regularly found for less than $700, it's a far more palatable offering for those that want a stylus-toting flagship on a budget, though it's a far cry from Samsung's best.
The Galaxy note 20 is infused with just enough Samsung pedigree to lớn be worth consideration but was initially dragged down by a laundry list of compromises và an indefensibly high price tag. Now regularly found for less than $700, it's a far more palatable offering for those that want a stylus-toting flagship on a budget, though it's a far cry from Samsung's best.
This device is no longer widely available. The Samsung Galaxy cảnh báo 20 is now unavailable to lớn buy from most retailers. If you are looking for an alternative device, kiểm tra out our menu of the best android phones you can buy và the best Samsung phones.
Samsung’s premium điện thoại strategy is in flux. Between its ever-expanding foldable phone portfolio & obscenely spec’d devices under the “Ultra” branding, it’s easy to lớn forget about the Galaxy note family and in particular 2020’s standard note model — the Galaxy lưu ý 20.

2019 marked the first year where Samsung offered two chú ý series phones at the same time. Rather than settle into a pattern, the South Korean giant switched things up again in 2020. The lưu ý 20 Ultra — a monstrous phone with a monstrous price tag — usurped the short-lived lưu ý “Plus” line. But where does that leave the non-Ultra model, the Galaxy chú ý 20, especially after Samsung skipped the lưu ý line entirely in 2021?

The Galaxy lưu ý 10 changed the identity of the vanilla note lineage, offering what some considered lớn be a watered-down take on the note formula. However, if the lưu ý 10 was a confusing smartphone, the Galaxy cảnh báo 20 remains an outright confounding one.

About this Samsung Galaxy chú ý 20 review: We tested a UK version of the Samsung Galaxy lưu ý 20 (Exynos-equipped) over a period of two weeks. It was running apk 10 with Samsung's One UI 2.5. It received one minor software update during this time containing the September security patch và minor bug fixes. Samsung did not supply a review unit. Android Authority purchased the Galaxy lưu ý 20 for this review.


Gorilla Glass 5 (front), plastic (rear)IP68 certified161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm192gFace on, the Galaxy cảnh báo 20 looks unmistakably like a Galaxy note phone. Instead of continuing the note 10’s shrunken take on Samsung’s phablet formula, the chú ý 20 is a big boi.

See also: Samsung Galaxy chú ý series — A history of innovation

It also sports the lưu ý series’ rectangular-style and, of course, a pop-out S Pen stylus. The front glass melds effortlessly into the metal frame, the hardware buttons — a standard nguồn key & volume rocker — are firm yet tactile, and every time you remove or dock the S Pen there’s a subtle vibration which is a nice reminder of the phone’s perfectly measured haptics.

The Galaxy cảnh báo 20 oozes the kind of finesse and delicate attention lớn detail that you’d expect from the world’s most successful điện thoại thông minh maker. And then you turn the phone around…


Rather than the ubiquitous glass sandwich build, the cảnh báo 20 opts for a rear casing with a brushed-like feel that Samsung calls “glasstic.” We’ve seen this material on a handful of mid-tier Galaxy A series phones. It looks lượt thích plastic và it feels like plastic. If you tap it, it sounds lượt thích plastic & if you press on it, it compresses like plastic. Why? Because it is plastic.

Samsung can dress it up through fancy marketing, but there’s no way to lớn obfuscate the fact that this is a $1,000 phone that’s almost 1/2 plastic on the outside. That’s not khổng lồ say there aren’t some advantages to plastic over glass. Plastic doesn’t attract a smorgasbord of smudges and fingerprint smears. Scratches are more common, but nowhere near as problematic as cracked glass. It also means the note 20 is fairly light — just 192g compared lớn the chú ý 20 Ultra’s 208g.

The front glass also gets a downgrade from the Gorilla Glass Victus found on the note 20 Ultra. Instead, the vanilla model uses Gorilla Glass 5 lớn cover the display. That’s the kind of trade-off some may be prepared khổng lồ make for a $300 price reduction. But when every other part of the chú ý 20’s kiến thiết screams premium and you’re trading blows with other immaculate $1,000 devices, the unsatisfying feeling of plastic on your palm — itself exacerbated by the faux-frosted texture — acts as a constant reminder that Samsung cut a huge corner that’s very hard khổng lồ justify on a flagship phone.

Sadly, the head-scratching kiến thiết decisions don’t stop there. Like the Galaxy chú ý 10 before it, the Galaxy chú ý 20 doesn’t offer expandable storage. However, what’s more puzzling is a seemingly innocuous change from the note 10 series. The S Pen và bottom-firing speaker are now on the left side of the base of the phone.


The S Pen placement is fine, the speaker location is not. When playing a trò chơi or watching a movie my palm always covered the grille. You can still hear what’s going on because there’s a vị trí cao nhất speaker in the earpiece, but you can kiss stereo audio goodbye. The speakers themselves offer limited depth và bass, but are clear và can get quite loud without distorting.

Related: The best Samsung Galaxy chú ý 20 cases you can get

The Galaxy cảnh báo 20 is by no means a poorly designed phone. In fact, it’s arguably better than the note 20 Ultra from a pure ergonomics standpoint, as that almighty camera bump isn’t anywhere near as chunky. Yet while the unique standards are broadly excellent, that plastic back represents a trend that defines the note 20 — not quite premium for a premium price.


6.7-inch Super AMOLED Infinity-OFull HD+HDR 10+20:9 aspect ratioSamsung has an incredible pedigree for điện thoại displays và that màn chơi of chất lượng is maintained for the Galaxy lưu ý 20’s 6.7-inch AMOLED panel. Mostly.

Peak brightness hit a respectable 640 nits in our testing. This tallied with my experience of solid outdoor visibility, but I found it lacking in direct bright sunlight. The display trends towards warmer temperatures và colors pop with that quintessential high contrast look you find in a top-end Samsung phone. There are also options to adjust RGB or the white balance lớn your liking in addition to lớn a blue filter, adaptive brightness, and plenty more toggles & tweaks in the Settings menu.

See also: The best Samsung Galaxy cảnh báo 20 skins to lớn buy

The overall caliber is impeccable then, but sadly there are compromises here too. The least impactful concession is the 1080p maximum resolution. It’d be fair khổng lồ expect Quad HD in this price bracket, but even on a display this kích cỡ it’s hard to tell the difference unless you actively look for one.

In fact, if you’re really into tech và you’re using a modern Samsung flagship you’ve probably mix your phone to lớn 1080p lớn take advantage of the higher refresh rate — và there’s the rub. The Galaxy cảnh báo 20 is a 60Hz panel. For a phone ostensibly designed for nguồn users, this is a shocking omission that makes navigation on the chú ý 20 feel sluggish. Other Samsung phones ask for a trade-off: lower resolution for a faster refresh rate, up to as much as 120Hz. The lưu ý 20 is the worst of both worlds.

This is especially frustrating as the lưu ý 20’s display has a few points in its favor over the cảnh báo 20 Ultra. The screen is flat, which should delight curved display haters. I didn’t experience any accidental touches và the phone retains features like the handy Edge Panel despite the lack of curvature. Plus, what bezels there are remain razor-thin, though the punch-hole cutout is oddly a little larger on the lưu ý 20 compared lớn the cảnh báo 20 Ultra. Otherwise, the front-facing camera is identical, so I’m not sure what the reason is for this.

There’s also an in-display fingerprint reader of the ultrasonic variety. It’s quite slow, taking 1-2 seconds to register my fingerprint, though generally this comes at the benefit of greater accuracy compared khổng lồ an optical reader. I definitely found this khổng lồ be the case. The lưu ý 20 almost always unlocked first time.

Overall, the lưu ý 20 has a big và beautiful screen that is only undermined by its refresh rate. 60Hz/Full HD on a modern flagship phone? That’s poor form.


Samsung Exynos 990Mali-G77 MP11 GPU8GB RAM128/256GB storageFolks buying the Galaxy note 20 over in the US get their hands on the model powered by Qualcomm’s 2020 flagship silicon — the gaming-optimized Snapdragon 865 Plus with its 3HGz-barrier-breaking prime core. In Europe & Asia, however, the entire Galaxy lưu ý 20 series features Samsung’s own Exynos 990 chipset. This is the same processor that powered the Galaxy S20 family outside of North America.

Based on raw specs alone the divide between Snapdragon and Exynos should be getting much worse, but the benchmarks tell a slightly different story.

Based on an average across multiple runs, the Exynos Galaxy cảnh báo 20 completed our Speed kiểm tra G chạy thử in one minute và 52 seconds. Unsurprisingly this comes out slower than the Snapdragon cảnh báo 20 Ultra tests we performed which averaged out at one minute và 32 seconds in 60Hz mode & one minute & 34 seconds in 120Hz mode.

The good news is that Samsung has clearly made some tweaks behind the scenes following the backlash over the performance disparity between the two Galaxy S20 models. Instead of a 30-second gap in Speed test G scores between Galaxy S20 variants, the Exynos chú ý 20 managed to lớn cut that time to đôi mươi seconds. That’s small progress but progress all the same.

Performance in the standard array of benchmarks was also respectable but not world-beating. The most notable result is the 3DMark score which exposes the weakness of the Exynos 990’s Mali GPU compared khổng lồ Qualcomm’s superior Adreno GPUs.

This all tallies with real-world use. While the Exynos cảnh báo 20 is technically underpowered, it never exhibited any lag or slowed down when I was zipping around menus or multitasking. Navigating around the phone can feel slow due to the 60Hz refresh rate, but the CPU proved khổng lồ be a perfectly capable performer. It also ran every apk game I could think of, though it struggled to hit consistent frame rates when emulating GameCube games in Dolphin.

Read more: Samsung Exynos processor guide

The bigger worry was heat. The Galaxy lưu ý 20 gets hot very quickly, especially when playing games. It never became too hot to lớn the point where you couldn’t hold the phone, but it wasn’t comfortable either. This echoed our experience with the Snapdragon chú ý 20 Ultra, so it’s not an Exynos issue. There’s already been some confusion over Samsung’s different cooling systems, but the heat concerns across two variants suggest there’s more to the story.

Elsewhere, the chú ý 20 comes with 8GB of RAM as standard & 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. This is actually one area where the Exynos version wins out in the specs race, as the base Snapdragon cảnh báo 20 mã sản phẩm only has 128GB storage. The lack of a microSD card slot will really sting for those buying the latter.

4,300mAh battery25W wired USB power nguồn Delivery15W wireless charging4.5W reverse chargingThere was a time when the chú ý series was renowned for industry-leading battery life. Those days are long gone.

In my time with the Galaxy note 20, I was regularly hitting the end of the day with ~25% left in the tank and an average of 6-7 hours screen on time. This was based on relatively standard usage. Some Twitter here, a quick ten-minute PUBG di động game there, plus checking emails, Slack, and other daily tasks for work and play. I’d điện thoại tư vấn the results solid, but unspectacular.

Under stress, the Galaxy chú ý 20 begins to falter. Our Rocky test, which repeatedly runs Speed chạy thử G until on a loop, managed khổng lồ take the phone from a full charge lớn zero in three hours và 22 minutes. This is well below the đứng đầu battery performers and it’d be fair lớn expect more from a phone with a 60Hz, 1080p display, & a reasonably-sized 4,300mAh cell.

Power management on Exynos SoCs is notorious for being sub-par, so this may explain the average results considering the specs. On a positive note, there are plenty of power nguồn management options available, including Samsung’s own adaptive power-saving mode in addition to apk 10’s phầm mềm management feature.

As for charging the phone, the Galaxy chú ý 20 averaged out at ~70 minutes to hit maximum charge from flat when using the 25W USB power nguồn Delivery brick that ships with the phone. It also supports 15W wireless charging and Samsung’s 4.5W Wireless PowerShare technology for reverse charging accessories. These aren’t the fastest speeds in the market by any means, but it at least offers parity with the note 20 Ultra.

12MP OIS wide-angle Dual px PDAF (ƒ/1.8, 1.8μm)64MP OIS telephoto PDAF (ƒ/2.0, 0.8μm, hybrid optical 3x zoom)12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm, 120 degree FOV)
Samsung typically reserves its best camera tech for the Galaxy S series and that remains true for the Galaxy note 20. Nevertheless, the chú ý 20 is no slouch in the photography stakes and, in the right conditions, can deliver spectacular results.

The Galaxy chú ý 20 features a triple camera on the rear with a 12MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, & a 64MP telephoto camera that supports up lớn 3x hybrid optical zoom. If you’re familiar with the cảnh báo 20 Ultra then the drop from Samsung’s top-tier 108MP primary shooter khổng lồ a modest 12MP camera will be the big takeaway.

In daylight, the Galaxy lưu ý 20 produces the kind of crunchy, contrast-heavy images Samsung phone cameras are known for. Vì you like your snaps lớn look Instagram-ready? Then you’ll love the saturated look of images taken with the chú ý 20’s main camera. This works especially well outdoors where xanh skies & green fields threaten khổng lồ burst out of the frame.

The tự động hóa HDR does a lot of heavy lifting in landscape scenes, trắng balance is fairly consistent throughout, and the dynamic range is solid, though detail falls off a little if you crop in. The lưu ý 20 lacks the tia laze autofocus found on the lưu ý 20 Ultra, but the Dual px phase detection does the job just fine.

The praise continues for low light performance. The dedicated Night mode takes a while to lớn process images but is capable of transforming dimly lit shots into almost daylight-like photos. The shots of the mèo statue above were taken at 8PM as the evening drew in with light coming from a nearby window. Even the regular shooting mode retains plenty of detail and manages khổng lồ keep noise khổng lồ a minimum.

The telephoto lens may be underwhelming if you’ve been reading the kinh doanh for the ridiculous 50x/100x Space Zoom of Samsung’s recent Ultra phones. Technically, the cảnh báo 20 can reach up khổng lồ 30x digital, though images turned khổng lồ pure mush at anything beyond 10x zoom. For truly usable results, the 3x hybrid optical mode is perfectly fine.

The ultra-wide camera mirrors the main shooter very well. While there is a loss in detail, you still get the same overly-saturated, dynamic results, only this time with a much wider 120-degree field-of-view. I really enjoyed using the cảnh báo 20’s ultra-wide sensor.

The 10MP selfie camera dials down the contrast and has some clear smoothing going on in post-processing, but generally, the chất lượng is decent. Portrait mode — or Live Focus, as Samsung calls it — zooms in slightly for both selfies & regular shots, though you can change that with a quick tap. Edge detection was good-to-great in all cases và there are plenty of additional filters and effects for selfie-holics.

As for the camera app, Samsung strikes a reasonable balance between ease-of-use và offering a variety of modes to keep your photography experience fresh. The Pro mode is there for tinkerers and there’s an AR Zone for those that want khổng lồ decorate shots with emojis và the like. My only gripe is the prime spot for Single Take in the carousel. The gimmicky mode captures 10 seconds of đoạn phim and produces various different images and clips. It’s fun, but not particularly useful. It really should’ve been replaced with Night mode in the vi xử lý core camera UI.

Related: The best apk camera phones you can buy

Samsung’s big draw for clip is 8K (or so the endless YouTube ads have told me) which you can capture at 24fps in the 16:9 aspect ratio. You’ll probably want to stick to lớn 4K at 60fps unless you want to lớn annihilate your storage, or 4K 30fps lớn take advantage of the reliable tracking autofocus. đoạn phim captured on the lưu ý 20 looks very crisp.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy chú ý 20 camera delivers the goods. It might not boast the mouth-watering specs of Samsung’s Ultra devices, but it proves yet again that numbers aren’t everything for thiết bị di động photography. You can check out full resolution sample images in a Drive thư mục here.

Software: One of a kind

Android 10, update to android 12 coming soonOne UI 2.5, update to lớn One UI 4 beta availableThree years of updates/patches

The Galaxy chú ý 20 launched with android 10 out of the box và Samsung’s custom One UI skin on top. The latter is instantly recognizable & among the more unique skins available.

Like the note itself, everything is big, bold, & quintessentially Samsung. App icons are huge by default, while the notification bar & quick settings engulf the screen. The Settings thực đơn isn’t afraid to lớn fill the display with trắng space (or black space if you have dark theme on) either. This is intended to make one-handed use easier and works really well for the Galaxy S series. I wasn’t quite as taken with this approach for the chú ý 20. This is a phablet with a built-in stylus. It’s meant to be used two-handed! It would’ve been nice khổng lồ see some specific tweaks khổng lồ the UI specifically for the Note’s many use cases.

Samsung is also fairly heavy-handed in pushing its own ecosystem with its own apps & services. If that’s not your thing, you can replace almost all of this with Google apps if you wish. Extra features like the swipe-up Samsung Pay card and the Samsung Daily feed can also be deactivated. That’s not true for Bixby, but Samsung’s oft-maligned assistant keeps khổng lồ itself these days unless you go out of your way khổng lồ use it. Plus, Bixby Routines are actually kind of useful. Give Bixby some love, it needs it.

Read more: Here’s everything new in Samsung One UI 4.0

Samsung’s growing relationship with Microsoft is also evident when using the cảnh báo 20, though once again you’re not forced into anything. This manifests as a links to Windows option in the Settings & is basically the Your Phone ứng dụng but directly integrated into the device. If activated, the feature lets you chia sẻ SMS messages và photos with a PC or máy vi tính and see notifications on your desktop. You can also mirror your entire phone screen so long as you’re on the same Wi-Fi connection on both devices. While it’s nowhere near on the same cấp độ of integration as Continuity for iPhones & Macs, it’s a neat optional bonus for Windows users.

Not a Windows user but still want a PC experience? You’re in luck because DeX is back và this time it’s gone wireless… sort of. The desktop-style interface is now compatible with TVs that support Android screen mirroring. If that sounds like vague criteria, that’s because it is. Samsung recommends a 2019 or later Samsung TV (because of course it does) và sadly I don’t have one of those to test it out. It still works just fine via USB-C-to-HDMI on PCs/Macs if you have a suitable cable though.

So far, Samsung has brought android 11 và the One UI 3.1 skin to lớn its Galaxy cảnh báo 20, with further updates on the way. The One UI 4 beta was recently launched, which means that you can kiểm tra out some of the new customization features on your phablet already. A stable launch is expected in January 2022.

Before we move on from software, it’d be remiss of me to lớn not mention Samsung’s welcome promise of three years of apk upgrades and four years of security patches. That means the note 20 should be supported all the way through to game android 13 & a further year for security updates. Good stuff, Samsung.

105.08 x 5.8 x 4.35mm3.04gBluetooth enabled26ms latencyYou can’t talk about a Galaxy cảnh báo phone & not discuss the S Pen. The chú ý series’ iconic stylus doesn’t get as much love for the note 20 compared lớn its Ultra compatriot. Instead of the latter’s frankly crazy 9ms of latency, the vanilla note 20 is rated at 26ms. That’s still barely shy of the táo apple Pencil and Surface Pen and a big improvement over the note 10 series’ 45ms. In practice, the S Pen felt extremely responsive.

Read more: The evolution of the Samsung Galaxy lưu ý S Pen

The S Pen feature mix has also been expanded. There are new Air Actions for taking screenshots, launching the camera, & generally navigating around the phone. I used them once to demo them out & promptly forgot all the commands.

Samsung Notes received some love too. I especially liked the new thư mục paths as you can now organize your scribbles into sub-folders rather than dump them all in one place. You can also sync them across other Samsung devices.

NA: 128GB or 512GB internalmicroSD card tư vấn up to 2TBGlobal: 256GB or 512GB internalmicroSD card tư vấn up to lớn 2TB
Rear:12MP 2PD OIS wide-angle (ƒ/1.8, 1.8μm)64MP telephoto (ƒ/2.0, 0.8μm, hybrid 3x zoom)12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm)Front:10MP 2PD AF (ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm)
Rear:108MP PD OIS wide-angle (ƒ/1.8, 0.8μm)12MP telephoto (ƒ/3.0, 1.0μm, optical 5x zoom)12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm)Laser AFFront:10MP 2PD AF (ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm)
Samsung Galaxy note 20 (4G only, Exynos): 8GB/256GB — £849/€959Samsung Galaxy note 20 5G (Snapdragon): 8GB/128GB — $999Samsung Galaxy lưu ý 20 5G (Exynos): 8GB/256GB — £949/€1,059Let’s not sugarcoat things: the Galaxy chú ý 20 was overpriced at launch.

The Galaxy lưu ý 20 5G started at $999 in the US, £949 in the UK, and €1,059 across Europe. Considering all of the downgrades from the Galaxy cảnh báo 20 Ultra & the laundry menu of absent flagship-tier features, those prices remain extremely hard lớn stomach.

The model I tested was the 4G-only model, which is only available in select markets, not including North America. This variant went for £849/€959, which is slightly more palatable if you’re not interested in future-proofing your phone with 5G data speeds. I’m not sure you should have lớn force yourself lớn make that additional compromise, but it’s there for those that can buy it.

Now, the chú ý 20 has had the benefit of a pretty solid price cut wherever you can still find it on sale. It’s dropped by about $300, down khổng lồ $699. This puts it in line with more affordable flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S21 or the Google px 6 in terms of cost. While the note 20 is working with slightly older hardware, Samsung’s update policy makes it a relevant option for the future, especially if you really want S Pen functionality on the cheap.

However, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series is better than ever. All three devices have dropped in price significantly and the Galaxy S21 Ultra now supports the S Pen (albeit without a dock — you need a case for that).

Read more: These are the best Galaxy note 20 alternatives

Look further afield và the competition gets even hotter. The OnePlus 9 Pro is a true killer flagship with the latest internals và a Hasselblad-tuned camera, though it now has a price tag to lớn match. Big phone fans may also be tempted by the LG V60, another chú ý 20 rival on a budget.

The standard Galaxy cảnh báo 20 has some trade-offs khổng lồ hit a lower price point, but it should still satisfy many note users.