Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: 3 differences explained

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s latest top smartphone and an alternative to the Note 20 Ultra. In this article, we compare the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. These are the three biggest differences between the huge and expensive smartphones.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra are the company’s most recent Ultra smartphones, and they have the necessary similarities. Still, there are some important differences to keep in mind when considering buying them. That is why we list the most important differences in this Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra comparison.

1. Design and S Pen

A difference that is immediately noticeable when you compare both devices is the dimensions and weight. The Galaxy S21 Ultra measures 16.5 by 7.5 by 0.89 inches, versus 16.5 by 7.7 by 0.81 inches for the Note 20 Ultra. The latter is therefore wider and you will notice that in your hand.

You also notice that the Note 20 Ultra is lighter (208 grams) than the S21 Ultra (227 grams). Although 19 grams on its own is negligible, it does matter during use. The Note 20 Ultra is less pleasant to hold due to its rectangular and wide design, while the S21 Ultra is more comfortable to hold but more of a burden.

samsung galaxy note 20 ultra review
The Note 20 Ultra.

At 6.8 inches, the S21 Ultra’s screen is a fraction smaller than that of the Note 20 Ultra (6.9 inches). You do not see this in practice. What you will notice is the integration of the S Pen. With this stylus you can make drawings on the screen of the smartphones. The Note 20 Ultra offers space to put the pin in the housing and the S21 Ultra does not. You have to take the stylus with you separately or buy a special cover with a recess for the pen. This is less convenient.

Some of the features of the S Pen, including gesture control, also only work on the Note smartphone. On the S21 Ultra, the pen therefore feels more like an extra, while on the Note 20 Ultra it really is part of the device.

2. Cameras

The cameras of the smartphones also differ. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 108 megapixel main camera, 12 megapixel wide angle camera and 10 megapixel zoom cameras. Samsung advertises with a maximum of 100x Space Zoom, a feature that you may know from the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

samsung s pen

The Note 20 Ultra also has a 108-megapixel main camera, assisted by a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and 12-megapixel telephoto lens. It promises up to fifty times a hybrid zoom.

To make it clear: the Galaxy S21 Ultra can zoom further and better, which is useful if you like to get the image closer. The smartphone also takes better pictures in the dark and should focus better, especially at close range. The selfie camera is also better all in all, so it is more versatile than the Note 20 Ultra.

3. Specifications

A big difference between the S21 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra is the processor. The Note 20 Ultra contains an Exynos 990 chip, which the Galaxy S20 series also has. The processor is very powerful, but not the fastest and most energy efficient. Samsung has developed a completely new chip for the S21 series, the Exynos 2100. It is a lot more powerful, consumes less power and has an integrated 5G modem for better performance.

Although both smartphones are lightning fast, the S21 Ultra is the winner here. The better processor also pays off after years of use, because the smartphone slows down less quickly.

samsung galaxy note 20 ultra review

Samsung also offers the S21 Ultra with 128, 256 and 512GB storage space. The first two models have 12GB of RAM, while the 512GB variant has no less than 16GB of RAM. The Note 20 Ultra has 12GB of RAM – more than enough for smooth performance – and 256 or 512GB of storage memory.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first smartphone in the world to support Wi-Fi 6E. This latest WiFi standard offers various improvements compared to WiFi 6, which is only available in a limited number of (more expensive) smartphones. The Note 20 Ultra is one of them. You can only experience the benefits of WiFi 6E with a suitable smartphone and router. The first Wi-Fi 6E routers will appear in the spring of 2021 and are expensive. WiFi 6E is therefore not important for many people.

Another difference is the battery capacity. The Note 20 Ultra has a 4500 mAh battery, while the S21 Ultra has a 5000 mAh battery. The larger battery contributes to a better battery life. That is not an unnecessary luxury, because the battery life of the Note 20 Ultra is not that good.

The smartphones charge wirelessly and via USB-C just as quickly. One difference is that with the Note 20 Ultra you get a 25 Watt charger and that the box of the S21 Ultra only contains a USB cable. You have to arrange the charger yourself. Samsung defends this decision by explaining the environmental benefits.

More about the smartphones

Do you want to know more about smartphones after reading this comparison? Then be sure to check out our Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review or read our first impressions of the Galaxy S21 (Ultra). The extensive review of the S21 Ultra will follow soon.

The best deals on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra with subscription can be found here. You can also buy the S21 Ultra separately. Getting a separate Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is of course also possible, and cheaper. Here you can check the best deals of a Note 20 Ultra with subscription.

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