Best Buy hands-on

hasasimo

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Walked into Best Buy and the Samsung rep was there putting the phones up. Waited patiently for him before playing with the phones. Quick impressions:

20200806_132022.jpg
20200806_132008.jpg

  • Note20 Ultra feels physically indistinguishable in the hand from the Note10 Plus despite technically being slightly larger (same width, slightly thicker depth).
  • You can definitely tell the difference between the glass-backed Ultra and the plastic-backed standard Note20. It doesn't feel bad, just not particularly premium. Interestingly, the Nokia Lumia line killed it with design and build quality back in the day using polycarbonate, but this plastic-backed Note20 doesn't quite feel as solid as those devices.
  • Metal chassis is polished all the way through on the Ultra, but it's only polished on the sides on the standard Note20. The metal on the top and bottom of the standard Note20 has a brushed finished.
  • Despite what I've heard, you can definitely tell the difference in size between the two in-hand. The standard Note20 feels darn near perfect between the size, weight, and more rounded corners. It's really a shame Samsung gimped it so much. Last year's approach of 2 different sizes of pretty much the same device made a lot more sense. I guess the smaller Note10 was too popular for their liking and they wanted those sales going to the more expensive model.
  • Obviously, the difference between 120hz and 60hz was very noticeable. I've been using the S20 since release so the difference was immediate to my eyes when scrolling through the standard Note20.

Both are really fine looking phones overall, but the differences both externally and internally between the two are too stark to justify the standard Note20's steep asking price.
 
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akuma13

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Nice hands on preview. I really wanted to get the flat screen Note 20 but just couldn’t justifying paying for a deliberately gimped product. Feeling more comfortable preordering the Note 20 Ultra despite the curved screen.
 

sojodave

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Thanks for the review. I pulled the trigger on the regular Note 20 because I was trading in a Note 9 and with the discounts, I only had to pay $470 with tax, and that included the new Bud Live earbuds. I know that 120 refresh will be missed, but I don't have it now so I won't know the difference. I am betting that the battery will be better in the regular note with the 60 refresh and FHD+ screen. I will put a cover on the phone so I don't care how the back of the phone feels. If I was a gamer, I definitely would have upgraded to the Ultra. I don't think I would have bought the regular Note 20 at full price, but I couldn't resist that deal.
 

Katrina White1

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Thanks for the review. I pulled the trigger on the regular Note 20 because I was trading in a Note 9 and with the discounts, I only had to pay $470 with tax, and that included the new Bud Live earbuds. I know that 120 refresh will be missed, but I don't have it now so I won't know the difference. I am betting that the battery will be better in the regular note with the 60 refresh and FHD+ screen. I will put a cover on the phone so I don't care how the back of the phone feels. If I was a gamer, I definitely would have upgraded to the Ultra. I don't think I would have bought the regular Note 20 at full price, but I couldn't resist that deal.

Sounds like the best way to go for you. People are hating on the smaller note, but Everything just ain't for everybody. I'm glad you got what works for you - and at a great price too!
 

hasasimo

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Nice hands on preview. I really wanted to get the flat screen Note 20 but just couldn’t justifying paying for a deliberately gimped product. Feeling more comfortable preordering the Note 20 Ultra despite the curved screen.

Right there with you. I could have lived with just a 90hz display for that price, but there really is no point getting this over the standard Note10 for instance (in my opinion). I really wanted the standard Note20 for its size and flat screen, but for the handful of things its lacking, refresh rate was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. If I get a Note20, I'm going with the Ultra.
 

hasasimo

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Thanks for the review. I pulled the trigger on the regular Note 20 because I was trading in a Note 9 and with the discounts, I only had to pay $470 with tax, and that included the new Bud Live earbuds. I know that 120 refresh will be missed, but I don't have it now so I won't know the difference. I am betting that the battery will be better in the regular note with the 60 refresh and FHD+ screen. I will put a cover on the phone so I don't care how the back of the phone feels. If I was a gamer, I definitely would have upgraded to the Ultra. I don't think I would have bought the regular Note 20 at full price, but I couldn't resist that deal.

I have no doubt you'll be happy with your purchase. And it'll be much more usable one-handed without sacrificing any actual display size. I actually really wanted the smaller Note20, both for the flat display and size, but I'm kind of obsessed with the buttery smoothness of refresh rate. Important to note however, to your point, that it doesn't mean the phone is faster. Everything will open and run with the same power and speed as the bigger Ultra.

I would also note that the back of the phone doesn't necessarily feel cheap. In fact I was careful not use that word because it wouldn't do it justice. You have the same, sturdy metal chassis as the Ultra and the back feels fine. Just not as premium. Like you said, you'll be putting cover on it anyway. Also note that the advantage of the plastic back is that it makes the phone lighter and less prone to shattering.
 

hasasimo

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Sounds like the best way to go for you. People are hating on the smaller note, but Everything just ain't for everybody. I'm glad you got what works for you - and at a great price too!

Speaking for myself, definitely not hating on the Note20. Just reporting my honest observations. I tend to make it very known on here if I really hate something about a device lol. Made sure to compliment the things about it I liked. Keep in mind that Samsung calls the material "glasstic," implying it gives the impression of glass, so observations are naturally made with that in mind. But that back panel will really have 0 bearing on the user experience. I actually think it would be a super compelling option if they at least went with a 90hz panel. It's subjective, and your eyes get pretty used to anything, but the difference in smoothness really is noticeable.
 

DaBlackman619

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Amazing review. Is the bronze color more of a pink or rose gold color ?
Walked into Best Buy and the Samsung rep was there putting the phones up. Waited patiently for him before playing with the phones. Quick impressions:

View attachment 323347
View attachment 323348

  • Note20 Ultra feels physically indistinguishable in the hand from the Note10 Plus despite technically being slightly larger (same width, slightly thicker depth).
  • You can definitely tell the difference between the glass-backed Ultra and the plastic-backed standard Note20. It doesn't feel bad, just not particularly premium. Interestingly, the Nokia Lumia line killed it with design and build quality back in the day using polycarbonate, but this plastic-backed Note20 doesn't quite feel as solid as those devices.
  • Metal chassis is polished all the way through on the Ultra, but it's only polished on the sides on the standard Note20. The metal on the top and bottom of the standard Note20 has a brushed finished.
  • Despite what I've heard, you can definitely tell the difference in size between the two in-hand. The standard Note20 feels darn near perfect between the size, weight, and more rounded corners. It's really a shame Samsung gimped it so much. Last year's approach of 2 different sizes of pretty much the same device made a lot more sense. I guess the smaller Note10 was too popular for their liking and they wanted those sales going to the more expensive model.
  • Obviously, the difference between 120hz and 60hz was very noticeable. I've been using the S20 since release so the difference was immediate to my eyes when scrolling through the standard Note20.

Both are really fine looking phones overall, but the differences both externally and internally between the two are too stark to justify the standard Note20's steep asking price.
 

Katrina White1

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Speaking for myself, definitely not hating on the Note20. Just reporting my honest observations. I tend to make it very known on here if I really hate something about a device lol. Made sure to compliment the things about it I liked. Keep in mind that Samsung calls the material "glasstic," implying it gives the impression of glass, so observations are naturally made with that in mind. But that back panel will really have 0 bearing on the user experience. I actually think it would be a super compelling option if they at least went with a 90hz panel. It's subjective, and your eyes get pretty used to anything, but the difference in smoothness really is noticeable.

I actually think your review is very honest and unbiased. I'm just glad sojodave was able to see past all the negativity surrounding the Note 20 and settle on a device that suits his needs.
 

hasasimo

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Amazing review. Is the bronze color more of a pink or rose gold color ?

Thanks, wish I had more time with the devices to offer more feedback. I would definitely call it a deep bronze, but there is a slight hint of rose gold. Definitely not the Apple rose gold. "Pink" doesn't come to mind at all when you look at the device. I think you'd have to be looking for it to see hints of rose gold. Certainly a masculine-enough shade and the color I'd be getting if I get a Note20 Ultra. In fact I think it's the best color option for anyone and probably a top 5 Samsung flagship color all-time for me.
 

hasasimo

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No white? :(

The white looks awesome in videos, and I hear it's a glossy finish (same with the black). But unfortunately there was only one color of each model on display at my best buy. If this unique Mystic Bronze wasn't an option, white would be the way to go for me this time around. By far the best black colors Samsung made (for my money) were the Prism Black on the S10e (not the S10) and the ceramic black on the S10 Plus.
 

Logan Inkd

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Thanks for the review. I pulled the trigger on the regular Note 20 because I was trading in a Note 9 and with the discounts, I only had to pay $470 with tax, and that included the new Bud Live earbuds. I know that 120 refresh will be missed, but I don't have it now so I won't know the difference. I am betting that the battery will be better in the regular note with the 60 refresh and FHD+ screen. I will put a cover on the phone so I don't care how the back of the phone feels. If I was a gamer, I definitely would have upgraded to the Ultra. I don't think I would have bought the regular Note 20 at full price, but I couldn't resist that deal.
Got the regular note myself!
 

wrt0108

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I ordered the Note20 Ultra in white (Sprint) on samsung.com. It looks like Bronze is far and away the most popular color, but I always get white whenever it's available. With a glossy glass back, nothing compares. I traded in my S10+ and got a pretty amazing $550. I got 7.5% off the phone for being a government employee. I used my $150 allowance on samsung.com and got the Buds Live for $17.99 (got $2 off that for the government discount as well). Total for all of that was $711.72 plus tax. I couldn't resist that price. Now, it will depend on whether I can keep my Sprint Kickstart plan on the new phone. If I must change plans, it goes back and I continue using the S10+ until it dies.
 

erwaso

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Right there with you. I could have lived with just a 90hz display for that price, but there really is no point getting this over the standard Note10 for instance (in my opinion). I really wanted the standard Note20 for its size and flat screen, but for the handful of things its lacking, refresh rate was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. If I get a Note20, I'm going with the Ultra.

I don't suppose the rep mentioned a Best Buy Blue color did he? I love my Blue 10+
 

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