S20 vs Note 10 Impressions

nitro2k1

Active member
Oct 23, 2017
39
0
0
Visit site
Seems there are a number of people making the switch from Note 10 to S20. Not that anyone asked, but I thought I'd share my first impressions for anyone considering the switch. I have the standard Note 10 and purchased the standard S20.

Hardware

The S20 feels as premium as the Note 10. I prefer the buttons on the right of the S20, the left ones on the Note 10 are annoying. The S20 screen quality seems identical to the Note 10 as far as color, quality and brightness. I'm running it at 1080p 120hz. There is a difference at 120hz, but to me, it's not mind blowing. The difference in screen size is only .1" but strangely seems like a lot more screen real estate on my Note 10. Perhaps this is due to the curved edges on the Note 10(which I don't hate, don't judge me!).

I'm undecided on which device I prefer using more as I've come to appreciate the perceived larger screen on the Note but also enjoy the "compactness" of the S20 and buttons being where my thumb expects them to be.

Connectivity

I've tested a bunch of bluetooth devices and compared Wifi speeds - all good. I have T-Mobile and live in NY. 5G lit up as soon as I put my SIM in - nice. I've tested the speeds at various locations and was not impressed though. I also have an iPhone XR on Verizon that usually doubled the 5G speed on the S20(WTF T-Mobile??). I'm sure everyone's results will vary - especially if you're using the S20+ or Ultra with the extra 5G love that's in there. If you're on Verizon, I'm going to bet their 5G speeds will melt your face off, so please use caution while using your device!

Performance

Not much to say here, both phones perform great, where the S20 feels a pinch snappier. The fingerprint scanner seems slightly faster on the S20 but that may change over time kinda like my Note 10 did.

Camera

I know, nobody is interested in this topic :p I'm not a camera expert so take my opinion as just that! I prefer the color and contrast that comes out of the S20. The Note 10 takes brighter pictures and I've always felt it seems to overexpose a little bit. The S20 has more natural colors and doesn't over saturate the colors as much as the Note. The S20 has a more contrasty image and reminds me of the pics I would get out of my Pixel 3, which I like. Where I'm disappointed is in the sharpness and detail of the S20 compared to the Note, mainly in lower light conditions. The S20 seems to have less detail and more noise, moreso while using the 64MP sensor.

Here is one comparison, taken in what I would consider average light. Note 10 on the top and S20 on the bottom. Sorry, can't figure out how to rotate the images correctly, I feel like such a loser:'(

Note10.jpgS20-Standard.jpg

Here are some crops showing the difference in sharpness and detail. Note 10 on the top and S20 on the bottom. The S20 pic is not using 64MP sensor in this comparison.

Note10-Crop.jpgS20-Standard-Crop.jpg

Same crop from Note 10(top) but S20(bottom) crop is from pic taken with 64MP sensor, yuck

Note10-Crop.jpgS20-64-Crop.jpg

Final Thoughts

I'm paying about $300 for this phone after all the deals and discounts - and getting $135 credit to buy more Samsung goodies, so pretty great deal if you ask me. I thought getting 5G, better screen with the 120hz, more RAM, better CPU and "revolutionary" camera would justify shelling out $300. Having used the phone for a couple of days - I don't see the value anymore as the Note 10 performs just as well as the S20(and has that cool s-pen that I never use!).

Yes, even with its shortcomings, I still think the S20 camera is better than the Note 10, but not $300 better. I plan on returning the phone but will wait to see if Samsung delivers on their promise to fix some of the reported camera issues and make me feel like this phone is as revolutionary as they claim it to be.
 
Last edited:

msm0511

Trusted Member
Aug 23, 2014
4,619
9
38
Visit site
I think the reason you feel like the Note 10 has more screen real estate has to do with the aspect ratio. The S20's are more narrow, but taller. That gives a larger diagonal measurement.

Thanks for the hands-on.
 

nitro2k1

Active member
Oct 23, 2017
39
0
0
Visit site
I think the reason you feel like the Note 10 has more screen real estate has to do with the aspect ratio. The S20's are more narrow, but taller. That gives a larger diagonal measurement.

Thanks for the hands-on.

You're welcome and definitely agree. On paper, didn't seem like there would be a huge difference, but as you mention, I didn't consider the aspect ratio.
 

jdfry15

Trusted Member
Feb 2, 2011
642
0
0
Visit site
Agree with you on the screen. the note does feel better but I like the ultra being more narrow. I have the opposite feeling with the finger print sensor, the note feels faster to me. Maybe I need to erase it in the ultra and start over and add my thumb again. I think you are pretty spot on though.
 

amyf27

Well-known member
Oct 24, 2015
9,894
260
83
Visit site
I am liking it better than my note 10plus. I love the flatter screen Ns just in general day to day use. Slightly narrower.
 

Nostromo79

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
612
0
0
Visit site
It's a perfect adjunct to the Note10/Plus. This has been my experience since this past Thursday. I have my Note10 Plus calls forwarded to the Ultra just because I like the heft of the thing. I hope the Coronavirus doesn't impact the fabrication and distribution of the Note20 but if Coachella is canceled I'd be okay with that.
 

nitro2k1

Active member
Oct 23, 2017
39
0
0
Visit site
Agree with you on the screen. the note does feel better but I like the ultra being more narrow. I have the opposite feeling with the finger print sensor, the note feels faster to me. Maybe I need to erase it in the ultra and start over and add my thumb again. I think you are pretty spot on though.

If you haven't already, you might want to try and register the same finger twice. Might help improve the speed and accuracy of the finger print sensor.
 

Nostromo79

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2016
612
0
0
Visit site
If you haven't already, you might want to try and register the same finger twice. Might help improve the speed and accuracy of the finger print sensor.

That does work. I have done this with a Tab S6, two Note10 Pluses and an Ultra. Works better with two registries of the same thumb oddly enough.
 

Caezar07

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2014
115
0
16
Visit site
I love my S20. It makes a lot of small changes that add up to a more ergonomic and fluid device that makes it more natural to use almost like it's a part of your hand. The positioning of the buttons and 120hz display are small changes but overall make the experience better. The only blatant mistep with the phone is the fingerprint scanner. They should've either tripled the surface area of the scanner, or just moved it onto the power button. The camera on this phone is not a good reason to upgrade from the S10. It's definitely more natural looking in low light but nothing beats the Pixel still.
 

TOFC

Member
Dec 29, 2019
18
0
0
Visit site
Thanks for the comparison. I'm debating my note 10 plus for the s20 ultra at the moment. I have the ultra on preorder.

I'm not a heavy s pen user but the note is really comfortable to interact with and type on
 

Kilroy672

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2016
1,245
13
38
Visit site
I just got my Note 10+ last week and yes I'm still in the 14 day return policy. Don't get me wrong I love my Note 10+ but all the reviews are pointing towards the S20. Even though the both screens are identical, it would seem that the S20 Ultra is more rounded so it's easier to hold in the hands vs the Note 10. If I were to return my 10+ and get the S20+ I don't know if I would regret it or not? 🤔. I'd be financing about $300 more than I am now. Plus if I sold my Pixel 3axl I can use that money towards my 10+.
 

buzzy3970

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
2,641
91
48
Visit site
If you're not using the stylus I don't think you'll regret it. They are similar but the S20 has a few software upgrades that I like and the screen seems to be a tad better. Also battery life, but that's probably because I haven't fully switched over to the S20 yet. So far it's been a good experience.
 

mustang7757

Super Moderator
Moderator
Feb 6, 2017
92,570
7,123
113
Visit site
If you're not using the stylus I don't think you'll regret it. They are similar but the S20 has a few software upgrades that I like and the screen seems to be a tad better. Also battery life, but that's probably because I haven't fully switched over to the S20 yet. So far it's been a good experience.
Which software upgrade did it get?
 

mustang7757

Super Moderator
Moderator
Feb 6, 2017
92,570
7,123
113
Visit site
Talking about the differences between the 2 like duo in the phone dialer and messages. Categories in the messages. My favorite feature so far is single take.
Oh nice , I heard single take might come to older Samsung phones like the Note 10 and s10.
 

nitro2k1

Active member
Oct 23, 2017
39
0
0
Visit site
I just got my Note 10+ last week and yes I'm still in the 14 day return policy. Don't get me wrong I love my Note 10+ but all the reviews are pointing towards the S20. Even though the both screens are identical, it would seem that the S20 Ultra is more rounded so it's easier to hold in the hands vs the Note 10. If I were to return my 10+ and get the S20+ I don't know if I would regret it or not? ??????. I'd be financing about $300 more than I am now. Plus if I sold my Pixel 3axl I can use that money towards my 10+.

I thought the S20+ was about the same price as the Note 10+. If you don't use the s-pen, I'd say the S20+ is the way to go at that price point. You'll get the 120hz screen, 5G, latest CPU and a slightly bigger battery over the Note 10+ The Ultra, for $300 more, gives you the same upgrades as the S20+ with better zoom capabilities and a slightly larger screen and battery. If the extra zoom/battery/screen is worth $300 is really up to you, but so far, the camera reviews aren't great for the Ultra and those extras make the Ultra a pretty big phone to handle. So, unless you really want/need the extra zoom, I think the S20+ is the better value than the Ultra and worth paying a little extra over the Note 10+.
 

neil74

Well-known member
Mar 12, 2016
1,287
11
38
Visit site
The S20 has narrower aspect ratio so the screen area will be smaller vs. the note then a 0.1 normally would be. Just as the NOte 10+ actually has a larger screen the 6.9" ultra.

I still think the standard Note 10 is a brilliant size, if it had expandable storage and QHD screen it would be even better.
 

Emig5m

Well-known member
Apr 19, 2013
632
73
28
Visit site
I think the difference is ONE UI 2.1
We should be getting that soon on the Note 10 and S10 series

What about pro mode in video filming? Is that coming to the S10 as well?


Also why didn't the note come with expandable storage? That should be a standard on flagship devices IMO. I wouldn't buy a device without expandable storage - they overcharge so much for the models with more internal storage. Expandable storage you can reuse and transfer from one device to the next. They take so much away anymore and every year you pay more and more for less and less.