06/07 Update below. This post was originally published on June 4
Samsung has already confirmed its next Galaxy smartphones and looks set to shock the industry in 2021. But now a surprising new Galaxy flagship has been revealed and it’s the Samsung smartphone you should buy in 2020.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus based on multiple leaks
Spotted by the eagle-eyes at MySmartPrice, a ‘Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’ has just been confirmed after it was certified by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the standards organization which oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and licensing. Furthermore, unlike the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung’s Note 20 Ultra is shaping up to be a very smart buy indeed.
06/06 Update: Further information about Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 20 has been revealed. Speaking on Weibo, popular Samsung insider Ice Universe has confirmed the phone will definitely have the same periscope 5x camera 108MP module as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but Samsung will limit it to 50x to ensure better picture quality than the dubious 100x ‘Space Zoom’ on the S20 Ultra. Samsung will also boost the new Note’s camera in comparison to the S20 Ultra with a dedicated auto focus hardware. Combined with all the additional upgrades Samsung has planned for this Note (details below), it is shaping up to be the standout Galaxy smartphone in 2020.
06/07 Update: one big question mark has now been placed on both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Plus. While it was previously understood that Samsung would equip both models with Qualcomm’s next gen 3D Sonic Max, that is now in doubt. Industry insider Ross Young states that Samsung has yet to negotiate use of the new sensor, while Max Weinbach responded to Young saying he believes it is now “way too late” for the sensor to be included because “Production is starting in a few weeks”. This would be a big blow because the 3D Sonic Max is a major step forward, offering 17x the recognition area and support for reading two fingerprints simultaneously, while the the troubled first gen sensor in the Galaxy S20 line-up was its most criticized feature. Given the frequency with which a phone is unlocked every day, its omission could prove to be a deal breaker for some.
The reason for this lies in both the name and the model number. While Bluetooth SIG lists the name of this new phone as the ‘Galaxy Note20 Ultra’, it also confirms the model number is SM-N986U. This model number was recently certified in China as belonging to the Note 20 Plus.
Why the confusion? Bluetooth SIG typically gets devices early and that means marketing discrepancies with the final retail product can arise. For example, last year Bluetooth SIG certified the Galaxy S11 and Galaxy S11 Plus before Samsung renamed them as the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus. Now the same appears to be true for the Note 20 Ultra becoming the Note 20 Plus. And this is brilliant news.
Why? Because we now know Samsung designed this device as an Ultra but will price it as a Plus. And the leaked specifications bear this out with the phone beating the Galaxy S20 Ultra in almost every way.
Galaxy Note 20 Plus render based on multiple leaks
OnLeaks / Pigtou
This includes a more power-efficient LTPO display (same 6.9-inch size), faster storage, next-generation biometric security, superior RAM and the inclusion of the S20 Ultra’s standout 108MP primary camera but with the addition of dedicated autofocus hardware to address the Ultra’s focus problems. Even the S20 Ultra’s 45W charging (excluded from the S20 and S20 Plus) will be included on this Note 20 Ultra-named-Plus.
All of which brings us to the price. Last year the Galaxy Note 10+ launched at $1,099. While Samsung increased prices with the Galaxy S20 range (the S20+ launched at $1,199), the company was heavily criticised for doing so and, combined with world events, sales have been terrible. This is why I believe the Note 20 Ultra branding is gone, Samsung needs this Ultra-level phone to retail close to $1,100 – especially with Apple aggressively cutting iPhone 12 prices.
So long live the Galaxy Note 20 Plus, quite simply the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra by another name. It will be the best smartphone Samsung releases this year and at a price point the company didn’t originally intend.
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