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24 hours with Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: first photos and that big display

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We’ve unboxed the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and it’s instantly Samsung’s best phone. Here are our first impressions of it.
I’ve had the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in hand for 24 hours, and although it widens my normal smartphone grasp, that 6.9-inch display is worth the stretch. Not everyone gets it. In fact, every time I test a new premium Android phone, like a Note, everyone who’s not a techie says «Nice…. it looks a lot like an iPhone.» This has already happened with the Note 20 Ultra. The phone expert in me cringes a little bit. That statement is sometimes true, but I stand by the fact that the Note 20 Ultra feels different from most other smartphones out there. It bucks popular design trends with squared-off edges underneath a curved display, and Samsung hasn’t given up on the stylus. In fact, I think that this year’s S Pen has some standout features that are underrated, which I’ll examine soon (spoiler: syncing scribbled-down notes with audio notes is going to be amazing for students and journalists). It’s not much bigger than my 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max, which I’ll be retiring until Apple’s iPhone 12 comes out. Samsung’s 6.9-inch display doesn’t feel like 0.4 inches of extra. It’s only a tad longer due to Samsung’s better screen-to-bezel ratio and the smallest front camera punch-hole we’ve seen yet (much smaller than the one in the Note 20’s display). What’s more, the Note 20 Ultra display has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, which gives it a fluid looks as you play games, watch movies or simply scroll through your Instagram feed.

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