The Galaxy Note 20 series is officially announced during the 2nd half of Unpacked 2020. Apart from the Note line-up, the latest iterations of other devices that Samsung announced last year in New York were also showcased: Fold 2, Buds Live, Tab S7, and Watch 3.
The highlight of the night, however, is the new Note series, which received an incremental upgrade from its predecessors. While ‘incremental’ is a relative term, I would like to raise the question: Should you upgrade to Galaxy Note20?
Here’s the short answer, which requires A LOT of your attention: No.
Let me explain.
If the new features and upgrades appealed to you, you have to closely examine the purpose of your upgrade. I believe that this is (or should be) a basic mental exercise when purchasing anything. It does not matter if you have deep pockets or not, but it’s always a better exercise to have a clear and level-headed conscience when it comes to buying anything.
Here are the questions that you might want to ask yourself prior to deciding whether you’re upgrading from your current smartphone to a new one:
Am I coming from an older Galaxy Note model?
If you’re currently using a Galaxy Note10+, I would not recommend that you immediately jump to the Note20 Ultra. There is a difference in terms of performance, in favor of the Exynos 990, but you would not really feel it unless you’re heavy in multitasking and gaming. Perhaps, I’ll be able to concretize this with artificial and actual gameplay benchmark, but I would recommend that you hold off from upgrade from Note10+ to Note20 Ultra.
Do I need a Galaxy Note with a faster S-Pen?
If you’re looking for a better Galaxy Note with more responsive S-Pen, the new Galaxy Note20 series promises a significant upgrade from its predecessor. The S-Pen has gone various iterations from 93 ms down to 9 ms response time. This is a huge deal for artists, designers, and consumers who use AutoCad, eDrawings, or any drawing or design tool.
If your answer to this question is ‘yes’, then I would strongly recommend that you get the new Note20 or Note20 Ultra.
I need a gaming smartphone! Is this the right fit for me?
While the Galaxy Note20 series is not marketed as a gaming smartphone, it is definitely suitable for playing mobile games. You will not have problems playing triple-A titles with this device, and I would not stop you from buying this unless you have an unlimited budget. You’re getting a Samsung, which is basically like the ‘Apple’ of the Android ecosystem. If your budget is beyond, 55K, the Note20 series can double as your next productivity and gaming device. If your budget is below 55K and you’re specifically looking for a gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone 3 or the upcoming Legion Phone maybe your best option.
I’m done with midrange devices. I want a new flagship smartphone. Should I buy this?
This is valid but tough to answer. The breadth of midrange devices is wide, and the classification is complicated. If you have the budget to experience premium flagship experience and you need a device with special focus on productivity, get the Galaxy Note20. If you’re after impressive camera performance and you only want to stick with Samsung, Note20 Ultra and S20 Ultra offer the best deal in the market. It’s just a matter of choosing between having a device with note-taking capabilities or not.
I just bought a Galaxy S20, should I upgrade to Note20?
No. While Note20 offers a bigger display and note-taking functions, it doesn’t make sense to upgrade from a device that’s as fast, at least on paper. You may want to consider upgrading next year or 2 years from now.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.