Samsung Galaxy Note 20 release date, price and specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 release date, price and specs
Image source: Samsung / YouTube video (screenshot)

In the past, there were speculations that Samsung could kill its 2020 Galaxy Note flagship – likely to be called Galaxy Note 20. The argument was that the Note series wasn’t much different from the Galaxy S series. The only major difference between them is the S Pen stylus. But a bunch of leaks and rumors suggest that the Galaxy Note 20 is very much alive. Let’s check out what the rumor mill has unearthed about the next-gen Note flagship.

Code-names revealed

In mid-March, Max Weinbach of XDA Developers discovered evidence of Galaxy Note 20 in the Galaxy S20’s kernel source code. Weinbach found files with references to Project XYZ, Project Canvas, and Project Winner2. The Project XYZ was said to be the Galaxy S20 series.

The Galaxy Note 20 is code-named Project Canvas. Later, reliable Twitter tipster Ice Universe also revealed that the Note 20 was code-named Project Canvas. Weinbach suggests there could be two different models of Galaxy Note 20. The Project Winner2 is believed to be the Galaxy Fold 2. Last year’s Galaxy Fold was code-named Project Winner.

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There will be no Ultra

Samsung is not going to release an Ultra model of Galaxy Note 20, according to the Display Supply Chain Consultants chief executive Ross Young. The company is preparing to launch a standard Galaxy Note 20 and a high-end Note 20 Plus. One reason Samsung could be dropping the Ultra model is that the Note 20 Plus will have plenty in common the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The Note 20 Ultra will have little to differentiate itself.

A Samsung smartphone with model number SM-N986U was recently certified by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). It carried the name “Galaxy Note 20 Ultra,” according to MySmartPrice. But the same model number has been certified in China with the name “Galaxy Note 20 Plus.” These are not the final names given to a product. Samsung had submitted the Galaxy S20 series to the Bluetooth SIG as Galaxy S11, but launched the product as Galaxy S20.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 design

The Note 20 is expected to sport a design similar to the new Galaxy S20 series. Recently, Gizmochina spotted CAD schematics of the Note 20 on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. The case schematics highlight a rectangular camera setup on the back, similar to the Galaxy S20 models. Samsung is rumored to launch the upcoming Note 20 in two sizes – a regular model and a Plus variant.

The design appears to be of an early stage prototype. It indicates the new Note will continue to support the S Pen stylus. The schematics have openings for the S Pen, the microphone, the speaker, and a USB-C port. The volume and power buttons are on the left side. There is no sign of buttons on the right side.

The 3.5mm headphone jack is gone for good. Don’t expect it to make a comeback in 2020. A Samsung patent filed with the Intellectual Property India (IPI) for the Galaxy Note 20 shows no room for the audio jack. The patent was filed in November 2019 and published in January 2020.

On its mid-range phones, Samsung has experimented with rotating cameras and pop-up cameras to get rid of the hole-punch and the notch. But just like other companies, Samsung is working to figure out a way to integrate the selfie camera under the display to offer a fully bezel-less, all-screen design.

Folks at Windows United have shared renders of three handsets in the Galaxy Note 20 series – Note 20, Note 20 Plus, and Note 20 Ultra.  According to renders, all three of them have a slot for the S Pen stylus. All three models have a hole-punch Infinity-O display.

Windows United expects the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to sport a display even larger than the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 6.9 inches. The Note 20 can be seen in black and grey colors. The Note 20 Plus renders are in red, dark blue, grey, and black colors. The Ultra variant is rendered only in grey and black colors.


The Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young said in a tweet on May 11 that the standard Note 20 would sport a 6.42-inch display with 2345 x 1084 resolution, 404ppi of pixel density, and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It would have a 60Hz refresh rate. Samsung is keeping the faster 120Hz refresh rate exclusive to the Note 20 Plus, said Young.

The Note 20 Plus would sport an innovative LTPO panel with 120Hz refresh rate. The standard Note 20 will be using the current generation LTPS technology to keep costs low. The ridiculously high price tags of Samsung’s flagship smartphones have hurt their sales.

According to a new report from reliable Twitter tipster Ice Universe, the Galaxy Note 20 Plus display would offer a “more fine-tuned” 120GHz refresh rate. The current OnePlus 7T Pro comes with a 90Hz refresh rate while gaming phones such as Asus ROG Phone 2 and Razer Phone 2 boast 120Hz refresh rate. The faster refresh rate enhances the gaming and video watching experiences.

The Note 20 Plus is said to feature a larger 6.87-inch display with 497ppi pixel density, 3096 x 1444 pixels resolution, and 19.3:9 aspect ratio.


Features and specs

The Galaxy Note 20 will undoubtedly have top-of-the-line specs. Sources familiar with the matter told ZDNet Korea that Samsung is working on the Exynos 992 chipset, which could debut with the Note 20 series. The US variant of the device is expected to run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865. The new Exynos 992 will be built using the 5nm EUV process technology.

The next-gen Exynos and Snapdragon chips will reportedly support LPDDR5X RAM, meaning you can expect a blazing-fast multitasking. We expect it to offer 5G connectivity as a standard. Samsung’s biggest rival Apple will also bring 5G to this year’s flagship iPhones.

We also expect the Note 20 series to offer up to 16GB RAM and up to 1TB of internal storage. The Korean company will also likely add support for external storage via a microSD card slot. Samsung is expected to use the UFS 3.0 storage technology.

Twitter tipster Ice Universe has learned from sources that the Note 20 lineup will have the same camera setup as the Galaxy S20 series.

In terms of camera, the Note 20 could sport a quad-camera setup on the back. It would consist of a 108MP main sensor that uses 9-in-1 pixel binning method to deliver crisp and clear 12MP photos. XDA Developers has found code suggesting such a sensor in the Samsung Camera app. There is also talk that the 2020 Samsung smartphones will have a 48MP telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom.

The Note 20 will reportedly be capable of recording 8K resolution videos at 30fps. The 108MP main camera should be able to handle 8K footage with ease. According to XDA Developers, it could also get a Director’s View mode to let users switch between multiple cameras while recording videos. Other expected features include a Night Hyperlapse mode, a Single Take Photo option, Custom Filters mode, and a Vertical Panorama mode.

SamMobile recently spotted the Note 20 on China’s 3C certification site, which revealed its battery capacity. The upcoming Note flagship will need massive batteries to power the display and 5G connectivity through the day. The Note 20 would pack a 4,300mAh battery while its larger sibling would get a 4,500mAh battery. Both models are expected to support reverse wireless charging, fast wireless charging, and at least 25W fast charging.

Galaxy Note 20 price and release date

Samsung has traditionally released new Galaxy Note flagship models in August. The Galaxy Note 10 was unveiled on August 7th, the Note 9 debuted on August 9th, and the Note 8 was unveiled on August 23rd. The phablets go on sale a couple of weeks after the unveiling.

The Korean company will reportedly skip a physical Galaxy Unpacked event for the Note 20 this year. Instead, it will host an online event due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sources familiar with the matter told Korean publication Donga that the Note 20 series will be launched along with the Galaxy Fold 2 on August 5th.

Donga reports that Samsung executives held internal discussions recently. They agreed on holding a virtual Note 20 Unpacked Event on August 5.

Don’t expect the Note 20 to be cheap, especially with the addition of 5G technology. The prices of 5G phones are expected to fall this year as modems get cheaper, but it will still be expensive.

The Korean company has just launched the Galaxy S20 with the starting price of $999. The Galaxy S20 Plus starts at $1,199 and the S20 Ultra has a price tag of $1,399. In all likelihood, the Galaxy Note 20 would be priced in the same range or even higher.

Last year’s Note 10 had a starting price of $949. The Galaxy Note 10 Plus had a price tag of $1,099 while the Note 10 Plus 5G was priced at $1,299. We expect the 5G-ready Galaxy Note 20 to start at $1,000 or more. The Plus variant could cost even more.

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