This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

Samsung held its online event, Galaxy UNPACKED 2020, on August 5, announcing the latest models in the Galaxy Note series, the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note was previously available in two models, the unmarked and the "+" model, but the new model is now the "Ultra" instead of the "+" model. Rather than having a new higher-end model, it's a slight drop in specs from the unmarked and a reduction in price, and this year's model continues in that vein. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra seems to be the more likely model to be considered a continuation of the traditional Galaxy Note lineage.

Galaxy Note20 Ultra with significantly enhanced S Pen and camera

Galaxy Note 20 with slightly lower specs and smaller size than the Ultra

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (left) and Galaxy Note 20 (right)

The most notable thing about the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the evolution of the S Pen, which has been one of the series' biggest features. In particular, the tweaks that have been made to the basic writing experience are noteworthy. Specifically, the latency when writing has been reduced to 9ms (0.009 seconds). The mechanics of the S Pen itself haven't changed, and they've achieved this by improving the response on the display side. 9ms latency is the same as the Apple Pencil.

As those who have compared the Galaxy Note and the Apple Pencil-enabled iPad may know, Apple was one step ahead when it came to this latency. While it was quite competitive, the difference in latency is especially noticeable when you move the pen quickly, such as when scribbling notes. It's a small difference, but human senses are sensitive. This is an improvement that Galaxy Note users will be very happy to see.

The writing latency is shorter and even closer to the feeling of writing with paper and pen.

Bluetooth connectivity is still intact, and the air actions that control the device side of the device through gestures have also evolved. Whereas up to the Galaxy Note 10, air actions only worked with certain apps, the Galaxy Note 20 series can now be used with any app.

Samsung Notes (Galaxy Notes in Japan), an app for using the pen, has also evolved. It now supports audio bookmarks, and if you take notes at the same time as you record, you can later cue up the audio by simply tapping the part of the note you need. Furthermore, you can now import PDFs and annotate them. Note-taking while recording and writing to PDF is a frequently used feature in a job like mine. I used to use other apps for these functions, but if Samsung Notes can do them all, it will improve the usability. For functions other than latency, both the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra will be supported.

It is now possible to record and play back only the part of the note that was taken at the same time as the note.

Another great feature of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra is the camera. The main sensor is the same 108-megapixel, ultra-high pixel CMOS sensor as the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It also supports laser autofocus for quick focus, and it uses a 5x optical lens for telephoto, which is similar to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The ultra wide angle and telephoto are 12 megapixels. It also supports Pro Video Mode, which allows users to shoot video at 8K, 24fps and 21:9. In this mode, focus, microphone directionality, exposure and zoom can be controlled manually.

Cameras of the Galaxy Note 20 (left) and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (right)

Only Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 5x optical periscope telephoto camera

Supports Pro Video Mode and allows you to change various parameters manually

Incidentally, the camera specs differ significantly between the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra; the Galaxy Note20 has 12 megapixels for ultra-wide angle and standard, and 64 megapixels for telephoto. The telephoto side, like the Galaxy S20 and S20+, is cut out of the high-pixel sensor to achieve a zoom.

The display has a 120Hz refresh rate on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra. The 120Hz drive display was also available on the Galaxy S20 series, but it was only available in either 60Hz or 120Hz. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, however, has the ability to automatically adjust the refresh rate to match the content being displayed. This makes it possible to achieve both a smoother display and better battery life.

The display resolution is another major difference between the Galaxy Note20 and the Galaxy Note20 Ultra. While the former is Full HD+, the latter is WQHD+ and the Ultra has a higher resolution. There are also differences in size, such as 6.7 inches and 6.9 inches, and only the Ultra has a curved left and right side.

Only the Galaxy Note20 Ultra has a display with curved left and right sides. Galaxy Note20 has a flat display.

On the contrary, the Chipset is the Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990 for both the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra, hence the performance is even. For 5G, both Sub-6 and millimeter wave support will be available. However, it's not the same across the globe, and depending on the country or region where the device is being introduced, there's a possibility that it will be Sub-6 only. There's no word on whether or not it will be introduced in Japan, but we're hoping that it will be a millimeter-wave device.

Other specs, including size, are as follows: the Galaxy Note20 Ultra measures W77.2 x H164.8 x D8.1mm, weighs 208 grams, and has a 4,500mAh battery capacity. It is IP68 water and dust resistant. It has 8/12GB of memory (RAM) and 128/256/512GB of storage (ROM) and supports microSD cards up to 1TB.

In contrast, the Galaxy Note20 measures W75.2 x H161.6 x D8.3 mm, weighs 195 grams, and has a battery capacity of 4300 mAh, which is slightly less battery for its size. It has only 8GB of memory (RAM), 128/256GB of storage (ROM) and no microSD card slot.

From left to right: Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra

To see more products announced at the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 August launch event, click here.

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.