Samsung is already on record claiming that "preparations are underway for the upcoming Galaxy Note launch, and there is no delay," and ditto for the Galaxy Fold 2 that is likely to be unveiled in concurrence, so it is not letting the coronavirus pandemic throw a monkey wrench into its stylus warriors release plans.
What can we expect from the Galaxy Note 20? Well, it will clearly be a major upgrade from the Note 10+, even its 5G version, but if you thought that it will just be a Galaxy S20 Ultra with an S Pen, you may be in for a surprise, according to the rumor mill.
Galaxy Note 20 vs Note 10 5G vs S20 Ultra display, chipset and camera specs
Given that Samsung sawed off the top and bottom bezels of the S20 series even further compared to their S10 family predecessors, we can reasonably expect that it will aim for the same with the eventual Note 20 and Note 20+ line.
Galaxy Note 20 display size
This would allow Samsung to put a slightly taller display, while keeping the Note 20 about as large as the Galaxy Note10+ 5G. This, it turn, would then require following the S20 rulebook, and if the Note 10+ 5G has a 6.8" display, Samsung may gun for a 6.9-incher on the Note 20+, with some additional bezel-shaving, and switching to the S20 series aspect ratio of 20:9, instead of the 19:9 on the Note 10+ 5G.
Thus, we'd wager to guess on a Note 20+ with a 6.9" 20:9 1440p display, or exactly what the Galaxy S20 Ultra carries, making it slightly taller but narrower and thus easier to operate with one hand than the Note 10+ 5G.
Galaxy Note 20 camera specs
Flipping the Note 20 over should reveal another design surprise - the demise of the 12MP cameras that Samsung has been using for a few years now, before the S20 series hit the tape. Given that even the midrange Galaxy A71 comes with a 64MP main camera now, we would be utterly befuddled if Samsung choses anything less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 108MP sensor for the high-end Note 20+.
Ditto for the 48MP periscope camera of the Ultra, and even its 12MP ultrawide-angle one which, albeit with nominally lower resolution than the 16MP landscape and group photo shooter of the Note 10+, has 40% larger pixels now. In short, the rich camera kit of the Galaxy S20 Ultra is so futureproof that it may be directly transferred to the Note 20 line as well.
Galaxy Note 20 vs S20 Ultra processor and memory specs
Here comes the fun part - while as far as display and camera are concerned, the Note 20+ may indeed end up being a Galaxy S20 Ultra with an S Pen tucked in below, it may differ fairly significantly in the memory and chipset departments.
Not long ago, Samsung announced that it is entering mass production of new 512GB eUFS 3.1 memory for "flagship phones". The 512GB version of the S20 Ultra 5G still comes with the eUFS 3.0 standard which, albeit the current fastest, won't hold a candle to what Samsung is about to produce.
"Phones with the new eUFS 3.1 will only take about 1.5 minutes to move 100GB of data whereas UFS 3.0-based phones require more than four minutes," says Samsung, which tells you all that you need to know about the future of storage standards. The random operation speeds are also greatly increased with up to 60% better performance.
Besides the 512GB packs, Samsung will also start producing the ultrafast eUFS 3.1 storage memory in 256GB and even 128GB capacities, which comes as another hint that the Note 20 would mimic the storage models of the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G indeed.
The Note 20 line may come with faster storage than the S20 series
In fact, even before Samsung's eUFS 3.1 memory capacities announcement, there was a rumor that it will equip the basic Note 20 models with 128GB of starting storage. That would, in fact, be a downgrade from the Note 10+ that starts off from 256GB, but apparently that's how Samsung saves on bill of materials now that it throws the ultra expensive 5G and periscope camera components in its phones.
Moving on to the chipset front, it may also deviate from the processor scheme that is in the Galaxy S20 family. While a Snapdragon 865+ is now unlikely, the Exynos 990 models of the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra, have been marred be slightly shorter battery life and higher chipset temperatures compared to the Snapdragon 865 models we get in the US.
Perhaps that is why the latest rumor pegs the Galaxy Note 20 line arriving with a faster Exynos 992 processor, which would be another difference with the S20 Ultra. So far so good, let's recap the Note 20 family hardware that has been leaked so far.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus specs list:
Note 20 Plus display size: 6.9" 120Hz 20:9 Super AMOLED display
Note 20 Plus chipset: Exynos 992 or Snapdragon 865 processor
Note 20 Plus memory versions: 128GB/256GB/512GB eUFS 3.1 storage
Note 20 Plus cameras: 108MP main+48MP periscope+12MP ultrawide
Note 20 battery: 4000mAh
Galaxy Note 20/Plus battery size vs Note 10 and S20 Ultra
These are, of course, the broad strokes of what we can reasonably expect from the Note 20 family. It will clearly be slightly faster than the S20 Ultra and way faster than the Note 10+ 5G, be it only for the memory technology and the overclocked Exynos. The devil is in the details, though, and we still don't know what battery pack Samsung will choose for the Note 20+, to power its 5G components and high refresh rate display.
If we had to guess, the Note 20+ may end up with smaller battery, when compared with the 5000mAh pack of the S20 Ultra. While it may sound counterintuitive that Samsung would equip its summer flagship with a battery smaller than the spring king, there is also the question of enough internal space.
If the Note 20+ ends up with the S20 Ultra's camera kit, and it also has to house the S Pen stylus, we can reasonably expect that there will be much less room inside. Still, we keep our faith in Samsung's engineering prowess high that the company can manage to pull it off and equip the Note 20 with the S20 Ultra's 5000mah battery.
In fact, the Dutch from Galaxyclub have been tipped that the smaller Note 20 model will come with a 4000mAh battery. That's about 15% larger capacity compared to the Note 10, and if we extrapolate the same increase for the Note 20+ compared to the 4300mah pack in the Note 10+, one might expect to easily notch the 5000mAh mark.
The Note 20, however, may not land the Galaxy S20 Ultra camera kit which is a giant space-waster, so Note 20+ may have to settle down for only a slightly larger battery pack than the Note 10+ - for instance, it may be equipped with the 4500mAh pack of the Galaxy S20+.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus vs S20 Ultra price
Here comes the fun part - guesstimating the top of the line Galaxy Note 20 Plus price difference with the Galaxy S20 Ultra. As you saw above, the Note 20 line may end up being a clever upgrade over the S20 Ultra that won't break the bank for Samsung.
A newer storage speed standard and slightly overclocked processor won't be that much of an expense as far as Samsung's bill of materials goes, and they may even be offset by using a slightly smaller battery. Samsung usually charges a premium for the inclusion of an S Pen stylus, though, so we may see at least a Benjamin above the Galaxy S20 Ultra as a starting price.
Expected Galaxy Note 20 Plus prices:
128GB Galaxy Note 20 Plus: $1499
256GB Galaxy Note 20 Plus: $1599
512GB Galaxy Note 20 Plus: $1699
Don't believe it? Well, just two years ago we thought that the iPhone X $999 price is the ceiling of what customers can bear, and now we are at the $1249 for the 256GB iPhone 11 Pro Max, and $1399 for the 129GB Galaxy S20 Ultra. Heck, even the OnePlus 8 Pro and Huawei P40 are now from $999, and the Oppo Find X2 Pro starts from $1299, sign of the times.
Thus, given the $1300 tag of the Note 10+ 5G at launch, we wouldn't be surprised by Galaxy Note 20 Plus prices hitting the next $1500 threshold on the low side, and only the coronavirus economics may alter Samsung's calculations for a record high Note 20 family pricing. What do you think?