Samsung Z Fold 3 Vs Note 20 Ultra: Which S Pen-Flagship Should You Buy? It’s the end of an era – the last part of the year has arrived and there are no signs of a new, updated version of the Galaxy Note. It looks like the phone that popularized the term “phablet” is finally getting crushed by Samsung, making the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra the last and largest of the Note line. Have a good trip, old friend.
But if you’re a fan of powerful phones that prioritize productivity, multitasking, and the customizable S Pen, Samsung has given you a replacement. The new Galaxy Z Fold 3 seems to be the spiritual successor to the Note line thanks to its huge display inside, S Pen support, and unparalleled multitasking capabilities. So if you’re looking for a phone that fits all these criteria, the choice is yours. Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 or the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra? Or, if you’re already using a Note 20 Ultra, is the Z Fold 3 worth the upgrade cost? We found out.
Samsung Z Fold 3 Vs Note 20 Ultra Specs
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3||Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra|
|Size||Unfolded: 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4mm (5.04 x 6.22 x 0.25 inches) Folded: 67.1 x 158.2 x 16.0mm (2.64 x 6.22 x 0.63 inches)||164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm (6.49 x 3.04 x 0.32 inches)|
|Weight||271 grams (9.56 ounces)||208 grams (7.33 ounces)|
|Screen size||Main: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Cover screen: 6.2-inch Super AMOLED 2X||6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X|
|Screen resolution||Main: 2,208 x 1,768 pixels (374 pixels per inch) Cover screen: 2,268 x 832 pixels (387 pixels per inch)||3,088 x 1,440 pixels, (496 pixels per inch)|
|Operating system||Android 11 with One UI 3.1||Android 11 with One UI 3.1|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB||256GB, 512GB|
|MicroSD card slot||No||Yes|
|Tap-to-pay services||Google Pay, Samsung Pay||Google Pay, Samsung Pay|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888||Exynos 990 (global), Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus (USA)|
|Camera||Rear main: 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12MP wide-angle, and 12MP telephoto rear Front main screen: 4MP under-display Cover screen: 10MP||Rear: Triple lens 108MP, 12MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide Front: 10MP|
|Video||4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+||8K at 24 fps, 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, side-mounted||Yes, in-display (ultrasonic)|
|Battery||4,400mAh Fast charging (25W, charger not included) Fast wireless charging (10W) Reverse wireless charging (4.5W)||4,500Ah Fast charging (25W included) Qi wireless charging (15W) Reverse wireless charging (4.5W)|
|App marketplace||Google Play Store||Google Play Store|
|Network support||All carriers||All carriers|
|Colors||Mirror Purple, Mirror Black||Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White|
|Buy from||Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart||Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart|
Samsung Z Fold 3 Vs Note 20 Ultra – Design, Display, And Durability
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is certainly an eye-catcher. When folded, the front looks like a normal phone with a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. But when you flip it open, you’re treated to a 7.6-inch tablet-sized Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. Both displays are fantastic, as Samsung expected, with sharp resolutions and super-smooth 120Hz refresh rates. The glass of both displays has been improved, as well as the hinge mechanism, making it even more difficult for small particles to penetrate. The Z Fold 3 is a glimpse into the future and it looks really, really good.
Turn it to the side, though, and some of that sleek style will wear off. Thanks to the folding mechanism, the phone is as thick as two phones and sits at a triangular angle when closed. This isn’t really a big deal, but it does mean that the Note 20 Ultra looks even more elegant. The Note 20 Ultra is the culmination of decades of design and it shows. The 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is just as good as the Z Fold 3’s, and while it’s heavy, it’s a lot lighter than the Z Fold 3.
The Z Fold 3 has an IPX8 water-resistance rating that isn’t quite as good as the Note 20 Ultra’s IP68 rating, and the Fold 3’s hinge is likely to put you at risk for durability issues that aren’t an issue for the Note 20 Ultra stands for. While the flip phone is a technical triumph, the Note 20 Ultra still takes this round.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Z Fold 3 Vs Note 20 Ultra – Performance, Battery Life & Charging
None of these phones shut down when high performance is required. The Note 20 Ultra is packed with the best hardware, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB or 512GB of storage. It’s a powerful and impressive spec sheet, and it means the Note 20 Ultra can run just about any 3D game, switch between high-intensity apps, and probably won’t run out of room for photos or videos anytime soon.
The Fold 3 has a similar setup with 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage. An advantage of the Fold 3 is that it uses the Snapdragon 888, the latest version of Qualcomm’s processor. This makes it more powerful than the Note 20 Ultra – and it really needs that power, with a much larger tablet-like screen and the ability to open up to three apps at once.
What about the battery? Well, we’re not so sure yet. We haven’t been able to test the Fold 3’s 4,400mAh dual battery yet, so we’re not sure how it will hold up yet. The battery usage of the Fold 2 was good enough, but the newer phone has a slightly smaller battery and may not last as well. Thankfully, the Note 20’s battery isn’t a particularly high bar, and while it can be used all day with over five hours of screen time, we’re hoping the Fold 3 can reach this level of performance.
With a more powerful processor, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 takes a narrow win. But further testing could change that decision.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Z Fold 3 vs Note 20 Ultra Camera
We haven’t had much time with the Fold 3’s camera yet, but the triple-lens back should be pretty good at what it does. It consists of a 12MP ultra-wide angle, 12MP wide, and 12MP telephoto lens, and there is a 10MP selfie lens on the front. There is also a new type of camera called an “under-display camera” (or UDC) below the inner display. At first glance, this lens seems like a rare misstep by Samsung. It’s only 4MP, which is exceptionally low in this day and age, and it didn’t deliver good photos in our first few tests. Thankfully, this phone has no shortage of other lenses to take selfies with, but it’s still sad to see a potentially bad lens on such a premium flagship.
Unfortunately for the Fold 3, the Note 20 Ultra’s cameras are extremely powerful. The main lens is a 108-megapixel monster, plus a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. As expected, the cameras take excellent photos, with the periscope zoom, in particular, showing the improvements over the Note 10 Plus. It also has a 10MP selfie camera, like the Fold 3, but it’s the main camera setup that will likely put the Note 20 Ultra over the Fold 3. This may change after we review Fold 3.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Z Fold 3 vs Note 20 Ultra – Software and Updates
Being Samsung phones, both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uses Samsung’s Android 11 skin, OneUI 3. That means you get almost the same software experience on both phones, apart from some exclusive features. from Note. and the Fold 3’s software that enables multitasking – but more on that later. It’s broadly the same, so it shouldn’t matter at all when choosing between these two phones.
The same goes for the update speed. Both phones will likely get updates around the same time, but since the Fold 3 is the newer of the two phones, it will likely get a different Android update than the Note 20 Ultra. This is actually a pretty big deal as it essentially means an extra year of relevance when it comes to new features and security updates.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Z Fold 3 vs Note 20 Ultra – Special Features
Do you want special functions? These phones have many special features. We’ll start with the Note 20 Ultra. It has access to Samsung’s DeX computer emulation mode, which now has a wireless mode, as well as power-sharing with other wireless charging devices. However, most of the details come from the S Pen in the phone. With this little scribble, you can take handwritten notes, perform aerial movements, release your camera’s shutter remotely, translate text, create GIFs, and much more.
That’s a lot for the Fold 3 to compete with, though thankfully it doesn’t lack its own special features. It has its own S Pen support, although it is not the same S Pen that the Note uses. It’s much bigger and won’t fit the device – you’ll need to buy an $80 case to keep it with your device without any problem. However, the large footprint of the indoor display offers an advantage, because you can multitask with up to three apps at the same time.
Both phones also have 5G, which is a big deal going forward. In this case, however, we are leaning towards the Note 20 Ultra.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Z Fold 3 Vs Note 20 Ultra – Price, and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is currently available for pre-order and will be released on August 27. Prices for this start at $1,800 and are therefore expensive even at flagship terms. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra looks like a budget device by comparison, with prices starting at $1,299. It is now available from most mobile carriers and retailers that carry smartphones.
- Buy Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G, 256GB On Amazon for* *$1794.08*
- Buy Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra On Amazon For $799.99*
Samsung Z Fold 3 vs Note 20 Ultra Overall Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is an impressive technological masterpiece and a glimpse into the future of smartphones. But it’s hard to compete with one of the most advanced smartphone formulas out there. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of the best Android phones you can buy right now, making it an exceptionally tough game for the Fold 3. Want a great smartphone with a big screen and lots of performance and productivity features? Then buy the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
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