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Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Which should you buy?

By Prakhar Khanna January 21, 2021, 11:30 am
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The gap between Samsung’s Ultra flagships is diminishing as the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets an S-Pen-equipped cover. Till now, S-Pen was limited to the Note line-up but not anymore. Hence, the question arises, how is the latest Galaxy Note different from its latest Galaxy S counterpart? To answer this question, here’s a Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comparison.

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraSamsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Display6.8″ Infinity-O
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
WQHD + (3200 x 1440 pixels)
120Hz refresh rate
515 PPI pixel density
6.9″ Infinity-O
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
120Hz refresh rate
496 PPI
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100Snapdragon 865+ / Exynos 990
Storage128GB / 256GB / 512GB128GB / 512GB
108MP primary 
(f/1.8, OIS)
12MP ultra-wide
(f/2.2, 120°)
10 MP telephoto 
(f/2.4, OIS)
3x hybrid optical zoom
10 MP telephoto 
(f/4.9, OIS)
10x hybrid optical zoom

108MP primary
(f/1.8, OIS)
12MP ultrawide
(120 ̊ FOV, f/2.2)
12MP Telephoto
(f/3.0 Laser AF)
5x optical zoom
50x super resolution zoom

Video features4K at 30/60 FPS
8K at 30 FPS
FHD at 30/60/120 FPS
Slo-mo HD at 960 FPS
4K at 30/60 FPS
8K at 24 FPS
FHD at 30/60/240 FPS
Slo-mo HD at 960 FPS
IP RatingIP68IP68
Weight228 grams211 grams
Dimensions165.1×75.6×8.9 mm164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm

Design and Display

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra features a 6.8-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a WQHD+ resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels and 515 PPI pixel density. It supports a 120Hz refresh rate and is claimed to go up to 1600 nits peak brightness. The display is protected by the Gorilla Glass 7. It measures 151.7×71.2×7.9 mm, which is smaller and slightly thinner than the Note counterpart. Moreover, it is heavier at 228 grams.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with stylus

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra measures 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm and weighs 208 grams. The S-Pen on the other hand measures 5.8 × 4.35 × 105.08mm and weighs 3.04 grams. It is Bluetooth enabled and has a battery standby time of up to 24 hours. Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, this phone is IP68 certified for dust and water resistance. It features a 6.9-inch edge Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, which sports a punch-hole notch. It has a resolution of 3,088 x 1,440 at 496 PPI. Further, the smartphone comes with a 120Hz refresh rate and it is HDR10+ certified as well.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with an in-built slot for S-Pen unlike the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which houses its stylus in a separate cover.

Hardware and Battery

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra leaked renders (Credit: Evan Blass / Voice)

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC with Qualcomm Kryo 680, which generates up to a 25% uplift in overall CPU performance and allows top frequencies of up to 2.84GHz. It is paired with Adreno 660 GPU that delivers up to 35% faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation. It comes equipped with 12GB of RAM and 128GB / 256GB / 512GB storage options. There is a 5,000mAh battery powering the big phone.

The 'Ultra' performance

The Galaxy Note20 Ultra is powered by last year’s second flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC, paired with an SD X55 modem. It comes equipped with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB / 512GB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 1TB with the help of a microSD card. The device supports one Nano-SIM and one microSD card slot. The audio is managed by stereo speakers tuned by AKG. It packs a 4,500mAh battery with support for 25W wired fast charging. Further, it supports 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging.


The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra sports a quad rear camera setup of 108MP primary (f/1.8, OIS) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 120°) + 10MP telephoto (f/2.4, OIS) lens that supports 3x hybrid optical zoom + 10MP telephoto camera with an f/4.9 aperture and 10x hybrid zoom. The latest Samsung smartphone can shoot 4K at 30/60 FPS, 8K at 30 FPS, FHD at 30/60/120 FPS, and Slo-mo HD at 960 FPS.

Close call with two 108MP camera smartphones

The Galaxy Note20 Ultra sports a triple rear camera setup with laser autofocus. The primary lens is 108MP with an f/1.8 aperture. It supports PDAF and OIS. The second camera is 12MP ultra-wide-angle. It has a 120-degree field-of-view and 1.4μm pixel size. The third camera is a 12MP telephoto lens that has an f/3.0 aperture and 1.0μm pixel size. It comes with features like 5x optical zoom, up to 50x super-resolution zoom, and tracking AF. On the front lies a 10MP selfie shooter.

Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Verdict

The two Ultra smartphones go neck-to-neck on the specs chart. Both have a gorgeous AMOLED display with high brightness, a powerful flagship SoC, and a big battery, with Galaxy 21 Ultra having the bigger numbers at 5,000mAh. The one major differentiating factor between the two smartphones is the presence of the S-Pen. While it is housed in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s body, the stylus comes separately with a cover on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. That said, you can’t go wrong with any of the two smartphones.


Galaxy S21 Ultra - Phantom Black

Blacks might not be catchy, but this one certainly is! It offers matte black glass at the rear with an even darker shade of black for the camera module. It looks gorgeous in person!

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

The Galaxy Note20 Ultra is powered by last year's second flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC, paired with an SD X55 modem. It comes equipped with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB / 512GB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 1TB with the help of a microSD card.


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