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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series is finally official and in this article, we’re going to be putting it up against the best from Apple, which is currently the iPhone 11 Pro Max. So let’s compare Samsung Galaxy Note 20 ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max and see which one is better.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Box contents:

1. Note 20 Ultra handset
2. AKG earphones
3. 25W USB-Type-C Charger
4. USB Type-C cable
5. SIM ejector pin
6. Paperwork
7. Tips for S-Pen

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max box contents:

1. iPhone 11 Pro Max handset
2. Lightning Earpods
3. 18W USB-Type-C Charger
4. USB Type-C to lightning charging cable
5. SIM ejector pin
6. Paperwork

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

SpecsGalaxy Note 20 UltraiPhone 11 Pro Max
Display Size6.9 inches, QHD+6.5 inches, FHD+
Display TypeDynamic AMOLED,
120 Hz
OLED
120 Hz
SoftwareAndroid 10,
One UI 2.1
iOS 13
CPUSnapdragon 865+
Exynos 990
Apple A13 Bionic
GPUAdreno 650
Mali-G77 MP11
Apple GPU
RAM / Storage128GB 12GB
256GB 12GB
512GB 12GB
64GB 4GB
256GB 4GB
512GB 4GB
Front camera10 MP, f/2.212 MP, f/2.2
Rear camera108 MP, f/1.8 (main)
12 MP, f/3.0 (telephoto)
12 MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)
12 MP, f/1.8 (main)
12 MP, f/2.0 (telephoto)
12 MP, f/2.4 (ultrawide)
Battery4500 mAh 3969 mAh 
Fast charging25W Fast charging18W Fast charging
Wireless chargingYesYes
Headphone JackNoNo
Fingerprint sensorUnder display, ultrasonicNo
Color optionsMystic Bronze
Mystic Black
Mystic White
Matte Space Gray
Matte Silver
Matte Gold
Matte Midnight Green
Starting Price₹97,500
$1,299
₹1,09,900
$1,099

Design and Build

So the first thing I want to talk about is the size. Both devices are big devices and they are quite similar in size, overall. The iPhone does weigh a little bit more, but the Note 20 Ultra is a little bit taller.

Design Comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max
Design Comparison of Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

It’s a little bit taller because it does have a larger display 6.9 inches vs 6.5 inches and it’s also got much smaller bezels with a small punch out for the front facing camera.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max does have those bezels with that notch. This is a design that we’ve seen on the iPhone X as well as the iPhone XS.

So hopefully we’re going to be getting a bit of an improvement on the iPhone 12. But currently, the Note 20 Ultra does give you a much higher screen to body ratio and it does not stop there.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Now taking a look at the overall design and build, the Note 20 Ultra does have much more squared off edges to go in line with that Note theme. We’ve got an aluminum frame on the Note 20 Ultra.

On the iPhone 11 Pro Max, we have a stainless steel frame. Both devices do have glass on the front and the back.

On the Note, we do have curved glass, and it’s also going to be the first smartphone in the world to have the new Gorilla Glass 7, which is supposed to be more durable and also less likely to shatter when dropped.

I am not a durability expert and I don’t do drop tests or durability tests. So I’m sure as soon as the retail version is out, we’ll be seeing a detailed durability test from JerryRigEverything.

iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone 11 Pro Max

Both devices are IP68 water and dust resistant and for the iPhone, it does come in four colors. We’ve got a silver, a space gray, a gold, as well as the midnight green.

This has a frosted back finish which looks really nice and doesn’t attract as many fingerprints. The Note 20 Ultra also has a frosted finish on the bronze version. So this is not glossy and it looks really nice.

You also get a black as well as a white version, which do have glossy backs.

Which one is the Display king?

Note 20 Ultra got a high resolution, so the pixel density is slightly higher. It’s not something that you’re really going to notice too much, the one thing you will notice is the difference in refresh rates.

Display Comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max
Display Comparison of Samsung Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

Although both displays are OLED displays, the iPhone display has a 60 Hz refresh rate, whereas the Note 20 Ultra has a 120 Hz refresh rate.

Now this works similarly to the S20 Ultra, where if you do want to use 120 Hz, then you can’t use that full resolution. So you will be taking a hit on the pixel density, but this is a hit that I’m more than happy to take.

Because having that 120 Hertz refresh rate does make things super smooth. So overall, the advantage for the display does definitely go to the Note 20 Ultra.

Refresh Rate of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Refresh Rate of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Now, one of the reasons why we have that notch on the iPhone is because of Face ID. So not only does that notch hold the front facing camera, it has a bunch of sensors and this gives you secure facial unlock.

The Note 20 Ultra still has an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner. This is not the 3D Sonic Max that was rumored, which I was hopeful for, but nevertheless, it’s a very fast fingerprint scanner.

iPhone 11 Pro Max Display
iPhone 11 Pro Max Display

It sits within the display and some may argue it’s more convenient, especially in today’s age, where a lot of us have to wear masks and when you do have a mask on, then unfortunately you can’t use Face ID.

Also See: Oneplus 8 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

Which flagship has better Cameras?

We’ve got slightly different camera modules on both devices as well.

We’ve got a square camera module with three lenses on the iPhone, and then we’ve got a rectangular camera module on the Notes with three main lenses, as well as a laser auto focus sensor.

So let’s break these cameras down.

Camera Comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max
Camera Comparison of Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

Rear cameras

The iPhone has three 12 megapixel cameras. We’ve got a primary, an ultra-wide, as well as a 2x telephoto. Cameras are really good, some of my favorites over the year.

The Note 20 Ultra is looking to improve on what we saw with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, so we have a primary 108 MP camera. This has been refined compared to what we had on the S20 Ultra and along with that laser auto focus.

It should give us great auto focus speeds, something that was a bit of an issue on the S20 Ultra. We then have a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12 MP periscope zoom camera.

This is going to give us 5x optical zoom, and up to 50x digital zoom, what Samsung calls space zoom.

So I’m definitely glad that Samsung is not going for the 100x zoom that we saw on the S20 Ultra, which really wasn’t that good.

S20 Ultra does give you some good results at 50x. Still not something that I would post on social media, but nevertheless, having the option there is quite nice. Whereas you only get 10x of zoom on the iPhone.

So when it does come to zoom, yes, the S20 Ultra does get the advantage here.

Front camera

Talking about the front facing cameras, the Note 20 Ultra has a 10MP lens which is a downgrade as compared to its previous flagship S20 Ultra. On the other hand, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has 12 MP lens.

The megapixel count of iPhone is more than Samsung, but that doesn’t mean that Note 20 Ultra comes with a bad camera.

Though the megapixel count is smaller, but the quality of images has been improved from S20 Ultra. I am hoping that the quality of images coming from Note 20 Ultra will improve more in future after receiving some software updates.

Video shooting

Now, moving on to the video, we do have 4K, 60 fps across all of the cameras on the iPhone.

iPhone 11 Pro Max video resolution options
iPhone 11 Pro Max video resolution options

On the Note 20 Ultra, we do have up to 8K 24 fps. This is similar to what we saw on the S20 Ultra, but we do have some improvements.

Firstly, we do have the Pro Video mode, which is going to give you a lot more control. You can get some of those Pro Video controls on the iPhone, but you will have to get a third party app.

Something like Filmic Pro, it’s not something that’s default and the Note 20 Ultra now also gives you a lot more control over audio.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra resolution options
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra resolution options

You can select a few different audio recording options, including one where you’ll be able to use the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live earphones, which have noise cancellation and you’ll be able to get the audio recording from those into the Note 20 Ultra’s Pro Video recording app.

This is mainly for situations where there’s a lot of background noise and you need that noise cancellation.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra audio of video

Which one is Performance beast?

Now, let’s talk about the internals. What’s powering these devices?

Well, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, as you know, is powered by the Apple A13 Bionic chip. It’s a very, very capable and fast chipset.

We’re going to be getting an even more improved A14 Bionic very soon on the new iPhone 12.

The Note 20 Ultra, there’s some good news on this and bad news. There’s some good news if you are in the US and in other regions, because you will be getting the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset, which is the fastest available on the Android side at the moment.

But unfortunately, if you are in the UK, Europe and some regions in Asia, like I am, then unfortunately you’re still going to have the Exynos 990.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 vs Exynos 990
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 vs Exynos 990

Now, what’s quite surprising is that the Exynos 990 has already been inferior to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865.

Samsung has just gone ahead and created even more of a gap between the US and other regions, which really does not make sense to me.

Having said that in day to day, it’s not going to be a massive issue. It’s mainly when you get into things like gaming.

Also See: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Oneplus 8 Pro

Gaming performance

Speaking of gaming, Samsung are really emphasizing the gaming capabilities of the Note 20 Ultra.

sam Galaxy Note 20 Ultra gaming performance
sam Galaxy Note 20 Ultra gaming performance

They have been working very closely with Microsoft, and you’ll be able to get Xbox Game Pass on here, which will allow you to play some really high quality games on the Note 20 Ultra, and you also have more RAM on the Note 20 Ultra, going up to 12 GB of RAM.

On the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you just have 4 GB of RAM. Now this may not be noticeable, generally, but there are definitely situations where I wish that the iPhone had more RAM.

An example is, if I’m halfway through posting a story on Instagram and I leave the app, it’s not going to carry on uploading in the background.

I’m going to have to go back into the app. So this is really where the Note 20 Ultra gets the advantage for its multitasking abilities.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Software

Now that also brings us onto the software because we do have iOS 13, which will be upgradable soon on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. And on the Note 20 Ultra, it’s going to come with Android 10, with the OneUI skin on top.

There’s advantages and disadvantages to both. On the iPhone side of things, you do get that ecosystem. Everything is really well connected. You get things like air play, air drop, you get iMessage, which you can’t find anywhere else.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra software
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra software

On the Note 20 Ultra, you obviously get all the flexibility and customizations that you get an Android, including certain features that really take advantage of the multitasking abilities of the Note. We’ve got great multi-window support, as well as support for Wireless DeX now.

Samsung is saying that you’re going to be able to connect the Note 20 Ultra to any display that supports screen mirroring and that way you’re going to be able to get somewhat of a desktop experience on an external display, which should be really, really cool.

Now let’s talk about the storage options. You do get a base of 64 GB on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and it goes all the way up to 512 GB.

For the Note 20 Ultra, it’s going to depend on your region. I believe it starts at 128 GB in certain regions, but it does go all the way up to 512 GB. However, the advantage that you get on the Note 20 Ultra is that you do have an SD card slot.

So you can expand that storage by a massive amount. This is something that’s not available on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Advantage of S-Pen

Samsung Note 20 Ultra SPen

Now one feature that the Note 20 Ultra has, which really no other device can match is the S Pen and the S Pen is going to allow you to do lots of things that you’re not really going to be able to do just with your finger, and it has been improved massively.

Samsung have said that it’s got an 80% improvement for latency, so we’ve got latency down to like 9 milliseconds, which makes the writing experience very, very smooth.

There’s also improved handwriting recognition, and you can also import and annotate things like PDFs. It’s something that I find very, very useful.

Battery life and charging

Now moving onto the batteries. The Note 20 Ultra does have a larger 4,500 mAh battery compared 3969 mAh on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

However, you do have a higher refresh rate display. So battery life is really something that I’m going to have to kind of feed back on. The iPhone 11 Pro Max can give you great battery life.

iPhone 11 Pro Max charging wirelessly
iPhone 11 Pro Max charging wirelessly

For charging, the Note 20 Ultra does get the advantage because you firstly get a 25W charger out of the box. So it’s a faster charger compared to the 18W fast charger on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Although both devices do support wireless charging, you’ve got support for up to 15W wireless charging on the Note 20 Ultra, and that is twice the speed of the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s wireless charging.

Samsung's Wireless Power Share Technology
Samsung’s Wireless Power Share Technology

The Note 20 Ultra also has reverse wireless charging what Samsung called wireless power share and this will allow you to charge other devices, even the iPhone 11 Pro Max on the back of the Note 20 Ultra.

Price and availability

Finally, let’s talk about pricing and availability.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, carries a starting price tag of $1,299.99 (around ₹97,500) for the base 128GB storage variant in the US. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, has 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options along with 12GB RAM as standard. The 4G variants of Note 20 Ultra comes in 256GB and 512GB storage along with 8GB RAM.

On the other hamd, the iPhone 11 Pro Max carries a price tag of ₹1,09,900 for the 4GB/64GB variant and the 256GB variant will costs you ₹1,23,900. The most top end variant of iPhone 11 Pro Max ( 4GB/512GB ) comes at ₹1,41,900.

If we look at the starting price, the Note 20 Ultra, does start slightly higher, but you are getting more storage.

So if we do compare the like for like storage, you will be getting the Note 20 Ultra for cheaper price, compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

The Note 20 Ultra is available for preorder right now and it is going to be releasing on around the 21st of August.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Conclusion

Now, if you are interested in getting the iPhone 11 Pro Max, I would say, hold back for around about a month, so you can see what the next iPhone is going to offer.

Also when that new iPhone is announced and released, the iPhone 11 Pro Max will get a price cut.

The Note 20 Ultra does have some newer features, but the iPhone 11 Pro Max does pack a punch and if you can’t wait till the next iPhone, you can go for 11 Pro Max.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max? Do let me know in the comments below.

I hope you enjoyed this detailed summary and comparison. If you did, then do share this comparison.

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