This is the end of an era – the later part of the year has arrived and there are no signs of a new, updated version of the Galaxy Note. It seems that the phone, which promotes the term “phablet”, has finally been launched by Samsung, which makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra the last and best of the existing Note line. Have a nice trip, old friend.

But if you’re a fan of phones with many features that prioritize performance, multitasking and adaptive S Pen, Samsung has provided you with a replacement. The new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a strong spiritual successor to the Note line, thanks to its massive internal display, S Pen support and unparalleled multitasking ability. So, if you are looking for a phone that meets all these fields, you have to make a choice. Should you buy Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 or buy Galaxy Note 20 Ultra? Or, if you’re already using the Note 20 Ultra, is the Z Fold 3 worth the upgrade? We found out.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
size Expanded: 128.1 x 158.2 x 6.4 mm (5.04 x 6.22 x 0.25 inches)

Folded: 67.1 x 158.2 x 16.0 mm (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 Basic: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Roof screen: 6.2-inch Super AMOLED 2X

6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Screen resolution Basic: 2208 x 1768 pixels (374 pixels per inch)

Roof screen: 2268 x 832 pixels (387 pixels per inch)

3088 x 1440 pixels (496 pixels per inch)
OS Android 12 with One UI 4.1 Android 12 with One UI 4.1
Storage 256GB, 512GB 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD card slot No Yes
Touch payment 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 ultra-wide, 12MP wide-angle and 12MP telephoto rear

Main front screen: 4MP under the display

Roof screen: 10MP

back: 108MP triple lens, 12MP telephoto, 12MP ultra wide

front: 10MP

Video 4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 frames per second, 720p at 960 frames per second, HDR10 + 8K at 24 frames per second, 4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 frames per second, 720p at 960 frames per second, HDR10 +
Bluetooth version 5.1 5.1
Fingerprint sensor Yes, side mounted Yes, on the display (ultrasonic)
Water resistance IPX8 IP68
Battery 4400 mAh

Fast charging (25W, charger not included)

Fast wireless charging (10W)

Wireless reverse charging (4.5W)

4500 Ah

Fast charging (25W included)

Qi wireless charging (15W)

Wireless reverse charging (4.5W)

Application market Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support All carriers All carriers
Colors Mirror purple, mirror black Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White
Prices $ 1,800 $ 1,299
Buy from Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
Review score 4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Design, display and durability

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is certainly impressive. Folded, the front looks like a regular phone with a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. But expand it and you’ll get a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X tablet-sized display. Both screens are excellent, as expected from Samsung, with clear resolutions and a super smooth refresh rate of 120 Hz. The glass on both displays has been improved, as has the hinge mechanism, so small particles should be even harder to enter. Z Fold 3 is a look into the future and really looks very good.

Turn it aside and some of this elegant style will disappear. The folding mechanism means that the phone is as thick as two phones and sits at a shallow triangular angle when closed. This isn’t really a big deal, but it makes the Note 20 Ultra even more sleek. 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, and although heavy, it is significantly lighter than the Z Fold 3.

The Z Fold 3 has IPX8 water resistance, which is not as good as the IP68 rating of the Note 20 Ultra, and you’re likely to risk Fold 3 hinge endurance issues that won’t be a problem for the Note 20 Ultra. Although the foldable phone is a technical triumph, the Note 20 Ultra still takes that round.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Performance, battery life and charging

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and S Pen on the table.
Andy Boxing / Digital Trends

None of these phones will fail when high performance is required. The Note 20 Ultra is full of the highest hardware, including Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, 12 GB of RAM and a choice of 256 GB or 512 GB of memory. It’s a powerful and impressive spec sheet, which means the Note 20 Ultra can run almost any 3D game, can switch between high-intensity applications, and is unlikely to run out of image or video space any time soon.

Z Fold 3 has a similar setting, with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB or 512 GB of storage. But Fold 3 has the advantage of using the Snapdragon 888, which makes it more powerful than the Note 20 Ultra. It actually needs that power, too, thanks to the much larger tablet-like display and the ability to open up to three apps at once.

What about the battery? The release of all this hardware and two displays took it out of the rather small battery of the Z Fold 3 and we found that it struggled to last until the end of the day when it was really tested. When tested in a similar way, the Note 20 Ultra also had difficulty, but didn’t need the same recharging in the evening as the Z Fold 3. The Note 20 Ultra’s battery was by no means remarkable, but it still outperformed the Z Fold 3.

The Z Fold 3’s processor is more powerful, but the weaker battery really disappoints it. This is equality.

Winner: Draw


Galaxy Z Fold 3 camera module.
Andy Boxing / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s camera is not for sneezing. It consists of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 12-megapixel wide-angle and 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and the front cover has a 10-megapixel selfie lens for charging. This package is good and works well with most scenarios. There is also a new type of camera, “camera under the display” (or UDC) under the internal display. At first glance, this lens seems to be a rare mistake from Samsung. It’s only 4MP, which is extremely low nowadays and didn’t give good images during our first tests. Fortunately, there is no shortage of other lenses to take selfies with this phone, but it is still sad to see a bad lens on such a first-class flagship.

Unfortunately for the Z Fold 3, the Note 20 Ultra’s cameras are extremely capable. The main lens is a 108MP monster and it is joined by a 12MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and a 12MP ultra-wide lens. As you might expect, the cameras take excellent pictures, with the periscope magnification, in particular, showing improvements over Note 10 plus. It also has a 10MP selfie camera, like the Z Fold 3, but this is the main camera setup that puts the Note 20 Ultra above the Z Fold 3.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Software and updates

Helicopter view of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra app.
Andy Boxing / DigitalTrends

Since they are Samsung phones, both Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra work with the same Samsung brand Skin for Android 12, OneUI 4. This means you’ll get almost the same software experience on both phones, except for some exclusive Note features and Fold 3 software that allows it to perform many tasks – but more on that later . In general, it’s almost the same, so this shouldn’t be a big factor when choosing between these two phones.

The same goes for the update speed. Both phones will probably receive updates at about the same time, but since Fold 3 is the newer of the two phones, it will probably receive another Android update from the Note 20 Ultra. This is actually a pretty big deal because it essentially means extra annual importance when it comes to new security features and updates.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Special features

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with stylus.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with stylus. Ajay Kumar / Digital Trends

Want special features? These phones have many special features. We’ll start with the Note 20 Ultra. Has access to Samsung’s computer emulated DeX mode, which already has wireless mode, as well as sharing power with other wireless charging devices. But most of the special features come from the S Pen inside the phone. This small scribbler allows you to write notes by hand, perform air gestures, remotely activate your camera shutter, translate text, create GIF files and more.

That’s a lot for Z Fold 3 to match, although fortunately it doesn’t lack its own special features. It has its own support for the S Pen, although it is not the same S Pen that uses the Note. It is much larger and does not fit inside the device – you will need to buy a case for $ 80 to easily hold it with your device. However, the large footprint on the internal display gives it an advantage, as it allows you to perform several tasks with up to three applications at once.

Both phones also support 5G, which is a big deal for the future. However, we are leaning towards the Note 20 Ultra in this one.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is currently available and priced they start at $ 1,800, making it expensive even under leading conditions. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra looks like a budget device compared to prices starting at $ 1299. It is still available from most operators and retailers that offer smartphones.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

IN Galaxy Z Fold 3 is an impressive technological achievement and a look at the future of smartphones. But it’s hard to compete with one of the most sophisticated formulas for smartphones. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of the best Android phones you can buy right now, and that makes it an extremely good match for Fold 3. Want a great smartphone with a big screen and lots of power and performance? Then you need to buy Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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