News Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 9: Should you upgrade?

JOSHSKORN

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Oct 26, 2009
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I feel like this article was made for me and those like me, as well. The only reason I upgraded to the Note 9 in the first place, was because my Note 4 became very sluggish, and that apps were only optimized for newer phones. Plus, the Note 4 was a 32-bit phone, whereas the Note 9 is 64-bit. Mind you. I had my Note 4 for four years before upgrading to my Note 9. Can my Note 9 last four years? I'm going to try to make that happen, granted it doesn't look like I'll be able to update it past Android 10 and One UI 2.5, maybe One UI 3, but I'll keep getting security updates. It would be nice if at some point, Samsung/T-mobile allowed us to unlock our bootloaders and allow us to root to allow for custom ROMs so we can still enjoy unsupported newer versions of Android (like LneageOS), but I don't see that happening on the US locked variant of the SM-N960U.
 
Sep 11, 2020
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Hi, the Note 9 can support two SIM cards, not included in the comparison table. Not sure about the 20s?
N.Am. Note 9 doesn't support dual SIM, export does, just like the Note 20s, both can be obtained with dual sim from other channels, so not worth noting since it's not a distinction between the two.

Whereas the headphone jack is a difference not mentioned that still seems to annoy people.
 
Sep 11, 2020
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Note 20U is worth the upgrade if you make use of some of the properly upgraded features (including Wifi6, etc beyond the PR near-term 5G).
The heavily crippled plain N20 doesn't bring enough to the table to justify the price even at a discount, better to buy a heavily discounted Note10+ with more features than the plain Note20, or skip the update for the Note 21/30 or whatever it ends up being called.

And really this doesn't show off 5G much, especially since it's mostly older spectrum 5G, with few carriers even stretching the available Sub6 supported by the chips, let alone users making much of it.

Something not mentioned in the article, but that is a MAJOR difference, is the recent promised support for 3 OS updates on recent devices instead of 2 on the Note9, which is re-assuring, especially for the Note series that always refreshes just a couple of months/weeks before the OS does so you kinda get screwed out of an update the S series get as stock a few months later. That the Note 10s also gets this feature keeps it in the discussion too. Too bad the Note 9 won't get OS11 considering it has as much RAM and storage as the S10e/lite and other S10 for the two variants, so it's not really processor or RAM/storage limited unlike the base S9's 4GB.

Article also needs a couple of updates, especially to specs.

  • Note 9 is 8GB RAM for the 512GB variant, not 6GB.
  • Note 20U is only 120hz in FHD for now (may or may not change)
  • Note 9 isn't just dual 12MP one is telephoto like the N20U, you could highlight the 2/3/5x difference, perhaps adding that anything below 5x is almost pointless, although the basic N20 adds pixel binning to telephoto.
  • There is a 256GB regular Note 20 in export market variant
  • AND Note 9 had a 3.5mm Headphone Jack !! 🤘 🎧 🤙
While you mention 8K recording, it's only @ 24fps, with lower colour depth and inefficient encoding, making it a format that will look mediocre on any capable 8K display, just like the early HD and 4K cams that shot in 15/16/fps just to tick a checkbox.

Also wireless DeX is supposedly coming to the Note9 via UI 2.5 update, so might not be a difference.

Would be better if you retested the software current Note 9 on geekbench to compare performance difference, or run real world tests instead of just the assumption the N20 is way WAY faster. Often the big benchmarks jumps in theoretical performance just have mild real-world impacts, except in areas that leverage new hardware/tech like photo/video, AI, etc. And more likely to see that leap next year on many fronts... to which...

Note 20 Ultra might be worth it, but plain Note 20 definitely isn't.

Personally I'm keeping my Note 9 until the truly next gen features come out next year, just wish we got OS11 as well as Ui 2.5
The Note10s and N20s were nice small refresh spec jumps, but next year's should have access to much more new tech improvements, from storage, RAM, wireless, display, and and possibly even graphene batteries by next fall, and likely better cameras (not more cameras FFS, don't need Octo-cam) with true full speed & colour 8K recording and DPAF on sensor for high res, and then even more processing (especially AI/compute for stuff like image processing, etc plus hardware accelerate A1 encode/decode). So lots of bigger leaps coming vs these nice.. but incremental leaps in the N10/20 series.

And knowing Samsung, they know people will pay for that tech... so it ain't gonna be cheap, so skip the N20 and save a penny for the Note 21/30 InfinitySumpremeLordHumongous.

Although to be fair.. to be fair... to be fair.... I really do wish I had bought a Star Wars Noe 10+ last December. 😔
 
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