Compare the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Note20 Ultra and find out why now is the best time to upgrade with the Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion


The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra is technically the last Galaxy Note smartphone of its series. Released back in August 2020, it’s been almost 3 years since the last new Galaxy Note smartphone, but fortunately for Galaxy Note fans, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra continued its spirit with an S Pen stylus, focus on cameras and other significant improvements.

In addition, Samsung is currently offering a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal for your older Galaxy Note20 Ultra where you not only get the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you also get a free Galaxy S23. Check out our comparison between the Galaxy Note20 Ultra vs the Galaxy S23 Ultra and find out why now might be the best time for you to trade-in and upgrade.


Design - A more comfortable grip


The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra on the left has flatter sides for a more comfortable grip

While the Galaxy Note20 Ultra retained the curved sides of the previous Note series the Galaxy S23 Ultra has markedly flatter sides and a slightly less curved display than the Note20 Ultra. Placed side by side, the 2 devices look very different despite both sharing a metal chassis. We have to say though, that the flatter sides of the Galaxy S23 Ultra do make for a more comfortable longer-lasting grip, at least for us.

Admittedly, the glass backed Galaxy Note20 Ultra is more eye-catching with a more reflective and shiny backside but it's also a fingerprint magnet. The ceramic backed Galaxy S23 Ultra Cream variant feels cooler and more comfortable to the touch while also being less prone to collect fingerprints.



The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra's glass backside is more shiny but also attracts more fingerprints, while the ceramic back of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is smooth to the touch

Due to the larger top left camera hump of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra it tends to teeter totter when laid flat a bit more compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras which don't jut out as much. The Galaxy Note20 Ultra does have a slightly larger 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x screen and 8.1mm thin body but this is because the Galaxy S23 Ultra packs in a larger 5000 mAh battery.

Both are flagship Samsung Galaxy phones though and offer the one defining feature of the Galaxy Note series, which is the garaged S Pen on the bottom. However, the dual SIM Card tray for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra is on the top while the SIM Card tray for the Galaxy S23 Ultra is on the bottom.


Tech Specs and Features - a more significant upgrade


The OneUI 5.1 on the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the S Pen menu 

Thanks to the nearly 3 year gap between the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Galaxy S23 Ultra, the differences in tech specs and features are huge. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, 200MP quad rear camera with 100x Space Zoom and the larger yet longer lasting 5000 mAh battery may be the more Note-worthy improvements of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but nearly every other feature is a significant upgrade from the Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

To be more specific, the Galaxy Note20 Ultra had a triple rear camera setup consisting of the 108MP main camera (OIS) + 12MP (periscope, OIS, 5x Optical Zoom, 50x hybrid zoom) + 12MP (ultrawide). The Galaxy S23 Ultra ups its camera game with a quad rear camera setup made up of a 200MP main camera (OIS) + 10MP (periscope, OIS, 10x Optical Zoom) + 10MP (OIS, 3x Optical Zoom) +12MP (Ultrawide).


The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 200MP quad rear camera setup vs the 108MP triple rear camera setup on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra

While the Galaxy S23 Ultra also has 100x Space Zoom, the camera algorithms have been upgraded so that zoomed in images are clearer and more detailed. It also builds upon nightography from the Galaxy S22 Ultra for a night mode completely unlike that of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, but you can see more in our camera samples.

Other tech spec improvements includes a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the display, an improved 12MP front camera from the 10MP front camera on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and better camera imaging algorithms. The larger 5000 mAh battery also supports up to 45W fast charging while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset has been optimized for longer-lasting battery life and higher performance.


Performance - Faster, better and longer lasting


Geekbench 6 benchmark scores for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra (left) clearly shows that the Galaxy S23 Ultra (right) delivers more than double the performance


Battery life for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra (left) on 4G and the Galaxy S23 Ultra (right) with 5G for almost 12 hours, pay attention to how much battery life is left!

While synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench 6 show a huge jump in performance for the Galaxy S23 Ultra this is also reflected in real life applications like gaming. However, the most significant improvement that the Galaxy S23 Ultra has over the Galaxy Note20 Ultra is the improved battery life, something which almost all users would enjoy.

Granted, the battery in the Galaxy Note20 Ultra has probably seen some degradation due to wear and tear but with almost 2 days battery life on a single charge for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the newer device is obviously more energy efficient despite using 5G. This can be seen by the remaining battery life left for each device with the Galaxy S23 Ultra being able to last an estimated 19 hours more compared to the 1 hour and 56 minutes left for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

Camera quality is also another level as the image samples below show. There’s significantly less noise in the Galaxy S23 Ultra photos, especially for night shots, while both the normal and widescreen shots are wider and more detailed than the photos on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra.


Galaxy S23 Ultra, 200MP portrait shot


Galaxy S23 Ultra, zoomed-in crop of the above picture still shows clear details


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, 108MP portrait shot


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, zoomed-in crop of the shot above shows almost no details


Galaxy S23 Ultra, Auto


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Auto ~ you can see some loss of clarity and sharpness compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra


Galaxy S23 Ultra, Night mode, Auto ~ 1x


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 1x


Galaxy S23 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 0.6x (widescreen)


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 0.6x (widescreen)


Galaxy S23 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 0.6x (widescreen)


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 0.6x (widescreen) - you can see a lot more noise in this night shot and colours are not as vibrant


Galaxy S23 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 1x


Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Night Mode, Auto ~ 1x


If not now, then when?


If you’re a Samsung Galaxy Note fan with its flexible S Pen, then the upgrade to the Galaxy S23 Ultra from the Galaxy Note20 Ultra seems like an obvious choice in terms of design, tech specs and performance. Yes, it might be somewhat more expensive than the previous asking price for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra but if you’re talking about value, you not only get a complimentary Galaxy Watch5 (40mm) smartwatch, you can also trade-in your Galaxy Note20 Ultra AND get a free Galaxy S23 smartphone with Samsung’s Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer.

Please see below for a complete breakdown of the whole process:

  1. Trade-in your Galaxy Note20 Ultra + top up RM399
  2. Buy a Galaxy S23 Ultra (256GB variant)
  3. Voila, free Galaxy S23 as a bonus


We have to say that this Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal isn’t an offer that Samsung makes every year or even for every device, even more so when the Galaxy S23 is a brand new flagship-level smartphone in its own right. With the clock ticking down to the closing date of 31 March 2023, the chances of getting a better value deal for the Galaxy S23 Ultra than this seems very slim.

Still thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, if not now, then when? If you are interested then do check out Samsung’s site for more details. If you need more convincing check out our Galaxy S23 Ultra review but for more such deals, stay tuned to


Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Specs & Price >