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Is it time to upgrade from a Galaxy Note 8 to the Note 20 Ultra?

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The obvious upgrade

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$1,098 at Amazon

Pros

  • Stunning 120Hz AMOLED display
  • Gorgeous design
  • S Pen with lower latency than before
  • Snapdragon 865+ with 5G connectivity
  • Exciting new cameras with 108MP main lens

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor isn’t good enough

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has everything you could want in a 2020 flagship. The phone has a gorgeous new design and comes with a sublime 120Hz AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon 865+ chipset with 5G connectivity, a new S Pen with reduced latency, and all-day battery life. The cameras have also been overhauled, with the 108MP primary lens delivering outstanding photos.

Galaxy Note 8

Outmatched

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See at Amazon

Pros

  • Great AMOLED panel
  • S Pen with useful software features
  • Reliable in day-to-day use
  • Battery life is still decent

Cons

  • Still on Android 9.0 Pie
  • Ageing internals
  • No 5G connectivity

The Galaxy Note 8 fared well over the years, but it is clearly showing its age. While the screen is still great and the hardware holds up for day-to-day use, the device is outdated on the software front. It hasn’t been updated to Android 10 and won’t get any more security updates. So if you’re looking to switch to a new phone this year, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will feel immediately familiar.

Samsung doesn’t really make radical changes with its flagships anymore, but it still manages to deliver exciting new features that raise the bar for the industry as a whole. With the Note 20 Ultra launching three years after the Note 8, you get enticing upgrades in all areas, so let’s take a look at why you should consider upgrading to Samsung’s latest phone.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 8: Huge upgrades everywhere

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If you’re using a flagship, you don’t need to upgrade every year. Phones from three years ago are still going strong on the hardware front, and if you’re using the Galaxy Note 8 in 2020, you know this already. The design is still modern, the screen just as good, and the Snapdragon 835 chipset holds up in day-to-day use.

The Note 20 Ultra has a gorgeous design and will get three years of Android OS updates.

But the biggest issue here is software updates. The Note 8 debuted with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and got two platform updates to Android 9.0 Pie. Samsung has also finished three years of security updates for the phone, and it will not get any further updates. Two years of OS updates isn’t long enough, and for what it’s worth, Samsung is fixing the issue.

All flagships starting with the Galaxy S10 series and select mid-range Galaxy A devices will get three Android OS updates, a much-needed change. That means the Note 20 Ultra will get three OS updates, one more than the Note 8. That makes the device much more enticing right out the gate, and we haven’t even started talking about the hardware yet.

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The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra delivers exciting hardware upgrades in just about every area. You get a massive 6.9-inch AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, and the thin bezels make playing games and streaming videos that much more immersive. This is the best screen you’ll find on any phone today, and it is an absolute delight to use.

You get meaningful hardware upgrades in virtually all areas from the Note 8.

Then there’s the hardware on offer. The Note 20 Ultra features the latest Snapdragon 865+ chipset and has 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard. This is one of the best Android phones around, and the hardware here will hold up just fine for several years. There’s also a 108MP primary camera at the back, and it takes outstanding photos.

You also get a microSD card slot, a 4,500mAh battery with 25W wired charging and 10W wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6, stereo speakers, IP68 rating, and global 5G connectivity. The differentiator for the Note series has always been the S Pen, and this time Samsung has lowered the latency to 9ms, making it even better to use for jotting notes or doodling.

While the Note 20 Ultra is packing a lot of new hardware and a larger screen, it is immediately familiar as a Note device. So if you’re considering the switch from the Note 8, you’ll feel right at home. Oh, the S Pen is now on the left, and there’s no 3.5mm jack anymore, but other than that, the in-hand feel is largely similar.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 8: All the specs

Operating system Android 10One UI 2.5 Android 9.0 PieOne UI
Display 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED3088x1440 (20:9)HDR10+Gorilla Glass Victus 6.3-inch Super AMOLED2960x1440 (18.5:9)Gorilla Glass 5
Chipset Snapdragon 865+1 x 3.0GHz A773 x 2.42GHz A774 x 1.80GHz A557nm Snapdragon 8354 x 2.35GHz Kryo 2804 x 1.90GHz Kryo 28010nm
GPU Adreno 650 Adreno 540
RAM 12GB LPDDR5 6GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB UFS3.1 64GB/128GB/256GB UFS 2.1
MicroSD slot Yes Yes
Rear camera 1 108MP f/1.8, OIS8K at 24fps4K at 60fps 12MP f/1.7, OIS4K at 30fps
Rear camera 2 12MP, f/3.0 telephoto, OIS5x optical zoom 12MP f/2.4 telephoto, OIS2x optical zoom
Rear camera 3 12MP, f/2.2Wide-angle None
Front camera 1 10MP, f/2.2, 80° FoVauto focus 8MP f/1.7auto focus
Front camera 2 None 2MP iris module
Connectivity 5G, Wi-Fi ax MU-MIMOBluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMOBluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS
Audio USB-CStereo speakers 3.5mm jackStereo speakers
Battery 4500mAhNon-removable 3300mAhNon-removable
Charging USB-C PD3.0Fast charge (25W) USB-CFast charge (15W)
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Security In-display fingerprint sensorFace unlock Fingerprint sensorIris sensor
Dimensions 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm208g 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm201g
Colors Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Gray

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 8: It’s time to upgrade

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The Galaxy Note 8 is a fine phone on the hardware side, but with Samsung cutting off software updates, you will have to upgrade sooner rather than later. The obvious choice is the Note 20 Ultra. The phone has stunning hardware with a gorgeous new design, groundbreaking cameras, a sublime 120Hz screen, and all-day battery life.

The biggest reason to switch to the Note 20 Ultra is for the software updates.

While the Note 20 Ultra has exciting hardware upgrades across the board, Samsung’s commitment to delivering three Android OS updates will benefit the phone in the long-term. The Note 20 Ultra comes with Android 10 out of the box and will be updated to Android 13 in three years’ time.

That is a huge deal as it ensures the Note 20 Ultra receives the latest Android update for an extra year. That wasn’t the case with the Note 8, which didn’t receive the Android 10 update. When you’re paying this kind of money on a phone, you will want to be able to use it for at least three years or more, and as such, it’s great to see Samsung doing better in this key area.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The obvious upgrade

galaxy-note-20-ultra-front-render-offici

$1,098 at Amazon
$1,300 at Samsung
$1,100 at Best Buy

The most powerful phone in 2020

With huge hardware upgrades across the board, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is an easy recommendation if you’re looking for a new phone in 2020. The fact that the phone will receive three Android OS updates makes it that much more enticing. The Note 20 Ultra is the obvious choice if you’re upgrading from the Note 8.

Galaxy Note 8

Outmatched

note-8-render-purple-back-with-s-pen.jpg

See at Amazon

No more software updates

The Galaxy Note 8 still holds up fine in day-to-day use, but Samsung isn’t going to roll out any further software updates. That means you will have to upgrade to another device imminently if you want to try out new Android versions and receive the latest security updates, and the Note 20 Ultra is the ideal contender.

Latest

Tronsmart’s latest Q10 wireless headphones are currently on a huge discount

Tronsmart makes some great smartphone accessories and audio devices. The company has gained more and more users as a budget alternative to the big brands over the last few years. Tronsmart’s latest offering is the Q10 wireless headphones.While we have yet to fully review these new active noise-canceling headphones, Tronsmart wants to share with our readers that the Q10 is currently deeply discounted for its big launch. (but stay tuned for more on that review in the next few weeks) Retail partner AliExpress has the Q10 headphones a whopping 53% off if you act quickly.This $52.99 cutback is good for the next two days. From January 25 thru the 27th, you can snag these over-ear headphones for more than half the price. This is a pretty great deal for headphones that pack a pretty decent spec sheet.The Tronsmart Q10 will get you Bluetooth 5.0, touch controls, active noise-cancellation, and an estimated 100 hours of playtime. The headset also has Google Voice support and USB-C charging to round out the bullet points.So, what are you waiting for? Get over to AliExpress using this link: http://bit.ly/TSQ10JANae to enjoy this limited time offer from Tronsmart.

US Mobile Buyer’s Guide (January 2021)

Most consumers are familiar with the big-name wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T, but not nearly as many are as well-versed when it comes Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Consumer Cellular or FreedomPop.These MNVO brand operators license the towers and coverage from the tier-one providers and offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.Let’s take a look at one in particular: US MobileAboutUS Mobile is a small MVNO that utilizes T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network and Verizon’s 4G LTE network and is known for letting customers add talk, text and data on the fly, at any time.The carrier is not shy about its usage of T-Mobile, but it does appear to hide its Verizon component a bit. We’re not sure why.What are US Mobile rate plans like?US Mobile touts is affordable packages for subscribers who need wireless coverage but want some flexibility in the talk, text and time used each month.Customers can pick and choose plans, customizing as they see fit, or choose from a selection of “Unlimited” options. Don’t want or need data? That’s fine.The Unlimited Plans are as follows:$15/mo – Unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB data$30/mo – Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB dataThe custom plans come with hotspot capabilities and 250MB of 4G LTE international roaming.A recent change to the plans sees US Mobile offering a $40 option which includes unlimited talk, text, and data. To be clear, it’s 50GB of high speed data with heavier users potentially seeing reduced speeds after hitting the threshold. Data speeds are considered “Fast” which means up to 5Mbps for video streaming.For $5 more per month subscribers can get 10GB of mobile hotspot capabilities. For $10 more per month customers can increase data speeds to “Ludicrous” up to 250Mbps, plus the hotspot feature.Family PlansUS Mobile customers can create multi-line accounts, each of which is basically the $40 plan. Things get cheaper per line as you add them to the mix.US Mobile phone selectionUS Mobile has a small selection of phones to choose from, many of which are a few years old. Moreover, they appear to be fairly expensive, too. We definitely recommend using your existing T-Mobile or Verizon phone if possible.Where can I buy an unlocked phone?Bring your own deviceUS Mobile tends to work better for people who already have a phone that they’d like to use. Whether it’s a T-Mobile or Verizon handset, or something else, you’ll probably have luck using it with US Mobile. According to the carrier, 99% of devices will work with its service.What else should I know about US Mobile?US Mobile operates entirely online and does not have any physical retail locations in the US.For every friend you refer to US Mobile, the carrier will give you both up to $10. They save up to $10 on their first plan and you get up to $10 off your next bill.You can easily add talk, text, and/or data Top Ups to your current plan to always stay connected. They roll over to next month when you use AutoPay, automatic bill payment.A US Mobile starter SIM kit can be purchased for $3.99, letting subscribers keep their existing phone number.

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