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Note 20 Ultra VS S21 Ultra

Read this comparison article that discusses the differences between the Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra, and the Note 20 Ultra.
Last Updated on December 1, 2023
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Both the Samsung Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy Note 20 are wonderful phones filled with impressive technology. While they both have more features than those that came before them, there are a few stark differences between the two models worth knowing when about. If you’re deciding between them, this is the Note 20 Ultra vs S21 Ultra overview you need.

The Note 20 Ultra (left) and the S21 Ultra (right)


To start, both phones have fantastic, large screens – which is probably why you’re considering them. The Note 20 measures approximately 164 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm and weighs around 208g, and is the thinner and lighter option.

The S21 Ultra measures 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm and weighs around 228g, making it the heavier, thicker, but narrower option.

While the Note 20 follows the signature rectangular shape, boasting sharp, sleek corners, the S21 Ultra has adopted a rounder shape, with softer corners that some may prefer.

For colorways, the Note 20 Ultra comes in Mystic White, Mystic Black, and Mystic Bronze, but there are more colors to choose from with the S21 Ultra: You have the option of Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, Phantom Brown, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Titanium.


Both phones have phenomenal camera setups, each featuring 108MP main camera. They also each have 12MP ultra-wide lenses and laser-assisted phase-detection autofocus, enabling them to capture their subjects smartly.

However, the S21 Ultra features not one but two telephoto lenses, with a maximum 5x optical zoom and 30x space zoom. That’s compared to the Note 20 Ultra’s 5x optical zoom with a 30x space zoom.

For the front, the S21 has a 40MP selfie camera, and the Note 20 Ultra has a 10MP front camera, making the S21 the choice for those who want as much detail as possible.

When it comes to recording video, the S21 has Director’s View. This is a feature that enables you to switch between the different cameras while recording, and also be able to use your front-facing camera at the same time.

This feature is perfect for any owners who enjoy creating vlogs.

However, it is also worth noting that the Note 20 Ultra offers the ability to expand storage with microSD compatibility, which may be important if you’re a heavy media user.

Specs And Performance

Both phones support 5G and have 12GB of RAM, while the S21 Ultra 512 GB version has 16GB of RAM for extra snappiness you’d expect from spending more.

Clearly what also sets these two models apart is the stylus or lack thereof. The Note 20 Ultra has a slot where the stylus lives, being designed for use with it. And should a stylus be important to you you may think the Note is the best option.

However, you can get a stylus for the S21 Ultra, although you need to purchase it separately and there is nowhere for it to be placed on the phone. So you would need to pick up a case specifically for that.

Battery Life

The S21 has a 5000mAh battery, whereas the Note 20 has a 4500mh battery. As a result, the S21 has a longer battery life, but it’s also better performing given a generational improvement.

Both phones do offer speedy 25W charging, although while the Note 20 Ultra comes with a charger, the S21 Ultra does not.

Final Thoughts

Both phones are great choices, but the S21 is the winner when it comes to battery life, camera, display and overall performance.

However, the Note 20 has a more functional stylus, and can potentially be picked up for less (although both may be tricky to get new) so the final call is down to personal preference.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.