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Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Which Is Better?

author Luis Silva (December 2020 Updated: March 2022 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is more expensive than the Pixel 5, but it also has better specs.

It features better performance (+55%), a better display, a glass back, more internal storage (256GB vs. 128GB), and external storage.

What else do they have to offer?

With the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, you'll also get a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.9") display, better peak brightness, a telephoto lens (+103 mm), and more RAM (12GB vs. 8GB). But the Pixel 5 will give you a cleaner user interface and a lightweight body (57 g./2.01 oz less).

How much more will those additional features cost me?

If you're going off-contract, it should be about $313 more expensive.

Is it worth getting the Pixel 5 in 2022?

You shouldn't ignore the Google Pixel 5 at all, even in 2022. Sure there are other devices like the Galaxy S21, but this one does hold a good cameras, good battery life, and excellent glass protection.

Is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra still worth getting in 2022?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra wasn't released that long ago, so it's obviously, a top recommended device for 2022. That's mainly because of its good cameras, good battery life, tons of storage, excellent glass protection, and optical zoom. But if you've been dreaming about other phones, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro should also be one of them.

Keep reading for answers to all your questions about their differences, how they stack up against their rivals, and you'll know how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Google Pixel 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

CONTENTS

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Introduction

While Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hit stores in August 2020, Google's Pixel 5 went on sale in October 2020.

In this article, we see how the Pixel 5 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra compare to each other to help you decide and see which one of these is the right one for you.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Release Date 2020, October 2020, August 0y.
OS Updates 3 years 3 years 0y.
Security Updates 3 years 4 years 1y.

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

As for performance, Geekbench 5 scores the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 55% ahead of its competitor in the multi-core ranking. This should be noticeable when opening apps or games.

Unfortunately, both smartphones are underperforming against similarly priced phones.

By the way, you can define the Pixel 5 as mid-range and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as a lower high-end.

PS: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ (with the Adreno 650 GPU) and the Exynos 990 (with the Mali-G77) are market-dependent.

There's a considerable performance increase of about 20% on the 865+ for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Performance*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
SoC Snapdragon 765 Exynos 990
Graphics Adreno 620 Mali-G77 MP11
Geekbench 5 Score 1647
2561
914
OS Android 11 Android 10 and OneUI
Tek-Score
4.7
6.1
1.5

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Google Pixel 5 front transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra front transparent png

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a better display, and you'd be able to tell the difference.

Are you looking for small screens? Then, the Pixel 5 is the one. Other similarly priced smartphones just aren't that short.

Given the Pixel 5, just know that 83% of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 88% have an Always-On display.

For the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, as a reference, 96% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, 83% offer you more than 60hz of refresh rate, and 78% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 6.0
6.9
0.9
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2340
1440x3088
1919520
Refresh Rate 90hz 120hz 30
Dots per Inch 429.53
493.80
64.27
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 699 nits
1024 nits
325
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.7
9.8
1.0
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 6 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
7.9
9.9
2.0

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Google Pixel 5 back transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra back transparent png

You should note that the Pixel 5 is in the neighborhood of 85% above other competitors in its class. That's why I'd willingly pick this over the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

About the Pixel 5: DXOMARK tested this camera and gave it a score of 129. If you add its wide-angle lens, it'll get 138 points. For a thorough review, click here.

To put things in perspective: keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 88% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Yet, only 17% of them feature a macro lens.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is also known for its impressive 50x hybrid Space Zoom. In theory, that's a step down from the S20 Ultra 100x, but since it's an "AI-powered" zoom, it shouldn't matter much.

About the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 122 points. And by adding the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, we end up with a score of 136 points. If you want to know more about it, check it here.

Winding it up, just so you know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization, and 87% feature a telephoto lens. Moreover, only 4% of them feature a macro lens.

One can place these two as high-end.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Megapixels 12
108
96
Aperture 1.7
1.8
0.1
Lens 27mm
26mm
-1
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 138
136
-2

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 16
12
-4
Aperture 2.2
3.0
0.8
Lens 17mm 120mm (5x zoom)
103
Lens Type Wide-Angle Telephoto lens
Megapixels - 12
Aperture - 2.2
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type - Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 9 14 5
Selfie Camera Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 8
10
2
Aperture 2.0
2.2
0.2
Lens 24mm 26mm 2
Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Tek-Score
8.1
8.0
-0.1

Who has the best frame?

The Pixel 5 does have an advantage here, thanks to its weight.

In addition to that, the Pixel 5 is indeed small. About 12% smaller when compared to other phones at nearly the same price.

The Pixel 5 weighs 151 g. (5.33 oz), while the other is 57 g. (2.25 oz) heavier. If you're looking for a lightweight device, I've created an adapted score for a "weight to display size" ratio. The Pixel 5 got 8.4, meaning it's one of the lightest phones for its display size. In the meantime, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has 4.4, so nothing to state here.

The Pixel 5 is resistant to water up to 1 to 3 meters, and the same goes for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It should be for less than 30 minutes, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 144 x 70 x 8 mm
(5.08 x 2.47 x 0.28 in)
164 x 77 x 8 mm
(5.78 x 2.72 x 0.28 in)
20384
Weight 151 g. (5.33 oz)
208 g. (7.34 oz)
57
Build Front glass and aluminum back Front and back glass
Colors Just Black and Sorta Sage Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black
Screen To Body Ratio 87.67%
93.17%
5.50
Disp.Size To Weight Score 8.4 4.4 -4.0
Looks 9.1/10
9.1/10
0.0
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
9.1
6.8
-2.3

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The Pixel 5 does have a battery capacity of 4080 mAh versus the 4500 mAh of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But by GSMArena's standards, you shouldn't expect any real contrast here.

Battery life on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra isn't anything to write home about. Samsung didn't try that hard here, judging by other similarly sized devices. It got a rate of 2.1 for the "battery to device size" ratio.

The Snapdragon 865+ variant also has better battery efficiency, about 7% of additional screen-on-time.

Battery*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Capacity (mAh) 4080 4500 420
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 82% left
83% left
1
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 66% left
69% left
3
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 69% left
72% left
3
Bat. To Phone Size Score 7.1 2.1 -5.0
Sub Tek-Score
7.2
7.5
0.2
Fast Charging 18w
25w
7
Wireless Charging 12w
15w
3
Reverse Charging 5w
4.5w
-0.5
Tek-Score
6.9
7.2
0.3

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A42.

Which has more storage?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, for sure.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. Also, you'll get less RAM and less storage by picking any rival at that price range. 9Gb for RAM and 167Gb for storage, on average.

Storage*
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
RAM (GB) 8GB
12GB
4
Internal (GB) 128GB
256GB
128
Micro SD No microSDXC (shared SIM slot)
Tek-Score
6.0
10.0
4.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

They don't stand out on any of these features.

There isn't much to say about the 3.5mm headphone jack, except that it simply isn't here. Just skip adapters and get a decent pair of wireless earbuds. Luckily, you can still get it on other phones if you're not really leaning towards any of these. The Oppo Find X3 Lite can give you a headphone jack.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra runs on LTE or (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Network 5G 5G (also available in LTE)
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
4.6
4.6
0.0

Which is more affordable?

Here are the prices that we've come across recently:

Google Pixel 5

Reference: $682

Google Pixel 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Reference: $995

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS
Amazon - - -
eBay 1.30 0.51 -0.79
Best Buy - 0.67 -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you ready for that final score? We're almost there. For reference purposes, I'll tell you where most of its rivals average. They're in the ballpark of 6.7 for the Pixel 5 and 7.5 for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Verdict: What Makes the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Stand Out?

By now, you should've realized that the Pixel 5 isn't for you. Unless, of course, you can't get a Note 20 Ultra. A Pixel device can indeed give you a cleaner user experience in a lightweight body and perhaps an extra year of software updates but check out what you'll lose by skipping its rival.

You won't get a premium flagship performance, its display won't be as great on direct sunlight, nor will it have up to 120hz of refresh rates, and you'll also be ignoring a fantastic telephoto lens. The Note 20 Ultra can also give you double the internal storage, 12 GB of RAM, and the ability to insert a MicroSD card.

Pros Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
#1 AMOLED Performance
#2 Always-On-Display AMOLED
#3 Cameras Always-On-Display
#4 Fast Charging Cameras
#5 Wireless Charging Battery Life
#6 Glass Protection Fast Charging
#7 Wireless Charging
#8 MicroSD Slot
#9 Storage
#10 Glass Protection
Cons Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
#1 MicroSD Slot Weight
#2 3.5mm Jack 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Pixel 5 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Gaming Score
6.6
8.3
1.7
Tek-Score
6.77
8.05
1.28
Your Score

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Google Pixel 5 Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Google Pixel 5 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $519
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $424
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $497
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $482
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $424
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $534
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $436
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $519
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $543
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • OnePlusrival9
    $530
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
  • OnePlusrivalNord 2
    $440

 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Pro
    $1120
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $955
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.SD
    $1049
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.EX
    $999
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.SD
    $1160
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $955
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $849
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalMate 40 Pro
    $1065
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
    $950
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Pro Max
    $1180
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Ultra
    $1100
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Ultra
    $1079
  • VivorivalX60 Pro Plus
    $1177
  • VivorivalX60 Pro
    $900
  • OpporivalFind X3 Pro
    $1149
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13
    $829
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Pro
    $999
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Pro Max
    $1099
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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