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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Note 20 Ultra: Should You Wait Another Year?

author Luis Silva (September 2020 Updated: May 2021 - 8 min. reading time)

You'll spend more on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but considering its features, it is the best option.

It gives you better performance (+33%), better glass protection, a better display, better cameras, and more internal storage (256GB vs. 128GB).

What else stands out?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also comes with a higher refresh rate, larger (+0.5") display, better peak brightness, a telephoto lens (+68 mm), faster-charging speeds (25w vs. 15w), faster wireless charging (15w vs. 5w), reverse wireless charging, and more RAM (12GB vs. 6GB). But the Galaxy Note 9 will give you a headphone jack.

But how much more will I have to pay for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra?

If you're not considering subscribing to a service provider, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $397.

Is it worth buying the Galaxy Note 9 in 2021?

The Galaxy Note 9 isn't the perfect smartphone, but there aren't many better phones for this budget. Of course, you'll also be happy with a device like the Galaxy S10 Lite, but with the Galaxy Note 9, at least you'll get good performance, a good camera, and tons of storage.

Is it worth buying the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in 2021?

Don't let its age scare you. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra still is a fantastic device as we go thru 2021. I like it for its good camera, good battery life, tons of storage, excellent glass protection, and tons of RAM. But if you've been dreaming about other phones, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max should also be one of them.

Keep reading to learn more about what sets them apart, how they stack up against their rivals, and how other specialists evaluate them.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay

CONTENTS

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Introduction

So, is it time to upgrade? It better be, right?

Anyways, let's see how far Samsung went with the Note 20 Ultra.

Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 20 Ultra in August of 2020, while Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 arrived at stores two years sooner.

We are looking at how the Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra compare to each other to help you decide which might be the right one for you.

You'll never find the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra at the price of the Galaxy Note 9. Keep this in mind when comparing both Galaxys.

While scrolling down, you'll see a "Tek-Score" for each phone in every section. All the specifications were examined to allow you a faster discerning of the variation between the phones. The global score will help you compare them to other phones because you'll probably have other phones in mind.

The weight of each section

We've based our score on a study from Globalwebindex.com on what buyers are looking for when purchasing a smartphone. But you'll be able to define how the global score is composed based on what you value. You can skip to the end, but keep reading because there are many things to unveil about these two and their rivals.

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

There's a colored progress bar next to some items. It's there for you to better understand how they relate to the ones from similarly priced smartphones.

Here is their competitors' extensive list: but essentially, we're ignoring smartphones that are more than 20% cheaper or expensive.

Feel free to click any feature title to check out the best 10 phones on that for every spending plan.

Price*
vs.
Device Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Release Date 2018, August 2020, August 2y.
OS Updates 3 years 3 years 0y.
Security Updates 4 years 4 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was, on average, 33% quicker while finishing its tests. You should also consider other features, but if you value every second you save, go for this one.

Be aware that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's performance is under the pattern if you consider its rivals. About 28% below.

By the way, you can define the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as a lower high-end.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is available with the past generation's Exynos 990 processor, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 brings the Exynos 9810 processor.

About the graphics: while the first one brings a Mali-G77 MP11, the other has a Mali-G72 MP18.

The Galaxy Note 9 brings the Android 8 (Oreo) and OneUI OS from the factory, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with Android 10 and OneUI.

PS: Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (with the Adreno 630 GPU) and the Exynos 9810 (with the Mali-G72), and 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 Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
SoC Exynos 9810 Exynos 990
Graphics Mali-G72 MP18 Mali-G77 MP11
Geekbench 5 Score 1932
2561
629
OS Android 8 (Oreo) and OneUI Android 10 and OneUI
Tek-Score
5.2
6.3
1.0

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 front transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra front transparent png

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's display does stand out, and it wins by a significant margin.

While the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra got a 6.9-inch AMOLED display, the Galaxy Note 9 got a smaller AMOLED display with 6.4-inches. You'll likely have set your preferences already on the display type and size. Do you favor AMOLED screens?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra adopts a 1440x3088 Quad HD resolution. The Galaxy Note 9 features a more modest resolution of 1440x2960 (Quad HD) pixels.

No one likes to look at a shattered screen, so it's essential to know what kind of glass protection they have. The Galaxy Note 9 is shielded with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra display is preserved with the latest Gorilla Glass Victus.

One feature that I do value is the Always-On-Display, and they both have it.

If you set these displays for auto-brightness, the Galaxy Note 9 will reach 658 nits, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra goes up to 1024 nits.

Are you considering watching HDR content? The Galaxy Note 9 does HDR10, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has an HDR10+ screen.

If you're looking for high refresh rate displays, you can count on the smooth 120hz of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Bearing in mind the Galaxy Note 9, you should know that 88% of its rivals have an AMOLED screen, and 79% have an Always-On display. On the contrary, only 8% of them have over 60hz of refresh rate, and only 21% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Compared to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, all of its rivals can play HDR content and have an AMOLED screen, and 80% have an Always-On display and have Gorilla Glass 6 or better.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 6.4
6.9
0.5
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1440x2960
1440x3088
184320
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 514.33
493.80
-20.52
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch - Hole
Peak Brightness 658 nits
1024 nits
366
HDR HDR10 HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.4
9.8
1.4
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
6.6
9.9
3.4

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 back transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra back transparent png

DXOMARK's test labs concluded that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has better picture quality in its photos.

What about its shooters? Together, a 12 Megapixels sensor, an aperture of f/1.5, a 26mm wide-angle lens, one flash LED, HDR capabilities, and Optical Image Stabilization makes up the Galaxy Note 9 camera set. Adding to that, you'll still get the ability to record videos at up to 2160p.

You can also count on another 12 Megapixels camera with an aperture of f/2.4, plus a 52mm telephoto lens.

The Galaxy Note 9 has a dual aperture camera. You can choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4.

With the selfies camera, you get an 8 MP shooter, with an aperture of f/1.7 and a 25 mm wide-angle lens.

DXOMARK tested this camera and gave it a score of 99. And if you take into account its telephoto lens, it'll get 109** points. If you click here, you can check what they think of it.

I hope this helps: 88% of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more, and all have an ultra-wide-angle lens.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, in its turn, features a whopping 108 Megapixels camera with an f/1.8 aperture and a 26mm, wide-angle lens. Then it has one flash LED, HDR capabilities, and Optical Image Stabilization. It records videos at up to 4320p. There's also an extra dual sensor with 12 Megapixels (f/3.0 and an astounding 120mm telephoto lens) and 12 Megapixels (f/2.2) with a 13mm ultra-wide-angle lens, working together to give more freedom when framing shots.

Did you know? By zooming in and cropping a 108 Megapixels photo, you can get (for example) an additional 2x of optical zoom and a 27 Megapixels sample.

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.

The selfie camera has 10 MP, an f/2.2 aperture, and a 26 mm wide-angle lens.

DXOMARK has rated this camera with a score of 122. Plus, combining with the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, we'll get to the final score of 136 points. For an out-and-out review, check their article.

Winding it up, if you must know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization, and 93% feature a telephoto lens. That said, none of them feature a macro lens.

One can place the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as a high-end.

The Galaxy Note 9 still has a pretty decent 2x of optical zoom, but you can't compare it to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

The Galaxy Note 9's lens does open wide to absorb more light and enable more exposure with its wider aperture.

**Please take this with a grain of salt, particularly on mid-end cameras with less than 40MP and no zoom lens. They just revised their formula, and there aren't enough reviewed cameras to extrapolate a backward-compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Megapixels 12
108
96
Aperture 1.5
1.8
0.3
Lens 26mm
26mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 109
136
27

*Reference: 100: Huawei Mate 40 Pro.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 2.4
3.0
0.6
Lens 52mm (2x zoom)
120mm (4.6x zoom)
68
Lens Type Telephoto lens Telephoto lens
Megapixels - 12
Aperture - 2.2
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type - Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 10 14 4
Selfie Camera Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 8
10
2
Aperture 1.7
2.2
0.5
Lens 25mm 26mm 1
Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Tek-Score
6.4
8.0
1.6

Who has the best frame?

They ended up with the same score, so don't worry too much.

The Galaxy Note 9 has a height of 6.34 inches (161 mm) and a width of 2.99 inches (76 mm). The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, however, is a bit wider. Precisely 0.04 inches (1 mm) and a bit taller: 0.12 inches (3 mm).

These two have about the same thickness: 8 mm (0.32 inches).

All of that goodness is presented in a sleek glass body. The Galaxy Note 9 weighs 201 g. (7.09 oz), while its sibling is 7 g. (0.28 oz) heavier. But because this is a bit relative, the "weight to display size" score of the Galaxy Note 9 is 3.6, which means it's kind of weighty for a 6.4 inches screen. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, has 4.4, so nothing to state here.

You can have the Galaxy Note 9 in Metallic Copper, Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, Alpine White, Pure White, and Midnight Black. And you can compare that with the Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black, which comes with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

They share their size, so I hope you like 6.4/6.9" phones.

Do you value a fingerprint scanner? Both phones have one.

The Galaxy Note 9 is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters, on par with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But remember: it's for a maximum period of half an hour, and it's standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 161 x 76 x 8 mm
(5.68 x 2.68 x 0.28 in)
164 x 77 x 8 mm
(5.78 x 2.72 x 0.28 in)
3136
Weight 201 g. (7.09 oz)
208 g. (7.34 oz)
7
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Metallic Copper, Ocean Blue, Lavender Purple, Alpine White, Pure White, and Midnight Black Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black
Screen To Body Ratio 84.96%
93.17%
8.21
Disp.Size To Weight Score 3.6 4.4 0.8
Looks 9.5/10
9.1/10
-0.4
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
7.1
6.8
-0.3

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

Which has the best battery?

At 4000 mAh, the Galaxy Note 9 is the owner of the smallest battery, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features 4500 mAh. But by GSMArena's standards, there's no real difference between them.

This is what the Galaxy Note 9 delivers if you do a complete charge:

  • From 1 hour of talking, 1 hour of web browsing, and 1 hour of video playback, you'll have 82% of the battery remaining.
  • By talking for 1 hour, browsing the web for 3 hours, and playing videos for 1 hour, you'll get down to 66% left.
  • After 1 hour of talking, 1 hour of web browsing, and 3 hours of video playback, you'll be with 70%.

And these are the results for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra:

  • After 1 hour of talking, 1 hour of web browsing, and 1 hour of video playback, you'll be at 83% of the battery charge.
  • For 1 hour of talking, 3 hours of web browsing, and 1 hour of video playback, the battery charge will be about 69%.
  • After 1 hour of talking, 1 hour of web browsing, and 3 hours of video playback, the phone will have 72% left for the rest of the day.

If one of these will end up being the one, you'll have quick charging on your next phone: 15w for the Galaxy Note 9 and 25w for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

They all include wireless charging, and they charge at 5w vs. 15w. That's nice.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also supports reverse wireless charging at 4.5w/hour for Qi-enabled devices.

You should note that the wireless charging on the Galaxy Note 9 is version-dependent.

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

Battery*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Capacity (mAh) 4000 4500 500
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 70% left
72% left
2
Bat. To Phone Size Score 3.1 2.6 -0.5
Sub Tek-Score
7.3
7.5
0.2
Fast Charging 15w
25w
10
Wireless Charging 5w
15w
10
Reverse Charging No 4.5w
4.5
Tek-Score
6.3
7.2
0.9

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Clearly.

Samsung put 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage on the Galaxy Note 9. There's nothing to worry about because there's always the MicroSD card expandable storage solution.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. If you need additional storage, you can also insert a MicroSD card on it.

Storage*
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
RAM (GB) 6GB
12GB
6
Internal (GB) 128GB
256GB
128
Micro SD microSDXC (shared SIM slot) microSDXC (shared SIM slot)
Tek-Score
7.5
10.0
2.5

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

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The Galaxy Note 9 is your better option, as it features a headphone jack.

Both phones have Bluetooth 5.0, so nothing special here. You can also find NFC on both of them.

If wireless buds aren't your thing, the Galaxy Note 9 may be your only option here. Want a piece of advice? Forget about adapters and go for the wireless buds on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

You can connect the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to LTE or (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Network LTE 5G (also available in LTE)
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack Yes No
Tek-Score
8.5
4.6
-3.8

Which is more affordable?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 isn't the cheapest smartphone that you can buy. But with a great deal or a price drop, it can be an impressive finding. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, in its turn, isn't that cheap, but if it's worth it or not, it's up to you to decide. One can hope that at least it may age better.

You can check down below if it worths the extra cash.

Also, be aware that you'll have a hard time finding old phones in new condition.

Here's what we've found out:

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Reference: $598

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

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 Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS
Amazon 0.86 0.73 -0.13
eBay - 0.59 -
Best Buy - 0.77 -
Walmart 0.66 0.81 0.15

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. First, let me mention the average at their price range. They're in the ballpark of 5.9 for the Galaxy Note 9 and 7.6 for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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

Let's hope you're really looking to upgrade your Note 9, but if not, let me just say that the Note 9 (depending on the price you find) is still better than most mid-range phones.

With that said, the Note 20 Ultra will give you a bump of 35% (I was expecting more here) on performance (and much more if you get the Snapdragon variant), better glass protection, 120hz of refresh rate, a fantastic (telephoto) camera, and twice the RAM.

Obviously, you'll lose a notch-less display (if that's a thing to you), and maybe not that obvious, but you'll also lose the headphone jack.

The Note 20 Ultra does have a slightly better battery life, does charge a bit faster, and has reverse wireless charging.

Pros Galaxy Note 9 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 MicroSD Slot Fast Charging
#7 3.5mm Jack Wireless Charging
#8 MicroSD Slot
#9 Storage
#10 Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
#1 Weight Weight
#2 Price 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Galaxy Note 9 Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Gaming Score
5.8
8.4
2.5
Tek-Score
6.62
8.08
1.46
Your Score

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

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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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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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Related Comparisons


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Related Comparisons

×

Tek-Score explained

Every spec has it's own weigh on the global score.

Feature: Value
Battery Life: 1.28
Fast Charging: 0.31
Wireless Charging: 0.19
Reverse Charging: 0.08
Storage: 1.97
Performance: 1.86
Camera: 1.35
Glass protection: 1.08
Weight: 0.35
Waterproof: 0.35
AMOLED: 0.04
Always-On-Display: 0.31
DPI: 0.12
Refresh Rate: 0.04
Nits: 0.04
Notch: 0.04
Bluetooth: 0.08
NFC: 0.12
3.5mm jack: 0.19
Looks: 0.23
Total: 10

But there are a few things that I don't consider, like price, brand value, size, resell value, OS (iOS or Android), user experience, updates, RAM (included on performance), battery to phone size, display size to weight, network (LTE/5G), and biometrics.

×

Progress bars explained

#1: A big red progress bar means that this value is way below the average. In this case, it's 28.85MP, and the iPhone XR is 16.85MP below the average.

#2: In this example, the XR is just 0.36mm below the average, that's why the red bar is almost unnoticeable.

#3: On the other hand, the SE 2 is 1.8mm above (hence, the green bar) the 26.2mm of average.

#4: Performance-wise, the SE 2 is well above the average (of 2512) for its price range. That's the reason the green bar is that long.

×

"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.


 Samsung Galaxy Note 9 
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A50
    $265
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
    $269
  • ApplerivaliPhone XR
    $339
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • HuaweirivalP30 Lite
    $280
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T
    $270
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
    $290
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $388
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $327
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8 Plus
    $390
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M30s
    $300
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S9
    $294
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $340
  • RealmerivalXT
    $290
  • OnePlusrival6T
    $300
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S9 Plus
    $307
  • HuaweirivalMate 20
    $285
  • XiaomirivalMi 9 Lite
    $317
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Lite
    $365
  • XiaomirivalMi 8
    $265
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A51
    $280
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A71
    $289
  • HuaweirivalP40 Lite
    $298
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $369
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
    $350
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
    $289
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Lite
    $325
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
    $349

 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $799
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Pro
    $1049
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $900
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $849
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.SD
    $1049
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.EX
    $999
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.SD
    $1099
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $919
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalMate 40 Pro
    $1065
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
    $950
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Pro Max
    $1099
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Ultra
    $997
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $899
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Ultra
    $1079
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Battery results

The battery score is based on Gsmarena's endurance rating and is taken with a screen brightness of 200 nits and a refresh rate of 60hz.

Assumptions: The display is off during a call, there's a web page refresh every 10 seconds, and the video playback is in Airplane mode.

You can click here for more information about those tests.

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

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Nits

With regards to AMOLED screens, sometimes OEMs claim higher maximum brightness. That's because an AMOLED screen can push its brightness progressively higher as its white area gets smaller.

These values are from the lab tests made by GSMArena, and their white test pattern takes up 75% of the physical size of the screen.

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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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