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Samsung Galaxy S10e vs Note 20 Ultra: Is It Upgrading Time?

author Luis Silva (October 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra isn't that affordable, but it also has better specs.

It features better performance (+23%), better glass protection, a better display, better battery life, and more internal storage (256GB vs. 128GB).

Anything else?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also gives you a higher refresh rate, larger (+1.1") display, a telephoto lens (+108 mm), faster-charging speeds (25w vs. 15w), and more RAM (12GB vs. 6GB). But the Galaxy S10e features a lightweight body (58 g./2.05 oz less) and a headphone jack.

How much more will those additional features cost me?

If you're not considering subscribing to a service provider, it'll cost you around $567 more.

Is it worth getting the Galaxy S10e in 2021?

Overall, you'll still get a pretty decent smartphone if you go for the Galaxy S10e in 2021, even more so if you can find it with a great deal. That doesn't mean you should ignore other devices like the OnePlus 8 since it has better performance, better battery life, faster charging, and more RAM.

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

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra wasn't released that long ago, so it's obviously, a top recommended device for 2021. You'll love it for its good cameras, good battery life, tons of storage, excellent glass protection, and optical zoom. It doesn't mean you can't take a quick peek at the Apple iPhone 12 Pro, though.

Just keep reading if you want to know everything about them, how they differ from their competition, and how the industry is scoring their specs.

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Samsung Galaxy S10e, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Photo by Mabel Amber from Pixabay


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While Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hit stores in August 2020, Samsung's Galaxy S10e went on sale in March 2019.

Here you can look at the Galaxy S10e and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, compare each other's features, and decide which one is best for you. Let us delve into the finer details.

The weight of each section

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

to check who their rivals are.

Device Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Release Date 2019, March 2020, August 1y.
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?

Geekbench 5 scores the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 23% ahead of its sibling in the multi-core ranking. On a day-to-day basis, it won't be that noticeable.

It's safe to say that the Galaxy S10e can be tagged as an upper mid-range and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as a lower high-end.

PS: Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (with the Adreno 640 GPU) and the Exynos 9820 (with the Mali-G76), and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ (with the Adreno 650 GPU) and the Exynos 990 (with the Mali-G77) are market-dependent. Click here for more info.

There's a performance increase of about 17% on the 855 for the Galaxy S10e and a considerable performance increase of about 20% on the 865+ for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
SoC Exynos 9820 Exynos 990
Graphics Mali-G76 MP12 Mali-G77 MP11
Geekbench 5 Score 2077
OS Android 9 (Pie) and OneUI Android 10 and OneUI

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy S10e front transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra front transparent png

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the winner here, and it should be noticeable.

If you're trying to keep your phone's display small, don't waste your time searching for other devices, and go for the Galaxy S10e. Most phones from its price range don't even come close.

About the Galaxy S10e, you should know that 81% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 94% have an AMOLED screen. On the other hand, only 25% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Considering the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, I should say that all of its rivals can play HDR content and have an AMOLED screen, 83% offer you more than 60hz of refresh rate, and 89% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 5.8
Resolution (px) 1080x2280
Refresh Rate 60hz 120hz 60
Dots per Inch 434.98
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 803 nits
1024 nits
Sub Tek-Score
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy S10e back transparent png Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra back transparent png

We can safely assume that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a better shooter.

You can find a dual aperture camera on the Galaxy S10e that allows you to choose between f/1.5 or f/2.4.

About the Galaxy S10e: Seems like DXOMARK will never review this shooter, but we don't need a crystal ball to guess the score: 113*. By including its wide-angle lens, you'll end up with a score of 119**.

I hope this helps: you'd probably like to know that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle 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: DXOMARK evaluated this camera, and here's the score: 122. And by adding the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, that score goes up to 136. You can click here to check it out.

Last (but not least), if you must know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization, and 89% feature a telephoto lens. That said, none of them feature a macro lens.

One can place the Galaxy S10e as an upper mid-range while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra leans towards the high-end.

The Galaxy S10e's lens can be great in low light conditions owing to its greater aperture.

*I do recommend DXOMARK's reviews. Unfortunately, there are lots of good cameras left out of their labs. So when I find one such shooter, I score every camera spec (like sensor size, lenses, and so on) to get a similar global score. This score should have a topmost discrepancy of 2 points.

**You should give this score a margin of error of up to 6 points, at least for phones with no zoom and up to 35 to 40MP. They moved to a new camera test protocol, and I only have few reviewed devices to deduce a compatible score.

Picture Quality*
Primary Camera Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Megapixels 12
Aperture 1.5
Lens 26mm
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 1 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 4320 2160
Score 119

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 16
Aperture 2.2
Lens 12mm 120mm (5x zoom)
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle Telephoto lens
Megapixels - 12
Aperture - 2.2
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type - Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 6 14 8
Selfie Camera Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.
Megapixels 10
Aperture 1.9
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs.

Who has the best frame?

The Galaxy S10e does have an advantage here, thanks to its weight and the number of color options.

In addition to that, the Galaxy S10e is approximately 14% smaller than the average phone for its price segment.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is 58 g. (2.29 oz) heavier than its sibling, which sits at 150 g. (5.29 oz). If you're looking for a lightweight device, the Galaxy S10e has a "weight to screen size" score of 7.8, which means it's one of the lightest phones for a 5.8 inches screen. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, in its turn, has 4.4, so nothing to state here.

The Galaxy S10e is resistant to water up to 1 to 3 meters, just like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. That should be for up to 30 minutes, on standby, and freshwater only.

Body Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Size 142 x 69 x 7 mm
(5.01 x 2.43 x 0.25 in)
164 x 77 x 8 mm
(5.78 x 2.72 x 0.28 in)
Weight 150 g. (5.29 oz)
208 g. (7.34 oz)
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Prism White, Prism Green, Prism Black, Flamingo Pink, Canary Yellow, and Prism Blue Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black
Screen To Body Ratio 85.70%
Disp.Size To Weight Score 7.8 4.4 -3.4
Looks 9.7/10
Waterproof IP68 IP68
Biometrics Side-mounted Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint

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

Which has the best battery?

The Galaxy S10e has a 3100 mAh battery, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 4500 mAh. And according to GSMArena's tests, the latter does have better battery life.

So, the Galaxy S10e doesn't have the best battery life out there, but Samsung did everything in its power to save as much "power" as possible (pun intended). That's the conclusion that we take from its "battery to phone size" rate of 7.7.

Fast wireless charging on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is likewise a nice plus. You won't find many phones as fast at about its price.

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

Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Capacity (mAh) 3100 4500 1400
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 79% left
83% left
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 61% left
69% left
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 65% left
72% left
Bat. To Phone Size Score 7.7 2.6 -5.1
Sub Tek-Score
Fast Charging 15w
Wireless Charging 15w
Reverse Charging 9w

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Clearly.

In its turn, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. Also, you'll get less RAM and less storage from most of its opponents. They'd give you around 156Gb of storage and 9Gb of RAM.

Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Internal (GB) 128GB
Micro SD microSDXC (shared SIM slot) microSDXC (shared SIM slot)

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

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

I'd go for the Galaxy S10e if you really value a headphone jack.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has two network variants: LTE or (LTE and) 5G.

Features Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Network LTE 5G (also available in LTE)
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack Yes No

Which is more affordable?

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

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Reference: $428

Samsung Galaxy S10e

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 S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS
Amazon 1.61 0.90 -0.71
eBay 1.30 0.85 -0.44
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. But first, let's see where its rivals are. They're at 6.3 (for the Galaxy S10e) and 7.3 (for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra).

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

If you're willing to pick any of these, clearly, display size doesn't matter that much to you.

While that may be the biggest difference between them, there is another significant difference here that may be the biggest hurdle, and that is the price. Unless you are considering an upgrade.

Anyways, with the Note 20 Ultra, you'll get a somewhat significant performance boost, double the refresh rate, and a much better glass protection. In addition to that, there's the picture quality and the fantastic telephoto lens.

That's not all, because you'll also get way better battery life, double then RAM and the internal storage.

The bad news is that you'll lose the headphone jack.

Pros Galaxy S10e 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 S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
#1 Weight
#2 3.5mm Jack
#3 Price
Relative Score*
Global Score Galaxy S10e Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Gaming Score
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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About me


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 S10e 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.



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 S10e 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
  • ApplerivaliPhone XR
  • OnePlusrival7
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8 Plus
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
  • HuaweirivalP30
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
  • XiaomirivalMi 9
  • ApplerivaliPhone SE 2
  • OnePlusrival8
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A71
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
  • OnePlusrivalNord
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 5G
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A52
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t Pro

 Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Pro
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.SD
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.EX
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 20 U.SD
  • GooglerivalPixel 4 XL
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
  • HuaweirivalMate 40 Pro
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Ultra
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
  • VivorivalX60 Pro

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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