DxOMark: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G’s zoom capabilities are a “disappointment”

Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, and as expected, it’s one of the best smartphones you can buy on paper. Putting aside some of its other strengths for a bit—the high refresh rate screen, Samsung’s range of native features, and so on—one of the most important aspects of a high-end smartphone is, of course, its camera(s).

A triple-camera setup is supposedly the most advanced yet for a Note, with a 12MP ultra-wide angle shooter and a 12MP periscope telephoto lens complementing a 108MP main camera. The cameras have been tested to the full extent by experts over at DxOMark, who rank the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G’s camera capabilities at number 10 for mobiles.

What’s also interesting is that, according to DxOMark’s leaderboard, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G has a worse overall camera performance than the (older) Galaxy S20 Ultra. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Despite that, DxOMark says that the Note 20 Ultra 5G is still a strong performer for the most part, and its capabilities should suffice for the average smartphone photographer.

“Samsung has consistently delivered pleasant exposure, vibrant colour, and good detail in its high-end devices, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is no exception. As such, its position in the upper ranks of our database is well deserved and most smartphone photographers will be delighted with the results.”

In general, Samsung’s phablet offers a very good Photo score of 130, and performs particularly well with vivid colour rendering, fast auto-focusing, and accurate exposure levels. You can also expect a high level of saturation for vivid photos—although noise levels in pictures are slightly higher than what some of Samsung’s other smartphones produce.

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A weakness of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G’s camera setup is the telephoto lens. Long range shots are good, although medium-range zoom shots (4x) bring up some problems: visible artifacts and a loss of texture and detail.

In general, you can expect excellent results for still images, with good exposure levels, vibrant colour, and good detail. Video performance is generally good, particularly in bright sunny settings. Just like the 4K 30 fps mode on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, there is also a good texture and noise balance, with “exceptional” levels of detail achieved.

“The main disappointment, however, is the Note20 Ultra 5G’s zoom capabilities at close and medium range, which undermine an otherwise excellent performance and prevent the device from ranking higher in the DXOMARK Camera database.”

For the full breakdown, click here.