Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Which one should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Which one should you buy?

Samsung’s latest clamshell-style foldable phone — the Galaxy Z Flip 3 — is here. The company has hit the milestone $999 starting price tag for the smartphone, bringing it into the mainstream smartphone price range. So if you’re in the market for a new flagship-grade phone, you may be wondering whether it’s wise to go for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 or pick a conventional high-end smartphone like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. In this article, we’ll pit the Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to see which of the two is right for you.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Specifications

SpecificationSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 3Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Build
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the back
  • Armor Aluminum frame
  • IPX8 water resistance
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Glass front and back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
Dimensions & Weight
  • Folded: 72.2 x 86.4 x 17.1mm ~ 15.9mm
  • Unfolded: 72.2 x 166.0 x 6.9mm
  • 183g
  • 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
  • 213 grams
Display
  • Outer display:
    • 1.9-inch Super AMOLED
    • 250 x 512; 302 PPI
  • Inner display:
    • 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
    • 2640 x 1080; 425 PPI
    • 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • 6.9″ QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
    • 1x Kryo 680 (ARM Cortex X1-based) Prime core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 (ARM Cortex A78-based) Performance cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 (ARM Cortex A55-based) Efficiency cores @ 1.8GHz
  •  Adreno 660 GPU
  • International: Exynos 990
    • 2x Exynos M5 @ 2.7GHz
    • 2x Cortex A76 @ 2.5GHz
    • 4x Cortex A55 @ 2GHz
    • Mali G77MP11 GPU
  • USA and China: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+
    • 1x Cortex A77 @ 3.0GHz
    • 3x Cortex A77 @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Cortex A55 @ 1.8GHz
    • Adreno 650 GPU
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • 8GB/ 12GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB UFS 3.1 storage
Battery & Charging
  • 3,300mAh dual-cell battery
  • 15W wired charging
  • 10W wireless charging
  • 4.5W reverse wireless charging
  • 4,500mAh
  • 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 4.5 reverse wireless charging
Security
  • Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
  • Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 12MP wide-angle, f/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • Secondary: 12MP ultra-wide-angle, f/2.2, 123° FoV
  • Primary: 108MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Secondary: 12MP, ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm
  • Tertiary: 10MP Periscope telephoto lens, f/3.0, 240mm, 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, OIS, 5x optical zoom
Front Camera(s)10MP f/2.410MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm
Port(s)USB Type-CUSB Type-C
Audio
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos
Connectivity
  • 4X4 MIMI, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
  • SA/NSA 5G (Sub6/mmWave)
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 4X4 MIMI, 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20
  • SA/NSA 5G (Sub6/mmWave)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
SoftwareOne UI based on Android 11One UI based on Android 10
Colors
  • Phantom Black
  • Cream
  • Green
  • Lavender
  • Gray
  • White
  • Pink
  • Mystic Bronze
  • Mystic Black
  • Mystic White

Design and Display

Z Flip 3 screen

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Their design is the most significant difference between the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. While the Galaxy Z Flip 3 uses a clamshell form factor with a foldable main screen and an additional cover screen, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a traditional smartphone with a single screen.

In its unfolded state, the height of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is just over one millimeter more than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra; otherwise, the foldable phone is lighter and slimmer than the Note. Additionally, it becomes much smaller than the Note 20 Ultra in its folded state.

Coming to the display specifications, the flexible screen of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is 6.7-inches in size, and you get an AMOLED panel with full-HD+ resolution. The secondary cover screen is 1.9 inches and carries 260 x 512 pixels resolution. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, features a 6.9-inch Quad-HD+ AMOLED display. The Note 20 Ultra display is bigger and richer.

While the Galaxy Note 20 Pro Ultra has an advantage in its display resolution, many consumers will probably be ready to sacrifice the higher-resolution screen for the foldable form factor.

SoC, RAM, Storage, and S Pen

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with the S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with the S Pen

Samsung has packed Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 (S888) SoC in the Galaxy Z Flip 3, paired with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB onboard storage. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a Snapdragon 865+ SoC (or an Exynos 990 in international markets), which is a year older than the Snapdragon 888 but still quite powerful. Additionally, you’ll get 12GB RAM on the 5G model and 8GB RAM on the LTE model of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, paired with up to 512GB onboard storage.

There won’t be a massive difference in the performance of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a feature you won’t get on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 — S Pen support. Like all Note-series phones, it comes with an S Pen in tow that you can use to sketch, annotate, take notes, and do several other tasks.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Cameras

Z Flip 3 cover screen as viewfinder

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

You’ll find two rear cameras — a 12MP primary wide-angle shooter and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle shooter — on the Galaxy Z Flip 3. There’s a 10MP selfie camera onboard as well. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with a 108MP primary wide-angle camera, 12MP ultra-wide-angle shooter, and a 12MP telephoto camera. There’s a 10MP selfie present on the Note as well.

Samsung is known for packing great quality cameras in its flagship smartphones, so you’ll get fantastic photos from both Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But the Note 20 Ultra has more camera options, like the telephoto shooter; some consumers may appreciate that.

Battery and Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra beats the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in a big way on the battery front. There is a 4,500mAh battery in the Note 20 Ultra, whereas you’ll get a total capacity of just 3,300mAh with the Z Flip 3. So while the Note will be able to last you about two days on a single charge, you’ll only get a day’s worth of backup on the foldable smartphone.

In terms of connectivity options, both phones are pretty much on the same level. There’s 5G support, Wi-Fi 6, and NFC. Additionally, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra packs Bluetooth 5.0, and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 comes with Bluetooth 5.1.

OS and Android Updates

Z Flip 3 in flex mode

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 runs Android 11 out of the box with One UI. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was launched with Android 10 onboard but has since received the Android 11 update. Additionally, Samsung has promised three years of Android updates and four years of security updates for both smartphones.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, being a year-old smartphone, has already received its first year of Android and security updates. Apart from that, both phones are on the same level in terms of software.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Pricing and Color Options

samsung galaxy note 20 ultra s pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 starts at $999 in the US, whereas the Note 20 Ultra is available starting at $1,200. E-retailers like Amazon are selling the Note 20 Ultra at around $950, though.

In terms of colors, Samsung offers seven exciting colors — Cream, Green, Lavender, Phantom Black, Gray, White, and Pink — for the Z Flip 3. The Note 20 Ultra, on the other hand, can only be bought in three colors — Mystic Bronze, Mystic White, and Mystic Black.

Conclusion

Being flagship-level devices, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are pretty well placed on the hardware and software level. So the decision to pick one of these two rests on your wish to opt for a foldable device. While Samsung has been improving the hardware of foldable phones with each generation, they are still more delicate than traditional phones.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also has a few advantages in S Pen support, a bigger battery, and a higher resolution screen. But if you want to get a foldable device, none of these are deal-breakers apart from probably the S Pen support. For S Pen support, Samsung offers the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

    Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
    The Galaxy Flip 3 is Samsung’s new clamshell-style foldable phone. It features a 6.7 inch 120Hz flexible screen and Snapdragon 888 SoC.
    Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
    The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is Samsung’s 2020 flagship. Even a year later, it is still a pretty powerful smartphone.

Which of the two phones are you planning to buy? Let us know in the comments section. Meanwhile, if you’re buying the Galaxy Z Flip 3, check out our best Galaxy Z Flip 3 deals article to find offers on the phone. Also, we’ve compiled the best cases for the phone to help you protect it.

About author

Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav has been covering technology for over a decade now. He has done everything from blogging about Android to reporting the latest from the world of Internet giants. When he is not writing about the tech companies, he can be found binge-watching new TV series on the web.