[This is a paid review with Samsung.]
Now that most offices in KL and Selangor are in MCO, we’d have to all stay at home once again to work, play, and for some, exercising from home.
But I did find myself lacking in new games to play lately, and the itch to try out a new game did get a little overwhelming.
Luckily for me, I was given a unit of the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G to review, so I thought to review the phone based on a mobile gamer’s perspective.
Coincidentally, Genshin Impact has just launched not too long ago, and from the reviews that I’ve seen, it had Zelda: Breath of The Wild-like gameplay. So I was definitely intrigued.
Exynos VS Snapdragon
One of the hotly discussed aspects of the phone, the Galaxy Note20 5G comes equipped with an Exynos 990 processor. Yes, it is different from the Snapdragon 865+ variant that the USA or Korea received, and it is still a powerful processor.
According to Antutu, a popular benchmarking software, the Snapdragon variant offers only a 6% increase in terms of CPU performance.
I tested it on my own and you can see the benchmarks I achieved below.
Using the phone as my daily driver, I ran into 0 issues when it comes to playing games or browsing the net. The Samsung One UI is still one of my favourite Android UI, bar the Pixel’s. So far, I’ve not encountered any lags while switching between games to replying to messages.
It is still a zippy phone.
The Display Is Still Gorgeous
One thing for gamers to note: the Galaxy Note20 5G only comes with a 60Hz refresh rate. However, this doesn’t mean it’s unusable.
The phone is still packaged with a gorgeous 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus with HDR10+ display. The colour reproduction is still spot on. I personally am a little biased when it comes to Samsung colours so there’s that.
Binging on my favourite shows on YouTube and Netflix was no issue, even under the bright sun as the display does get fairly bright, albeit not as bright as the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G.
Unlike the Ultra, the Galaxy Note20 5G comes with a flat display, which is great as I didn’t enjoy using a phone with curved edges.
And if you’re a mobile gamer, curved edges do tend to get annoying and it could cause miss-clicks, so a flat display is a benefit to me.
In terms of gaming, I tested the phone with Genshin Impact on just 30FPS and it maintained fairly well with no hiccups. I did try out the 60FPS version of the game and it worked smoothly.
A Sufficient Battery Life
The phone does come with a 4,300 mAh battery which should last you a day or more, but if you’re a heavy mobile gamer, the phone will need topping up every now and then.
To put the battery to the test, I left the phone on at about 88% before I went to bed, with Masketeers running. By the time I woke up, the battery was at 43% and the screen had been on for about 7 hours.
So if you were to let your idle game continue running overnight onscreen, you’ll still have enough juice left to keep it running for at least half a day.
You Don’t Have To Be A Gamer
Unlike most gaming phones out there, if you do opt to get this phone you’re not just getting a good mobile phone to game on, you’ll also be getting the S Pen which can be helpful in many instances as well.
I recently shifted my bedroom to see if I could make a better sleeping arrangement and to see if I could fit my desk in the room. I could take a picture in Panorama, then draw up a blueprint for the room and check to see if there’s any better way I could fit my table in.
If needed, the S Pen could also be used to take notes and using the Samsung Notes app, you could even straighten handwriting if you have cakar ayam (bad handwriting) like me.
The camera is no slouch as well. While I must say the camera notch is slightly raised, but it is still usable on the table without issues. I managed to take some sample shots even during MCO to showcase the camera’s capability.
My experience with the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G was a pleasant one and I do believe this phone will still attract attention, especially for those who love the S Pen but do not want a big phone like the Ultra variant.
It is a good daily driver, and I do personally like the feel of the back of the phone, it has a much better grip compared to the metal and glass counterparts.