The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra fails to surpass the Galaxy S20 Ultra on DxOMark
Samsung has never marketed its Galaxy Note line of phones for its camera prowess. However, it would be rather shameful if a near US$-1,500 smartphone came with underwhelming camera setup. While the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's cameras claim to build upon and correct some of the Galaxy S20 Ultra's faults, its DxOMark score seems to suggest otherwise.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra netted an overall score of 121 (130 for photos and 101 for videos) on DxOMark, one point less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which scored 122 (132/100 for photos/video). The Galaxy S20 Ultra was heavily criticized for its autofocus issues. It appears that they persist on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra even though Samsung used an entirely new sensor on its H2 2020 flagship. Another avenue where Samsung's smartphone cameras have fallen flat is low-light photography, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does little to change that. While some of these issues can be fixed partially via software updates, Samsung needs to go back to the drawing board if it wants to breach DxOMark's top five list, which is currently populated by Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi.
However, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's camera isn't all bad. DxOMark notes that its wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses are one of the best on the market. Its dynamic range and color accuracy are pretty spot-on as well. Older Samsung cameras have been notorious for oversaturating images to make them look prettier. Thankfully, that isn't the case with newer devices.
DxOMark's meticulous testing methodology has experts pore through thousands of images shot in a variety of environments. However, a 'bad' score isn't always indicative of how the smartphone's cameras will perform under lighting conditions outside of the test environments. Unlike synthetic benchmarks that stress mobile SoCs in the same way, camera benchmarks are a lot more complicated. Despite the Galaxy Note Ultra's somewhat 'underwhelming' score, DxOMark concludes by saying that it is still capable of delivering high-quality photos and videos.