Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra shows up in a leak, despite doubters

Samsung Galaxy Note
(Image credit: TechRadar)

While we were expecting just two Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phones to launch this year, we could be getting a high-specced Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra anyway, as new documents suggest.

Earlier in 2020, the three models in the Samsung Galaxy S20 line included the high-specced and high-priced S20 Ultra, so we expected one to come alongside the Note 20 line. But recently, a tipster alleged that Samsung’s stylus-packing flagships would only come in two models this year: the standard and larger Note 20 Plus. 

And yet, a new Bluetooth SIG certification appeared that mentioned the Note 20 Ultra by name, as first noticed by MySmartPrice

That certification also mentions a model number, SM-N986U, which might sound familiar, as PhoneArena points out: a Geekbench listing with that number appeared in April, which was assumed to be referring to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus 5G (especially since that lined up with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G’s number, SM-N976U). 

But now that we’ve seen a different model number associated with the Galaxy Note 20 Plus (SM-9860), and assuming Samsung’s next stylus phones are all 5G-capable like the Galaxy S20 line, we could theorize that the ‘Plus 5G’ version is, in fact, a higher-powered Ultra model. 

This does require us to connect some dots, so we’ll wait and see whether more evidence emerges that points to a Note 20 Ultra.

Note 20 Ultra: a game of rumors

If you need more reason to question the existence of another Ultra phone, just look at the last one. While we were technically impressed with the Galaxy S20 Ultra, its few advantages over the standard S20 and S20 Plus phones didn’t justify its exorbitant price hike. 

So we haven’t been too surprised hearing rumors like the latest that claims the Note 20 Plus will pack cameras which max out at 50x digital zoom – which is impressive, but they wouldn’t quite reach the absurd level of the S20 Ultra’s, which could reach 100x digital zoom. 

Of course, the rumor noted that only the Note 20 Plus would get the expansive zoom, while not specifying whether the standard Note 20 would also have it. There’s still a lot to hear about which of the lineup’s handsets get what features, so stay tuned for more leaks and rumors as we inch toward the Note 20’s expected release date later this year.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.