Each year, we hope that a new version of a phone will bring with it the latest and the best of what the mobile tech industry has to offer. However, when a new phone comes out, most people tend to jump on the latest version without a second thought. Even without objectively considering whether the new phone is an upgrade over the old one—it has happened.
There have been cases where the old phone has been better than the new model. Is such a case possible with these smartphones? To answer this, let us pit a refurbished Samsung Note 20 vs. a Samsung Note 10 and see whether bigger is always better. More importantly, let’s discuss whether new tech will always trump old tried and tested technology.
Let’s begin with why both these phones are great.
Samsung Note 20 vs. Samsung Note 10
In the true tradition of the Samsung note series phones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 was even bigger than its predecessors—the most recent Samsung Galaxy Note 10. This is also reflected in the pricing for its premium specs. A refurbished Samsung Note 20 from Phonebot costs $929 AUD, and the Note 10 starts at $569 AUD. Given the time between the releases, it is expected that the prices have gone significantly lower on the resale market. The best option to buy them as pre-loved phones is to buy the refurbished ones, and luckily there are plenty of those in the market at the moment.
The Galaxy Note 10 is thicker than the Galaxy Note 20—only just. The difference in thickness is barely noticeable, but the Note 20 has a taller, wider frame. That said, the Note 10 is the lighter of the bunch, weighing in at 6.9 ounces, while the Note 20 Ultra tips the scales at 7.33 ounces. The Note 10 has a downplayed camera bump and has a minimalistic approach to its camera array.
The note 20 has a more vivid camera array and raised bump—it is more noticeable and perhaps the first thing that the Galaxy Note 10 actually beats it at. The Note 20 uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus technology which is more robust and more scratch and shatter-resistant in contrast to the Note 10’s Gorilla Glass 6. Both models are still IP68 water-resistant, which means water resistance up to 1.5 meters for 30minutes.
Both phones sport a triple camera array, but that’s as far as the comparisons go. For the Note 20, Samsung dropped the Time-of-flight sensor in the Note 10 Plus in favor of more pixels and optical zoom. The Note 20 ultra has 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and 64 MP telephoto sensors with 8K video recording and capable of impressive optical and digital zoom abilities.
The refurbished Note 10 plus still has a mighty impressive 12MP main, 16MP ultra-wide, and 12 MP telephoto lens. While these updates may not look impressive on paper, the updated sensors bring more clarity, colors, and vibrancy to the Note 20.
The most apparent difference between these two stylus-totting phones is their screen sizes. While the Note 10 comes in with an already massive 6.3-inch screen, and the refurbished Note 20 has a 6.7-inch screen which is a little bigger than that of Galaxy S10.
The Note 20 also ditched the curved edges that have been with the Note series since the Galaxy Note 7 in favor of a flat display, but both phones have a hole punch front-facing camera sticking out in the middle of it. That said, both phones have a 60Hz screen refresh rate in contrast to the 120Hz in the Note 20 Ultra or the Galaxy S20 series.
The Galaxy Note 20 has a more than enough 4300mAh battery, and the Note 10 comes with a 3500mAh battery. Both of these are good enough for a full day on the phone on a single charge. Both phones can charge wirelessly at 25W, and both support reverses charging for other peripherals.
Processor, RAM, and OS
The Note 20 comes with Kyro 585 Octa-core processor which is top of the line whereas the Note 10 comes with Kyro 485 Octa-core processor. To some, the difference in the processor may not seem much but the difference in speeds and processing power can be seen when using the phone.
Coming to the RAM, both the Note 20 and Note 10 come with 8GB RAM which is good enough to handle multiple applications at once and store more data in the cache. This enables multitasking and helps increase productivity. The OS in both the phones in Android. A lot of brands have their own custom-modded UI which is based over Android and Samsung is no different. Samsung comes with One UI 3.x which is basically a modded Android OS design by Samsung’s engineers.
The Note 20 comes with Android 10 which can be upgraded to Android 11 whereas the Note 10 comes with Android 9.0 which can be upgraded to Android 10. In our opinion, the Android version 9 and anything above it is good enough as they are secure and packed with tonnes of features. Along with that, all the apps on the Play Store are supported by both versions!
It is expected that the new phone will beat the old one. To start with, the Galaxy Note 20 comes with a faster Snapdragon 865 plus processor compared to the Snapdragon 855 on the Galaxy Note 10. While the performance gaps will be apparent, it is expected that it will deliver better energy efficiency and a generally smoother experience all through.
It also comes with a 4G and 5G options, whereas the Note 10 only has a 4G option. This futureproofs it and makes a strong case for a long-term phone. Despite that, the Note 10 makes a strong case for itself. Both phones have 8GB RAM and will get updated to the latest Android versions for a considerable time into the future. As a refurb, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is probably the cheaper of the two given the time since release.
Likewise, it is not like the Galaxy Note 20’s upgrades leave it with a colossal performance deficit. It was the flagship of its time which means you access premium features when you buy it refurbished. Both of these phones make an excellent case for premium ‘budget’ phones in the refurbished world; hence they are a deal worth your excitement.