7 features Apple should steal from Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung’s newly-unveiled Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will have to take on the iPhone 12 Pro Max after Apple launches it this autumn. And Samsung’s top-tier model handset offers five features iOS fans should hope will be in Apple’s next flagship iPhone.

But the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also has some real problems.

1. Larger screen

The largest version of the new Note has a 6.9-inch display. That’s an increase from its predecessor, which isn’t surprising. As smartphones have become such an important part of so many people’s lives, displays have grown ever larger. Watching video, like on YouTube and TikTok, has helped accelerate this trend.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max includes a generous 6.5-inch display, but numerous unconfirmed reports indicate the 2020 version will grow to a 6.7-inch screen. So apparently we won‘t have to wait long for a larger iPhone.

2. Periscope camera

A highlight of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a periscope lens. This bends light around a corner, allowing the lens to be longer, bringing significantly better optical zoom. Samsung’s new model offers a 5x zoom.

The iPhone 11 series maxes out at a 2x optical zoom. And Apple might not be able to offer better telephoto capabilities until 2022, when it will reportedly add its own periscope lenses to handsets.

3. 5G cellular-wireless networking

Samsung leapt on the 5G bandwagon early. It began offering devices with this faster form of cellular-wireless networking before there were widespread networks to support it. And the newest Note adds to its roster of 5G-capable handsets.

The replacement for 4G LTE is expected to provide faster average connection speeds, and lower latency too. These will be necessary for the next-generation apps and services that haven’t been created yet.

Apple has carefully not committed to anything yet, but it’s an open secret that the iPhone 12 will be the first iOS device with 5G.

4. Gorilla Glass

The latest handsets from Samsung use the new-and-improved version of Gorilla Glass. Its developer, Corning, promises this is much more more scratch resistant, while also being more shatter resistant than its predecessor.

For some reason, Apple never talks about using Gorilla Glass. But Corning is happy to point out that every iPhone has used this protective material, and broadly hinted the iPhone 12 series will too.

5. 120 Hz screen refresh

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the first in this series with a display that refreshes at 120 Hz, twice that of earlier models. This provides “buttery smooth visuals,” according to Samsung.

The iPad Pro series made the jump to 120 Hz back in 2017. There have been rumors that Apple will bring this feature to the 2020 iPhone too. But these unconfirmed reports aren’t coming from the most-reliable sources.

6. Apple Pencil support

The centerpiece of the Note series has always been the S Pen, a stylus for taking handwritten notes.

Some people have asked for an iPhone with support for Apple Pencil for many years. And rumors that this would be a feature of the some iOS handset surface periodically. It hasn’t happened.

Still, conditions are better than ever. As mentioned, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will sport the largest screen of any Apple handset ever. That makes hand writting notes more practical. Also, Scribble in iPadOS 14 brings true handwriting recognition. Add this to iOS and an Apple Pencil could replace the tiny iPhone keyboard.

7. Reverse wireless charging

Many Samsung handsets, including its latest, include Wireless PowerShare. This allows one device to send power to another, perhaps to give it an emergency charge.

Reverse wireless charging was widely rumored to be in the iPhone 11, and some remnants of the necessary hardware are in this device, but that’s all. An unconfirmed report indicated it was because Apple wasn’t satisfied at the charging rate. Adding this feature to future iPhones would let users easily recharge their AirPods from their handset.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features Apple shouldn’t copy

Despite having some nice features, about a decade of Apple vs. Samsung sales data indicates the upcoming iPad 12 Pro Max will solidly outsell the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. There are a handful of reasons why the new model will likely continue that trend.

The most obvious is price. Samsung’s new top tier model starts at $1,299.99. The Apple rival coming this autumn is rumored to start at $1,099. That’s $200 less.

And Apple probably shouldn’t copy the performance of this new handset either. There haven’t been time for benchmarks yet, but it’s unlikely the Qualcomm 865 Plus processor in the new Note is faster than the A13 chip in the iPhone 11 series from 2019. And the new A14 processor coming in the 2020 models is expected to blow it out of the water.