Recently famous tech review channel "Unbox Therapy" posted a first impressions unboxing video of the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.
While comparing the 2 devices he happened to noticed when comparing the 2 models that the display of the ULTRA was way LESS vivid and LESS bright than the STANDARD Note 20.
He confirmed both phones were set to 100% brightness, both had adaptive brightness OFF, both were set to "Vivid" Screen Mode, and both had the white point in the center.
You can view the video and see the difference yourself in the video here....
Go to time stamp 8:50 if you just want to jump right when he realizes the display difference between them, and starts to troubleshoot this strange difference.
I was planning on potentially preordering the Note 20 Ultra so this really bothered me since I prefer a Vivid display. It shows on video he checked every setting except "Adaptive Color Filter" and "Enhanced Video." So I went to look at the Note 20 Ultra in the store to check the phone myself.
My Testing and Results
So I went to Best Buy and they had both the Note 20 & Note 20 Ultra on display.
Bad news... SAME exact results that Lew from Unbox Therapy had. See the pictures of all settings and testing I did below.
In all pictures the Note 20 Ultra is on the Left, the Standard Note 20 on the Right.
Brightness at Max for both displays, and Adaptive Brightness disabled for both devices, and Blue Light Filter disabled for both devices, and both devices set to Vivid mode.
Adaptive Color was also disabled on both devices.
Adaptive Color Filter
Notice the Standard Note 20 on the right has a brighter white point.
White Balance Comparison
This is a 4K UHD wallpaper I downloaded onto both devices. It's the exact same image from the same website. Notice that the Standard Note 20 on the right has more Vivid looking colors with better contrast.
After spending literally 30+ minutes standing there playing around with both phones, it seems the brightness is pretty close to the same on both. But the Standard Note 20 did seem to have a slight edge on 100% brightness. However the main big difference is the Standard Note 20 has more Vivid colors and Higher Contrast.
I do not think this is because the Note 20 Ultra display is not able to produce colors and contrast as Vivid as the Regular Note 20. I believe it just has to do with the display calibration in the hard coded software of the Ultra that is causing the colors to be more Natural than Vivid.
I came to the conclusion it was a software issue when I was watching the same YouTube video on both displays (Video Enhancer was disabled for both devices), and when playing the video the Ultra suddenly kicked into a more Vivid mode making it look nearly identical to the Regular Note.
Then when closing out of the video and to the YouTube home page it went back to a more Natural color and less contrast mode. Of course that was strange since video enhancer was disabled for both devices.
So this proves the display is capable of being Vivid with High Contrast, but just something in software that Samsung needs to calibrate in the Ultra model. Or maybe worse... potentially this was intentional by Samsung to help preserve battery since it is a 120hz display?
So Samsung needs to.... 1.) Crank up the Vividness of the Vivid mode to at least be Equal to the Standard Note and 2.) Fix video enhancement from turning on during YouTube videos when it's disabled in settings.
I hope that they push out a early release software update to fix the Vivid color profile on the Ultra. This is technically preproduction software so it COULD change with a software update, but there's of course no guarantee Samsung will fix this.
So if you prefer a Vivid display that Samsung is typically known for, then this is important to keep in mind. Also be aware I noticed there is only 2 screen modes on the Note 20 Ultra for Natural and Vivid. However on my S10 Plus there is 4 different Screen Modes. So hopefully Samsung adds more Screen Modes to the Note 20 Ultra.
What is everyone's thoughts on this? Would this be a deal breaker for you on a $1,300 phone if the Vivid Colors and Contrast is noticeably less when compared to your current phone? or do you prefer a more natural less vivid display?
Also another professional tech reviewer Lisa from MobileTechReview has also stated the display has less vivid colors than other Galaxy phones in her first impressions video here...
She said she believes this to be intended because the display is set to be more natural. However I do not think that is intended because on Samsung's website for the Note 20 Ultra it says "Galaxy's Brightest Most Vivid Display."
This is very strange and disappointing for anyone who likes vivid displays. I like to set my display to either vivid or natural, but it just depends on what I am doing on the phone at that moment.
I 100% agree with you!
I just got my device yesterday. The display is definitely less vivid which I, unfortunately, do not like. I compared it with my note 10 plus side by side as well as played same exact videos and note 10 plus display is much more vivid and colors pop. I just prefer the vivid colors and punchier display as prior Note Displays and phones. I really hope Samsung comes up with a fix/update and allows for a more vivid/punchier display option for those that desire. I may return this device before the 30 days if no fix soon. I see now what Unbox Therapy YouTube Channel was talking about. I think this maybe a bid deal for a lot of users. This could have been an almost perfect phone.
I hope Samsung notices this and fixes it soon.