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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra- Which One Provides Better Value?

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

There is an ongoing debate about whether you should buy the newer Note 20 or the older S20 Ultra. Which one provides better value?

In this article, I will pit these smartphones to find out which is truly the one to get. This is a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra battle to see which one you should ultimately go for.

Design

When you look at them on the surface, both the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra look virtually identical to each other. The only difference here is if you hold each of the devices as you will find that the S20 Ultra is a bit wider and a bit heavier than the Note 20 Ultra.

You should also keep in mind that because the Note 20 Ultra comes with the S-Pen, there is also a receptacle for it on the phone itself. This should not, in any way, interfere with how you handle the phone as the cutout for the S-Pen is well-crafted.

Winner: Tie

Display

Both of the Ultra phones from Samsung are amazing when it comes to a media consumption standpoint.

They both sport a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, aspect ratio of 20:9, and ppi density of 551 pixels per inch.

You get incredible levels of detail in such a small device, though most users would be hard-pressed to know any difference between a 1080p and a 1440p display.

Both of them are bright and vibrant and you will have no problems using either of them even under the heat of the sun.

The Note 20 Ultra and the S20 Ultra also have 120 Hz displays which means that if you intend to play your favorite Android games, you can do so while also enjoying smoother gameplay than your run-of-the-mill smartphone.

Winner: Tie

Performance

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 2020

When it comes to performance, both of the said devices are actually quite on par with each other. That is because you get either a version with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor or the company’s own Exynos 990 chip.

For those of you wondering what configuration you are going to get, if you are in the USA, you are always going to get the Qualcomm version of these devices.

If you are anywhere else in the world, you are most likely going to get the Exynos version, though there might be some sellers that will also offer you the Qualcomm version as well.

In most performance benchmarks, they perform admirably well with a slight performance advantage leaning toward the Qualcomm SoC. This is also evident in battery performance as well as the Qualcomm chip lasts longer than those that are equipped with the Exynos variant.

While you can get both phones with 12GB of RAM, the S20 Ultra has a minor performance improvement if you are going to get the 16GB version.

It is also worth noting that the S20 Ultra also has three storage options to choose from as opposed to the two that are on the Note 20 Ultra line.

For the S20 Ultra, you can choose from 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB options, while on the Note 20 Ultra, you only get either 256GB or 512GB.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Camera

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Pink

Most people value cameras more than anything on a smartphone and those that are thinking of getting the S20 Ultra might be doing so for its amazing 108-megapixel main sensor.

Well, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also has a 108-megapixel sensor, but their differences lie on their other cameras at the back.

On the S20 Ultra, aside from getting the 108-megapixel main shooter, you also get a 48-megapixel Telephoto lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 0.3-megapixel time-of-flight depth sensor with a 40MP selfie camera on the front.

For the Note 20 Ultra, you are getting the aforementioned 108-megapixel sensor, as well as a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and just a 10-megapixel selfie camera.

On paper, you might be thinking that the S20 Ultra wins this one and it does so in some areas, especially when it comes to its better telephoto lens.

You see, the S20 Ultra is capable of giving you 100x digital zoom, but this is more of a gimmick than actually a useful feature since the resulting photos are grainy beyond belief.

While the Note 20 Ultra’s camera array is modest when compared to the S20 Ultra, in real-world use, it is actually so much better.

The periscope lens, as well as its Night Mode feature, makes using the Note 20’s cameras so much better in all lighting conditions.

Seriously, both of them have really good cameras, but if you were to choose only the best in real-world scenarios, I would lean more towards the newer device.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Notable Features

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with an S-Pen as is customary with the other ‘Note’ devices from the company in the years past. The S20 Ultra doesn’t have the S-Pen, so from a content creation standpoint, the Note 20 Ultra wins.

Both of them are 5G phones which means that they support all 5G connectivity bands. If you live in the U.S, you will be happy to know that it also supports the 5G mmWave, which is touted to be the fastest 5G band in existence.

It is also worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the first smartphone of its kind to have a default streaming capability to Xbox platforms. This is a really huge step forward from a mobile gaming standpoint and one that is welcome on a reputable company’s device.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Software

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Both of the phones are running a custom-skinned version of Android 10. That is because both the Note 20 Ultra and the S20 Ultra are using the company’s One UI 2. It is a pretty good custom overlay and a lot of people have no problems using it.

Since both of these phones are flagship devices, you can expect at least 3 years of software development updates and support, which means that you can install the latest versions of Android for at least 3 years straight.

However, keep in mind that since this is not a Google device, per se, updates will be a little bit late for both of these devices.

I would also go on to say that I love how the company provides stability and performance improvement for both of these devices, especially when it comes to the cameras.

Winner: Tie

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 5,000 mAh battery while the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra only comes with a 4,500 battery capacity. While 500 mAh may seem insignificant to some, that actually translates to real-world performance as well.

I do have the say that when it comes to wireless charging, both of these devices can run fine and since it supports Samsung’s Fast Charge 2.0, you can get a 15-watt charger and both of these things should support that standard.

For this round, I will give the win to the S20 Ultra.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 2020

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 3200 x 1440 resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 511 ppi
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus (US), Exynos 990 (Global)
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI 2.1
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, expandable w/ microSD card
  • Cameras: 108-megapixel main sensor, 12-megapixel telephoto, 12-megapixel ultra-wide; 10-megapixel front camera
  • Video Support: 8K at 24 fps, 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+ certified
  • Features: S-Pen, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G connectivity, wireless charging, IP68 rating
  • Battery: 4500 mAh, 25-watt charger included, Qi Wireless charging-enabled (15W)
  • Colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic White
  • Size: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
  • Weight: 208 grams

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

  • Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 3200 x 1440 resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 511 ppi
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus (US), Exynos 990 (Global)
  • RAM: 12GB or 16GB
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI 2.1
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, expandable w/ microSD card
  • Cameras: 108-megapixel main sensor, 48-megapixel telephoto, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 0.3-megapixel time-of-flight depth sensor; 40-megapixel selfie camera
  • Video Support: 8K at 24 fps, 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+ certified
  • Features: Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G connectivity, wireless charging, IP68 rating
  • Battery: 5000 mAh, 45-watt charger included, Qi Wireless charging-enabled (15W)
  • Colors: Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, Cloud White
  • Size: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm
  • Weight: 220 grams

Conclusion

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are competitive mobile devices, especially in 2020.

They have high refresh rate displays, vivid and bright screens, hefty batteries, highly competitive cameras, and batteries that can last more than a day.

However, if you are looking for a winner, I would lean more towards the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

It has an S-Pen which is great from a creativity and productivity standpoint. Its camera array actually provides more value in the real-world than the S20 Ultra’s gimmicky 100x zoom feature.

I also love the fact that the Note 20 Ultra, at least when comparing their introductory prices, is priced $200 cheaper than the S20 Ultra. The Note 20 is offered at $1,200 and the S20 Ultra was offered at $1400.

Both of these phones are amazing, but if you were to choose, go get the newer Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.

You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.

That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!

Design

For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.

Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.

With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.

For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.

On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.

At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.

Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.

This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.

Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.

Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.

Smart Features

Google Nest Audio

To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.

The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.

On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.

It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.

However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.

Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.

Availability

The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.

You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.

Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.

Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.

There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.

Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.

You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).

What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: A12 Bionic
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB/128GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 32.4 Wh

So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.

While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.

Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.

Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games

Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.

It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.

However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.

My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.

If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.

The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.

Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra- Which One Provides Better Value?

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

There is an ongoing debate about whether you should buy the newer Note 20 or the older S20 Ultra. Which one provides better value?

In this article, I will pit these smartphones to find out which is truly the one to get. This is a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra VS Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra battle to see which one you should ultimately go for.

Design

When you look at them on the surface, both the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra look virtually identical to each other. The only difference here is if you hold each of the devices as you will find that the S20 Ultra is a bit wider and a bit heavier than the Note 20 Ultra.

You should also keep in mind that because the Note 20 Ultra comes with the S-Pen, there is also a receptacle for it on the phone itself. This should not, in any way, interfere with how you handle the phone as the cutout for the S-Pen is well-crafted.

Winner: Tie

Display

Both of the Ultra phones from Samsung are amazing when it comes to a media consumption standpoint.

They both sport a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, aspect ratio of 20:9, and ppi density of 551 pixels per inch.

You get incredible levels of detail in such a small device, though most users would be hard-pressed to know any difference between a 1080p and a 1440p display.

Both of them are bright and vibrant and you will have no problems using either of them even under the heat of the sun.

The Note 20 Ultra and the S20 Ultra also have 120 Hz displays which means that if you intend to play your favorite Android games, you can do so while also enjoying smoother gameplay than your run-of-the-mill smartphone.

Winner: Tie

Performance

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 2020

When it comes to performance, both of the said devices are actually quite on par with each other. That is because you get either a version with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor or the company’s own Exynos 990 chip.

For those of you wondering what configuration you are going to get, if you are in the USA, you are always going to get the Qualcomm version of these devices.

If you are anywhere else in the world, you are most likely going to get the Exynos version, though there might be some sellers that will also offer you the Qualcomm version as well.

In most performance benchmarks, they perform admirably well with a slight performance advantage leaning toward the Qualcomm SoC. This is also evident in battery performance as well as the Qualcomm chip lasts longer than those that are equipped with the Exynos variant.

While you can get both phones with 12GB of RAM, the S20 Ultra has a minor performance improvement if you are going to get the 16GB version.

It is also worth noting that the S20 Ultra also has three storage options to choose from as opposed to the two that are on the Note 20 Ultra line.

For the S20 Ultra, you can choose from 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB options, while on the Note 20 Ultra, you only get either 256GB or 512GB.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Camera

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Pink

Most people value cameras more than anything on a smartphone and those that are thinking of getting the S20 Ultra might be doing so for its amazing 108-megapixel main sensor.

Well, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also has a 108-megapixel sensor, but their differences lie on their other cameras at the back.

On the S20 Ultra, aside from getting the 108-megapixel main shooter, you also get a 48-megapixel Telephoto lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 0.3-megapixel time-of-flight depth sensor with a 40MP selfie camera on the front.

For the Note 20 Ultra, you are getting the aforementioned 108-megapixel sensor, as well as a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and just a 10-megapixel selfie camera.

On paper, you might be thinking that the S20 Ultra wins this one and it does so in some areas, especially when it comes to its better telephoto lens.

You see, the S20 Ultra is capable of giving you 100x digital zoom, but this is more of a gimmick than actually a useful feature since the resulting photos are grainy beyond belief.

While the Note 20 Ultra’s camera array is modest when compared to the S20 Ultra, in real-world use, it is actually so much better.

The periscope lens, as well as its Night Mode feature, makes using the Note 20’s cameras so much better in all lighting conditions.

Seriously, both of them have really good cameras, but if you were to choose only the best in real-world scenarios, I would lean more towards the newer device.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Notable Features

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes with an S-Pen as is customary with the other ‘Note’ devices from the company in the years past. The S20 Ultra doesn’t have the S-Pen, so from a content creation standpoint, the Note 20 Ultra wins.

Both of them are 5G phones which means that they support all 5G connectivity bands. If you live in the U.S, you will be happy to know that it also supports the 5G mmWave, which is touted to be the fastest 5G band in existence.

It is also worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the first smartphone of its kind to have a default streaming capability to Xbox platforms. This is a really huge step forward from a mobile gaming standpoint and one that is welcome on a reputable company’s device.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Software

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Both of the phones are running a custom-skinned version of Android 10. That is because both the Note 20 Ultra and the S20 Ultra are using the company’s One UI 2. It is a pretty good custom overlay and a lot of people have no problems using it.

Since both of these phones are flagship devices, you can expect at least 3 years of software development updates and support, which means that you can install the latest versions of Android for at least 3 years straight.

However, keep in mind that since this is not a Google device, per se, updates will be a little bit late for both of these devices.

I would also go on to say that I love how the company provides stability and performance improvement for both of these devices, especially when it comes to the cameras.

Winner: Tie

Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 5,000 mAh battery while the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra only comes with a 4,500 battery capacity. While 500 mAh may seem insignificant to some, that actually translates to real-world performance as well.

I do have the say that when it comes to wireless charging, both of these devices can run fine and since it supports Samsung’s Fast Charge 2.0, you can get a 15-watt charger and both of these things should support that standard.

For this round, I will give the win to the S20 Ultra.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 2020

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 3200 x 1440 resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 511 ppi
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus (US), Exynos 990 (Global)
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI 2.1
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, expandable w/ microSD card
  • Cameras: 108-megapixel main sensor, 12-megapixel telephoto, 12-megapixel ultra-wide; 10-megapixel front camera
  • Video Support: 8K at 24 fps, 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+ certified
  • Features: S-Pen, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G connectivity, wireless charging, IP68 rating
  • Battery: 4500 mAh, 25-watt charger included, Qi Wireless charging-enabled (15W)
  • Colors: Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, Mystic White
  • Size: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm
  • Weight: 208 grams

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

  • Display: 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED, 3200 x 1440 resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 511 ppi
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus (US), Exynos 990 (Global)
  • RAM: 12GB or 16GB
  • Operating System: Android 10, One UI 2.1
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, expandable w/ microSD card
  • Cameras: 108-megapixel main sensor, 48-megapixel telephoto, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 0.3-megapixel time-of-flight depth sensor; 40-megapixel selfie camera
  • Video Support: 8K at 24 fps, 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+ certified
  • Features: Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G connectivity, wireless charging, IP68 rating
  • Battery: 5000 mAh, 45-watt charger included, Qi Wireless charging-enabled (15W)
  • Colors: Cosmic Black, Cosmic Grey, Cloud White
  • Size: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm
  • Weight: 220 grams

Conclusion

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are competitive mobile devices, especially in 2020.

They have high refresh rate displays, vivid and bright screens, hefty batteries, highly competitive cameras, and batteries that can last more than a day.

However, if you are looking for a winner, I would lean more towards the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

It has an S-Pen which is great from a creativity and productivity standpoint. Its camera array actually provides more value in the real-world than the S20 Ultra’s gimmicky 100x zoom feature.

I also love the fact that the Note 20 Ultra, at least when comparing their introductory prices, is priced $200 cheaper than the S20 Ultra. The Note 20 is offered at $1,200 and the S20 Ultra was offered at $1400.

Both of these phones are amazing, but if you were to choose, go get the newer Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers

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Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo

Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.

You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.

That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!

Design

For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.

The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.

Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.

With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.

For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.

On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.

At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.

Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.

Sound Quality

Amazon Echo

If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.

This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.

Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.

Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.

Smart Features

Google Nest Audio

To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.

The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.

On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.

It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.

However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.

Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.

Availability

The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade

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Apple iPad 8th Generation Review

When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.

That being said, the 8th generation iPad was just released after the new iOS 14 update was launched. But, if you already have a 6th or 7th generation iPad, should you upgrade to the new one?

Design

Apple iPad 8th Generation Review 2020

There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.

You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.

Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.

Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.

There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.

Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.

Display

Apple iPad 8th Gen

The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.

You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).

What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: A12 Bionic
  • GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB/128GB
  • Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Battery: 32.4 Wh

So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.

While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.

Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.

Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games

Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.

It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.

Apple iPad 8th Gen Review

Verdict

Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.

However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.

My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.

If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.

The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.

Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.

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Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes

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Amazon Echo Studio Review

Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.

It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.

Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?

Design

One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.

The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.

You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.

Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.

Audio Performance

Amazon Echo Studio Review 2020

The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.

I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.

Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.

An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.

So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.

3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.

I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.

To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.

The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.

You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.

Features

Amazon Echo Studio

Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.

Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball. 

For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.

You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.

You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.

Conclusion

Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.

The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.

You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.

Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?

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