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Not loving the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series? These are the best alternatives

From Xiaomi to OnePlus and beyond, Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 series isn't the only 'big and powerful phone' game in town.
By
May 7, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra screen straight on close 2
David Imel / Android Authority
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 20 phones back in August 2020, marking the last entry in its S-Pen-toting flagship series. The phones are pretty solid on paper even today, featuring flagship chipsets (in the US, at least) at the time, plenty of internal storage, OLED screens, and triple rear camera setups.

Like the idea of these super-sized phones but don’t want to spend a lot of cash? Maybe you want to know if there are similar alternatives out there? We’ve rounded up the best Samsung Galaxy Note 20 alternatives globally.

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22 Ultra Noted Wallpaper 1
Zarif Ali / Android Authority

What better alternative to the Galaxy Note 20 series than Samsung’s newer flagships? The Galaxy S22 series shares many features with its Note counterparts, such as One UI, IP68 designs, wireless charging, and 120Hz OLED screens (except the vanilla Note 20). But if you’re looking for a true S Pen-toting alternative to the Note, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the one to get.

Our review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Unlike the S21 Ultra, the S22 Ultra not only comes with S Pen support but includes a dedicated slot for the stylus, just like the Note. The S22 Ultra is also the best of the lot, with flagship hardware, arguably better cameras, and all the RAM and storage you will need. If the S Pen isn’t the draw, the S22 Plus and vanilla S22 are also good alternatives.

2. Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro

Xiaomi 12 Pro rear panel offset left
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro brings many improvements over its predecessor and packs almost everything you’d expect from a 2022 flagship. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and comes with a new design and an improved camera to bring the fight to current high-end devices. If you are looking for a Galaxy Note 20 alternative in 2022, the Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro is worth considering.

See more: Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro review

It’s not a direct replacement, though. You won’t find an S Pen-like stylus support, and a notable miss with the latest Xiaomi flagship is the lack of an IP rating. But it’s a powerful phone with an excellent 50MP primary shooter and impressive audio performance. It’s not cheap but is one of the better flagships you can get right now.

3. OnePlus 10 Pro

oneplus 10 pro back with accessories
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

OnePlus has slowly been moving into true flagship territory with its recent releases and continues this trend with the OnePlus 10 Pro. It’s not a huge upgrade over its predecessor but comes with the necessary changes. This includes the latest processing package, a redesigned camera module with an extra camera, and the latest version of Oxygen OS.

Find out more: OnePlus 10 Pro review

Hasselblad’s software tweaks make for excellent cameras once again, and it’s as powerful and packed with features as any 2022 flagship. The unfortunate exception is an IP rating, which is exclusively available with the T-Mobile version of the phone. There’s no stylus support here, but if you’re looking for a power upgrade, the OnePlus 10 Pro is worth getting.

4. Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max display outside
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Yes, we’re an Android-focused website, but Apple’s iPhones are among the most popular smartphones, and the iPhone 13 series is pretty darn great. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is perhaps the most suitable Galaxy Note 20 alternative in Apple’s stable, offering a similarly large screen, a long-lasting battery, water resistance, and wireless charging.

Our take: iPhone 13 Pro Max review

The iPhone 13 Pro Max sports the powerful A15 Bionic processor to ensure a speedy experience. Apple’s phone also packs a few other tricks, like a flexible triple rear camera setup (12MP main, 12MP 2x telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide), Face ID, and the firm’s ecosystem of services. Apple’s commitment to updates means it’ll receive the latest software years down the line.

If you want a phone with a big screen and are curious about Apple’s platform, this is the one to check out.

5. Moto G Stylus (2022) and Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)

moto g stylus m logo
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Galaxy Note 20 series, a stylus is likely an important feature. The great news is that you don’t have to spend a thousand dollars to get this feature. At the other end of the price spectrum is the Moto G Stylus (2022), which, as the name suggests, comes with a stylus that slots into the phone’s body.

Of course, the specs aren’t going to hold a candle to the powerful Galaxy Note 20 devices, but it doesn’t have to. The Moto G Stylus (2022) comes with the Mediatek Helio G88 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a triple-camera setup led by a 50MP shooter, and a 5,000mAh battery. What makes this a great alternative is its $299 price tag.

If you have an extra $200 to spare, you can also pick up the 5G-version of the Moto G Stylus. Apart from offering superior data speeds, the 5G-capable iteration of the phone comes with a better processor, more RAM, double the storage, faster charging, a higher display refresh rate, and more camera shooting modes. It’s more expensive, but the 5G version of the Moto G Stylus 2022 is also the better of the two.


That’s it for our rundown of the best Galaxy Note 20 alternatives. Are there any other phones you’d recommend as rivals to Samsung’s new flagships? Let us know in the comments.