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Common Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra problems and how to fix them

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are two of the very best Android smartphones you can buy right now. They feature powerful processors, versatile cameras, massive batteries, beautiful screens, and great all-round performance. Of course, technology being what it is, they may sporadically encounter issues. We run through the most common Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra problems, explaining why they most likely arise and outlining what exactly you need to do in order to resolve them.

As with most smartphones, certain problems can often be resolved quickly by installing a new software update (if one is available). As a last resort, you can also try performing a factory reset, but this should be tried only if you’ve exhausted all other possible solutions.

Problem: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra not connecting to network properly

More than a few people have reported their Note 20 Ultra is having cellular network connection issues. In most cases, users fail to get any kind of cellular network signal, although others report having a connection at one point but then losing it.

It’s very hard to say what exactly is causing this problem, although in many cases, it does appear to be a hardware/phone issue rather than one affecting the mobile network. One forum user based in the U.K. reported having this issue with the model of the phone that runs on an Exynos 990 chip, but it then disappeared after he replaced it for the model with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. However, users in the United States (where Snapdragon 865 models are sold) have also reported the same issue, so we’re not sure that it has much to do with the Exynos 990.

Possible solutions:

  • Try restarting the phone. This has worked for some users.
  • Try turning off Wi-Fi Calling off you have this setting switched on. Go to Phone > More > Settings > Wi-Fi Calling.
  • Clear your Note 20 Ultra’s cache. You can do this by booting up your phone in recovery mode.
  • If possible, try a different SIM card and/or network on your phone. This may help determine whether you have a phone or network issue on your hands.
  • Switch from 5G to 4G. Go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks > Network Mode > 4G/3G/2G (Auto Connect).
  • Reset the Access Point Names for your network. Go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names > More > Reset to Default.

Assuming that none of these actions work for you, you should try contacting Samsung and asking for either a repair or a replacement. As always, also check for a software update.

Issue: Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra overheating

This is a problem that tends to affect pretty much every smartphone, but it seems a touch more common with the Note 20 Ultra, if only because of its higher output. Overheating particularly appears to be a problem when using the Camera app, with users complaining that using the camera for more than a few minutes can really raise the phone’s temperature.

Few users (if any) of the Samsung Community forum have reported clear solutions to this issue, with some suggesting that it’s a problem inherent to the Exynos 990 processor. However, here are a few things you can try that tend to work with other Android devices with similar heating problems.

Possible solutions:

  • Avoid overusing the phone in high temperatures and/or direct sunlight. This can really incite any tendencies it may have to overheat.
  • Do not film video in 8K or 4K for too long. Take breaks if you need to shoot longer stretches of 8K/4K footage, or try filming only in 1080p.
  • Erase battery-draining apps from your Note 20 (Ultra). This includes apps that promise to enhance performance or battery life, as well as apps that tend to run in the background. Social media apps (Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Tinder) are often big offenders in this respect, so get rid of any you no longer use.
  • Try clearing the cache for any app you believe may be causing the overheating. To do this, go to Settings > Apps > [App] > Storage > Clear Cache.
  • Some users recommend wiping your phone’s system cache (via recovery mode) or even performing a factory reset if the problem doesn’t resolve itself. However, make sure you back up your phone before performing a factory reset.

As ever, you should contact Samsung and/or the seller of your phone if problems persist even after trying all of the steps above.

Issue: Autofocus not working properly

A fairly large number of users have found that the autofocus of the Note 20 Ultra’s main camera lens (and to a lesser extent, the Note 20’s) doesn’t always work properly. Many note that the autofocus doesn’t focus automatically as it should, and that resulting pictures tend to be less than 100% clear. Some also report that this problem is particularly acute when taking close-up photos of objects.

This issue likely comes from a combination of hardware and software niggles. For one, the lack of a macro lens may have something to do with the difficulty in taking perfectly clear close-ups, yet it’s also apparent that some kind of image-processing problem is going on with non-close-ups.

As such, we expect this to be something Samsung will iron out with future software updates, so always check to see if an update is available. Otherwise, you can try the following workarounds.


  • Close and then reopen the Camera app.
  • Try clearing the Camera app’s cache. Go to Settings > Apps > Camera > Storage > Clear Cache.
  • Try switching to Video and then back to Photo. Some users report that this gets autofocus working again.
  • If taking a close-up, trying moving your phone away from the subject. Try to use the periscope telephoto lens from a distance if you want a close-up rather than the main wide lens close to your subject.
  • Some users have reported that shaking their Note 20 (Ultra) can kickstart the autofocus. If you try this, make sure not to do it too vigorously.
  • Try cleaning the lens with a microfiber cloth.

Issue: Battery draining fast on Note 20 and Note Ultra

Given that they can operate at such high capacities, it’s probably no surprise to hear that some users have complained of their batteries draining a little too quickly. Some people have reported their Note 20’s battery dies overnight, while others have noted they’ve encountered the problem after updating to Android 11.

This is a fairly common problem for most phones, and it can often be caused by a variety of issues, from faulty hardware to less-than-optimal usage.


  • Wipe the phone’s cache partition via recovery mode. Switch off the phone, then press and hold the Power and Volume Up buttons. Release them when you see the Samsung logo. Then use the volume buttons to scroll through the options until you reach Wipe Cache Partition, which you can select by pressing the Power button.
  • Try resetting your app preferences. Go to Settings > Apps > More > Reset App Preferences.
  • Disable scanning for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Go to Settings > Location > Improve Accuracy > Disable Wi-Fi Scanning. Then select Disable Wi-Fi Scanning.
  • Switch off background data and activity for less-important apps. You can do this by going to Settings > Apps > [App] > Mobile Data > Allow Background Data Usage > Off. Then do the same again, but after picking an app, go to Battery > Allow Background Activity > Off.
  • Try turning on adaptive brightness for your display. Go to Settings > Display > Adaptive Brightness.
  • It’s also worth turning on battery optimization. You can do this by going to Settings > Device Care > Battery > Power Mode > Optimized. Also activate Adaptive Power Saving on the same screen.
  • Try checking your settings thoroughly for any other feature that may be working in the background that may be unnecessary. For example, certain apps check location data, which you can switch off by going to Settings > Privacy > Permission Manager > Location.

Problem: Note 20 and 20 Ultra randomly restarting by itself

This is one of the more unusual issues affecting the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. A relatively small handful of users have reported that their phones have a tendency to restart all by themselves at various points throughout the day. While the Note 20 and 20 Ultra do have an auto-restart feature, this problem occurs with this feature deactivated, leaving users scratching their heads as to why it’s happening.

As of writing, there’s no clear fix for this problem. However, two possible solutions have cropped up in forum discussions, and both are worth trying. (Again, also try software updates.)

Possible solutions:

  • Boot up in Safe Mode (by holding the Power button and then holding the Power Off button until the Safe Mode option appears). This restricts your phone to use only native apps, thereby preventing downloaded third-party apps from affecting how it operates. If you find that your phone doesn’t restart randomly, this provides you with an indication that a third-party app is causing the problem. As such, delete all of these apps and then add the most important ones back one by one, checking to see if the phone works normally after each new addition. If it starts playing up after you add a particular app, delete it and keep it off your phone.
  • Wipe the Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra’s cache partition. You can do this by booting up the phone in recovery mode by holding the Power and Volume Up buttons when the device is switched off. Then select Wipe Cache Partition.

It almost goes without saying, but if you continue experiencing problems after trying these two steps, you ought to contact Samsung.

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Simon Chandler
Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London, UK. He covers technology and finance, contributing to such titles as Digital…
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