Seeking help/advice on Note 20 phones (very long post warning)

Samsung Galaxy S20 & S20+ & S20 Ultra
So I don’t know how to begin this, but I’ve been part of these websites for years, going back to my CrackBerry days in the mid-2000as, so I feel hopeful I can get help.

The Pixel 2/2XL phones are reaching end of life status. My wife has the regular and is fine. She’s not a spec driven person; I only try to ensure she gets a good battery. She liked the smaller version for her hands. I preferred the XL, with an Otterbox defender case, because I have bigger hands and need that extra bulk of the case it feels comfortable.

I was disappointed the Pixel 5 has no XL version, and I’m not interested in the other Pixel phones. That leads me to why I’m in this forum. Yay, backstory over.

I am looking at phones, and the Samsung Note 20 line stands out the most. Obviously the Ultra for me, and she looked at them and likes the regular. We didn’t buy yet for a couple of reasons, one being I wanted to do more research. Another being that it’s not like our current phones are dead yet so there’s no rush.

Randomly, I have some questions, and if you can lend your collective insight, I’d appreciate it.

1. I haven’t owned a Samsung phone since a full QWERTY keyboard phone early last decade. The ecosystem has clearly changed. How does Samsung compare to, say, Google?

2. Obviously technology being three years apart will always favor the new, but what makes these phones so unique compared to the Pixel 2 line, or even the latest Pixels?

3. I am used to a monthly update cycle for the Pixel and getting new OSes pretty quick, given its a Google phone. How is the Android OS updating and such for a third party like Samsung?

4. We are on Verizon, and we have no intentions of switching carriers. All their offers involve getting a new line of service, which doesn’t fit us as we’ve been with Verizon for 15 years and do not wish to change phone numbers (so no "new line/cancel old line" shenanigans.) Do we know of any strong sales offers in the works, especially as some businesses wish to challenge Amazon Prime Day, and/or gear up for a pandemic-stricken Black Friday?

5. What are your real use pros and cons about the phone line, be it the ultra or the regular model?

6. Anything else I need to know?

I sincerely apologize for this massive wall of text, but I really do my homework as I don’t swap phones every few months or year, and this is something I keep for quite a while. I want to do it right when I do leap to a new phone.

Thank you for your time.

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