Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a smartphone that offers you a lot of features at a price that is worth it. It has an attractive design and it is made out of high-quality materials. The display on this device is very impressive, but the camera can take some time to get used to. If you like gaming, though, then this phone will be right up your alley.
Bottomline: The Note has been revived! This time, under a different guise or moniker. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the cutting-edge phone you expect from Samsung, with incredible cameras, super-fast charging, a gorgeous display that is easier to see in sunlight, and the return of the S Pen. All of these features are available on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It is difficult to ignore the fact that the price has actually increased in comparison to last year, that there is not a 45W charger included in the package, and that the camera still has difficulty capturing some moving things.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Design
- Galaxy Note design language
- Slick, premium build
- The slightly rounded shape of the frame makes it comfortable to hold.
Some people might consider the Galaxy S22 Ultra seems a little bit simple in comparison to Galaxy smartphones that came before it, but I personally think that simplicity looks fantastic on a smartphone. It is not necessary for all of us to have designs that are in our faces, glasses with patterns that reflect light, or large, brilliant logos, especially not on such a premium piece of equipment.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a great smartphone to have. It has a great design, with a large screen that makes it easy to read things like emails and texts. The battery lasts for days without needing charging, and you can use it while your phone charges thanks to its wireless charging feature.
In the case of the S22 Ultra, it is clear that less is more, as the sleek combination of metal and glass that composes the device does the majority of the talking.
Less Is More
The absence of a camera "island" encircling the rear-facing cameras is the primary distinction when compared to the rest of the S22 range. This is the difference that stands out the most. In spite of the fact that it differentiates the S22 Ultra from the rest of the line, it is consistent with the minimalist design, and it contributes to the appearance of high quality through the use of minute elements such as polished metal housing around the cameras.
The S22 Ultra stands out from the crowd of rounded smartphones thanks to its sharp, squared-off corners, which are reminiscent of the design of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. On the other hand, in contrast to the iPhone 13, which has flat sides, the S22 Ultra has ever-so-slightly curved edges, which help it sit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
There is no significant risk of inadvertent screen presses or text running off the edge of the display because the curved edges of the 6.8-inch display are nowhere near as dramatic as waterfall displays such as the one found on the Motorola Edge from a few years ago. It's just enough to notice a little amount of curve on the edge, and it also makes for a smooth explanation experience when you swipe from side to side.
Because of its thickness of 8.9 millimeters and its weight of 229 grams, the S22 Ultra can be difficult to handle at times because of its 6.8-inch display, which is larger than the display on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Because I have rather large hands, this isn't a problem for me, but when I showed the S22 Ultra to some of my friends, I realized that it's not really suited for people with smaller mitts, particularly when it comes to using it one-handed.
Other than that, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looks and feels like a high-end piece of equipment, and it has a sturdy feel when held in the hand. In addition to having an IP68 rating for resistance to dust and water, the back of the device is guarded by Gorilla Glass Victus+, which helps to keep it safe from damage.
Some of the other reviews I've read have mentioned that the rear of the phone scratches "too readily," but this could be because the reviewer was carrying a second phone in their pocket, which isn't common usage. My sample did fall down onto a tiled floor, but it was completely unharmed by the ordeal.
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy are the different colors that can be purchased for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- Stunning 6.8in AMOLED display
- Buttery-smooth 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
The S22 Ultra's 6.8-inch AMOLED display is unquestionably one of the smartphone's best features and a primary reason to purchase it over competing models. It provides a bright, vibrant, and detailed viewing experience with a seamless refresh rate.
The display's 3088 x 1440 (WQHD+) resolution corresponds to a pixel density of around 500ppi, which is in sharp contrast to the iPhone's 2316 x 1080 (FHD+) display.
Before you get too enthusiastic, it's important to note that the S22 Ultra ships with a lesser 2316 x 1080 (FHD+) resolution, and you'll need to alter the setting manually. This is due to the fact that this high resolution can significantly drain the battery, especially when gaming. The good news is that the display appears sharp even at FHD+ resolution.
The variable refresh rate not only helps apps and games appear and feel seamless, but its ability to switch between 1 and 120Hz also allows it to consume less battery power than a normal 120Hz display without a discernible difference in performance.
With one of the brightest smartphone displays currently available, the S22 Ultra is easy to use outdoors, even under direct sunlight. Samsung claims it can achieve up to 1250 nits at ordinary levels, while an enhanced brightness option (suited for outdoor use) boosts it to 1750 nits.
Even though its benchmark score of 711 nits on a Spyder X wasn't quite as impressive as its competitors, it's currently brighter than the majority of other flagship smartphones. This is due in part to Samsung's Vision Booster technology, which automatically adjusts the screen's brightness, colors, and more based on the surrounding lighting conditions for the best viewing experience.
Hidden beneath the display is an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which, despite its poor reputation in the past, performed quite flawlessly on the S22 Ultra. It is situated around a third of the way up from the bottom edge, which is where my thumb normally rests, and the unlocking procedure is almost rapid.
There is also facial unlock, although it is not as safe as PIN or fingerprint—it is not Face ID.
There is also a small 40Mp holepunch camera positioned squarely at the top of the display, however due to the panel's size, it was barely discernible in regular use.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera
- One of the best rear camera setups around
- Big improvements to the 100x space zoom
- Great low-light performance
The camera is a great addition for the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It has a lot of features like Night mode, Super Zoom and Auto Mode. The camera is very fast and takes great pictures.
Because of all the buzz, I had the impression that this year would finally be the one in which Samsung will surpass Google in terms of camera quality. As it turns out, it was largely accurate, with Samsung securing the majority of the victories in the categories listed below. The overall advantage goes to Samsung, however, due to the fact that its video capture is greater to that of any other phone on the market and that it can zoom in on faraway things more effectively than any other phone.
Additionally, Samsung enhanced its software, making it simpler and easier to snap better night photographs without having to switch to a mode that is specifically designed for that purpose. The camera will figure out by itself in what circumstances additional capture time is necessary and then get to work performing its enchantment as soon as it is turned on.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features all-new sensors, including an updated main sensor with 108 megapixels, a 12 megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and two 10 megapixel telephoto lenses, one of which has an optical zoom of 3 times and the other of which has an optical zoom of 10 times.
You can choose to force the full 108MP resolution if you so desire, but the main camera will only output a 12MP image (4000x3000 resolution) by default. If you want, however, you can change the default setting. A method that Samsung refers to as "Nona-binning" is responsible for the generation of that 12MP image. This method takes the pixels from the 108MP sensor and divides them into nine equal parts; the combination of these nine parts results in a 12MP image.
Video capture is equally amazing at up to 8K at 24 frames per second with optically stabilized video capture, no discernible artifacts, and excellent audio clarity. It has attempted to compete with Apple's Cinematic Video option with Portrait Video, but it is not as advanced as what is available on premium iPhones, and can only apply the faux-bokeh effect to films with clearly visible faces.
Nevertheless, the ability to switch between lenses on-the-fly and the ability to pause – but not end – a video recording are highly useful features that Apple's flagship lacks, so your decision will mostly rely on your video needs.
Performance and Hardware
- Exynos 2200 lags behind Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in benchmarks
- Not noticeable in use, feels snappy in the hand
- Occasional freeze/restart
As with its predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's chipset varies depending on your location. In the United Kingdom and Australia, you'll find Samsung's 4nm Exynos 2200 chipset, but in the United States and most other regions, you'll find Qualcomm's 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
This is coupled with 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of blazing-fast UFS 3.1 storage. A 12/256GB model was provided to me for review, for what it's worth.
I'll discuss the differences between the two chipsets in greater depth below, but the Exynos 2200's CPU performance in benchmarks appears equivalent to that of similar 8 Gen 1 smartphones, such as the Oppo Find X5 Pro.
However, Exynos 2200 graphics performance at WQHD+ lags slightly behind 8 Gen 1 phones, and only when the S22 Ultra drops down to FHD+ does it beat the QHD+ performance of devices such as the Oppo Find X5 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro - as expected.
It is also unable to compete with Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max and A15 Bionic processors, but Apple's lead in this respect is expected at this time.
While it gives a good indication of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 performance in general, I was able to obtain a Snapdragon model of the S22 Ultra to compare the two against one another.
In light of the above, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 variant of the Galaxy S22 Ultra outperforms the Exynos 2200-powered device in GPU benchmarks—and by a significant margin in some tests.
However, while the Snapdragon variant provides superior raw performance, the Exynos variant is superior in terms of battery economy. Not by a tiny amount either, as the Exynos model provides an additional hour or so of average screen-on time.
Theoretically, you could choose between the Exynos and Snapdragon variants based on whether performance or battery life is more important to you, but with one or the other accessible in most places of the world, it's not an easy decision.
- Operating System Android 12 with One UI 4.1
- Chipset Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
- Display size 6.8-inches Edge, Dynamic AMOLED 2x, 3088 x 1440
- 1-120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling (game mode)
- Frame Gorilla Glass Victus+ front and back, Armor Aluminum frame
- Memory 8GB or 12GB
- Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
- Expandable Storage No
- Rear Camera 108MP, ƒ/2.2, 0.8μm, (85-degree wide-angle)
- 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm (120-degree ultra-wide)
- 10MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.12μm, 3x optical zoom (telephoto)
- 10MP, ƒ/4.9, 1.12μm, 10x optical zoom (telephoto)
- Front Camera 40MP, ƒ/2.2, 80-degree wide-angle
- Battery 5,000mAh
- 45W Fast Charging
- 15W Wireless Charging
- 4.5W reverse wireless charging
- Security in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner (4x9 mm size)
- Wireless Bluetooth 5.2, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E
- Dimensions 163.3 mm x 77.9 mm x 8.9 mm
- Weight 229g
- Water and dust resistance IP68
- Colors Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy
- Samsung.com ex clusive: Red, Blue, Grey
Price and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is available on most carriers in the United States. You can find it at Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile stores as well as Best Buy.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the most expensive smartphones on the market, with a starting price of £1,149/$1,199 for the 8GB/128GB model, although this is $100 less than its predecessor.
For an extra $100/$100, you can upgrade to 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM, with 512GB and 1TB variants available for those who require even more space.
Here are the prices for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in its many configurations:
- 8GB + 128GB: $1,199/£1,149/€1,279
- 12GB + 256GB: $1,299/£1,249/€1,379/₹109,999
- 12GB + 512GB: $1,399/£1,329/€1,489/₹118,999
- 12GB + 1TB: $1,599/£1,499/€1,689
Those interested in purchasing the premium smartphone outright can do so via Samsung and Amazon in the United Kingdom and the United States, while those interested in a contract can visit carriers such as EE and O2 in the United Kingdom and Verizon in the United States.
- Incredible low-latency performance
- Stored within the smartphone when not in use
- Pressure and tilt sensitive
While last year's Galaxy S21 Ultra was compatible with the S Pen stylus, the S22 Ultra completes its shift to Note-but-not-Note by adding support for an integrated S Pen. If you enjoy the experience provided by the Note 20, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is essentially its replacement.
When not in use, the flexible and lightweight stylus is concealed within the body of the phone and may be accessed by depressing the pen. It is also unlikely to fall out by accident, as the pen's textured surface requires you to actively remove it from its hiding place.
Even though it's a bit small for this reviewer's hands, the S22 Ultra's stylus is a delight to use, thanks in large part to Samsung's latency magic, which has been lowered from 9ms to an astonishing 2.8ms.
For paired with Samsung's scribbling sound effects, this provides a more authentic pen-to-paper experience when jotting notes on the go and doodling with PenUP.
Even when compared to the Apple Pencil 2's 9-20ms response time, it is clearly one of the best pen experiences on the market, and it comes at no additional cost.
In addition to being useful for notetaking and drawing, the S Pen allows additional capabilities, such as the ability to make intelligent selections of anything on-screen, annotate screenshots, doodle in augmented reality, and translate handwritten text into plaintext.
The button on the side of the stylus also functions as a remote shutter release, allowing you to take photos and videos from a distance.
Not everyone will make full use of the additional capabilities provided by the integrated S-Pen, but the possibility to use a high-quality stylus whenever desired will appeal to a large number of users, especially given the S Pen's lifelike experience. It is without a doubt my favorite feature of the S22 Ultra, and the one I will miss the most when I return to my ordinary smartphone.
Battery Life and Charging
- All-day battery life
- Could squeeze 1.5 or even 2 days with screen adjustments
- Faster charging, but not as fast as rivals
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is equipped with the same 5000mAh battery as its predecessor, so it should not come as a surprise that its battery life is comparable to that of the S21 Ultra from the previous year.
Overall battery life depends on parameters such as refresh rate and resolution, with the S22 Ultra able to survive an entire day with an adaptive refresh rate and WQHD+ resolution under normal use, but not a second day. This can be prolonged to approximately 1.5 days if the resolution is reduced to FHD+, however most users will not notice the difference.
In testing, the S22 Ultra lasted 10 hours and 30 minutes in our benchmark test at full WQHD+ resolution. Reducing the resolution to FHD+ added two hours of battery life, bringing the total to 12 hours and 30 minutes.
Charging has been enhanced on the S22 Ultra, from a relatively pedestrian 25W to a faster – but still not leading – 45W when charged by USB-C. As with most other Samsung phones, there is no 45W charger included in the box.
If you obtain one, you can anticipate a 66% charge in half an hour and a full charge in roughly an hour. This is inferior to the Black Shark 4 Pro's 120W rapid charging technology, yet it will sufficient for the vast majority of customers.
In a similar vein, the 15W wireless charging is inferior to the super-fast wireless charging offered by important competitors; nevertheless, the low power requirements allow you to use the majority of third-party Qi chargers.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a great smartphone to have. It has a lot of features that you would expect from a high-end device, but it’s also affordable and available on many carriers. The phone is powered by a great processor, which means it can handle your daily tasks without any issues.
If there is one area where this phone falls short compared to other smartphones in its price range, it's battery life, although we don't think most users will ever see less than two days out of their device before needing a recharge anyway!
Overall though, if you're looking for an Android device with some extra power under the hood, then look no further than this one!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Maina Wilson