Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Intro

Samsung may have stopped producing the Galaxy Note phone series, but the concept of the Note has not. The Galaxy S22 Ultra combines the best of the Note range, such as the S Pen and unique design, with the spirit of the Galaxy S series, such as powerful cameras and a large battery, to create the ultimate all-in-one phone: the Galaxy S22 Ultra!
This phone has it all: a 4-camera system with a long-range periscope zoom lens, a built-in S Pen that doesn’t compromise battery size, the latest and most powerful Android engine, the newest generation Samsung AMOLED display… basically, everything a smash flagship should have. Oh, and throw in a few extras like a world-record-breaking screen brightness, a more granular refresh rate, and some beautiful colors on top of that.
Despite the many additional features, all of this comes at a premium price of $1,200, which isn’t much more than last year’s model. So, do you think you should acquire the S22 Ultra? Are there any exclusions? Let’s go exploring!

Design

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

The Galaxy S22 Ultra stands out in a crowd thanks to its distinctive sharp edges and camera style. Corning’s strong Gorilla Glass Victus is on both the front and back, with an upgraded “Armor Aluminum” frame in the middle, as you’d expect from a glass and metal sandwich design.

This year, we get more diversity in the Galaxy S22 Ultra hues, including a new distinctive “Burgundy” red variant, which is the most stunning new shade. Traditional black and white variants will also be available, as well as a unique Green hue, which is our particular favorite.

The sharp edges and slightly wider form factor make this phone appear larger than even some rather large phones in terms of pure size. The size of the S22 Ultra would make it difficult for those looking for something more compact (the smaller Galaxy S22 might be a better fit). Take a look at the size and weight differences between this year’s S21 Ultra and previous year’s S21 Ultra:

Dimensions of the S22 Ultra: 163,3 x 77,9 x 8,9 mm, 227g
Dimensions of the S21 Ultra: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm, 229g

On paper, the new model does not appear to be particularly large, but in practice, it appears to be substantially larger. On paper, it also weighs a little less, although you’re unlikely to notice such a small difference.

The power and volume controls are on the right, the USB-C connector is on the bottom, there is no headphone jack, and there is no microSD card slot. On the bright side, the entire package has received genuine IP68 certification, making it water and dust resistant.

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Display Quality

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

The screen is a massive 6.8 inches diagonally, with minimal bezels and an adjustable 1-120Hz refresh rate, and it uses the same M11 Dynamic AMOLED technology generation as the S21 Ultra. At the top, there’s a tiny punch hole camera, and the entire panel is protected with Gorilla Glass Victus.

Samsung has been the market leader in display quality for the previous few years, having ironed out the few flaws in AMOLED technology, and this latest screen just adds to its supremacy. With the normal two color options, Vivid (the default) and toned down Neutral, you get nicely balanced colors. The major news is that at 1,750 nits, you get the

S Pen

The Galaxy S22 Ultra includes a S Pen hidden neatly inside the phone, just like a Note phone, so it’s always with you.

The S Pen resembles the one found on the Note 20 Ultra, the most recent Note. However, it is now composed of matte plastic rather than the glossy finish Samsung formerly employed, and we must say that we prefer this style. The S Pen cap matches the color of the S22 Ultra, thus if you buy a Burgundy phone, the cap on the S Pen will be red as well, but the body is black on all versions.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

The S Pen’s biggest improvement is its faster response time, which is now just 2.8ms. In comparison to the Note 20 Ultra’s 9ms, this is a 3X quicker latency. It’s impressive work, and it’s easily the best Samsung has done to date! Does it feel as if you’re writing on paper with an actual pen? Not at all! Even if you’re only jotting down notes, you’ll notice a slight latency and disconnect as the writing shows a split second later.

On the other hand, the S Pen software is identical to that of the Note series. Other amazing features like lockscreen notes and Air Gestures are still there in the Samsung Notes app, which serves as the central center for notes. Samsung’s handwriting to text recognition has also improved.

Performance and Software

As is customary with Samsung flagships, the chip under the hood has sparked some debate. In the United States, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, whereas the UK and Europe will receive a Samsung-made Exynos 2200 processor, which has a reputation for being slower and less power efficient than Snapdragon chips.

The Snapdragon chip has a nearly 10% CPU advantage over the Exynos 2200 variant (less in multi-core performance), as you can see in the figure above, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see a difference in battery life and even camera quality. Of course, more testing is on the way, so don’t make any snap decisions just yet.
Surprisingly, the base model Galaxy S22 Ultra has less RAM than the previous year’s model: 8GB vs. 12GB on the prior edition (a 12GB S22 Ultra is still an option for a slight premium). Keep in mind that various countries receive different phone configurations.

Before we get into the test results, we need to take a little diversion to discuss One UI and Samsung’s flaws. To begin with, this phone is obviously fast: it features the most powerful chip available on the Android platform, as well as the necessary firepower. At the same time, there are a few flaws with One UI that have persisted over time and should be addressed. One is the gesture navigation, which lacks the smooth animations found on a Pixel, OnePlus, or iPhone, and frequently stutters, notably when swiping up to return to the home screen. It’s not something that destroys the experience, but it’s a continual annoyance, and it’s odd how other firms have perfected this aspect of the experience but Samsung, the market leader, hasn’t.

The second issue is a peculiar jitter that occurs every now and then while scrolling. It’s a micro-stutter that’s most noticeable while using vertically scrolling apps like Twitter or browsing the web, and it’s not something you’ll find on other phones; it’s a Samsung thing.

Those two flaws, however, are minor and will not affect the S22 Ultra’s ability to pass a speed test, which we are confident it will pass. Here are the benchmark results, which are in line with what you’d anticipate from a 2022 flagship.

Summary and Final Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Should you get the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? That’s a difficult question. The S22 Ultra does not feel like a phone from the S series; instead, it feels like a Note. So, for Note users who value the S Pen, it’s the newest and, for the time being, the only option in town. And a really strong one at that!

Still, devoted fans will notice that the firm is abandoning features that it valued just a few years ago, such as the microSD card slot. But the battery problem is our main concern: we’re not sure why, but this massive battery isn’t holding up very well so far. We also have a love-hate relationship with the camera, which may disappoint us with the main shooter and its typically drab colors while also wowing us with its fantastic zoom capability.

But, at the end of the day, this is the one Android phone we’re confident Samsung will update and improve. Everything else is fantastic: the elegant design, the gorgeous display, the S Pen, the strong CPU, and faster charging. Yes, we give the S22 Ultra a thumbs up, but it’s a cautious thumbs up this time: it’s clearly a great phone, but there are a few glitches that need to be worked out.