The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is basically just a next-gen Galaxy Note. It looks like a Note, has a slot for the S Pen like a Note and carries across many of the features most would associate with a Note. This exclusive phone delivers a built-in S Pen, brighter display, lots of camera upgrades in a sleek design and faster charging.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Specs
- Operating System: Android 12, One UI 4.1
- CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US), Exynos 2200 (UK)
- Rear Camera: 108MP + 12 MP + 10 MP + 10 MP | Features: LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama| Video: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+
- Selfie Camera: 40MP | Features: Dual video call, Auto-HDR | Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps
- Internal Memory: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB | No SD Card slot
- RAM: 8GB, 12GB
- Battery: Li-lon 5,000 mAh, non-removable
- Display: Size: 6.8 inches | Resolution: 1440 x 3088 pixels
- Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green
- Key features: S Pen included
- Incredible cameras and zoom
- Excellent little S Pen
- Sleek design
- Gorgeous butter-smooth screen
- Faster charging than before
- 4 years of major software updates. The best software support on any Android phone
- 10X zoom camera is improved significantly
- No microSD slot
- Battery life could be better/ Battery life has gone down from the S21 Ultra
- Less RAM than previous model
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Design
An absolutely beautiful device, the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, owing to its Note roots is simple and stunning at the same time with sharp, squared-off angles. It is gently curved, so it adds some aesthetic appeal without leading to accidental screen presses. The S22 Ultra is comprised of a solid Armor Aluminum frame that rigidly resists bends. Polished on the outside to a near-chrome finish, the metal is sandwiched between two Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ plates.
The front glass is high-gloss, and the back is a warm satin finish; both do a decent job of repelling fingerprints. The phone’s IP68-rated body also handily resided the water we ran over it. The above finishes come in seven color options: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue and Red.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Display
The S22 Ultra display is simply specular boasting of a 6.8-inch AMOLED screen. It supports up to 3088 x 1440 pixels (WQHD+) resolution, which works out to 500 ppi. This stellar device has a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, which makes scrolling smoother with a 240Hz touch sampling rate that gamers should appreciate.
There are two notable display upgrades here. The first is that the screen has a peak brightness of 1,750 nits, which could be the brightest we’ve ever seen way better than the standard brightness level is 1,250 nits, which is still quite high. The other display perk is a new Vision Booster feature, which can adjust the screen’s brightness on the fly throughout the day making it easier to use even outdoors even in very strong sunlight.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Cameras
The S22 Ultra camera is brilliantly versatile, determined to top the best camera spot clearly rivaling iPhone 13 Pro and Google Pixel 6 Pro. Samsung is king when it comes to packing in megapixels and other high-end camera equipment into its phones. The S22 Ultra uses a completely new 108 megapixel sensor on the back with an f/1.8 lens, Dual Pixel focusing and OIS.
Pictures from the main rear camera are good, though not a huge leap in quality from the S21 Ultra. Colors are rich and vibrant and detail is pin-sharp – I would even say certain shots can look a little too sharp, especially street photography where there are various details battling for your attention.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra boasts a larger 2.4um pixel sensor for capturing more light and data, as well as a Super Clear Glass lens for capturing nighttime videos without flares. You also get a 12MP ultrawide lens, plus dual 10MP telephoto cameras that combine to offer 10x optical zoom and 100x space zoom.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Video
The Galaxy S22 Ultra takes crisp-looking video up to 8K at 24 fps and can keep your footage looking super stable with its improved Super Steady mode. There’s plenty of extra features you can play with, such as Portrait Video mode.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: S Pen
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the smoothest S Pen I’ve ever experienced, and that’s because Samsung has dialed down the latency from 9 milliseconds to just 2.8 ms. So you’re getting a 70% improvement here. The best part is that you don’t have to use a dumb case to store the S Pen as you had to with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. There’s an S Pen holder built right in to the phone.
In addition, the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses AI to predict your hand movements and deliver that pen-and-paper feel. When taking notes, the writing not only feels smooth, there’s a neat sound that makes it sound like you’re writing on paper.
Samsung has made a few other notable S Pen improvements, including more accurate handwriting-to-text conversions, as well as the ability to quickly save your notes in Microsoft Office docs and emails.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Performance
The chipset sitting at the heart of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will vary depending on the region. US buyers, for instance, will get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip from Qualcomm whereas those in the UK get the Exynos 2200 variant. Both of these are built upon the 4nm architecture, meaning they should be more efficient than the outgoing 5nm models.
RAM options range from 8GB to 12GB, while storage ranges from 128GB to 1TB. The base RAM level is a little lower than the S21 Ultra, but Samsung says this is negated by improved virtual RAM options.
Despite having only 8GB of RAM, the Galaxy S22 Ultra feels super smooth when opening and closing apps. In fact, the S22 Ultra felt faster than the iPhone 13 Pro Max when switching or closing apps, as you can see in the TikTok video above. The S22 Ultra also delivered immersive gameplay while tearing around the track in the Drive Club game.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Battery and charging
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is powered by a large 5,000 mAH battery, which Samsung says will last over a day in typical usage. It is a little surprising that such a large battery didn’t provide a day and a half of battery life.
Perhaps the new 4nm chip isn’t as efficient as Samsung had hoped. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers 45W charging, which is an upgrade over the 25W charging in the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung promises you’ll get to 50% in 20 minutes, which would be about 10 minutes faster than the S21 Ultra.
ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy S22 Review
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: Software
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is powered by Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 software, which runs on top of Android 12. Samsung says this interface is more intuitive and useful than previous versions, and there’s a new privacy dashboard for peace of mind. One UI is packed with features and it ticks a lot of boxes. The battery saver modes are excellent, you have a lot of control over performance and the updated Notes app adds in support for more language for its handwriting recognition.
Samsung’s onboard photo and video-editing capabilities, for example, are strong. We especially like the ability to magically remove an object from a photo. There’s also a freely downloadable Expert Raw app, which gives you access to all the pro shooting tools (ISO, white balance, focus, shutter speed) and lets you shoot raw images, which we then edited on the phone in Adobe’s Lightroom app.
It’s not great, however, that there’s both a Messages app and a Samsung Messages app. The icons look similar, but they’re two distinct app. What’s more important though is that Samsung is seriously supporting this phone when it comes to updates. There’s a promise of five years of updates and four major OS updates – that means the S22 Ultra will still be supported when Android 16 rolls around. Considering how many big Android phones only get two major OS updates, this is huge news and shows that investment should last for a number of years.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a big, powerful, and attractive Android phone. This stunning device is an amped-up Galaxy Note with a faster S Pen built in, lots of camera improvements, a brighter display and faster charging. This is a stellar phone overall, but it’s also pretty pricey and the battery life could be better.
This phone is recommended for….
- Photography lovers: The camera array here is excellent, and the zoom capabilities will finally let you capture what your eyes can see.
- A compulsive note-taker or artist: If you love to take notes by hand, or you’re an artist who has brilliant ideas on the go, the S Pen is now always with you, and versatile enough to support scribble-to-text conversions, fine art creation, simple doodles, and markup.
Not recommended for….
- Those with tiny hands: This is a big phone. Even the curved edges don’t completely cut down on the size. Also, yes, it’s a slippery device.
- Those on a low budget: It is a pricey phone starting at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM.
- Those who expect to get two days’ battery life: The phone’s 5,000 mAh battery is huge, but so is the phone. That screen and the powerful mobile CPU might be a little more power-hungry than expected. You will, though, get a very full day (sunrise to well-past sunset) of activities.