A Note in All But Name


When Samsung printed the brand new Galaxy S22 vary, it was once in large part trade as same old – for the Galaxy S22 and S22+, anyway. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, provides a a lot more radical exchange that brings it nearer than ever to the Galaxy Note vary, with a redesigned chassis and a built-in S Pen.

The query is, does the religious successor to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra be offering sufficient to tempt customers, particularly at one of these excessive worth level? While it’s no longer the very best smartphone, there’s so much to like about Samsung’s top-end Galaxy S22 Ultra in 2022.

Design & Build

  • Galaxy Note design language
  • Slick, top class construct
  • Slightly curved body is good in the hand

Compared to Galaxy smartphones sooner than it, some would possibly say the Galaxy S22 Ultra appears just a little simplistic – yet I believe simplicity appears nice on a smartphone. We don’t all want in-your-face designs, refractive glass patterns, or giant, vivid flashy emblems, particularly on one of these top class bit of equipment.

When it involves the S22 Ultra, much less is without a doubt extra, with a slick mix of steel and glass that does lots of the speaking.  

The maximum notable distinction in comparison to the remainder of the S22 line is the loss of a digital camera ‘island’ surrounding the rear-facing cameras. While it does alienate the S22 Ultra a number of the remainder of the variety, it ties in with the minimalist design, with small main points like polished steel housing across the cameras contributing to the high-end glance.

The sharp, squared-off corners are paying homage to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra design (I’m wondering why…) and help in making the S22 Ultra stand proud of the ocean of rounded smartphones, yet in contrast to the flat-sided iPhone 13, it options ever-so-gently curved edges to assist it sit down with ease in the palm.

The curved edges of the 6.8in show aren’t any place close to as severe as waterfall shows like that of the Motorola Edge a couple of years in the past, without a actual drawback with unintended display screen presses or textual content disappearing off the brink of the show. It’s simply sufficient to look just a little of curvature at the edge, which additionally makes for a comfortable side-swipe enjoy.

That 6.8in show – greater than the iPhone 13 Pro Max – does imply that the S22 Ultra generally is a bit unwieldy now and then, measuring in at 8.9mm thick and 229g. It’s no longer an issue for me with quite huge palms, yet appearing the S22 Ultra to buddies actually demonstrated the way it’s no longer actually designed for smaller mitts – particularly with regards to one-handed use.  

Otherwise, the Galaxy S22 Ultra appears and appears like a top class bit of equipment with a forged really feel in the hand. It’s secure via Gorilla Glass Victus+ at the rear to assist offer protection to it from harm, and there’s IP68 mud and water resistance.

I’ve observed a lot of different evaluations get scratches at the again reputedly too simply, yet most likely from having a 2d phone in their pocket which is not standard utilization. My pattern did take a tumble throughout a tiled ground and survived the incident unscathed. 

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is to be had in a variety of colors together with Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Burgundy.

Display

  • Stunning 6.8in AMOLED show
  • Buttery-smooth 120Hz adaptive refresh fee
  • Impressive brightness

The 6.8in AMOLED show of the S22 Ultra is without a doubt some of the highlights of the smartphone and a key explanation why to shop for it over different telephones. It provides a vivid, vibrant, detailed enjoy with a comfortable refresh fee.

The show sports activities a 3088 x 1440 (WQHD+) answer that equates to a pixel density of round 500ppi – a stark distinction to Apple’s top-end iPhone and its 2316 x 1080 (FHD+) show.

Before you get too excited, it’s price noting that the S22 Ultra comes operating a decrease 2316 x 1080 (FHD+) answer out of the field and also you’ll need to manually exchange the atmosphere your self. That’s as a result of that top answer can actually drain the battery, particularly when gaming. The excellent information is that, even on the FHD+ answer, the show appears great and crisp.  

One saving issue is the adaptive refresh fee, which no longer simplest makes apps and video games appear and feel comfortable, however the skill to shift from 1- to 120Hz manner it’ll draw much less battery energy than a regular 120Hz show with none actual noticeable distinction in efficiency.

The S22 Ultra is simple to make use of out of doors, even in direct daylight, with some of the brightest smartphone shows available on the market at the moment. Samsung claims at same old ranges it could achieve as much as 1250nits, whilst a boosted brightness mode (ultimate for outside use) cranks it as much as a fair upper 1750 nits.

Even if it didn’t hit rather such lofty heights in benchmarking, scoring 711 nits by way of a Spyder X, it’s with ease brighter than maximum different flagships at the moment. That’s thank you in phase to Samsung’s Vision Booster tech that’ll robotically alter the brightness, colors and extra relying on ambient lights prerequisites for an optimum viewing enjoy.

Hidden underneath the show is an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, and whilst they’ve had a foul rap in the previous, I discovered it to paintings near-perfectly at the S22 Ultra. It’s positioned more or less a 3rd of the way in which up from the ground edge, which is the place my thumb naturally lands, and the liberate procedure is near-instantaneous.

You do even have facial liberate, but it surely’s no longer as safe as PIN or fingerprint – it’s no Face ID, in spite of everything.    

There’s additionally a small 40Mp holepunch digital camera, centrally positioned on the peak of the show, however the huge dimensions of the show supposed it was once slightly noticeable in normal use.

S Pen

  • Incredible low-latency efficiency
  • Stored throughout the smartphone when no longer in use
  • Pressure and tilt delicate

While remaining yr’s Galaxy S21 Ultra introduced compatibility with the S Pen stylus, the S22 Ultra is going full-Note via including make stronger for an built-in S Pen, thus finishing its transition to Note-but-not-Note. If you’re keen on the enjoy on be offering from the Note 20, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is its successor in all yet title.  

The mild and flexible stylus is hidden throughout the frame of the phone when no longer in use, available via pushing down at the pen to pop it out. It’s probably not to fall out unintentionally both, with a grippy end at the pen requiring you to actively pull it out of its hidey-hole.

While it’s in my opinion a little bit small for this reviewers’ palms, the stylus is a pleasure to make use of – and that’s basically right down to Samsung’s latency magic, diminished from 9ms to an improbable 2.8ms at the S22 Ultra.

That interprets to near-instant reaction when writing textual content, offering extra of a herbal pen-to-paper feeling when jotting notes at the cross and doodling the use of PenUP – particularly when mixed with Samsung’s scribbling sound results.

It’s simply some of the absolute best stylus reviews available on the market, even if in comparison to the Apple Pencil 2’s 9-20ms reaction time, and it comes at no additional fee both.  

Aside from being to hand for notetaking and drawing, the S Pen permits additional capability, together with the power to make sensible picks of anything else on display screen, annotate screenshots, doodle in AR and the power to translate handwritten textual content to plaintext.

The button at the facet of the stylus even doubles up as a far off cause, permitting you to cause pictures and movies with out being in the back of the digital camera.

Not everybody will make complete use of the additional capability on be offering from the built-in S-Pen, however the skill to make use of a fine quality stylus every time you favor is one thing that’ll attraction to so much of customers – particularly with an enjoy as true-to-life because the S Pen. It’s simply my favorite function of the S22 Ultra, and the function I’ll pass over maximum after I transfer again to my common smartphone.

Cameras

  • One of the most efficient rear digital camera setups round
  • Big enhancements to the 100x house zoom
  • Great low-light efficiency

Many appeared the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s digital camera setup as the most efficient in the marketplace in 2021, and it kind of feels Samsung agreed – since the sensors at the rear of the phone are virtually similar to its predecessor.

The S22 Ultra has the similar 108Mp primary broad lens, 12Mp 120-degree ultrawide and twin telephoto lenses providing 3x and 10x optical zoom at the rear, with the latter able to extending to 100x, and a 40Mp selfie digital camera at the entrance.  

Here’s a number of pictures taken at the S22 Ultra throughout trying out:

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera test

One of the one notable adjustments to {hardware} is the pixel dimension of the principle 108Mp snapper, which has higher to an excellent 2.4μm. Combined with the f/1.8 aperture, that interprets to much-improved low-light images with extra element, mild and extra balanced distinction.

It’s nonetheless no longer rather as transparent as daylight hours pictures, but it surely’s without a doubt spectacular to look how a lot it could select up in darkish prerequisites.

There’s additionally advanced optical symbol stabilisation (OIS) and a greater symbol sign processor (ISP), yet the result of those adjustments are more difficult to note in daily use. Instead, lots of the digital camera enhancements appear to be software-based and that’s no longer a foul factor bearing in mind the {hardware} continues to be among the finest in maximum regards.

For one, the S22 Ultra has hugely advanced the Super Steady System used with the 100x house zoom, which is helping stay the ones severe close-ups from wobbling as you’re taking snaps.

It turns out the picture processing of those extreme-zoom pictures has been advanced too. While it’s nonetheless blurry now and then, there’s in any case the prospective to get usable pictures for sharing on social media. They nonetheless have the Picasso-esque watercolour impact, but it surely’s a lot much less noticeable this time round.

There also are enhancements to Samsung’s pixel-binning tech at the primary 108Mp lens, dubbed Adaptive Pixel via Samsung. The thought is unassuming; it takes a nona-binned symbol (combining 9 pixels into 1 for higher symbol mild, distinction and element) and combines that with a complete 108Mp symbol with nice effects.

There’s various element, distinction and dynamic vary are nailed, and hues glance colourful, if no longer a little bit too saturated now and then. Crucially, you’ll experience extremely detailed images with no need to retailer full-res 108Mp pictures.  

Frankly, that’s a routine theme throughout the entire S22 Ultra’s cameras, which can be in a position to ship one of the most absolute best snaps I’ve observed on a smartphone. Are they the most efficient round? That’s most likely down to private desire, yet there’s without a doubt so much to experience with Samsung’s succesful digital camera tech.

Video seize is simply as spectacular at as much as [email protected] with spectacular optically-stabilised video seize, no noticeable artifacting and nice audio high quality too. It has tried to tackle Apple’s Cinematic Video mode with Portrait Video, but it surely’s no longer rather as complicated as what’s on be offering from flagship iPhones, simplest in a position to use the faux-bokeh to movies with faces obviously visual.

Still, with perks like the power to modify between lenses at the fly and the power to pause – no longer finish – a video recording are very to hand choices no longer to be had on Apple’s flagship, so it’ll in large part rely on your video makes use of.

Specs & Performance

  • Exynos 2200 lags in the back of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in benchmarks
  • Not noticeable in use, feels snappy in the hand
  • Occasional freeze/restart

Like its predecessors, the chipset discovered throughout the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra relies on the place you’re in the arena. If you’re in the United Kingdom or Australia, you’ll in finding Samsung’s personal 4nm Exynos 2200 chipset inside of, whilst the ones in america and maximum different territories are handled to Qualcomm’s 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

That’s paired with both 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB of super-fast UFS 3.1 garage. For what it’s price, I used to be provided with a 12/256GB variant for assessment.   

While I’m not able to pit the Snapdragon and Exynos variants towards one any other on the time of writing, the Exynos 2200 efficiency does appear similar in the CPU division in benchmark exams when in comparison to near-identical 8 Gen 1 telephones just like the Oppo Find X5 Pro.

However, Exynos 2200 graphics efficiency at WQHD+ trails rather in the back of 8 Gen 1 telephones, and it’s simplest when the S22 Ultra drops right down to FHD+ that it beats the QHD+ efficiency of the likes of the Oppo Find X5 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro in exams – as you can be expecting.

It may also’t rather compete with Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max and its A15 Bionic in the CPU division, yet Apple’s lead in that regard is unsurprising at this level.

Of direction, benchmark numbers simplest inform part the tale, and it must come as no wonder that efficiency is usually fast, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra in a position to maintain absolutely anything I may throw at it.

Apps have a tendency to load in an instant, there’s little or no stutter (with the exception of Twitter, which I suppose is a worm in the app) and video games run neatly, even in titles like Call of Duty Mobile with high-end textures and VFX enabled. It feels responsive to touch because of the adaptive refresh fee, with buttery-smooth animations including to the entire high-end efficiency on be offering.

There are insects that want to be ironed out, with the phone totally freezing and restarting two times in my week-long check, yet I’m assured that Samsung gets on peak of those problems briefly.

Performance apart, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with the entire bells and whistles you’d be expecting from a top-end flagship in 2022 together with make stronger for the most recent 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, UWB tech and NFC for virtual bills.  

Battery Life & Charging

  • All-day battery lifestyles
  • Could squeeze 1.5 and even 2 days with display screen changes
  • Faster charging, yet no longer as quick as competitors

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra packs the similar 5000mAh battery as its predecessor, so it must come as no wonder that battery lifestyles is analogous with remaining yr’s S21 Ultra in trying out.

Overall battery lifestyles relies on elements together with refresh fee and backbone, with the S22 Ultra in a position to remaining all day with the mix of an adaptive refresh fee and WQHD+ answer with reasonable use, but it surely received’t rather span a complete 2d day. That will also be prolonged to round 1.5 days in the event you drop right down to FHD+ regardless that – one thing that received’t be noticeable to maximum customers anyway.

In trying out, the S22 Ultra controlled to remaining 10 hours and half-hour in our benchmark check at complete WQHD+ answer, and losing right down to FHD+ equipped an additional two hours of battery lifestyles, coming in at 12hrs half-hour.

Charging is a space the place the S22 Ultra has advanced, up from a somewhat pedestrian 25W to a sooner – yet nonetheless no longer main – 45W when charged by way of USB-C. The catch is, like maximum different Samsung telephones, you don’t get a 45W charger in the field.

If you do get your palms on one, be expecting to look round 66% in part an hour and a complete fee in round an hour. That’s no longer on the similar degree because the Black Shark 4 Pro’s 120W quick charging tech, but it surely’ll suffice for almost all of customers.

It’s a an identical tale with wi-fi charging, with the 15W lagging in the back of the super-fast wi-fi charging on be offering from key competitors – yet a minimum of the low energy necessities imply you’ll be capable of use maximum third-party Qi chargers.

Software & Apps

  • Ships with the most recent Android 12 with Samsung OneUI 4.3
  • Advanced options – particularly photo-editing equipment – baked in
  • Samsung dedicated to as much as 4 years of OS updates

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes operating the most recent Android 12 out of the field with Samsung’s OneUI 4.3 carried out on peak.

It’s no longer essentially the most dramatic exchange to the Android OS in comparison to skins like Xiaomi’s MIUI and Oppo’s ColorOS, yet there are nuances to the design and capability that may take a little bit bit of having used to – particularly as Samsung determined to send its personal variations of the Messages app and Calendar app along pre-installed Google variants.

It is without doubt one of the more potent Android skins regardless that, particularly with regards to its picture and video-editing functions. Using the built-in modifying equipment throughout the Gallery app, you’ll carry out movements like object elimination, mirrored image elimination and extra, with usually spectacular effects.

There’s additionally the added perk of DeX make stronger, which supplies a desktop PC enjoy when plugged right into a track.

Crucially, Samsung has dedicated to ‘as much as 4 generations’ of Android OS updates, no longer simply safety updates, which might probably see the Galaxy S22 Ultra supported right through Android 16 – one thing refreshingly other to maximum Android producers. Even Google simplest commits to 3 years of OS updates for its Pixel vary!

Price & Availability

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is without doubt one of the maximum top class smartphones available on the market, beginning at £1,149/$1,199 for the 8GB/128GB variant, despite the fact that that does constitute a $100 drop in comparison to its predecessor.

You can get an upgraded 256GB of garage and 12GB of RAM for an extra $100/$100, with further 512GB and 1TB fashions to be had for those who want much more garage.

Here’s how a lot the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will set you again in all its 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 in purchasing the top class smartphone outright can achieve this from the likes of Samsung and Amazon in the United Kingdom and US, whilst the ones in a freelance can head to carriers together with EE and O2 in the United Kingdom and Verizon in america.

To see the way it stacks up towards the contest, check out our number of the most efficient telephones. 

Verdict

There’s so much to like concerning the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra; it appears top class, the WQHD+ AMOLED show is top-notch, the cameras are top-of-the-line round at the moment and, for the primary time, the Ultra type has a built-in S Pen – similar to the Note line.

This, coupled with the truth that the design mirrors the Note 20 Ultra greater than the remainder of the S22 vary, signifies that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a Galaxy Note in all yet branding – and that’s no dangerous factor. The S Pen efficiency is unbelievable, providing decrease latency than the Apple Pencil for an unrivaled writing and drawing enjoy.

Despite Samsung’s paintings with AMD at the GPU of its new Exynos 2200 chipset, it lags in the back of near-identical Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 smartphones in benchmarks. That mentioned, it’s no longer that noticeable in on a regular basis use, providing a in large part buttery-smooth enjoy when Instagramming and gaming.

It’s no longer the very best smartphone – the charging speeds are a lot slower than competitors, the huge dimensions will put some off and it’s very dear – however the Galaxy S22 Ultra will tick a large number of containers for a large number of other people.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specs

  • 6.8in, 120Hz, WQHD+, AMOLED show
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 128/256/512GB/1TB garage
  • 5000mAh battery
  • 45W stressed charging
  • 15W wi-fi charging
  • Rear digital camera: 108Mp, f/1.8, OIS primary digital camera, 12MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide digital camera, 10Mp, f/2.4, OIS 3x zoom telephoto digital camera, 10Mp, f/4.9, OIS 10x zoom telephoto digital camera
  • 40Mp, f/2.2 entrance digital camera
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • UWB
  • IP68
  • Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9mm
  • 229g
  • Android 12 with One UI 4.1



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