The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a phone that was supposed to be an ideal and remain an unsurpassed model for a long time. Thanks to the stylus, it was supposed to be a great choice for those who miss the Note series, and the amazing cameras were to encourage professional photography enthusiasts. But is it possible to win the hearts of such different consumers with one phone? Feel free to review.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review summarized in three sentences
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a phone that aspires to become the most powerful flagship on the market. Great pictures, adaptive screen frequency and a versatile stylus make the phone one of a kind. The disadvantages of the new Ultra revolve around Samsung's known problems with capacity and battery use, and, surprisingly, with an underdeveloped Android overlay.
- The S Pen stylus and how it works
- Great photos and night mode
- Improvement in battery management
- Pleasant to the eye and hand finish
- Promise of four years of support with updates
- Software bugs
- Protruding cameras cause the phone to rock
Set, technical specifications and price of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The box with the phone is clearly smaller than what we are used to. The tendency to shrink the boxes is perfectly reflected by the fact that the sets with phones themselves are becoming more and more modest. In this black, minimalist box with a slightly shimmering number 22 and a large letter S in the color of the phone, we find the minimum and the minimum. In addition to the phone, we only get a USB-C-USB-C cable and a key for the SIM tray.
The parameters of this phone make up a very long and complex list. This is due to the fact that the most pampered of the new eSek offers a lot. I would not like to mention the price for all this. At the time of writing the review, the 128GB version of internal memory and 8GB RAM, the phone costs $1,099.99, the tested version (256GB / 12GB) is ₹109999.00, while the most powerful version available in our country, i.e. 512GB / 12GB, costs ₹118999.00. The difference of a thousand zlotys between the versions seems large, but taking into account the lack of the possibility of extending the memory, it may be worth considering additional payment.
The technical specification of the phone is as follows:
- 6.8 inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X QHD + display
- resolution: 3080 × 1440 (19.5: 9, 500 ppi)
- 90% of the front panel
- brightness up to 1750 nits
- HDR10 +
- image refresh rate: 1-120 Hz
- touch panel refresh rate: 240 Hz
- Exynos 2200 chip
- lithography: 4 nm
- 1x Cortex X2 (2.8 GHz)
- 3x Cortex A710 (2.5 GHz)
- 4x Cortex A510 (1.7 GHz)
- GPU: AMD Xclipse 920
- 8 or 12 GB RAM
- 128, 256, 512 GB or 1 TB on-board user memory (UFS 3.1)
- front: 40 MPx (f / 2.2)
- 108 MPx (f / 1.8, OIS, Dual Pixel AF)
- 12 MPx (f / 2.2, wide)
- 10 MPx (f / 2.4, 3x telephoto)
- 10 Mpx (f / 4.9, 10x telephoto-periscope)
- rechargeable battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh
- wired charging: 45 W
- wireless charging: 15 W (+ reverse)
- USB-C (3.1), NFC, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, S Pen, stereo speakers, IP68 certified, UWB, in-screen fingerprint reader
- Android 12 (One UI 4.1)
- dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm
- weight: 229
- front and back: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus +
- body: Armor Aluminum
- color versions: burgundy, black, white, green
Construction and build quality
Although it may seem that everyone has a different taste, I found it difficult to find a person who would not be delighted with making this phone. Its shape is definitely unusual for Samsung’s flagships with the letter S in the name. He is definitely closer to the phones of the Note series killed (and resurrected by Ultra). The phone is angular and has fairly pointed corners, which is made visible by the holes in the pockets of my pants. It is far from the slightly rounded style of the other two S22s.
The back of the phone is made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus + glass with a pleasant, matte finish. However, we will not find a characteristic island for cameras there, because each of as many as 4 lenses (and additional sensors) protrude separately above the rest of the housing. The glass back is separated from the front by an aluminum bezel where it meets the slightly curved glass on the front of the screen, which has been covered with the same glass.
The right edge is the lock button and the volume key and, despite the size of the phone, these buttons work well. The top is an additional microphone. The left edge remains free, while the most “crowded” place is the bottom edge, where we find a microphone, USB-C port, dualSIM slot and its main distinguishing feature – the S Pen stylus slot.
S Pen stylus
And here comes the first surprise – just like in the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra , the stylus pocket is on the wrong side. It is located at the very edge of the phone, but on its left side, which makes it difficult to remove and insert it, especially for right-handed people. The stylus itself is built and made, as usual, great – it is small, comfortable, has a button at the top that does not have any function except for bringing it closer to a regular pen and a functional button more or less in the middle of its length, which allows a lot depending on where it is. We are using.
Display and image quality
So let’s take a look at the display. This one is a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen. It boasts an intelligent, adjustable screen refresh from 24Hz to 120Hz. This smooth adaptation is especially useful for good battery management – when fluency is needed, such as when gaming or navigating the interface, this is how we have it. However, when the screen is motionless, the reduced refresh rate allows you to save some battery. The most important features, i.e. smooth, refreshed, great color reproduction and a large responsive surface are not the only advantages of this display.
A really big positive is its brightness, which, according to the manufacturer’s declaration, is a maximum of 1750 nits, which literally eclipses any sun that falls on our screen. However, please note Samsung has traditionally placed two more things on the front. The first one is the ultrasonic fingerprint reader hidden under the display, which works really efficiently and better than in previous Samsung phones. The second is a 40 megapixel selfie camera hidden in a small hole in the center of the top edge.
Battery – working time
The battery is the second thing, next to the price, that I would like to omit from the discussion in Samsung phones. The battery in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a capacity of 5000mAh and in my case it was enough for 1.5 days of work on a single charge. It is not bad, but we know that the competition can boast much better performance.
On the plus side, the phone finally supports faster 45-watt charging, although it looks like only with the latest Samsung charger. If you have read carefully, you know that it is not included in the set and you have to buy it separately. The phone also supports 15 Watt wireless charging and 4.5 Watt reverse wireless charging.
Cameras – the quality of photos and videos
Let’s go back to the potential buyers of this phone for a moment. You are definitely counting on great photos, and I must admit right away that they will not be disappointed.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers us a really wide selection of focal lengths, among them we have a 12 megapixel ultra wide angle camera corresponding to 13mm, 108 megapixel main corresponding to 23mm, 3x zoom with 10 megapixels corresponding to 70mm and 10x zoom also with 10 megapixels corresponding to 230mm and this choice really impressive.
An additional advantage is the possibility of using the digital 100x zoom, but in my opinion it is more of a bragging number in advertising materials than something sensible. Nevertheless, you have to tell Samsung that the 30-fold zoom gives very good results, which you can see in the pictures.
Pictures from each camera in good conditions are great, vivid and clear, full of details and colors. I always liked the captured frames, and the big advantage is the autofocus not only on the basic camera, but also on the ultra-wide-angle lens, which is not a commonly used solution.
Night photos should definitely be praised, above all for their high quality. The photos are also full of details and bright. At least the ones from the main lens. From other lenses they are less detailed and more noisy, especially at the 10x zoom. The night mode changes the situation as if by the touch of a magic wand and all the above-mentioned problems practically disappear. The night mode improves every shot, even if we decide to take close-up photos.
Videos using the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will record a maximum of 8k and 24 frames per second, but this is only on the main lens. On the others, we can choose from the following options:
- HD 30fps
- fullHD 30fps
- fullHD 60fps
- ultraHD 30fps
- ultraHD 60fps
In each of these resolutions (except ultraHD at 60 fps) we can freely switch between lenses.
The biggest problem I had with the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was not about taking photos, but about the application. The shutter release delay is considerable and despite the animation of the photo taken, the vibration appears a bit later and the photo is then finally taken. When photographing moving children or animals, this can be a big problem. In addition, the application is not much different from the one that Samsung has got used to, and if you want to see exactly what it looks like, take a look at the screenshots below.
The situation of an inefficient camera application remains a mystery to me, because the Exynos 2200 supported by 12 gigabytes of RAM (in the tested specimen) is a really efficient unit and it is difficult to tire it. Even the most demanding games are not a challenge for this processor. Not only that, those of you who have already had Samsung on Exynos certainly remember how warm it can get, and this problem does not actually occur here. The S22 Ultra is still not one of the coolest smartphones, but it’s far from the hot S21, for example.
Remember also that in some markets Samsung sells the S22 Ultra with Snapdragon, not Exynos, and according to various comparisons, the latter, unfortunately, fares worse. Also note that not entirely in the case of Samsung, and probably also of other manufacturers, it is worth blindly believing the benchmarks, because Samsung has recently been hit hard for pulling performance specifically for such applications. However, if you are interested in how the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra fell out in the tests, you will find the results below.
And from me, Sasmung should get hit for a poor approach to Android preparation. OneUI 4.1 based on Android 12 is undoubtedly my favorite overlay for Android smartphones. Everything is in its place in it, the phone personalization options can not be directly counted, and none of the things seems to be ill-considered or forced into it. Even Samsung’s approach to selecting colors in the system based on the wallpaper is great – and the phone gives us one of three or four themes to choose from, which it has chosen from the colors of the wallpaper, or allows us to stay with the standard colors.
Everything is fine here, except making users beta testers. When the S22 Ultra got to me, I ran into two big problems right away. The first is the system jamming – the phone randomly stuck for over a minute when trying to unlock it, completely not responding to anything, and then there was information that the system interface was not responding. The second error was even more annoying – because when playing videos in various applications, the phone stuttered and then the audio and video were out of sync. I found a workaround for this problem on the forums, but when you pay ₹118999 for the phone, you expect a little more. A recent update fixed the latter, but the distaste nonetheless remains.
The software for S Pen should definitely be treated as an advantage. Thanks to it, the stylus is not only an unnecessary gadget, but an integral part of the phone. The function button in the notes application allows us to gumming or switching between drawing tools. In some of the other apps we have support for gestures and we use the stylus like a wand, e.g. scrolling the page in the browser by waving the stylus or switching between modes in the camera is no problem. It is a pity, however, that there are no universal gestures here to, for example, mindlessly scroll through social media using a stylus. When it comes to taking notes with the stylus, as usual, it is very good and the stylus reflects the work and movement of our hand well. Responsiveness has been even more elaborated.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review – summary
The above review seems to confirm that the new S22 Ultra is such a new Note, but without the Note in the name. Samsung is still trying to prove with this all-having smartphone that it can make the most powerful phone on the market. For me, the biggest disadvantage turned out to be the most powerful phone only by frequent patching the system at our expense. However, if you are looking for a phone that will give you a stylus and great cameras, you will not find another device that offers these two things at the same time.