Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review

This is the galaxy s22 ultra it’s Samsung’s flagship phone for 2022. And if the last few years are anything to go by this, Samsung S22 Ultra should set a new benchmark for what a smartphone can do. So, In this post, I will tell you the really cool things I like about it. The sneaky things I don’t like about it and then the big question is if it’s worth it is worth dropping what you’re doing sprinting to your computer and smacking that pre-order button right now.

Samsung S22 Ultra Review

Here is the feature that I like about Samsung S22 Ultra.

  1. S-pen
  2. Design
  3. Display
  4. One UI 4
  5. Battery
  6. Camera
  7. Performance

Things I don’t Like about the S22 Ultra Flagships are

  1. Removing 4 Gig of psyical RAM
  2. Ordering seperatly the 45 watt charger.

1. S-Pen

The very first development of note is that the Samsung Galaxy s22 ultra has an s pen stylus built into it. and it’s kind of amazing. Samsung used to have two different sets of flagships that had the S series which focused on having a faster chipset and big camera improvements. And then they had the note series which focused on productivity through the use of this pen.

But the s22 ultra is both of these things, plus the Spen has never felt better. While their last version had a latency or lag of about 9 milliseconds which was already bordering on indistinguishable from a real pen. This time around thanks to AI(Artificial Intelligence) that cannot just know where the stylus is but also predict where it’s going to be. They’ve managed to trim that lag all the way down to just 2.8 milliseconds.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
S-Pen in Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

2. Design

And then we’ve got the design and just to give you context here, I love the design of the Samsung Galaxy s21 ultra. It is comfortable to hold, it is clean but at the same time, it had the character in the form of this camera housing that kind of melts into the top corner.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Camera

And with the Samsung Galaxy s22 ultra, I feel like Samsung’s taken the next logical step forward. It’s almost identical in terms of dimensions and finish and even the position of each camera lens.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Hand in Hand

But they’ve now upgraded the glass all around for 12.5 percent more strength and they stripped away that bulky camera housing leaving the lenses themselves as the only protruding parts. It’s very clean and I mean the green color I think it’s enchanting, I love it. And the fact that this housing is gone gives the whole phone just a flatter more uniform overall profile.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
Samsung S21 and S22 Ultra

That said having seen it and used it in person I also can’t help but feel like, it also just looks a bit plain now. So, utilitarian that it’s almost lost some of its characters. The lenses are now a bit more exposed but my biggest gripe with this design is really; why do they have to make it so sharp. Like I get that it has an S-pen and that it’s meant to resemble the shape of a book that you might want to write in. But my hand is not a bookshelf it’s just unnecessarily pokey and a bit less comfortable than it should be. This is a very odd way of visualizing it but just have a look at what the smooths 21 ultra does to this cardboard versus what the new s22 ultra does to it. It’s still a good design it’s just if their last phone was a 9 in terms of rating this is an 8.

Click on the images below to zoom.

3. Display

If there’s one thing that I could have told you five years ago that Samsung was going to nail here it’s the screen. Samsung has become the largest display company in the world for a reason and so this is just me confirming to you. Some part of me is disappointed that they haven’t tried to push themselves beyond this cookie-cutter display format. The fact that from the front this doesn’t look much different to the 2019 galaxy note 10. But on the other hand, through iteration, you could argue that they’ve perfected the format they do have.

The Samsung Galaxy s22 ultra screen takes the last already stunning panel and dials the peak brightness up from 1500 nits all the way to 1750. And it does so while actually consuming less power. Their last phone used something called LTPO tech which meant that whenever you’re looking at something static say a web page it could dial back its refresh rate from 120 hertz down to 10 hertz but the s22 ultra can dial it all the way back to just 1 hertz.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Display

4. Samsung Software- One UI 4

My opinion on it is changing there was a time when Samsung phones were so stacked with useless apps that they were more bloated. They had a user interface that looked like it was designed for five-year-olds and buying a Samsung phone felt like you were signing away any hopes of getting a software update on time. But they’ve really tightened up their game the bloatware is still a problem. Samsung really wants you to use Samsung apps and they won’t stop trying to make you. But their updates are now way quicker and not just that they’re now promising 4 full years of them, which will take this phone all the way from android 12 to android 16. And as for the skin that sits on top of that android, the Samsung Galaxy s22 phones all ship with Samsung’s One UI 4 which is a fitting number because there are four things I like about it.

  1. There’s a color palette feature that automatically matches the theme of your whole phone to the color of your wallpaper which keeps it fresh without you really needing to think about it.
  2. There’s a new design language with more transparency which gives their phones like a lighter feel and more importantly I don’t feel like I’m in preschool by using it anymore.
  3. The camera app has now been neatened up, it looks slicker, it works faster and you cannot hold down the photo button to immediately start taking a video.
  4. And they’ve reworked the settings with everything set out in a slightly more congruent structure. They even reward you with a smiley face if you manage to not screw your phone up.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Interface

5. Battery

The battery is looking great, we have the same high capacity of 5000 milliamp-hour cells as the s21 ultra but it should last longer thanks to various efficiency improvements. Just lots of little things like the phone being able to put the WiFi to sleep automatically when not in use. And it should also charge faster thanks to the maximum charging power being bumped from 25watts to 45. That’s just incredible but all of this stuff, the s-pen, displays, software, battery are all pretty minor improvements over last year. And to be honest, if this was all that had changed I would say to you skip this phone but there are two major improvements that really do matter.

  1. Cameras
  2. The Hardware

6. Camera

It might not be obvious why the hardware looks largely identical and on the software side, all the new features they’ve added are highly optional. Like one of them is auto FPS when you’re shooting video the phone can decide the best frame rate for you based on lighting conditions.

Or Auto framing which can adjust the zoom level based on how many people are in the image. It does add a level of dynamism but it uses digital zoom which is going to completely K.O your video quality. It’s only when you dig a level deeper than you find the actually cool stuff. So, for starters, the main camera has a 58 wider optical image stabilization system. So, there’s just significantly more room for the camera to move and therefore to counteract your hand movements and stabilize itself.

Even though the main camera has the same 108-megapixel resolution as last year, each pixel that you do get is now 1.23 times bigger which should mean more detail and more accurate colors. The phone still has two telephoto cameras, one three times optical zoom the other 10 times. But Samsung has upgraded the sensors such that when you’re zooming in further that the image should look cleaner. And to be fair we did try a 30-time zoom shot versus last year’s s21 ultra the difference was enormous.

There’s a new camera app called expert raw that lets you shoot photos in 16-bit raw format for an insane degree of editability. Samsung’s also working with third-party apps like Snapchat to integrate their first-party features like my mode into them. The s22 phones all come with a new chipset and they can use that chipset’s power to improve images. So now when you take a normal photo using this phone it has the power to take two photos instantly one super high resolution 108 megapixels shot for detail and then one lower-resolution 12 megapixels shot for brightness and then fuse them for what Samsung is saying is the best of both worlds. And then thanks to the more intelligent neural engine that also comes as a part of this chip upgrade they’re saying that this will snap the most realistic portrait mode shots ever. It’ll take far better portrait mode video. I tried this out can confirm it’ll be able to remaster your old photos more intelligently and be able to take crispier photos and videos in the dark. And again in my brief time testing this it seems like a surprisingly big improvement given how similar the hardware looks.

Now, none of this changes the fact that Samsung is 100% playing it safe with this hardware. You could very easily argue this is the same company that just unveiled a 200-megapixel sensor last year. where is it? But I reckon that this phone will be better because of it.

It’s not as exciting from the perspective of having a new toy to play with but based on my early impressions the camera does feel extremely fast and polished. That is most likely because they haven’t had to rush around trying to optimize a completely brand new set of hardware from scratch. It’s building on the strong foundations of its predecessor. And that’s never been more important, the s21 ultra’s camera has moved up an entire grade in terms of how good it is over the course of the year that it’s been out. Optimization is everything now.

7. Performance

The final rather exciting prospect here is the performance. This is the first phone in the world powered by Samsung’s Exynos 2200, their next-generation chipset made in collaboration with AMD using the same graphics architecture as a PlayStation 5.

And these guys have self-titled this chip as game-changing even going as far as to use the slogan playtime is over. An odd choice of words given that it’s geared for gaming but the point stands, this should load things faster multitask more fluidly, and gain higher fidelity than ever before.

The key thing to stress here though is should I wouldn’t say that I can feel any particular speed improvements while milling through the UI but Samsung says this is because we are waiting for a big update to drop which will drastically improve it. When we get that update we can decide for ourselves and compare this chip to the snapdragon chip that you’ll get if you’re in the US.

All that said it’s not completely smooth sailing there are a couple of sneaky quirks that I think you need to be aware of.

Number one is the memory. See this is a $1200 2022 ultra flagship, but the base model only starts with eight gigs of RAM. Last year’s phone had 12. Now Samsung’s justification for this is the new virtual RAM feature in their latest version of one UI, which can kind of repurpose some of your normal storage into temporary RAM when needed. But that’s still not a reason to cut the amount of physical RAM, I mean they’re still selling an s22 ultra with 12 gigs of RAM.

So, that option has merit, you just now have to pay more for it, and remember last year’s phones are also getting the same software and so they will also have this virtual ram feature. But they started at 12 gigs of RAM and the second gray area is to do with the company’s ECO agenda. So Samsung just like every other tech company has set out a whole bunch of sustainability goals that they want to hit by 2025. And don’t get me wrong this in itself is great. I just think that the way they’re going about achieving this is a bit cheeky.

For starters, one of Samsung’s main selling points here is that this phone now charges at 45 watts instead of the old 25 watts.

But for eco reasons they don’t give you that charger with the phone. So, if you want this feature you’re gonna have to buy it separately which will end up wasting more packaging than just including it in the box. And I can almost guarantee this charger will be more expensive than the old one. Or like one of the other things, this company is trying to talk up is that these new phones are eco-friendly. Because certain parts like the mechanisms behind some of the buttons and the s-pen housing on the inside of the phone are made from recycled fishing nets.

Again the idea is great but first of all this plastic isn’t quite as durable as the plastic they used to use. And more importantly, the entire operation just feels like it’s trying to take a box. It’s going to have practically zero impact on the world like Samsung is saying that by the end of this year through a combination of all of their products put together they could mean that they might help to recover 50 tons of discarded fishing nets.

Assuming that all of those ifs come to fruition that is still less than the amount that is dumped in the sea every hour.

I’m just saying this looks like a fantastic phone but just don’t buy it on the basis that it’s a positive contribution to the world. There are literally a thousand more eco-friendly things they could have done like improved the repairability, made the batteries replaceable, or provided a case in the box so that you don’t have to order one separately.

Should you Pre-Order Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Flagship?

All of this leads us to the big question should you pre-order the galaxy S22 ultra-right now.

Probably not!!!

Not because it’s gonna be bad, I’m actually pretty confident it’s gonna be great and I’m strongly considering dumping my iPhone to switch to it. It’s just that there’s no point in pre-ordering before reviewers have had time for in-depth testing.

So, what I’d recommend is hang on just until I’ve had time to do my detailed camera test and battery test, and then assuming that these two go well because they might not, this chip may be an overheating disaster then we’re golden. All I can say before that is that. This has all the ingredients of a potential 10 out of 10 smartphones of the year to understand.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Camera Test