At the start of 2022, Samsung made official a new generation of premium smartphones. The one that attracts all the attention this year is the Galaxy S22 Ultra to which we gladly lend all superlatives. What it really does to get all the attentions? Our review of the S22 Ultra is below.
Last year, the S21 series arrived relatively early due to the pandemic. This year, Samsung seems to have returned to a more classic pace with announcements just before MWC Barcelona. We were able to discover the new generation of Galaxy S22. Among them, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has been one of the most commented.
With its large screen, S Pen, design (which is reminiscent of the Galaxy Note lights) or its new SoC Exynos 2200 developed with AMD, the Galaxy S22 Ultra promises great things.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is presented as the fusion between the previous S21 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra. Is this the device every geek dreams of? We did a full test of the product, you will discover all the details below.
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Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design
From an aesthetic point of view, the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks like the previous Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The manufacturer has chosen to distinguish the design of this model quite clearly compared to the more classic S22 and S22+.
With this Ultra model, we find a more linear and more angular design – as if Samsung was aimed more at technophiles than at the general public (which seems logical to us in itself). The finish is particularly neat with a frosted glass back of the most beautiful effect, especially on this purple version that we have tested.
Samsung has chosen to integrate its cameras in the back and not make them a separate block, which gives the impression of having a thinner smartphone, which is not necessarily true in the figures.
In any case, this choice allows the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to offer a very distinctive design from its competitors and in this era when the offer is plethoric, it is not a bad thing to be different from the others. All this makes it possible to have a sober and elegant product, perfect for us technophiles.
And finally, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers an ultra-sonic fingerprint sensor from Qualcomm. With an unlock and fast, we were not disappointed.
On the other hand, we noted a bug that only occurred when using a video wallpaper. Indeed, with this type of background, there was like interference when displaying and unlocking. Probably a software bug but still, it was there.
Finally, the power and / or standby button is found on the right edge, below the volume buttons, which leaves the left edge of the smartphone completely blank.
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Screen
Samsung offers the best screens on the market on smartphones. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel is one of the best on the market – if not the best. With a definition of 1440p, the screen is super thin in terms of display, the blacks are very deep and the colors well contrasted.
Once again, Samsung is doing well, the colorimetry is mastered, the viewing angles are good and we had no problems with visibility in direct sunlight.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers a screen with a variable refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz and 1440p definition. For those who haven’t followed everything, the main advantage of a 120 Hz screen is the overall fluidity: as we spend our days scrolling through pages or timelines, the quality can be seen quite quickly on the websites, Twitter or Instagram.
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Audio
Samsung offers stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support: the whole thing can simulate 360° sound. Obviously, we are talking about loudspeakers and the uses that result from them, you will not be able to power a cinema either.
The speakers are quite standard in themselves but that is enough for small content or even those that are a little longer now. Finally, unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S22 Ultra does not offer a 3.5mm jack port.
Galaxy S22 Ultra: S Pen
Support for the S Pen was one of the big new features of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, it is also there on the new Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
And while it was an option last year, it comes standard with the new model and has its own Galaxy Note-style storage. Of course, the S22 Ultra is still compatible with any S Pen and we were able to confirm this during our test.
Because the S Pen comes from that of the Galaxy Note, it can thus be used as a remote control for your presentations, your photo gallery or even your multimedia applications. That’s not all since we find the trigger function for taking photos.
The S Pen is identical at the hardware level to that of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: it incorporates a 6-axis accelerometer, which allows Samsung to offer Air Actions, functions that are activated by making small gestures with the S Pen.
There are also functions such as Live Message (handwriting transmitted in GIF mode) or Screen Off Memo which allows you to take notes without having to unlock the smartphone. The Samsung Notes application continues to evolve with still an OCR but also the function of putting the text right for better reading.
You can also annotate PDFs and it doesn’t stop there since you can export to other formats such as Office documents. You also have the option of synchronizing Samsung Notes with Microsoft OneNote, for example.
So, what has changed on this Galaxy S22 Ultra? Not much on the hardware side but for the software part, Samsung worked with Wacom on a stroke prediction technology, which helps reduce latency to just 2.8ms. In use, it is fluid and everything seems natural, even better than on previous models.
We have always been big Galaxy Note fans and clearly the S Pen is well integrated and practical. You have to use the S Pen for a while to realize all its practical capabilities. Now, if you’re not an S Pen user, you can always leave it in your storage like 90% of real Galaxy Note users…
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Software & Hardware
On the Android side, we find Android 12 with the OneUI 4.1 overlay that we always find pleasant and complete.
While last year, Samsung had fallen back a bit by adding too many functions, which had the effect of overloading the user interface. With version 4.1, Samsung is back on the right track and even allows itself to use Google applications like Messages for example a little more.
This may seem trivial to some, but it’s a big step forward for the mass adoption of the RCS format that Apple still refuses to use…
In any case, the experience is close to Android Stock with a few small in-house additions.
Galaxy S22 Ultra: GPU
The contribution of 120 Hz is always appreciable on a daily basis. With all the options at the maximum, we did not notice any impact on the general autonomy during the test of this Galaxy S22 Ultra. Good news then.
On the performance side, the Galaxy S22 Ultra in its Europe version offers the new Exynos 2200 SoC, the graphics part of which was developed with AMD. Still no Qualcomm for Europe, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is reserved for the Galaxy S22 in the United States and Korea. We were able to compare it to the first smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and we will be cash!
If the Exynos remains a premium SoC with relatively high benchmark results, it remains behind Qualcomm’s latest SoC (and even more so compared to Apple’s A15 Bionic). Don’t make us say what we haven’t said: the Exynos 2200 is powerful and fast, it will be more than enough for all our needs.
In our test of the S22 Ultra, we did not see any real benefits on the graphics part with AMD. We were able to try out recent games like Wild Rifts, Call of Duty Mobile or Rocket League Side, there’s nothing to say but it’s not “more beautiful” and the iOS version is clearly more beautiful .
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Battery
The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers a 5,000m Ah battery, so a lot was expected. We prefer to say it right away: the S22 Ultra will be able to last a full and charged day but we cannot push on a second day of autonomy. We had the impression of having the same autonomy, whether the smartphone was being used or whether it was on standby. It is a lack of optimization and we hope that Samsung can improve this part.
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera
Samsung has taken up a winning formula and we find the photo block of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Thus, we find a main sensor of 108 Megapixels with non-binning technology which allows to merge 9 pixels into 1 and therefore to have 12.4 Megapixel output photos. Except that this year, the technology has evolved and we end up with larger photosites, which means more information and therefore more light somewhere.
So, unsurprisingly, there are also two tele-photos, a first classic with a 3x optical zoom and a second with a 10x periscope zoom – as well as a 12 megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor.
On the front, there is a selfie module with a 40 megapixel sensor and therefore quad-binning technology which allows 4 pixels to be merged into 1 and therefore to output 10 megapixel selfies.
We also discover all the software functions of the Galaxy S such as better AI for scene recognition, better detection of closed eyes or HDR mode, Live Focus, and the essential Night mode which can work with the ultra large -angle.
Samsung comes back with the Single Take mode but without highlighting it but it is only one option among many others. For those who don’t know it, this mode allows you to take no less than 5 styles of photos with a single click (AI Best Moment, Ultra Wide Shot, Live Focus, AI Filter, Smart Crop) and 4 styles of videos up to 10 seconds (Forward and Backward Video, Forward Video, Backward Video, Original Video). In a single take, we end up with different types of content of a present moment that we can easily share on social networks.
With phase detection autofocus and laser autofocus, needless to say, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is really fast at focusing subjects and/or subject tracking. It will always be necessary to pay attention to the area of sharpness with these larger sensors even if in return, we have a more pleasant natural bokeh.
But suddenly, if the photo block is the same, what has changed? If the hardware part is the same, it is especially the software part that has evolved with many optimizations in terms of algorithms.
According to Samsung, it is especially in low light situations that the S22 Ultra will shine compared to its predecessors (and its competitors). And for once, we have to recognize that Samsung has done a good job.
If the daytime photos were already well controlled on the whole because we are in the presence of a premium smartphone, it is especially in low light conditions that we discover the progress of the Korean manufacturer. The quality has taken a leap forward and it is really impressive.
This can even be seen on cameras known to be less comfortable, we are talking about tele-photos for example. Take for example the photo of Wall-E: we were almost in a half-light without light and here is the result in full automatic mode, it’s impressive! Even portrait mode has made progress with better cropping.
But it does not stop at the photo because all these evolutions are also seen on the video. During our tests of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the stabilization was always mastered and it is only in low light conditions that we discover more aggressive smoothing. This is still impressive for a smartphone.
We will add the pictures we took with S22 Ultra here soon…
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Pros and Cons
- The design and the finishes
- The incredible versatility of the photo block
- The S Pen
- Performance despite everything
- Unique in it’s genre
- It’s an XL smartphone
- Battery could be better optimized
- Exynos processor (Except USA & S. Korea)
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Conclusion
With the S Pen, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is positioned as a unique smartphone. If some can play the design card, Samsung allows itself to play the design AND functionality card with this stylus which is so original in this segment.
Also, it’s hard to fault the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: it’s a real Swiss knife and it’s probably the most complete smartphone on the market. From handwritten note taking to super versatile photo features, the S22 Ultra can do it all.
It is clear that it may be more reasonable to look at the S22+ (financially, among other things) but if you want to have the most functions, it is the Galaxy S22 Ultra that you will need.
In any case and despite a few flaws, Samsung delivers an exceptional smartphone. For us, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is an undeniable success and it has everything to please us Geeks.
Best Current Price on Amazon: $1030
Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specs
|Smartphone||Galaxy S22 Ultra|
|Screen||– 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X|
– Edge curved screen in 20:9 format
– WQHD+ definition
– 240Hz Touch Sensor
– Gorilla Glass Victus
– Center punch
|Design||– Aluminum frame|
back – IP68
|SoCs and GPUs||– Exynos 2200|
– Engraving in 4nm
|Memory||– 12GB or 16GB of RAM|
– 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage
– No Micro-SD port
|Colors||– Phantom Black|
– Phantom Silver
|Camera||– 108 MP main sensor –|
12.4 MP nona-binning technology (9 pixels in 1)
– f/1.8 aperture, Optical Stabilization and Phase Detection Autofocus
– 10 MP telephoto sensor n°1 3x
– F/ 2.4, Optical Stabilization and Dual Pixel Autofocus
– 10 MP telephoto sensor n°2 10x
– Aperture of F/4.9, Optical Stabilization and Dual Pixel Autofocus
– 12 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor
– FoV 120°, F/2.2 aperture and Dual Pixel
Autofocus – Laser Autofocus
– Auto HDR Photo
– 8K Video Capture at 24fps
– Single Shot
– 40 MP front sensor
|Audio||– AKG stereo speaker|
– Dolby Atmos
– no 3.5mm jack
|Battery||– 5000 mAh|
– Super Fast Charging 45W
– USB-C Port
– Fast Wireless Charging
– Wireless Powershare
|Connectivity||– Ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the screen|
– Bluetooth 5.2
– WiFi 6E
– 2x nano-SIM
– 5G sub-6
– S Pen support
|Software||– Android 12|
– One UI 4.1
– Samsung DeX
|Height and weight||– 163.3 x 77.9 x|
8.9mm – 229g