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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Hands-on Review : Better Display, Better S-Pen and Some Camera Enhancements

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The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features a built-in S Pen, a brighter display, and several camera enhancements.


For starters, Samsung improved the S Pen’s responsiveness by making it 70 percent faster and with reduced delay. The display is also brighter and more vivid than anything else we’ve seen, and 45W charging is faster than anything else we’ve seen.

The cameras on the Galaxy S22 Ultra have received the most changes, as Samsung aims to surpass the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Google Pixel 6 Pro as the greatest photography phone with a slew of improvements. A larger primary sensor for better low-light images, an AI-enhanced portrait mode, and a new Super Clear lens are among them.

Pros

Cons

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Android version

12, One UI 4

Display

6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD+

Refresh rate

1-120Hz

CPU

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

RAM

8GB, 12GB

Storage

128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Rear cameras

108MP (f/2.2) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) 10x telephoto, 10MP (f/2.4) 3x telephoto

Front camera

40MP (f/2.2)

Video

Up to 8K 24 fps

Battery

5,000 mAh

Charging

45W wired, 15W wireless

Size

3.1 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches

Weight

8.1 ounces

Connectivity

Wi-Fi 6E, UWB, 5G (mmWave/sub6)

Colours

Black, White, Green, Burgundy

 

DESIGN

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design

 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is uncomplicated yet gorgeous. I enjoy the clean, squared-off angles, as well as the fact that the cameras aren’t hidden behind a honking hump. They are more flush with the handset’s rear. The overall appearance is clean and minimalist.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design

Another advantage is that the 6.8-inch display is gently curved, which adds aesthetic appeal while preventing accidental screen presses. My only gripe is that entering words or moving the cursor to the far left or right of the screen might be difficult at times. Despite having a slightly larger display than Apple’s 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max, the S22 Ultra weighs 8.07 ounces versus 8.5 ounces.

 

The Galaxy S22 Ultra has an armour metal frame with a Gorilla Glass Victus+ back, which makes it feel sturdy and durable. However, we’ll have to wait and see how well this phone holds up in drop tests.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design

 

Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy are among the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s colour possibilities. I don’t usually use a case, so I’d definitely go with the bright white model.

 

 

 

 

DISPLAY

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung has raised the bar on display quality. A dynamic 120Hz refresh rate is provided, as before, allowing for seamless scrolling during our hands-on time. In addition, gamers will like the 240Hz touch sampling rate.

 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Display

However, there are two noteworthy display enhancements here. The first is the screen’s peak brightness of 1,750 nits, which may be the most we’ve ever seen. (Standard brightness is 1,250 nits, which is still extremely bright.)

 

A new Vision Booster feature, which can change the screen’s brightness on the fly throughout the day, is the second display benefit. This implies that using the S22 Ultra outside, even in direct sunlight, should be no problem.

 

I took the Galaxy S22 Ultra to Bryant Park with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Google Pixel 6 Pro, and when I turned on the Reacher trailer, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s display was noticeably brighter than the two competing phones.

 

This Galaxy S22 Ultra’s panel exhibited rich colours and wide viewing angles, as well as smooth animation during action scenes, when watching a trailer for Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Display
 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Max brightness

1,359 nits

1,038 nits

842 nits

sRGB color gamut

137.5%

109.3%

104.2%

DCI-P3 color gamut

97.4%

77.4%

73.8

Delta-E color accuracy (lower is better)

0.25

0.21

0.3

In our lab testing, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s panel performed well, with a maximum brightness of 1,359 nits, compared to 1,038 nits for the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 842 nits for the Google Pixel 6 Pro.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra also outperformed the competition in terms of colour reproduction, scoring 137.5 percent and 97.4 percent on the sRGB and DCI-P3 tests, respectively, compared to 109.3 percent /77.4 percent and 104.2 percent /73.8 percent for the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Pixel 6 Pro.

Color accuracy was the only area where the S22 Ultra fell short of the iPhone, with a Delta-E score of 0.25. (where 0 is perfect). The iPhone 13 Pro Max had a score of 0.21.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Display

 

Several people (albeit not us) who received their devices early have reported a potential issue with the S22 Ultra’s display. Strange static-like bands appear across the display on certain handsets, although the problem is restricted to Exynos-powered devices, and Samsung promises a cure.

 

 

 

S-PEN

 

The S Pen on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the smoothest I’ve ever used, thanks to Samsung’s reduction in delay from 9 milliseconds to to 2.8 milliseconds. So you’re seeing a 70% improvement in this area.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: S-Pen

The best part is that, unlike the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you won’t need a silly case to store the S Pen. The phone has a S Pen holder built right in.

 

Furthermore, the Galaxy S22 Ultra employs artificial intelligence to anticipate your hand movements and replicate the experience of a pen and paper. When taking notes, the writing is not only smooth, but it also has a nice tone to it, as if you were writing on paper.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: S-Pen

When writing on the display of the S22 Ultra and S21 Ultra, there is a notable difference in responsiveness. When I penned “This is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra,” for example, I felt that the words appeared in real time on the S22 Ultra as I scribbled, but the S21 Ultra seemed to be a half step behind and straining to keep up with the S Pen.

 

Other major S Pen improvements include more accurate handwriting-to-text translations and the ability to swiftly store notes in Microsoft Office docs and emails, among others.

 

 

CAMERAS

 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra appears to be on a mission to dethrone Apple and Google as the best camera phone. Our testing shows that the S22 Ultra is a really decent camera phone, but it’s quite the champ.

 

The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a bigger 2.4um pixel sensor that captures more light and data, as well as a Super Clear Glass lens that prevents flares in nighttime films. A 12MP ultrawide lens is included, as well as dual 10MP telephoto cameras with a combined 10x optical zoom and 100x space zoom. Check out our low-light photography comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max for more comparisons.

While the Night Mode on the S22 Ultra has been improved, I’m more satisfied with how the camera works in low light without using it. Take a look at this low-light shot of a couple of Star Wars figurines. With the S21 Ultra, the left side of Darth Vader’s helmet, Han Solo’s boots, and hair are barely visible. In the S22 Ultra’s photo, both become more noticeable and distinct

 

As seen by this photo of geese I took in a local park, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x zoom is among

the best I’ve tested. Although the 30x zoom loses some information and resembles a watercolour painting, it’s still impressive that you can get so close.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Vs Pixel 6 Pro

 

This snap of chrysanthemum blooms taken indoors left the Galaxy S22 Ultra impressed. The purple, maroon, and yellow tones of Samsung’s phone are deep. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, on the other hand, captures a brighter image with more detail in the petals. The Pixel 6 Pro also outperforms the S22 Ultra since its image has higher definition.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Vs IPhone 13 Pro Max

 

In this photo of trees, Samsung’s S22 Ultra took the lead. Compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it produces a brighter image with more brilliant greens. And the image appears to be crisper as a result of the highlights, especially when looking at the bark. There’s also more contrast.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Vs IPhone 13 Pro Max

 

The better portraits on the Galaxy S22 Ultra are thanks to AI Stereo Depth Maps. My shirt is crisp in the above image, and the background is beautifully blurred. In the late afternoon sunlight, my skin tone seems natural; earlier Samsung phones had a propensity to wash out faces when used outside in the sun.

 

Nonetheless, I like the iPhone 13 Pro Max because it produces a brighter and more colourful image. My shirt’s colour stands out more. However, the portrait on the S22 Ultra is superior to the Pixel 6 Pro, which appears grainy in comparison.

 

My friend held the phone and snapped a selfie with the S22 Ultra’s 40MP front camera, which provided a well-lit image with good detail, particularly in my hair. The photo taken with the iPhone 13 Pro Max was a little brighter this time, and the sunlight and shadows were portrayed more authentically. But I wouldn’t claim that one phone is clearly superior in this case.

 

In this photo of a Silver Volksvagen taken outside in near-total darkness, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Night Mode performed admirably. When compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, everything is more visible and brighter in the S22 Ultra’s photo.

 

In this photograph of a bar taken in low light, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Night mode performed admirably. 

 

Samsung cameras have a tendency to oversaturate colours, as seen in this photo of fruit in a grocery store taken with the S22 Ultra. The iPhone 13 Pro Max catches more realistic-looking hues in the peaches while also picking up more texture. 

 

In this photo of Times Square on a sunny day, the Galaxy S22 Ultra struggled a little. The sky has become increasingly washed out, as have the structures that have been exposed to the light. While the iPhone 13 Pro Max gives a deeper blue in the sky without losing the clouds, and the billboard and The Counter signage are both easier to pick out, the exposure feels a touch odd. The Pixel 6 Pro provides similar benefits from its shot, although the image is overall flatter.

Other camera highlights include an Auto Framing feature that can recognise up to 10 subjects at once, as well as a separate Expert RAW software that can capture 16-bit RAW files for users who want greater creative control over their images.

 

 

 

BENCHMARKS

 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the first phones to have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a 4nm device that promises improved CPU and graphics performance while reducing power consumption. In international markets, Samsung will provide its own 4nm Exynos 2200 chip.

 

The Galaxy S22 Ultra seems really fluid when opening and closing apps, despite having only 8GB of RAM. When switching or shutting apps, the S22 Ultra felt speedier than the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

 

In the Drive Club game, the S22 Ultra provided engaging gameplay while tearing around the track. I didn’t notice any hiccups while mowing down many foes in Call of Duty Mobile.



 

Galaxy S22 Ultra

Pixel 6 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro Max

Geekbench 5 (single / multicore)

1240/3392

1027 / 2760

1720 / 4549

Geekbench ML TensorFlow Lite (CPU / GPU / NPU)

434/ 2039 / 3132

300 / 1376 / 1745

915 / 1587 / 2663

Adobe Premiere Rush (Mins:Secs)

0:47

0:48

0:25

3DMark Wild Life Unlimited (Score / FPS)

9984 / 59.8 fps

6682 / 40 fps

11,418 / 68 fps

3DMark Wild Life Extreme (Score / FPS)

2346 / 14

1832 / 11

3075 / 18

 

Geekbench’s results aren’t final because the company is still working out difficulties with its tests.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra received a single-core score of 1,240 and a multi-core score of 3,392 on Geekbench 5, which measures total performance. The Galaxy S21 Ultra scored 1,123 on the single-core test, but 3,440 on the multi-core test.

 

Geekbench said there could be a problem with the S22 Ultra’s processor causing throttling during the test, so we’ll update if that’s fixed.

 

On Geekbench, the iPhone 13 Pro Max scored 1.720 and 4,549, while the Google Pixel 6 Pro scored 1,027/2,760.

 

On the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited graphics test, things improved considerably. The Galaxy S22 Ultra scored 9,984 points and had a frame rate of 59.84 frames per second. Compare it to the S21 Ultra’s 5,739/34.4 fps. Despite this, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a better frame rate of 11,418/68.4 fps. The Pixel 6 Pro only managed 6682 / 40 frames per second.

 

Finally, we performed a video encoding test with the Adobe Premiere Rush programme, transcoding a 4K movie clip to 1080p. The Galaxy S22 Ultra completed the challenge in 47 seconds, which is significantly faster than the S21 Ultra’s 1:02. The iPhone 13 Pro Max took only 25 seconds, while the Pixel 6 Pro took 48 seconds, which was comparable to the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

 

If you’re looking for cutting-edge wireless, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is equipped with Wi-Fi 6E, which Samsung claims is twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6.

 

 

BATTERY AND CHARGING

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a massive 5,000 mAh battery that Samsung claims will last more than a day in normal use. The Tom’s Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness, has been run several times.

 

With the 60Hz mode set on, the S22 Ultra’s best battery life so far is 10 hours and 18 minutes on T-network. Mobile’s That’s better than the Google Pixel 6 Pro’s 7:55, but it falls short of the S21 Ultra’s 11 hours and 25 minutes, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s 12:16.

The S22 Ultra lasted 8:50 with adaptive mode for the display (which scales up to 120Hz), which is less than we expected. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.

 

When it comes to charging, the Galaxy S22 Ultra delivers 45W charging, which is an advance over the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 25W charging. Samsung claims that you’ll reach 50% in 20 minutes, which is roughly 10 minutes faster than the S21 Ultra.

 

Our Galaxy S22 Ultra was charged to 36 percent in 15 minutes and 67 percent in 30 minutes using a 45W charger. That’s faster than a 25W charger on the same phone (29 percent vs. 58 percent), but the difference isn’t significant.

SOFTWARE

 

Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 software works on top of Android 12 to power the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This interface, according to Samsung, is more straightforward and functional than earlier iterations, and it includes a new privacy dashboard for added security.

 

Samsung also promotes Samsung Wallet, which combines your digital payment information, ID, and other information into an one tool. Similar to Apple’s iOS 15 software, the new Google Duo app allows you to share videos and documents during video conversations.

 

 

 

VERDICT

The best phone display yet: The AMOLED panel of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is not only brighter than competitors, making it excellent for outdoor viewing, but it also has superior colour saturation.

 

The S Pen is much better: Writing and drawing on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is as fluid as pen and paper thanks to a 70% reduction in latency. There’s also a built-in holster.

 

Better Photos (particularly in low-light situations): The Galaxy S22 Ultra takes brighter photographs than the S21 Ultra, thanks to a larger primary sensor, and the Night Mode outperforms the iPhone 13 Pro Max in some situations.

 

Better Support: Samsung promises five years of update support and four years of major OS updates, so you should be able to use this flagship for a long time.

 

The battery life should be improved: In our web surfing battery test, we saw a bit over 10 hours of usage. That’s admirable, but it falls short of the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s over 12 hours.

 

Slim and Durable Design:The Galaxy S22 Ultra has an armour aluminium frame and a Gorilla Glass Victus+ back, but it’s still lighter than the iPhone 13 Pro Max without the obnoxious notch. The curved display, on the other hand, may not be to everyone’s taste.

 

45W charging is quick (but not so quick): the phone reached 67 percent in 30 minutes, which isn’t much faster than 25W charging (58 percent ).

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