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Samsung S22 Ultra Review

As someone who is a fan of large screens, great displays, excellent cameras and the versatility of a good stylus, I'd be very tempted to award the S22 Ultra with the title of best smartphone around.

Obviously, it isn't, and much like everything else, everyone's preference for a smartphone is different., and because of that the S22 Ultra will divide people.

If you hadn't noticed, this thing is huge - like shockingly so, but there is good reason for that, most notably the screen.

The stunning 6.8-Inch AMOLED screen is absolutely gorgeous, and it supports up to WQHD+ 3088 x 1440 pixels at 500 ppi. For contrast, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has 458 ppi on it's 6.7-Inch 2778 x 1080 display.

Everything - and I mean everything -looks fantastic on the S22 Ultra's screen, and the adaptive screen refresh shifts smoothly between 1Hz and 120Hz, and with a peak brightness off 1750 nits coupled with Samsung's new Vison Booster Technology, and what you have is by far one of - if not the - best displays on any smartphone.

Hidden under the screen is the effective ultrasonic fingerprint reader which was both fast and responsive, as well as the punch out up top for the 40MP front-facing camera.

Surrounding the crème-de-le-crème of displays is a solid Armor Aluminum body, and the phone sports two corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ plates. Whilst some may not like the boxy design of the 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm handset, I think it looks gorgeous, and the more aggressive design shows of the screen far better than more rounded angles could.

The top of the device is generally an unbroken slice of metal, with just a tiny pin hold for the microphone, whilst the bottom is home to the USB-C port, SIM tray, speaker grille and now the S-Pen.

If you wasn't aware, Samsung have retired the Note line-up, and replaced it with a Hybrid of the S-Series and Note series - which we now know to be the S22 Ultra. From one side of things, it doesn't make much sense - just call this the new Note - but I suppose this helps keep the latest handsets together, and possibly keep people less-in-the-loop up to date with which handset is the new flagship. I don't know either way, but I'm glad the S-Pen is included, and it's a good feeling having it with me for when I need it.

Which brings me to one of the biggest gripes some people will have along with the huge size.

Whilst I am a huge fan of a good stylus, many people are not. And for those people, the inclusion of the S-Pen being part of the S22 Ultra may be a put off - carrying around something they don't want to or never will use, and that makes sense.

But it's a genuine delight, and whether you're taking notes, indulging in some digital art, using the S-Pen as a camera remote or even just to sit comfortably and use the S-Pen to scroll through content - it works, it's gloriously

But I understand that it's not for everyone, and whilst I am also a big believer in massive screens, others are not - and luckily, Samsung are aware of this, which is why for this launch there is a choice of 3 devices in the S22-Range - Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra, so you have a choice of three depending on your design, screen and power craving:


  • S22: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm, 168g

  • S22+: 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm, 196g

  • S22 Ultra: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm, 229g


  • S22: 6.1-inch, Full HD+, flat, 10-120Hz refresh rate

  • S22+: 6.6-inch, Full HD+, flat, 10-120Hz refresh rate

  • S22 Ultra: 6.81-inch, Quad HD+, curved, 1-120Hz refresh rate


  • S22: Qualcomm SD 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 3700mAh battery

  • S22+: Qualcomm SD 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 4500mAh battery

  • S22 Ultra: Qualcomm SD 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200, 8/12GB RAM, 128/256/512GB/1TB storage, 5000mAh battery

The S22 Ultra’s array of five lenses round out the mostly empty back of the phone, and because of this, the phone doesn't only feel premium because of the materials used, but it looks minimalistic, and this adds a classy look to it.

There are two 10MP telephoto lenses: one is f/2.4 with a 36-degree field of view (FOV) and the other is f/4.9 with an 11-degree FOV, along with a 12MP ultrawide with a 120-degree FOV, and then there’s the 108MP main wide camera (f/1.8) with an 85-degree FOV.

While the image sensors haven't changed since the S21 Ultra, Samsung been hard at work upgrading the optical image stabilization, digital image stabilization and image processing. The result is better performance from all the lenses, but the biggest boost is more noticeable in the zoom arena.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra's zoom capabilities blow every other phone camera out of the water. The 3x and 10x optical are not only great, but they allow for fantastic photos that are clear and pixel free, whilst the 30x and 100x allow for shockingly great photos that look good (albeit with some artifacting) and give you a chance to great some close up photos of the moon.

This is all done via the stabilization that kicks in, where the phone essentially takes control of the lens to hold a subject, i.e the moon, and keeps it in frame.

Wide and ultrawide also get some pixel-wizardry with Samsung's new Adaptive Pixel, where the phone will take nine pixels of information and combines them to get better colour and contrast, then merges them with the full resolution shot. Assisting here is that fifth lens, which is actually a Laser Auto Focus sensor - which, if you look at closely when in use, you'll see the little red laser peeking out from behind the glass - it's beautiful.

You can also shoot high-quality 4K video at 60fps, and up to 8K at 24fps, and results are excellent, if a little less than smooth at 8K, but absolutely usable.

This all sounds (and is) excellent, but if you were thinking this doesn't come cheap - you're correct., the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at:

  • 128GB - £1,149 / AU$1,849 / $1,199.99

  • 256GB - £1,249 / AU$1,999 / $1,299,99

  • 512GB - £1,329 / AU$2,149 / $1,399.99

  • 1TB - £1,499 / AU$2,449 / $1,599.99

As you can see, it's most definitely a premium device with a premium price point, but again, this is where Samsung's offerings of two other devices at a lower price point plays in - if you want the best possible version of the S22, then you need to pay the high price. Also note, that none of the S22 phones come with a microSD card slot for upgrading your storage space, so make sure you factor that in to your decision.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra runs Android 12 with Samsung's OneUI on top (so long awful Touchwiz!) and it's not too full of bloatware, rather just clones of Googles own apps.

Depending where you are in the world, the S22 Ultra will have either a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chip inside.

Both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Exynos 2200 are manufactured on a 4nm production process and feature octa-core CPUs with the same base 1+3+4 core configuration. Whichever version you get, you'll be treated to an Cortex-X2 prime core, three Cortex-A710 cores and four Cortex-A510.

As I'm in the UK, the model of S22 Ultra I have is the Exynos 2200 version, so I can't compare direct real-time comparisons to the Snapdragon model, but if I get the chance to, then I'll update the review.

Day-to-day operation of the S22 Ultra is buttery smooth, and I've encountered no hiccups or slowdown with any operations, and the S22 Ultra has handled all apps and games with ease.

The S22 Ultra is a phenomenal device, with features I haven't even got around to trying out, and whilst the score below may indicate that this is the best phone on the market, that isn't the case - it's just a genuinely pleasurable experience, and because of it's size and inclusion of a stylus, it may not appeal to everyone.

Those after a fantastic, powerful and downright immersive phone, however - look no further than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.


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