Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review
. A week ago i did a first look now that ive had this. For a little over a week. Im ready to do the full review so flagship best of the best. What does this mean price tag? Twelve hundred dollar starting price, which is the same as last year, despite inflation, all that, thank goodness and its a little bit cheaper than the note 20 ultra. Its close cousin costs when it first came out, but still i know its its offensively expensive to some of you out there and you can either say. Samsung has decided to give us everything. They could possibly give us with the price tag to match, and then they have the s22 plus for 999, the s22 for 799, the fe sitting in between size wise for 6.99. So there are phones for every price point. But this is what happens when you put everything in there i mean what do you mean by everything 6.8 inch very high resolution: 120 hertz variable refresh oled display nice enough right. There ultrasonic in display fingerprint scanner 2d facial recognition, ultra wideband wi fi 6e. A lot of laptops still dont have that 5g, both sub 6 and millimeter, wave ip68 dust and water resistant, the latest snapdragon 8 gen, 1 processor or exynos 2200. If you happen to be in europe and some other countries also supposed to be a pretty good cpu. This time, around four storage choices, all the way up to one terabyte, seven color choices, probably theyll, add more later on, and i havent even touched on the cameras yet, which is probably the biggest feature set here, including the only phone youre going to see with a 10X optical zoom on board.
So when you put all those things in there, youre like okay, i get it. This is for people who want to have the tops of everything and everything that is possible in the phone were going to look at it now, but we still havent touched on everything. Remember when i referenced the samsung galaxy. Note 20 ultra well, yes, this has an s pen. In fact, this is the one, as you know, by now its sort of really a note. It has the flat top and bottom on. It still has curved sides and 4096 pressure levels, even faster pen response, which means less latency, which means immediate inking. The minute you start drawing better predictive algorithms, where it tries to figure out where youre going next with that pen, all that sort of thing and the usual air commands youve got for taking screenshots or torturing people with your powerpoint presentations and advancing each slide. If thats part of your job description and, of course, bluetooth, nfc samsung pay and youre getting the idea, 40 megapixel selfie camera for those of you who really want to show yourself and whoever is standing around you in the most high possible detail, all right cool. So now that weve gone through all the justifications for why iphone might cost as much and after three years of the ultra costing this much, i guess were used to it besides. One thing that helps too is samsung has just extended their os update, guarantee to four years, beating even google, in their pixel line for software updates.
So that is an acknowledgment that number one. Yes, the phones are very high quality and very fast, probably so fast youre not going to be complaining about the speed of the phone anytime spoon, especially since one ui4 is a pretty responsive piece of software on top of android 12. But they know that youre keeping your phones longer because they are very expensive because they are very sophisticated and they are pretty well made. So thats a nice piece of assurance too. Now, lest this start to sound like a samsung commercial, which by no means isnt going to be its not a perfect phone, it is, however, a big heavy 229 grams phone. Some of you wont like the curved display on the sides, its not a radical, steep curve, but its there. I say you kind of need it, because this is a wide phone wider than the note 20 ultra, even and its not really very comfortable in the hand when you hold something that has straight sides on both sides and its not a super super thin phone either. So theres that when it comes to photography, some of the marketing is still well its marketing like the 100x space zoom, though it has improved from the previous generation, where we first saw it. So while i found it really pretty much unusable if youre using a tripod or resting it on something, you can get sort of workable detail other than the perv effect there, for, i hope, youre not doing things with this.
You shouldnt be uh. It is sometimes useful, mostly for trying to figure out what is that. Far in the distance, you can see the example im standing in the front of the supermarket, and i start with the 1x normal, and then i go to the 10x, which is still optical. You get that and then i go to 100x and theres, some broccoli or whatever it is in the back, so i could have stood still and that wouldnt have helped any because you know what, if youre ever in any place where there are some people moving around Its still going to be a challenge. Besides the fact. The 100x goes like if youve ever used a long telephoto lens on a camera. People moving are going to make it a little bit harder, so youre not necessarily going to get real sharpness there, but thats not important, because what is important is 30x. Zoom has improved and its somewhat usable now, and it is really handy if youre like say youre in the airport youre trying to read what the terminal says for your flight or something like that and then theres a crowd of people. You dont want to walk over there. You can actually make it readable just using the camera lens and for those who are just into photography that 10x zoom optical is the bees knees as a samsung, somehow managing to get the consistency between four different camera lenses and sensors. So tight its, not easy.
Its all software, no down thats, one of the reasons why having a fast processor, helps here, but the color, the contrast, the overall sharpness is so similar between these lenses. The 10x will be the softest it has. The the doesnt have as wide an aperture which can hurt a little bit in low light, that sort of thing, but generally speaking, very close anyway, 10x thats a whole lot of zoom thats, like 230 millimeter reach in a 35 millimeter camera, so optical is usable. This is nice, so for those of you who love your standalone camera and one of the reasons you werent relying on a camera phone is because you dont have high quality. Zoom were starting to see that so thats one of my favorite features of this now the 3x zoom lens is also very good, its also optical. Of course, you can choose increments in between. If you want, i tend to stick with the actual focal length of the lenses for the best quality and you can go to the ultrawide, which is 0.6. The main sensor is 108 megapixel. You can choose to either do pixel binning and actually shoot at 108 megapixels or you can have it shoot in its automated way. Now i did, you can see a couple of shots one after the other, and i see a little more naturalness and a little bit less of the typical over sharpening that we see in camera phones with 108 megapixel.
But i have a feeling a lot of everyday average. People are just really going to stick with the normal mode, not the 108 megapixel, even though its an interesting thing to have, and in theory makes for better cropping for those times when your zoom range isnt still sufficient, and you want something high quality. You can shoot in raw mode. If you want, there is pro mode there is. They dont have apple cinematic mode which lets you pull focus from one thing or person to another, but they do have a kind of portrait mode, video where it follows that persons face and keeps that face in detail and everything else broke it out its not that Sophisticated the 8k video is more of a party trick at this point in a couple years. Maybe if we have more 8k tvs, thatll seem useful, but you know, but the 4k 60 frame per second video and 30 frames per second video is the best samsungs done yet and my opinion hasnt changed since the first look, i mean we, we know the iphone Really just kicks everybody else to the curb when it comes to video quality, you can argue that this one might have the better still cameras than the iphone 13 pro or pro max, but video apple still has it for stabilization for less artifacting. For a more natural look, but this is definitely an improvement. The stabilization is better on it. There is less of that digital artifacting kind of look, but they could do even better, but its good to see improvement.
Night mode is also improved, but its a little bit less in a way relevant here, because one of the benefits of having a very large sensor and a wide aperture lens, particularly if youre, using that f 1.8 main lens on this, is it lets a lot of Light in so ive noticed, and i still see that fact that it doesnt offer or need to kick into night mode. As often it can actually just shoot the shot. Youll get the most natural and sharpest shot if youre, not using night mode, which kind of makes sense, youre, not using software, interpolation and other bells and whistles to try to make things. Look better and, like i said my first look, it looks more natural as well. So things dont, look like night turned into date, quite as much and colors dont, look quite as unbelievable when you are in night mode all right before i spend the entirety of this video on the camera. A couple more words about samsung has definitely improved the cameras. Its an incremental improvement over the s21 ultra youre, probably not going to jump ship and upgrade year to year, just based on that. But besides the fact that the telephoto lenses have improved, they look sharper, they look better. They look more consistent, matching the other lenses on the camera and, besides the fact night mode is better. They have changed the color science here, theyve increased, the contrast which i think most people like and the colors are a bit more natural theyre still a little over zingy and pictures are maybe a little more bright compared to certainly the pixel 6 pro or the iphone 13 pro max, both of which go for a more naturalistic.
Look, though, the iphone also warms things up, but overall the photography is improved here. So its getting to the point where i dont feel like i have to carry my fujifilm xs 10 camera as often im a real photo enthusiast, so i still will, but it takes very nice shots now compared to the pixel 6 pro i would say its more Consistent believe it or not the pixel 6 pro software has been a little buggier than most google releases. So consistency between lenses and the number of keepers, i would say, samsungs winning here versus the iphone i its trades blows. You know what i mean its really close. It depends if you like, a warmer shot, which is the iphone or a cooler shot, which is the samsungs. But i would say, samsung gets the edge here, certainly for their portrait mode. Thats improved less getting your frizzy hair, trimmed off in portrait mode, for example, and also because they have 10x optical zoom, its just more versatile. If you go to the zoo, you can take pictures or to an air, show yeah all right on to the rest of it. The s pen, one of my favorite things much as im going to try to be unbiased and i usually am fairly unbiased in our reviews. I had to admit i liked the ultra among all the sd2 s22 models, because i was a note fan so weve got that noting this thing going on plus my photography buff and we got that high end photography thing going on, but the s pen is just Wonderful, if you like, to use well a pen with your phone, the drawback i find two of them is: this: is a shiny, slippery gorilla, glass, victus plus display and the pen just kind of skates, its a little hard to control, whether taking notes or whether doing Artwork doesnt mean i cant.
Do artwork means that i wish i had a rubbery nib for the pen tip or a matte screen protector, not the most common thing for a phone to have a little more control over to be precise. With my art, the pen itself is wonderful. At 4096 pressure levels, wacom emr its responsive, its accurate, its delightful in that respect. Also, nice is there is a pen included and it lives in the silo, just like a note so good times them and the other drawback. I find is that the todays phones are very tall and very narrow and whether youre taking notes or whether youre doing art. This is not the most ideal aspect ratio, if youre taking notes and holding it in portrait mode. You want write two or three words per line before you run out of room and with art. You know most of us do a golden ratio or a three by two aspect: ratio canvas or something like that. You dont draw and paint an ultra wide screen, so its a little weird in that respect and the galaxy z fold three kind of appeals a little bit when it comes to that and doesnt have a slippery display either all right. Another thing i really couldnt talk about a lot in our first like review, was battery life because it takes a while to test it at least a week, not just for the phone to settle down and do any optimizations its going to do, but because i believe In real world tests, this whole idea of you test a phone until it dies by having it running and doing stuff continuously thats, not how we use our phones is it.
You dont, run your phone for six hours straight. Normally speaking, you use it for two to twenty minutes at a time during the day, probably on and off a variety of tests from taking photos to making calls to texting to looking up stuff on the web to maybe playing a little gaming. You put it back in your pocket or your purse or whatever it is. You keep it you put on the desk, you know, then you pick it up again and be at night. You want to watch some videos, be it youtube or whatever streaming service. Is your favorite and you might watch something for an hour or two hours, so i try to replicate that kind of testing and i leave it at the default settings which is full hd plus for the display resolution with 120 hertz adaptive refresh for the display and Automatic brightness and the standard performance setting for the processor and it was delightfully hard to kill. I tell you thats the nice thing about the ultra and the preceding s21 ultra, whose battery life i find was about the same. Is it feels pretty hard to kill it? Its not iphone 13 pro max level, because there apple does control the ecosystem more tightly and can really optimize stuff. But i got about an average of six and a half hours of screen on time, and that is with doing some of the more heavy tests like playing games and shooting photos and videos and all that stuff, more probably more than a normal person would do in Any given day, thats pretty solid and compared to the samsung galaxy z fold 3, it it lasts considerably longer its noticeable where the z fold 3, i always have to plug in at the end of the day, this one with normal use.
I could go through the day and into the next day before having to plug it. In another thing that helps is it does support 45 watt wired fast charging? You dont get a charger in the box. Just like you, dont get a headphone jack or a micro sd card slot anymore, but 45 watt laptop chargers are pretty common. These days you can use one of those or get samsungs compact one when its available again anyway. So that can top you up. You can go from 50 to 100 percent in a half an hour or less, so it reduces your battery anxiety as well. So im pretty good with that for wireless charging. You still get 15 watt, which is called fast wireless charging, not as fast as what oneplus does, but pretty much thats. What everybody else is offering and yeah. It has reverse wireless charging or powershares, so you can charge a galaxy watch or buzz or something using. The back of the phone last thing to talk about is pricing, not the price tag, but the fact that samsung always has great deals, particularly for pre orders and often youll, see, stores have continued to have some pretty solid deals, probably not as good as the pre Order deals but anyway, if you pre order it, then you can get up to 250 worth of accessories. This is probably why half the folks in the world have galaxy, watches or buds and stuff, because they get them as freebies with the phone.
You can get a free upgrade from the 128 to the 256 gig model when you pre order same prices. If you bought the base model and they have in the united states. There are very generous trade ins, not so much for the folding phones, interestingly, but for most others, you get probably at least as much as youd be able to sell it for locally without the household selling it locally. Also, i think in part samsung inflates their prices to equate them with luxury products to match with the iphone is priced at right and they may have more leeway in their pricing. So therefore, you see more discounts like more carrier discount deals. More big box store discount deals that continue on afterwards, so you dont have to pay twelve hundred dollars for this phone. If you look around so thats the samsung galaxy s21 ultra with its new minimalist design, i wasnt sure if i liked the camera design or the lack of the thingy around at the domino, but ive decided it looks pretty clean and its probably going to age well Versus add on stuff, like fins on 50 cars just there for the looks didnt age well right. This is pretty clean, its pretty nice, obviously its an iterative design. As far as the s21 ultra combined with the note 20 ultra, so you cant say: hey wow its something completely new, but in terms of getting everything in here and the stuff that people care about no more of the silly hardware, gimmicks and stuff and software that Samsung used to throw in i mean this is the everything phone priced at the everything phone price.
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