Galaxy S22 Ultra Review: Separating from the Pack!
If you took the name off of this phone, what samsung is giving you for the money is a galaxy note, but the phone that im reviewing and using is called the s22 ultra lets get into it. So the word ultra in samsungs lineup has basically come to just mean the highest ambitions, the biggest numbers, the best specs and the most features overall its just that now the ultra name has swallowed up. The note stuff too so note used to be that one special edition phone with the squared off design, the flat top and bottom and the pen built in now thats, just all wrapped up into ultra and the s22 ultra, does not miss a beat with all the Ultra stuff theyre packing in the highest end ship, they can thats the snapdragon 8gen one here in the us with a massive new cooling solution. Alongside it, the ram is technically down from last year. The base model has eight gigs and all the rest have 12 and theres no more 16 gig version. But i honestly dont miss that i cant imagine someone really needing 16 gigs of ram in their phone right now, but you absolutely can go up to one terabyte of non expandable storage though, but this display this display is also excellent. Its a huge 6.8 inch, 1440p ammo, led at 120 hertz with a 240 hertz touch sample rate, and the big new number is a max brightness of 1750 nits.
Now, on the one hand, i dont want to overreact about 1750 nits, like its a big number, but brightness works on a logarithmic scale, so this 1750 is not dramatically brighter than the 1500 max from last years. S21. Ultra. These phones are all very sunlight, readable, but i do still want to give samsung credit for continuing to improve an already best in class display and making it even better. It still got the same great ultrasonic, fingerprint reader as last year, right under the middle of the screen and still has a hole, punch camera in the top middle and its an ltpo2 panel. Now, which means, in addition to being really responsive, it can drop that refresh rate as low as 1 hertz when theres nothing moving on the screen. Really, my only dislike with this display is the curve over the edges. So if you look at this phone next to last years, s21 ultra, obviously these phones are different shapes and the displays are actually slightly different resolutions and this new shape definitely curves more over the sides which i dont like as much other than that. This is an awesome ultra display and we all know its not an ultra without a massive battery, so yeah 5000 milliamp hour should do the trick. Now, interestingly, there are some tests online showing that it doesnt last as long as last years, 5000 milliamp hour battery and you can see a roon mister whos. The boss did a variety of things in his test and found.
The s21 ultra did last a bit longer than this phone and to me, when i see that im, like okay theres, a variety of factors that can contribute to that one, the slightly better display two, a little bit more of a power hungry chip that runs hotter. In the snapdragon 8 gen 1, but generally my battery experience has been very, very good. I actually never killed it in a day, never really got anywhere close, easily ending heavy days with 30 40 plus percent battery left and could extrapolate about seven hours of screen on time out of a charge which is great for me, i know, screen on time, is Different for everyone, but its been great plus on top of that it does charge a bit faster than last year up to 45 watt peak charging. If you buy that fifty dollar optional brick so im glad they fit that big 5000 milliamp hour cell in here. Despite also adding the s pen which takes up a whole column along the inside of the phone, but speaking of that s, pen, thats, whats, new, the note stuff now im personally, not the biggest s, pen user. I think i say this every time. I review a note, like i think i signed one pdf last week with it, which was really convenient, but you know i did it once and i used samsungs handwriting recognition in the notes, app super cool that it works really well and you can search what youve Written – and i also i just enjoy that it still clicks a lot like that, so it is definitely impressive.
I still think its the best stylist in any phone and its literally got all the features the last notes had smart select is nice for screenshots and annotating things lock screen quick notes are still super convenient if you use samsung notes, and it even still has that Long distance, bluetooth connection that lets you use the button on the s pen to remote control, take photos without touching the phone, and the new display brings latency down from nine milliseconds, which is already pretty good, all the way down to 2.8 milliseconds, which to me basically Feels like real time, you know im, not an artist whos, doing massive drawings or extremely precise, sketch work with the pen, its just casual writing, and so the fact that it uses ai to predict where the pen is going to go and starts drawing those pixels slightly Ahead of where the panel is actually registering, it is pretty next level. So to me this this is as close to one to one as it gets, but at the end of the day, if you see all this and youre like, i still probably wont, really use any of it, then you can just slot the pen right back into The phone and never use it its out of the way and the phone didnt make any sacrifices to include it. So, okay, heres a bunch of other smaller things that i noticed from using this phone every day that you should too, if youre planning on getting one.
So the speakers are excellent. They get very loud and sound, crisp and clear like last year, some of the best in any smartphone so thats great for watching media. But then the display curving more over the edges than last year makes it worse for watching videos and then the vibration motor. This is a small thing, but i mentioned it also in the s22 review. They changed the type, so it went from a z axis vibration. Motor to an x axis vibration, motor, it doesnt sound like much, but it changes the way it feels. So it feels just as strong and precise and clean for typing or swiping or holding it in your hand, but its way less strong when its on a desk or in your pocket. So i literally missed phone calls with my phone sitting right in front of me. Vibrating on my desk, because i didnt hear it or feel it Music. Then the camera rings so theyre a bit of a controversial design sure but like most designs, you kind of get used to looking at it, but you never ever fully get it clean of dust. So if you go caseless like me, not only does the phone sit kind of funny on a table, but there will also always be dust between the camera rings. So just get ready for that. I would actually recommend, if you get a case channel sponsor dbrand just dropped their atomic edition grip case and it doesnt do a huge cutout.
All the way around the cameras, like i thought we might see in my impressions, video it actually just matches the camera rings and it looks way cleaner and its just deep enough to protect the cameras if you drop it. So this is definitely the way to go. You can check it out at the link below then this phone, just like the other s22s shoots. 8K video at 24 fps. You know the wrong frame rate. Give us the option for 30 samsung just put it in the settings somewhere, but even worse than not having the 30fps toggle. It actually crops in way more than the regular s22s so turns out. Shooting 8k is 33 megapixels and its actually cropping in to the middle 33 megapixels of this huge 108 megapixel sensor. So when you switch to 8k, you zoom in to what feels like about 2x, which is pretty inconvenient for framing no ak video from the ultrawide or the telephoto lenses. This is a bit of a downside and then there is absolutely still some shutter lag with this main camera more than the regular s22s again – and this is understandable with all the processing happening, but it definitely felt like i was missing some shots or having trouble capturing Moving objects because of the bit of a delay between the shutter press and the actual photo being taken, but speaking of cameras lets just get the camera stuff out of the way its funny, because this is probably what most people actually come to these review.
Videos for, if you think about it, if you watch a smartphone presentation these days, 75 of a new phone presentation today, especially a flagship, is camera stuff, so thats, one of the biggest things that differentiates these phones and on a 1200 phone, its one of the most Important features, so how is it well, you can see they went with basically the same layout of this set of cameras as last year, its 108 megapixel primary camera, the ultra wide, the 3x telephoto and the 10x telephoto, plus laser autofocus and theyre, not the same exact Hardware as last year, but theyre pretty close and thats a good thing and samsung is not messing around with their cameras. These are definitely flagship quality and im really happy with them matter of fact, i dont even have much to say about image quality, because there really isnt much new here, but there are some new features within the camera modes that might sort of unlock some new things And be different about this phone, so im gon na go over those with you one by one, so first the more accurate portrait mode. Now i think i tweeted a couple months ago – sort of ruffled some feathers, but i said something like samsung has the best like portrait mode on smartphones right now and i understandably ruffled some feathers, but i should clarify basically what i mean is their cutouts have been The most consistent and the most accurate of portrait modes among smartphones that ive seen so that doesnt mean the the blur is the most natural or the falloff is the most realistic.
I just mean they make the least errors with like ears and hair and shirts and stuff, and so this year, theyre planning on well theyve announced that theyre doing it even better theyve got ai stereo depth. Mapping for portrait mode that they claim can cut out things as small as a single human hair, which would be cool its, not exactly accurate, but they say its better, so i still found it to be really good, but its definitely not perfect. It still misses some stuff sometimes, but i stand by my statement. These cutouts and depth. Mapping theyre doing is really really good. The portrait mode shots especially look good with the 3x lens, with people with pets, even and also with inanimate objects. That still does a good job cutting stuff out again, not perfect youll. Pretty much always find some error in every smartphone portrait mode shot, but samsung does a really good job. I think the 1x portrait shots are good to have, but they dont look as natural. So i hope samsung works on the naturalness and fall off of the background blur to overall make it the best portrait mode. Then there is night photography which samsung has called nightography okay, so i compared the night mode shots to the iphone 13 pro, which also has an excellent camera, and my biggest takeaway is yes samsungs night mode photos are definitely more detailed, 100, but theyre also dramatically brighter. As advertised theyre, letting in a lot of light and the photos in the dark look like youre taking them in a lot more light than you actually have especially look at the sky back there, so its impressive, but its also a bit of a preference thing.
Some people want their nighttime photos to look like theyre at night, but then. Lastly, there is an expert raw app separate from the camera app that can take raw photos. That includes multi frame, computational photography, data hdr and everything and the differences are subtle, but they absolutely do allow for more latitude when editing so photographers should definitely grab this app from the ugliest app store ive seen in a while, the samsung galaxy store. So, im going to end it with this, you know typically the big question with the review at the end of the review youre like well. Should i buy it? Is it worth it, and this is an expensive phone, its 1200 bucks, so thats a big question. So basically, i think their mission was accomplished. The fact that they combined the note stuff with this phone makes it easier to separate from the regular s22s. It makes it a more obviously different phone in the lineup. So if you just want like a standard, really good flagship phone, big screen, nice battery nice cameras, all that stuff, the s22 plus is a great phone and its 200 less at the starting price. But if you want some specific extra things like the super high resolution display or the s pen or some of those camera tweaks, then that gives you a reason to upgrade and it does deliver on those extra things now. That being said, i am sticking with the galaxy s21 ultra as my main daily driver phone.
Obviously, people who have this phone dont need to upgrade, but its just basically the same phone as far as software battery cameras are almost the same performance is the same but uh with a design that i prefer and a vibration motor that actually notifies me more often, But yeah overall, this phone is good. It delivers if you want a little bit of a more in depth, look at the one ui 4.1 software and the fact that this phone, at least this lineup with the s22 for samsung, seems to be basically the default. Android experience more so than googles, pixel ever could be definitely watch. My s22 review ill leave a like button.