Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review: The Best Android Phone?



The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the most well-known phones on the market right now. But is it the best Android phone money can buy? Let’s find out…


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
5.0
From $33 P/M + $150 Digital Gift Card

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t just the best Android phone you can buy, it is arguably one of the best phones on the market right now with its outstanding camera, incredible zoom capabilities, S-Pen, and insanely powerful specs. It’s expensive, sure, but it is well worth the asking price… 

Pros:
  • Incredible Camera Performance
  • S-Pen is Useful & Much Improved
  • Best-In-Class Display
  • Massively Powerful
  • Market-Leading Zoom Capabilities
VIEW LATEST DEALS
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t just Samsung’s current flagship phone, it also represents the second coming of the company’s now-defunct Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ships with a built-in S-Pen, you see, alongside a brighter display, improved camera performance, and more power than ever. As flagships go, this phone is arguably the one to beat in 2022.

Picking up where the Galaxy S21 Ultra left off, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra adds in support for 45W fast charging, up from 30W on the S21, a brand new, vastly improved rear camera module, the same slick design we all know and love, and one of the best and brightest displays in the business. And, of course, the S-Pen, so, no… the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t an incremental update. It is a very significant update.

To be frank, Samsung wants its Galaxy S22 Ultra to supplant Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max as the go-to flagship phone for anyone that is looking for the absolute best performance – whether you’re talking about software, its stylus support, or its camera. Indeed, Samsung has invested heavily in the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera in a bid to usurp both Apple and Google’s Pixel 6. It now has a bigger main sensor for better low-light photos, AI-optimized portrait mode, and a new Super Clear lens.

But ALL of this will cost you quite a bit of money; the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most expensive phone of its kind on the market. It costs more than Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max, Google’s Pixel 6 Pro, and the OnePlus 10 Pro. And not by a little, by as much as $300 in some cases. The main question, then, is not whether this phone is good – we know that it is brilliant – but whether it is worth all that extra money?

Let’s take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s specs first, then we’ll look at some Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra reviews, and finally do some analysis of the phone in a bid to find out whether it is worth its asking price. Or, would you be better off going with the cheaper OnePlus 10 Pro or Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max? Let’s find out…

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s specs and hardware are, as you’d expect, mightily impressive. But at this price point, that is to be expected. You have plenty of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, a massive 6.8in Dynamic AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 5000mAh battery inside that comes with 45W fast charging abilities. All very impressive, indeed.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra CPU

But there are some things you need to keep in mind, and the most significant is which CPU your S22 Ultra runs. If you’re in the USA, you’ll get a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with Qualcomm’s monstrously potent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, but if you’re in the UK or elsewhere your Galaxy S22 Ultra will be running Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset. Both chipsets support 5G, of course, but the Gen 1 is said to be a better overall chipset than the Exynos 2200 – but only by a smidge.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review: The Best Android Phone?
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Multiple tests of both chips have confirmed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200 are fairly evenly matched with respect to performance. The only area where the Snapdragon outperforms the Exynos 2200 chip is when you’re looking at GPU performance. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s GPU performance is very impressive, nearly as good as Apple’s A15 CPU. Is this an issue? For the average user, I wouldn’t say so – the Exynos 2200 is still very, very powerful.

Even with things like high-end mobile gaming and image and video editing, most people will not be able to tell the difference – or discrepancy – between the Exynos and Snapdragon variants. You will see it in benchmark tools, of course, but these aren’t really reflective of real-world performance or how people actually use their phones. Neither of the chips has any issues with overheating either – both run cool, even at high output, and are extremely efficient systems. Basically, you’re never going to be wanting for performance.

The New S-Pen

You also get the S-Pen too, and it comes built-in. And this isn’t just the same old S-Pen as before. No, Samsung has improved it massively. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s S-Pen is now more functional than ever and it works across the entirety of Samsung’s UX, so you can take notes, doodle, and draw wherever and whenever inspiration strikes. There’s even a built-in app called PenUp, where you can learn to draw professionally for free which is a really neat addition.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera Review

  • 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)

And with cameras, Samsung used much the same module as it did on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. You have 2x 10MP telephoto lenses, 1x 12MP ultra-wide, and a 108MP wide main lens with an 85º field of view. But while the hardware is the same, the software that powers the lenses is much improved.

With the S22 Ultra, you’ll find improvements to nearly every aspect of the camera – everything has been refined and optimized, from optical image stabilization to its Super Steady System. Samsung’s zoom capabilities are now beyond impressive – even at 30x and 100x Space Zoom.

In this context, Samsung is way ahead of the pack, beating everybody from Apple with its iPhone 14 Pro Max to Google with its Pixel 6 Pro.

Low Light Performance

But it’s not just the hardware that Samsung has improved on between generations. It has also vastly improved the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s post-image processing too which now includes adaptive pixel technology that combines 9 pixels into one for improved low-light photography, 4x faster multi-frame processing, and AI-driven high-resolution processing that all combine to make its camera module more or less unbeatable in 2022.

And the updates keep on coming. Inside Samsung’s latest system update, it added even more features and improvements, notably to Portrait Mode and it also tackled a common issue that was affecting the camera app’s Single Take mode. And this is on top of all the additional generational improvements Samsung has introduced on the S22 Ultra.

For instance, the S22 Ultra’s Night Mode is leagues ahead of what you got on the S21 Ultra but this isn’t even the most impressive thing about the new phone. No, the most impressive thing is that its low-light performance, without Night Mode, is pretty much on par with the S21 Ultra’s Night Mode, perhaps even better – and that is damn impressive.

Samsung has done this through the use of wider apertures on the S22 Ultra’s main sensors and a nice chunk of back-end AI wizardry that kicks in as soon as a photo is captured. The S22 Ultra’s low light performance is so good, in fact, it feels more like a leap forwards than a step, meaning this is what we usually expect to see between, say, three generations of phones, not one.

Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Zoom Capabilities

how much ram does the galaxy s22 ultra have
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And we haven’t even talked about its zoom capabilities yet. These too are far beyond what you get from Google and Apple and, once again, place Samsung well out in front of the competition. The 10x zoom is incredible for capturing detailed images from pretty far away, and while you do lose some detail as you progress through its higher zoom capabilities, up to 30x, it is still a nice feature to have at your disposal. In fact, it is ideal for anyone that likes to take shots of planes, wildlife, planets, or at sporting events.

In fact, the only area that the S22 Ultra loses ground to the iPhone 14 Pro Max is when taking Portrait shots. In my experience, the detail and natural-looking shots captured with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 14 Pro Max look slightly better than what you get on the S22 Ultra. It’s not a major difference, one might even say it is subjective, but there is a slight discrepancy between things like skin color and clothing on the S22 that I think the iPhone nails more accurately.

But that’s literally it. In every other aspect, the S22 Ultra wipes the floor with Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro and the Pixel 6 Pro. And that, in and of itself, should tell you everything you need to know about the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera performance.

That’s my hot take on what makes the Galaxy S22 Ultra tick. Now, let’s take a look at a cross-section of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra reviews to build up a wider picture of whether or not this phone is worth buying in 2022. After the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra reviews section, I’ll do a little recap, covering caveats, things to keep in mind, and my own two cents on whether or not you should buy this phone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
5.0
From $33 P/M + $150 Digital Gift Card

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t just the best Android phone you can buy, it is arguably one of the best phones on the market right now with its outstanding camera, incredible zoom capabilities, S-Pen, and insanely powerful specs. It’s expensive, sure, but it is well worth the asking price… 

Pros:
  • Incredible Camera Performance
  • S-Pen is Useful & Much Improved
  • Best-In-Class Display
  • Massively Powerful
  • Market-Leading Zoom Capabilities
VIEW LATEST DEALS
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Reviews

95

Tom’s Guide

95

TechRadar

88

Phone Arena

95

Creative Bloq

100

Guardian

95

Tech Advisor

Is The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Worth It?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best Android phones you can buy right now. Actually, scratch that: it is one of THE best phones you can buy right now. It has incredible performance, a brilliant camera, one of the best displays in the business, tons of storage, and one of the nicest Android overlays available. For this reason, I would argue that it is well worth the asking price.

The only potential issue with getting the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra right now is that there are plenty of cheaper alternatives available that, in many ways, are just as good. I’m talking, of course, about phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro, the soon-to-be-announced Nothing Phone 1, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. And these phones are ALL cheaper than Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra. And if you’re on a tighter budget this year, like a lot of people, it might be prudent to look at those options first.

If you don’t care about the cost and know what you want, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is by far and away the most complete, functional, and well-appointed Android phone you can get right now. It does everything you’ll ever need, and it does it all exceptionally well. Plus, it comes with an S-Pen too, so you can use it to take notes and even learn how to draw using the PenUp application. From a raw performance perspective, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a powerhouse, easily the best in the business.

If you want the best of the best, and you want an Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is easily the best buy right now. Just be warned, it is very expensive and you can get much the same for less elsewhere. I’d argue the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s execution is near-perfect, however; there are no “weak” areas. This is why you’ll pay so much, whereas with another phone you’ll pay less but it won’t be quite so seamlessly polished.

It is this overall polish and attention to detail, in every aspect of the phone and its software and performance, that makes the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra so very, very special (and expensive). And if you can stomach the price, there are plenty of excellent deals up for grabs now.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
5.0
From $33 P/M + $150 Digital Gift Card

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t just the best Android phone you can buy, it is arguably one of the best phones on the market right now with its outstanding camera, incredible zoom capabilities, S-Pen, and insanely powerful specs. It’s expensive, sure, but it is well worth the asking price… 

Pros:
  • Incredible Camera Performance
  • S-Pen is Useful & Much Improved
  • Best-In-Class Display
  • Massively Powerful
  • Market-Leading Zoom Capabilities
VIEW LATEST DEALS
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

And check out Samsung Galaxy S23 Battery: What You Need To Know! And Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 RAM – Amount & Type

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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