The flagship models of modern smartphones are increasingly perceived as simple variations of previous generations, iterative updates. Even their lineup is the same across many brands: a base model, a larger base model, and the biggest phone with some extra camera and maybe some other minor hardware and software upgrades. Features, display size and price gradually increase from the smallest version to the largest. But in general, you can always say that this is the same phone in three different variations. By the way, a phone for every taste can be found on the O2 website.
All this has been typical for Samsung flagship smartphones in recent years, but today everything is very different. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most expensive flagship smartphone of the year. And it feels completely different than the other two. This is the first ever Galaxy S with a built-in stylus. He inherited it from the already officially retired Galaxy Note. Plus, it gets a decent 10x optical zoom and a few other cool new camera features. Overall, despite still being part of the Galaxy S line, this phone feels more like the enthusiast device that the Note has always been.
If it wasn’t so obvious before, now Samsung has made it a little easier to find the most suitable flagship for you. If you can’t live without a stylus, get the S22 Ultra. In principle, you will not have any other alternatives to this smartphone. There is no other similar offer on the market today. Devices with stylus support, of course, exist, but they are far from flagship. If the electronic pen and 10x camera zoom don’t interest you much, either the S22 or the S22 Plus will do. Which one you choose depends only on how big a screen you need. The first two models will suit more people, and although the Ultra is far from being for everyone, it is still very good, and it would be foolish to argue with that. By the way, the flagship from Samsung can be ordered on the O2 website. Follow the pinned link!
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design And Hardware Quality
Even though the Ultra is different from its two smaller brothers, there are still a lot of similarities between the two. Each of them is powered by the latest flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor (in some other countries, devices run on Samsung’s proprietary Exynos chip). All have a maximum water and dust resistance rating of IP68, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus covering both the front and back of the case. The S22 Ultra and Plus feature brighter OLED screens (maxing out at 1750 nits) than the base version (1300 nits), but all three have a high refresh rate of 120Hz. The Ultra also uses an LTPO screen that allows you to dynamically change the frequency over a wider range than the rest, which in theory should help save battery life. Since this is a huge 6.8-inch panel with a resolution of 1440 x 3088, even the smallest battery savings can make a big difference.
The display itself, as is usually the case with Samsung, is simply excellent. It’s already well-tuned out of the box, so you don’t have to go through the settings to find the colors you’re comfortable with. But such a possibility, of course, exists. Compared to the Google Pixel 6, the S22 Ultra’s default display mode is slightly warmer, but it’s only noticeable when the two phones are placed side by side. Colors always have enough brightness and saturation, but without unnecessary oversaturation. When viewed at very narrow angles, the colors shift a little, but you are unlikely to look at the display from such an extreme position. In general, there are no problems with the display that could bother you in everyday use. Even outdoors, the smartphone never remains dark and shows excellent brightness in direct sunlight.
The design of the Ultra is more angular and boxy than the other two models. This further emphasizes its connection to the Galaxy Note line, as does the built-in S Pen stylus compartment. The base versions of the flagship follow last year’s design with slightly more rounded corners and a camera array that blends in color with the bezel. The Ultra, on the other hand, takes a completely different path and doesn’t have a common camera bump at all. Instead, the four lenses and the laser autofocus sensor simply protrude from the back of the device separately from each other. At first it looks strange and looks like spider eyes, but when you get used to it, you notice that this solution really gives the smartphone some refined personality. It’s still a matter of taste though, of course. Perhaps, after him, other phone manufacturers are also starting to do this. Well, most won’t mind, I guess.
You may also be concerned about the possibility of lenses snagging on pockets, but no, that’s not a problem. The problem is in the gaps between them, which constantly collect dust on themselves. The IP68 rating has to deal with dust getting in and under the cameras themselves, so it’s more of an aesthetic issue. You’d better wipe it sometimes to keep the phone just as beautiful. But you can always buy a branded case from Samsung that will eliminate those gaps between the cameras.
The lack of a single camera array is one of the most obvious differences between the Ultra and the regular S22 and Plus. But its design also stands out with its curved screen edges on the long sides, while the other two displays are completely flat. This solution looks quite nice, and the thin frames on the sides remain almost invisible thanks to this. But sometimes you will forget about it and hold the stylus along the edge of the screen, which will slide off it into the abyss every time. This may not be a problem for many, but it seems like it would be easier to live with a flat screen to avoid such mishaps.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra supports 45W fast wired charging, but of course, there is no power adapter in the box. Therefore, you will have to buy a charger separately if you want to get charging at maximum power. The S22 Ultra also supports 15W wireless charging, which recharges the charge in less than two hours, which is quite enough. So if you don’t need maximum charging speed, you can save on it by buying a cheaper adapter. All flagship models can be ordered from the O2 website. Follow the link.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Cameras
Compared to last year’s S21 Ultra, the new flagship, of course, has some differences. However, these changes are quite minor, for example, telephoto lenses have become a little wider, but in general the combination is still the same. So, the following cameras are installed in the Galaxy S22 Ultra:
- Standard 108-megapixel lens with f/1.8 aperture and OIS
- 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x zoom and OIS
- 10MP f/4.9 telephoto lens with 10x zoom and OIS
- 12MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens
Since the hardware is mostly the same, everything that could be said about last year’s model is also true for the new one: the cameras are generally excellent with some nuances. The 10x optical zoom still works great, and the 100x Space Zoom is still a marketing gimmick.
The video features are mostly unchanged. A new auto framing option has been added that can track up to 10 people in a frame to automatically set and defocus people as they move in or out of the frame. There’s also an auto frame rate feature that adjusts FPS on the fly to match brighter or darker conditions. The maximum video recording resolution is still 8K at 24 FPS for the main camera and 4K at 60 FPS for the front camera.
Thanks to these changes, portrait mode now produces some of the best photos ever taken with a smartphone. You can now take 108-megapixel photos in night mode. The best and most modern camera phones can be ordered on the O2 website. Follow the pinned link.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Results
It’s hard to even set a task for the S22 Ultra that it can’t complete. Can it make a GIF animation from a video, paste it into a note, and pin it to the desktop? Easily. Can it take a clear photo of a distant object from your apartment window? Undoubtedly. Can it take a photo of text and then convert it to print so it can be copied and pasted anywhere? Yes again.
It is capable of just about everything you can expect from a 2022 flagship smartphone. By the way, this model can be ordered on the O2 website.