The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is officially my favorite Android phone, and as a Galaxy Note lover, it’s the phone that easily replaces the last phone I loved so much, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
For every power user, the Galaxy S22 Ultra gives you everything you could want, great cameras and great features, with some serious upgrades over the Galaxy S21. It’s a powerhouse for photography, video, gaming, and more.
Here’s my full breakdown of what I liked about the Galaxy S22 Ultra, what you need to know, key features, and why I think it’s perfect for professionals.
S Pen: Compared to the Galaxy S22 and S22+, the S22 Ultra comes with the Galaxy S Pen, with big improvements in speed and low latency. For note takers, artists, and anyone who likes to give feedback on documents or images, this is a fantastic tool.
Cameras: The S22 Ultra cameras are all amazing, from the 40 MP selfie camera to the 108 MP wide-angle camera, telephoto lenses and ultra-wide cameras. The best upgrade for the cameras, however, is the larger sensor for the wide-angle camera and the AI processing that improves all your results, from video and portraits to night shots.
Display: It’s no surprise that, once again, Samsung wins the award for best screen and overall display. The 6.8″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with Quad HD+ resolution is utterly gorgeous, it’s bright and it’s a dream for gaming, watching movies and any use.
Prices, Options & Colors
The S22 Ultra is available with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $1,649.99. However, for $1,789.99 you can get the phone with 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM, and that’s what I highly recommend to give you enough storage space and power.
The phone is also available in 512GB and 1TB models.
Colors include Burgundy, Green, Phantom White, and Phantom Black, as well as Samsung-exclusive Graphite, Sky Blue, and Red.
While the phantom white and black are my favorites for the standard colors, and because they stand out so much, I love the graphite phone. It is a remarkably elegant pearl gray.
As pictured above, I also really liked Samsung’s new cases for the S22 Ultra. The strap made the case a bit chunky, but it still fit in my back pocket and the strap made it easier to grip the phone, keeping it stable for shooting videos and photos.
Display and design
Samsung really nailed it all for the display and design of the S22 Ultra. There is nothing to add.
In terms of brightness, the S22 Ultra achieves 1750 nits of peak brightness with Vision Booster mode, and it really makes a difference against glare and bright conditions. The feature will impact your battery life, but for using the phone outdoors, it’s a great feature.
As I mentioned in the main features, the display is mesmerizing and will make you want to use a live wallpaper just to enjoy the color, depth and vibrant screen whenever you unlock the phone.
Watching movies on the screen and gaming were both noticeably brighter, bolder and more vivid than your average smartphone, and thanks to the 6.8-inch screen, it’s an excellent overall experience.
The design of the phone is sturdy, comfortable, sleek and eye-catching, from the rounded edges to the well-designed back shell that shows almost no fingerprints.
For the front and back of the phone, Samsung uses Corning Gorilla Glass Victus with an Armor aluminum frame, and it is IP68 water and dust resistant.
I also like how Samsung has adapted the camera array. On previous phones, the die block looked and felt a bit too bulky, while the S22 Ultra opts for a cleaner, simpler design. A case is still highly recommended to protect everything, but I will say that the camera array only protrudes slightly.
The number one thing I look for in any phone is the cameras, and Samsung has done a lot to improve in every way the images and videos you’ll capture with the S22 Ultra.
For starters, the processor and AI offer a suite of upgrades when shooting. Auto frame rate detects when lighting changes in a scene to optimize shooting speed, in terms of frames per second, while the processor cleans up noise in images and video to make them brighter and clearer. This even includes when taking night portraits.
The phone also corrects for shake in the video for the smoothest video I’ve ever captured, even in tougher conditions.
In every situation I shot in, from bright to dark, the results were increasingly clear, and the zoom is truly remarkable for its clarity, even at 30x and 100x. The best results still come up to around 10x, due to the optical zoom, but you can get clearer results by zooming in more than ever before, especially in daylight.
For photographers, the Expert RAW camera mode offers a major improvement to shooting with the phone, allowing you to adjust your settings as you wish, just like on a regular camera, then edit the DNG file in Adobe Lightroom.
I could go on and on about cameras, photos and video, but the bottom line is that I was impressed in every way. Samsung has gone a long way to make the results stand out.
And, as Note fans already know, the S Pen allows you to attach the S22 Ultra to a tripod or hold it in one hand, then press the S Pen button to take a photo. Air controls also allow you to switch modes and do a whole lot more without even picking up the phone.
Battery and performance
The S22 Ultra’s 5,000mAh battery is one of the main reasons I like the phone too. Thanks to the 45W battery and charging, when charged with a Samsung power adapter, the phone lasted all day for me, and that was a challenge given how much I used it.
If you’re going to be gaming, taking photos, and watching videos for much of your day, results may vary, but when doing a bit of everything, the phone easily lasted me from morning to night on a single charge. I’m a bit of a heavy phone user so that’s what I tend to expect. Some users may find that the phone lasts more than a day, but the main thing is that the battery of the phone is large enough to meet expectations.
The phone also feels fast, jumping between apps, editing and outputting images in Lightroom, and playing games. The 8GB of RAM goes a long way with the 4nm chip, and with the overall reliability I’ve come to expect from Samsung, it’s a compelling experience for work or play.
Although the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an expensive phone, it is also reliable and offers the best of everything in any Android phone, and pretty much the best of any phone.
The only complaint I have with the S22 Ultra is that I wish it offered a microSD slot for adding external memory options. That’s why I would recommend the 256GB or 512GB model, especially for avid photographers, so you don’t run out of space.
If price ends up being your biggest concern for the phone, the Galaxy S22 is a great alternative at a lower price, just without some of the top-tier features.
Watch my hands-on review with the Galaxy S22 Ultra and scroll down for sample photos captured with the phone.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Gallery
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