Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review: the Ultimate Camera Phone

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  • Samsung’s $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most effective Android telephone you should purchase within the US.
  • Its fourth 10x zoom lens and S Pen set it other than a typical premium telephone. 
  • This telephone’s battery life is not stellar, however it’s acceptable and alleviated by quick charging.

Samsung’s Extremely collection of telephones are identified to transcend the everyday premium telephone, largely by providing a fourth digicam lens that provides 10x zoom and a large display. And now, the corporate’s newest Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a stylus referred to as the S Pen, pushing it even additional forward of the pack. 

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is undoubtedly the most effective Android telephone you should purchase within the US, and contemplating its $1,200 price ticket, I anticipate nothing much less. 

Galaxy S22 Extremely Specs


The Galaxy S22 Ultra laying on its front, showing the rear glass panel and edge.

Antonio Villas-BoasI/Insider

The S22 Extremely appears to be like nothing like the opposite S22 telephones within the collection. As an alternative of Samsung’s newest design language with flatter edges, the S22 Extremely has the same old rounded edges and a pointy flat high and backside with a sharper rectangular design. It is instantly harking back to the Galaxy Notice 20 collection from 2020.   

Whereas it could appear to be an older mannequin within the Notice collection, it is nonetheless a cultured design adorned in premium metallic and glass. The again glass has a frosted matte end whereas the metallic body is a shinier metallic, and it appears to be like and feels positively premium. 

Not like the S22 collection at giant, the S22 Extremely does not have a design factor for the digicam module, the place the digicam lenses merely stick out on their very own. I like this easy, trendy design and it helps make the S22 Extremely one of many best-looking telephones you should purchase. 

The bezels across the show are as skinny as ever, contributing to the general ultra-premium vibe of the S22 Ultra. Nonetheless, the show’s edges nonetheless curve ever so barely. It is a drained design factor that is been knocked by a number of reviewers, together with myself, at any time when Samsung employs it. It is dangerous as a result of the sides of the display on the curve are darker than the flat half, and it is noticeable with something even mildly vivid on the display, together with movies. It additionally makes the display really feel narrower. Samsung actually ought to ditch the curved display edges. 


The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s screen, showing the curved edges.

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I hardly ever encounter dangerous shows on telephones, however I’ve but to see a telephone maker beat Samsung right here. The S22 Extremely’s display is just gorgeous, which is not stunning, neither is it even thrilling when trying again at Samsung’s historical past of fantastic telephone screens — it is simply anticipated, and Samsung at all times delivers. 

With the S22 Extremely, you get the choice to bump up the decision from full-HD 1080p (FHD) to quad-HD 1440p decision (QHD). It is sharper than FHD on the opposite S22 fashions, however that additional ocular stimulation has a detrimental impact on battery life. I might suggest any S22 Extremely consumer to stay to FHD — QHD actually does not look that a lot better, and you will be getting higher battery life, too. 

Unsurprisingly for a premium Android telephone in 2022, the S22 Extremely’s display additionally helps a 120Hz refresh charge. Which means the show can refresh itself as much as 120 occasions per second, making for clean animations whereas swiping round Android and apps. The display can even cut back its refresh charge all the best way right down to 1Hz when displaying one thing static, which helps cut back battery consumption, as excessive refresh charges suck up battery life.

Underneath the show is Samsung’s superior ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. The sensor normally works effectively and rapidly to unlock the telephone, however there are occasions when it merely is not going to register my fingerprint, and I resort to tapping in my pin. It is a fairly irritating side of the S22 collection for me, however this does not appear to be a widespread concern.   


The Galaxy S22 Ultra laying face down, showing the back’s design and camera module.

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The S22 Extremely runs apps and video games rapidly and easily, and I’ve no complaints about its efficiency. 

Our S22 Extremely evaluation unit with 256GB of storage has 12GB of reminiscence (RAM), which is greater than the 8GB RAM on the bottom mannequin with 128GB storage. Extra RAM means the telephone can hold extra apps working within the background while not having to totally reopen the app whenever you return to it.

Our S22 Extremely unit scored a mean of 1,112 for single-core efficiency and three,312 for multi-core efficiency. That is on par with the outcomes I noticed on our S22 Plus evaluation unit, which has 8GB RAM and makes use of the identical Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. It goes to indicate that extra RAM will not at all times lead to higher efficiency, and you will be positive with the bottom mannequin with 8GB RAM if that 128GB of storage is sufficient for you. 

Battery life

The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s bottom edge, showing the charging port, speaker grille, and the S Pen in its enclosure.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

I put the S22 Extremely by means of our typical battery check, which includes


a steady YouTube video on the telephone’s most brightness and on the show’s default FHD decision. The S22 Extremely lasted 13 hours and 22 minutes, which is decrease than anticipated.

It isn’t horrible, and it will simply final a day for most individuals, however I actually anticipate longer battery life from such a big, top-tier telephone. The iPhone 13 Professional Max fully trounced the S22 Extremely right here with its 20 hours and 18-minute battery life in the identical check. 

The S22 Extremely is able to as much as 45W charging speeds, which is nice to have throughout heavy utilization for fast boosts in battery cost. With that mentioned, Samsung does not embody a 45W charger, or any charger, within the field. You should utilize chargers you have amassed, but when none of them assist 45W charging and also you wish to take advantage of the S22 Extremely’s high charging speeds, you may have to purchase a brand new charger.

The S Pen

The Galaxy S22 Ultra with a note written on the screen using the S Pen.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

The S Pen is a take-it-or-leave-it accent that is nice for individuals who prefer it, and it does not get in the best way for individuals who have no real interest in it. Some further excellent news for individuals who do not actually need an S Pen: it does not price you something additional: the S22 Extremely prices the identical because the S21 Extremely with out the S Pen. 

The S Pen and its enclosure additionally aren’t taking on valuable house that might have been used for different essential elements, like a much bigger battery, both. The S22 Ultra has the identical 5,000mAh battery as final 12 months’s S21 Extremely. 

I am not a significant S Pen consumer, however I used to like it whereas testing Samsung’s Galaxy Notice collection again within the day. It is good to rapidly jot down a sudden thought or concept that I do know I will neglect later by merely pulling out the S Pen and noting it down, all with out unlocking the telephone or tapping something to open a be aware app. 

It is also good to get extra precision for sure duties, like enhancing or drawing on a photograph. I am not a lot of a drawer, however the S Pen within the S22 Extremely feels extremely responsive and correct.

Though I like it, I by no means really feel like I would like it, and I at all times reverted again to common finger tapping after I used to be accomplished testing the S Pen. Like I discussed above: Galaxy Notice followers will like it, and everybody else will principally neglect it is there. 


The Galaxy S22 Ultra’ quad-lens camera.

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Cameras are one of many main highlighting options in Samsung’s Extremely telephone collection, particularly the signature fourth lens that provides 10x zoom, and the S22 Extremely does not disappoint. That additional 10x zoom digicam makes the S22 Extremely probably the most versatile digicam telephone you should purchase within the US, because it permits you to take clear pictures of objects/topics from additional distances. 

With that mentioned, the S22 Ultra does not really feel prefer it’s providing that a lot better digicam high quality than most different premium telephones within the newest launch cycle, and even a lot of an enchancment over final 12 months’s S21 Extremely. That is to say you may be proud of the cameras on just about any premium telephone obtainable to you within the US, however the S22 Extremely’s fourth lens is definitely a differentiator.

Under are some samples of the S22 Extremely’s pictures in good lighting. You can too try extra S22 Ultra samples here, in addition to samples for the S22 Plus, S21, S21 FE, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and Pixel 6 Pro

A photo of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s ultra wide camera.

A photograph of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Extremely’s extremely broad digicam.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

A photo of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s main camera.

A photograph of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Extremely’s principal digicam.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

A photo of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 3x zoom camera.

A photograph of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Extremely’s 3x zoom digicam.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

A photo of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x zoom camera.

A photograph of a barn taken with the Galaxy S22 Extremely’s 10x zoom digicam.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

A photo of a sleeping cat taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s main camera.

A photograph of a sleeping cat taken with the Galaxy S22 Extremely’s principal digicam.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

A photo of the review's author taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s main camera.

A photograph of the evaluation’s writer taken with the Galaxy S22 Extremely’s principal digicam.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

For the S22 Extremely’s cameras, Samsung made an enormous deal about evening time images. All of the premium telephones we have examined within the newest launch cycle take good evening time pictures, however the S22 collection does appear to supply barely higher outcomes.

A photo of storefronts taken at night with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

A photograph of storefronts taken at evening with the Galaxy S22 Extremely.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

A photo taken of a fire station with the S22 Ultra.

A photograph taken of a hearth station with the S22 Extremely.

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What are your options?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus in pink laying screen down.

Picture of the Galaxy S22 Extremely.

Antonio Villas-Boas/Insider

With its quad-lens digicam and S Pen, the S22 Extremely is in a category of its personal. There aren’t any options that I find out about within the US with a quad-lens digicam, and particularly a built-in stylus. 

 In the event you’re not within the S Pen, a 10x zoom lens, or the S22 Extremely’s $1,200 worth, the $1,000 S22 Plus is the subsequent telephone that involves thoughts. It has a superb triple-lens digicam with the identical efficiency, and it is $200 lower than the S22 Extremely. Do not anticipate spectacular battery life right here both, because it’s relatively middling. You may learn my S22 Plus review here

 In any other case, Google’s Pixel 6 Professional is the subsequent greatest various for Android customers. It has a superb triple-lens digicam and good battery life, however it settles decrease than the S22 collection at giant on account of Google’s shorter assist window for Android and safety updates. Samsung guarantees 5 generations of Android for its S22 lineup, whereas Google merely presents three. I have not but reviewed the Pixel 6 Professional, however it’s total much like the Pixel 6, which I reviewed here

 Premium telephones with excessive worth tags aren’t your solely choice. I like Google’s $450 Pixel 5a 5G, because it’s total a superb telephone that comes with a premium set of cameras, nice battery life, and good efficiency. You may learn my Pixel 5a 5G review here

The underside line

Because of its design, cameras, efficiency, fourth 10x zoom lens and S Pen, the S22 Ultra is probably the most versatile and greatest Android telephone cash should buy within the US. Your battery life expectations might not be met, however it’s not dangerous, both, and quick charging definitely helps.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review: the Ultimate Camera Phone

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