From budget to premium, there are smartphones with ‘ultra’ moniker in almost all price brackets. While many such smartphones are better versions of their vanilla models, few push the boundaries through innovation to deliver novel experiences. Case in point is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. A premium flagship smartphone by pricing, the Galaxy S22 Ultra brings the best of Galaxy S-series and Galaxy Note-series rolled into one device. That said, the defunct Galaxy Note-series is now survived by the ultra model in the Galaxy S-series, and for better.
On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an incremental upgrade over the Galaxy S21 Ultra (review). However, its many small upgrades together make for a wholesome package and uplift the user experience. Take for example its dazzling display. It is sharp and bright, just like the predecessor, but is also power efficient and delivers better contrast at peak brightness in bright outdoor environments. Moreover, the display is tuned for a better experience with SPen. Thus, the SPen feels smooth and natural to use for drawing, writing, scribbling, and everything else possible with it.
Like the display, the imaging-related upgrades are geared toward improving experience for both amateur and professionals. Like the predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has multiple sensors on the rear side, and each of these sensors is capable of working independently for both stills and videos. The sensors, however, are tuned for better performance in low-light conditions. Moreover, Samsung’s new algorithms for portraits are impressive and certainly better than any other smartphones.
The stellar imaging experience on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is backed by pro-grade value-added features such as the ‘Expert RAW’.
This feature is available through a separate app of the same name, available on Samsung Galaxy Store. It essentially enables manual mode to capture stills in RAW format, which is great for creators. The experience of editing the RAW format picture on the phone itself using apps like Adobe Lightroom is also worth appreciating. The SPen comes handy here as well – you can use it to wirelessly control the camera interface to zoom-in, zoom-out, and capture images, and to edit the RAW format images with precision.
Rounding up the package is the swift performance, courtesy the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system-on-chip and Android 12-based OneUI 4.1. Be it regular daily operations or processor- and graphic-intensive tasks, the Galaxy S22 Ultra handles everything with ease. Importantly, it does not warm up even after extended usage of processor- and graphic-intensive tasks such as gaming and video recording. Complementing the performance is the easy to use OneUI 4.1. It is loaded with many add-on features from Samsung, besides the privacy and security features of the Android 12. Importantly, Samsung has let go all instances of third-party in-app advertisements, prevalent in previous iteration of the OneUI, from the user interface. The smooth and swift performance is backed by a massive 5,000mAh battery, which keeps the show going for at least a day on regular usage. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specifications
|Display||6.8-inch QHD+ AMOLED of 120Hz variable refresh rate|
|Spen||Yes, built-in cavity for storage, charging|
|Rear camera||108MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, twin-10MP telephoto|
|Battery||5,000 mAh, supports 45W fast-charge|
|OS||OneUI 4.1, based on Android 12|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|RAM||Up to 12GB RAM|
|Storage||Up to 512GB|
|Protection||IP68, Gorilla Glass Victus+|
|Price||Starts at Rs 1,09,999|
The Galaxy S22 Ultra justifies its ‘Ultra’ moniker every bit, but there are areas where the phone could have been better. Listed below are some of them:
- Big, heavy and bulky design makes it less suitable for extended usage – it becomes uncomfortable to hold and operate after a while.
- Aluminium frame looks less premium compared to steel frames
- Expert RAW app does not support all SPen functions
- Auto framing feature for video calls is slow and sluggish
- Ships without charging adaptor
- 45W fast-charging is good but not class-leading
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is about the resurrection of the Galaxy Note series in a new avatar, but there is more to it than meets the eye. The smartphone brings holistic upgrades over the Galaxy S21 Ultra even if those do not show up on paper. With the dry last year for Galaxy Note users, the Galaxy S22 Ultra makes an even better deal for existing Galaxy Note users looking to upgrade to a new model with better capabilities. More so, without compromising on any of the Galaxy Note-centric features.