Samsung’s high-end smartphone comes with an integrated S Pen stylus and plenty of high-end specs, but is it worth the price? This is our conclusion.
Galaxy S22 Ultra features
Let’s start with what ultimately sets this flagship apart from the competition: the S Pen stylus in the frame. With a satisfying click, it pops up and automatically opens a side menu where you can choose from a number of things you can actually do with this 11cm pen, including taking quick notes, writing instant messages, creating enhanced Reality (AR) doodles and annotates on screen.
There are options when the screen is off. If you take out the S Pen while the phone is locked, you’ll immediately see an area where you can take notes. The same can be done by pressing the button on the pen and double-tapping the screen. Writing itself is accompanied by pleasant scribbling sounds and subtle tactile feedback.
Let’s be clear: it’s not going to replace a physical notebook, and any claim that it feels like real paper is probably overblown. You wouldn’t use it to write a novel, but it’s a great tool for taking some quick notes on the go.
Battery for Galaxy S22 Ultra
The S22 Ultra packs a 5,000mAh battery that should last a little over a day with moderate to heavy usage. It supports 45W wired charging and up to 15W wireless charging. Unfortunately, there’s no wall adapter in the box, just a USB-C cable, so you might have to hunt for those extras if you don’t already have one.
It’s hard to get an accurate estimate of how long your battery will last each day, as it depends a lot on how much you use your phone. Samsung didn’t give an exact number for the total lifespan, other than to confirm that it lasted “more than a day.”
It’s true, though, and we found it easily survived a day of intensive use — videos, checking email, messaging on Slack, setting reminders, listening to Spotify on the hour-plus commute, and before Rolls the bed through Twitter and Reddit — but with occasional use, easily expands to almost two.
Thankfully, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra charges fast, going from empty to full in less than an hour when plugged into the wall adapter.
There are some handy options in the settings menu, including setting Adaptive Battery to limit usage of infrequently used apps, and a switch to limit the maximum charge to 85% to maximize overall battery life.
Galaxy S22 Ultra camera
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a quad camera setup with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 108-megapixel wide-angle lens, and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses, one with 10x optical zoom and the other with 3x optical zoom. Overall, the phone has up to 100x digital “space” zoom. The front selfie camera has a resolution of 40 MP.
In dedicated video mode, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can capture 8K footage at 24 frames per second (fps), or 4K resolution footage at up to 60 fps.
There are a number of different modes to take advantage of the high-end settings, including Portrait, Slow Motion, Time-lapse, Pro, Pro Video, and Night.
Galaxy S22 Ultra Theme
The S22 Ultra stands out from the rest of the latest S22 series thanks to its angular frame and curved, largely bezel-less display, and of course the slot on the bottom left of the device to accommodate the S Pen stylus . It comes in four shades: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy.
We tested the Phantom Black model and found it strikes a good balance between a solid design and a sleek minimalist aesthetic. The matte black metal back provides support, and the camera can be folded away without the need for a large module. This look offends no one, and the Samsung branding is easy to miss at first glance.
With a 6.8-inch display and a weight of 229 grams (the Google Pixel 6 Pro weighs 210 grams, the iPhone 13 Pro Max weighs 238 grams for comparison) this is certainly not a small or light phone – fans of small smartphones should take note its. We were able to use the Galaxy S22 Ultra with one hand, but that’s about it.
Galaxy S22 Ultra Sustainability
According to Samsung, the packaging of the S22 Ultra is 56% smaller than the Galaxy S20 and is made of 100% recycled paper.
Select components used in new Galaxy phones and tablets contain “20% recycled ocean plastic from discarded fishing nets,” Samsung said.
According to a blog post, “The S22 series uses post-consumer recycled materials in its speaker modules and internal components for the power and volume buttons.”
The sticking point for the competition may be the Pixel 6 Pro, which is around £300 cheaper and offers a similar user experience (stylus not included). But if you’re a Samsung fan or already in the device ecosystem, here’s the short answer: The Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best Android phones you can buy.