If you remember, I had referred to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as the first true Android superphone. For me, a superphone is something that further redefines flagship Android phones with a combination of extremely powerful specifications, smarter software, and the overall experience that could put most computing devices in the shade.
And now we have the second superphone, as I would still like to call it. The Galaxy S22 Ultra. This is the latest Galaxy flagship, and really, there is no other way of putting this—the greatest Samsung phone ever. And I say this after rigorously testing this device to truly understand that this isn’t just a typical annual refresh, but a lot of thought has gone into making the S22 Ultra the package that it actually is.
First up, if you want this Android setup, With that said, the S22 Ultra is the device that any Galaxy Note fan has been waiting for as it combines the very best of the Note and the S lineup into a device that has it all.
I’ve been a huge fan of Note’s boxy design over the years and thankfully Samsung has brought back that design along with the smooth finish with a less-noticeable camera bump. The result is one of the most complete smartphone designs you’ll find right now; the layout is gorgeous and almost a month later, I’m still absolutely in love with this phone.
The 6.8-inch display is gently curved, so it adds some aesthetic appeal without leading to accidental screen presses. Samsung is known to make the best displays and the S22 Ultra is no exception. Watching content, scrolling websites, social media sites is such a pleasant experience on this phone. The colors are vibrant, that deep blacks you get with AMOLED displays, everything is so satisfying.
Also under direct sunlight, the screen seems to be able to more legible than any other display I’ve ever tested thanks to that 1750 nits of peak brightness. The 120Hz display can also go all the way down to just 1Hz when the content isn’t moving and that will help preserve the battery life. Now since this is basically a Note device you get the S Pen as well which is stored at the bottom of the device.
All the familiar S-Pen features we’re used to are present such as taking quick notes with Screen Off Memo, a whole suite of actions one click of the S Pen button away with Air Command, and there are several ways to control apps like the Gallery and Music Player using Bluetooth and gestures. It’s a real joy to write or draw on this device and that’s due to the super low latency. It literally feels like writing on paper but 100 times smoother.
Of course, the S Pen is not for everyone, a lot of you may use it the first day and forget that it’s even there the next day but If you’re the type of person, who take frequent quick notes, who loves to draw or even scroll with the pen then you are going to really appreciate that it’s there when you need it. The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate, the speakers are loud, bassy, and sound really good.
The haptics or vibration motor is better than last year. The vibrations are subtle, precise, and tactile, I far prefer it to the S21 Ultra which feels flabby and rattly in comparison but since it vibrates in X-axis, I’ve missed a few calls when I was out in a crowded place when the phone was in my pocket. I have the Watch 4 as well so it’s not an issue but it’s something you need to keep in mind. The OneUI software on this thing is the best Samsung has ever shipped.
It’s clean, fluid, minimalistic, it looks nice and the features are thoughtful. The multitasking experience is something you won’t find in any of the competiting devices. Basically, the software experience is very pleasant to use. Plus you’ll also get DeX to take your multitasking game to a whole new level. Just hit the dex button and connect your monitor wired or wirelessly and you have a desktop-style user interface. As for the performance, it has a flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC with 12GB RAM, and as you’d expect it offers an incredibly fast and slick experience. It is very unlikely that you’ll ever be able to take this to the limit, get close to the performance ceiling, or even make it slow down.
Generally, the phone stays cool almost all the time, although it does get a little hot under extreme loads such as when playing heavy games for long periods of time or recording long 4K videos. The phone comes preinstalled with game optimization service, though which limits the performance in games to keep the temperature down. Samsung has issued an update to turn this feature off but I don’t think you should do it because the phone can handle these games absolutely fine. You’re not going to even notice that the GOS service is running.
And not just games, the phone is incredibly fast in day to day to use. The apps open instantly, they keep remained open in the background with all that RAM ready to go. No matter what you throw at it, it can handle it and it’s going to stay fast and fluid for years. Speaking of years, Samsung will support this device for 5 years with 4 generations of operating system upgrades more than any other Android phone maker. This effectively means the S22 Ultra will be getting Android versions 13, 14, 15, and 16 in the future.
Impressive stuff and this will definitely add value to the Samsung flagship! Now the phone also comes with a beefy 5000mAh of battery. The battery life is pretty good, it can easily last a whole day with heavy use. There’s not a single day that I completely drained the battery. My usage includes social media sites, YouTube, OTT apps, taking photos and videos, and occasional gaming. Even with heavy use, I still end up with about 30 to 40% charge. Speaking of charging, it can support 45W of fast charging, there is wireless charging too which is very convenient and I personally use it all the time.
There’s reverse wireless charging as well which you can use to charge other devices including your wearables. It’s a pretty nifty feature. The new camera design at the back looks really good, but it gets messy real quick. It collects dust and fingerprints easily so if you’re taking photos make sure to clean that up otherwise it will ruin your photos. As for the quality, it’s incredible. It essentially features much the same hardware as the S21 Ultra, but the differences are noticeable and this comes down to how Samsung has approached the post-processing.
On many occasions, I noticed that the image first taken by the camera was significantly inferior to the one after it finished processing. The edge detection in portrait photos is the best I’ve ever seen, the night photos are excellent, and there’s a dramatic improvement in zoom quality. Also, it’s safe to say Samsung is right at the top in video recording along with Apple. This video is shot in 4K with the S22 Ultra and I’m really impressed how it takes better videos than most of the DSLRs with nice bokeh and vibrant colors while also retaining the details.
Basically, if you’re a noob in photography and you get the S22 Ultra, you will no longer remain a noob. You just have to aim and take photos, and the phone will do the rest. It’s that good. So to sum it up, Samsung has taken the best out of the Note lineup and merged it with the S series to finally arrive at the ultimate all-in-one superphone. It ticks all the boxes of features we truly want or need in a smartphone. And there’s no other way to put this, the S22 Ultra is undoubtedly the best phone that Samsung or any other phone maker has ever made.