By Andrew Romero & Ben Schoon
Hardware and display
At first glance, the Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn't look anything like an S device. It looks, well, like a Note. It has a flat top, squared-off edges and curved display sides. Going for a fan service play seemed to have worked for marketing purposes, but we feel it was a mistake. The Galaxy S look is physically more appealing and definitely more comfrotable.
That said, this phone is very well built. The "Armor Aluminum" frame adds heft, which feels great. Towards the bottom, you'll find the S Pen silo, a small speaker grille, USB-C port, and a SIM card tray. The volume and power buttons live on the right, as well as a 5G mmWave cutout.
The main event, however, is the display itself. The 6.8-inch SuperAMOLED panel is absolutely stunning. It's massive, vibrant, and bright. This display peaks at 1,750 nits. In comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro maxes out at 1,200 nits. That, combined with a 120Hz refresh rate is, well, refreshing.
Samsung knocks it out of the park with One UI 4 - Samsung's version of Android 12. It's fast, responsive, and cohesive along the entire platform. Under the hood, we can see exactly why. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip is a beast and could handle any task we threw at this phone with extreme ease. To add, the 12GB of RAM we had added plenty of wiggle room for multitasking.
The S Pen
The Galaxy S21 Ulta and Fold 3 were poor Note replacements because they lacked d storage silo for the S Pen. Really, that's the main selling point here. You get an S Pen and a place to store it. Similar to the Note 20, the S Pen works very well. It has a fluid and very natural input on the screen.
Battery life and charging
Battery life on the S22 ultra is absolutely solid. We got about 4 to 6 hours of screen time from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on a daily basis. As the phone learned our usage, battery life has increased slightly, as well. As for charging, that's a hard one. The S22 Ultra doesn't come with a charger but can fast-charge up to 45W, which smokes phones like the Pixel 6 Pro or Apple's latest iPhone. The issue is you have to go out and buy one still, which isn't cheap.
Lastly, the camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is pretty good but doesn't blow us away. Since the S22 Ultra uses virtually the same sensors as the S21 Ultra, it doesn't surprise us that it has the same inconsistencies that plague the last generation S device. One major improvement, however, is the quality of zoom. When zooming in, details are sharper than they were on the S21 Ultra, making it an improved area for sure.