Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: triumphant return of the Note superphone – The Guardian

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra superphone, Samsung has brought back its popular Note line in all but name, equipping it with a built-in stylus and the competition-beating camera with both 3x and 10x optical zoom from last year’s S21 Ultra.

Costing £1,149 ($1,200/A$1,849) it is one of the most expensive non-folding phones you can buy but it offers features you simply can’t get on other phones and will receive at least five years of software updates – longer than any other Android.

The S22 Ultra looks nothing like the S22+ or other models in the “S-line”. Instead, the new superphone updates the design of the Note 20 Ultra from 2020 complete with an “S Pen” stylus that neatly slots into the bottom for storage and charging.

The smooth matt glass back and aluminium frame are available in a range of colours but look particularly monolithic in black. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The top and bottom are flat metal, while the glass back and front curve at the sides to meet an aluminium band. It is a really big and imposing phone but one that is relatively easy to hold and use. I can just about wield it one-handed without an an accessory but would likely resort to a Popsocket or similar on the back for the long term.

The 6.8in screen is stunning: sharp, smooth with up to a 120Hz refresh rate, and with an extremely high peak brightness of 1,750nits (a standard measure of screen brightness), which makes it easier to read in direct sunlight than rivals.


  • Main screen: 6.8in QHD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X (500ppi) 120Hz

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 2200 (EU) or Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US)

  • RAM: 8 or 12GB of RAM

  • Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB

  • Operating system: One UI 4.1 based on Android 12

  • Camera: Quad rear camera: 108MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP 3x and 10x telephoto; 40MP front-facing

  • Connectivity: 5G, USB-C, wifi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, UWB and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (1.5m for 30 mins)

  • Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm

  • Weight: 228g

Long battery life

The phone fully charges in 63 minutes, hitting 50% in 22 minutes using a 45W USB-C PPS charger (power adaptor not included). Fast (15W) wireless charging and reverse wireless charging are available. The S Pen slots into the bottom right of the phone. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

In the US the S22 Ultra has the standard top Android chip for 2022 from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, while in the EU it has a Samsung Exynos 2200. General performance was excellent – it handled multiple apps on screen at any one time with no slowdown, although it was not perceptibly faster than the …….


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