HANDS-ON: SAMSUNG GALAXY S22 ULTRA REVIEW

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Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series has been grabbing headlines since the start of 2022. The non-folding Samsung flagships for 2022 include a Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and the ‘noteworthy’ Galaxy S22 Ultra. Interestingly, in 2022, Samsung is betting big on the Indian market as they decided to offer the S22 family with the more popular Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC instead of its self-developed Exynos 2200. This seems to be working in the brand’s favor as the S22 series scored more than 70,000+ pre-orders in less than 12 hours. While there is still some time before the Galaxy S22 series goes on sale, we have the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in for review. While there is some time for the S22 Ultra review to come out here are our first impressions of the phone:

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Unboxing: What’s in the box?

Samsung continues to use eco-friendly packaging made from recycled materials. In the past few years, Samsung has been cutting down on inbox items to reduce e-waste. Here’s everything that comes inside the box:

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • S Pen (inside the phone)
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • SIM ejection tool
  • Quick Start Guide

Since Samsung doesn’t bundle a case in the box, it is advised that you buy one as soon as you place your order for the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs

Galaxy S22 Ultra
PriceRs 1,09,999 / Rs 1,18,999
SoftwareAndroid 12, One UI 4
Display6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD+, 120Hz refresh rate, 1750nits peak brightness, Gorilla Glass Victus
CPUSnapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM8GB, 12GB
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Rear cameras108MP (f/2.2) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) 10x telephoto, 10MP (f/2.4) 3x telephoto
Front camera40MP (f/2.2)
VideoUp to 8K 24 fps
Battery5,000 mAh
Charging45W wired, 15W wireless (sold separately)
Size163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm
Weight229 grams
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, UWB, 5G (Sub 6 – 16 bands), 2G (GPRS/EDGE), 3G (UMTS), 4G (LTE)
ColorsBlack, White, Burgundy

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions: Design

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a phone that screams ‘call me note’ from every corner. Despite being a part of the S22 family, the ultra is clearly distinct from the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+. The tall rectangular structure with rounded edges is instead reminiscent of the Note 20 Ultra.

The phone goes for muted elegance which is a stark contrast to several Chinese competitions that try to catch your attention with flashy designs. It flaunts a metal and glass body where both are rounded to seamlessly merge into side frames. It also has squared top and bottom edges and a built-in S Pen silo just like the Galaxy Note phones.

While it has a fairly large footprint, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is slightly shorter than Galaxy S21 Ultra and Google’s current flagship offering – the Pixel 6 Pro. It measures 163.3×77.9×8.9mm which is by no means a small phone. More often than not, we found ourselves using two hands for comfortably operating the phone.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra display measures 6.8-inches diagonally, making it marginally smaller than the last year’s S21 Ultra (review). It’s a curved screen which means it has its own set of pros and cons. While it is stunning & premium, it is also prone to pocket touches and possibly palm rejection mishaps. Samsung is a master at making displays and they have once again delivered a spectacular one on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The rear panel looks a lot different from others in the S22 family. There is no camera bump and the module isn’t similar to the one you’d find on the vanilla S22 and S22+ that gets submerged with a side frame. The Ultra phone has four protruding cameras along with a laser autofocus sensor that really looks distinctive. That’s a good way to eliminate odd-looking camera modules.

The all-aluminum back has a high-quality paint job that wards off fingerprints and other markings with ease. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a flawless in-hand fit and finish and the build quality is second to none. The IP68 certification will ensure that it can survive against water and dust. The Gorilla Glass Victus on the all-glass front should keep the phone from getting scuffed up or even breaking with an accidental drop.

Overall, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a premium phone and does look and feel like one. Samsung has crafted it with precision to offer a perfect fit and finish. We have the burgundy color option with us and it looks really pleasing to our eyes.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra First Impressions: Software

Samsung is turning up the heat over its competition with its software. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, – in fact, the entire S22 series –  is promised to receive 4 years of Android upgrades and five years of security patch updates which supersedes every other android smartphone manufacturer including Google.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra runs One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 out of the box. It’s a clean user experience that Samsung is offering here. Samsung has implemented popular Android 12 features effectivity and we will talk about them in detail in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra full review soon.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra First Impressions: Performance expectations

Another feature worth highlighting is the Qualcomm processor. Samsung has made a major shift here. The Galaxy S22 series comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in India. It’s a positive move that fans have been demanding for years now.

Over the years, the Snapdragon variants of S & Note series phones outperformed the Exynos variants in terms of performance, battery efficiency, and ISP performance. We expect similar results from the S22 series as well. It’s been only a couple of days since I started using the Galaxy S22 Ultra and for now, it seems to perform well. Of course, a final verdict requires thorough testing but first impressions have been positive and we will talk more about it in our full review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions: camera expectations

Samsung has kept things simple here. Instead of completely overhauling the camera hardware, they have tried to optimize it with minor adjustments further to get better results. Talking of camera hardware, the S22 Ultra camera includes a slightly wider telephoto lens while other sensors and lenses remain the same. The setup includes a 108-megapixel f/1.8 wide-angle sensor with OIS, a 10-megapixel f/2.4 3x telephoto with OIS, another 10-megapixel f/4.9 10x telephoto with OIS, and a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide sensor. Upfront, you get a 40-megapixel f/2.2 sensor for selfies.

While I am yet to put the S22 Ulta camera to a comprehensive test, whatever time I spent testing it is clearly one of the better cameras you will get to see in 2022. Clearly, Samsung has made improvements in night photography and the Space Zoom feature. I will put more things in perspective about camera performance in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. Till then here are some sample pictures that you can check out for a fair assessment.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions: Impressive!

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could have been a perfect Note 21 Ultra. The phone seems to be a versatile and complete Android phone with power-packed hardware inside. It manages to cast a positive first impression, mostly thanks to its eye-popping display and improved cameras. Is it the best Android phone of 2022? Well, to get that answer, you will have to wait till March 9, which is when our Galaxy S22 Ultra review is slated to arrive.

Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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