Samsung Galaxy S22+ and S22 Ultra review – a new benchmark for smartphones

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  • VERDICT

Samsung has hit a massive home run with the Galaxy S22 smartphones which lead the way with stunning performance, a sleek and attractive design and a jaw-dropping camera system.

Samsung’s new S22 range have exceeded our expectations for what a smartphone can deliver in terms of performance, features and photography.

Samsung’s latest flagship devices have been built on years of development and improvement and have reached a point where they are setting a standard for others to follow.

We’ve been using the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy S22+ for our review.

They combine excellent design with a stunning screen, powerful performance and one of the best camera systems you’ll find on a smartphone.

The S22 Ultra has a 6.8-inch display with the S 22+ sitting at 6.6 inches.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is for the customer who wants everything and wants to do everything with their device.

It has inherited the Galaxy Note’s S Pen which now has a space to be stored within the device’s chassis – just like the Galaxy Note the customers adored.

Galaxy S22 Ultra

But what the S22 Ultra brings to the table is the flagship camera system of the Galaxy S series – something the old Note users didn’t have.

The S22 Ultra is one of the most complete smartphones on the market for those customers who rely on their device for work, for play, to create and to connect.

Galaxy S22 Ultra

If the S Pen is something you won’t use then the S22+ is an excellent choice for the user who wants a large screen, sleek design and the camera that’s going to make their photos and videos look amazing.

DESIGN

The S22 Ultra has a different look and feel to the rest of the Galaxy S range with a curved screen and rounded edges and a matte finish on the rear panel, so you don’t pollute it with fingerprints.

On the back there is no camera bump but instead the lenses protrude from the panel itself.

The S22+,  on the other hand, has a more angular design starting with a flat display only slightly rounded edges and the same matte finish on the rear panel.

Galaxy S22+

In the top left corner is the camera bump, like last year’s design, where you will find the device’s three lenses.

The S22 Ultra’s rounded edges on the display make it seem a lot bigger than the flat screen on the S22+ despite the fact there is only 0.2 inches difference.

If you love the look and feel of a larger display that seems bigger than it really is, the S22 Ultra is your device.

Galaxy S22+

The Samsung Galaxy S series is made from Armour Aluminium which means they are built with durability in mind

They are also the first to include new Corning Gorilla Glass Victus front and back, so those accidental drops won’t turn into breaks.

They also have an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

PERFORMANCE

The Galaxy S smartphones are powered for the first time by a 4nm processor which enables the device’s AI and machine learning processing.

This is what does all the heavy lifting to deliver an impressively snappy performance whether you’re switching between apps, capturing images, editing videos or playing a game.

The Galaxy S devices can analyse how and when you use your apps to determine the right amount of power required so it can offer a smooth overall performance to handle your streaming, browsing and navigating your apps.

The Samsung Galaxy S smartphones are running the Android 12 operating system.

On top of that is the Samsung One UI version 4.1 which offers a nice user interface that’s smooth and easy to navigate.

One of the only downsides is the obvious double ups with Android apps and Samsung’s own apps.

For example, there is the Chrome browser and Samsung’s browser, the Gallery and Google Photos.

You even get your choice of messaging apps between the native Android app or Samsung’s Messages app.

And you have to choose which one to use by default.

Galaxy S22 Ultra

The S22 and S22+ come in 128GB and 256GB memory variants.

The S22 ultra comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and a massive 1TB memory option.

Unfortunately, Samsung has decided not to include expandable memory with a microSD card slot, so you’ll need to rely on the built-in memory and your cloud storage.

Galaxy S22+

CAMERA

Let’s be clear, the camera on the S22 ultra and the S22+ will be one of the main selling points of the devices.

And it is exceptional.

The S22 Ultra has four lenses – 12 megapixels ultra-wide camera, 100-megapixel wide camera, 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and a second 10-megapixel telephoto camera.

The S22+ has a 50-megapixel main camera, a 10-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens.

Image taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Galaxy S22 Ultra also has 100X zoom which combines digital and optical zoom to get you closer than ever while the S22 plus has a maximum of 30x zoom.

Picture and video quality have never been in question, especially when you have plenty of light during the day.

Image taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra

But one area the new S22 smartphones have nailed is night photography which opens up a whole new world for photographers.

This feature is not designed to impress you with its light gathering abilities but rather match what your eye sees at night.

How many times have you viewed a beautiful night scene and wanted to capture it with your device only to be disappointed with the result?

Image taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra

The S22+ and the S22 Ultra absolutely deliver the best night photography results you’ll see.

It manages to enhance and improve light to offer a result closer to what you’re seeing with your own eyes.

And the most impressive thing about that is that it works freehand without a tripod and still achieve amazing results.

Image taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra at 100x zoom

For our review we wanted to test two of the standout features of the S22 Ultra at the same time – 100x zoom and the night photography.

And what better way of doing that than by shooting the moon.

Now we’ve captured some stunning images of the moon with our telescope but our results with the smartphone leave a lot to be desired.

Shot of the full moon taken with the Galaxy S22 Ultra – testing night mode and 100x zoom at the same time

But that all changed with the S22 Ultra.

We were able to zoom in on the full moon, keep it in the frame, and capture it in all its glory. on a smartphone.

That’s the other amazing thing of the zoom – a zoom lock holds the object easier in the frame.

A small guide chart appears on the display to give you an idea where the object is in relation to the entire screen.

This makes it easier to find your target if you happen to drift off it. That’s what helped us capture that great image of the moon.

And even at full zoom, the S22 Ultra and S22+ still produce respectably sharp images.

We felt we had one of the best cameras you can find in a smartphone right here in our hands with the S22 Ultra and the S22+ not far behind.

S PEN

We’ve always been a fan of the Galaxy Note so having the S Pen included with the S22 Ultra was brilliant.

And the good news is, the S Pen is better and more responsive than ever.

it is just as handy and just as versatile for you to jot down notes, take down shopping lists, annotate photos, mark up documents and much more.

it can even translate your handwriting into text and convert it in an instant.

But it was the responsiveness that really impressed us with the AI able to determine the direction you’re writing to provide a near instant response as you’re writing or drawing.

It was noticeably better and anyone who’s a fan of the S Pen will see the huge difference with the latest version of this invaluable tool.

BATTERY

The S22+ has a 4,500mAh battery while the S22 Ultra rocks a 5,000mAh battery.

We used both devices as our daily drivers which means we did everything on it.

We started out every morning with the battery at 100 per cent and, at first, we need to recharge by the evening when we had about 20 per cent.

But you know what? It got better.

Remember earlier when we mentioned the device uses AI and Machine Learning to analyse how you use the device, the apps you frequently user and the times you use them to determine the power you need and use it more efficiently.

That’s what happened. As we write this in the evening of another long day, the S22 Ultra has 46 per cent battery left.

And it also has fast charging with the S22 Ultra supporting up to 45W wired charging, so it takes about an hour to get back to 100 per cent. But you need to buy the 45W charger separately – you only get a cable in the box.

PRICE

The Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphones are the same price as the S21 series with the S22 starting at $1,249, the S22+ starting at $1,549 and the S22 Ultra from $1,849.

VERDICT

Samsung has hit a massive home run with the Galaxy S22 smartphones which lead the way with stunning performance, a sleek and attractive design and a jaw-dropping camera system.

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