Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S22 Ultra

When considering a Samsung Galaxy device, you might be looking at the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. On the one hand, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra seems like the obvious choice since it’s the newer device of the two. But on the other, if you compare specs, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t by any means a slouch in virtually any department that’s important. Thus, you might consider buying the older model to get into the Galaxy game or holding onto it a bit longer if you already have one. But let’s look deeper at how these two phones compare.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S22 Ultra: The look and feel

The vibrant display of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is the first Galaxy device to have a titanium frame, which makes it not only look more elegant but also more durable. In his Galaxy S24 Ultra review, Android Central’s Nicholas Sutrich says the titanium lends to a nicer, matte texture that’s easier to grip and doesn’t attract fingerprints. 

The screen is covered with Corning Gorilla Armor, which offers greater scratch resistance and also further helps reduce glare. Sutrich says the result is really impressive, calling it “one of the best enhancements Samsung has ever added to its display.” It’s a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x QHD+ display with Vision Booster technology, which helps improve viewing outdoors and in other bright light situations. You also get a 120Hz refresh rate for a smooth browsing experience, for watching videos, playing games, and more. Peak brightness is an impressive 2,600 nits. 

It comes in Gray, Black, Violet, and Yellow, plus Samsung-exclusive colors Green, Blue, and Orange, so there’s lots of choice in terms of personalization. This phone is a hair narrower than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but by and large, they are almost identical in size and thickness. The Galaxy S24 Ultra does, however, employ a nice flat design that purportedly offers a better view and greater productivity. Speaking of which, both ship with a Samsung S-Pen. 

You can choose from 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB storage; there’s no microSD memory card slot, so you’ll want to go with more than what you think you might need. It comes loaded with Android 14 and Samsung One UI 6.1 for enjoying customized features and functions and further personalizing your experience with the phone. 

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has a 5,000 mAh battery and supports fast charging, wireless charging, and Wireless PowerShare for recharging other compatible Galaxy devices. It’s IP68 water resistant and comes with all the goodies you’d expect, including 5G connectivity, LTE, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and stereo speakers. You won’t, however, find a headphone jack, though that’s common nowadays, even with premium phones, as we switch to wireless headphones. 

One important distinction is that the Galaxy S24 Ultra supports up to 7 years of software and security updates.

The back of the burgundy Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Available in a slew of colors, including Phantom Black, White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Red, Sky Blue, and Bora Purple, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was introduced two years ago. Thus, you’re probably limited in which colors you can find (it’s no longer offered through Samsung online), and you might end up more commonly finding a refurbished or used model. When he reviewed the phone back in 2022, Sutrich compared it to the Samsung Note 20 Ultra, implying this phone is effectively the latest version (at the time) of that device. 

Its screen is still fairly durable, made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus with a glass back and armor aluminum frame, and the phone is also IP68 water resistant. It has a 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED 2x screen as well, sporting the same 3,088 x 1,440 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. You do get Vision Booster as well, but peak brightness taps out at 1,750 nits. This is worth keeping in mind if you use your phone a lot outdoors and want to be able to comfortably view it in bright sunlight.   

As noted, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is pretty much identical in size to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (though cases are not interchangeable). In fact, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a much boxier design, for which Sutrich is not a fan. He doesn’t find the design enjoyable to use day to day, and especially challenging in cold weather because of the fogged glass back and rounded edges. He also doesn’t like the camera lens design, which protrudes from the back and tosses the phone off balance when you place it down on a table. If you plan to do things like take notes on the phone while it’s lying “flat,” this could be a dealbreaker. 

It, too, comes in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage capacities, though there’s also the added option for 128 GB. But let’s face it: 128GB isn’t enough for most people nowadays, especially someone buying a premium phone and particularly when there’s no memory card slot to expand internal storage. 

This phone came loaded with Android 12 and One UI 4.1 out of the box, but it can be updated to Android 14 and One UI 6. But keep in mind that Samsung only promises four OS updates and five years of security updates. So, this isn’t a phone you’ll want for the long haul. With that said, if you already have it, you still have a few years of OS updates left, so you might want to consider holding onto it since you can consider it “current” for a couple more years yet. 

Along with the same 5,000mAh battery that supports both fast wired (with an optional adapter) and wireless charging as well as PowerShare, this phone has all the same features, including 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, USB-C, and Bluetooth, though it’s the step-down Bluetooth 5.2 spec. It also has stereo speakers tuned by AKG and no headphone jack.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S22 Ultra: Comparing the specs

Let’s see how these two phones compare based on specs alone.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Samsung Galaxy Ultra S24Samsung Galaxy Ultra S22
OSAndroid 14 (One UI 6.1)Android 12 (One UI 4.1); updateable
ColorsTitanium Gray, Titanium Black, Titanium Violet, Titanium Yellow (Samsung-exclusive Titanium Green, Titanium Blue, Titanium OrangePhantom Black, White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Red, Sky Blue, Bora Purple
Screen Size6.8 inches6.8 inches
Screen Resolution3,088 x 1,4403,088 x 1,440
Screen TypeDynamic AMOLED 2X QHD+Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Refresh Rate120Hz120Hz
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 3Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB (not expandable)128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB (not expandable)
Cameras200MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 50MP telephoto, 10MP telephoto, 12MP front108MP wide, 10MP periscope telephoto, 10MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, 40MP front
SpeakersStereo SpeakersStereo Speakers
Battery5,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Wireless ChargingYes (Wireless PowerShare)Yes (Wireless PowerShare)
Bluetooth 5.35.2
Water ResistantIP68IP68
Size6.4 x 3.11 x 0.34 inches6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches
Weight233 grams228 grams

There are quite a few similarities between these two phones despite there being two years between them. But there’s more than what meets the eye.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S22 Ultra: Power, performance, and AI

Using Air Commands with the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

What it really comes down to is how these two phones operate. And there are marked differences in this respect. 

Powered by a much more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with 12GB RAM for every iteration. This is necessary because it runs tons of AI features. These include Live Translate, an interpreter feature that can work in split-screen mode, AI Chat Assist to help you compose and translate messages, and more. It can even integrate with Android Auto to summarize incoming messages and offer help in replying while you drive. 

The AI features are found across various apps within the phone. With Samsung Notes, for example, Note Assist can provide an AI-generated summary, template, or cover creation. You can have voice recordings intelligently transcribed, summarized, and even translated using speech-to-text and Transcript Assist. 

Google’s Gemini, which powers the AI features in the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, offers some additional neat options. There’s Circle to Search, for example, which lets you circle or scribble over an image from a web page, photo, or even video to locate search results natively from the same screen. With some content, you’ll even get AI-powered overviews, and you can further interact to ask questions to learn about the items, whether it’s a piece of clothing or an intriguing food dish. Sutrich says Circle to Search, which you can also find in phones like the Google Pixel 8 Pro, is his “new favorite feature.” 

Along with the fast refresh rate, powerful processor, and tons of RAM, the Galaxy S24 Ultra also has a larger vapor chamber to improve thermal management. This means gamers can have a field day with their favorite mobile games.

Playing Fortnite on GeForce Now on a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

It’s evident that the AI features are what truly set the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra apart from the older-model Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. But it’s also the power required to run all these AI features. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra versus the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, you can expect a faster, more powerful, more seamless experience when doing data-intensive tasks and activities. 

You can opt for a version of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with 12GB RAM, which includes all storage models except the 128GB (that model has 8GB RAM), but the experience still won’t be the same. With that said, if you don’t engage in mobile gaming, rarely stream video, and use your phone mostly for simple productivity tasks, this might not be a dealbreaker. 

But consider the OS version and all the updates that come with it as well. With the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra only being upgradeable for another three years of OS updates, it will be on its last legs sooner than the Galaxy S24 Ultra. With that said, three years is still quite a long time, so there’s no reason to rush to the checkout right away.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S22 Ultra: The cameras

Galaxy S24 Generative Edit

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Before you make a decision, let’s compare the cameras. 

With the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, you get a 200MP wide camera, 50MP telephoto camera, 10MP telephoto camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP front camera. You’ll notice some of these specs are not as high as with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, particularly when it comes to the front “selfie” camera. But this might not matter because what Samsung really focused on with this new phone is the AI features the cameras can use. 

The cameras are powered by a ProVisual Engine and Quad Tele System. A 5x optical zoom lens works with the 50MP sensor, offering up to 10x magnification and 100x enhanced digital zoom. There’s a new feature called Space Zoom and a larger pixel size, which helps improve night photography since you can capture more light and reduce blur. Sutrich found in his Galaxy S24 Ultra camera tests that this is a game-changing feature. However, it should be noted that Sutrich says the Galaxy S24 Ultra still struggles with capturing subjects in motion, so you’ll continue to run into the same issue of blurry shots. In fact, he goes so far as to call the motion blur issues “embarrassing.” 

He did, however, love the telephoto cameras, which he says “win in every lighting condition I tested them in.” He got clear, detailed photos that look great from any angle. 

You get improvements with videos as well. There’s a Dedicated ISP Block, for example, that analyzes gyro information to determine what’s your movement and what’s actually the subject moving. The result is clearer videos with less noise. Instant Slo-Mo, meanwhile, intelligently adds frames based on movement to help you get even more detailed footage. 

Super HDR allows you to see a lifelike preview of a photo before taking it. Once snapped, use the various Galaxy AI editing tools to turn a not-so-bad photo into a great one. You can do things like erase elements, recompose the photo, or even remaster it. An Edit Suggestion feature suggests ways to improve the photo, while Generative Edit can even fill in missing parts of the background once you tweak it. Sutrich compares these features to ones you might already be familiar with or have heard about with the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

Looking at a photo of an owl on a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Samsung Galaxy Ultra S22 cameras are nothing to write home about but fairly decent. You get a 108MP wide front camera, 10MP periscope telephoto with 10x optical zoom, 10MP telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, and 40MP front. There are some AI features, like Object Eraser, which allows you to erase items in photos that are distracting, as well as remove shadows and reflections. Sutrich says the results are “pretty fantastic,” and the feature is easy to use. AI Stereo Depth Map, meanwhile, uses AI in portrait mode to measure depth and helps result in better portrait shots, Sutrich finds. 

He found that when taking photos, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra produced darker shadows and blown-out highlights in bright places when compared to the Google Pixel 6 (that brand’s top phone at the time). The images weren’t as crisp, either. That said, the Galaxy S22 Ultra did have the edge, so it all depends on the lighting, situation, scene, and settings you use. The issue with moving subjects and motion blur, however, still existed back with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, so if you were hoping that there would be an improvement here, there isn’t. 

For the telephoto cameras, Sutrich was impressed with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s performance, including the more raw look to photos versus overprocessing them. “If you’re looking for a phone that zooms well in low lighting conditions without sacrificing detail,” he wrote at the time, “the Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably still the right choice.”

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. S22 Ultra: Which should you buy?

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with its retail box and official case boxes

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Now comes the big decision: the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s always a good idea to go with the newest phone you can because so many improvements are made over time. Sutrich calls the Galaxy S24 Ultra one of the best phones he’s reviewed in years, and it easily ranks as one of the best Android phones. It’s rare you’ll find a smartphone that’s just a standard iterative update from the model that came before it, and that’s especially the case when you jump from one model to two models ahead in the line. 

The bigger question is whether you need all the updates you’ll find with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra over the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and if you should upgrade if you already own the latter. For those who use the phone for productivity, content creation, video streaming, and more, I’d recommend going with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Chances are, if you’re considering the top-line model at all, you fall into this category. If you don’t need every bell and whistle, consider looking at the Samsung Galaxy S24 or Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus instead versus dropping down to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. 

However, if you own a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, unless you’re excited to try out all the cool AI features, or if you’re truly annoyed by the fact it doesn’t lie flat for taking notes, you can probably hold onto it a bit longer. There’s a reason Samsung started to offer at least four or five years of security and OS updates with its newest phones. They might be “old,” but they remain relatively current for some time. This also means, however, that you can resell the older phone if you want to upgrade and take advantage of some Galaxy S24 Ultra trade-in deals

Explore your options and see what you can do. If you can get a great deal to upgrade, you’ll appreciate all the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has to offer. If you’re buying new, go for that model, and it will be your pocket companion for many years to come.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.