Samsung's new Galaxy S22 Ultra takes a Note from the past to bring the S series into the future

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Official Colors
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Official Colors (Image credit: Samsung)

What you need to know

  • Samsung has officially announced the new Galaxy S22 Ultra.
  • The phone runs One UI 4.1 (Android 12) and features a built-in S Pen, 45W fast charging, and an upgraded 108MP quad-camera system.
  • Samsung is supporting the Galaxy S22 Ultra with up to four generations of OS upgrades.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra is available for preorder and comes in Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy, with up to 1TB of internal storage.

Samsung has taken the wraps off its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S22 and S22+, and joining them is the new Galaxy S22 Ultra, the company's spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note series.

As far as the design, the S22 Ultra takes after the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with squared corners, rounded edges, and a slight curve to the large 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. The front and back of the device are covered in Gorilla Glass Victus+, which is exclusive to the Ultra for extra protection. However, you'll notice that Samsung rids the stove design for the camera array on the back in favor of a more subtle, integrated design, not unlike the LG Velvet, but more on that in a bit.

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

The display has a refresh rate that varies between 1Hz and 120Hz so that things stay smooth when you need them. The 240Hz touch sampling rate ensures that it responds as fast as you need it to, which is ideal for mobile gamers who rely on quick reaction times. And for anyone not in Seattle that has to deal with bright sunny days, the display has Vision Booster technology to crank up the brightness to its peak of 1,750nits when necessary.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Phantom White S Pen

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

Of course, the star of the show is the S Pen that comes tucked under the display. Samsung says it's the company's fastest S Pen yet and features 70% lower latency when compared to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, that phone notably opted for an optional stylus in the form of its own S Pen model and the S Pen Pro.

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you're getting an improved 108MP primary sensor, a staple of Samsung's "Ultra" phones. It features the same 2.4μm pixel size as last year's model, meaning it should be able to soak in plenty of light for enhanced "Nightography." Samsung's new Adaptive Pixel technology seemlessly combines a pixel-binned 12MP image with a full 108MP image to output photos with more light and as much detail as possible.

Other camera sensors include a 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto, and a 40MP selfie camera. Samsung touts Super Clear Glass to keep images free of flares, Auto Framing for videos to keep the subject in view on apps like Messenger and Google Duo, and AI-powered Portrait Mode for more professional-looking shots.

Speaking of professionals, the Galaxy S22 Ultra also takes advantage of Expert RAW, which gives users a "DSLR-like experience" to manually control the shot while producing 16bit RAW format images for better editing.

Powering everything is a 4nm processor, which we presume is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200, depending on your region. Samsung says its chipset gives AI and machine learning features a boost, while the 8GB of RAM paired with 128GB of storage should keep things running relatively smoothly. However, if that's not enough for you, you can get a 12GB RAM version with up to 1TB of storage, which you might need since there's no external storage option.

Another reason to keep that in mind is that you might be holding onto the phone for a long time, as Samsung says it will provide the Galaxy S22 Ultra with up to four OS upgrades. That means it will support up to Android 16 whenever that comes about. That's one more year than it promised most of its phones last year, and most notably more than the three OS upgrades Google is promising for the Pixel 6.

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

Samsung is also including a new a new digital wallet with its new flagships, allowing people to store their payment cards, IDs, keys, and more.

Keeping the lights on is a 5,000mAh battery, which can be topped off fairly quickly thanks to its 45W charging support. Samsung says that a 10-minute charge will give you 50 minutes of video recording. While it may fall short of charging speeds from some of the best Android phones like those made by OnePlus, it is a notable speed increase from last year's flagships, but don't expect a charger in the box. Also, wireless charging remains at 15W.

Preorders for the Galaxy S22 Ultra are live today, and the phone starts at $1200 for the base model. Color options include Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy.

If you preorder the 128GB or 256GB variants before February 24, Samsung is giving you the option to upgrade to the next storage tier at no additional cost. You can also qualify for $200 in Samsung credit which you can use to purchase accessories, including Samsung's best wireless earbuds.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.