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Samsung S22 Ultra Review: The Ultimate Flagship Phone

Pros

  • Premium design
  • 120Hz AMOLED panel
  • Good battery
  • S Pen support
  • Outstanding zoom photos

Cons

  • Sustained peak performance is not great

Samsung has launched the Samsung S22 Ultra 5G in Nepal. It is Samsung’s first flagship phone for the year 2022.

Samsung S22 Ultra Review
Samsung S22 Ultra

Samsung S22 Ultra 5G price in Nepal is Rs. 1,59,999 (12/256GB) and Rs. 1,69,999 (12/512GB).

I have been using this device for a couple of weeks and it’s the best phone of 2022. Why? Let me tell you in brief in this review article.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G Specifications

  • Body: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm, 228 g / 229 g (mmWave model), IP68 dust/water resistant, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ back
    • Stylus: S Pen, 5.8 x 4.35 x 105.08mm, 3.04g, IP68 dust/water resistant, 2.8ms latency (Bluetooth integration, accelerometer, gyro)
  • SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.8 inches Edge QHD+, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, 1440 x 3088 pixels, 19.25:9, 1750 nits (peak), HDR10+, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.50 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510)
  • GPU: Adreno 730
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, UFS 3.1
  • OS: Android 12, One UI 4.1
  • Rear Camera: 108 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm (12MP 2.4µm), Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
    • 10 MP, f/4.9, 230mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.52″, 1.12µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
    • 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.52″, 1.12µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
    • 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, Super Steady video
    • Video: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected], HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS
  • Front Camera: 40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.7µm, PDAF
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 5000 mAh battery, 45W fast charging, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W, USB Power Delivery 3.0, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W
  • USB: USB Type-C 3.2, USB On-The-Go
  • Misc: Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
  • Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White (12/256GB), Green (12/512GB), Burgundy

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G Price in Nepal: Rs. 1,59,999 (12/256GB) | Rs. 1,69,999 (12/512GB)

Samsung S22 Ultra 5G Review

Design

  • 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 228 g
  • IP68 dust/water resistant
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
Samsung S22 Ultra Review
S22 Ultra Design

Samsung S22 Ultra carries the Note DNA as it has a similar form factor as the previous Note devices like the Note 10 and Note 20 Ultra. Perhaps most characteristics of the Notes, the sharp corners are now found on this S handset.

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While the S22 Ultra is a gram or two heavier than S21 Ultra at 228 g, it feels heavier. Also, it has that premium bulky feeling which was less apparent on the S21 Ultra.

Despite the S22 Ultra’s Note-like design, it still has a hint of continuity coming from the S21 Ultra. The back panel maintains the same frosted matte finish now upgraded to Gorilla Glass Victus+

S22 Ultra inherits its traits from the Note 20 Ultra and S21 Ultra along with some extra spice.

Though this phone inherits all its traits from the Note 20 Ultra and S22 Ultra, the camera setup is styled like no other Samsung phone. Well, not 100%. S21 Ultra’s camera block that blended to the side frame is now gone, and the only thing that remains is the individual sensors.

I loved the S21 Ultra camera module more than this one but it’s a matter of preference. However, this setup is prone to harboring lint in between the rings.

Upfront, it feels similar to the Note 22 Ultra with a boxy look and a small center punch-hole. There’s an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor underneath which feels better than the previous iteration. The right side houses a volume rocker and power button whereas the bottom has a speaker, USB Type-C port, mic, and a sim slot along with the Spen. Phew! that’s crowded.

Display

  • 6.8 inches Dynamic AMOLED
  • 120Hz
  • 1440 x 3088 pixels
  • 1750 nits
  • HDR10+
  • Gorilla Glass Victus+
Samsung S22 Ultra Review
S22 Ultra Display

Samsung arguably uses the best display panel and the S22 Ultra flaunts an amazing 6.8-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel.

Samsung claims 1750 nits of peak brightness which seems huge on paper but cannot be perceived by our eyes. Nonetheless, it is way better than what the other competitors have to offer. The bezels look slightly improved and even though the S21 Ultra has the same 6.8-inches display size, the boxy screen of the S22 Ultra feels larger.

Moving on, Samsung S22 Ultra features a 120Hz refresh rate along with the new LTPO technology. In my testing, the S22 Ultra was capable of going to as low as 24Hz. The marketing about 1Hz is slightly misleading as the screen fps will go down to 1Hz and not the screen refresh rate. The same has been observed on the Samsung S22+ as well.

Camera

  • Rear Camera: 108 MP, f/1.8, OIS
    • 12 MP Ultrawide, f/2.2
    • 10 MP Telephoto, f/2.4, OIS, 3x optical zoom
    • 10 MP Telephoto, f/4.9, OIS, 10x optical zoom
  • Front Camera: 40 MP, f/2.2, PDAF
Samsung S22 Ultra Review
S22 Ultra Camera

S22 Ultra features a familiar camera setup that is almost identical to last year’s S21 Ultra. The main highlight is the nona-binning 108MP main sensor along with autofocusing ultrawide sensor, and two telephoto lenses reaching up to 10X optical zoom.

NORMAL PHOTOS

Photos from the main camera have excellent clarity with good sharpness and a wide dynamic range. The exposure is accurate with good detail in both highlights and shadows.

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ULTRAWIDE PHOTOS

The ultrawide camera is a good performer as it delivers sharp and detailed images. The dynamic range seems to be improved from the previous generation but there’s an extra bit of noise.

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The ultrawide camera is one of the best with a similar color profile as the main camera sensor.

ZOOM PHOTOS

S22 Ultra might not have the best main sensor and ultrawide sensor, it has the best zoom sensor. The telephoto lens can do 3X optical zoom and the periscope lens can do 10X optical zoom.

The 3x zoom photos are much cleaner than the photos from the previous generation. Photos have good details and the dynamic range is wide enough. At first glance, you won’t notice much difference between the zoom photos and normal photos as they have similar color renditions. However, the exposure on 3x zoom photos is not as good and the photos look slightly flat on closer inspection.

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The 10X periscope module works really well and it comes in handy when you need to get up close. The detail level is more than good enough. If you view the photos on your smartphone you won’t notice much difference in clarity when compared to 3x zoom photos. The contrast and color are good as well.

Now if we go further than 10x, it enables hybrid zoom which produces usable photos up to 30x. More than that, the photos tend to lose detail and sharpness. At 100x, the photos do not have good clarity but that’s expected. Moreover, the S22 Ultra is more stable when taking 100x zoom photos compared to the S21 Ultra. Samsung has optimized the software when locking the subject at 100x zoom.

LOW LIGHT PHOTOS

In low light, the S22 Ultra applies the Night mode automatically on the main camera, ultrawide, and the 3x telephoto. So, it will capture a long exposure shot in auto mode if detects low light situation.

The main camera captures impressive images at night with excellent detail and preserved shadows and colors. Using the night mode brings some changes as it intensifies the lighting and sharpens the photos. The dynamic range is slightly improved and it also applies noise reduction.

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The Night mode works really well on the ultrawide sensors as it brings greater improvement in photo quality with reduced noise and increased clarity. Likewise, the 3x and 10x zoom photos also get good benefits from Night mode in low-light quality. Even the zoom cameras are more than usable in low-light scenarios.

PORTRAIT

One of the best things about the S22 Ultra is its portrait photography. Samsung is using the stereo depth mapping technique which produces awesome results.

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It can capture portraits with a 3x zoom lens or the main camera but I like the results from the 3x zoom lens. They have a good depth effect and the edge detection is the best you can get on a mobile camera. It is not perfect all the time but it manages to detect every piece of stranded hair most of the time.

FRONT CAMERA

On the front, there is a 40MP selfie camera. I like the face tone of the selfies and the exposure also looks good.

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The dynamic range is wide with good colors and more than enough detail. The 40MP mode will give you slightly more detail but there won’t be much difference. The portrait mode also does a good job of subject separation and background blur.

VIDEOS

Samsung S22 Ultra records up to 4K60 with all of its cameras. The main camera can also capture 8K videos but only at 24fps. In terms of stabilization, it gets video stabilization from all the sensors.

The 4k footages from the S22 Ultra have a good dynamic range and good clarity. Even the 4k 60 footages look crisp with rich color. The 60fps footages have a very smooth pan and the overall footage is very impressive.

The 3x zoom sensor can also capture good 4k 60 footages with minimal loss in quality and the 10x footage also retain good detail. The 10x zoom videos are slightly hard to capture and look a bit soft. However, I’m really impressed with the 4k 60 footages from the S22 Ultra. Likewise, the 1080p footage has dialed down detail but they look sharp and colorful.

Interms of stabilization, every lens has OIS which ensures stable footage. The 1080p footages are ultra-smooth as we expect with all three lenses. But I was impressed with the stabilization from all the lenses in 4k and 4k 60. The 3x zoom videos have good stabilization and the videos will look stabilized when you are walking. But the 10X zoom videos are slightly hard to handle as it is not as smooth as the telephoto and the main sensor.

Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Octa-core (1×3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.40 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.70 GHz Cortex-A510)
  • Adreno 730
  • 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM

Unlike every other year, Nepal gets the Snapdragon variant of the S22 series this year.

It is powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with an Octa-core (1×3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.50 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510) CPU and Adreno 730 GPU. While there is an 8GB RAM variant, you can only buy a 12GB RAM variant in Nepal with either 256GB or 512GB internal storage.

BENCHMARK

My review unit posted a Single-core score of 1205 and a Multi-score of 3172 on GeekBench 5. Likewise, it scores 685371 on AnTuTu. This score is not the best for S22 Ultra and it might be due to the lower RAM. Nonetheless, S22 Ultra runs smooth as butter without issues.

I ran the CPU street test and it can be seen in the above picture that the CPU throttles to 80% of its max capacity after 40 mins. After 40 mins, it drops below 60% for 2-3 mins and then recovers to 70%.

Also, the CPU gradually starts to throttle its performance right from the start. In comparison, the S21 Ultra with Snapdragon 888 had much better-sustained performance. However, this result is not significant for daily usage as these phones will never have to handle such intense tasks in normal usage.

GAMING

In terms of real-life performance, I tested two heavy games: Genshin Impact and COD Mobile.

Genshin Impact was tested on default medium settings with a 30fps option. In the first 20 mins, S22 Ultra achieved an average fps of 28.5 with slight frame drops. After 40 mins, the average fps was hovering around 28.9 and I did notice some frame drops. After 1 hour of gaming, the average fps was around 27.9 and the average temp was 48.7.

Genshin Impact

Likewise, COD Mobile runs on the max available settings without any issues. S22 Ultra is able to achieve constant 60fps without any fps drops or stutters.

COD Mobile

Battery and OS

  • Non-removable Li-Po 5000mAh battery
  • 45W Fast Charging
  • Android 12
Samsung S22 Ultra Review
S22 Ultra Software

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 5000mAh battery and comes with a 45W fast charging support.

In daily usage, I got 8-9 hours of screen on time in FHD settings with an adaptive refresh rate. And, I was getting around 5-6 hours of screen on time in QHD resolution. For charging, it took me 1 hour and 5 mins to fully charge the S22 Ultra with Samsung’s 25W adapter.

The S22 Ultra comes with Android 12 along with One UI 4.1. With this being a Note like device, it has all the S Pen features. One of the new additions is called Quick Note which lets you add entire web pages and scrapbook in Samsung Note. The S Pen also has an improved latency of 9ms which is substantial compared to 42ms of older Notes.

One UI has a new feature called Color Palettes which changes the accent color according to your wallpaper. These accent colors are applied on the dialer, the quick toggles, and other elements.

Should You Buy Samsung S22 Ultra?

Samsung S22 Ultra is undoubtedly the best phone right now.

It excels in every department with clear superiority in the camera department compared to iPhones or any other flagship phone. Furthermore, Samsung has done a good job of keeping the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 cool under load.

The only complaint I have is that I prefer the smoother design of the S21 Ultra over the S22 Ultra. And, I also like the camera module of the S21 Ultra. However, this will come down to personal preference.

If you’re looking for the best phone the money can buy, this is it. Forget the iPhone.

READ NEXT: Redmi Note 11 Review: Not a Total Upgrade Over Redmi Note 10

What do you think about the Samsung S22 Ultra? If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!


Also, watch our impressions video of the Samsung S22 Ultra in Nepali.

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