Published Apr 28, 2023 - The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a souped up smartphone with some impressive features, but is it worth the high price tag now that it's more than a year old?
The Galaxy S22 Ultra at a glance
Let's start by taking a look at the most important specs for the S22 Ultra and then dive into each in more detail.
Galaxy S22 Ultra Spec Table
Samsung S22 Ultra
*Prices on Samsung and Back Market as of April 2023 (subject to change)
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra reminds me of previous Samsung Note models. It's undeniably boxy and large, which gives it a simple and utilitarian look. The matte finish and Gorilla Glass Victus+ panels make it a sturdy phone that can withstand both drops and scratches.
The almost satin finish gives it a premium look. However, Ipersonally would have liked the design to be a bit less angular so that it would fit better in the hand when on the go. Iexpect that if you have smaller hands like me, you will have trouble holding the phone, unless you invest in a case that offers a better grip. At the very least,it does offer water and dust resistant with an IP68 rating.
One aspect of the design that I really like is the integration of the S Pen seamlessly into the phone itself. This ultra-light input pen is hidden in the body of the phone and is great for everyday use, whether it's for taking notes or doodling. All you have to do is press the slight bump on the bottom of the phone to get the S Pen out, and you're ready to go.
As for the color options, the S22 Ultra is available in Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue and Red.
Display / Screen
The 6.8-inch AMOLED 2X display makes everything, from Netflix shows to games, a stunning experience to watch. With a peak brightness of 1750 nits, it's hard to beat. Samsung's new Vision Boosting Ultra technology also helps display colors and shadows at their best. For some reason, I found using navigation screens was particularly pleasing while driving - perfect if you're a Google Maps or Waze junkie.
The S22 Ultra can turn down the refresh rate to 1 Hz when the phone is stationary, saving battery life. When not touching the phone's screen, the phone stays at 24 Hz, but as soon as it's active, it instantly ramps up to 120 Hz, making the experience seamless.
Below the screen is an ultrasonic thumbprint reader that makes unlocking the phone simple and intuitive. There is also a face option ID, but Samsung prefers the thumbprint reader for security reasons and honestly, I prefer it as well.
This is where I feel the S22 Ultra really begins to shine. The S22 Ultra uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset as its processor and is available with 8 GB and 12 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage for the 8 GB model and 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB for the 12 GB model. The internals set up makes for a lightning fast phone and I was truly impressed by the smooth transitions between heavy apps. Although, I somehow found the more recent Galaxy S23 Ultra to be even faster.
The phone's call performance is up to par – I wasable to hear calls clearly without any hiccups. The speakers are respectably loud and the microphones worked great as well.
The OneUI operating system is functional and all-around great, allowing users to split the S22 Ultra's large screen into three panes for multitasking. This is the type of customization that's actually useful that you'll rarely find on iOS systems. You can even save your favorite multi-window combinations for further convenience.
The S22 Ultra's battery has a capacity of 5,000 mAh and lasts around 15 hours. However, the phone only lasted about 6 hours during intense streaming, which I thought was a bit of a bummer. That's likely due to using the phone at the max 120 Hz refresh rate for the best quality streaming, but still disappointing to see the battery drain so quickly. Fortunately, there’s a wireless fast charging feature accompanied by aheat protection feature that prevents it from overheating (definitely an issue I've had to deal with on past Android models).
Note, however, that there’s no charger included with the S22 Ultra, only a USB-C cable to connect to one. The phone also doesn't have a headphone jack or earbuds, so you’d have to get your own wireless headphones by the side.
The high-quality stereo speakers provide a clear sound that you'll surely appreciate. There are two speakers, one top front whereas the other one is bottom side firing, producing surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology. I thought the audio had good tonal balance and satisfactory sound.
Let's now talk about the S Pen and whether it's worth spending more money on the S22 Ultra just to own one. With the S Pen, you can easily scribble notes on your lock screen on the go, or bring up a slide-in menu with other customizable options.
So what else can this powerful pen do? You can try out the Doodle feature AR to add drawings to your surroundings, make smart selections on your screen, draw on a screenshot, and even join PenUp, a community space where you can connect with other S Pen users who want to share their creative creations. You can even use your S Pen as a kind of remote to control presentation slides, operate your camera, or play music and media.
While all the S Pen features aren't totally necessary or even useful on a daily basis, I was personally really entertained by how much it can do. It might not be for everyone, but I think the average user can definitely find a few uses for it (that camera operating feature is clutch) and other creative drawers will definitely love it.
Camera specs / review
The S22 Ultra has a four-camera module on the back with a 108- MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, two telephoto lenses and an Ultrawide camera. You can also use up to 10x optical zoom and up to 100x space zoom, which is probably too much to actually take any proper photos. That said, the zoom capabilities and performance are still superior to most iPhones.
The main camera is powerful and delivers a lot of micro-contrast in textures and hues. The colors in the photos I took turned out beautifully, but at the same time I feel that the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max might do a better job at reproducing more realistic and bright coloring although this might just a preference more than anything. The front camera works great as well; the combination of lenses, stabilization technology, and image sensors is really excellent and even makes taking night shots a pleasure. With this camera array, there’s really no excuse for any more grainy night pics.
Expert RAW is a powerful (and free!) app. It gives you full control over all four lenses and manual control over the raw data of your photos. This way you get all the output in JPEG and DNG that you can edit later. I edited photos using Adobe Lightroom, which gave me additional flexibility to tweak my photos more-so than the built-in features on the phone. Overall, I was impressed by the Ultra's powerful camera along with the ability to edit photos at such a high level.
When it comes to video, you’ll be pleased to know that you can also shoot high-quality 4K video at 60 frames per second and up to 8K at 24 frames per second with the phone. I see no reason why this wouldn't fill the expectations for even the most serious video content creators.
Price and availability
So how much will the Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra cost you? It's currently priced at $1,099 on Samsung's official website, but it's available on Back Market starting at $520*. That's more than 50% off you'd pay for the exact same device!
Back Market offers the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for less than any other retailer because we only list refurbished tech on our marketplace from a curated list of refurbishers that we take the time to personally vet. Even though these products were once used, they work the same as new ones without sacrificing performance and we back that with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all purchases.
When you choose used products, you're also helping to produce less waste and prevent further environmental damage.
*Prices as of April 2023 (subject to change)
Final Review Verdict
Okay, so, it should be pretty clear by now that I'm a fan of the S22 Ultra and have been genuinely impressed by its performance. So the question is, is this phone still worth it in 2023 more than a year after its initial release? As much as I love this phone, it's hard for me to get behind the $1,000+ price point, even with some sort of trade in deal.I think if I see the price drop to the $700's this year, I'll be happy to say it's worth it, but if you need a phone now, your best option is to buy refurbished, which is actually how I conducted my tests. Otherwise, if you've been saving up and you're A-okay spending over $1K, I'd suggest spending a few extra hundred dollars and checking out the S23 Ultra, which somehow offered an even faster and more powerful experience than the S22 Ultra.
Bottom line -the S22 Ultra is an impressively powerful phone that is chock-full of some great features. If you love photography or if you’re an artist who likes to work with digital art, this phone is particularly perfect for you. The S Pen and camera are both excellent and give you a lot to play with.
By Miguel G., Sr. Tech Copywriter (US)
Miguel is always looking for new ways to provide unique perspective on popular tech and has taken his writing to the refurbished industry to promote sustainability. Outside of creating content, you might find him travelling the globe, coaching a fitness class, or cheering on his favorite sports teams (Go Dolphins!)
The 6.8-inch AMOLED 2X display makes everything, from Netflix shows to games, a stunning experience to watch. With a peak brightness of 1750 nits, it's hard to beat. Samsung's new Vision Boosting Ultra technology also helps display colors and shadows at their best.What is the most expensive Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
The most expensive smartphone of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Series- Galaxy S22 Ultra is available on Amazon with amazing discount and other offers. The 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant of the device in Burgundy colour option is available at a discount of 17 percent for Rs. 109999 against Rs. 131999, as listed on Amazon.Is Samsung S22 Ultra powerful? ›
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has been one of our favorite smartphones of 2022 that offers powerful performance and a great camera experience in every lighting condition. Samsung also added the S Pen slot and support for the stylus, basically merging the Note-line with S-series Ultra.What phone can beat S22 Ultra? ›
OnePlus 10 Pro: Price and availability. The OnePlus 10 Pro's big edge over the Galaxy S22 Ultra emerges when you compare prices for the two phones. OnePlus charges $899 for its flagship, a $300 discount off the Galaxy S22 Ultra's $1,199. Both base models come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.What is so special about Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
The Galaxy S22 Ultra boasts a larger 2.4um pixel sensor for capturing more light and data, as well as a Super Clear Glass lens for capturing nighttime videos without flares. You also get a 12MP ultrawide lens, plus dual 10MP telephoto cameras that combine to offer 10x optical zoom and 100x space zoom.What is the best price of S22 Ultra today? ›
|Amazon.in||Samsung galaxy s22 ultra 5g (12gb, 256gb storage) without offer, dark red||₹86,965|
|Croma Retail||Samsung galaxy s22 ultra 5g (12gb ram, 256gb, burgundy)||₹94,999|
Product information. Lowest price for Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 256GB is $869.95. This is currently the cheapest offer among 7 stores.Which color S22 Ultra is the best? ›
Black is the most popular Galaxy S22 Ultra color choice on Swappa. This shade is a timeless classic that can be found on the previous generation Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, as well as other devices in the Samsung Galaxy S family. This coveted color is classy and in demand.Why was S22 Ultra discontinued? ›
On the other hand, the South Korean electronics giant has discontinued the Galaxy S22 Plus and the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Although Samsung did not mention the reason behind this decision, we believe it is most likely to do with the delayed release of Galaxy S22 FE.Is S22 Ultra better than iPhone 13 pro? ›
But it's still a step behind the iPhone 13 Pro Max and its A15 Bionic chip on various tests. On synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench 5, the Galaxy S22 Ultra trails the iPhone 13 Pro Max in both the single- and multi-core tests.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is not a rugged phone, but it isn't a fragile one either. Nevertheless, it is still advisable for owners to invest in a case considering the glass build.Is the S22 Ultra the best phone of the year? ›
Indian Gadget Awards winners: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G is Phone Of The Year 2022. Check out the Indian Gadget Awards 2022 winner for Phone Of The Year. The list includes offerings from Apple, Samsung, Google, and more.Who is the target customer of Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
In every sense, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a Galaxy Note device is aimed at both enterprise and end-user enthusiasts who are looking at a high-end smartphone that focuses on productivity and creativity.What are the benefits of buying Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
S22 Ultra is built with a 2.4um pixel sensor – Samsung's largest pixel sensor ever, enabling its camera lenses to capture more light and data, optimizing the lighting and detail of your video clips. Plus, S22 Ultra's advanced Super Clear Glass lens helps you take smoother and clearer nighttime videos without flares.What are the two types of S22 Ultra? ›
The S22 and S22+ both come with 8GB of RAM and storage options of 128GB and 256GB. The S22 Ultra however, comes in 8GB and 12GB RAM options, with storage options of 128GB for the 8GB model, and 256GB, 512GB and 1TB for the 12GB model.How much S22 ultra is selling? ›
|Storage||Avg list price||Avg sale price|
No, the Galaxy S22 does not have expandable storage. And that statement stands true even for the super high-end Galaxy S22 Ultra, which would have made more sense to come with such a feature.Is a Samsung 22 Ultra waterproof? ›
*Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra's S Pen are rated as IP68. Based on test conditions for submersion in up to 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Not advised for beach or pool use.
The S22 Ultra still stands as one of the absolute best premium Android devices money can get you in early 2023. This, perhaps, will only change with the S23 series due this year in 2023. The S22 Ultra is worth buying in 2023 for several reasons discussed below.Does S22 Ultra slow down? ›
Switching to a Pixel. Little things like keyboard opening, switching apps, etc just stutter unnecessarily and drive me mad! Using maximum processor speed, 60hz, and 1080p but still!
If you want the best camera experience, the S22 Ultra is what you should go for. That's not to say the other two models are bad — the 50MP sensor will serve you just fine — but what you'll primarily miss on the non-Ultra models is the 10x optical zoom capability.What is the rare color of S22 Ultra? ›
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Exclusive Colors
Where it differs, however, is that for this model, there are only three exclusive color models here: Graphite, Red, and Sky Blue.
Verdict. It may be a year old but the Samsung Galaxy S22 remains an excellent compact phone, with superb performance and an excellent camera being particular highlights. However, it's let down by lacklustre battery life.What color is S22 ultra charging? ›
When charging Samsung Galaxy S22 phones, the color of the charging ring popup will be different than when using an original fast charger, but the actual charging speed will be similar. The left blue charging icon is for the original Samsung charger, and the green charging icon on the right is for the GaNPrime Chargers.What are the common problems in S22 Ultra? ›
After many users use this device, the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G is facing common problems like network, fingerprint scanner, battery drain, overheating, and Bluetooth connectivity issues.What can I buy instead of S22 Ultra? ›
- Samsung Galaxy S23 series.
- Apple iPhone 14 series.
- Google Pixel 7 series.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 range.
- OnePlus 10 Pro.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Camera specs look almost identical on both phones, but the S22 Ultra has some improvements over the S21. Specifically, the 108MP primary sensor has a wider aperture and an improved lens that lets it collect more light and limits lens flare. Like its predecessor, the S22 Ultra produces 12MP photos using pixel binning.Why is S22 Ultra better than iPhone 13? ›
The iPhone 13 Pro Max has on the back a 12MP main (f/1.6), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.4), and a 12MP telephoto (f/2.8) with 3x optical zoom. On the front it opts for a 12MP (f/2.2). With the S22 Ultra, you're getting a more megapixels, a larger sensor which should capture more light and an additional 10x zoom.Which is best Samsung or iPhone? ›
iPhones handle core functionalities like calling, video recording, system navigation, and web browsing more reliably. In contrast, if you are a little more adventurous and want a template on top of which you can personalize and customize your device, Samsung phones are the way to go.What is better about iPhone 14 and S22 Ultra? ›
The iPhone 14 Pro has a triple-lens setup, but the Samsung S22 Ultra manages to go one better by having four cameras on the rear. Both have an ultra-wide, a standard lens, and a 3x zoom lens, but you also get a 10x zoom lens with the Samsung.
For the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you'll need screen protectors that provide edge-to-edge protection for the curved display.Does S22 Ultra have Gorilla Glass? ›
Durability. Our strongest aluminum frame. The latest Gorilla® Glass. IP68 water and dust resistance.How old is the S22 Ultra? ›
The Galaxy S22 series is now available for purchase. The Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra were announced on February 9, 2022, and got released on the market on February 25, 2022.Does S22 Ultra have headphone jack? ›
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the headphone jack is being resurrected any time soon. Although the Galaxy S22 series is equipped with tons of flagship specs/features, it does not come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is true of the regular Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S22+, and Galaxy S22 Ultra.Does S22 Ultra get hot? ›
Yes, the S22 Ultra produces heat when used for long periods of time or when running certain applications. It is recommended to give the phone a rest every now and then to keep it from overheating.Who are Samsung's top 5 customers? ›
In a quarterly corporate filing, the South Korean tech giant named Apple, Best Buy, Deutsche Telekom, Qualcomm and Supreme Electronics as its five biggest clients. Combined, they accounted for 14 percent of Samsung's total sales.Is the S22 ultra a good business phone? ›
The definitive phone for business. Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 6.8 inch display and embedded S Pen. Plus, a 40MP front camera, a Dual Telephoto lens system, providing 10x and 3x optical zoom. And more space to work with up to 12GB RAM and 512GB storage.What is the greatest competitive strength of Samsung? ›
What are some of Samsung's greatest competitive strengths? Samsung's greatest competitive strengths are its innovation, and ability to produce a product at a fast pace. Samsung allocates a large portion of company spending to research and development in order to stay ahead of the game.Is S22 Ultra too expensive? ›
Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra is fitted with a giant screen, top-notch camera system and an S Pen stylus that you can stow inside the phone. But these fancy features are also paired with a hefty $1,200 price tag, making it one of the most expensive phones Samsung sells.What is the main difference between S22 and S22 Ultra? ›
The standard Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch display, the S22+ has a 6.6-inch display and the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a larger 6.8-inch display. The Galaxy S22 Ultra and the S22+ have 1750 nits of brightness, while the standard Galaxy S22 has 1300 nits. (All three are 120Hz displays).
The S22 Ultra is also the only device in the series to support ultrawideband, a radio technology that helps power features such as digital car keys and lost item tracking.Is S22 ultra too expensive? ›
Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra is fitted with a giant screen, top-notch camera system and an S Pen stylus that you can stow inside the phone. But these fancy features are also paired with a hefty $1,200 price tag, making it one of the most expensive phones Samsung sells.Which is the most expensive Samsung phone? ›
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,099, which is $100 more than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. You get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage to start, and it costs $100 more to jump up to 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage.Is S22 Ultra a good buy now? ›
S22 Ultra is one of the best phones out there, be it for taking photos, gaming, etc., the phone is packed with excellent technology that makes it a go-to option for many users. Besides, thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM, gaming and multitasking with the phone is as smooth as a breeze.Why is Galaxy Ultra so expensive? ›
The Galaxy S23 Ultra costs the same as its predecessor in the US, starting at $1199. However, the device is more expensive than last time in other regions—presumably due to inflation and an increase in the cost of manufacturing.Is the S22 Ultra worth getting in 2023? ›
The S22 Ultra still stands as one of the absolute best premium Android devices money can get you in early 2023. This, perhaps, will only change with the S23 series due this year in 2023. The S22 Ultra is worth buying in 2023 for several reasons discussed below.What is difference between Samsung S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra? ›
Like the processor, the camera in the S23 Ultra is also getting some key upgrades over the S22 Ultra. First up, you're getting a bump up to a 200MP camera vs the 108MP camera on the S22,. The selfie camera is also getting upgraded from 10MP on the S22 to 12MP and can shoot in Super HDR 60FPS.Is worth upgrading from a S22 Ultra to a S23 Ultra? ›
For Galaxy S22 Ultra owners: No need to upgrade yet. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is still very new, and the S23 Ultra's improvements will feel minor. For Galaxy S21 Ultra owners: You don't need to upgrade yet. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has a faster new processor and better cameras with improved low light and dynamic range.What is the most expensive cell phone right now? ›
Known as the Falcon Supernova iPhone 6 Pink Diamond, this phone is a masterpiece of luxury and technology. It is currently the most expensive phone in the world, with a price tag of $48.5 million. But what makes this phone so special than other top iPhone variants or high-end androids? Let's take a closer look.
Goldvish Le Million - $1.3 million
The body is made out of 18-karat white gold and has been studded with 120 carats of diamonds.
Samsung hits a new record with the most expensive smartphone: $2,000. Samsung hasn't given up on its most expensive phone, announcing Tuesday an even steeper price for the sequel to last year's foldable phone. The new Galaxy Fold Z 2 phone will be priced at a cool $1,999.How much S22 Ultra is selling? ›
|Storage||Avg list price||Avg sale price|
For low light and macro shooting, the Samsung seems to produce slightly better results, but for Portrait mode, the iPhone just about edges it. Video quality is great between both models, but again, the Samsung has greater flexibility and also has the headline specification of 8K, just in case you need it.