Is the Galaxy S22 Ultra Worth the Upgrade?

Written by Nuel

Here’s how the Galaxy S22 Ultra measures up against the Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and other older Samsung phones.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a giant screen, a four-lens camera with a top-notch zoom lens, and an S Pen stylus that you can stow inside the phone. But at $1,200, it’s also one of the most expensive phones Samsung sells.

That’s why it’s important to think carefully about whether it’s time to upgrade to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. In many cases, the most important factors to consider will be camera quality and the S Pen. If you have a relatively recent phone like the Galaxy S21 Ultra or Note 20 Ultra, you don’t need to upgrade just yet. The S22 Ultra is more of an iterative update to those devices, and you’ll get more for your money by holding onto your device for a longer period.

You’re substantially more liable to see the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s new elements while coming from a telephone that is no less than 3 years of age. All things considered, it’s additionally important that the more seasoned your telephone is, the more outlandish it is to keep getting the most recent programming refreshes. Samsung is ensuring four ages of Android working framework reports on telephones in its groups of Galaxy S22, S21, and Z gadgets, as well as specific Galaxy A telephones. It was recently dedicated to three years of updates, meaning a few more established telephones like the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 may be near the finish of their product update cycle. You’ll likewise need to think about a portion of the highlights present on more seasoned telephones that Samsung has disposed of on more up-to-date models. Samsung’s new telephones don’t have the expandable capacity, for instance, however, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, S20 Ultra, and Note 10 Plus do. Samsung likewise got rid of MST support for Samsung Pay, the innovation that empowers the installment administration to work with more established terminals that don’t uphold NFC, beginning with the Galaxy S21 line in the US. (MST is as yet accessible in specific other worldwide business sectors.)Peruse on to dive more deeply into how the Galaxy S22 Ultra contrasts and Samsung’s more established top-of-the-line telephones.

Samsung Galaxy S21

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy S21 Ultra

If you have a Galaxy S21 Ultra, there’s no need to upgrade yet. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is an iterative update to its predecessor. It comes with a newer processor (Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Samsung’s latest Exynos chip depending on the market), a camera that can perform better in low light, and an S Pen that you can store inside the device.

But those reasons alone aren’t enough to spend on a new device, especially since you can purchase an S Pen for the Galaxy S21 Ultra separately. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s improved low-light photography is useful, but its camera system is otherwise very similar to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s. Both devices have a 108-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses that provide a 10x optical zoom. Their screens are equal in size and both support refresh rates of up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling.

That’s a detailed way to say the overall experience is essentially the same on the S21 Ultra and S22 Ultra, with some iterative upgrades to the camera and included S Pen.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is less than 2 years old, which means it should have plenty of mileage left in it. There isn’t much to be gained from the S22 Ultra other than its camera improvements, which are appreciated but likely aren’t enough to justify upgrading for most people.

Both phones have a 108-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, although the S22 Ultra has a newer version of the main sensor with better autofocus and dynamic range. Where they differ, however, is in their zoom capabilities. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses, while the Note 20 Ultra only has one 12-megapixel telephoto lens. As a result, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can achieve a closer zoom both optically and digitally (10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom), compared with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (5x optical zoom, up to 50x digital zoom).

And of course, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is missing Samsung’s recent improvements to low-light photography that debuted with the Galaxy S22 series. The S22 Ultra also takes better portraits than the Note 20 Ultra since it’s better at distinguishing fine details, my colleague Lexy Savvides wrote in her recent comparison of the two phones.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra also has a sharper 40-megapixel front camera than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s 10-megapixel selfie camera. That might not matter to everyone, but it could be an important consideration if you spent a lot of time on video calls.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra also comes with a newer processor and a larger battery, although the difference doesn’t seem to be game-changing. Both phones are capable of lasting an entire day, according to CNET’s S22 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra comparison. The Galaxy S22 Ultra would typically have 20% of its battery left by the end of the day, while the Note 20 Ultra would have 10% to 15% of its battery remaining. Our test applies to the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered version of these phones, so it’s possible that the Exynos versions could differ. And both phones come with Samsung’s S Pen stylus for taking notes, drawing, and marking up documents.

The bottom line: You can hang on to your Galaxy Note 20 Ultra for a little longer. Unless you want a 100x digital zoom and slightly longer battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20

Once again, the biggest difference between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 is in its camera. The Galaxy S22 Ultra also has a larger and sharper screen, a bigger battery and a newer processor than the Galaxy Note 20. Most people probably don’t have to upgrade just yet. But there’s a stronger case for upgrading from the Note 20 than from the Note 20 Ultra since the regular model also has a smaller screen and less capable camera than its bigger sibling.

The Galaxy Note 20 has three rear cameras: a 12-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens. You get a 3x optical zoom on the Galaxy Note and up to a 30x digital zoom. The Galaxy S22 Ultra improves on this in several ways. It comes with four rear cameras: a 108-megapixel main sensor, two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens.

Since it has two telephoto lenses, the S22 Ultra can zoom up to 10x optically and 100x digitally. And don’t forget: Samsung’s Galaxy S22 lineup also boasts improved low-light photography. In general, the Galaxy S22 lineup also has improved color and contrast compared with other phones, as I found during my testing.

The bottom line: You probably don’t need to upgrade, but doing so makes more sense than upgrading from the Note 20 Ultra. The Galaxy S22 Ultra brings camera improvements and a larger battery that might make a meaningful difference to those who use their phones for pro-grade photography. If you meet that criteria and can also score a great trade-in deal, the S22 Ultra would be worth it. If you mostly want a better camera and don’t mind sacrificing the S Pen and a little screen space.

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