Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S21 Ultra: Note-worthy Upgrade?

Putting an end to the stream of leaks and speculationsSamsung launched the Galaxy S22 series at its virtual Unpacked event today. While the Korean giant launched three smartphones, the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, all eyes are set on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. And well, for good reason. After taking the first step towards integrating Note features in the S-series with the S21 Ultra last year, Samsung has completed the transition with the S22 Ultra. Now, if you are wondering what all upgrades the S22 Ultra brings over its predecessor, we have you covered. In this article, we will look at how the latest Galaxy S22 Ultra stacks up against the S21 Ultra in terms of the overall build, display, Note-specific features, internals, camera, and more. So let’s not waste any more time and check out the Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra comparison.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: In-depth Specs Comparison (2022)

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Design

starting with the design, you don’t need to look twice at the new Galaxy S22 Ultra to know that it is more like a Note device than an S-series device from Samsung. The squared-off edges that give the device its chunkier look, along with the curved display and the dedicated S Pen slot, are bound to remind you of the last-launched Note device – the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. You can check out how the S22 Ultra compares to the Note 20 Ultra right here:

galaxy s22 ultra vs galaxy note 20 ultra
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (Left) vs Galaxy S22 Ultra (Right)

Also, you read that right. One of the key highlights of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is that it has an S Pen slot, much like the Galaxy Note series. The Galaxy S21 Ultra skipped on this addition as Samsung might have still been strategizing how to go about its flagship lineups. It might have been planning to launch a new Note device back then, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s arrival seems to cement the rumors, and our beloved Note series is gone for good† We talk more about the S Pen slot and other Note-specific features in a dedicated section below.

Turning our attention to the rear, Samsung has done away with the massive camera module that merged with the frame found on the S21 Ultra. Instead, taking cues from its budget and mid-range lineups, the company has decided to nix the rectangular camera island. Instead, you now have four individual camera lenses protruding from the rear glass panel. The opinion on looks is subjective, so we will let you be the judge of which is the better design.

Moreover, both the S21 Ultra and S22 Ultra include an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor, a USB Type-C port, an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, and more.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Display

While Samsung is experimenting with the back panel design on the S22 Ultra, no significant upgrades have been introduced in the display department. Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the S21 Ultra have the same display specifications, except for minor differences. So, I will only list the S22 Ultra display specifications here, and you can check out how they compare in the roundup table attached below.

Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21 display
Galaxy S22 Ultra (Left) vs Galaxy S21 Ultra (Right)

The Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with an Infinity-O design. The panel boasts a QHD+ (1440 x 3080p) resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 240Hz touch sampling rate. You also get HDR10+ support, an improved peak brightness of 1750 nits (over 1500 nits on the S21 Ultra), and a new Vision Booster feature. And like its predecessor, this device also has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on top.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Internals

Exynos 2200 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Battle of the Best Android Chipset

Samsung has refreshed its S-series phones, so there’s bound to be internal hardware upgrades in tow. The Galaxy S21 Ultra was powered by the Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm and Exynos 2100 from Samsung (depending on the region). And talking about the latest flagship, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, is powered by its successors – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200

While that is common knowledge, Samsung seems to be targeting professional users with the Galaxy S22 Ultra and has reintroduced the 1TB storage variant this year. The highest-end model comes with 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. While the S21 Ultra topped out at 512GB storage. As for which chipset variant will offer better performance, you could read our in-depth Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Exynos 2200 chipset comparison for more information on CPU, GPU, and other details.

Moreover, we will update this article later to include a list of regions that will get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200 models. So stay tuned for more details. Let’s not forget about the software side of things. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra arrives with OneUI 4.0 features based on Android 12. While the S21 Ultra came with Android 11-based One UI 3.1, but is upgradeable to One UI 4.0.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Cameras

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs S21 Ultra cameras

Apart from the display, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the S21 Ultra have a lot of similarities in the camera department. As you can tell from the image above, the sensor placement is exactly the same on both phones. And well, the specifications are pretty much the same as well. Some minor improvements have been made here and there to improve performance.

Both the smartphones have a 108MP charging quad-camera setup on the rear, along with a 40MP punch-hole selfie camera on the front. You can check out a camera specs comparison for the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S21 Ultra right here:

Galaxy S22 Ultra Galaxy S21 Ultra
Rear Cameras – 108MP (f/1.8) primary camera, OIS
– 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide, 120-degree FOV
– 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto, 3x optical zoom, 69mm, and OIS
– 10MP (f/4.9) periscope, 10x optical zoom, 230mm, 1.12µm, and OIS
– 108MP (f/1.8) primary camera, OIS
– 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide, 120-degree FOV
– 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto, 3x optical zoom, 72mm, and OIS
– 10MP (f/4.9) periscope, 10x optical zoom, 240mm, 1.22µm, and OIS
Front Camera 40MP (f/2.2) 40MP (f/2.2)

While the specifications are pretty much the same, the Galaxy S22 Ultra brings several new camera features in tow. The 100x Space Zoom and other fancy features are present onboard but also get improved low-light photography capabilities† You can now capture night mode portraits and high-res night photos with ease, thanks to the advanced Super Clear Glass lens. As per the official blog postit “helps you take smoother and clearer nighttime videos without flares.” Also, there’s support for video Auto Framing, which ensures your S22 Ultra camera always captures exactly who you want.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Note Features

As you might have understood by now, the Galaxy S22 Ultra imbibes the Note aesthetic with its chunky design. But the thing that sets the S22 Ultra apart from its predecessor is the dedicated S Pen slot† The Galaxy S21 Ultra had support for the S Pen too, but you had to buy the stylus separately. Also, you had to buy a carrying case with an S Pen holder to not lose the stylus. And well, it was thick and obviously a hassle. The newest Samsung flagship does away with that, while also hinting at the end of the note lineup

Not just that. If you remember, the Galaxy S21 Ultra didn’t bring full-fledged S Pen support. The standard S Pen for the S21 Ultra lacked Bluetooth support† That means you could only jot down notes, scroll through various menus, and draw using the standard S Pen. You couldn’t use the fancy air gestures or the S Pen alarm feature with this model. You had to buy the S Pen Pro$82.95 on Amazon), which Samsung also announced at the S21 series launch, to access all those features.

Galaxy_S22_Ultra_S_Pen

With the launch of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you don’t have to worry about that. The phone has an S Pen slot on the bottom left, which holds a Bluetooth-enabled S Pen. The stylus also brings some improvements in tow. Samsung has reduced the S Pen latency from 9 milliseconds to 2.8 milliseconds, making it super responsive. Also, since it supports Bluetooth, you can now use gestures to switch the camera, click photos, and browse through settings without touching the screen.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Battery & Charging

Not much has changed in the battery department, except for Samsung now offers faster wired charging with the S22 Ultra. Both the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the S22 Ultra include a massive 5,000mAh battery unit. While the S21 Ultra offered 25W fast-charging, the S22 Ultra has finally bumped up the charging speed to 45W. That’s a decent upgrade and will enable users to charge up to 50% of the 5,000mAh battery in under 30 minutes.

Apart from the faster wired charging speeds, Samsung continues to offer 15W Qi wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging support to juice up your accessories like the Galaxy Watch 4 (read review) and Galaxy Buds.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Specs Roundup

To sum everything up, here’s a quick look at how the Galaxy S22 Ultra compares to the Galaxy S21 Ultra on paper:

Galaxy S22 Ultra Galaxy S21 Ultra
Dimensions 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm
weight 229 grams 227 grams
Display – 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
– resolution (1440 x 3080p)
– 120Hz refresh rate
– HDR10+
– peak brightness of 1750 nits
– 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
– resolution (1440 x 3200p)
– 120Hz refresh rate
– HDR10+
– peak brightness of 1500 nits
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
OR
Exynos 2200
(varies by region)
Snapdragon 888
OR
Exynos 2100
(varies by region)
RAM up to 12GB up to 16GB
storage up to 1TB up to 512GB
Software One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 (upgradeable to Android 12-based One UI 4.0)
Rear Cameras – 108MP (f/1.8) primary camera, OIS
– 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide, 120-degree FOV
– 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto, 3x optical zoom, 69mm, and OIS
– 10MP (f/4.9) periscope, 10x optical zoom, 230mm, 1.12µm, and OIS
– 108MP (f/1.8) primary camera, OIS
– 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide, 120-degree FOV
– 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto, 3x optical zoom, 72mm, and OIS
– 10MP (f/4.9) periscope, 10x optical zoom, 240mm, 1.22µm, and OIS
Selfie Camera 40MP (f/2.2) 40MP (f/2.2)
S Pen Slot yes no
IP Rating IP68 rating (water and dust resistant) IP68 rating (water and dust resistant)
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, USB Type-C, 5G Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, USB Type-C, 5G
Battery & Charging 5,000mAh
45W fast charging
15W wireless charging
5,000mAh
25W fast charging
15W wireless charging
colors Phantom Black
Phantom White
Burgundy
green
Phantom Black
Phantom Silver
Pricing starts at $1,199 starts at $1,199

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: The Note-licious S-Series Smartphone

So yeah, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is more synonymous with the Note series than the S-series. The Galaxy 21 Ultra also included S Pen support but lacked the charm of the Note lineup. The boxier design, dedicated S Pen slot, massive battery, and the return of the 1TB storage variant with the Galaxy S22 Ultra show us that Samsung is serious about giving eager users a Note replacement. So if you are rocking the Note 10 or the Note 20 Ultra, you may think about upgrading to the S22 Ultra to get a similar Note-like experience without any compromises. Now, what are your thoughts on the latest Galaxy S22 series? Let us know in the comments below.

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