Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Long-Term Review

Samsung Galaxy s22 Ultra was voted the best Flagship smartphone of the 2022 by countless Tech Publications and fellow YouTube even somehow in a world. where the Pixel 7 Pro exists personally I think that Samsung’s handset is good if somewhat overpriced, but then it has been many months since I properly reviewed in which time it’s updated to Android 13 and Samsung’s one UI version 5 with lots of other little tweaks and patches. along the way sadly one thing that has barely changed is the asking price the Galaxy s22 Ultra still costs well over a grand although hopefully that will drop imminently as the S23 series emerges, but in the meantime as we’re merrily into 2023. here’s my long-term Galaxy s22 Ultra review.

Design

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Design

The S22 Ultra isn’t an unwieldy brick like the iPhone. The bezels around the screen are actually pretty skinny, so there’s next to no wasted space here. While the curvy edges make it a little more hand-friendly, it is still undoubtedly too big, at least for me.

Personally, I reckon that design is pretty boring as well, especially compared with a Pixel 11 or an Oppo Find X5 Pro, or pretty much anything, to be honest. Especially a nothing phone 1. But then, that device goes to the other extreme, hypnotizing you until you go all cross-eyed and start to froth at the mouth.

You’ve got Gorilla Glass Victus both on the front and the back, and they’re separated by some scratch-resistant aluminum. And after many months my S22 Ultra is still looking almost pristine, pretty much box fresh. It’s got a few teeny little nicks on that display, but you really have to scout around in order to find them. The back end is still looking as good as ever. Not particularly good, but at least it’s not been scuffed up. And like most rivals, it’s fully water-resistant. Not even several goes on Splash would mess it up.

One UI 5 and Features

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Ui and Features

The major factor in how well you get on with this smartphone will likely be your general reaction to Samsung’s One UI launcher. I have to say, Samsung’s launcher is still hit and miss in this Android 13 incarnation. On the plus side Samsung has done a stellar job of keeping this mighty mobile up to date pushing security patches timely. Some of those One UI 5 updates, like the ability to customize your lock screen simply, are very nice indeed. Reminders have been overhauled, the notification permissions have been improved, and life just generally made that little bit simpler with lots of neat little tweaks and tools.

And then there’s the not-so-stellar stuff, like the incessant duplication of Google services and apps, and the occasional bit of obligatory junk. For example, quite often when I’m enjoying an Audible audiobook or podcast, I won’t actually get the media controls popping up in the notification panel like I’m supposed to. And occasionally, when I have a book playing in the background, the audio will just stop completely dead, all reason gone. Great features there, sometimes an Apple also stood up, refuse to continue downloading files when demoted to the background, similar to what you’ll suffer with one of those iPhone things.

Read More: Xiaomi 13 vs Xiaomi 13 Pro Comparison

Display and Audio Quality

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Display

If you’re using smartphone to stream lots of movies and TV shows when on the go, well, the S22 Ultra is still one of the better option. That enormous Dynamic AMOLED screen isn’t far off seven whole inches, and it is still a stunner. Although the likes of the Pixel 7 Pro and Oppo Find X5 Pro will satisfy just as hard, there’s no dumb enormous Dynamic Island to get in the way of those crisp, beautifully smooth visuals. And those perfectly rich colors really do pack a punch when you’re watching animated fare or something a bit more vivid.

And likewise, the speakers on the S22 Ultra are fantastic. You won’t have to scramble for headphones when you doing gaming on the go, and it’s just about possible to listen to a podcast or an audiobook in a noisy kitchen. Of course, if your main aim is to stream a lot of Netflix on the train or the bus or whatever, then you’d be just as well served by Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus.

S Pen stylus

The S Pen stylus is the main reason to go for the Ultra version of Samsung. It is conveniently stored in the bottom of the Ultra for up to half an hour, making it useful for signing documents on the go or making corrections and taking notes. The S Pen itself is comfortable to use, although it lacks the textured paper-like feel of dedicated ink tablets. I personally rarely find the need to use the S Pen, it can be a great tool for sketching and doodling, especially if your artist.

Performance

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Performance and Game Mode

The proceedings of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset. Initially, when I reviewed the device about a month or two after its release, I did notice occasional pauses or jitters. However, thankfully, things have become smoother now. Very rarely, I do experience some slowdown when scrolling through social media feeds, but overall, everything runs as expected. Multitasking and gaming are enjoyable experiences, and the Exynos chipset handles graphic-intensive games well without much strain.

The curved screen may not be ideal, but it is responsive enough. While playing demanding games like Genshin Impact for more than 30-40 minutes, the S22 Ultra does heat up a bit, but it’s not worse than the Pixel 7 Pro. Samsung hasn’t made significant changes to its gaming features in the One UI. The gaming features are basic, lacking the comprehensiveness found in other smartphones like OnePlus or Xiaomi. It’s more similar to what you would find on Pixel phones. There is a priority mode to block distractions and a screen recorder to capture your gaming skills, but beyond that, the gaming features remain limited.

Battery life

One thing that has improved over time on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is its battery life. The phone houses a 5,000 milliamp-hour battery, which is quite large. When I first reviewed the S22 Ultra, it provided a satisfactory performance, giving me around five to six hours of continuous usage before the battery drained. However, these days, I’m actually getting more screen-on time, around seven to eight hours, from a full charge. This includes activities like Skype calls, gaming, video streaming, camera usage and even following football matches. So, whatever optimizations Google or Samsung, or both, have implemented into Android and One UI, they are certainly doing a great job. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers one of the best battery lives you can find on any smartphone as we progress into 2023. While it may not recharge particularly fast when using a cable, the option of wireless charging is available, which provides convenience.

Cameras

The camera setup on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which Samsung has incorporated, was among the best during its time, and it remains impressive and reliable in many situations regardless of what you’re capturing. However, it has been surpassed by the Oppo Find X5 Pro and Google Pixel 7 smartphones when it comes to low-light and nighttime photography.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Wide Angle Image
Image Credit: Tech Spurt

Most users will be satisfied with the results unless they are attempting to capture a fast-moving subject in challenging lighting conditions, as lead to blurry and unsatisfactory results. If the camera is a major priority for you when choosing a new smartphone. I would considering the Pixel 7 Pro, as it is priced around £300-£400 cheaper.

While the S22 Ultra used to stand out with its impressive zoom capabilities, the Pixel 7 Pro offers a comparable telephoto shooter, and both Samsung and Google provide an ultra-wide-angle lens if you want to capture more in the frame.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera test
Image Credit: Tech Spurt

Similar to the gaming mode, Samsung hasn’t made significant changes to the camera features and tools in One UI version 5. They continue to offer popular features like the Pro mode for both photo and video, allowing manual adjustments of settings. The portrait mode is still excellent at accurately distinguishing the subject from the background. Additionally, if you enjoy taking pictures of your meals before devouring them, the food mode makes everything look more appetizing.

There’s also a slightly revamped single-take mode, which lets you choose the type of content generated after up to 15 seconds of continuous filming. As usual, you can expect a mix of comedic randomness and well-timed stills, especially when capturing kids or cats. Selfie enthusiasts should be satisfied as well, although a steady hand and head are necessary to avoid blurriness in darker environments. In good lighting conditions, you can capture fine details, although I would suggest turning off the beauty mode to avoid excessive smoothing. The portrait mode for selfies is dependable but not as accurate as the rear camera.

Overall, the Galaxy S22 Ultra remains one of the best Android options for shooting videos, with the ability to record up to 8K resolution footage. However, keep in mind that shooting in 8K fills up storage quickly, and 4K mode offers crisp and colorful clips in good lighting conditions with less noise in more ambient settings. The stabilization is solid, allowing smooth movement while shooting, and the audio pickup is clear even in noisy environments. Switching between the different lenses provides a seamless transitions.

Final Thought

So, that’s my long-term review of Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra. While some areas have improved, such as the battery life, the overall One UI experience hasn’t been tweaked enough to align with my personal preference. In terms of camera technology, it has been surpassed by some recent rivals, notably the Pixel 7 Pro, which has price $590. At the current price, the S22 Ultra offer the best value for what you get.

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series is on the horizon, and if the price of the S22 Ultra $799, it could be worth considering, with its main advantage of the S Pen stylus. If you’re simply looking for a big Samsung device, I would suggest saving some cash and opting for the S22 Plus instead.

That’s my opinion, but I would love from you. Have any of you been using the S22 Ultra as your full-time smartphone? It would be great to hear your own personal review in the comment.

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