Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review - display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Noteworthy power and performance in every way to win the day

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most powerful of their recently released trio of smartphones including the smaller Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ that we reviewed recently. We’ve previously had a first look at the Galaxy S22 Ultra and after taking it for a whirl for the past couple of weeks to get a firmer grasp of its capabilities, here’s our Galaxy S22 Ultra review where we put it to the test!

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review front

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Specifications and Performance

Intended as the most powerful of the Galaxy S22 line-up for 2022 and the spiritual reincarnation of the Galaxy Note series, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a markedly different silhouette from its smaller siblings. Instead of a curved top and bottom as well as rounded edges, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a flat top and bottom that are sharply angled somewhat like a roof tile.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review and S22 and S22 ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a larger and curved display compared to its smaller siblings the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ that have smaller, flatter displays.

It also ditches the Contour Cut design of its siblings and has a notably different camera housing design for its 108MP quad camera array and a different, significantly more powerful set of cameras which we’ll cover in detail shortly.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review rear group

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Samsung’s largest phablet phone has a different camera housing design versus the Contour Cut of its smaller siblings the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+

Unlike the Galaxy S22 and S22+ which have flat AMOLED displays, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a massive curved 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz display with steeply rounded sides that’s also sharper too at QHD resolution with a refresh rate that can  go as low as 1Hz all the way to 120Hz.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is also the only smartphone in the new Galaxy S22 line-up that has an S Pen stylus. While the stylus well is traditionally integrated into the right side of a Note series phone, it’s relocated to the left side of the Galaxy S22 Ultra which makes it much more useful for left-handed users. The S Pen stylus itself has also been improved significantly with enhanced responsiveness which we’ll get into later.

Different silhouette and improved curved display aside, the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses the same next-generation materials as its smaller siblings in its construction.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review S Pen open

You get a metal chassis hewn of Armor Aluminum sandwiched between two panes of Gorilla Glass Victus+ glass, both of which are tougher than the standard issue versions. It also has the same IP68 dust and water resistance which lets you confidently use it in up to 1.5 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes at a time.

In terms of hardware, our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample for Malaysia is unlike any other prior Galaxy S or Note series phone intended for this region as it uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, in this case the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU

Traditionally, the Galaxy S and the erstwhile Galaxy Note series phones for the Malaysia market rely on Samsung’s own Exynos processors with the use of a Snapdragon CPU being a historical first though the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Exynos 2200 that’s used in other regions are both built on an efficient 4nm process with a similar ARM core configuration (1 big, 2 medium and 4 workhorse cores) 

This is paired with 12GB RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage with our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample being the 256GB variant. A more affordable 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant also exists for RM5,099. Running under the hood is Android 12 overlaid with their OneUI 4.1 user interface that is chock full of features. For reference, here’s our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample’s specifications

Price RM5,499 (12GB RAM/256GB storage), RM5,899 (12GB RAM/512GB storage), RM5,099 (8GB RAM/128GB storage)
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 1,440 x 3,088 pixels, 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (Malaysia) / Exynos 2200 (selected other regions)
OS Android 12 w/ OneUI 4.1
Memory 12GB RAM/ 256GB storage (8GB RAM and 128GB variant and 12GB RAM/512GB variant available) No microSD card slot
Cameras 108MP F/1.8 w/ OIS, laser autofocus, PDAF, 12MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle w/ Dual pixel PDAF and OIS, 10MP F/2.4 w/ 3x optical zoom, Dual pixel PDAF and OIS, 10MP F/4.9 w/ 10x optical zoom, Dual pixel PDAF and OIS [rear] / 40MP/F.2,2 w/ PDAF [front]
Battery 5,000mAH battery w/ 45W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging
Size/Weight 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm / 228g
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Specifications

For the purposes of this review and in light of recent events, I downloaded the latest update for our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample that ensures unhindered performance from their Game Optimising Service (GOS).

For reference, this update is 469.4MB in size and marked as version number 2908EXXU1AVC9/S908EOXM1AVC9/S908EXXU1AVC9.

When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the Galaxy S22 Ultra scored the following with Maximum Performance speed settings on and off. There isn’t much tangible speed or performance gains even after testing it with Maximum Performance settings on or with the default Optimised performance settings activated on account of the sheer performance of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU. 

Oddly enough, the results are all over the place with Maximum Performance mode activated even with repeated testing which does make it hard to show any noticeable difference between having it on and off. What is certain is that this is easily the most powerful Android phone currently in service at this point in time with enough pixel crunching power to tackle any task asked of it.

Benchmark Optimised processing speed Maximum processing speed
3DMark Wild Life 5,485 6,575
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited 5,892 6,315
3DMark Wild Life Extreme 1,737 2,074
3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited 1,581 1,920
Geekbench 5 single-core score 948 1,142
Geekbench 5 multi-core score 3,207 3,196
Geekbench 5 OpenCL score 4,054 5,694
Geekbench 5 Vulkan score 5,682 5,597
PCMark Work 3.0 score 13,355 13,829
PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test 12 hours 39 minutes  
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Synthetic Benchmarks

Under actual field conditions with the phone set to optimised performance settings, our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample did not disappoint with performance like a real thoroughbred, handling everything thrown at it without breaking a sweat. Apps were opened in seconds, and games that include the latest Apex Legends, Genshin Impact and Call of Duty Mobile were able to run at the highest graphic settings without issue. 

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you’ll be able to run almost any task, up to and including basic 8K video editing captured off the rear camera array in a smooth fashion. In the unlikely event you need more virtual RAM, you can augment the existing physical 12GB RAM with up to 8GB of virtual RAM in 2GB increments via the menu settings.

Battery life is pretty good seeing the size of the phone and the 5,000mAh battery is able to get a comfortable 12 hours and 39 minutes in PCMark Work 3.0 and an easy full day’s worth with normal usage that includes calls, web browsing, texting, social media use, an hour or so of gaming and some camera use, leaving about 30% in the tank at the end of the day.

If you’re more frugal and reduce the refresh rate down to 60Hz and introduce battery saving mode, it’s easily able to last through a day and a half. Charging it is relatively fast with a UGreen 100W GaN charger which was compatible with its fast charging Power Delivery 3.0 protocol and managed to get a full charge from dead zero in just over an hour.

You can also wirelessly charge the phone with Qi-compatible wireless chargers and reverse charge other compatible gear like the Galaxy Buds2 . The phone also has 5G connectivity, fast WiFi 6E and Ultra Wideband for use with selected gear like their SmartTags which makes it rather futureproof.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Display

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is, hands-down, one of the best displays in a smartphone ever made. Not only does it have a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, it also has superb brightness and colour rendition, helped also in part by the inclusion of Samsung’s new Vision Booster technology that enhances content clarity viewed under direct sunlight via tone mapping content on screen. It’s also rated for 1,750 nits brightness too and the screen is among the clearest on test even when viewed directly under broad daylight.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review vision booster

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – The phone features Vision Booster tech that offers enhanced clarity under daylight conditions.

Refresh rates are of course dependent on what you’re doing on the phone with scrolling through the menus and web browsing rolling along at a smooth 120Hz. The display dials down to 24Hz when you’re reading a page or viewing an image and speeds up to 60Hz for selected games and applications.

While official literature does state that it can go down to 1Hz, I’ve yet to see it happen on more than a couple of rare occasions. Minutiae aside, this is a fantastic way to view movies and games on the go, more so the fact that the provided stereo speakers are surprisingly good with decent volume and a fair amount of clarity for anything from Netflix bingeing to a CODM match.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – S Pen Performance

The S Pen stylus that comes with our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample has similar dimensions to earlier generation S Pen styluses in the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Note10 Ultra with a side-mounted button, a nib and a clickable cap.

In the case of our review unit, it came in a shade of matte black with a burgundy coloured cap. Unlike prior versions of the S Pen and older Galaxy Note series phones which came with a set of spare nibs and a specialised nib tweezer, there doesn’t seem to be a way to remove the new S Pen’s nib if it wears out and you’ll have to likely swap out the entire unit. 

In terms of improvements, the improved S Pen stylus has significantly reduced latency when writing to better mimic the feel of an actual pen with just 2.8ms latency which is three times faster than its immediate predecessor the Note20 Ultra’s 9ms.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review angled

Key to this improved latency is  the use of AI point prediction in the display that anticipates what you’re writing or drawing onscreen to reduce writing latency. Writing feels fast and natural and the smoothness of the S Pen on the display is gratifying even when sketching or taking down notes.

Much like the Galaxy Note20 Ultra’s S Pen, the latest generation S Pen in the phone has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) that allows you to use the S Pen as a remote control too. You can navigate the menus by holding the button down and doing a V-shaped gesture to go backwards, forwards or to open recent apps. 

You’re also able to have expanded menus in 10 predefined apps that include their stock camera app, their own browser and Chrome. With these expanded options, you’re able to use the S Pen as a remote shutter release too which makes it extremely versatile.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Cameras

As the most powerful of the Galaxy S22 triumvirate, our Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample comes packing a quad camera array with most of the grunt work taken up by a revamped 108MP camera with a secondary 12MP ultra wide angle camera riding shotgun and a quaint but effective dual telephoto camera setup that consists of a 10MP with 3x optical zoom and another 10MP camera with a periscope lens that offers 10x optical zoom while selfie duties are taken up by a 40MP front camera.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review cameras

The rear camera is capable of achieving an impressive 100X Space Zoom for shots and up to 8K@24fps for video with both the front and rear able to capture a more practical, stabilised 4K@60fps video. 8K video is of course impressive but it takes a ton of processing power to edit and there are only a scant few devices that can take full advantage of it.

The 4K video capture option is far more practical with the rear offering up to 10x digital zoom when filming. Overall video quality is excellent for 4K videos on the rear camera and the stabilisation is smooth to the point it can reliably remove hand judder for smoother footage when panning and at a modest plodding pace.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review camera menu

Captured shots on the rear camera under daylight conditions are superb, brimming with colour and detail. Samsung’s enhancements in AI are on show here with wonderfully steadier shots at maximum 100x zoom which are also sharpened as well to the point that you can reliably read text on a signboard over a hundred paces away. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review selfie

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – The front 40MP camera is capable of excellent selfies even in challenging dim light conditions

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review purple flower

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – The phone is able to retain the deep rich purple hue of this flower in the shot

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review at

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – This indoors shot of our resident cat in dim light is still detailed enough to pick out individual whiskers and hair

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review daytime

Shots under low light are improved over its predecessor the Galaxy S21 Ultra with better salvaging of detail from shadows, better noise control with defter sharpening and very shareworthy shots all the way to 10x zoom especially with its offered Night mode which kicks on automatically where needed. Unfortunately, low light shots at a maximum 100x zoom aren’t very viable  and are somewhat soft but it’s still scads better than anything else in the market. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review 1x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Taken at 1X zoom on the far end of the Midvalley concourse

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review 10x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Camera at 10x zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review 100x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – At 100x Space Zoom you can read the signage on the door at the other end of the concourse

Selfies up front are of course excellent under bright daylight conditions with great separation of the subject and the background. Even in challenging dim light conditions, it’s still able to deliver some pretty decent mugshots at 1x magnification. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review ultrawide night

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Captured at night with the Ultrawide angle camera

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review 1x mag

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – Dim light conditions with Night mode on at 1x magnification

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review 10x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – At 10x zoom you’re able to catch the highway in the distance

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review logo

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review – At 100X Space Zoom, the phone was able to pick out this gas station logo that’s beyond sight of the naked eye.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most powerful phone that you can currently buy at this point in time. There is almost nothing in the market that can currently match its powerful combination of a luscious display, superb performance, powerful cameras and the addition of the versatile S Pen. 

Owners of the older Galaxy Note20 Ultra will find this an easy upgrade choice and Galaxy S21 Ultra owners will find plenty to like especially with the addition of the new S Pen stylus and suite of enhancements. With Samsung’s promise of 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a sound investment that will last you for a long time. If you can, chunk out for the 512GB version as there’s no expandable storage.

While the 128GB version is available, you’ll quickly run out of space if you make full use of its capabilities. For users who don’t need similar performance but a smaller form factor, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ beckon.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Review rear

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review sample courtesy of Samsung Malaysia. To purchase, please visit the official Samsung online store at

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Cameras
  • Battery Life
  • Value

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is easily one of, if not an early shoe-in for the best smartphone of 2022. You get a breathtakingly beautiful display, beefy specifications under the hood, an impressive camera capable of superb shots even under challenging low light conditions and the return of their versatile S Pen stylus in a timeless design. It doesn’t come cheap but Samsung’s commitment to 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates combined with its potent capabilities make it an investment that’s well worth your money.


One of the best cameras available in a smartphone

Faster and more responsive S Pen

Outstanding display

Superb build quality and design

Excellent performance


Not cheap

No expandable storage