Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in for Review: iPhone 13 Pro wilts in comparison
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is in a class of its own, whether you keep in mind its features or its mega presence. Here are our first impressions.
It has been almost a month since the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra broke cover and for the elite crowd, it has the presence and features that is simply unmatched by anything else in its class – not even the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and Samsung's own Galaxy Z Fold 3. While the European markets get the Exynos version, India is now a part of the elite group that enjoys the Snapdragon powered variants. With no bottleneck on the performance front, the Galaxy S22 Ultra now seems to be set for taking the “phone of the year” mantle again this year.
And in the few days we have spent with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it certainly seems poised to carry on the mantle from last year's Galaxy S21 Ultra. At Rs. 1,09,999, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is surprisingly high on value when compared to the more expensive iPhone 13 Pro; even the 512GB variant at Rs. 1,18,999 is incredibly more affordable than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Unless you are hardwired to see nothing other than an iPhone in your world, how does the Galaxy S22 Ultra feel?
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Design
Luxury phones are all about their look and feel, and Samsung has gone notches ahead this year after last year's attention-seeking Galaxy S21 Ultra. Long time Samsung fans and enthusiasts will adore the Galaxy Note-inspired design on the Ultra and it certainly seems to do the trick that Samsung wanted – stand out like no other phone in the market. With its soothing colours bathed on a minimalist body, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is easily the most beautiful phone I have ever seen.
From its droplet-style cameras minus the ugly humps to its flat sides on the top and bottom, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has got the superstar looks. The iPhone 13 Pro Max looks too obnoxious in comparison, especially with its blingy sides. Turn it around and the familiar curved edge display with a massive canvas looks modern compared to the dated “notched design” on the iPhone.
This year's highlight though is the S Pen stylus that sits in a silo of its own, just like a Galaxy Note. It goes in and comes out the same way as the Note phones, and locks in place securely once tucked away. No pesky cases required like last year's Galaxy S21 Ultra.
At 228 grams, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is almost as heavy as the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But thanks to its humane design, it does not dig into the palms like the knife-edged sides of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. There's Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and rear, both of which have sustained the dusty outdoors of Noida well.
Also, shoutout to the Burgundy colour that enhances the Galaxy S22 Ultra's luxury quotient. Simply put, it is the most beautiful phone money can buy you in India.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features at a glance
While the phone is reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the S22 Ultra has is packed to the teeth with all the bells and whistles Samsung can put on a conventional non-folding smartphone. The display, which measures a whopping 6.8-inches, uses a Dynamic AMOLED panel with a variable refresh rate of 1Hz to 120Hz, can reach 1750 nits of peak brightness, and supports HDR10+ colours. And it supports the S Pen input with a very low latency.
So far, it has been a joy doing regular smartphone things on this display. Whether scrolling on Instagram or watching a YouTube video, this is the second-best mobile display experience on any phone; the first one being the magical display on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. More on this in our full review.
Inside, Samsung is now using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip paired to a UFS 3.1 type storage. With Samsung's One UI 4.1 interface on top of Android 12, the Galaxy S22 Ultra reacts naturally to every task you throw at it. Opening apps and scrolling in social media apps, to playing some quick sessions of Call of Duty Mobile – this one can handle it all without heating up. We are bound by an embargo to not reveal more, hence you will have to wait for out full review on the Galaxy S22 Ultra's performance bits.
I have played around with the cameras too, and Samsung has genuinely given an upgraded experience in comparison to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has still the same lively Samsung tuning that makes an iPhone 13 Pro Max's camera output seem pale, but the results are marvelous. The best zoom cameras on any mobile phone reside here and has led me to creep out pigeons on the neighbouring buildings more than usual (time for some revenge, hehe).
The Night photography is in a league of its own too but as usual, we can't speak about it yet. You will also have to wait for our verdict on its battery life, but know that this is easily a one-day phone with everything maxed out.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra First Impressions
It was never in doubt of the Galaxy S22 Ultra's credentials being unmatched by anything in the world of Android. And now that I have spent some time with it, it seems the days of the iPhone 13 Pro Max are done as the best of the elite phones. If you seek help in making up your mind on the Galaxy S22 Ultra before it goes on sale, know that this is the same big Samsung phone with some beefy cameras, a splendid display, and a fluid user experience – all that now draped in an irresistible design and pampered by the S Pen. There seems to be nothing in the market that can match this, not even the iPhone 13 Pro Max!
Our review of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will be live in a week's time and if you ware planning to buy it, keep an eye for our final verdict.
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