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Review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (SD 8 Gen1) – The 2022 S-tandard for premium flagship smartphone

When being asked what is the 2022 standard for premium flagship smartphone, many questions will come up to everyone’s mind. But one smartphone has managed to stand out in the 2022 premium flagship smartphone, so, meet the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Now, let’s find out why the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the 2022 S-tandard for premium flagship smartphone.

Design – A familiar Note

For the design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, straight up it definitely looks like the previous Note 20 Ultra, which is not a bad thing. The design still feels contemporary and enormous with the beautiful curved display. The camera bump now left the lens protruding on its own which some might feel odd but once you slapped a case there, you will love it.

This year, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a built-in S Pen, making it easy for users to use the stylus and keeping it back. One thing, the phone has sharp corners so those with smaller palms will definitely feel some difficulty to hold the phone for a long period of time.

The phone chassis now spots the new Armor Aluminum and I have to say it is pretty tough as it claimed by Samsung. Both the front and back uses the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ which offers the best scratch and drop resistance glass to date. However, because of the Gorilla Glass Victus+, Samsung has opted not to applied any screen protector on the device. Overall in the design department, Galaxy S22 Ultra is an eye catcher despite of the minimalistic design approach.

Performance – Great for productivity, gaming and entertainment

The S22 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the fastest flagship chip you can get on Android phone now

So, for the Malaysia market, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with three variants to choose from: 8GB RAM with 128GB ROM, 12GB with 256GB ROM and 12GB with 512GB ROM. Unfortunately, Malaysia will not have the 1TB ROM variant.

My review unit is the 8GB RAM with 128GB ROM, which is actually quite enough for those who aren’t into content creation. However, if you’re a content creator or someone who is heavy user in productivity, I will advise you at the very least get the 12GB with 256GB ROM. However, I do wish that Samsung could have offer a 8GB RAM with 256GB ROM for the S22 Ultra which I think is going to be attracting a lot of people opting it. If you’re worried about the RAM, you don’t really need to worried as RAM Plus will add extra RAM up to 8GB by using the storage space.

For everyday task, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will work excellent regardless of any task you throw at it. If you’re into gaming, you will be glad that Genshin Impact runs pretty good in high settings though the game will still have occasional stutters on every device. The device also runs Android 12 with One UI 4.1 with all the S22 series will get four years of Android OS upgrades.

S Pen – Better but only creative people will appreciate

For this year’s S Pen on the S22 Ultra, it has a 2.8ms latency, a 70% reduction compared to previous S Pen on the Note 20 had a latency of 9ms. The display is also three times more responsive to the S Pen. The improvement is amazing but only those who are in the creative area will appreciate it more as they can feel the smoothness drawing or jotting with the S Pen on the S22 Ultra.

The S Pen design will have its top tip following your model colours while the remaining part will be in Black colour. As this time it has a built-in silo to keep the S Pen, you don’t have to worried where you left the it as it will trigger a warning to alert the owner.

As for the S Pen features, it is largely remains the usual with some additional updates like S Pen features for Outlook.

Display and Audio – Entertainment powerhouse on the go

The S22 Ultra has a 6.8 inches Dynamic AMOLED 2X that supports 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+. It also output at 1440 x 3088 pixels resolution where you can expect every content displayed on the S22 Ultra to be immersive. The brightness on the screen can go up to 1750 nits of peak brightness so you don’t really need to worried of sunny outdoor. The display is curved but throughout my test, I didn’t get any accidental touch.

If you love watching clips on YouTube like me, the S22 Ultra is your best partner thanks to amazing display and audio

As for the stereo speakers, it sounded great thanks to balanced bass and clarity so playing your favourite song or movie on the S22 Ultra will bring wonders to your ears. The speakers are loud too so beware when you’re firing up max volume to enjoy your content on the go.

Camera – Great for content creators

Let’s recap the camera spec for S22 Ultra:

Rear camera:
108MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide camera, 10MP 3x zoom telephoto camera and 10MP 10x zoom telephoto camera (Periscope)

Front camera:
40MP front camera

For photography, the S22 Ultra has maintained the standard of flagship camera should be. A versatile setup that allows you to capture every moment whether it is near or faraway.

The 108MP main camera captures excellent photos regardless of the lighting conditions. However, I do find that the 108MP main camera has occasionally slow to focus on the subject making certain shots blurred. As for the ultrawide camera photos, they looks stunning during the bright days and during low light conditions, it still take good photo with minimal noise. The 10MP 3x and 10x zoom camera performs excellent in bright area. However, in low light conditions, the 10MP 3x and 10x zoom camera will tend to look softer and some noise appearing. I noticed the 10x zoom telephoto camera will not work in dark area as I suspect either the main camera or 10MP 3x zoom telephoto camera is doing the work here. There are other features like macro mode and Detail Enhancer on the S22 Ultra worth to mentioned as they unlocks amazing way to capture upclose and high details photos. Overall, the rear cameras is great for content creators who need a reliable camera on its smartphone thanks to amazing dynamic range in details and clarity in every shots.

The 40MP front camera takes great selfies. Details are sharp and colours are pretty true to life.

Night mode is available on all cameras when you really need to tackle extreme low light conditions.

Shot with Detail Enhancer turned on. What a stunning beauty for the Spirit of Ecstasy on the Rolls-Royce Black Badge Ghost

This year there is a new photography feature call Detail Enhancer. What it does is it shoots in 108MP mode with added more dynamic range and details.

In terms for videography, you can shoot up to 8K 24fps on the main camera while the rest of the cameras are ready to shoot up to 4K 60fps. If you’re a 4K video content creator, the S22 Ultra is the device you should consider. The video and audio quality is really top notch for a premium flagship smartphone and sets a standard for the competition to catch up.

There are other camera features on the device like Director’s View, portrait photo and video, Pro mode for photo and video, Hyperlapse, Slow-mo, Food and Panaroma. If you’re an avid photo editor on smartphone, the Object Eraser will help you remove unwanted subjects in your shots.

Overall, the camera department on the S22 Ultra is solid thanks to its strong hardware and software. If you’re someone who requires to use your smartphone camera often, the S22 Ultra is the one you should be getting right now.

Battery – Stand with you till the end of the day!

The S22 Ultra is packing a 5,000mAh battery which is sufficiently enough to last you till the end of the day despite heavy usage. If you pushed it to the limits and need to recharge it, it supports 45W fast charging but I don’t have the official 45W charger from Samsung so I couldn’t gauge the charging speed. Nonetheless, the battery department on the S22 Ultra will keep up with any user demand.

Final Verdict – Remarkable, solid performance premium flagship smartphone you can get for 2022

In many ways, the Galaxy S22 Ultra just blow away the premium flagship smartphone segment with a remarkable, solid performance you can get for 2022 premium flagship smartphone. You’re getting the flagship performance, amazing hardware, solid software, and versatile and remarkable cameras where you hardly can find much fault if you’re planning to own one today in Malaysia. Price starts from RM5,099 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM, I would highly recommend the device for anyone as it excels in content creation, productivity, gaming and entertainment on-the go.

This review is made possible with a loan review unit provided by Samsung Malaysia for two weeks. However, this is not a paid content, therefore, there is no final approval nor editorial input on the article. Samsung and the readers are reading at the same time. All comments on the device is based on 2 weeks of usage and may differ with future software update.

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