If you have come to this Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review to learn about its photographic performance, we will make your research work easier. This is the best camera phone 2022, and it’s just as good for working professionals as it is for passionate hobbyists: we spent more than a week at a time shooting and traveling with the thing, and the novelty of the device never faded. Bottom line: Samsung is one of the biggest phone makers in the world, and when you put the word ‘Ultra’ on one of your devices, you know you’re in business!
However, Samsung isn’t selling this phone on its camera prowess alone, and this is one of the best smartphones Overall, thanks to its powerful chipset, fantastic-looking display, and plenty of storage, we found it just as good for gaming as it is for streaming TV.
Of course, you won’t get this on the cheap – it’s an expensive phone priced to match the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But with a better camera experience, a more vibrant screen, and a stylus, this takes the lead for creatives or any type of user.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: price
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at £1,149 for 128GB of storage and goes up to £1,499 for 1TB, making it an incredibly expensive phone.
The closest rival here is the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and depending on how much storage you want, one or the other is the better phone. That mobile starts at £1,049 for 128GB and goes up to £1,549 for 1TB. So for creatives, who need a lot of space, the Samsung is the cheapest buy, but if you’re okay with relying on cloud storage, the iPhone is the more affordable alternative.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: S Pen
The Samsung comes with a stylus pen, which provides a variety of uses for creatives.
You can use the S Pen to sketch, write notes, or annotate documents; It also has a button, and pressing it while in the camera app takes a photo, making it a useful remote shutter.
It’s easy to summon note-taking apps when the muse hits you: Removing the S Pen from the body automatically brings up a menu of the most useful apps. Even drawing on the blank screen allows you to take a note.
Because the phone alerts you when the stylus is away from the phone, you never run the risk of leaving it somewhere.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: screen
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a large 6.8-inch display with 2K resolution, 1750 nits peak brightness, and a 120Hz refresh rate. If you’re wondering how those specs stack up against the competition, we’ll spare you some time: the Galaxy is almost always better.
That kind of screen is great for creatives who work with images: images are vibrant and contrast is sharp, making any videos you edit or photos you capture look fantastic. Plus, the large size is a plus, giving you more room to view, write, or doodle with your stylus.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a photographic powerhouse: everything other phones can do, it can do better. Well, aside from maybe the S21 Ultra which has the same hardware, but the software tweaks here give the newer phone an edge.
The main camera has a 108MP sensor and a 23mm f/1.8 sensor, and it takes sharp, colorful images whether you’re shooting a subject up close or far away. One could argue that 108MP is overkill, but it does allow for pixel binning, allowing the phone to capture great low-light photos.
The ultra-wide camera has a 12MP sensor, which is paired with a 13mm f/2.2 lens that takes images with a 120-degree field of view. Thanks to its wide field of view, it’s good for landmark shots, but it’s not ideal as a photographic tool, because the images are a bit distorted around the edges.
There are two telephoto cameras: the first has a 10MP sensor and a 70mm f/2.4 lens for 3x optical zoom. Even this comparatively limited zoom is useful for closing the distance with mid-range subjects. This camera is also used for portrait shots that are second to none in the smartphone photography game, with natural-looking background blur.
Finally, we come to the super zoom camera: it has a 10MP sensor and a 230mm f/4.9 sensor for an incredible 10x optical zoom. This is used to close the distance on really distant subjects, like individual buildings in a larger view. We also found it wonderful for nature photography: we could take artistic-looking bokeh shots of creatures that would be spooked if we got too close.
You can digitally zoom up to 100x, but this doesn’t really give you usable images – they’re incredibly grainy and it’s also hard to frame them, as even the slightest movement of a hand can cause you to shoot something completely different.
The front camera reaches 40MP with a 26mm f/2.2 wide lens; thanks to the S Pen’s remote shutter feature, this is quite handy for artistic selfies. Snapshots look bold and bright, with Portrait mode just as impressive here as it is on the rear cameras – balancing highlights and shadows well, and adding realistic-looking bokeh.
Video recording goes up to 8K at 24fps or 4K at 60fps, though you’ll find the former drains battery life and also heats up the phone.
You may be familiar with the Pro photography modes on smartphones, but there’s also one for videography – this lets you adjust all the usual Pro settings like focus and white balance, and a few extras like exact lens at which you are shooting, and what range the mic is recording. The phone could be really useful for mobile filmmakers thanks to the additional settings.
This joins some classic Samsung modes: chiefly there’s Single Take, which lets you record a moving video of a subject, and the phone will select the best images from each lens. This mode is mostly useful for less confident photographers as it allows the AI to choose the best shot, but we still found it useful for considering alternative framing for snapshots. There’s also Food mode, which lets you choose a limited area of focus (meant for taking artistic snaps of your dinner), though we found images from this looked oversaturated. As with most smartphones, there’s also a night mode, which changes the shutter speed to take well-lit, balanced photos in low-light settings.
The real strength of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera array is versatility, as it’s just as good at wide snaps as it is at super-zoomed, and can shoot excellent video and an artistic selfie. It’s ideal for any type of creative dealing with the visual arts, whether you’re a photographer or videographer, a location scout, an architect, or a salesperson looking to take great reference images.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: performance
In the UK, Samsung comes with the Exynos 2200 chipset, which is incredibly powerful, although it doesn’t quite reach the heights of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or A15 Bionic that other devices enjoy.
However, for gaming, video, or photo editing and rendering, the phone will give you all the processing power you’ll need. Its ability to connect to 5G networks also allows you to use super fast networks, as long as you have a compatible contract and live in a covered area.
The phone’s Harman Kardon-tuned speakers are some of the best we’ve heard in a smartphone, but you should still use headphones if you want the clearest possible audio for creative tasks.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: battery life
Based on our weeks of testing, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 5,000mAh battery will keep it going for a full day, but its large screen and powerful chip mean a second day isn’t even possible. For episodes of shooting many videos or photos, you won’t even get a day, and you need to buy a power bank.
Charging is done at 45W, which isn’t fast compared to many Android rivals, so you won’t be able to quickly power up the phone in a pinch – it’ll take over an hour for the phone to empty and fill. .
Should you buy it?
If the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra fits your budget, and your pocket, we recommend you buy it. It’s great for photography and also great for watching movies, playing games, or just browsing social media; Honestly, there are few things you can’t do well.
If you don’t want to spend more than £1,000 on a phone then you probably want to avoid this phone; Although it doesn’t have the ‘Pro’ suffix, it really is a mobile device designed for professionals who need a source of creativity.
But if your smartphone is important for photography, videography, video editing, or anything else like that, this is the phone to buy. In our trial period, we always looked forward to the next photo or image editing session, to see what else we could do with it.