Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra price
- S21 Ultra price: $1199.99 for the base 128GB model
- S22 Ultra price: $1199.99 for the base 128GB model, $1599.99 for 1TB
S22 Ultra vs S21 Ultra colors and design
Stockier S22 Ultra beats the old Ultra in more ways than one
- Galaxy S22 Ultra colors: Black, White, Burgundy, Green, Red, Sky Blue, Graphite
- Galaxy S21 Ultra colors: Black, Silver, Navy, Brown, Titanium.
Moving on to the front, the other big difference between the S22 Ultra and S21 Ultra is the symmetry of the display bezels. Samsung worked to make its new Galaxy truly « all-screen » by shaving off the bezel even more than what we have on the Galaxy S21 series, whose bottom bezel is vanishingly thin already, compared to the competition. The project is called Border Reduction Structure (BRS) internally and it is first deployed on the S22 series. This allowed Samsung to change the aspect ratio from tall 20:9 in S21 Ultra to a slightly shorter and wider 19.3:9 in the S22 Ultra.
The tradeoff is an added single-hand usage S22 Ultra discomfort for keeping the battery size and adding a built-in stylus, but we’d gladly have it, as the S21 Ultra is no less of a shovel to begin with. Moreover, the S22 Ultra has a slightly curved display, which is more comfortable to hold and use with back navigation gestures.
S22 Ultra vs S21 Ultra display quality
1750 points of light, baby, and the first 1Hz-120Hz Samsung display!
Granted, such brightness levels will only be possible when you are watching HDR content in high ambient light settings, yet the same requirements are valid for the S21 Ultra’s panel which is able to reach « just » 1500 nits. The rest of the Galaxy S22 Ultra display quality benchmarks that we tested are also superior to what the S21 Ultra musters. The newer panel exhibits a more credible color temperature representation that is closer to the reference white point instead of appearing slightly colder and blueish.
The more granular refresh rate control down to the single hertz hence means more efficient display power consumption, too, at least on paper, as in reality the S22 Ultra didn’t fair better than the S21 Ultra in our battery tests. Both screens have active digitizer layers that allow them to react to Samsung’s S Pen, with the big difference that on the S22 Ultra the stylus is always in the phone, while the S21 Ultra has it as a tack-on in a separate (and unwieldy) case. When we add the drastically decreased input lag of the new S Pen stylus and the higher WACOM digitizer sensitivity for handwriting, it’s another win for the S22 Ultra here.
S22 Ultra vs S21 Ultra camera
Raindrops, shmaindrops, how about better night shots?
At first blush, the Galaxy S22 Ultra camera specs may sound the same as those on its predecessor – main 108MP camera, a 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto or periscope zoom sensors. Samsung, however, is equipping the S22 Ultra with an improved 108MP main camera that has a wider aperture and brighter lens able to collect more light.
The improved algorithms for the 108MP ISOCELL line in the S22 Ultra have allowed it to introduce better detail capture by merging one full-res shot in the mix, as well as better low-light sensitivity. Check out some of the camera samples with the Galaxy S22 Ultra to gauge its camera performance against the samples from the Galaxy S21 Ultra right after it.
We wouldn’t say there are drastic difference between the two, but the S22 Ultra photos look a bit more pleasing to the eye, with better dynamics and definition, and slightly more detail.
Not only that, but Samsung is also introducing a huge improvement in image stabilization, to the tune of a whopping 48% shake reduction and movement compensation compared to the Galaxy S21 Ultra predecessor. Here are some more S22 Ultra camera samples in all conditions.
Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra specs and processor performance
Snapdragon vs Exynos benchmark scores
The Exynos 2200 scores that you see below are a tad above the Galaxy S21 benchmarks and the S22 Ultra delivers a faster performance compared to the S21 Ultra in their Exynos versions.
When it comes to the Exynos 2200 vs Snapdragon 888 scores, the new Samsung chipset wins by a larger margin as Qualcomm’s processor is clocked at a comparable level.
Galaxy S22 Exynos 2200 vs Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 benchmark scores
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra battery life and charging speeds
Faster charging, but no battery life gains save for the AMD GPU in the 3D gaming test
Both phones sport giant 5000mAh batteries, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra already proved to be the longest lasting Android flagship phone in its top-shelf specs segment in our tests, so we expected nothing less from the S22 Ultra. It has a more efficient processor and display, so a slight improvement in battery life was a reasonable expectation to have.
Unfortunately, the Exynos 2200 model we tested lasted less on the 120Hz browsing and YouTube streaming battery benchmarks, though the AMD-powered graphics subsystem proved very efficient and pulled off way ahead in the 3D gaming battery test.
The S22 Ultra is also finally supporting Samsung’s fastest 45W charging speeds, putting it on an equal footing with the Chinese competition. Why equal given that they are already at 80W or even 120W?
Well, the speeds Samsung is able to achieve with the regular 25W brick – about an hour and eight minutes for a full 5000mAh battery charge in our S21 Ultra battery tests – are impressive, but the numbers on the S22 Ultra are even better.
The charging speeds were the only weak point of Samsung’s flagship phones in the battle with their main competitors for Android market share, so finally resolving this issue would have looked very good, and not only on paper. Unfortunately, the S22 Ultra still takes a bit over an hour to charge, whereas its main Chinese competitors are now at half an hour for the same battery capacity, even though some of them have doubled the battery longevity from 400 to 800 and more cycles already.
Galaxy S22 Ultra or S21 Ultra, which one should you buy?
If you are coming from the S21 Ultra and have survived without its tack-on S Pen stylus case so far, an upgrade to the S22 Ultra won’t bring you much else but fun new colors and a better display, at least at first blush.
The camera aficionado in you, however, would appreciate the clearer night shots, steadier video capture, and the more pleasing look of the photos from the S22 Ultra compared to what its predecessor musters.