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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions: Resurrecting the Galaxy Note and how!

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra price in India starts at Rs 1,09,990. Should you consider this over the iPhone 13 Pro and other Android smartphones? While we work on our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, here are our first impressions of the new Android flagship smartphone of 2022.

March 02, 2022 / 12:02 PM IST
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is among the first set of flagship smartphones launched in India in 2022. The top-tier Samsung smartphone competes against the iPhone 13 Pro in terms of price. However, with features like an integrated S Pen and a boxy design, the Galaxy S22 Ultra aims to offer a Samsung Galaxy Note series-like experience. The Android smartphone also packs top-tier specifications like a 108MP quad-camera setup and a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC to offer a well-rounded experience. We are still working on our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. However, since the Samsung Galaxy S22 pre-orders in India are already live, we thought it would be a good idea to drop some teasers in the form of a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions article. After spending nearly three days with the best Samsung smartphone of 2022, here are our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is among the first set of flagship smartphones launched in India in 2022. The top-tier Samsung smartphone competes against the iPhone 13 Pro in terms of price. However, with features like an integrated S Pen and a boxy design, the Galaxy S22 Ultra aims to offer a Samsung Galaxy Note series-like experience. The Android smartphone also packs top-tier specifications like a 108MP quad-camera setup and a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC to offer a well-rounded experience. We are still working on our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. However, since the Samsung Galaxy S22 pre-orders in India are already live, we thought it would be a good idea to drop some teasers in the form of a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions article. After spending nearly three days with the best Samsung smartphone of 2022, here are our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions.
 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions  | Starting off with the design, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will immediately remind you of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or any other Note series smartphone with the boxy design. While the sides are curved, the phone's top and bottom edges are flat. The corners of the bottom edge are slightly sharp to our liking, which only bothered us when playing games while holding the phone horizontally. Therefore, it is advised to use a case in case you want a more comfortable experience. It will also help get a better grip on this otherwise slightly slippery back. However, slapping a case means adding more weight on top of the 228 gram Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Starting off with the design, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will immediately remind you of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or any other Note series smartphone with the boxy design. While the sides are curved, the phone's top and bottom edges are flat. The corners of the bottom edge are slightly sharp to our liking, which only bothered us when playing games while holding the phone horizontally. Therefore, it is advised to use a case in case you want a more comfortable experience. It will also help get a better grip on this otherwise slightly slippery back. However, slapping a case means adding more weight on top of the 228 gram Galaxy S22 Ultra.
 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions  | Using a case, however, will let go of the premium in-hand feel that the phone offers. The device has a glass body with a matte finish that helps keep fingerprints at bay. We have some mixed feelings about the Burgundy colour option. This particular colour throw shades of light brown when you look at it from certain angles in different lighting conditions. There is the classic Phantom Black and White colour options for those who want to stick to the basics. That being said, we would have loved to see the Phantom Green colour that did not make its way to India, at least as of now.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Using a case, however, will let go of the premium in-hand feel that the phone offers. The device has a glass body with a matte finish that helps keep fingerprints at bay. We have some mixed feelings about the Burgundy colour option. This particular colour throw shades of light brown when you look at it from certain angles in different lighting conditions. There is the classic Phantom Black and White colour options for those who want to stick to the basics. That being said, we would have loved to see the Phantom Green colour that did not make its way to India, at least as of now.
 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions  | At the front, there is a 6.8-inch 2K AMOLED display. This is, by far, the best display on any smartphone that we have seen so far. Viewing content on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a pure delight. The display is sharp and offers vibrant colours. It also has all sorts of display features like HDR10+ certification, adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+, etc.  You will appreciate the quality while watching shows like All of Us Dead or The Fame Game on Netflix that have quite many colourful elements in them. Add to it the curved sides that give an immersive viewing experience. The screen is also plenty bright at 1750 nits, making it the brightest display on a smartphone so far. That being said, the display does not always hit the 1750 nits brightness levels and for most use cases, will be under 1000 nits. This is more than enough for both indoor and outdoor situations. It does get even brighter when you turn on the
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | At the front, there is a 6.8-inch 2K AMOLED display. This is, by far, the best display on any smartphone that we have seen so far. Viewing content on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a pure delight. The display is sharp and offers vibrant colours. It also has all sorts of display features like HDR10+ certification, adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+, etc.  You will appreciate the quality while watching shows like All of Us Dead or The Fame Game on Netflix that have quite many colourful elements in them. Add to it the curved sides that give an immersive viewing experience. The screen is also plenty bright at 1750 nits, making it the brightest display on a smartphone so far. That being said, the display does not always hit the 1750 nits brightness levels and for most use cases, will be under 1000 nits. This is more than enough for both indoor and outdoor situations. It does get even brighter when you turn on the "Extra Brightness" display setting.
 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions  | That tall 6.8-inch display and the sharp corners make it obvious that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is not ideal for one-hand use. You will anyway be required to use both your hands in case you wish to scribble some drawings or take notes with the inbuilt S Pen. While we are at it, the new S Pen is even faster to take inputs. Samsung is using AI and the LTPO 2.0 panel also helps take inputs within 2.8 milliseconds. That's nearly three times faster than the previous S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which had a 9ms latency.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | That tall 6.8-inch display and the sharp corners make it obvious that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is not ideal for one-hand use. You will anyway be required to use both your hands in case you wish to scribble some drawings or take notes with the inbuilt S Pen. While we are at it, the new S Pen is even faster to take inputs. Samsung is using AI and the LTPO 2.0 panel also helps take inputs within 2.8 milliseconds. That's nearly three times faster than the previous S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which had a 9ms latency.
 Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions  | Other than signing an embargoed document, we haven't got the chance to truly make use case of the S Pen. However, those into creatives and drawings are likely to use this smart stylus for better precision. Alternatively, you can also use the S Pen to take notes while the screen is off and then save them on the Samsung Notes app. The new update also allows you to convert your handwriting into text, which as of now has been very accurate. You can also perform some wizards tricks with Air Actions by pressing the button on the S Pen to increase/decrease the volume, open the camera app and click photos, etc.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Other than signing an embargoed document, we haven't got the chance to truly make use case of the S Pen. However, those into creatives and drawings are likely to use this smart stylus for better precision. Alternatively, you can also use the S Pen to take notes while the screen is off and then save them on the Samsung Notes app. The new update also allows you to convert your handwriting into text, which as of now has been very accurate. You can also perform some wizards tricks with Air Actions by pressing the button on the S Pen to increase/decrease the volume, open the camera app and click photos, etc.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Another key highlight of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is its processor. Unlike past years, Samsung launched the Galaxy S22 series in India with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Fans and enthusiasts have been long-asking Samsung to offer the Snapdragon variant, which has often proven to offer better performance and efficiency compared to Exynos flagship chips.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Another key highlight of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is its processor. Unlike past years, Samsung launched the Galaxy S22 series in India with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. Fans and enthusiasts have been long-asking Samsung to offer the Snapdragon variant, which has often proven to offer better performance and efficiency compared to Exynos flagship chips. We will share our complete experience in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. As of now, what we will tell you is that the phone offers excellent, lag-free performance. However, there is some amount of heating when you play games or record videos on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The area near the camera and the central portion of the rear panel does get slightly warm but that is quite normal for phones with Snapdragon 8-series chips.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | One of the biggest advantages of buying a Samsung flagship is software support. Not only does the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra come with Android 12-based One UI 4.1 out of the box, it is also assured to get up to 4 years of software support. This is currently the most number of software upgrades that no other Android smartphone manufacturer has promised to offer. You will also be eligible to get up to five years of security patches on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. More on the new One UI 4.0 features in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, which will be released soon.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | One of the biggest advantages of buying a Samsung flagship is software support. Not only does the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra come with Android 12-based One UI 4.1 out of the box, but it is also assured to get up to 4 years of software support. This is currently the most number of software upgrades promised by any Android smartphone manufacturer. You will also be eligible to get up to five years of security patches on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. More on the new One UI 4.0 features in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, which will be released soon.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | That tall form factor also allows Samsung to pack in a 5000 mAh battery. This, despite the S Pen occupying a full column on the left side of the phone. As of now, battery life has been impressive for our use case. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offered up to 6 hours and two minutes of screen-on time (SoT) and a total battery life worth a day. The SoT varies as per use case and we will share these details in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. The phone also supports 45W fast charging and 15W wireless charging. In case you were wondering, there is no charging brick provided in the slim retail box.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | That tall form factor also allows Samsung to pack in a 5000 mAh battery. This, despite the S Pen occupying a full column on the left side of the phone. As of now, battery life has been impressive for our use case. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offered up to 6 hours and two minutes of screen-on time (SoT) and a total battery life worth a day. The SoT varies as per the use case and we will share these details in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. The phone also supports 45W fast charging and 15W wireless charging. In case you were wondering, there is no charging brick provided in the slim retail box.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Coming to the last bit, the cameras. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera setup includes a 108MP main camera, a 13MP ultrawide camera and two 10MP telephoto camera sensors Wirth 3x and 10x optical zoom. While the camera specs are the same as last year, Samsung has made some refinements here and there. Space Zoom is now even better in terms of colours and sharpness while staying the same at 100x zoom peak. Colours too are vibrant and you get that Instagram-ready picture with slightly boosted colours.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | Coming to the last bit, the cameras. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera setup includes a 108MP main camera, a 13MP ultrawide camera and two 10MP telephoto camera sensors with 3x and 10x optical zoom. Samsung decided to do away with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera module design that we loved a lot. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera instead has five rings that protrude slightly over the rear panel. If you ask us, we would have loved seeing something similar to the Galaxy S21 Ultra's camera module design, which is somewhat found on the other two Galaxy S22 series phones.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | While the camera specs are the same as last year, Samsung has made some refinements here and there. Space Zoom is now even better in terms of colours and sharpness while staying the same at 100x zoom peak. Colours too are vibrant and you get that Instagram-ready picture with slightly boosted colours. Night mode, or Nightography as Samsung likes to call it, has also received some performance tweaks. We will share the complete camera performance details in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. Meanwhile, you can click here to check some of the samples we shot for our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | While the camera specs are the same as last year, Samsung has made some refinements here and there. Space Zoom is now even better in terms of colours and sharpness while staying the same at 100x zoom peak. Colours too are vibrant and you get that Instagram-ready picture with slightly boosted colours. Night mode, or Nightography as Samsung likes to call it, has also received some performance tweaks. We will share the complete camera performance details in our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. Meanwhile, you can click here to check some of the samples we shot for our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | At the front, there is a hole-punch cutout at the top centre for the 40MP front camera that clicks 10MP pixel-binned images. While the overall front camera performance is quite good, portrait mode is a hit or miss. Click here to see some of the samples we shot for our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. More samples will be added during the process of this review.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions | At the front, there is a hole-punch cutout at the top centre for the 40MP front camera that clicks 10MP pixel-binned images. While the overall front camera performance is quite good, portrait mode is a hit or miss. Click here to see some of the samples we shot for our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. More samples will be added during the process of this review.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions verdict | As of now, we are quite happy with the overall performance of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with its note-able features and power-packed hardware. However, we are yet to test the device's camera capabilities and overall performance along with the battery life that it offers. Stay tuned for our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, which will drop on our website on March 9.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions verdict | As of now, we are quite happy with the overall performance of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with its Note-able features and power-packed hardware. However, we are yet to test the device's camera capabilities and overall performance along with the battery life that it offers. Stay tuned for our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, which will drop on our website on March 9.
Pranav Hegde A Journalist at Moneycontrol, Pranav writes about everything tech. He is also passionate about photography and enjoys bike rides to picturesque locations.
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