Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: Is it worth the upgrade?

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: Is it worth the upgrade?

In the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung has housed the strongest technology among its own smartphones. However, whether the upgrade is big compared to the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G remains unanswered. Here you can find out what distinguishes the Ultra generations from each other.

Design & Processing: Now with camera design from LG

The back of the Galaxy S22 Ultra should look familiar to smartphone connoisseurs. The individual camera lenses look out of the housing and look like water droplets flowing down. The LG Velvet , one of the last smartphones from that manufacturer, should have served as an inspiration here.

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The camera design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is reminiscent of that of the LG Velvet. Image: © Samsung 2022

The edges of the Galaxy S22 Ultra are now less significantly rounded than those of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and the display is slightly curved on the sides – design cues the Galaxy S22 Ultra inherits from the Galaxy Note series. This also applies to the S Pen, which is housed in a hole in the underside of the case. The selfie cam is quite inconspicuous in a hole in the display at the top.

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The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G identified itself as a cell phone from the S series. Image:

The display and back are now protected by "Victus+" protective glass, while the frame is made of "Armor Aluminum". The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G was content with "normal" aluminum and conventional Gorilla Glass Victus. The new materials are probably more robust than those of the previous model. Like the old generation, the new one is protected against brief immersion in fresh water according to IP68, also generously referred to as "waterproof".

Conclusion : While the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G announced itself as an S series smartphone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks more like a successor to the Galaxy Note series. It sets itself apart from the Galaxy S22 and S22+ with a more angular design and the waterdrop look of the cameras.

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Display: With higher peak brightness

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The display of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is record-breakingly bright. Image: © Samsung 2022

As in the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, the S22 Ultra also features a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hertz. The resolution of the new model is 3,080 x 1,440 pixels, compared to 3,200 x 1,440 pixels in the predecessor. The biggest change is likely to be the maximum brightness, which should now be up to 1,750 nits instead of up to 1,500 nits. That should improve the HDR display a bit.

Conclusion : The displays hardly differ on paper, the relatively biggest difference is the slightly higher maximum brightness of the Galaxy S22 Ultra screen.

Cameras: New telephoto lenses, but…

Contrary to expectations, the Galaxy S22 Ultra reportedly has the same 108-megapixel main camera as the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. Samsung does not provide any information on this, but the apparently genuine technical data has been leaked in the Chinese social network (via Notebookcheck ).

Allegedly also remained the same: the ultra wide-angle lens with 12 megapixel resolution and the selfie cam with 40 megapixels. Nevertheless, thanks to a better image processing chip and optimized software, the cameras could take superior photos – the first tests will reveal that. Samsung primarily advertises "Nightography", photography at night.

The two telephoto cameras are apparently new, this time with Sony instead of Samsung sensors and optical stabilization. Their resolution is still 10 megapixels. The well-known leaker Ice universe published photos on Twitter, according to which the images with 20x zoom are now as good as those with 10x zoom on the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Conclusion : Thanks to new telephoto lenses, new software and a new processor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the potential to take significantly better photos than the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. However, the alleged omission of new main camera hardware is disappointing.

S Pen: Now integrated into the body

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G was already compatible with the S Pen, but it had to be in a case. Now the stylus lives in the housing again, as it did before with the Galaxy Note series. Samsung would like to have improved the latency by 70 percent, which should enable more authentic writing and drawing. The S Pen also offers the Bluetooth functions of the newer Note smartphones, such as remote gesture control. The users of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G had to do without these.

Conclusion : The S Pen is no longer optional like on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but is right in the housing. The Bluetooth functions are also on board this time.

Connectivity: One of the same, please

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G already has Wi-Fi 6E on board. Image:

Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G offer the latest connectivity standards. That would be Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, an ultra-wideband chip for locating lost objects using matching trackers, and an ANT+ sensor for health and fitness monitoring paraphernalia like a chest strap for measuring heart rate. An NFC chip for contactless payments is of course also on board. The 5G modem is a matter of course for flagship cell phones today, which is probably why the new generation does not have the "5G" in the device name.

Conclusion : When it comes to connectivity, the two ultras don't take anything away – and accordingly that's not a criterion for a change.

Battery: Now with 45 watt charging

While the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G could only be fast-charged with a 25-watt power supply, the S22 Ultra can be charged with a 45-watt power supply. However, Galaxy owners must also purchase this as an option. Both smartphones offer reverse wireless charging to charge gadgets like wireless in-ears on the back.

Verdict : The 45-watt charger is nice, but Samsung would have liked to have included the powerful "Super Fast Charging" power adapter right away.

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Storage: New 1 TB option, but sometimes less RAM

Fast UFS 3.1 storage is in both Ultra generations. And unfortunately, in both cases, the memory cannot be expanded with an SD card. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the options of 128 GB of internal memory and 8 GB of RAM as well as 256, 512 GB or 1 TB of internal memory paired with 12 GB of RAM.

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The top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 5G offers 16 GB of RAM – 4 GB more than the Galaxy S22 Ultra top-of-the-line model. Image:

Unfortunately, this is where it becomes clear that Samsung has saved a little with the new generation, despite the fresh 1 TB option. With the S21 Ultra generation, the models with 128 and 256 GB of internal memory were both paired with 12 GB of RAM and the 512 GB top model even got 16 GB of RAM. However, nobody really needed the giant RAM because it has no practical advantages in any realistic scenario, so that's not very dramatic. A smartphone is not a gaming laptop that requires a lot of memory.

Conclusion : There is now a model with 1 TB of internal memory instead of "only" 512 GB, but the working memory now has a maximum of 12 instead of 16 GB. For practical purposes, the memory differences between the two generations are marginal for most users.

Processor: More graphics power

In Europe, the Exynos 2200 in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, developed together with AMD, provides the performance. According to the first benchmarks (via Notebookcheck ), the graphics power should be a good deal higher, the processor performance a little higher and the chip is apparently less prone to a loss of performance over longer periods of use.

In theory, the Exynos 2200 can even display ray tracing effects like current high-end graphics cards and benefits from variable rate shading for higher performance with hardly any visual losses. How well he can do that and whether there will be practical use in specific games apart from the shooter "PUBG: New State" remains open.

Conclusion : The new processor offers more CPU and GPU performance as well as theoretically exciting features such as ray tracing and variable rate shading – here you can look forward to compatible games. What is perhaps most exciting, however, are the advantages that it enables for the image processing of the photos.

Conclusion: Welcome, new Galaxy Note

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is not only the successor to the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, but also to the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. Note fans can therefore be happy that the S Pen is returning with all its functions in a new smartphone.

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The Galaxy S22 Ultra continues the Note series. Image: © Samsung 2022

There's also more power, a fresh design, two new telephoto cameras. And yet: It's a bit disappointing that Samsung apparently couldn't find a new sensor for the main camera. Nevertheless, the photos could look better due to new image processing hardware and software. The fact that Samsung has cut back on the working memory doesn't make a good impression, but it shouldn't make any practical difference. Tests will have to show how big the advantage is in practice compared to the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

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