Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: The best S Pen ever

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: The best S Pen ever

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.  PHOTO: Dominic Ng

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. PHOTO: Dominic Ng

In our initial practice previewed with the new Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, we claimed that the S Pen was the most responsive implementation to date. In my opinion, this is still true, even after extensively testing the phone for two weeks.

Samsung sent a review unit of the Galaxy S22 Ultra for us to test before the launch date, and I was still very impressed with the S Pen during my tinkering with the device.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.  PHOTO: Dominic Ng

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. PHOTO: Dominic Ng

The S Pen really does feel like a real life pencil

I know it may not be particularly interesting to the average user, but for someone who uses their phone to take notes and doodle, the experience of a good stylus will make the experience of using their phone to perform these activities decisive.

In our hands-on during the media preview, I got the impression that something was going on under the hood to make the S Pen feel as responsive as it was. I am pleased to report that this was not the case.

The S22 Ultra’s S Pen feels extremely responsive right out of the box. Additional tweaks in settings (like increasing the phone’s refresh rate) barely improved the S Pen experience, which isn’t a bad thing.

When using Samsung Notes to write or doodle, any type of screen contact was recorded instantly. Applying more pressure to the S Pen would result in bolder, thicker lines being drawn, and this also feels like it registers immediately.

The entire S Pen experience in Google Keep and Samsung Notes made it feel like I was writing or drawing things with a real-life marker.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.  PHOTO: Dominic Ng

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. PHOTO: Dominic Ng

That experience aside, the S Pen nestles comfortably in the phone and if you’re not a heavy pen user, you’ll probably forget it’s part of the device.

What else does the phone offer?

To be absolutely honest, if the S Pen doesn’t excite you, the S22 Ultra is basically just like any other big-screen flagship phone.

The camera is great, it comes with 8GB or 12GB of memory depending on your choice and preference. It also comes with a huge 5000mAh battery and 45W fast charging (if you have a compatible charger).

If you’d rather not have such a big phone and the S Pen, the S22 and S22+ are essentially the same phones, with the main differences in battery, cameras, and sizes. All the phones are equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC (at least in Singapore), so you will hardly notice any differences in performance between all the models.

Playing games on the S22 Ultra felt good and snappy and should be fine for the average user. I wouldn’t buy the phone solely for gaming as you can get many other much cheaper phones that can do the same thing like the oppo find x3.

The S22 Ultra’s 5,000mAh battery lasted around 10-12 hours with mixed use if the screen is set to its maximum refresh rate. At 100 percent battery life, you could get through 3-4 hours of gaming, 3 hours of watching videos, around 6 hours of screen time and browsing before the battery dies.

get the samsung s22 ultra if you really need the stylus. The S Pen is the highlight of the device and is the best implementation to date. But if you don’t need it, the Samsung S22+ or the standard S22 should be more than enough for the average user, if you love the Samsung Galaxy S line.

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Dominic loves technology and games. When he’s not busy getting headshots in VALORANT or water-cooling everything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.

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