Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra hands-on: Price, release date and more

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra hands-on: Price, release date and more

Samsung is on a roll in early 2022. Just a month after introducing the Galaxy S21 FE and the freestyle spotlightthe tech giant is back with a trio of new smartphones: the Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra, all of which offer a refreshed look, improved camera optics, and include a sleek new processor from Qualcomm, the first Samsung devices to do so.

All three of the Samsung S22 lineup are available for pre-order now, with some special offers available, and will ship on February 25. We have spent some time with Samsung S22 Ultra Premium so here’s what’s awesome, what’s new, and what’s stayed the same. We are still testing all three and will have full reviews closer to the official release.

Where to reserve the Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is available for pre-order and will start shipping on February 25.

Galaxy S22 Ultra
Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Burgundy
Storage options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB, along with 8GB or 12GB of RAM.
Price: From $1,199 to Samsung either Amazon

Those who pre-order the Samsung S22 Ultra before February 24 get a $200 Samsung store credit with their purchase and upgrade their storage size.

Galaxy S22 Ultra: First Impressions

As the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the S20 Ultra Before, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is fully loaded with everything from a vibrant display to a triple camera system, all powered by a speedy processor.

The big change this year is the built-in S Pen, which is Samsung’s proprietary stylus that was first introduced on the Galaxy Note and has since been compatible with other devices like the Galaxy Note. Galaxy Z Fold 3 Y S21 Ultra. However, with both, the S Pen was an entirely optional and expensive accessory. And with this addition, it also takes over as the new Galaxy Note.

Like the Samsung Note before it, this proprietary stylus sits at the bottom right of the phone and can be easily popped out with a quick push. You’ll find that a floating menu appears when you hold the S Pen over the screen, allowing you to easily take a note, capture a screenshot, or simply navigate the interface. We were able to quickly scribble on the screen and found that it felt a bit more like putting a pen to paper, as it had noticeably lower latency than other Galaxy phones with an S Pen. Samsung says it has improved latency by 70% over the S21 Ultra and even more over the galaxy note 20 ultra — a claim we hope to put to the test. The S22 Ultra is also the only S22 phone to support the S Pen.

The Ultra’s sharper edges and rectangular design, with a larger screen for typing, also make it clear that it will take up where the Note left off. The back is a matte combination of glass and aluminum that’s smooth to the touch, doesn’t attract too many fingerprints, and is comfortable to grip. The biggest design change is the removal of the camera bump for what Samsung calls a “floating design,” in which the lenses are aligned in perpendicular rows with each individual lens sticking out from the back of the camera. S22Ultra.

1-Galaxy S22 Ultra Hands On CNN Underlined

Jacob Krol/CNN

The front of the S22 Ultra is all screen: it’s a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that delivers vibrant colors and an incredible level of detail. In our tests, it was sharp and bright, and perfect for watching superhero movie trailers and galaxies far, far away. We are still waiting to test how it will look in direct sunlight.

The display also has an adaptive refresh rate that spans from 10Hz to 120Hz depending on what you’re watching and supports the full color spectrum, ideal for gaming and watching content. It’s also borderless, with just a pinhole notch centered at the top that hides the 40-megapixel front-facing camera.

When it comes to software, the Galaxy S22 Ultra it runs Android 12 with Samsung’s One UX 4.0 on top. Based on our time with the Galaxy S21 FE, we found that this updated interface doesn’t change anything major, but it does make settings like privacy controls easier to find while improving overall speed. We expect the S22 Ultra to be faster as it is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. It was certainly fast in our hands-on time, but we need to test it in real-world scenarios. Samsung also promises at least all-day battery life from the 5,000mAh cell inside and will support Qi-enabled wireless charging, though of course it can also be physically connected via USB-C. If it’s anything like the S21 Ultra, we’d expect it to last more than a day.

2-Galaxy S22 Ultra Hands On CNN Underline

Jacob Krol/CNN

The camera setup may look different, but it offers only modest improvements over the previous generation. Like Apple’s iPhone 13 family, Samsung is focusing on bigger sensors and improvements on the software side. We can’t wait to see how the S22 Ultra compares to the iPhone 13 Pro and the Pixel 6 Pro. And eagle-eyed readers may note that the number of megapixels is the same as on the S21 Ultra.

  • 12 megapixel ultra wide angle camera: This ultra wide shot allows you to capture large groups or cityscapes without physically moving. The 120 degree wide angle lens lets you capture a lot and we expect the same good performance here.
  • 108 megapixel panoramic camera: The S22 Ultra’s main camera offers a high pixel count, which should translate to plenty of detail and a high degree of overall sharpness. You’ll be able to take 12-megapixel photos with this lens that blends pixels for clarity, or end up with a 108-megapixel image. Whichever route, the result should be more data captured, which in turn can create a better image. Samsung promises big improvements here, so we’re really looking forward to testing this out in real life.
  • Dual 10-megapixel telephoto cameras: Like the S21 Ultra, Samsung offers 100x Space Zoom via two 10-megapixel lenses: one with 3x optical zoom and the other with 10x optical zoom.

While the hardware is similar, Samsung is promising improvements on the software side. For the first time, you’ll be able to change focus when capturing portrait video (similar to Apple’s cinematic mode), and there’s an improved portrait mode to better separate background from foreground.

Lastly, the Galaxy S22 Ultra It is also a fully 5G-enabled smartphone that supports C-Band, Sub-6, and mmWave standards in the United States. It is also compatible with Wi-Fi 6.

Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra specifications

Galaxy S22 Final Product Card CNN Underscored.jpg

Galaxy S22

Galaxy S22 Product Card CNN Underlined.jpg

Galaxy S22+

Galaxy S22 Ultra Product Card CNN Underline.jpg

Galaxy S22 Ultra

starting price





6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate

6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate

6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1




8GB or 12GB






12-megapixel ultra wide, 50-megapixel wide, and 10-megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 10 megapixels (front)

12-megapixel ultra wide, 50-megapixel wide, and 10-megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 10 megapixels (front)

12-megapixel ultra wide, 108-megapixel wide, and 10-megapixel dual telephoto with flash (rear); 40 megapixels (front)





Size and weight

2.7 x 5.7 x 0.29 inches; 0.37 pounds

2.98 x 6.19 x 0.29 inches; 0.43 pounds

3.06 x 6.42 x 0.35 inches; 0.50 pounds

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