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Hands-on review: Samsung S22 Ultra
Tue, 14th Jun 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

I was a little nonplussed at first, because the review item arrived, and it was not an authentic out of the box experience. My item was missing much of what I'd expect, and sadly, with no USB C plug in charger, I placed it on my new Moshi wireless charger and left it alone to do it's thing. In the meantime I did my research and discovered that my experience was actually what comes with the phone. If you want to make use of the Samsung's “Fast Charger” capabilities, a 45W Adapter and cable are available as an optional extra. Samsung also have “sweetener” offers available on their NZ website that may be worth checking out.

In today's market, one really needs to be a photographer rather than a telecommunications guru. Therefore I will cut to the chase and tell you about the cameras. As I discovered, this phone comes with features I hadn't realised would fit on a phone.  

The first thing is that the results of my photographic efforts generally fail to get further than the cutting room floor in the palatial editors suite at TechDay. That's a pity because my selfies are really starting to be quite something.

The S22 front facing camera is a 40MP affair but I personally thought my selfies were stunning. My selfie of me sleeping for another review was sadly rejected. However, I suspect that one of more of my closeup examples may be of interest to you. I'll be honest and say that in the short time I had the camera, I didn't have time to test the 10X Optical Zoom capabilities, but I still achieved some artistic results. I called this photo “Patina” as it showed the state of a motor bicycle I was considering purchasing. I was impressed at the clarity without me having to do anything more than pressing the button. Crouching and getting angles I didn't think my body was still capable of, I managed one or two interesting shots that just may help me when I get to haggling over the price.

My model was the burgundy colour, but as you can see, it does come in a range of colours. I found the burgundy colour different to my usual choices of slate grey, brushed aluminium or black, but it was muted enough not to be garish.

You may have noticed the stylus perched up in the promotional photo, and with the 6.8” screen I can see why they included it. On Samsung's website, I discovered that it is called the S Pen, and it obviously has multiple uses. Samsung report that the S Pen has more power. It can write notes, but it can also convert notes into legible text and you can use Air Actions to control you phone remotely. If you record a lot of video, you will be interested in the capabilities of the S22 Ultra. Samsung says that the Super Steady function “..corrects camera shake at a wider angle and tracks multiple objects to stabilise motion, banishing blur from each frame.”

Samsung have been thinking of the video capability of the phone, and have included a function that enables you to see your screen even when it is really bright and glary outside. They achieve this by using Video Booster technology that enables their Dynamic Amoled 2X display to increase screen brightness to up to 1750 nits in peak brightness. If you want to go to the other end of the spectrum, their Nightography function enables the light sensor to pull in more light at night. “The Super Clear Lens tones down lens flare, and fast-acting AI delivers near-instant intelligent processing.

I have been impressed by the functions Samsung packed into this phone. I did actually make one phone call on this phone, in between trying out as many of its other uses that I could pack in. The S Pen sits comfortably in its own receptacle and the Samsung S22 Ultra has space for two SIM cards. Prices start at $1,999 on Samsung NZ's site, but check out some of Samsung NZ's offers. Packing it up has been bitter-sweet for me as I'm bitter that someone else now gets to play with this sweet device.  In the end I was sad to package it up, especially as it has features I had scarcely tapped into.