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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
A sensible upgrade
Last year's flagships are still going strong
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra sports everything you'd expect in a modern Android flagship and an S Pen to boot. It's since been replaced by the Galaxy S23 Ultra as Samsung's top-of-the-line flagship, but if you can catch a good sale, the S22 Ultra is a great upgrade from the Note 20 Ultra.
- Ongoing software support
- Better cameras
- Larger battery
- Now a year old
- Sale prices still relatively high
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Still a great phone, but starting to show its age
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was the end of the line for the Note series. With a gorgeous AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 865 mobile platform, and solid 5G connectivity, it was one of the best phones you could buy when it was released, and it's still a capable device today — but software updates could end any time, and your 2020-era battery may be getting tired. It's probably time to upgrade.
- Still great performance
- Versatile camera setup
- It's the last Note phone!
- Unlikely to get future Android updates
- Battery life isn't great anymore
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Last year's Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was one of the best Android phones of 2022. It's the spiritual successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, sharing numerous features and design elements with the 2020 powerhouse. Each phone has a huge, fast display, plus powerful internals, versatile cameras, and a built-in S Pen. They also both cost an arm and a leg when they were first released with an MSRP of $1,200.
Should you drop the cash and upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to the Galaxy S22 Ultra? Let's break it down.
Price, availability, and specs
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra launched at an MSRP of $1,200, but that was in 2020. Now several generations old, the Note is out of production and no longer available at retail.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra also launched at an MSRP of $1,200 in early 2022. The 128GB model is typically available for $1,000 lately, and we've seen it fall as low as $800 on sale. You can still find it at retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, as well as sold directly from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Display 6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 AMOLED @ 120Hz (variable) 6.9-inch 1440 X 3088 AMOLED @ 120Hz RAM 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB Battery 5,000mAh 4,500mAh Operating System Android 12 with One UI 4.1 Android 12 with One UI 4 Front camera 40MP f/2.2, 26mm 10 MP, f/2.2 Rear cameras 108 MP f/1.8 primary, 12 MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 10 MP f/2.4 3x telephoto, 10 MP f/4.9 10x telephoto, 108 MP, f/1.8 primary, 12MP f/3.0 5x telephoto, 12 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide Connectivity 5G mmWave and sub6; Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e; Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 802.11 A/B/G/N/AC/6E; Bluetooth 5.2; 5G MmWave and Sub6 Dimensions 163.3mm x 77.9mm x 8.9mm, 229g 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm Weight 229 grams 208g IP Rating IP68 IP68 Micro SD card support No Yes Stylus type S Pen S Pen
The overall designs of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are similar. They're both huge slabs with expansive displays, and each has an S Pen stylus tucked away in the lower left corner. The S22 is a fraction of a millimeter thicker, though, and it's also 21g heavier than the Note, which is already a very heavy phone.
The main aesthetic difference is around the rear camera hardware. Samsung opted to extend the rear glass panel on the back of the S22 Ultra all the way up to the camera sensors — a look that's since extended to other S-series phones — so there's no island-style camera bump floating on the back to house the camera array the way there is on the Note 20 Ultra. As a result, the S22 Ultra lays a bit flatter on a table than the Note 20 Ultra.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have enormous AMOLED displays, but the Note 20 Ultra is a tenth of an inch bigger at 6.9". The difference is negligible, especially given the slightly more aggressive curve on the Note. In addition, both phones provide a huge canvas for doodling with the built-in S Pen.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's display is several years more advanced, and that shows in a handful of ways. The refresh rate adjusts intelligently to save power, and you can get the full 120Hz refresh rate at full native resolution (1440p), whereas the Note 20 Ultra has to step down to 60Hz to push all its pixels. The S22 Ultra's OLED is also slightly brighter — 1,750 vs. 1,500 nits.
The S22 Ultra's display is a bit more refined, and the materials are a modest step up from the Note 20. Samsung now uses a custom aluminum alloy called "Armor Aluminum" around the phone's edges, and the front/back glass is Gorilla Glass Victus+. Both are more scratch-resistant than the materials on the Note 20 Ultra.
The software experience on the Note 20 Ultra and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is nearly identical for the time being: both phones run Android 13 and One UI 5.1. The Note is unlikely to see another Android version update, however.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is guaranteed Android version updates through what we assume will be Android 16 in early 2026 and security patches for an additional year after that. If you've got a Note 20 Ultra and you're worried about software longevity, this is a good year to upgrade.
Performance & connectivity
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a few years older, and while the phone's Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset was top of the line when it launched, it's a few generations behind the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra packs. That means the newer S22 Ultra is the faster device.
Performance out of the older Note 20 Ultra isn't too far behind, though, and the phone can handle the vast majority of things you'd want to use it for. It also has 12GB of RAM across the board, while the S22 Ultra starts at 8GB in the base model. So, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra may be able to hold more memory than the S22 Ultra, giving it a potential edge in multitasking performance.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra both have 5G connectivity in the United States, but the newer S22 Ultra enjoys access to more bands thanks to its newer Snapdragon X65 modem. If it's a 5G signal in North America, the Galaxy S22 can latch on mmWave, low-band, and everything in between. The Note 20 is no slouch, but its older X55 modem doesn't support some newer frequencies, such as 3.45Ghz and C-bands that will be vital on AT&T and Verizon going forward.
The X65 modem inside the Note 20 Ultra has a theoretical max speed of 10Gbps, while the X55 modem in the Note 20 Ultra tops out at 7.5Gbps over 5G. It's unlikely you'll ever see peak download speeds on either device, but the point is that the newer S22 Ultra can latch onto more 5G bands and supports higher download speeds than the Note 20 Ultra.
Battery life & charging
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's battery packs in 5,000mAh of juice, a 500mAh gain over the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra's 4,500mAh cell. The added battery capacity helps support the S22's more advanced hardware and brighter screen, but both phones last about a day. Well, the Note did when it launched, anyway — after this long, your battery might be on the outs.
Samsung claims 45W charging speeds on the S22 Ultra, much higher than the 25W max charging of the Note. However, the overall charging speeds aren't very different in real life; the S22 Ultra's 45W charging only kicks in when the phone's battery is nearly empty. Both phones support wireless charging at up to 15 watts.
Samsung's "Ultra" branding guarantees the best camera hardware money can buy, but even flagship cameras don't stay on top forever. The Note 20 Ultra's triple-camera array is still respectable, but the S22 has it outclassed. The primary sensors in each phone are 108MP Samsung ISOCELL units, but the one in the S22 Ultra has two additional generations of progress — HM1 vs. HM3. Samsung says you'll get brighter, sharper pictures on the S22 Ultra thanks to the refined sensor, enhanced photo processing, and re-engineered camera glass.
Left: Primary camera sample from the Note 20 Ultra. Right: Primary camera sample from the S22 Ultra.
The zoom levels are where the S22 Ultra really pulls ahead. The Note 20 Ultra has one 5x optical zoom level, but the S22 Ultra has two: 3x and 10x. This lets you get more photos at a distance without resorting to digital zoom, and the S22 will really let you push the zoom. The Note 20 topped out at 50x "hybrid zoom," but the S22 Ultra has 100x support. These photos won't look great, but other phones can't even hope to snag a shot from so far away.
Left: 5x optical zoom on the Note 20 Ultra. Right: 10x optical zoom on the S22 Ultra.
Should you upgrade?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra launched at $1,200, the same MSRP as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It's a lot of money for a phone, but if you spent big to get the S Pen back in 2020, now's your chance to do it again.
The Galaxy Note 20 is still a capable phone today, but it's nearing the end of its software update lifespan, and two generations of upgrades to display and camera tech make an appreciable difference. Don't let the name fool you — the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra really is a proper successor to the Galaxy Note line. If you need that sweet stylus action wrapped up in high-end components, the S22 Ultra is a good option if you can find it on sale.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best phones on the market today. Thanks to features like its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and refined camera array, it makes an excellent upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Be aware that the S23 series is coming soon, however, meaning it's not a great time to pay full price for an S22.
$1200 at Samsung $1200 at Amazon $1200 at Best Buy
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra landed in February, though, and it carries the same $1,200 retail price tag. The newer S23 is a very minor upgrade over the S22 — design and performance are largely the same — but if you can get the newer phone at a discount through your carrier, it may be a better deal. Otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a great upgrade from the Note 20 Ultra, just not at full price.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best phones on the market today. Thanks to features like its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and refined camera array, it makes an excellent upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.Is it worth upgrading to the S22 Ultra? ›
The S22 Ultra is a better phone than its predecessor, but it's an incremental upgrade. Day to day, you won't notice the slight boost in performance, and the camera upgrades, while welcome, are minor. The only significant difference this year is the S Pen slotted inside the phone.Is it worth upgrading from Note 20 Ultra to S23 Ultra? ›
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is still an almost perfect upgrade over the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It has a brighter screen, better screen protection, a faster processor, faster RAM and storage, better front and rear cameras, longer battery life, faster charging, and much longer software update support.Is the S22 camera better than Note 20 Ultra? ›
The S22 Ultra also features a 12MP ultrawide lens and two 10MP telephoto lenses, one with 3x optical zoom and another with 10x. The 40MP selfie camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is also significantly beefier than that of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, offering higher-res selfies.How long will the Note 20 Ultra be supported? ›
The Galaxy Note 20 phones, just like the Galaxy S20 flagships, will be eligible to get Android 13. Below is a list of all Samsung Galaxy Note phones eligible for three years of Android updates.Do I really need the S22 Ultra? ›
The bottom line: Unless you really want the S Pen, there isn't a major reason to upgrade to the Galaxy S22 Ultra from the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Both phones have a giant screen with a high refresh rate for smoother scrolling, and they have similar cameras. They also have the same battery capacity.Is the S22 Ultra overkill? ›
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably not for everyone. It's giant, expensive, and might be overkill for people who simply want a nice screen, decent photos, and a good on-screen social media experience.Is Note 20 Ultra obsolete? ›
The Galaxy Note series has been officially discontinued. However, the S Pen stylus will live on through the Galaxy S Ultra And Galaxy Z Fold devices. The Galaxy Note series is officially dead, Samsung has confirmed.Is Samsung discontinuing the Note 20 Ultra? ›
Samsung has announced that they are permanently discontinuing the Galaxy Note series. For many, the news does not come as a surprise since the company hasn't released any new Galaxy Note since the last Galaxy Note 20 series in August 2020. Samsung even stopped the production of the Note 20 series in 2021.Is it worth upgrading to S21 ultra from Note 20 Ultra? ›
Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra packs a newer Snapdragon 888 processor, while the Note 20 Ultra is powered by a Snapdragon 865 chip, so it's not a big surprise that the S21 Ultra offers better performance. But it's not a huge gap.
Powerful performance thanks to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC
With Qualcomm's flagship SoC under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers an ultra-fast performance. Whether you are a multi-tasker switching between apps or a gamer, the S22 Ultra can get the job done without a hiccup.
OnePlus 10 Pro: Price and availability. The OnePlus 10 Pro's big edge over the Galaxy S22 Ultra emerges when you compare prices for the two phones. OnePlus charges $899 for its flagship, a $300 discount off the Galaxy S22 Ultra's $1,199. Both base models come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.Does the S22 Ultra replace the note? ›
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a worthy replacement for the Galaxy Note series in everything but name. Even though the Note 20 Ultra is over a year and a half old, in many ways it holds its own against the newer phone. Both have a built-in S Pen, excellent cameras that can film 8K video and 120Hz refresh rate screens.Which Samsung phones will get 4 years of updates? ›
Samsung Galaxy A-series phones
While Samsung has committed to four years of Android updates for all upcoming Galaxy S flagships and the Galaxy Z series foldable lineup, it will only update select phones from its budget and midrange Galaxy A series lineup.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 / Ultra launches Android 13 / One UI 5.1 global update.How much memory can you put in a Note 20 Ultra? ›
With the power of S Pen and 8K video, your creativity knows no bounds—including storage. Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G can hold up to 1.5TB total with up to 512GB built-in and up to 1TB expandable memory via microSD card.What is the amazing things that S22 Ultra can do? ›
- Built-In S Pen. ...
- Brightest Display Ever With LTPO 2. ...
- Four Years of Android Updates. ...
- New 4nm Processor. ...
- 45W Fast Charging. ...
- Snapchat Optimization. ...
- 1TB Internal Storage Option. ...
- Better Image Quality.
The S22 Ultra's 6.8-inch AMOLED screen is one of the phone's best features and a major selling point. It provides an excellent viewing experience that is bright, vivid, and detailed in addition to having a smooth refresh rate. It has a maximum brightness of 1750 nits, a refresh rate of 120 Hz, and a 2K resolution.What is the advantage of Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
S22 Ultra is built with a 2.4um pixel sensor – Samsung's largest pixel sensor ever, enabling its camera lenses to capture more light and data, optimizing the lighting and detail of your video clips. Plus, S22 Ultra's advanced Super Clear Glass lens helps you take smoother and clearer nighttime videos without flares.How long will S22 Ultra last? ›
The Galaxy S22 Ultra's 5,000mAh battery is good for around 15 and a half hours of heavy use in this reviewer's hands.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra Isn't Fragile
While the frame shouldn't easily get deep scratches as shown in the video, Samsung has applied a plastic wrap around it that can prevent small scratches for those who decide not to throw on a case.
Switching to a Pixel. Little things like keyboard opening, switching apps, etc just stutter unnecessarily and drive me mad! Using maximum processor speed, 60hz, and 1080p but still!What is the common issue with Note 20 Ultra? ›
After many users use this device, the Galaxy Note 20 5G is facing common problems like network, fingerprint scanner, battery drain, overheating, and Bluetooth connectivity issues.Is there a new note coming out 2023? ›
Last Updated on January 17, 2023
It's a question on the minds of many Galaxy Note fans: will there be another version of the beloved Samsung Note in 2023? The short answer is, technically no – big emphasis on technically.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G prices start at $298 and cost $434 on average as of April 2023. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G prices will continue to get cheaper over time. Samsung phones hold their value well, but prices will continue to drop as time passes and new models are announced.Which is better S series or note series? ›
The main physical difference between the two series is in their weights. As the Galaxy S22 smartphones come equipped with innovative features and enhanced performance, Galaxy S22 models are slightly thicker and therefore heavier than the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Note20.Which better to buy S21 Ultra or Note 20 Ultra? ›
As the newer phone, the S21 Ultra has a more powerful processor with the Snapdragon 888, and a better GPU. It also comes with 12GB of memory out of the box and has a 16GB variant. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specifications show the Snapdragon 865 and only 8GB of RAM on the base model and 12GB for the variant.Why S20 Ultra is better than Note 20 Ultra? ›
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs S20 Ultra: Display
The S20 Ultra has an infinitesimally higher resolution, and that's basically it. Both displays support 120Hz refresh, but you'll need to lower the resolution to Full HD (1080p) to use it.
Of course, you can also choose to keep your Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra and continue using it with Android 13 and One UI 5 as long as you can. It's not like these phones will suddenly become outdated and unusable just because they won't get Android 14.Is the S22 Ultra the best phone of the year? ›
Indian Gadget Awards winners: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G is Phone Of The Year 2022. Check out the Indian Gadget Awards 2022 winner for Phone Of The Year. The list includes offerings from Apple, Samsung, Google, and more.
Black is the most popular Galaxy S22 Ultra color choice on Swappa.Which Galaxy Note blows up? ›
Battery defects caused many Note 7 units to overheat and combust or explode. On 10 October 2016, Samsung permanently discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 due to these repeated incidents.Why is there no Note 22 Ultra? ›
Update:Samsung has discontinued the Galaxy Note series officially. Speaking to the reporters on the sidelines of its Mobile World Congress 2022 event, Samsung's smartphone chief Roh Tae-moon said that the “Galaxy Note will come out as Ultra”. This means Samsung will not launch Galaxy Note 22 Ultra.Is the Galaxy Note series ending? ›
The Samsung Galaxy Note series is a discontinued line of high-end Android phablets and smartphones developed and marketed by Samsung Electronics. The line is primarily oriented towards pen computing; all Galaxy Note models ship with a stylus pen and incorporate a pressure-sensitive Wacom digitizer.How often should I upgrade my Samsung phone? ›
Upgrading Your Phone Every Three Years
Most people upgrade their phones every two to three years. By then, the battery starts to become bothersome and Android phones stop receiving updates. It's also usually enough time for tech companies to introduce some new features you might want on your next phone.
The bottom line: If you have the Galaxy S21, you don't need to upgrade yet. The camera is better, but many of the S22's other changes are minor. Unless you really want a better camera and can essentially get the Galaxy S22 for free through a trade-in deal, you're better off waiting.Will Samsung phone last for 5 years? ›
The lifetime of smartphones like Samsung and iPhone is much longer than smaller brands. Here is a breakdown of the average mobile life according to the different brands: iPhone – four to eight years. Samsung – three to six years.How old is Note 20 Ultra? ›
|Left: Galaxy Note 20 Right: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra|
|Compatible networks||2G, 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, 5G|
|First released||21 August 2020|
|Predecessor||Samsung Galaxy Note 10|
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra had a release date of August 21, 2020, and is available through all of the major carriers.Can I use a 1TB SD card in a Note 20 Ultra? ›
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is available with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of internal storage. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G also has a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The memory card slot supports cards up to 1TB in size, which brings the potential maximum storage capacity (internal and external) to 1.5TB.
If you want the best camera experience, the S22 Ultra is what you should go for. That's not to say the other two models are bad — the 50MP sensor will serve you just fine — but what you'll primarily miss on the non-Ultra models is the 10x optical zoom capability.Is it worth to upgrade S23 Ultra from S22 Ultra? ›
Galaxy S22 Ultra: cameras. If you use your smartphone for all of your photo and video needs, then you'll definitely want to consider going for the Galaxy S23 Ultra for certain upgrades. The S23 Ultra has the S22 Ultra beat with an impressive 200MP main camera sensor compared to the 108MP camera on the S22 Ultra.What are the benefits of buying Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
S22 Ultra is built with a 2.4um pixel sensor – Samsung's largest pixel sensor ever, enabling its camera lenses to capture more light and data, optimizing the lighting and detail of your video clips. Plus, S22 Ultra's advanced Super Clear Glass lens helps you take smoother and clearer nighttime videos without flares.What phone is better than S22 Ultra? ›
OnePlus 10 Pro: Price and availability. The OnePlus 10 Pro's big edge over the Galaxy S22 Ultra emerges when you compare prices for the two phones. OnePlus charges $899 for its flagship, a $300 discount off the Galaxy S22 Ultra's $1,199. Both base models come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.Why does S22 battery drain so fast? ›
The One UI 5.1 update automatically switched all Galaxy S22 devices to Maximum Performance Mode, which is another reason for the battery drain, provided you were in a power-saving mode before the update. Phones with other keyboards being set as primary are unlikely to have the issue.Why is S22 Ultra more expensive? ›
There are a multitude of reasons why the Galaxy S22 could end up being $100 more than the S21. Chip shortages, rising cost of components, supply chain issues, laborer shortage, inflation, you name it.Is S22 Ultra too thick? ›
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a big phone, and you'll want a case, which makes it slightly thicker. It's not uncomfortable to use and it's worth the size but if you want something that's smaller or sleeker, you'll want to look elsewhere. We recommend the Galaxy S22 for this! You can only get ahold of the Exynos 2200 version.What is the new Samsung phone coming out 2023? ›
Starting on February 17, 2023, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 will be widely available through carriers and retailers and on samsung.com, in four nature-inspired matte hues: Phantom Black, Cream, Green and Lavender.What is the best thing about the Samsung S22 Ultra? ›
This phone truly has it all: a 4-camera system with a long-range periscope zoom lens, a built-in S Pen that doesn't come at the expense of battery size, the latest and most powerful Android processor, the newest generation Samsung AMOLED display... basically, everything it takes for a blockbuster flagship.Is the S22 Ultra replacing the note? ›
Table of Contents. Diehard Note users may think otherwise, but Samsung made a good call in replacing the Galaxy Note with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is launching today along with the S22+ and S22 smartphones.