It’s not a stretch to say that one of the most important inventions in the last century is the not-so-humble smartphone. It’s an entire personal computer in a handheld box. It gives you access to the internet, another one of those important inventions, can document your entire life using cameras and sensors, and we believe it can even make phone calls.
Choosing one, therefore, is an important decision. Since we are all about making the most of your money here at Ideal, we thought we’d look at how the new Samsung flagship stands up,
And whether or not YOU should waste your hard earned scratch on one.
This is the story of how a long time Apple fan was wooed by the S22 Ultra.
The S22 and Android
When I knew I was getting an s22 ultra after upgrading from an iPhone 12 Pro Max, I was honestly a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure what to make of this new device. It had been a while since I had used an Android device, although I did use them on and off since the Tmobile G1 days when the very first Android phones were released.
A lot has changed since then.
I was nervous about moving ecosystems, and nervous about losing iMessage and everything that went with it. I was especially nervous about moving to a more flexible operating system than the walled garden approach that Apple takes. This would be a change for sure, so let’s find out if it worked out for me in the end!
What You Get
In the box you will find a bare minimum set up. It has the phone itself, a charging cable USB C to USB C, and a SIM Tool for getting open the sim tray. Keep in mind this phone does not feature expandable storage so what option you choose is the storage you get for the life of your phone. You also receive a quick start guide and a warranty guide in the box too.
The S22 Ultra is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon SD 8 Gen 1 processor, with, in my case, 128GB of on board storage, and 8GB of RAM. There are 256 and 512GB configurations as well, holding 12GB of RAM as well.
It is a 6.8 in OLED Screen, and is a glass build on the front and back. The panel of the phone can go to 120hz and can adjust dynamically from 1 to 120hz at will, making for a nice battery saving feature as well.
It also features a Full HD resolution out of the box, but you can adjust it to Quad HD if you would like. This will drain the battery a bit more pushing those extra pixels, but I’ve not heard any significant difference between the two resolutions.
As far as charging, the S22 Ultra can go to 45W charger with a Samsung 45W charger (sold separately) leaving you to charge your phone from 20% to 100% in about an hour, a marked improvement over previous generations. Apple phones are stuck at 20W charging at best for comparison.
The camera configuration is a 108MP, a 10MP, another 10MP, and 12 MP each featuring differing optical zoom lengths.
The first 10MP is a 10x Optical Zoom, the second 10MP is only a 3x Optical, meant for more close up pictures, and the 12MP is an ultrawide lens. Each of these camera lenses have a different function for the s22 ultra, and I’ve personally only been able to use the 108MP unit so far for testing purposes.
The 108MP uses something called pixel binning which allows the photos to come out crystal clear while maintaining a 12MP resolution. That way the photos don’t take up too much space while maintaining the clarity Samsung is known for.
Video is similarly handled by the main lens as well. Recording in the following resolutions: 7680×4320 (8K UHD) (24 fps), 3840×2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920×1080 (Full HD) (240 fps), 1280×720 (HD) (960 fps) it is a capable shooter and is more than able to record your favorite moments in full 4k to 8k resolution.
It can also record slo-mo. The high FPS can allow you to capture moments in slo-mo as well as regular motion recording. This is achieved at the 1920×1080 or 1280×720 resolutions because of their high frame-rate.
How Does That Compare?
So you may be asking yourself, what does all this mean to someone coming from an Apple device?
Well it means a lot actually. The Video/Photo Resolutions, the RAM and GBs of storage, all mean something to this Apple user. It probably doesn’t mean as much to someone who isn’t concerned about the specs of the device, but for me personally, specs matter. I am a specs specialist, and consider myself someone well versed in cell phones so it definitely matters.
Apple hides away a lot of their specs behind a wall of information showing the absolute minimum, so good on Samsung for putting it out there and allowing the world to see what is inside your phone. I have been using the Samsung S22 Ultra for about a month now, and it is an awesome phone.
One of the greatest features I haven’t mentioned yet is the S-Pen. Yes, it has a stylus, the thing Steve Jobs said was so famously not needed with a phone and was not something a phone should ever use.
The S-pen is a small stylus tucked away inside the body of the phone, charged by the phone itself and connected by Bluetooth wireless. It is accessed by a small clickable button on the end of the s-pen and you simply click out the head of the s-pen then pull out the s-pen.
It is so nice to be able to write on your screen, annotate PDFs and whatever else you may need a writing utensil for. I know personally I use it for the note taking ability, and also for the ability to draw and annotate screenshots. I have been using this feature a lot whenever I am trying to point something out to my friends or if I want to send a personal message to my significant other.
Using the Phone
We have been talking about specifications and all the features of the device but what about the nitty gritty of daily use?
What about using it to take pictures? What about making a phone call, the most basic feature a phone should be able to accomplish?
Well I’m happy to say all of this has been a good exposure and usage. Taking pictures has been a pleasure, with it snapping pictures in no time and capturing details quite well overall. Making a phone call has been loud and clear, a very important feature. Using it as my daily driver has been a pleasure to use and below you will find my daily usage patterns.
Daily usage consists of listening to music, surfing the web, taking a few pictures, and using the S-Pen to draw out some directions or take some notes during a phone call.
Apple devices can certainly do all this minus the S-pen, but I felt the smoothness of the phone and the ability to multitask in Android was just a better experience. I like being able to have multiple apps open at once very easily and also to have the ability to run Picture in Picture for multiple apps as well, something that is limited in Apple’s world.
So as an apple user what are my final thoughts on the device?
I believe this was a very wise choice and I am very happy with my selection. As a former Apple user I believe the s22 Ultra was a good choice for me to transition from the iPhone 12 pro max I had.
I am very glad that I did go back to android and i am happy to be back. I am going to be investing in the ecosystem for sure.
This is a guest post by Jennifer Hewitt, a tech enthusiast and recently renewed Android fan.