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First Impressions: Note-Like Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Finally Adds S Pen Slot + AI Enhancements

We, and basically everyone, knew that the Samsung Galaxy S22 series of smartphones was coming, and despite the heavily leaked images and details, there’s no denying that having the phone in our hands still took our breath away.

Yes, Samsung was kind enough to allow us to take their latest and greatest flagship out for a short spin and no matter what was previously leaked, or even highlighted as a new Android smartphone that leans heavily on what the Korean chaebol has launched before, there’s nothing quite like holding it in our hands and trying out the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in all of its glory. You can read more about the full range of Samsung’s Galaxy S22 family of devices here, before coming back to check out their flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

As Samsung’s first, key device of 2022, the first thing that stands out, on top of the 6.8-inch Edge QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, is that there is finally a slot for Samsung’s iconic S Pen writing stylus. A staple of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series of productivity devices, the S Pen was the key differentiator between Samsung’s Galaxy and Note series until last year, when it offered an optional S Pen feature to its Galaxy S21 Ultra device, merging the best of both into one.

The catch was that there was no slot on the Galaxy S21 for the S Pen as it was considered an optional accessory but this time, the S Pen fits neatly into the Galaxy S22 Ultra. We’re not sure what this close integration of features and accessories with the Note series means for the market, but this extra compatibility unique to the Ultra model makes the S22 Ultra a flagship in a class of its own.

Don’t let the Edge brand on the display fool you though. Previously, Samsung used the Edge name on its curved Edge displays but the panel on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is flat. Instead, it is flanked by two rounded edges, and the S Pen is housed at the bottom left edge of the device. The curved edges aren’t new, but it’s a sharper bend compared to the slight curves of the Galaxy S21. Combined with the Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, Samsung once again shows why it’s at the height of the smartphone design game, offering display sharpness and brilliance with an aesthetic that few smartphone makers out there come close to designing.

New to the device is a smoother AI that Samsung says boosts the S Pen performance, whether you’re tapping it on the screen to write notes, doodle, or edit documents. The demo provided by the company was certainly impressive enough, though we’ll have to put the AI through the paces before we provide a verdict on this enhanced performance. The camera array, featuring a 12MP ultra-wide camera, 108MP wide camera, two 10MP telephoto cameras, and a 40MP front camera also boasts an improved AI. The Portrait Mode, when we tried it out, seems to work better than the current iPhone 13, able to capture details of a person’s hair, and even work in low light situations and for pets.

There is also the ability to take pictures in multi-frame RAW format, along with giving users full control of ISO, shutter speed, and lenses to use. This is a smartphone that photography enthusiasts will want to try out.

The specifications for this flagship model are impressive:

Display6.8-inch Edge QHD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
Super Smooth 120Hz refresh rate (1~120Hz)
240Hz Touch Sampling Rate in Game Mode
Vision Booster
Eye comfort shield
OSAndroid 12
One UI 4.1
Dimensions77.9 X 163.3 X 8.9mm
Weight229g
Camera12MP Ultra-Wide Camera – F2.2, FOV 120 ̊
108 MP Wide Camera – F1.8, FOV 85 ̊
10MP Telephoto Camera – 3x Optical Zoom, F2.4, FOV 36 ̊
10MP Telephoto Camera – 10x Optical Zoom, F4.9, FOV 11 ̊
40MP Front Camera – F2.2, FOV 80 ̊
Memory and Storage12 + 512GB
12 + 256GB
8 + 128GB
Battery5,000mAh
ColourBurgundy, Green, Phantom Black, and Phantom White
Water ResistanceIP68
ChargingUp to 45W Wired, 15W Wireless

Of course, the S22 and S22+ are no slouch either, and for those who want to get their hands on any of the models, the Samsung Galaxy S22 series is currently available for pre-order on Amazon from 9 February till 3 March, and on Lazada with prices starting from S$1,718. The colours include Burgundy, Green, Phantom Black, and Phantom White. There will be pre-order promotions, and those who pre-order one of the S22 phones will get the following:

Amazon

  • Samsung eVouchers worth S$250 (with purchase of the S22 or S22+) or S$300 (with purchase of S22 Ultra).
  • A gift box that contains a silicone cover with a strap and a limited edition wide strap (worth S$116).
  • S$160 Amazon.sg gift card.

Lazada

  • Claim the additional pre-order vouchers available, including a S$50 Lazada voucher and S$150 Citibank voucher, before making your pre-order to get S$200 off.
  • A gift box that contains a silicon cover with a strap and a limited edition wide strap (worth S$116).
  • Samsung eVouchers worth S$250 (with purchase of either the Samsung Galaxy S22 or S22+), or S$300 (with purchase of Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra).
  • First 300 customer who preorder will receive their device on 25th February, before 12pm.

For those looking for their next phone upgrade, this is definitely worthy of serious consideration.


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