Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: 5 reasons you should upgrade


We know that not everyone has a tendency of upgrading on a yearly basis. But there are times when a phone brings enough new features where it’s almost impossible to say no. Now that the dust from Galaxy Unpacked is starting to settle, it’s time to take a look at the Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra and a few reasons why you should upgrade.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra: Spec Comparison

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Price $1,199 $1,199
Screen size 6.8-inches 6.8-inches
Resolution 3080 x 1440 3200 x 1440
Pixel Density & Refresh Rate 500 ppi 120Hz 515 ppi 120Hz
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM 8GB / 12GB 12GB / 16GB
Storage 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Battery 5,000mAh 5,000mAh
OS One UI 4.1 (Android 12) One UI 3.1 (Upgraded to Android 12)
Rear cameras Quad cameras: 108 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, OIS (wide) 12 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide) 10 MP, f/2.4, 3x Optical Zoom, OIS (telephoto), 10 MP, f/4.9, 10x optical zoom, OIS (telephoto) Quad cameras: 108 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, OIS (wide) 12 MP, f/2.2, 120˚ (ultrawide) 10 MP, f/2.4, 3x Optical Zoom, OIS (telephoto), 10 MP, f/4.9, 10x optical zoom, OIS (telephoto)
Front camera 40 MP, f/2.2 40 MP, f/2.2
Bluetooth v5.2 v5.2
NFC Yes Yes
Dimensions 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm
Weight 228g 227g
Water Resistance IP68 IP68
Wireless Charging Yes Yes
Special features 45W fast charging, 15W Wireless Charging, Wi-Fi 6E, Under display fingerprint scanner, Ultra Wideband, S Pen built-in, HDR10+ 25W fast charging, 15W Wireless Charging, HDR10+, Wi-Fi 6E, Under display fingerprint scanner, Ultra Wideband

An included S Pen

The Galaxy S21 Ultra marked the first Galaxy S device to launch with official S Pen support. This was clearly to appease Galaxy Note fans who have been wanting an upgrade since the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra were the last of their kind. On one hand, giving users the option to pick between having an S Pen or not is great, but for those who definitely want an S Pen was forced to figure out other ways to keep from losing the S Pen. This resulted in bulkier (read: wider) cases, or other solutions that have their own problems.

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, this has been solved, as Samsung could have easily just called this the Galaxy S22 Note. The S Pen silo is back again, nestled right into the bottom of the right of the phone next to the USB-C charging port. Not only is the S Pen back, but Samsung has also improved the latency as the stylus offers 2.7ms of latency, which is a whopping 70% better than the S Pen with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Improved Cameras

As you can see from the spec comparison above, there may not seem like much of a difference in terms of the camera hardware when comparing the Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra. This includes the 108MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 10MP 10x periscope telephoto. On paper, this may not seem like the differences between the two will be few and far between. But the truth is that the Galaxy S22 Ultra gets the nod thanks to Samsung improving the on-device image processing for both photos and videos.

Longer support

Samsung has come a long way from the days when it was one of the most popular phone makers, but you knew that software updates were going to be few and far between. Along with the Galaxy S22’s announcement, Samsung is also showing Google how it’s done, as the Galaxy S22 lineup will receive FOUR years of updates. This means that your brand new phone ships with Android 12 and will get Android 16, something that is just incredible.

Hidden in the fine print, Samsung did state that this new policy will be retroactive to the Galaxy S21 series, but you’ll still be getting an extra year of software support. Plus, smartphone makers have a tendency of eventually letting older devices go to the wayside, so the S22 would be a higher priority than last year’s model.

Better Display

An argument could be made that the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the better display simply because of the higher resolution. But the Galaxy S22 Ultra not only offers a larger screen-to-body ratio (90% vs 89%), but also has a variable refresh rate that switches between 1Hz and 120Hz. This is definitely an upgrade compared to the 10Hz and 120Hz variation found on last year’s model, as it should help out with battery life so your Galaxy S22 Ultra could end up lasting just a bit longer than before.

Faster Charging

For years, Samsung has stood pat when it comes to charging speeds, as other phone makers like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and others reach charging speeds that still feel incredible whenever it comes in handy. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra may not reach peak charging speeds upwards of 80W, the 45W speeds are an incredibly useful change that was definitely long overdue. Wireless charging speeds are the same across the board, maxing out at 15W, but it’s clear that Samsung is taking baby steps here. Hopefully, we’ll see Samsung push the limits with a future device, but this is a step in the right direction.


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