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Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S22+ vs S22 Ultra: new Samsung flagships compared

nextpit samsung galaxy s22 lineup clr2
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Samsung launched the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and Galaxy S22 Ultra on February 9th. But which Galaxy S22 model should you choose? What are the differences between the basic model and the Ultra? We hope to help you make your choice in this comparison of technical specifications.

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Apart from the S Pen which is exclusive to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the differences between the new Samsung flagships are quite subtle. We take a look at the specifications of the display, memory, SoC, camera configuration, and battery capacity of the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra. If you're hesitating to buy any one of the three models, this comparison will at least allow you to tread carefully.

If you want to take a look at each individual device in more depth, you can check out our detailed reviews on the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. As for the Samsung Galaxy S22+, we have a hands-on review available, with an in-depth review coming soon.

  Basic model Mid-range model Flagship model
Model
Picture
Samsung Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S22+
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Dimensions & Weight 70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm / 168 g 75.8 x 157.4 x 7.6 mm / 196 g 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm / 229 g
Screen AMOLED 2X / 6.1 inch / FHD+ / 120 Hz refresh rate / 240 Hz touch rate AMOLED 2X / 6.6 inch / FHD+ / 120 Hz refresh rate / 240 Hz touch sampling rate AMOLED 2X / 6.8 inch / QHD+ / 120 Hz refresh rate / 240 Hz touch sampling rate
Memory 8/128 GB / 8/256 GB / non-expandable 8/128 GB / 12/256 GB / 12/512 GB / 12/1 TB / non-expandable
SoC & GPU Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / 4nm / Adreno
OS OneUI 4.1 / Android 12
Camera Module
  • Main wide-angle: 50 MP / f/1.8 aperture / FOV 85° / Dual Pixel AF / OIS
  • Ultra wide-angle: 12 MP / f/2.2 aperture / FOV 120
  • Telephoto: 10 MP / f/2.4 aperture / 3x optical zoom / OIS
  • Selfie: 10 MP / f/2.2 aperture / 80° FOV
  • Main wide-angle: 108 MP / f/1.8 aperture / FOV 85° / Dual Pixel AF
  • Ultra wide-angle: 12 MP / f/2.2 aperture / FOV 120
  • Telephoto lens 1: 10 MP / f/2.4 aperture / 3x optical zoom
  • Telephoto lens 2: 10 MP / f/4.9 aperture / 10x optical zoom
  • Selfie: 40 MP / f/2.2 aperture / 80° FOV
Battery 3700 mAh / wired charge 25 watts / wireless 15 watts / wireless reverse charging 4500 mAh / wired 45 watts / wireless 15 watts / wireless reverse charging 5000 mAh / wired 45 watts / wireless 15 watts / wireless reverse charging
IP rating IP68
Connectivity 5G / LTE / Wifi 6E / Wifi 6 / Bluetooth 5.2 / NFC
Price $799 $999 $1,199
Rating
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Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Screen and design

The Galaxy S22 and S22+ share the same characteristics in terms of design and screen. Samsung calls its design "Contour Cut" with the metal camera module that stands out in relief at the back. The same back is covered with Gorilla Glass Victus+ (and also on the front).

Contrary to what some leaks have made us believe, the Galaxy S22 is not made with recycled fishing nets. Samsung did specify that these materials would be used to make "some components", but it remains a very vague description. As for the rest, the frame is made of aluminum and the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus will arrive in four colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Pink Gold.

As for the screen, the 6.1- and 6.6-inch AMOLED panels of the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus are flat and not curved. There is a Full HD+ resolution with a variable refresh rate of 120 Hz and a touch sampling rate of 240 Hz. As for brightness, the Galaxy S22 is capable of hitting 1,300 nits while the Galaxy S22 Plus can theoretically reach 1,750 nits (peak). In addition while the S22 and S22+ can vary their refresh rate from 48 up to 120Hz, the Ultra can go all the way down to 1Hz, allowing for greater efficiency.

Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra
The Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra all have a Gorilla Glass Victus+ back and an aluminum frame / © NextPit

Let's move on to the Galaxy S22 Ultra which has some unique features. We abandon the Contour Cut design with a camera module that is integrated directly into the body, ensuring it does not rest within an island. Here too, we will find Gorilla Glass Victus+ in front and behind. The 6.8-inch AMOLED display features QHD+ resolution with the same refresh and touch sampling rates of 120 and 240 Hz, respectively.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra's screen is also slightly curved, relying on Samsung's tried-and-tested 2.5D process. On the other hand, the edges of the smartphone remain straight and flat, which is reminiscent of the design of older Galaxy Notes. In the left corner of the bottom edge, there is the slot for the S-Pen, which looks like a classic S-Pen and can be taken out and put away as was done on a Galaxy Note.

Last but not least, all models are IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. This year, the design is more harmonious in terms of materials. No more plastic or polycarbonate for the basic models, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra still stands out with its Galaxy Note look which, I'm sure, will please those who have a sense of nostalgia with this range.

Samsung Galaxy S22+, S22 Ultra and S22
Which design do you prefer? With or without an island for the camera module? / © NextPit

Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Performance and connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra are equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in the US, and the Exynos 2200 SoC in Europe. Both 4nm mobile processors are based on an octa-core layout with one Cortex-X2, three Cortex-A710, and 4 Cortex-A510. In terms of performance, between the S22 and S22 Ultra we saw minuscule differences in terms of performance in our tests. Both tested models featured the Exynos SoC.

  Galaxy S22 Galaxy S22+ Galaxy S22 Ultra
3DMark Wild Life (single run) 7035 7499 5682
3DMark Wild Life Stress Test (best / worst) 5581 / 3537 7547 / 4922 5741 / 3351
Geekbench 5 (single / multi) 1158 / 3414 1143 / 3600 1155 / 3356

The Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus come in two memory configurations: 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB of storage. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers three additional versions with 12GB of RAM and 256, 512, or 1TB of storage. Initial testing has confirmed that the Exynos SoC is slightly weaker than its Snapdragon counterpart that was released in the US. But most users will not perceive the difference outside of benchmarks.

  Galaxy S22 Galaxy S22+ Galaxy S22 Ultra
Storage 128 / 256 GB 128 / 256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
RAM 8 GB 8 / 12 GB

In terms of connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra all support 5G, LTE, WiFi 6, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC. Nothing too surprising for high-end smartphones here.

Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Camera module

The camera module is obviously the most interesting part of the specifications of the new Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra. Let's begin with the basic and intermediate models since they offer the same specs.

The Galaxy S22 and S22+ feature a triple camera module with a 50MP main lens with f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel autofocus, and optical stabilization (OIS). There is also a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle lens with a 120° field of view and a 10 MP telephoto lens capable of 3x optical zoom,  which also offers optical stabilization.

This is the first time Samsung has offered a true optical zoom on the base models instead of reserving it for the Ultra model only.

Samsung Galaxy S22 camera module
The Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ offer a 3x optical zoom / © NextPit

As for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, there is a quad-camera configuration with a main 108 MP lens. Compared to the Isocell HM3 of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, however, the chip has increased by 23%, which suggests a new sensor inside. Indeed, in Samsung's official sensor list, only the Isocell GN2 and HP1 are larger than the HM3 - and they feature 50 MP and 200 MP, respectively.

As for the rest, we find a fairly classic set of sensors with a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle and two 10 MP telephoto lenses each, one for the 3x optical zoom (the same as on the Galaxy S22 and S22+) and the other for 10x optical zoom.

The differences between the S22/S22+ and the S22 Ultra are limited to the main lens, whose sensor is larger in size and resolution on the Ultra model and on the S22 Ultra. There is also the presence of an additional telephoto lens that delivers 10x optical zoom on the Ultra which the basic models are deprived of.

In practice, these differences are meaningful enough to push the S22 Ultra far ahead of its smaller siblings. The pictures from the main shooter of the Ultra, are superior in every aspect, while the inclusion of the 10 MP telephoto lenses with optical zoom of up to 10x, the cameras of the Ultra gain a level of versatility that can't be easily found in smartphones. Here are some pictures from the Ultra:

Lastly, the selfie camera is also far better in the S22 Ultra than the rest. At 40 MP with an aperture of (f/2.2), it can be expected that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra blows the other models right out of the water.

Seeing the comparison with the pictures from the standard S22 this becomes very apparent. They simply do not have the color vividness and the sharpness of those from the Ultra.

Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Software

The Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra all run on OneUI 4.1, the latest version of Samsung's Android 12-based skin. Samsung didn't mention any particular feature that is new this time around.

Since the models came out there are quite a few tricks that can help you optimize your experience with the devices. Specifically enabling fast charging (that is disabled by default) and some S Pen quick hacks for the Ultra model.

Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Battery life and fast charging

This is the part where Samsung performs the worst in general. Both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ ship with 3,700 and 4,500 mAh batteries, respectively. That's not stellar for flagships and it's especially significantly less than the 5,000 mAh found in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

When it comes to fast charging, Samsung still lags a bit behind its competitors. On the basic Galaxy S22, you have to make do with 25 watts of wired charging (available only with the proprietary 25W fast charger by Samsung) and 15 watts of wireless charging. On the Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra, wired charging is a little bit more powerful at 45 watts but still does 15 watts when charging wirelessly. The three smartphones also accept reverse wireless charging.

The 5,000 mAh of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is enough to handle the energy requirements of the large 6.8-inch screen in QHD+ and 120 Hz refresh rate for about 8-10 hours, but the charging speeds at 45 W are only a little bit faster than the 25 W which is odd. We suspect that Samsung is doing this to preserve the battery life of the device.

Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and Galaxy S22 Ultra are available for purchase. Below you can find the carriers that currently sell the devices, as well as some sweet occasional discounts. For more, please visit our dedicated Samsung Galaxy S22 buying guide.

  Galaxy S22 Galaxy S22+ Galaxy S22 Ultra
Price
  • 8/128 GB: $799
  • 8/256 GB: $849
  • 8/128 GB: $999
  • 8/256 GB: $1,049
  • 8/128 GB: $1,199
  • 12/256 GB: $1,299
  • 12/512 GB: $1,399
  • 12/1TB: $1,599
Availability Pre-orders from February 9, 2022. Availability started on February 25, 2022.

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Galaxy S22 vs S22+ vs S22 Ultra: Conclusion

I would say that the new Galaxy S22 range is more harmonious in terms of specifications. The differences within this flagship lineup are less stark.

Having 3x optical zoom on the base models, ditching the plastic backs, and offering the same amount of RAM and storage on all three smartphones helps clarify Samsung's high-end offering a bit, while the stronger cameras of the Ultra will only be relevant to those who really want the best out of their photography.

Between the S22 and the S22 Plus, the only differences are the screen and battery sizes (good also for the charging speed but this may be of less value than it may look). And the two very similar base models share more in common with the Ultra model compared to their predecessors.

Personally, if I had to make a recommendation, I would forget about the basic Galaxy S22. Unless you are restricted by budget or long for the more compact form factor, I would automatically opt for the S22+ in the 8 GB RAM/256 GB configuration, which is the ideal middle ground among all the configurations offered by Samsung.

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