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Daily Authority: 👉 S22 Ultra reviews

Galaxy S22 Ultra reviews are warm but not red-hot, HUAWEI P50 Pro fail, and more tech news you need to know today!

Published onFebruary 18, 2022

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera module close up angled

😎 Good morning! This time next week I’ll be in Barcelona for MWC, and most important: it will be approximately three times as warm as Berlin. Yes, please!

S22 reviews drop

Ssmsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in front of painting

A week after Samsung’s major S22 release, reviews are out. My colleague Eric Zeman put together a handy 7,000 words or so breaking down the Galaxy S22 Ultra in a full review. It’s worth that many words for what is undoubtedly the peak performer of Android, that’s now attempting to merge the best of the S series with the Note series.

I do think it’s worth your time to dive into a great review of one of the more important devices of the year, maybe over your weekend.

  • It is much more likely that at the $1,000+ price point, the S22 and S22 Plus devices are the bigger sellers, and possibly more important to know about for more people.
  • But the Ultra is where everything is thrown in; every last feature and bit of technology.
  • So, what does Eric think?

Review grabs:

  • In short, Samsung has nailed the software experience including longer-term Android support, the camera setup has improved just enough over the S21 Ultra, and competes well with the Google Pixel 6 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the top-competition.
  • The display is brilliant and Eric thinks the S Pen has good improvements over the Note 20 Ultra of the past, making it the best stylus experience on a smartphone other than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 — which has nowhere to stow it — but the S Pen is a tiny bit short, perhaps.
  • By the way, compared with the Z Fold 3, the S22 Ultra is a curious competitor: the S22 Ultra has a better camera, longer software support, and the stylus housing probably suits better. My takeaway is the Z Fold 4 is well worth waiting for, now.
  • Otherwise, there’s no issues with top-line performance, though there’s certainly not a big jump from the S21 Ultra’s performance.
  • This brings us to the battery, which is… okay.
  • One of the hottest topics emerging for the S22 series is the battery life. It’s not that it’s terrible on the S22 Ultra, but it’s only okay. Fine. About average.
  • The challenge for Samsung without the level of control over its complete hardware and software is that it can’t make jumps like Apple keeps managing with the iPhone.
  • For Apple with the iPhone 13, battery life improved across the entire series. For Samsung, there’s not a pleasing improvement in battery life over the S21. It’s just about the same.
  • It depends a little if you buy the Snapdragon-powered S22 Ultra that you get in the US, India, and other countries, or the Samsung chipset in the Exynos 2200, which has a little less performance but reportedly, a little more battery life.

More on the S22 and S22 Plus in the week to come!

Also: P50 Pro is a hard avoid

By the way, while we’re here: The HUAWEI P50 Pro should be one of the top competitors to the S22 Ultra. Yes, for all HUAWEI’s troubles, it long ago nailed hardware and build quality, its cameras are usually uniquely great, and it was a high-end competitor in all things Android and even iPhone.

  • How the mighty have fallen: in the post-Google era for the device, HUAWEI just keeps making mistakes.
  • The problem isn’t with hardware, or cameras, which are good again — but software.
  • In his P50 Pro review, my colleague Rob Triggs absolutely smacked the P50 Pro down from the high perch it should be on, and not just for the lack of Google apps or GMS support.
  • Instead, HUAWEI has, Rob reports, for some reason, decided to get into …ads? The software experience with an old version of Android and lack of commitment to long-term support is bad.
  • But …ads?! Rob says they’re pervasive, full-screen, and pervasively found in-app as well. Quote: “The sheer level of ads and marketing tickboxes would make Zuckerberg blush.”
  • Ouch. Why, HUAWEI?


📸 New Motorola Frontier renders show a camera bump on top of a camera bump (Android Authority).

👉 OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is out now: 90Hz, 65W fast charging upgrades, and it’s in close competition with the realmei 9 series at 299 pounds. Will this make it to the US as some kind of OnePlus Nord sequel to the N10 or N100? The original CE didn’t, so maybe not? (Android Authority).

🤔 Did you know: There were smartphones with dedicated Facebook buttons(Android Authority).

📧 Ex-Googlers resurrect Google Inbox interface in a new email client (Android Authority).

💻 AMD’s new Ryzen 6000 H-series processors are launching in laptops starting today (The Verge) and this review out of the Linus Tech Tips channel says the Ryzen 6000 is pretty great(YouTube). Big competition for Intel’s 12th-gen! That said, all I want to know about is battery life on the non-performance CPUs…

📅 Speaking of: Intel delays its first Arc desktop gaming GPUs until spring (Engadget).

🍎 Apple has some special edition Beats Powerbeats Pro rolling out for the 75th anniversary of the NBA (9to5Mac).

💉 FDA clears the first iPhone app for delivering insulin, rollout starts this spring — wow! (9to5Mac).

📝 A mild Apple-1 mystery is finally solved 45 years later: it was Steve Jobs (Gizmodo).

🥽 Meta’s social VR platform Horizon hits 300,000 users which is 10x up in three months — which is fine, but is that it or just the start? (The Verge).

🚲 Peloton’s Lanebreak video game is here and it seems pretty fun, a bit like Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure which tricked me into running on the spot a lot (The Verge).

⛅ This will appeal to just a small percentage of readers and is almost unreadable unless you do cloud engineering but the crux is: on Amazon’s AWS cloud, sometimes you should actually just press a button that will immediately cost $100,000 (Cyclic).

📺 Stranger Things season 4 is so big they’re splitting it into two volumes (The Verge).

🚰 Only for those with hard water: “Does leaving water in the kettle accelerate the formation of limescales?” (r/askscience).

Friday Fun

tesla go bang

It’s been a rollercoaster week so when you need fun, what’s better than reliving something we can all enjoy, like going back to again watch a Finnish guy blow up his Tesla Model S with dynamite.

  • Our Finnish friend did it because: a) fixing the Tesla would’ve cost a lot and b) explosive experts were on hand.
  • And, why not? Many of us have owned something we’d rather just blow up than deal with. My nomination would be almost any inkjet printer.
  • Anyway, a Tesla is worth a little more, but if you can’t fix your car and just want a new one, this is one way to do it.
  • The glorious bangs start at 5:12.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.