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18 months later, I'm still using the Galaxy S22 Ultra as my daily phone
Don’t tell anyone at the office, but despite having access to the latest and greatest phones, I’m still rocking 2022’s Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra as my daily driver. Simply put, Samsung’s ultra-premium formula produced an excellent all-rounder here. Plenty of more recent flagships have their merits, of course, but this handset continues to do everything really, really well. So why switch?
I review phones for a living, and, of course, I’ll take the majority of my apps and accounts over to a review unit to ensure I give it a fair shake as my primary phone. However, moving over every little service and more finicky secure apps, such as those for banking, is a headache. Call me lazy, but it takes something extra special to convince me to make the jump long-term. Otherwise, I’d probably be changing phones every few months, which would be a mistake given I’m still super happy rocking the mighty S22 Ultra (Exynos version, for that matter).
Having used plenty of rivals this year, Samsung's flagship remains the best all-rounder.
And why wouldn’t I be? Samsung’s 2022 flagship formula does so much right. The Exynos 2200’s performance, while not chart-topping, flies through everything I need on the day-to-day. It probably helps that I’m not a gamer, but other parts of the world have the Snapdragon variant that boasts even better performance. Meanwhile, the impressive battery life still takes me through more than a full day, even without a full charge. I often reach to unplug the phone at around 70% due to its not quite so fast charging. The phone wasn’t flawless in its execution, and Samsung remedied most of these minor complaints with its successor, but the core experience remains solid.
Throw in plenty of screen real estate and the admittedly seldom-used S Pen luxury for marking off my shopping lists, and I’m all set. But perhaps most importantly, in the past 18 months, I’ve enjoyed an update to OneUI 5.0 and have just received the OneUI 6 upgrade to keep the phone fresh and exciting. Samsung kickstarted its impressive four OS and five years of security patches pledge with the S22 series, and it’s reassuring to know there’s at least another three years of life in this phone. It doesn’t feel like I’m missing out, even though the hardware isn’t brand new.
This isn’t to say I haven’t been tempted. My inner photography buff has almost convinced me to jump ship to an even more capable alternative. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra would be a modest upgrade here, and I’ve been even more impressed by my time with the Google Pixel 8 Pro and the OPPO Find X6 Pro. But while I’m well aware of the industry’s various photography improvements, they are not so large as to compel me to switch just yet, even when I have an alternative quite literally on my desk. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera quality hasn’t gotten worse, after all, and it still takes great-looking snaps most of the time.
Age-defying hardware and five years of updates keep the S22 Ultra fresh.
And I think that consistency is what I’ve come to love about the phone. Other handsets may edge it on an occasional specific — be it photo colors, faster charging, or a niche software feature — but the Galaxy S22 Ultra performs consistently well across every category. No matter what you need from your phone, it continues to handle it.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is still a great phone worth your money all these months later, especially if you can pick it up cheaply. We’ve seen an OK Black Friday discount on the 256GB model to $982, but that’s not exactly a steal. Thankfully, the revamped Galaxy S23 Ultra can be found for as low as $899 in Black Friday sales. While I love the S22 Ultra, I recommend picking up the S23 Ultra at this price, especially as it comes with a more powerful processor, faster charging, and an improved camera setup.