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Which Samsung Galaxy S22 phone is right for you?

Is the Note-inspired Galaxy S22 Ultra too much for most people?
By
May 2, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 family in blue spread like cards angled
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 lineup includes three different models for the third year in a row. The trio still offers flagship-level experiences, but there’s more to set them apart than ever before. While the Galaxy S22 Ultra is undeniably the cream of the crop, it might not be what traditional Galaxy S fans were hoping for. Let’s compare the Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S22 Plus vs S22 Ultra to see which flagship is right for you.

As always, we’ll touch on the most important aspects of each phone — the features, specs, and costs — before offering a recommendation. Ready for a new phone? Let’s get to it.


Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S22 Plus vs S22 Ultra

Design

samsung galaxy s22 standing by fern close up
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus should look familiar. They’re the perfect example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Samsung brought the Contour Cut camera back for another year and flat glass displays on both models. The overall effect is that you can hardly tell the smaller S22 models from their predecessors other than the color options. On the bright side, Samsung ditched the “glasstic” back panels from last year, returning to Gorilla Glass Victus for the entire range.

While there’s not too much to speak of for the smaller devices, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra feels like a member of another family. The Galaxy Note family, to be specific. It calls back to many design hallmarks from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, including the built-in S Pen storage. Samsung’s top-tier flagship is boxier than the smaller models, with flat panels across the top and bottom. The Contour Cut camera module is gone, too, in favor of individual cutouts for each lens.

Despite its name, the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks and feels like a Galaxy Note device.

Despite the physical differences, many of the color options for the Galaxy S22 series remain the same. You can choose from Phantom Black, Phantom White, and green across all three models. The Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus come in Pink Gold, while the S22 Ultra is available in a similar Burgundy shade. This year, Samsung has a few exclusive color options with Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet, and Cream for the smaller models. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers Sky Blue, Red, and Graphite as exclusive hues.

Around the front, you’ll notice that all three Galaxy S22 devices sport Infinity-O displays once again. However, both of the smaller models are on a diet this year. The Galaxy S22 drops from 6.2-inches to 6.1, and the S22 Plus dips from 6.7-inches to 6.6. You’ll find a flat AMOLED panel on each, complete with a Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. As for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it offers a 6.8-inch AMOLED Edge display with a sharper Quad HD+ resolution and the same refresh rate.

Check out: The best Galaxy S22 cases | The best Galaxy S22 Plus cases | The best Galaxy S22 Ultra cases

Features

Galaxy S22 Ultra with S Pen
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Samsung’s features tend to follow the split established by the Galaxy S22 design team. While the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus tend to share most of their ingredients, the S22 Ultra is off in a league of its own. However, there are a few things that all three smartphones have in common. For starters, Samsung tapped the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to keep the lights on in select markets. Other markets will receive Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset instead. You’ll also get an IP68 rating, an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, and 5G support no matter which way you go.

As for the changes, the Galaxy S22 offers the smallest battery of the bunch. It’s down to just 3,700mAh — 300mAh smaller than the Galaxy S21’s battery. The vanilla model also stops at 25W wired charging with 15W for the wireless limit. Moving to the Galaxy S22 Plus, you’ll get a 4,500mAh cell and 45W wired charging to keep you moving. Samsung’s wireless limit remains the same, and all three devices use the USB Power Delivery PPS standard to hit top speeds. Lastly, the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with the largest battery at 5,000mAh, though the charging speeds match the Galaxy S22 Plus.

45W wired charging on the Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 Ultra leaves the 25W Galaxy S22 in the dust.

The Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus offer 8GB of RAM across all configurations. You can choose either 128 or 256GB of onboard storage, but there’s no microSD slot to be found. The Galaxy S22 Ultra kicks off with 8GB of RAM in the 128GB configuration, but all other versions move to 12GB instead. It’s available with 256, 512GB, or even 1TB of storage for an extra cost.

As a Note-inspired device, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the only member of the trio to offer S Pen support. It carries a built-in slot along the bottom edge for storage, as well as a color-matched stylus that you can use to take notes and so much more.

One last change to note is the camera options. Although the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus keep the same design from last year, there’s a lot more punch in this year’s array. Both models offer 50MP wide lenses as their main shooters, flanked by 12MP ultrawide and 10MP telephoto sensors. The 10MP selfie camera is gone in favor of a sharper 40MP option, too.

Over on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you’ll find the 108MP wide lens back as the primary camera. It also offers a 12MP ultrawide option with 10MP periscope telephoto and 10MP telephoto shooters to round out the setup. The Galaxy S22 Ultra completes its arrangement with the same 40MP selfie camera as the other models.

See also: The best camera phones you can get

Price

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 (8/128GB): $799
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 (8/256GB): $849
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8/128GB): $999
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8/256GB): $1,049
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12/256GB): $1,299
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12/512GB): $1,399
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12/1TB: $1,599

To Samsung’s credit, it’s found a way to keep the Galaxy S22 series’ asking price on par with last year. It’s more affordable than the high point of the Galaxy S20 series, which started at $999.

Save some money: The best Samsung Galaxy deals

This year, you can bring home the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S22 for $799 with 128GB of storage. Moving to 256GB will cost you another $50. The middle Galaxy S22 Plus with 128GB of storage costs $999 with the same fee to jump to 256GB. As for the premium Galaxy S22 Ultra, you can expect to shell out $1,199 for the base model. The 256GB and 512GB versions cost $100 more, while the massive 1TB version will set you back a whopping $1,599.

Specs

Galaxy S22Galaxy S22 PlusGalaxy S22 Ultra
Display
Galaxy S22
6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
19.5:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Galaxy S22 Plus
6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
19.5:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Galaxy S22 Ultra
6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Edge display (curved)
19.3:9 aspect ratio
QHD+ resolution (3,088 x 1,440)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Processor
Galaxy S22
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
Galaxy S22 Plus
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
Galaxy S22 Ultra
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
RAM
Galaxy S22
8GB
Galaxy S22 Plus
8GB
Galaxy S22 Ultra
8GB or 12GB
Storage
Galaxy S22
128GB or 256GB
No microSD card support
Galaxy S22 Plus
128GB or 256GB
No microSD card support
Galaxy S22 Ultra
128GB, 256GB, or 512GB with additional 1TB option
No microSD card support
Power
Galaxy S22
3,700mAh battery
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Galaxy S22 Plus
4,500mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Galaxy S22 Ultra
5,000mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Galaxy S22
REAR:
- 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
- 10MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Galaxy S22 Plus
REAR:
- 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
- 10MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Galaxy S22 Ultra
REAR:
- 108MP wide (0.8μm, ƒ2.2, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.12μm, ƒ4.9, 230mm, 11-degree FoV, 10x optical zoom)
- 10MP telephoto (1.12μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)
- Laser autofocus

FRONT:
- 40MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Video
Galaxy S22
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Galaxy S22 Plus
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Galaxy S22 Ultra
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Audio
Galaxy S22
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
Galaxy S22 Plus
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
Connectivity
Galaxy S22
5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6 (ax), Dual Band
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Galaxy S22 Plus
5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)
Galaxy S22 Ultra
5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)
Security
Galaxy S22
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
Galaxy S22 Plus
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
Software
Galaxy S22
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Galaxy S22 Plus
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Android 12
One UI 4.1
S Pen support
Galaxy S22
No
Galaxy S22 Plus
No
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Yes, with storage slot
Materials
Galaxy S22
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Galaxy S22 Plus
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Durability
Galaxy S22
IP68 certified
Galaxy S22 Plus
IP68 certified
Galaxy S22 Ultra
IP68 certified
Dimensions and weight
Galaxy S22
146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
168g
Galaxy S22 Plus
157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
196g
Galaxy S22 Ultra
163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
229g
Colors
Galaxy S22
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold

Online exclusives: Cream, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet
Galaxy S22 Plus
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold

Online exclusives: Cream, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy

Online exclusives: Graphite, Sky Blue, Red

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S22 Plus vs S22 Ultra: Which phone is right for you?

samsung galaxy s22 plus wallpaper
Zarif Ali / Android Authority

It’s much easier to decide between the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus than to include the S22 Ultra. If you want a phone that will fit in your pocket and won’t break the bank, the Galaxy S22 is the way to go. However, the Galaxy S22 Plus offers an improved battery with faster charging and a significantly larger display. You’ll have to pay extra, but your money comes with its benefits.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a Galaxy Note fan's dream, but more than most people need.

The final option is Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, the first proper replacement for the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It offers an entirely different design from the other two, right down to the S Pen slot and revamped camera setup. You’ll get the biggest display, the most optional RAM and storage, and the biggest battery, too.

Our thoughts: Samsung Galaxy S22 reviewSamsung Galaxy S22 Plus review| Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

However, it’s the most expensive of the three by far, and each upgrade costs an extra $100. For Galaxy Note lovers, the answer is clear. If you need the most powerful Samsung experience on the market, it’s tough to deny the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but it may be more than many people need.

Which Samsung Galaxy S22 offers the best value?

493 votes