The king has apparently returned. But not quite as we remember it?
This is the 2022, Samsung Galaxy Note; Ultra; S22.
It’s all of the above.
Today I want to give you my first impressions before I start putting it through its paces for the next 2 weeks. I’ve also got the S22 Plus arriving soon, and I’m going to decide which one of those 2 devices I’m going to keep. If you are interested in finding out, head over and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
We have some battery tests coming up and a camera review, but let me know if there is something, in particular, you would like me to compare this to. Let's go!
The first thing I noticed after unboxing this phone was its size, shape, and weight. This thing weighs almost as much as the iPhone 13 Pro Max version, the big mama version.
Holding it just doesn’t feel comfortable. It’s definitely a 2 hand job. Another reason for the discomfort is the super sharp corners that jab into the palm of your hand.
It’s definitely something to get used to - it makes me wonder if after a while I might get those calluses to soften the blow. We shall wait and see. I would say if you are coming from a Note to this, you will know what to expect, but if you're coming from an S21, you will have some adjusting to do.
Once you get over the initial differences in the shape and size and start using it, it gets good again. The phone is lightning fast, I mean, really, really responsive. There’s no sign of any slowdown or lag or blips that you sometimes get with Android.
Samsung always seems to have the most beautiful displays of all the phones and this is no different. It has an edge-to-edge finish, the slight curve around the edges, it can do the full 120hz and at full Quad HD resolution and ramp that down to just 1hz when looking at photos or reading text on the screen.
It looks stunning. Images and video look crisp, bright, clear and the sound that comes from it, is also, really good. So I’m looking forward to watching some content on this thing.
First impressions of the Camera have so far been a pretty good experience. I’m liking having that telephoto back again, on the S22 that’s a 10x Telephoto but also the ridiculous 100x space zoom is just nuts. For me, at least the 10x zoom is great for getting shots of my kids since they won’t stand still and normally won’t sit in one place just a few feet from me whilst I’m snapping a photo of them.
One thing that surprised me about the S22, is the Pen. I’ve never been a fan of pens with phones, I don’t feel like the screen is big enough to comfortably write on, but it’s really interesting to have one again. Mainly because, again with first impressions, writing on this thing is incredibly responsive.
It’s got a 240hz sampling rate on the pencil, which puts it in exactly the same territory as the Apple Pencil on an iPad. When writing on it, whilst it’s not as comfortable as the iPad, in my opinion, because of it’s size, it’s definitely a better experience than what I’ve had before.
Even though the audio that you hear when writing on this phone, is kinda gimmicky, it weirdly does make me feel a bit more connected to what I’m writing. Even though the screen itself doesn’t feel like paper.
I'm looking forward to testing out features like using the pen as a remote to take photos, in the coming weeks. To find out when those videos get released:
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The only negatives that I’ve really got on this phone right now, aside from its awkward shape, is that I’ve heard the haptic motor on this has changed from a Z-axis to an X-axis motor, which I’ve heard means it’s less buzzy when it does vibrate.
I am going to be testing the charging speeds soon, but according to some people online, the S22 Ultra, even though it says it supports 45w charging speeds, have noticed that the S22 Ultra only takes 1 minute less to charge to full, when using a 25w charger, instead of the 45w charger.
anyway, that’s just my short take and first impressions since unboxing the S22 Ultra.
There’ll be a full review in 2 weeks' time after I’ve had some proper time with this thing, so subscribe if you want to see that. In the meantime, perhaps go and check out my Pixel 6 Pro Review, or have a look at which password manager you should be using across all of your devices - and I’ll see you in the next one.