Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. S21 Ultra: Has Samsung changed enough to warrant an upgrade?

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Samsung’s S21 Ultra was released a year ago and two notable aspects of that release were S Pen support and the $200 price drop from previous flagship releases. The introductory price is the same, but the S Pen is now fully integrated into the retail bundle with a silo and an S Pen.

Besides the improved S Pen integration, are there any other specs or features that might compel you to upgrade? If you’re considering an upgrade, I recommend taking advantage of the pre-order launch specials and generous trade-in offers, as it’s always best for the customer to buy a Samsung phone before the official launch date. We’ve got our hands on the S22 Ultra and are trying to decide if it’s worth selling

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to buy the S22 Ultra.

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If you own a 2020 Note 20 Ultra, I think the answer to upgrading is much clearer for you, as the S22 Ultra offers an overall better experience in every way, with the exception of the microSD card slot. However, if you have an S21 Ultra, the answer is not so clear. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor has proven to be a fantastic processor and we have yet to see how the new Qualcomm processor affects battery life and performance. The yearly upgrade cycle is harder to justify when the S21 Ultra is still perfectly capable of outdoing itself in so many ways.

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Specs don’t give a full picture of a smartphone’s capabilities, but they are useful for comparison purposes and to give you an indication of what each device offers.

feature Galaxy S22 Ultra Galaxy S21 Ultra
screen size 6.8 inches 6.8 inches
processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Snapdragon 888
Dimensions 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm
Weight 229g 229g
R.A.M. 8/12GB 12/16GB
Internal memory 128/256/512GB/1TB 128/256/512GB
battery capacity 5000mAh 5000mAh
reversing cameras Four: 10MP Tele (10x), 10MP Tele (3x), 108MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide Four: 10MP Tele (10x), 10MP Tele (3x), 108MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide
front cameras Once 40MP Once 40MP
Other Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus Contour Cut Camera Array

Both Samsung devices feature 120MHz adaptive refresh rate display, fast wireless charging, IP68 dust/water resistance, wireless powershare capability, UWB and 5G. The battery capacity, weight and camera hardware specifications are also the same for these two devices. The S22 Ultra packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and newer materials.

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If you never use the S Pen on the S21 Ultra, there’s even less reason to think about an upgrade. If the S Pen is an essential part of your daily routine, then just having a silo and S Pen in the S22 Ultra might be enough to justify the upgrade.

We’ll be continuing to use the S22 Ultra here at ZDNet over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more on camera performance, the S Pen and more.


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