It’s happened. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, but today is the day I officially switch to Android. Over the past few years, I’ve had a lot of pleasant experiences with Google’s operating system, but still kept reaching back to the familiar every time. Back to the iPhone that I have used for more than ten years. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra changes all that.
Over the past week, I have been using Samsung’s new flagship device as my default phone and quickly found that I had no desire to switch. This is how the smartphone, in my opinion, should be.
Android vs iOS
Let me start the article immediately with a big disclaimer. In the battle between iOS and Android, there is no winner for me personally. Both operating systems have things well in hand. Where the difference was really big ten years ago, I think any consumer (who puts in a little effort) can get along with either system.
Personally, I’ve always preferred iOS. As a teenager, I simply thought the iPhone was a nicer phone and the operating system just worked for me. The adventure began with the iPhone 3GS when the market was still very different. The difference between Android and iOS was huge at the time. As a result, I rolled into Apple’s ecosystem, so to speak. I bought products like iPads and Macs in all those years and noticed that I used the system mainly as a habit.
Two giants (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
When I started at WANT four years ago, a world opened up for me. The difference between the two systems was really getting smaller and smaller. Especially now that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is supported until 2027. For me it is no longer a question of which system is the best, but which one simply suits you best.
Until now, I used iOS by default. Not because I thought it was necessarily the best system. Well, because it had become a habit to use it. In that respect, the book can be closed for me and I am switching. Not because of the software, but purely because of the hardware.
The best of both worlds
Along with OnePlus, Samsung has regularly made me question iOS and the iPhone over the past few years. Especially the Galaxy Note 20, a smartphone that is now two years old, gave me a hard time. I was a fan of the design, a fan of the S Pen and a fan of the large rectangular display. In that respect, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra offers the best of both worlds.
Samsung has chosen to merge its S series and Note series. A stroke of genius, considering how little the top models have differed in recent years. This time, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features the iconic S Pen which, unlike the S21 Ultra, you can keep inside the device itself.
The S Pen is off the hook! (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
There will be plenty of consumers who don’t use the stylus much, but for me personally it’s a very nice addition. Signing documents, taking pictures remotely and writing notes from the lock screen: it adds an extra dimension to your smartphone usage.
A screen as it should be
The screen of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an example for the rest of the market as far as I am concerned. Samsung has obviously been ahead of the curve in this area for years, but is shooting for glory with this model. I agree with people that the angular design has to suit you, but for me personally it works out well.
Thanks to the increased brightness of 1500 nits, the screen is very bright, which mainly pays off the moment you use the device outside. I have to admit that the lowest brightness can still be a bit bright in the dark at times, but the advantage here far outweighs the disadvantage.
For viewing content, scrolling through feeds and playing games, Samsung uses different refresh rates. These range from 1Hz to 120Hz, so you’re basically always right.
WANT (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the complete picture
The biggest strength of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the fact that it is a complete picture. There are few features that, compared to last year’s model, stand out head and shoulders above it. The software runs well, the battery life is fine and the camera system does a good job.
The device runs on a modified version of Android 12. One UI 4.1, as the version is called, is a wonderful layer over the operating system. It offers the necessary functionality for pleasant use and has a nice look.
The battery of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will easily take you a day and a half in tow. If you really push the phone to its limits, it will of course be a bit less, but handsome manages to drain the battery of this smartphone in just one day.
The camera system adds to the complete picture. In terms of hardware, there is actually not much new to find, but in terms of software, Samsung tackles it differently in certain areas. This results, for example, in an improved zoom function, which increases the quality of the optical zoom.
The optical zoom works well (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
Using the ExpertRAW app gives you full control, and the improved night mode makes low-light photos look better. In all honesty, the iPhone 13 Pro is a little further ahead in that area, but it really is a step forward for the Android market.
Not everything is hunky-dory
The perfect smartphone has yet to be invented. In fact, I doubt we’ll ever see one. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is a damn powerful and enjoyable smartphone, but in turn it also comes with some drawbacks.
Let’s start with the battery. The 5000mAh battery doesn’t seem to last as long on the S22 Ultra as it did on the S21 Ultra. The smartphone has a slightly brighter screen and carries a more powerful SoC. This simply asks a little more from the battery and you notice that. The difference with the S21 Ultra is present, but not so big that you have to leave the phone behind.
Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 layer is generally pleasant. Still, there are times when it causes problems. In the past week, I noticed that it sometimes affected the refresh rate in a negative way (image faltered) and, on two occasions, it crashed completely. A minor irritation that can be quickly resolved with a simple software update.
How purple is too much purple? (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
Is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra something for you?
‘Taste’. That’s the word that defines this Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. This is a smartphone that you really have to like. The larger (angular) design, the S Pen and the camera system: these are changes that you really need to feel something for.
Those who are willing to spend €1249 for a smartphone, can really expect something. In my opinion, the Galaxy S22 Ultra meets that expectation. As mentioned, there are no specifications and features that stand out. The complete picture is right, which makes it completely acceptable to me.
Though that doesn’t take away from the fact that I think it’s ridiculous that we’ve reached a certain price point. €1249 for a smartphone? I think it’s an incredible amount of money for a phone. But that’s a discussion for a later time.