Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: Biggest expected upgrades

Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy S22 Ultra.
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung’s next flagship phone is finally official after months of rumors and leaks getting us all hyped for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Therefore, it’s a good time to explore the topic around a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra versus Galaxy S22 Ultra comparison.

Naturally, anyone who’s still holding on to the Galaxy S22 Ultra could be swayed enough to make the upgrade to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Or perhaps, you might be undecided right now about which phone to pick if you’re coming from an entirely different Android smartphone brand. 

While the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a couple of years old at this point, it still holds up nicely against some of the best Android phones around today. Due to its age, it's getting some epic markdowns in price, which is the leading reason why some would choose it over Sammy’s latest flagship. Boasting camera upgrades and new AI features  make a compelling argument for the S24 Ultra, even in the face of a higher price point.

Regardless of where you sit, we’ll dial into everything new with the S24 Ultra and see how it handles against the older S22 Ultra.

Read more: our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specifications

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (rumored)Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display6.8 inches6.8 inches
Refresh rate144Hz adaptive120Hz adaptive
Rear cameras200MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 50MP 5x telephoto, 10MP 3x telephoto108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto
Front camera12MP40MP selfie
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 3Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery5,000 mAh5,000 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Price and availability

Lifestyle images of Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, & S24 Ultra series.

(Image credit: Samsung)

When it comes to savings, you’ll naturally find more discounts with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It initially launched in February 2022 for $1,199, but nowadays you can find several deals for much less. For example, Best Buy’s selling it for as low as $349, which is insane because you don’t find phones in this price range with quadruple cameras — or top-of-the-line specs.

After years to sticking to that $1,199 for its Ultra phones, Samsung's raising the price of the Galaxy S24 Ultra to $1,299. But given how we saw price increases with a couple of its main rivals, the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro, it's not entirely unexpected.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hands-on

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As a whole, there's not a huge shift to the design language of the Galaxy S24 Ultra. New to the design is the switch from an aluminum frame to titanium, similar to what Apple did for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This swap not only increase its durability, but it also contributes to a weight of 8.22 ounces. It's technically lighter than the previous S23 Ultra, but oddly enough, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is lighter at 8.04 ounces.

Beyond that, the other big design change to the Galaxy S24 Ultra is how it's now packing a flat display — whereas they're rounded edges with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.  It's difficult to judge if this change makes the Galaxy S24 Ultra any better to hold in the hand, but Samsung indicates it's much more ideal when writing with the S Pen.

Of course, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is distinguished for its quadruple cameras, which again is standard with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. And lastly, the S Pen is tucked away into the bottom edge of both phones. 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra display

(Image credit: Future)

There's no size difference between their displays, so the Galaxy S24 Ultra still packs a 6.8-inch QHD+ AMOLED. Considering how the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro featured brighter screens than their predecessors, it's no shock that Samsung is following suit by making the screen much brighter with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. In fact, it's rated for a peak brightness output of 2,600 nits. This is an impressive reach considering how the Galaxy S22 Ultra reached a peak rating of 1,359 nits in our testing. However, we'll find out if that rating turns out true after putting it through our display testing.

Aside from that, everything else is pretty much the same with their respective displays. There was an early rumor hinting at a faster display refresh rate with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but it's still offering the same 1 to 120Hz adaptive rate.

The final difference between their display is how Samsung ditches the curved display in favor of a flat one with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. At the moment, this change doesn't appear to have any significant impact on how the display looks, but Samsung argues it's much more ideal when using the S Pen. That's debatable, but we suppose that there's less trail off if you get too close to the edges.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hands-on

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Every year it seems like the camera specs in Samsung’s flagship series keep on getting better — but that's not happening this time if you solely rely on the specs. Samsung fashions a familiar quadruple camera arrangement with the S24 Ultra, consisting of a main 200MP camera, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, and a 50MP 5x telephoto. In contrast, the S22 Ultra has a 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto,  and a 10MP 10x telephoto.

The latter is important to note because it's a 10x optical zoom camera, whereas the S24 Ultra swaps it out for a 5x optical one. That's important because that effectively cuts the zoom range. You might think this is a downgrade, but the new image processing techniques of the Galaxy S24 Ultra's ProVisual Engine could amplify the quality. It's an early assessment, but we intend on capturing photos with their respective zoom cameras to make a final judgment.

We’re confident about this because we’ve seen it already in the iPhone 15’s 2x telephoto camera, along with how we saw the Pixel 8 Pro’s 5x telephoto camera record videos that were just as good as the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 10x telephoto. AI could be the driving factor that could boost the Galaxy S24 Ultra when it comes to zooming.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Performance

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Two generations is wide enough for the Galaxy S24 Ultra to flex its muscle power. That’s because it’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, which easily showed significant gains in leaked benchmark tests.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 ChipGeekbench result (single-core/multi-core)
Samsung Galaxy S24 (alleged)Exynos 24002,067 / 6,520
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (alleged)Snapdragon 8 Gen 32,234 / 6,807
Galaxy S23 PlusSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy1,524 / 4,642
iPhone 15 ProA17 Pro2,890 / 7,194

We haven't come around to putting the new chip through testing yet, but we suspect it'll easily outperform the S22 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Since the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is built with AI in mind, it should make processes run faster on the S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Battery life and charging

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Stardew Valley

(Image credit: Future)

While it’s no slouch in the battery life department, it’s unlikely for the S22 Ultra to outlast the S24 Ultra — even though the S22 Ultra held up nicely in our battery benchmark test with a time of 10 hours and 18 minutes. That’s mainly due to the expected power management optimizations of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

When it comes to recharging, Samsung doesn't give the Galaxy S24 Ultra any gain because it's still stuck on 45W wired charging, which is the same as the S22 Ultra. Furthermore, wireless charging still peaks at 15W with the S24 Ultra, so there's no benefit in this area over the S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Verdict

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra colors and display

(Image credit: Future)

Everything about the Galaxy S24 Ultra should be better than the Galaxy S22 Ultra given the two year gap, but while there's no a tremendous change to most of the hardware, the AI-assisted experiences of the Galaxy S24 Ultra could ultimately have the most impact between these two phones.

But then again, sales and discounts have already made the Galaxy S22 Ultra attractive. You'll absolutely save a lot more money by choosing the two year old model. If saving money is top priority for you, then you can't go wrong going with the S22 Ultra.

We're still in the process of fully testing out the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but we should have a better idea on which is better very soon.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.