Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen upgrades — what you need to know

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen
(Image credit: Future)

At Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, Samsung finally lifted the curtain on the Galaxy S22 Ultra and its included S Pen. But this S22 Ultra isn't just a Note replacement, it's bringing with it some major S Pen enhancements. And for users that have been holding on to their Galaxy Note 20 handsets, this might be the phone worth upgrading to for the S Pen features alone.

Right off the bat, the Samsung promises 70% lower latency than the previous S Pen. Considering the S Pen on the Note 20 had a latency of 9ms, a 70% reduction brings it down to just 2.8ms. Samsung also says that it made the display three times more responsive to the S Pen. 

We're testing the S22 Ultra now, but Samsung claims to get this ridiculously low latency thanks to AI-based point-prediction software that predicts where a user will draw next. This speed is so fast, it actually outperforms the Apple Pencil on the 2021 iPad Pro. And, of course, this new S Pen can also be used on the new Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

Samsung has also partnered with Microsoft to add more S Pen features into Outlook. The company explained the S Pen can pick a specific reply in an email and reply to that one request.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen drawing

(Image credit: Samsung)

We're currently testing the S22 Ultra, and per our current hands-on impressions, the more accurate handwriting-to-text conversion so far is nice. But we still need to use the phone for an extended period of time to come to a final conclusion. 

Like with the Note series, the S Pen on the S22 Ultra sits at the bottom and can slot in reversibly. All the S Pens are black, but the button at the top will match the color of the phone chosen. And thankfully, there are multiple colors to choose from, including burgundy, Phantom White and Phantom Black.

There are three online-exclusive colors that can only be bought at Samsung's website. These include sky blue, graphite and red. Red is actually only available on the S22 Ultra and will not be an option for those that get the Galaxy S22 or Galaxy S22 Plus

Apart from that, it seems that the S Pen will be just what everybody expected: a better S Pen.

Apart from the S Pen, the S22 Ultra also boasts a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 8/12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Only the base $1,199 128GB model will have the 8GB RAM option. The battery is at 5,000 mAh and can charge at speeds of up to 45W. Of course, just like with past Galaxy phones, the charger does not come in the box. But given the speed of the charging, it's definitely an accessory worth buying in our experience. 

Either way, for Note fans, or the Note-curious, the S22 Ultra is up for pre-order now. Although, Samsung's website has reportedly been having trouble with the influx of orders. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.