The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra match-up shows how even with the Note line gone, the Galaxy S Ultra models are continuing the legacy.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was a productivity powerhouse at launch, and remains a potent phone even if it's a bit harder to find these days. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is newer, but unlike previous Galaxy S Ultras, finally has a built-in stylus like a Galaxy Note, while still offering other upgrades.
While the two Samsung smartphones bear some similarities, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has some big advantages. This includes an improved dynamic 120Hz display, an enhanced S Pen and upgraded cameras.
However, we have to mention the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra, slated for an early 2023 launch. It appears as if it will continue the Note's legacy, but also boost the camera capabilities considerably with a rumored 200MP main sensor.
But the Galaxy S23 series isn't here yet, so to help you make a more informed decision, we’ve put together an in-depth Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comparison.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Specs
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Galaxy S22 Ultra||Galaxy Note 20 Ultra|
|Original Android version||Android 12, One UI 4||Android 10, One UI 2.0|
|Display||6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD+||6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD|
|Refresh rate||1Hz to 120Hz, adaptive||1Hz to 120Hz, adaptive|
|CPU||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1||Snapdragon 865 Plus|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB|
|Rear cameras||108MP (f/2.2) main, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) 10x telephoto, 10MP (f/2.4) 3x telephoto||108MP wide (ƒ/1.8); 12MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom (ƒ/3.0); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2)|
|Front camera||40MP (f/2.2)||10MP (ƒ/2.2)|
|Battery||5,000 mAh||4,500 mAh|
|Size||3.1 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches||3.1 x 6.4 x 0.3 inches|
|Weight||8.1 ounces||7.3 ounces|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E, UWB, 5G (mmWave/sub6)||Wi-Fi 6, 5G (mmWave/sub6)|
|Colors||Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy||Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White|
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Price and availability
When it was first announced in 2021, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra cost a whopping $1,299. Understandably, with the release of newer Samsung models, the price for the Note 20 Ultra has significantly decreased since then, and can now be found for less than $1,000 if you look carefully enough.
By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra costs $1,199 to start. That's still a lot of money, especially these days, but you can look to our best Galaxy S22 deals if you want to save some cash. Your best route is a trade-in.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Design
The Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have somewhat similar designs; both are equipped with large curved displays and built-in S Pens. The S22 Ultra does have a slightly smaller screen, measuring in at 6.8 inches compared to the Note 20 Ultra’s mammoth 6.9 inches.
The back of the phone is where the designs really differ. While both smartphones feature elaborate rear camera systems, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has three lenses arranged in a rectangular shape. The S22 Ultra embraces a simpler approach, instead opting for four sensors and a laser AF embedded directly into the back of the phone.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is more durable than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, as the former features an Armor Aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the back.
Color-wise, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features four matte options to choose from: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Burgundy. In comparison, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s design has a more glossy finish, available in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black and Mystic Black.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Display
Both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have AMOLED QHD+ displays, but there are a number of differences between them.
The two smartphones also have an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz that adjusts itself automatically depending on the type of the content you’re viewing. For static images, both devices can even reduce the refresh rate to conserve battery life.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra's display can also get a lot brighter, as it turned in a max reading of 1,359 nits in our testing. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra delivered far less at 677 nits, so the outdoor readability of the S22 Ultra's panel should be much better.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Cameras
Now, the camera systems are really where the two phones differ.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features three rear cameras: a 108MP wide camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 12MP telephoto lens capable of 5x optical zoom. The Note 20 Ultra’s camera system also added an additional sensor that compensates for widespread issues users faced with the S20 Ultra’s auto-focus.
On the front of the phone, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a 12MP selfie camera with a 120-degree field of view that comes particularly in handy for group photos.
In comparison, the newer Galaxy S22 Ultra has even more impressive built-in photography capabilities. Samsung’s newest premium smartphone keeps its previous 108MP main camera, albeit with a larger sensor and a Super Clear lens that aims to prevent light flares during low-light photography. The S22 Ultra also features a 12MP ultrawide lens and two 10MP telephoto lenses, one with 3x optical zoom and another with 10x.
The 40MP selfie camera on the Galaxy S22 Ultra is also significantly beefier than that of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, offering higher-res selfies.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra also boasts an improved Night Mode, better portraits and the ability to capture RAW files using a dedicated app. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra got access to Expert RAW in a later update.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Performance
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra had one of the best internals available upon release, fitted with a Snapdragon 865 Plus, 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a more updated processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. In terms of memory, you can choose between configurations of either 8GB, 12GB or 16GB of RAM and either 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of storage capacity.
We didn't see much of a difference in the Geekbench 5 CPU multi-core test between the two phones, but the single-core result for the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a fair bit higher. The S22 Ultra also scored higher on the 3DMark Sling Shot Unlimited GPU test, and took considerably less time to transcode a video from 4K to 1080p.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Galaxy S22 Ultra||Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 888 Gen 1||Snapdragon 865 Plus|
|Geekbench 5 score (single-core / mutli-core)||1,240 / 3,392||985 / 3,294|
|3DMark Sling Shot Unlimited||9,526||8,633|
|Adobe Premiere Rush time to transcode (mins:secs)||0:47||1:16|
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Battery life and charging
The Galaxy S22 Ultra sports a 5,000 mAh battery, an improvement over the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s 4,500 mAh. On 60Hz mode, the Galaxy S22 Ultra lasted 10 hours and 18 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G. That dropped to 8:50 with adaptive mode turned on.
In terms of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, we were able to get almost 8 hours of continuous web surfing with the display’s refresh rate turned all the way up to 120Hz. That number jumped to 10:26 with the display set to 60Hz.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra supports a 25-watt charger capable of juicing the device up to 56% in just 30 minutes. The Galaxy S22 Ultra supports a faster 45-watt charger, and which regained the phone 58% of its battery capacity in 30 minutes.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: S Pen
While both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra offer a built-in S Pen, the S22 Ultra takes the performance up a notch. Samsung decreased the latency from 9 ms to 2.8 ms That's a 70% improvement.
Samsung has made a few other notable S Pen improvements, including more accurate handwriting-to-text conversions, as well as the ability to quickly save your notes in Microsoft Office docs and emails.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Software
Out of the box, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ran on the Android 10 operating system and One UI 2.0. It has since seen an update all the way to Android 13. Being the newer of the two, the Galaxy S22 Ultra ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1 pre-installed, but Samsung has pushed the One UI 5 update, based on Android 13, out in the U.S.
Going forward, Samsung will provide software updates for the Galaxy S22 Ultra longer than for the older Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Samsung has committed to four years of Android updates for most of its phones going forward.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs. Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Bottom line
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is an undoubtedly powerful phone that still features some great specs. And there are some similarities between it and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, including the AMOLED QHD+ displays with 120Hz adaptive refresh rates and 108MP cameras with 100x Space Zoom.
However, it’s hard to look past the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s upgraded processor and much improved camera system that features a larger main camera sensor and dual telephoto lenses. You also get a brighter display, more responsive S Pen and faster charging.
While it’s perfectly reasonable to hold out for an upgrade, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a great flagship phone if you want to take the plunge. But you might also want to wait for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but check to see if you can grab the Galaxy S22 Ultra on a good deal.