If the latest Samsung Galaxy S22 rumors are to be believed, there will be three flavors of Samsung flagship early next year. The regular Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus (or maybe Pro) will be joined by the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting smartphones in years.
In fact, the S22 Ultra could have a completely different look than the rest of the S22 lineup along with exclusive features, giving Samsung a strong rival to the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Google Pixel 6 Pro. Here's everything we've heard about the Galaxy S22 Ultra so far and why it should be in a class of its own.
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A bold new look
In 2022, Ultra is set to really mean something, and that’s signaled by the reported designs of the three Galaxy S22 handsets. While the S22 and S22 Plus/Pro models look set to be barely distinguishable from the S21 family, the S22 Ultra is said to be getting a bold new look: a blend of curves and flat lines to really make it stand out.
While the Galaxy S21 Ultra became the first non-Note handset to support the S Pen, next year’s version looks set to up the ante with space for it to be docked. That instantly takes Samsung’s stylus from a nice optional extra to an integral part of the experience, just as it was over 11 generations of Galaxy Note.
Indeed, the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks like it’s set to be a Galaxy Note by another name, which should please the 39,500 people who have petitioned Samsung to bring back the original phablet. While the other two S22 handsets are set to shrink, making them more pocketable, the S22 Ultra will reportedly retain it’s 6.8-inch screen — perfect for note taking, annotation and doodling.
It should be serious hardware for serious productivity — and the rumored 5,000mAh battery should ensure it goes the distance, too.
More bang for your buck
Speaking of serious hardware, it wouldn’t be a flagship launch without the latest internals, and the S22 Ultra could be a cut above the usual Samsung offering in that regard, too.
There’s talk of the S22 family coming with two different chips: one with a standard Qualcomm SoC (likely the hotly anticipated Snapdragon 898) and another powered by Samsung’s own Exynos hardware.
Nothing unusual here, you may think: Samsung handsets have had Exynos chips before, mainly in Europe, but this year the non-Qualcomm versions may have the edge thanks to Samsung’s partnership with AMD and the possible inclusion of RDNA 2 GPU cores. That could lead to serious graphical grunt, with console style power in your pocket. There’s even talk of the new chips being capable of ray tracing — a graphical nicety that can make even powerful gaming PCs break into a sweat.
But even imagining chip shortages result in a more conventional Snapdragon SoC, the S Ultra series is where Samsung typically packs its most powerful hardware. It’s here the 108MP camera debuted, and the S21 Ultra packed 12 to 16GB RAM depending on the region. There's no word on either of those specs for the S22 Ultra yet, but it would be surprising if Samsung decided to go backwards.
There is one potential fly in the ointment, and it’s a familiar one for Samsung: cost. The S21 Ultra launched at $1,199 and it’s hard to imagine a version with such a powerful chip and a built-in S Pen (the MSRP of the S Pen Pro is $99) coming in at a lower price than that.
But in a world where at least some people are prepared to pay $1,799 for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 — a less powerful foldable with an optional S Pen — Samsung may well find there’s a whole army of power users ready to bite, whatever the strain on their wallet.
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