Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note series have consistently been at the forefront of Android smartphone innovation, each offering a unique blend of features and capabilities. In this head-to-head review, we’ll dissect the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra to help you decide which device is the better fit for your needs.
Before we delve in, kindly note that Samsung has put an end to the Note series in favor of the Ultra version of the Galaxy S series. But the Note 20 ultra is still one of the best-selling pre-owned Samsung phones in the market.
Let’s see if you should upgrade to the newer version or stick with the legendary Note phone.
Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra Compared
Design and Display
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra inherits design cues from both the Note 20 Ultra and the S21 Ultra, resulting in a visually striking smartphone. It has a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a remarkable resolution of 1440 x 3088 pixels. The device feels premium in hand with a glass front and back protected by Gorilla Glass Victus+, coupled with an aluminum frame. And, it boasts an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.
While the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, released in 2020, features a larger 6.9-inch Super AMOLED Plus display but with a lower resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. It maintains Samsung’s signature design elegance with Gorilla Glass Victus on both the front and back, sandwiched by a stainless steel frame. Similar to the S22 Ultra, it is IP68-rated for protection against dust and water.
While the Note 20 Ultra’s display is larger, the S22 Ultra’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen offers a higher resolution, resulting in sharper and more vibrant visuals. Both devices boast IP68 water and dust resistance, but the S22 Ultra combines classic elegance with modern innovation in design.
The Note 20 Ultra, although released earlier, still boasts an impressive camera system. It includes a 108MP main sensor, a 12MP periscope telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultrawide lens. While its rear camera setup was cutting-edge at the time of release, it falls short of the S22 Ultra’s advancements.
Also, the camera system on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is nothing short of remarkable. It features a quad-camera setup with a 108MP main sensor, dual 10MP telephoto lenses (offering 10x optical zoom and 100x space zoom), and a 12MP ultrawide lens. On the front, there’s a 40MP selfie camera. The S22 Ultra leverages the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor’s upgraded image signal processor to deliver features like “Nightography,” enhanced low-light photography, and computational photography capabilities.
The S22 Ultra features significant camera upgrades, including improved telephoto capabilities and computational photography, making it a clear winner in this category. Both devices, however, deliver outstanding photography and videography performance.
Battery and Charging
The S22 Ultra is equipped with a robust 5,000mAh battery designed for long-lasting performance. While it may not match the Note 20 Ultra’s capacity expectations, it offers a solid battery life. Charging has received an upgrade with 45W wired charging, promising a 50% charge in just 20 minutes.
The Note 20 Ultra features a 4,500mAh battery, which, at the time of its release, provided good endurance. It supports 25W fast charging, which is reliable but falls behind the S22 Ultra’s charging speed.
The S22 Ultra outperforms the Note 20 Ultra in both battery capacity and charging speed. While the Note 20 Ultra offers a decent battery life, the S22 Ultra’s larger capacity and faster charging make it a more appealing choice for heavy users.
Software and Performance
The S22 Ultra runs on Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1. It’s powered by either the Exynos 2200 (in Europe) or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (in the Rest of the World), ensuring exceptional CPU and GPU performance. It offers a fluid and responsive user experience across various tasks and features an intuitive interface with regular software updates.
The Note 20 Ultra was initially launched with Android 10 and received updates to Android 11 and beyond. It’s powered by the Exynos 990 or the Snapdragon 865+ (depending on the region). While it delivers a solid performance, it’s no longer the latest in terms of software and updates.
The S22 Ultra runs a more recent Android version and offers longer software support. Its powerful chipset ensures top-tier performance for various tasks, making it a better choice for those who demand the latest software and hardware capabilities.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be receiving 4 major updates which means that it will get the future Android 16 version while the Note 20 Ultra will only get up to Android 13.
The S22 Ultra features an S Pen with a reduced latency of 2.8 milliseconds, providing a highly responsive and natural writing and drawing experience. It also integrates an S Pen holder directly into the phone for added convenience, eliminating the need for a separate case.
The Note 20 Ultra introduced the S Pen with a 9ms latency, offering a satisfactory writing and drawing experience.
The S22 Ultra’s S Pen enhancements, including reduced latency and an integrated holder, make it a more attractive option for creatives and productivity enthusiasts. It represents a significant improvement over the Note 20 Ultra’s S Pen.
The pricing for the S22 Ultra starts at $1,199 for the base model (8GB/128GB) and increases for higher storage and RAM configurations. At the time of its review, the Note 20 Ultra was priced at approximately $860.
Kindly note that the price will be drastically reduced at the launch of the new phone series.
The S22 Ultra is priced higher, reflecting its premium features, camera enhancements, and overall advancements.
Similarities between Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offer distinct features and advancements, they also share several similarities that are indicative of Samsung’s commitment to quality and innovation.
Here are the key areas where these two flagship devices align:
1. Premium Build Quality
Both the S22 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra exhibit Samsung’s dedication to premium craftsmanship. They feature glass front and back panels, fortified with Gorilla Glass Victus+, ensuring durability and a sophisticated look. Additionally, both devices incorporate an aluminum frame that not only adds structural integrity but also imparts a sense of sturdiness and quality.
2. IP68 Water and Dust Resistance
Samsung has equipped both the S22 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. This certification ensures that these smartphones can withstand exposure to dust and water, making them suitable for various environmental conditions and accidental splashes.
3. High-quality AMOLED Displays
Both devices boast AMOLED displays that deliver vibrant and captivating visuals. While the S22 Ultra sports a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a higher resolution, the Note 20 Ultra features a Super AMOLED Plus display with a 120Hz refresh rate (although limited to Full HD at that setting). Both screens provide excellent color accuracy, deep blacks, and high brightness levels, enhancing the overall viewing experience.
4. S Pen Support
The S Pen is a hallmark feature of Samsung’s Note series, and it is supported on both the S22 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra. While the S22 Ultra introduces S Pen enhancements like reduced latency and an integrated holder, the Note 20 Ultra provides a familiar S Pen experience with a slightly higher latency.
5. Strong Camera Capabilities
Both smartphones offer impressive camera capabilities. While the S22 Ultra takes camera performance to the next level with a 108MP main sensor, dual telephoto lenses, and computational photography enhancements, the Note 20 Ultra’s camera system, featuring a 108MP main sensor and periscope zoom lens, still delivers high-quality photos and videos. Both devices cater to photography enthusiasts and professionals alike.
6. Samsung DeX Support
Samsung’s DeX feature, which transforms your smartphone into a desktop-like experience, is available on both the S22 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra. This feature allows users to connect their devices to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a productive and versatile computing experience.
7. Ample Storage and RAM
Both devices offer ample storage and RAM options to cater to different user preferences and needs. Users can choose between various configurations, ensuring that there’s a suitable model for those requiring extensive storage and multitasking capabilities.
Is it worth it to upgrade to Galaxy S22 Ultra?
While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra have their differences and unique selling points, these shared features highlight Samsung’s commitment to delivering high-quality flagship devices that cater to a wide range of user preferences and demands. Whether you opt for the latest innovation in the S22 Ultra or appreciate the qualities of the Note 20 Ultra, both smartphones offer a premium Android experience backed by Samsung’s reputation for excellence.
But truth be told, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra excels in several key areas, including camera performance, battery capacity, charging speed, software support, and S Pen enhancements. While the Note 20 Ultra remains a capable device, the S22 Ultra represents the latest and most innovative offering from Samsung. For users seeking cutting-edge technology and an exceptional user experience, the Galaxy S22 Ultra emerges as the superior choice.