Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Plus vs Ultra: Which S22 is better?

Samsung’s latest trio of flagship smartphones, the S22 series, are likely to be one of the most popular choices for anyone looking for an Android handset in 2022 – but with a range of sizes, specs and prices, which one is done? for you ?

Starting at £769 for the standard model but going all the way up to £1500 for the top-end Ultra, these are high-end premium smartphones.

The supermodel easily earned a spot on our list of best smartphones of the year so far, and instantly stands out from the rest of the series as it has a different design – a more square frame and an S-Pen that slots into the device itself.

But that’s not to say the remaining two handsets are missing. Each has attractive factors that can distract you from the more powerful option. Not only are they more affordable, but they can also appeal to anyone who isn’t a fan of bulky phones.

We’ve been hands-on with all three, so be sure to read our Samsung Galaxy S22 preview, Samsung Galaxy S22+ review and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review. If they’re too expensive for what you want to spend, here’s our list of the best budget smartphones.

So if you’re thinking of upgrading – or buying a Samsung S22 smartphone outright – this guide is for you as we compare the specs, features and prices of each model.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Plus vs Ultra: the main differences at a glance

  • The S22 and S22+ have a very similar design – which is identical to the previous S21 series – while the S22 Ultra looks more like the previous Note series.
  • The standard Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch display, the S22+ has a 6.6-inch display, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a larger 6.8-inch display.
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra and S22+ have a brightness of 1750 nits, while the standard Galaxy S22 has 1300 nits. (All three are 120Hz displays).
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 40-megapixel (MP) front-facing “selfie” camera, while the other two models come with a 10MP front-facing setup.
  • While the rear camera setup on all three models is similar, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 108MP wide-angle. (The others have a 50MP wide angle.)
  • The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh (up to 81 hours of audio playback). The S22+ has a 4500 mAh. The S22 has a 3700mAh.
  • Only the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with an S-Pen. Like the previous Note series of phablets, the stylus slots into the bottom of the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Plus vs Ultra: the main differences in detail

Design

The Galaxy S22 and S22+ have the same design as the previous range, the S21. They have a curved camera module on the top left of the frame that houses the triple lens setup. By comparison, the S22 Ultra has a boxier aesthetic that has a bottom left slot for the S-Pen, which comes bundled with the phone.

The Galaxy S22 and S22+ are available in four colors: Phantom White, Phantom Black, Green and Pink Gold. The S22 Ultra doesn’t have the Rose Gold option, instead coming in Burgundy. Each has a variety of shades exclusive online through Samsung, including Graphite (Ultra), Red (Ultra), Sky Blue (S22+) and Cream (S22).

Unsurprisingly due to the small size of the phone itself, the standard S22 is the lightest of the bunch, at 169g, while the Ultra is heavier, weighing in at 229g. All three have a water resistance rating of IP68 and are made from aluminum. For added durability, all three have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the front.

Galaxy S22 (top) and Galaxy S22 Ultra (bottom) colors Samsung

Specifications and features

When it comes to day-to-day use, the three phones will overlap considerably as they all run the same software. So you’ll have a similar user experience no matter which one you choose, especially with the S22 and S22+. .

Besides the design, the biggest difference is the S-pen stylus which now slots into the S22 Ultra, transforming it from phone to phablet. As a result, the Ultra has some software enhancements based around pencil usage, such as taking notes or sketching on the go. There is a dedicated context menu if the S-Pen is removed.

You’re paying for luxury, but the S22 Ultra arguably gives you the best specs of the trio – with the best display, the best camera lenses, battery life and storage options. But with Android 12 (One UI 4.1) across all three, the handsets will all feel similar to use.

Price

The Galaxy S22 is the most affordable of the new series, while the S22 Ultra is the most expensive. The Galaxy S22+ occupies the happy medium of the series. Here’s a full breakdown of the cost of every smartphone in the UK:

Galaxy S22

  • 128GB storage/8GB RAM: £769
  • 256GB storage/8GB RAM: £819

Galaxy S22+

  • 128GB storage/8GB RAM: £949
  • 256GB storage/8GB RAM: £999

Galaxy S22 Ultra

  • 128GB storage/8GB RAM: £1,149
  • 256GB storage/12GB RAM: £1,249
  • 512GB storage/12GB RAM: £1,329
  • 1TB storage/12GB RAM: £1,499

All prices are RRP and were correct at the time of writing.

Storage

Built-in storage is important to consider because it’s essentially an indicator of how much content – think photos, videos, and files – the phone can hold without having to rely on cloud platforms. The Galaxy S22 and S22+ plus come in two options – 128GB or 256GB – but the S22 Ultra has a much wider variety of variants, coming in four options: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and a whopping 1 terabyte (To) integrated.

Battery life

The battery life of a smartphone can be difficult to determine precisely, as it is highly dependent on the daily use of the handset and its use. Gaming or watching videos all day? You may need to pick up your charger long before another person who has only used the device to check email.

All three phones in the latest Galaxy series should give you more than a full day’s worth of power from a full charge. The S22 has a 3700mAh battery, the S22+ has a 4500mAh battery and the Ultra has the largest of the trio, at 5000mAh.

In testing, we found the S22 Ultra easily lasted a full day of moderate-to-heavy use: watching videos, using Slack, setting reminders, listening to Spotify for 2+ hours on the go, and scrolling through media websites social. Charging was quick too, going from dead to 100 per cent in less than an hour using a wall adapter. All have wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (left) and S22+ (right) David Paul Morris via Getty Images

Camera

The S22 and S22+ have identical rear camera setups: 12MP ultra-wide, 50MP wide-angle, and a 10MP telephoto. They both have up to 3x optical zoom and up to 30x “super-resolution” zoom, as well as optical image stabilization.

The S22 Ultra has a quad-camera setup, boosting the 50MP wide-angle to 108MP and adding another 10MP telephoto with 10x optical zoom. It has a “super-resolution” zoom of up to 100 per cent, which was impressive in testing as we found it to be very good at retaining image quality even at great distances.

Display

One difference between the phones (and what may be a deciding factor for some potential buyers) is the screen size. The S22 has a 6.1-inch FHD+ display, the S22+ has a 6.6-inch FHD+ display, and the S22 Ultra has a 6.8-inch Quad HD+ display, with more curved edges. These are measured diagonally, from corner to corner.

Simply put, the standard S22 is what we might consider a fairly small flagship (same as the standard iPhone 13), while the S22 Ultra is quite large, closer to the 6.7-inch panel of the iPhone. Apple’s iPhone Pro Max. Again, the S22+ is in the middle.

5G connectivity

All three phones are well upgradable in terms of connectivity, supporting 5G, Bluetooth 5.2, and GPS. As for device ports, they charge via USB-C (the wall charger adapter is sold separately) and feature wireless charging.

A Samsung Galaxy S22, (L) S22 Ultra (M) and Galaxy S22+ Ultra 5G (R). David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Our verdict: Which Samsung Galaxy S22 should you buy?

The latest S22 series is specially designed to offer a variety of options depending on what you need from a new smartphone. But there are two strong points, at least in our opinion. These are the Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with the big exception if having a small smartphone is your main priority.

Although there are many similarities with the basic S22, the S22+ will give you a bigger screen, better brightness and a more powerful battery.

But if you can afford it, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is our pick for the best handset in the series. It comes with an integrated S-Pen stylus which adds another level of functionality, the design is incredibly premium and it has the best camera setup thanks to the 100x zoom and 108MP lens. It has the best battery of the trio and a greater variety of internal storage options of up to 1TB.

Here is the bottom line: Small phone fans may like the S22, but the S22+ has better specs. If you can stretch the budget, however, the S22 Ultra is the better buy.

Where to buy S22 smartphones

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S22:

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S22+:

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra:

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