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Is it time to upgrade?

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The S Pen, Front, and Back of the Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet on a white background

  • Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

    The latest and greatest

    Samsung’s top-of-the-line smartphone features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, with improved performance and battery life. It’s also the company’s first device with Galaxy AI, allowing users to translate calls live and circle to search. The S24 Ultra supports 4K recording up to 120FPS and sports a 5x periscope zoom for sharp telephotography. 

    Pros

    • Great software support
    • Titanium build
    • Fast performance
    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Relatively slow 45W charging

  • samsung-galaxy-s22-ultra-square

    Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

    Great on a budget

    The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra still provides great value and performance with a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and premium build quality. It sports a high-quality 6.8-inch QHD AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass Victus+, which protects the front and back of the device. 

    Pros

    • Premium build
    • Fantastic display
    • Fast performance
    Cons

    • Slow charging speeds
    • No Galaxy AI


Despite only two years between them, significant differences set the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra apart. The S24 Ultra may look similar to its older sibling on the outside, but a few key changes make an upgrade enticing. Moreover, Samsung promises software support on the S24 Ultra for seven years, keeping resale values high. So, whether you’re looking to upgrade from your S22 Ultra or considering saving a few dollars by purchasing a previous generation, let’s determine which of these devices is best for you.


Price, availability, and specs

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is available through Samsung and Best Buy starting at $1,300 — a $100 increase over the S23 Ultra. The base configuration includes 12GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, but 512GB and 1TB models are available. Like in previous years, Samsung offers a free storage upgrade for the device’s initial release period. Samsung sells the Galaxy S24 Ultra in various titanium-named shades, ranging from Titanium Black to Titanium Yellow.


Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra can be found primarily through Amazon, with renewed options starting at around $560. The base configuration offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with 12GB variants available and storage options up to 1TB. The Galaxy S22 Ultra was offered in various colors, from Phantom Black to Bora Purple.


  • Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
    SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for GalaxyQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
    RAM12GB8GB, 12GB
    Storage256GB, 512GB, or 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
    Battery5,000mAh5,000mAh
    PortsUSB-CUSB-C
    Operating SystemAndroid 14 with OneUI 6.1Android 14 and One UI 6
    Front camera12MP, f/2.240MP, f/2.2
    Rear camera200MP, f/1.7 main; 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 10MP telephoto (3x); 50MP, f/3.4 telephoto (5x)108MP, f/1.8 main; 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 10MP, f/2.4 3x telephoto; 10MP, f/4.9 10x telephoto
    ConnectivityUWB, NFCUWB, NFC
    Dimensions162.6 × 79.0 × 8.6mm163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
    ColorsTitanium Black, Titanium Gray, Titanium Violet, Titanium YellowPhantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy + Samsung.com exclusive Red and Sky Blue
    Display typeLTPO AMOLED, 1-120HzOLED, 120Hz
    Weight233g229g
    Charge speed45W wired, 15W wireless45W wired, 15W wireless
    IP RatingIP68IP68
    Price$1,300From $1,200
    StylusS Pen includedS Pen
    Display dimensions6.8″, 19.3:96.8″
    Display resolution3088 × 14401440 x 3088
    Charge optionsWired, wireless, reverse chargingWired, Wireless
    Cellular connectivity5G mmWave & sub-6, LTE5G, mmWave, LTE
    Wi-Fi connectivityWi-Fi 7Wi-Fi 6E
    BluetoothBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.2

Design

The Galaxy S24 Ultra sitting on two Blu-rays and a pink backdrop.


You aren’t alone if you think the S24 Ultra and S22 Ultra look similar. Samsung hasn’t been particularly bold with the Ultra series redesign in the last few years. But if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Despite both devices’ similar boxy Note-esque design, building materials have changed. Instead of aluminum, the S24 Ultra’s frame is now made from titanium, saving weight while maintaining durability. It also sports Gorilla Glass Armor, giving the display protection against shattering. Samsung did eliminate the curved panels for the first time in years, fitting the S24 Ultra with flat glass. Unlike the iPhone and other flat-edged devices, the S24 Ultra features a little curve along the titanium frame for a better in-hand feel.


By comparison, the S22 Ultra maintains a slightly curved display, tapering to its aluminum frame. Its display is covered by Gorilla Glass Victus+, which still provides good breakage protection. Besides the glass and build materials, the design elements remain largely unchanged, from the position of the S-pen to the camera array’s layout. The devices are also IP68 dust and water-resistant. Overall, it’s a familiar design, and if you’re looking to save a few bucks, you won’t feel like you’re buying a phone from 2017.

Display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in green held up against a pool background


Samsung made several improvements to the S24 Ultra’s display. It’s much brighter this year, with a maximum brightness of 2,600 nits. The company also included an anti-glare layer, allowing for better visibility outdoors. Aside from that, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Samsung flagship panel, and that’s not bad. The S24 Ultra sports a 6.8-inch Dynamic LTPO AMOLED QHD display refreshing at 120Hz. It’s a fantastic panel with deep contrast and saturated colors, offering excellent performance for games and movies.


While not a carbon copy of the S24 Ultra, the S22 Ultra’s display is strikingly similar. It sports a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED QHD panel refreshing at 120Hz. It doesn’t have LTPO technology, so the S22 Ultra can’t bring its refresh rate down to 1Hz to save battery life. It also isn’t as bright as the S24 Ultra, with a max brightness of only 1,750 nits. Despite those differences, the S22 Ultra still features a great display, with poppy colors and excellent clarity. But no matter which device you buy, neither display will disappoint.

Software

The Galaxy S24 Ultra on a blue backdrop.


The Galaxy S24 Ultra ships with One UI 6.1, Samsung’s Android 14 skin. One UI has been reliable over the last several years, with Samsung releasing monthly updates. The S24 Ultra marks the release of Galaxy AI, Samsung’s suite of AI-enhanced apps and features, such as live call translation and Note Assistant. Artificial intelligence promises to change everything from camera outputs to how we use the S-pen. The company also advertises seven years of updates for the S24 ultra, with security patches and major Android upgrades, so your device will retain value longer.


Unfortunately, despite two remaining years of software support, Samsung announced the Galaxy S22 Ultra will not be getting many of the AI features coming to the S24 Ultra. Despite its capable processor, the company will limit those features to newer devices. It’s a disappointing decision, but the S22 Ultra will still receive two more Android upgrades with monthly security patches. It’s not ideal, but One UI 6 runs well on the S22 Ultra, with snappy performance and quality-of-life improvements like the redesigned notification shade. Thankfully, both devices feature DeX and wireless DeX.

Performance

A green Galaxy S22 Ultra face down on concrete


As expected, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 powers the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line chipset screams in the new Galaxy device, with AI enhancements built in to help aid Samsung’s Galaxy AI. Heat and power efficiency are much improved over the Gen 1, giving the S24 Ultra better-sustained performance and battery life versus the S22 Ultra. If you’re a gamer, the SD8G3 will keep you playing AAA titles at maximum frames for years. Daily tasks are easily dispatched, and you’ll never lack raw performance.


Despite its age, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the S22 Ultra performs well. It can still handle most games at high settings, and intensive apps are no issue. You won’t notice a significant difference in day-to-day tasks, but photo and video editing will be slower on the older Ultra. If you plan on picking up an S22 Ultra or staying with your current one, it’s important to know that while performance today might not be negatively impacted, you might see bigger dips in the next few years.

Battery life

A close up on the Galaxy S24 Ultra's S Pen.


If there was a weakness in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it was battery life. Results were mixed, but the S22 Ultra often struggled to get over six hours of screen time per charge. If you’re a power user or use your device for work, you’ll want a battery that lasts long into the evening, and the S22 Ultra doesn’t give you that benefit.


By comparison, the S24 Ultra continues the trend set by the S23 Ultra regarding battery life. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has better thermals and improved power efficiency, giving the S24 Ultra the edge. While the S22 Ultra may need a top-off by early evening, the S24 Ultra should have enough to make it through your entire day. When it is time to recharge, the S24 Ultra and S22 Ultra feature 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, with reverse wireless charging available when your friends need power.

Camera

Samsung galaxy s22 in ultra green


The Galaxy S24 Ultra sports a quad-camera setup: a 200MP main shooter, a 50MP 5x optical periscope lens, a 10MP 3x telephoto sensor, and a 12MP ultrawide. Samsung decided against the 10x optical zoom for the S24 Ultra, with the company claiming that AI will help improve its zoom photography. If needed, details will be added to images to help fill in any gaps, providing crisp photos even at stretched zooms. In addition, the S24 Ultra can shoot 4K video up to 120FPS, an upgrade from previous years. And the 12MP front-facing camera handles selfies.


Meanwhile, the S22 Ultra also features four cameras: a 108MP main shooter, a 10MP 10x periscope zoom, a 10MP 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide. Images in good lighting are poppy and saturated with good contrast. It’s still a flagship camera system, and while Samsung’s Galaxy AI won’t make it to the S22 Ultra, the company’s computational photography model does an excellent job on the S22 Ultra. It can capture video at 4K up to 60FPS, and a 40MP front-facing sensor handles selfie photos.

Which is right for you?

If you’re looking for the latest and greatest, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will satisfy you for years. It features the blazing Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Galaxy AI improvements, and seven years of software support. The price tag might give you pause, but the Galaxy S24 Ultra is the best you’ll find on the Android side in the US.

The S Pen, Front, and Back of the Galaxy S24 Ultra in Titanium Violet on a white background

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Editor’s choice

Best for Galaxy AI fans

$550 $1300 Save $750

Even though there’s an additional cost, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is a better choice when you consider the added benefits over the S22 Ultra. If you’re looking for years of software support and Galaxy AI enhancements, then the Galaxy S24 Ultra is worth the upgrade. Also, if you’re big on video, the added 4K capabilities are a big plus.

If you’re looking to save a few dollars, the S22 Ultra still has excellent performance and premium build quality for a fraction of what it cost when it came out two years ago. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is still capable of blazing through daily tasks, with plenty of power left over for gaming.

samsung-galaxy-s22-ultra-square

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Good alternative

Still a strong performer

$840 $1200 Save $360

Despite its age, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra still puts up a fight against the Galaxy S24 Ultra. It features a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED panel and plenty of raw power with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. If you’re looking to save a few dollars, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is still a good choice.

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