Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra, our S Pen-ed hopes

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Thе year 2021 must have brought tears in many a Note 10 owners’ eyes, as for the first time in a decade Samsung didn’t release a new Note model to upgrade to, and even deprecated the model line altogether. 

Granted, those willing to upgrade their two-year old Notes had a choice of grabbing either the Galaxy S21 Ultra, or the Z Fold 3, both of which have active screen digitizer and support the S Pen. The big caveat, however, is that Samsung’s stylus support in those two comes without a silo, so you had to carry the S Pen as a case tack-on, which is far from an ideal solution.
Samsung listened, and is unleashing the Galaxy S22 Ultra with a built-in stylus silo, and all the bells and whistles of a flagship Galaxy. A true Note but in name, it only makes sense to clash it with what would be a two-year removed Note 20 Ultra.

Samsung S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra price

  • $1199.99 vs $899.99 (refurbished)

The Galaxy S22 Ultra keeps its predecessor’s price of $1199.99, making it exactly as expensive as the Note 20 Ultra at launch. There was speculation that the S22 Ultra may arrive for a $100 more than the S21 Ultra, reflecting the built-in silo, but it turned out premature.

Samsung deprecated the Note 20 Ultra upon the S22 Ultra’s launch, instead of cutting its price significantly to make it more competitive with what will be its flagship phone with a stylus silo now.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra design and displays

S Pen-ed to the gills

Perhaps the most striking fact about the Galaxy S22 Ultra is how Note-like its design is. Not only does it have an S Pen silo for the first time in the Galaxy S line series history, but it also borrows the Note’s more angular design, distinguishing it from its S22 and S22+ siblings in more ways than one. Moreover, with the S22 Ultra Samsung is returning to the 19.3:9 ratio that is uses for the Note 20 Ultra, so the two phones have very similar footprints save for the slightly smaller screen diagonal of the S22 Ultra, hence shorter body.

While the S22 Ultra may resemble the Note 20 Ultra in size and shape, flipping it over would quickly dissipate the semblance as it features a camera area without a camera island, but with a camera archipelago where each lens and sensor kit protrudes individually from the rear. We saw a similar design in the LG Velvet which called it “raindrop,” but on the S22 Ultra the cameras seemingly won’t be arranged in a descending order by size.

Despite the aforementioned nudge of the S22 Ultra towards the Note line form factor, it should be available in Black, White, Burgundy Red, and Green at launch, colors that are rather different than the black, white, and bronze hues that the Note 20 Ultra came in. 

Turning the phone over will relieve another big difference that won’t be immediately visible – the displays. At first blush they’d be pretty similar – a 6.8″ 1440p 120Hz display on the S22 Ultra and a 6.9″ panel with the same specs on the Note – but they are two generations apart, after all. 

Samsung is utilizing the latest LTPO OLED screen technology on the S22 Ultra that will allow it to achieve not only more granular, 1Hz-120Hz dynamic refresh rate adjustments, but also record brightness. The S22 Ultra is reaching 1750 nits of peak brightness in high ambient light settings while watching HDR content, while the Note 20 Ultra tops out at 1500 nits. Score one for the S22 Ultra.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra camera

Score two for the S22 Ultra is its camera kit. Also scores three and four, as not only does it come with the latest generation of Samsung’s top-shelf 108MP sensor but also with both a 10x periscope zoom camera, and a 3x telephoto shooter. Not that the Note 20 Ultra’s 108MP main sensor and 5x periscope zoom are slouches, but it’s clear who will be the camera specs boss between the two S Pen-wielding warriors.

Still, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra performed admirably in our camera tests, so for general intents and purposes it should be a match for the S22 Ultra. When it comes to detail, magnification, and light sensitivity, though, the S22 Ultra may bend it to its will. Here are some more Galaxy S22 Ultra cameras samples in different situations – night, daylight, zoom, selfies, and closeups – to gauge its camera performance.

Moreover, Samsung is employing a drastically (48%) improved image sensor stabilization that aids in night shots and make it superior to the Note 20 Ultra when recording video footage.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra processor specs and performance


Being two-year removed from your competitor is putting the Note 20 Ultra at a great disadvantage in terms of processing power. With an aging 7nm Snapdragon 865+ chipset it will be no match for the 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (1x 3GHz, 3x 2.5GHz, 4x 1.79GHz cores) or Exynos 2200 that Samsung is employing on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. 

The benchmarks of the Exynos 2200 model of the S22 Ultra here are pretty clear, and Samsung doesn’t give it any chance in the memory department as well. 


The Galaxy S22 Ultra is sporting the latest-gen LPDDR5X RAM memory that Samsung has, too, and up to 1TB maximum storage, so we’ve no doubts who can be proclaimed the performance king in the great S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra stylus battle.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra battery life and charging speeds

The battery pack is the last area where Samsung’s S22 Ultra has a definite advantage before the Note 20 Ultra. Not only is it releasing with a larger, 5000mAh battery pack compared to the 4500mAh unit that is in the Note, but the more frugal processor and the next generation LTPO OLED screen draw much less power from it in aggregate. Thus, it was easy for the S22 Ultra to post battery benchmark scores way ahead of the Note 20 Ultra in all three of out tests – 120Hz browsing, YouTube video streaming, and 3D gaming, aided by the frugality of the AMD graphics subsystem in our Exynos 2200 chipset model.

When it comes to charging, the S22 Ultra has another advantage. The Note 20 Ultra doesn’t support Samsung’s own 45W charger, while the S22 Ultra is rumored to add the faster charging feature back, but official specs are one thing, and the actual charging times another, despite the fact that the Note 20 Ultra has the smaller battery. 

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