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Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra replaces the Galaxy Note, Galaxy Tab S8 goes bigger

Samsung has announced the much-anticipated Galaxy S22 ultra lineup of phones with a built-in S-Pen, as part of its Unpacked 2022 event.

samsung galaxy s22 ultraSamsung unveils new Galaxy S22 Ultra with S-Pen, jumbo-sized Tab S8 Ultra. (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung has announced the much-anticipated Galaxy S22 Ultra, its latest flagship Android smartphone with a built-in S Pen stylus. With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung is folding the iconic Note line with the Galaxy S-series, marking the end of the Note franchise as we know it. Merging the Galaxy Note and S lines will give Samsung an edge over rivals and justify the high price it charges for its flagship smartphones.

Unveiled during Wednesday’s virtual Unpacked event, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is seen as an answer to Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max and OnePlus 10 Pro. The top-of-the-line smartphone from Samsung has a new design with boxy edges, resembling a Galaxy Note device. Perhaps the biggest change in the Galaxy S22 Ultra is an included stylus.

Last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first Galaxy S-series phone to support the S-Pen, but there was no place to store the stylus and you had to buy it separately. The inclusion of the S-Pen means the Galaxy S22 Ultra becomes more suitable for creative and productivity-oriented tasks. With reduced latency, the S-Pen feels more natural when used for tasks like drawing and taking notes.

samsung galaxy s22 ultra s-pen

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The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a built-in compartment to store the S-Pen. (Image credit: Samsung)The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 6.8-inch screen with a dynamic AMOLED panel and a 120Hz refresh rate. That would make it roughly the same size as the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Weighing 229g, with dimensions of 77.9mm x 163.3mm x 8.9mm, the S22 Ultra is built like a tank. For toughness and durability, the phone uses Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the front and back. The rear panel has four lenses protruding out independently from each other.

Samsung uses both its own Exynos chipset and Qualcomm’s processors in its phone, and this year won’t be different. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is powered by Samsung’s new Exynos 2200 processor, a brand new chip that has been built in collaboration with AMD. The chip has a new graphics processing unit (GPU), which the company claims will bring a big boost to gaming and overall graphics performance.

Other markets, meanwhile, are likely to get a variant with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. The Galaxy Note S22 Ultra comes with a 5000mAh battery and 45W fast charging.

samsung galaxy s22 ultra camera Low-light photography on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. (Image credit: Samsung)

The more expensive Galaxy S22 Ultra will have four cameras on the back- a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 108MP wide camera and two 10MP telephoto lenses. A 40MP camera adorns the front side of the smartphone. Samsung said the cameras on the S22 Ultra are more intelligent and work even better in low-light, especially during recording videos.

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The base model of the Galaxy S22 Ultra will come with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Other options include a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, another one with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, and a pricier version with 12GB RAM and 1TB of storage. The Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1199 and is available for pre-order in the US.

Galaxy S22 and S22+ aimed at mainstream users

samsung galaxy s22, samsung galaxy s22+, The Galaxy S22 and S22+ side-by-side comparison. (Image credit: Samsung)

The top-end Galaxy S22 Ultra joins the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus. Both models are geared towards mainstream smartphone users who want the latest features, but don’t intend to pay the premium high price for the S22 Ultra. The phones have different screen sizes but share the same specifications. These phones will be slightly better than the existing S21 variant and will improve the overall experience. The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus are priced at $799 and $999, respectively.

New Galaxy S8 tablet series to take on iPad

In response to the iPad and iPad Pro, Samsung will challenge Apple with three new tablets in its Galaxy Tab S8 series: the Galaxy Tab S8, S8 Plus, and S8 Ultra. Out of the three, Galaxy S8 Ultra has a huge 14.6-inch screen with a 2960 x 1848 resolution, making it bigger in screen size compared to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

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The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra features a huge 14.6-inch screen with a 2960 s 1848 resolution. (Image credit: Samsung)

Meanwhile, the Tab S8 will be the smallest of the trio with an 11-inch screen and a 2560 x 1600 resolution; the Tab S8 Plus is the middle one with a 12.4-inch screen and a 2800 x 1752 resolution. The Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and S8 Ultra use an OLED display, while the regular Tab S8 model features an LCD display.

samsung galaxy tab s8 The Galaxy Tab S8 is available in three colours – Pink gold, Silver, and Graphite. (Image credit: Samsung)

All three tablets are powered by a 4nm 64-bit octa-core processor, with support for Wi-Fi 6E and 45-watt fast charging. The new and improved S Pen stylus that “uses a prediction algorithm for ultra-low latency,” comes inside the box.

A keyboard cover mimicking that of Apple and Microsoft’s covers for the iPad Pro and Surface lines will also be offered alongside the new tablets. The Galaxy Tab S8 starts at $699, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus at $899 and the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has a starting price of $1099.

Intense competition in the high-end smartphone space

The announcements came at Samsung’s biggest marketing event, where it unveiled its flagship-grade smartphones, showcasing an aggressive approach to take on the competition. Samsung has been under intense pressure from Apple as well as Chinese smartphone makers like OnePlus, Realme and Xiaomi. Its main challenger in the premium smartphone market continues to be Apple, which is undercutting the South Korean maker in India, where the iPhone-maker offers deep discounts on both new and old models.

Apple, compared to Samsung, is a small player in India’s smartphone market but it absolutely dominates the top-end segment. Analysts believe Samsung has made the right decision to merge the Note line with the S-series. Given that sales of the Galaxy S21 series were lacklustre and the ongoing chip shortage is far from over, combining the Note and S series lines will only help Samsung streamline its flagship smartphone offering which is already very crowded.

First published on: 09-02-2022 at 08:50:30 pm
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