Samsung's S21 Ultra was released a year ago and two significant aspects of that release were the S Pen support and $200 price drop from previous flagship releases. The launch price is the same, but the S Pen is now fully integrated with a silo and S Pen in the retail package.
Other than improved S Pen integration, are there other specifications or features that might compel you to upgrade? If you are considering an upgrade, I recommend you take advantage of the pre-order launch specials and generous trade-in offers since it is always best for the customer to buy a Samsung phone before the official launch date. We have the S22 Ultra in hand and are trying to decide if its worth selling an iPhone 13 Pro Max to purchase the S22 Ultra.
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If you own a Note 20 Ultra from 2020, then I think the answer about upgrading is much clearer for you as the S22 Ultra offers an overall better experience in every way except for the microSD card slot. However, if you have a S21 Ultra, the answer is not so clear. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor proved to be a fantastic processor and we have yet to see the impact of the new Qualcomm processor on battery life and performance. The annual upgrade cycle is harder to justify when the S21 Ultra is still perfectly capable at excelling in so many ways.
Tale of the tape
Specifications don't provide the complete picture regarding the capabilities of a smartphone, but they are useful for comparison purposes and to provide you with an indication of what each device offers.
|Feature||Galaxy S22 Ultra||Galaxy S21 Ultra|
| Display size || 6.8 inches || 6.8 inches |
| Processor || Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 || Snapdragon 888 |
| Dimensions || 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm || 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm |
| Weight || 229g || 229g |
| RAM || 8/12GB || 12/16GB |
| Internal storage || 128/256/512GB/1TB || 128/256/512GB |
| Battery capacity || 5000mAh || 5000mAh |
| Rear cameras || Four: 10MP tele (10x), 10MP tele (3x), 108MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide || Four: 10MP tele (10x), 10MP tele (3x), 108MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide |
| Front cameras || One 40MP || One 40MP |
| Other || Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus || Contour Cut camera array |
Both Samsung devices have an adaptive 120MHz refresh rate display, fast wireless charging, IP68 dust/water resistance, wireless powershare capability, UWB, and 5G. The battery capacity, weight, and camera hardware specs are also all the same between these two devices. The S22 Ultra includes the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and newer materials.
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If you never use the S Pen on the S21 Ultra, then there is even less reason to consider an upgrade. If the S Pen is an essential part of your daily routine, then having a silo and S Pen included in the S22 Ultra may be all that you need to justify the upgrade.
We will continue to use the S22 Ultra here at ZDNet in the coming weeks so stay tuned for more coverage on the camera performance, S Pen, and more.