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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung revealed the Galaxy S22 series on 9 February and made them available on 25 February, with the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra marking the new flagship devices from the company.

For Galaxy Note fans, it's the Galaxy S22 Ultra that you'll likely be interested in though thanks to its built-in S Pen, stealing one of the key traits from the Note range that didn't see a new device in 2021.

So if you're in the market to replace your Galaxy Note, or you want to know what you can upgrade your Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra to, you're in the right place. Here is how the Galaxy S22 Ultra compares to the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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Design

  • Galaxy S22 Ultra: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm, 229g
  • Note 20 Ultra: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm, 208g, Gorilla Glass 7
  • Note 20: 161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm, 192g, polycarbonate back

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has an excellent design, offering a square look with curved edges that's similar - though fresher - to the Galaxy Note devices that have gone before it. 

You'll find the S Pen in the bottom right corner of the device, a punch hole camera in the centre at the top of the display and premium materials throughout. The rear camera lenses are positioned in the top left corner of the rear without a housing, making for the biggest difference in design compared to past Note devices.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is more similar in design to the Galaxy S22 Ultra than the Galaxy Note 20 is, offering a squarer look and curved edges. It also has a glass back like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, while the Galaxy Note 20 has a polycarbonate rear.

Both the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra have a centralised punch hole camera at the top of their displays and both offer a built-in S Pen. The rear camera housings are both positioned in the top left corner as an island with the lenses and flash module inside. Both devices are also IP68 water and dust resistant, which the S22 Ultra is too. 

In terms of size, the Galaxy S22 Ultra sits in the middle of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Note 20. It's thicker and heavier than both, but very close in size to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, with only a millimetre difference in terms of height and a fraction of a millimetre in terms of width.

Display

  • Galaxy S22 Ultra: 6.8-inch, 3080 x 1440 (498ppi), 1-120Hz
  • Note 20 Ultra: 6.9-inch, 3088 x 1440 pixel (496ppi), 120Hz
  • Note 20: 6.7-inch, 2400 x 1080 pixels (393ppi), 60Hz

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that offers a Quad HD+ resolution (3080 x 1440). There's an under-display fingerprint sensor and the Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with an adaptive refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a slightly larger display than the S22 Ultra at 6.9-inches and it too features a Quad HD+ resolution and an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, though it doesn't drop quite as low as the S22 Ultra. 

The Note 20 drops the display size down to 6.7-inches and the resolution down to Full HD+. It also has a lower refresh rate of 60Hz. It still offers the S Pen though and there's still an under-display fingerprint sensor, it's just not as flagship in terms of display as the S22 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra.

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Hardware and specs

  • Galaxy S22 Ultra: Qualcomm SD 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200, 8GB/12GB RAM, up to 1TB storage, 5000mAh, 5G
  • Note 20 Ultra: Qualcomm SD865 Plus/Exynos 990, 8GB/12GB RAM, up to 512GB storage, 4500mAh, LTE/5G
  • Note 20: Qualcomm SD865 Plus/Exynos 990, 8GB RAM, up to 256G storage, 4300mAh, LTE/5G

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra runs on the latest hardware, as you would expect. This sees the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset under the hood, or the Exynos 2200, depending on the region. 

There's then an 8GB RAM variant with 128GB of storage, or a 12GB of RAM variant that comes in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options. All models are 5G, with no LTE option.

Both the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 run on the same hardware as each other despite offering design and display differences. Region dependent again, the Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 offer either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus or the Exynos 990 under their hoods. 

There are LTE and 5G options of the Note 20 Ultra and Note 20. The Note 20 Ultra LTE model has 8GB of RAM and comes in 256GB and 512GB of storage. The Ultra 5G variant, meanwhile, comes with 12GB RAM and is offered in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage models, all of which have microSD. 

The LTE model of the Note 20 has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the 5G model also has 8GB of RAM but comes in storage options of 128GB and 256GB. None of the Note 20 models offer microSD support (only the Ultra does), nor do the S22 Ultra models. 

In terms of battery life, the S22 Ultra has a 5000mAh battery under its hood, which supports 45W fast charging, wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The Note 20 Ultra has a 4500mAh battery while the Note 20 has a 4300mAh battery.

Cameras

  • S22 Ultra
    • Main: 108MP, f/1.8 aperture, dual pixel autofocus (PDAF), optical stabilisation (OIS)
    • Wide (120 degrees): 12MP, f/2.2
    • Zoom (3x): 10MP, f/2.4, PDAF, OIS
    • Zoom (10x): 10MP, f/4.9, PDAF, OIS
  • Note 20 Ultra
    • Main: 108MP f/1.8
    • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2
    • Zoom: 12MP f/3.0 5x, 50X SpaceZoom
  • Note 20
    • Main: 12MP f/1.8
    • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2
    • Zoom: 64MP f/2.0 3x, 30X SpaceZoom

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the company's top-of-the-range device in terms of camera load out. It comes with a 108-megapixel main sensor with f/1.8 aperture, coupled with a 12-megapixel ultra wide angle sensor and two 10-megapixel telephoto sensors.

One of the telephoto sensors is capable of 3x optical zoom, while the other offers 10x optical zoom. The main sensor is also 23 per cent larger than the Galaxy S21 Ultra's main sensor so it should deliver great results. On the front, there is a 40-megapixel sensor. 

For the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, there's a triple rear camera system instead of a quad rear camera system like the S22 Ultra, and it offers a 108-megapixel main sensor (though older than the S22 Ultra), coupled with a 12-megapixel ultra wide sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor for 5x optical zoom and 50X Space Zoom.

The Galaxy Note 20 meanwhile, has a 12-megapixel main sensor, 12-megapixel ultra wide sensor and a 64-megapixel telephoto sensor that offers 3x optical zoom and 30x Space Zoom.

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Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the clear winner on paper between the three devices being compared here, though keep in mind that it is 18-months newer and there is a price tag attached to that. 

With the built-in S Pen, the S22 Ultra is an obvious upgrade choice for those with the Note 20 Ultra or the Note 20, especially as there isn't a newer Note alternative and you get the bump in processor, fresh design, improved camera and bump in battery.

The S22 Ultra doesn't have microSD support though so that's something you'll lose if you're moving from the Note 20 Ultra. Otherwise though, the S22 Ultra is looking like a solid upgrade, and a solid Galaxy Note alternative.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.