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Comparison Samsung S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

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Now that the Samsung Galaxy Note series is officially no more, is this really RIP for the Samsung Galaxy Note? We’re going to be comparing the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, to really see how much of the Note DNA is still in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, what all the key differences are, including camera samples, and to answer the question, should you upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra? So, Let’s Compare S22 Ultra vs Note20 Ultra.

Design Difference S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

So, let’s kick off with the design. You’ll immediately notice, that we do have similar designs, with both having squared-off edges to give you somewhat of a notepad look. And we also have these curved sides on the front and back.

The biggest design difference, really, is with the cameras. We’ve got this camera module with a camera bump on the Note20 Ultra. On the S22 Ultra, we do have this new design with individual camera rings. Now, the Note20 Ultra camera module does protrude more compared to the rings on the S22 Ultra, and overall, I have to say that I do like the design of both devices, but I do prefer this new look on the S22 Ultra, although these individual camera rings do gather some more dust around the edges.

Color Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Now, the Note20 Ultra is available in three different colors. A mystic bronze, a black, as well as white. This mystic bronze has a matte finish, which is my favorite. The black and the white have glossy finishes. With the S22 Ultra, we’ve got a matte finish across the board. We’ve got a phantom black, a phantom white, a burgundy, as well as green. Now there are also three additional exclusive colors available from We’ve got graphite, sky blue, and red. So, you do get more options on the S22 Ultra, and I would say that the design overall has now been improved.

Dimension Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Now, there are some minor size differences. So, the Note20 Ultra is slightly taller compared to the S22 Ultra. However, the S22 Ultra is slightly wider, and thicker. It also weighs more compared to the Note20 Ultra. And I got to say, overall, the Note20 Ultra is more comfortable because of that lighter weight.

It was quite refreshing to see something this light for its screen size. However, this is because it’s got a smaller battery. We’ll be talking about the batteries a little bit later.

Protection Difference  S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Both devices do have IP68 water and dust resistant rating, which is great considering that they have an S Pen, and both are also very premium. We’ve got an aluminum frame, with Gorilla Glass panels on the front and back. So, on the Note20 Ultra, we do have Gorilla Glass Victus. The S22 Ultra has the improved Gorilla Glass Victus+, which is supposedly 12.5% more durable.

Now, I have no idea how they’ve reached this number. I’m not somebody who does drop tests, so I’m not going to drop these devices to find out, but generally speaking, both of these are going to be quite durable. I’ve had my Note20 Ultra for about a year and a half now, and it’s been absolutely fine.

s22-ultra-vs note-20 ultra

Image Source: SuperSaf

Display Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Right, now let’s turn these around, and take a look at the displays. So, at a glance, both of these look pretty much identical from the front. We’ve got similar size bezels, with an Infinity-O punch out, and both devices are using dynamic AMOLED 2X technology.

However, there are lots of big improvements on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. So, the first thing I want to say is that the Note20 Ultra still has an excellent display, and it still holds up, even a year and a half on. However, although it does have a Quad HD+ resolution, you can only have this resolution at 60Hz. You can’t have it at its maximum 120Hz. If you do switch to 120Hz, then you’ll only be able to use full HD+ resolution.

On the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, you can have the maximum sharpness, with the maximum smoothness. So, you can have the full Quad HD+ resolution, with 120Hz. The reason for this is that we now have LTPO technology, which allows the refresh rate to be adaptive and go all the way down to just 1Hz.

So, when we have static content on screen, like so, then on the S22 Ultra, it can refresh just one time per second, making it a lot more efficient, and allowing it to have that much higher resolution.

The Note20 Ultra has a peak brightness of 1500nits, which is actually really high, even if we compare it to much of the competition in 2022. The S22 Ultra actually takes that step further, with a peak brightness of 1750nits, making it the brightest display on the smartphone market right now.

So, overall, some big improvements here, for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra display compared to that of the Note20 Ultra, which is still a very good display. Now, while we’re on the topic of displays, both devices do have an Ultrasonic In-display Fingerprint scanner.

However, on the S22 Ultra, we do have the Gen 2 Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor, which is around 1.7x larger, and around 50% faster. Now, side by side, it’s very difficult to tell a difference, but I have to say, after using these for some time, I do get fewer failures on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, compared to the Note20 Ultra.


Image Source: SuperSaf

Camera Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

So, cameras. Now, we actually have some significant improvements across the board for the cameras. Let’s initially start off with the selfie cameras. The S22 Ultra does have a higher resolution, although you’ll still be shooting at around 10MP which allows you to have larger pixel sizes.

And the biggest improvement that I’ve noticed is when it comes to colors. This is something that Samsung has improved massively.

On the Note20 Ultra, you do get images that are quite washed out and bright. However, with the S22 Ultra, you can choose between natural and bright selfies, and natural selfies just give you much better colors, and the selfies are also much sharper.

Now, for the rear-facing cameras. On paper, things might not seem massively improved, but let me break all of these down. So, both devices do have 12MP Ultra Wide cameras, a 108MP primary camera.

The Note20 Ultra has a single zoom camera. This will give you a 5x periscope zoom. The S22 Ultra has two zoom cameras as the S21 Ultra did. So, we’ve got one at 3x, as well as a 10x periscope zoom camera. So, with the Ultra-Wide camera in good light, I think the Note20 still holds up.

But the biggest advantage that you’ve got on the Ultra-Wide camera of the S22 Ultra is that it does now have Dual Pixel autofocus. This allows it to refocus for macro photography, so you’ll be able to get in very close to your subjects, and get some interesting shots, which you can’t do on the Note20 Ultra.

For the primary camera, you now have larger pixels, and again, in good light, you might not be able to tell them apart too much, but the S22 Ultra does have a wider field of view, and when it comes to low-light photography, it takes much less time for you to take low-light shots, compared to that on the Note20 Ultra.

And in very tricky low-light situations, you can get much brighter and sharper images, on the S22 Ultra, compared to the Note20 Ultra. Now, when it comes to zoom, at 3x you will get better and sharper results on the S22 Ultra because you do have the optical zoom at 3x, whereas the Note20 Ultra will be digitally zooming at 3x.

However, at 5x, the Note20 Ultra is going to perform better, and that’s because we’ve got optical zoom at 5x, whereas we’ll have a bit of digital zoom on the S22 Ultra. However, anything at 10x and above, the S22 Ultra is just going to give you a much better result.

At 10x, although the Note20 Ultra isn’t doing too bad, because of that native periscope optical zoom on the S22 Ultra, you’re just getting a much sharper result. We can also compare them at around 30x, and again, the S22 Ultra is just giving you a much cleaner result.

The Note20 Ultra maxes out at 50x zoom, but you can go all the way up to 100x zoom on the S22 Ultra. Now, I’m not sure why you’d want to do that, because it can get pretty creepy when you are at 100x zoom, but when it comes to extended zoom, clearly, we’ve got some big improvements here on the S22 Ultra.

Another big advantage I noticed was in the way of portrait mode as well. So, with the S22 Ultra, Samsung is using new AI depth-mapping technology, which gives you some amazing edges. So, I got to say, the S22 Ultra has some big improvements compared to the Note20 Ultra, which still takes very good images.

There are also improvements in the way of video. So, both devices can format 8K up to 24FPS, but the Note20 Ultra, you can only do 4K 60FPS from the front-facing camera and the primary camera. On the S22 Ultra, you can film at 4K 60FPS, across all of the cameras. You also have some new video features, including auto framing. This will allow you to track subjects within your frame, without actually having to touch the camera. This actually works pretty well. It’s not something that I can see myself using. Now, one of the reasons why we’ve got all of these new camera features is also thanks to the new image signal processors that come with the new chipsets.

Processor  Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

So, the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra comes with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ or the Exynos 990 chipset. Now, generally speaking, in terms of performance, it still does hold up, and it pretty much handles everything that I throw at it.

However, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra does come with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, or the Samsung Exynos 2200. Now, side by side, it can be quite difficult to really see massive differences, but if you do have the S22 Ultra, it is going to last you longer, and it’s going to perform better over time, especially with software updates.

And speaking of software updates, Samsung has actually been really good with software updates, and I have got the Android 12 Samsung UI 4.0 update on my Note20 Ultra right now.

The S22 Ultra does come with the latest out-of-the-box One UI 4.1, and because it is the new device, it is going to have software support for a longer period of time, compared to the Note20 Ultra, of course.

S Pen Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Right, now let’s talk about what makes the Note series unique, and that is the S Pen. And this is something that you still have on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s enclosed within the device. You’re not going to have to get it separately like you had to do on the S21 Ultra.

So, the S Pens are pretty much identical in size. However, we do have a matte finish on the S22 Ultra, whereas we’ve got more of a glossy finish on the Note20 Ultra. I do prefer the matte finish. And if you must know, yes, you can use the S22 Ultra pen with the Note20 Ultra, and vice versa.

They both do support Bluetooth, which means that you can have certain controls with the S Pens remotely, such as using the S Pen button as a remote trigger, which I think is quite useful.

However, as expected, we do have some improvements for the S Pen on the S22 Ultra, the biggest one being is the latency. It is now down to just 2.8ms from 9ms on the Note20 Ultra. How much of a difference does that make?

Well, unless you are actually comparing them side to side, I don’t think you’re going to notice a massive difference, because 9ms is still really low, but the S22 Ultra also now has handwriting recognition support for up to 88 languages, which is 12 more than before, and we also have collaboration view. So, if you do have the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, you’ll be able to sync your S22 Ultra with it.

And say, for instance, you have your canvas, you can have your different color swatches and things here on the S22 Ultra. And realistically speaking, the S Pen is the reason why I would argue that the S22 Ultra is essentially a Note device with a different name.

Speakers Comparison S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Now, both devices do have stereo speakers. We’ve got one in the earpiece, and one bottom-firing. And to me, they sound really, really good. I can’t notice a huge deal of difference. I do think that the S22 Ultra is slightly louder.

Battery Comparison  S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

And now let’s talk about batteries and battery life. So, the S22 Ultra does have a larger battery, compared to the Note20 Ultra. This is one of the reasons why it’s slightly wider and slightly thicker, and in my experience, it does give you better battery life.

So, the Note20 Ultra, I got to say, is pretty good in terms of battery life. I’d be averaging around five hours of screen-on time. On the S22 Ultra, I’m getting six hours plus. So, I’d say you’ll be getting around 20% better battery life on the S22 Ultra, thanks to that larger battery size, and more of the efficiencies with the new chipsets.

And when it comes to charging, both devices still support the same speed of wireless charging, which is at 15W. Both devices also support Wireless PowerShare, reverse wireless charging, where you can charge things like earbuds on the back of the Note20 Ultra, as well as the S22 Ultra.

However, the S22 Ultra does support faster 45W charging, compared to 25W charging on the Note20 Ultra. But there is, of course, a catch. The S22 Ultra unfortunately does not come with a charger out of the box. The Note20 Ultra does.

Comparison Samsung S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra

Now, the charger is something Samsung decided not to include from the S21 series going forward. I know this is quite unfortunate for a lot of people, and this is an advantage that you get on the Note20 Ultra.

S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra Storage Comparison

And that brings me to the different storage sizes because there’s also another advantage that the Note20 Ultra has. So, both devices do come in either 128, 256, or 512GB variants. The S22 Ultra is also available in a massive 1TB version as well.

But the key thing to note is that you cannot expand the storage on the S22 Ultra, because there is no microSD card slot. The Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra does have a microSD card slot, so, if you did get, say, the 512GB version, you could get a terabyte microSD card, and you could actually have more storage compared to the S22 Ultra.

I’m not really sure what you’re going to do with all of that storage, but, hey, you have the option if you want. Now, this in itself might be a big deciding factor for some people I know, which is kind of why I left it all the way to the end, but essentially, it comes down to how much expandable storage really means to you.

S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra Price Comparison

Finally, let’s talk about pricing. So, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra actually starts at a lower base price compared to what the Note20 Ultra started at launch. With the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, because it has been out for roughly a year and a half, you can get it for around about 800 pounds here in the UK, or between 800 to $850 in the US. It’s not available directly from the Samsung website, as far as I can see, but I’ve had a look at some of the latest Amazon prices. So, to answer the questions.

In my opinion, the S22 Ultra is still a Note, out and out, and it still has the Note DNA. And if you are somebody that was on the Note20 Ultra, I actually think the S22 Ultra is a good upgrade, with its improved cameras, its improved display, the updated S Pen, the improved internals, and the better battery life.

Read Also: iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Samsung S22 Ultra

However, you no longer get a charger included out of the box, and you no longer get expandable memory, which I know is something that’s quite important to a lot of people. So, if you are one of those people, and you still have a Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, and it’s doing fine for you, I think you can still hold onto it for at least another year or two.

And if you’re somebody that’s thinking of buying either the Note20 Ultra or the S22 Ultra, if you do go with the Note20 Ultra, you’ll be saving a bit of money, and you’ll be getting that expandable memory. However, with some of the pre-orders, Samsung is offering right now, I personally would be tempted more towards going for the S22 Ultra.

That’s what I think anyway, what do you guys think? Do drop me a comment below, and let me know your thoughts. I hope you enjoyed this review and found it useful.

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