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Galaxy S22 Ultra rumors: What we’re heard about Samsung’s next high-end phone

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Samsung has not been launched a new Galaxy Note since 2020, but that does not mean fans should lose hope. With rumors suggesting that there is a built-in stylus and a giant screen waiting for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung next advanced phone could be the Note successor we have been waiting for. That is, of course, if the rumors and reports turn out to be true.

We'll have to wait until Samsung announces what's expected Galaxy S22 lineup to know what the new Ultra phone has to offer. That message should not be too far off considering Galaxy S21 series debuted about a year ago in January 2021.

Here is everything we expect to see from Galaxy S22 Ultra based on rumors and leaks. In addition to the features mentioned below, we also expect the S22 Ultra to support both versions of 5G, like its predecessor. For a broader overview of what we can see from the entire Galaxy series, check out ours Galaxy S22 rumored roundup.

A Note-like design with a giant screen and built-in stylus

Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra may get a new design with boxed edges that are more reminiscent of the Note series. This is according to a number of leaks, including Pictures from the Indian tech site Digit and the well-known delicious Steven Hemmerstoffer, better known under his Twitter alias @OnLeaks. A similar design is visible in a reportedly leaked advertising poster for the new phone released by LetsGoDigital and images from tech blog 91Mobiles.

For the sake of comparison, here is a picture of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

But perhaps the biggest feature that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to inherit from the note is an included stylus. The images from Digit show a slot for Samsung's S Pen stylus, and the reproductions published by LetsGoDigital and 91Mobiles also have the pen pictured next to the phone.

If you need more evidence to suggest that the S22 Ultra comes with an S Pen and a new note-like design, check out these videos from inhibitors and the YouTube channel Unbox Therapy, both of which claim to feature Samsung Galaxy S22 Series dummy devices. (The Unbox Therapy video was removed and re-uploaded to another channel.)

The Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first Galaxy S phone to support the S Pen, but there is no place to store the pen and you need to purchase it separately. Based on the leak, it sounds like Samsung may change that by including the S Pen in the box this year and adding a storage space to the phone itself.

Following in the footsteps of the S21 Ultra and S20 Ultra, the S22 Ultra is expected to be the biggest phone in Samsung's new lineup. The Galaxy S22 Ultra could have a 6.8-inch screen with a dynamic AMOLED panel, according to a leak from the offer page MySmartPrice and the delicious Ishan Agarwal. That would make it roughly the same size as the current Galaxy S21 Ultra. Like its predecessor, it must also be able to turn the screen's refresh rate up to 120Hz.

A new P-shaped camera bump with better zoom

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra (pictured) has a rectangular camera cutout, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra (not pictured) is rumored to have a P-shaped camera module.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you've seen the leaked photos above, you've probably noticed another eye-catching feature: a new P-shaped camera bump. If the leak turns out to be accurate, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will have a redesigned camera module with multiple lenses. While the lenses of the current Galaxy S21 Ultra are housed in a rectangular device, the leak suggests that Samsung could opt for a P-shaped camera cutout on the S22 Ultra.

But one of the biggest improvements we expect to see in the S22 Ultra's camera comes down to its zoom features. According to Ice Universe (via SamMobile), another reputable leak, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will have an enhanced periscope camera lens capable of continuous zoom. This should result in sharper images compared to the fixed camera lenses on the S21 Ultra.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to come with a quad-dual-lens main camera just like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but reports are mixed about the resolution of its telephoto lenses. A separate post from Ice Universe (via GSM Arena) indicates that the S22 Ultra comes with a 108-megapixel main lens, 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and two 12-megapixel telephoto lenses. Meanwhile, the leak from MySmartPrice and Agarwal suggests that the two telephoto lenses will have a 10 megapixel sensor instead.

In addition to the camera specifications, MySmartPrice and Agarwal also speculate that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will come in four colors: white, black, burgundy and green.

Processor, battery life and other important details

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Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Samsung usually uses its own Exynos chips and Qualcomm's processors in its phones, depending on the region, and it's likely to do the same this year. If the Galaxy S22 Ultra runs on Samsung's new Exynos 2200 processor, it could be a gaming powerhouse. The chip includes a brand new graphics processing unit, which it built in collaboration with AMD, which the company claims will bring a big boost to gaming and the overall graphics performance.

Other markets are likely to get a version of the S22 Ultra running on Qualcomm's latest processor. This is likely to mean that the US version of the S22 series will run on Qualcomm's recently announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which the chip maker says should bring improvements such as the ability to record 8K video at 30 frames per second and 30% faster graphics reproduction.

When it comes to battery life, the S22 Ultra is expected to have a lot in common with its predecessor. The S22 Ultra will reportedly have a 5,000 mAh battery, just like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, according to the MySmartPrice leak, and 45-watt fast charging.

Samsung's Ultra phones also typically contain more memory and storage space than their cheaper siblings. If Samsung keeps the same approach as last year, the cheapest version of the S22 Ultra will likely come with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Other options will include a model with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space and an advanced version with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage space.

Release date and price

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Galaxy S21 Ultra (front) and Galaxy S21 (back).

Sarah Tew / CNET

We do not know when Samsung will release the Galaxy S22 series or how much the new phones will cost. Samsung announced Galaxy S21 lineup in mid-January last year, but the Galaxy S20 family debuted in February 2020, while the Galaxy S10 series came in February 2019. Although the timing varies, there is a chance that Samsung can continue this pattern and announce its new phones in February.

In terms of pricing, we can expect the Galaxy S22 Ultra to be the most expensive phone in Samsung's new lineup. What is less clear is exactly how much it would cost. The Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at $ 1,200 without a device swap, so Samsung could offer the S22 Ultra at a similar price.

All in all, the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks set to become a viable successor to Samsung's popular Galaxy Note. It may also make it easier for Samsung to distinguish Ultra from the regular Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, though we do not know for sure until Samsung comes out with an announcement.

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