While Apple is legendary for its ability to keep a secret, not so much for Android smartphone makers. So much information had leaked about Samsung’s new Galaxy S22 series smartphones over the past few months that last week’s official unveiling was the definition of anticlimactic.
The Galaxy S22 smartphones offer a stunning array of new calling and imaging features, but they also mark the official end of the line for Samsung’s Note brand, once the flagship of Samsung’s lineup. Aside from being huge, Notes were notable for the sophisticated styli that came with them—the Samsung S-Pen, which offers multiple control and editing features, some of which work without even touching the pen to the screen.
With powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processors, 5G network compatibility and sophisticated cameras with enhanced night photography features, the Samsung Galaxy S22 (6.1-inch display) and Galaxy S22+ (6.6-inch screen) represent impressive additions to the Galaxy S series. However, the top-of-the-line Galaxy S22 Ultra (6.8-inch screen) adds something the Galaxy S series has never had: the S-Pen. Even the unit’s official page refers to its “Note-worthy new look.”
The S-Pen works with a Sketch app which can quickly transform writing into text that can be imported into other apps. The slim S-Pen can detect 4,096 pressure levels, thus enabling it to change the thickness of virtual ink depending on the pressure applied to the screen.
The 8-ounce Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a 40-megapixel (MP) front camera while the rear camera array includes a 108MP wide-angle, a 12MP ultra-wide, a 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom and another 10MP telephoto with 10x optical zoom. Its 6.8-inch, 1,440-by-3,088-pixel, 120Hz display is actually smaller than the 6.9-inch screen with the same resolution in the 2020-vintage Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but the net result is a slightly sharper screen.
The end of the Note line may have started in August 2016 with the debut of the Note 7, which quickly gained notoriety for the frequency with which its batteries would ignite due to an internal design flaw. Things got so bad that the US Department of Transportation banned it from all flights and Samsung ultimately recalled all Note 7s worldwide. Later Notes fared much better, but the bruise to the brand took time to heal.
While the Note smartphone brand will fade into history, its features—including its hefty price tag—will live on. The $1,199 Galaxy S22 Ultra can be preordered now and will ship Feb. 25.
My tech tips appear regularly in Sree's Sunday Note.
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