Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra, our S Pen-ed hopes

This year must have brought tears in many a Note 10 owners’ eyes, as for the first time in a decade Samsung didn’t release a new Note model to upgrade to, and even deprecated the model line altogether. 

Granted, those willing to upgrade their two-year old Notes had a choice of grabbing either the Galaxy S21 Ultra, or the Z Fold 3, both of which have active screen digitizer and support the S Pen. The big caveat, however, is that Samsung’s stylus support in those two comes without a stylus silo, so you had to carry the S Pen as a tack-on, which is far from an ideal solution.
Samsung listened, and is preparing to unleash the Galaxy S22 Ultra with a built-in stylus silo, and all the bells and whistles of a flagship Galaxy. A true Note but in name, it only makes sense to clash it with what would be a two-year removed Note 20 Ultra when the S22 Ultra lands next spring.

Samsung S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra price

The Galaxy S22 Ultra was said to keep its predecessor’s price of $1199.99, making it exactly as expensive as the Note 20 Ultra at launch. Since then, however, there has been speculation that it will arrive for a Benjamin more, so there might actually be a price difference between the two.

Something tells us that Samsung will either deprecate the Note 20 Ultra upon the S22 Ultra’s launch, like it did with the S20 series, or cut its price significantly to make it more competitive with what will be its flagship phone with a stylus silo then. Thus if the Note 20 Ultra stays on sale, it will probably have to dip well below the $1000 mark if it wants to stay competitive to the new kid on the S Pen block.

Moreover, the S22 Ultra is said to land with 256GB of base storage, making it an even more enticing proposition compared to the Note 20 Ultra for all upgraders or dormant Note line aficionados out there.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra design and displays

S Pen-ed to the gills

Perhaps the most striking fact about the Galaxy S22 Ultra is how Note-like it is going to be. Not only does it have an S Pen silo for the first time in the Galaxy S line series history, but it may also borrow the Note’s more angular design, distinguishing it from its S22 and S22+ siblings in more ways than one. Not only that, but with the S22 series Samsung will be returning to the 19.3:9 ratio that is uses for the Note 20 Ultra, so the two phones have very similar footprints save for the slightly smaller screen diagonal of the S22 Ultra, hence shorter body.

While the S22 Ultra may resemble the Note 20 Ultra in size and shape, flipping it over would quickly dissipate the semblance as it will reportedly feature a camera area without a camera island, but with a camera archipelago where each lens and sensor kit protrudes individually from the rear. We saw a similar design in the LG Velvet which called it “raindrop,” but on the S22 Ultra the cameras seemingly won’t be arranged in a descending order by size, as you can see in these concept image renders created by Technizo Concept (Parvez Khan).

Despite the aforementioned nudge of the S22 Ultra towards the Note line form factor, it should be available in Black, White, Burgundy Red, and Green at launch, colors that are rather different than the black, white, and bronze hues that the Note 20 Ultra came in. 

Turning the phone over will relieve another big difference that won’t be immediately visible – the displays. At first blush they’d be pretty similar – a 6.8″ 1440p 120Hz display on the S22 Ultra and a 6.9″ panel with the same specs on the Note – but they will be generation apart. 

Samsung will reportedly utilize the latest LTPO OLED screen technology on the S22 Ultra that will allow it to achieve not only more granular dynamic refresh rate adjustments, but also record brightness. The S22 Ultra is said to reach 1800 nits of peak brightness in high ambient light settings while watching HDR content, while the Note 20 Ultra tops out at 1500 nits. Score one for the S22 Ultra.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra camera

Score two for the S22 Ultra is its camera kit. Also scores three and four, as not only does it come with the latest generation of Samsung’s top-shelf 108MP sensor but also with both a 10x periscope zoom camera, and a 3x telephoto shooter. Not that the Note 20 Ultra’s 108MP main sensor and 5x periscope zoom are slouches, but it’s clear who will be the camera specs boss between the two S Pen-wielding warriors.

Still, Galaxy Note 20 Ultra performed admirably in our camera tests, so for general intents and purposes it should be a match for the S22 Ultra. When it comes to detail, magnification, and light sensitivity, though, the S22 Ultra may bend it to its will. 

Moreover, Samsung is allegedly preparing to employ a drastically (48%) improved image sensor stabilization that should aid in night shots and make it superior to the Note 20 Ultra when recording video footage.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra processor specs and performance


Being two-year removed from your competitor is putting the Note 20 Ultra at a great disadvantage in terms of processing power. With an aging 7nm Snapdragon 865+ chipset it will be no match for the 4nm Snapdragon 898 (1x 3GHz, 3x 2.5GHz, 4x 1.79GHz cores) that Samsung is preparing to employ on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The benchmarks are pretty clear, and Samsung won’t give it any chance in the memory department as well. 

Not only is the Galaxy S22 Ultra likely to sport the latest-gen LPDDR5X RAM memory that Samsung just announced, but it could also come with the double the base Note 20 Ultra storage at launch. Thus, we’ve no doubt who’d be the performance king in the great S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra stylus battle.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Note 20 Ultra battery life and charging speeds

The battery pack is the last area where Samsung’s S22 Ultra will have a definite advantage before the Note 20 Ultra. Not only is it slated for release with a larger, 5000mAh battery pack compared to the 4500mAh unit that is in the Note, but the more frugal processor and the next generation LTPO OLED screen could draw much less power from it in aggregate.

When it comes to charging, the S22 Ultra may have another advantage on paper. The Note 20 Ultra doesn’t support Samsung’s own 45W charger, while the S22 Ultra is rumored to add the faster charging feature back, but official specs are one thing, and the actual charging times another, despite the fact that the Note 20 Ultra will have the smaller battery.

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