Samsung goes Ultra with new Galaxy S22 phone and Galaxy Tab S8 tablet

Bob O'Donnell

Posts: 40   +1
Staff member
Highly anticipated: With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung is finally merging the company’s Note line with its Galaxy S line. Meanwhile, the Tab S8 Ultra ships with the largest display (and smallest bezel size) of any previous tablet at 14.6", giving it a floating screen-type design.

In an era when annual product refreshes are to be expected, probably one of the hardest things for any tech company to do is generate excitement for its latest round. Inevitably, there’s discussion about the more incremental changes that happen from year to year instead of big explosive additions in capabilities, technology, and usability.

On many levels, you could certainly make those arguments for Samsung’s latest refresh of its Galaxy S series phones and Tab series tablets. Several of the improvements in the 2022 versions of these products (including AI-based image processing, enhancements to night-time photography, and more) are clearly building on existing capabilities.

But this year, Samsung had an extra trick to pull out of its hat in the form of the Ultra editions of both the S22 and the Tab 8 that make them stand out.

In the case of the phone, Samsung is using the Galaxy S22 Ultra debut to merge the company’s Note line with its Galaxy S line. On the tablet side, the Tab S8 Ultra's 14.6" AMOLED screen is by far the largest display (and smallest bezel size) of any previous tablet, giving it a floating screen-type design that makes it uniquely well-qualified for immersive media consumption, more impactful videoconferencing, and more.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra form factor combination had been expected for some time (and telegraphed by Samsung on multiple occasions), nevertheless, finally seeing a refined S-Pen being slotted into the body of an S series design provides a distinct demarcation and the fulfillment of the original “phablet” concept. In a single design, the company managed to integrate the large, high-resolution screen and slim shape of the slab phone format with the pen-driven capabilities of the phablet. In many ways, it’s the penultimate, or dare I say “ultra” version of what a traditional phone design can be.

It also raises questions about where that form factor can go from here. However, we’ve already seen where Samsung expects to take phones with its various foldable designs, including the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, all of which are starting to seep into the mainstream. Thinking about how the company ends up merging some of the capabilities of the new S/Note combo with foldables provide some intriguing thoughts for the future.

In the meantime, there’s plenty to appreciate about what Samsung has done with the S22 Ultra. For starters, the new flagship has the largest image sensor on its primary camera that Samsung has ever used, giving it the ability to capture and process even higher quality images.

On the connectivity side, the company has made several notable enhancements, including improved 5G and WiFi capabilities. The 5G enhancements come thanks to the integration of Qualcomm’s X65 modem RF system and on the S22, the Fast Connect 6900 provides improved WiFi. In addition, all the new phones and tablets in the US, as well as several other markets around the world, are powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The X65 5G modem is going to be essential for taking advantage of some of the faster potential download speeds with 5G carrier aggregation (the ability to combine, or aggregate, the data bandwidth across multiple sets of different frequencies) as well as newly deployed frequencies that US carriers plan to start enabling later this year.

On both the S22 Ultra and S22+, Samsung has added support for WiFi 6E offering the potential for significantly faster speeds and lower congestion when paired with a WiFi 6E-capable router. And on the S22, which doesn’t support WiFi 6E, Qualcomm’s FastConnect 6900 offers a new four-stream dual-band simultaneous option that basically lets several channels of WiFi data be sent on different frequencies at the same time. In many ways, it’s conceptually similar to what carrier aggregation can do for 5G—but it does so with WiFi connections.

The new line of Tab S8 tablets also include connectivity and audio enhancements, incorporate four different speakers, and support Dolby Atmos to make the content watching experience more impactful. For videoconferencing purposes, the Tab S8’s include three noise-cancelling microphones and higher resolution cameras. The tablets also include the ability to automatically track a person as they walk around a room.

In addition, as a great example of how Samsung has worked to make its devices work together better, a new version of the company’s Dex technology lets a Tab S8 be used as a wireless touchscreen monitor for a connected PC or phone in either widescreen or portrait mode. While that might seem like a minor detail on its own, it is reflective of efforts we’re seeing the company make to drive a better overall experience for what it likes to call the Galaxy ecosystem. We’re at a stage where multiple companies are finally starting to get their devices to work together more effectively—and Samsung has a nice example through an art application developed with a partner called Clip Studio Paint, in which your smartphone functions as a digital pallet, your tablet as a digital canvas, and the S-pen as the digital paintbrush that works between the two. Expect a whole lot more of these types of cross-device experiences to come from many more vendors over the next few years.

Multiple companies are finally starting to get their devices to work together more effectively—and Samsung has a nice example through an art application developed with a partner called Clip Studio Paint, in which your phone functions as a digital pallet, your tablet as a digital canvas, and the S-pen as the digital paintbrush that works between the two. Expect a lot more of this type of cross-device experiences to come from more vendors over the next few years.

Maintaining annual product refresh cycles is certainly no easy task, and it’s easy to see why some people don’t track them as closely as they used to. This time, Samsung has been able to make some notable enhancements, particularly on its high-end Ultra for the 2022 models. The company also acknowledged the reality of longer lifetimes for mobile devices by noting that these devices will be supported through at least four versions of Android.

That’s a longer commitment than it's made in the past and a sign that the incremental performance improvements that happen in year-over-year comparisons have likely slowed the rate of upgrades. Acknowledging that reality—which, by the way, is equally as true for iPhone buyers as it is for Samsung and other Android phone purchasers—is simply part of how vendors need to think about their product plans moving forward. It’s also something we’ll likely see for many years to come.

Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter .

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,520   +5,928
This....really doesnt tell us anything. Kinda dissapointed techspot left out so much detail.

Four speakers? dolby atmos? microphone array and high rez cameras? those were already features going back to the tab s6. DeX? The features are a software update and also on the tab s7 and s6.

Toms confirms that the s8 will feature a snapdragon 8 gen 1, and 8GB of RAM regardless of storage this time around. Battery size is the same as the S7, and the S8 will be slightly shorter and about 25% thicker then the S7.
Aaaaand they ruined the tablet with a notch, that's gonna be a no from me just because of that.
What notch? None of the leaked photos on tehcradar show a notch anywhere.

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-tab-s8-and-tab-s8-plus

Methinks you are confusing the s22 with the tab s8.
 

Phylop

Posts: 52   +47
I'm still rocking a Galaxy Note8, one of the last flagship phones to ship with a headphone jack, but it's starting to get long in the tooth, the battery showing it's age, and I know I will need to upgrade eventually. These new phones sound great and all, I just wish they still had a 3.5mm headphone jack.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,292   +2,883
Getting to the point, with the price of some of these devices, you will almost have to go to a bank, and take out a loan, just to own one. LOL With pretty much every other electronic device out there, over time, the price comes WAY down. But not with smartphones.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,520   +5,928
I'm still rocking a Galaxy Note8, one of the last flagship phones to ship with a headphone jack, but it's starting to get long in the tooth, the battery showing it's age, and I know I will need to upgrade eventually. These new phones sound great and all, I just wish they still had a 3.5mm headphone jack.
There are plenty, so long as you do not desire to spend more then a used car for a phone. My moto g power 2020 has a 1080p screen, dual speakers, a headphone jack, and 12 hours of SoT all for $229.
 

dangh

Posts: 667   +1,042
This....really doesnt tell us anything. Kinda dissapointed techspot left out so much detail.

Four speakers? dolby atmos? microphone array and high rez cameras? those were already features going back to the tab s6. DeX? The features are a software update and also on the tab s7 and s6.

Toms confirms that the s8 will feature a snapdragon 8 gen 1, and 8GB of RAM regardless of storage this time around. Battery size is the same as the S7, and the S8 will be slightly shorter and about 25% thicker then the S7.

What notch? None of the leaked photos on tehcradar show a notch anywhere.

https://www.techradar.com/reviews/samsung-galaxy-tab-s8-and-tab-s8-plus

Methinks you are confusing the s22 with the tab s8.
S8 ultra have a notch on side. Normal and plus one do not as far as I seen, but as well they aren't oled. So yeah, no upgrade for me, will wait for s9 or maybe some competition will come up.
 

comnut

Posts: 77   +30
I'm still rocking a Galaxy Note8, one of the last flagship phones to ship with a headphone jack, but it's starting to get long in the tooth, the battery showing it's age, and I know I will need to upgrade eventually. These new phones sound great and all, I just wish they still had a 3.5mm headphone jack.

time to look at Xiaomi 11i etc... stereo speakers, 3.5 mm jack, AND space to put a SDXC card.. :)
have a look at gsmarena website -
 

Watzupken

Posts: 671   +544
It's part of the design now, not a compromise anymore. Thank Apple, I guess.
Samsung or any phone makers have the option not to follow. But the chase for ever disappearing phone bezels will ultimately lead to the need for a notch to house front facing camera(s) and sensors. Under display cameras are unlikely to make a lot of traction in terms of improving on light sensitivity, and so image quality will be impacted.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,348   +1,230
The S22 and S22+ are basically a waste of time. Zero effs given for them, it was all about the ridiculously priced flagship.
 

nismo91

Posts: 1,230   +275
With the demise of competitors they can do whatever they want and they will still sell their Sxx series without any problems. the gs stat shows Samsung's USA marketshare (26%) is way ahead of the existing competitions like Google (2.2%), Moto (3.9%) and Oneplus (0.8%). At this rate they can sell S22 at 2grand and they the competitions wouldn't catch up to them just yet.

these last 3 years... beside 5G and HRR all I can see is that manufacturers are just trying to reposition the front camera notch and rear camera bump.