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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) Selfie test

This device has been retested in the latest version of our protocol. This summary has been fully updated. For detailed information, check the What’s New article
OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We put the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) through our rigorous DXOMARK Selfie test suite to measure its performance in photo and  video from an end-user perspective. This article breaks down how the device fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases and is intended to highlight the most important results of our testing with an extract of the captured data.

Overview

Key front camera specifications:

  • 40MP 1/2.82″ sensor
  • f/2.2 aperture
  • 26mm equivalent focal length
  • PDAF
  • 4K at 30/60 fps, 1080p at 30fps

Scoring

Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)
135
selfie
130
photo
88

90

92

100

95

97

74

79

52

90

82

87

86

93

75

Best

144
video
81

86

84

87

83

92

88

97

64

83

88

92

74

82

Pros

  • Good exposure and wide dynamic range in photo and video
  • Accurate white balance and nice color
  • Fast and repeatable autofocus
  • Nice bokeh effect with accurate depth estimation
  • Nice color and skin tones in video
  • High levels of detail in video

Cons

  • High levels of image noise
  • Slightly limited depth of field
  • Ghosting, halo and ringing artifacts
  • Occasional autofocus instabilities in video
  • Camera shake while walking when recording video

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) is among the best phones we have tested for selfie shooting and improves slightly over its predecessor S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos). Improvements are most noticeable in terms of depth of field and texture as well as video. On the downside, noise levels are higher than on the previous model and video stabilization is less effective.

This outdoor selfie shows accurate white balance and exposure, as well as a good level of detail.

When shooting still images, the camera handles exposure well, capturing good target exposure on portraits and a wide dynamic range in high-contrast scenes. Colors are nice, with neutral white balance and natural skin tones. However, noise levels are high in all conditions, especially in brighter outdoor light where we can see luminance noise on backgrounds and in shadow areas. The autofocus is quite fast and repeatable, but depth of field is a little limited, which can result in blurry background subjects in group selfies. Our testers also observed some image artifacts, including ghosting, halos, and ringing.

In video mode, exposure and color are managed just as well as for stills, but we did see some autofocus instabilities and depth of field is just as limited as in photo mode. Textures are rendered nicely, with a high level of detail, but the camera’s main drawback in video mode is the ineffective video stabilization when walking while recording. In this type of situation, a lot of camera shake will be noticeable in the video footage.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) Selfie Scores vs Ultra-Premium
This graph compares overall photo and video DXOMARK Selfie scores between tested devices and references. Average and maximum scores of the price segment are also indicated. Average and maximum scores for each price segment are computed based on the DXOMARK database of devices.

Test summary

About DXOMARK Selfie tests: For scoring and analysis, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 1,500 test images both in controlled lab environments and in outdoor, indoor and low-light natural scenes, using the front camera’s default settings. The photo protocol is designed to take into account the user’s needs and is based on typical shooting scenarios, such as close-up and group selfies. The evaluation is performed by visually inspecting images against a reference of natural scenes, and by running objective measurements on images of charts captured in the lab under different lighting conditions from 1 to 1,000+ lux and color temperatures from 2,300K to 6,500K. For more information about the DXOMARK Selfie test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here. The following section gathers key elements of DXOMARK’s exhaustive tests and analyses .Full performance evaluations are available upon request. Please contact us on how to receive a full report.

Photo

130

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

144

Huawei P50 Pro
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) Photo scores vs Ultra-Premium
The photo tests analyze image quality attributes such as exposure, color, texture, and noise in various light conditions. Range of focus and the presence of artifacts on all images captured in controlled lab conditions and in real-life images are also evaluated. All these attributes have a significant impact on the final quality of the images captured with the tested device and can help to understand the camera's main strengths and weaknesses.

Exposure

88

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

90

Huawei P50 Pro

Color

92

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

100

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Exposure and color are the key attributes for technically good pictures. For exposure, the main attribute evaluated is the brightness of the face(s) in various use cases and light conditions. Other factors evaluated are the contrast and the dynamic range, eg. the ability to render visible details in both bright and dark areas of the image. Repeatability is also important because it demonstrates the camera's ability to provide the same rendering when shooting consecutive images in a row.
For color, the image quality attributes analyzed are skin-tone rendering, white balance, color shading, and repeatability.

In this difficult backlit scene, the S22 Ultra manages good exposure and a nice contrast on both faces. The camera also does a good job at retaining detail in the brighter background, although some clipping is noticeable. There is slightly better detail in the background of the S21 Ultra image but face exposure is brighter on the S22 Ultra. Compared to the iPhone the S22 Ultra shows better highlight retention and contrast.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), good exposure on both faces, good highlight retention in background
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), good exposure on lighter skin tone, slight underexposure on darker skin tone, good highlight retention in background
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, good exposure on lighter skin tone, slight underexposure on darker skin tone, slight overexposure on background

In this close-up, the two Samsung devices deliver very similar exposure. Compared to the iPhone there clipping in the background is less strong and contrast is better. Face exposure is a touch darker, though.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), good exposure on face, slightly overexposed sky
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), good exposure on face, slightly overexposed sky
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, good exposure on face, overexposed sky

In this graph, you can see that the S22 Ultra delivers good exposure in all conditions. Overall exposure is better than on the comparison devices.

This graph shows lightness measured on the 18% gray patch of the Colorchecker® chart against the light level (in lux). The white area represents the region where the lightness is considered correct.

In this scene, both Samsungs produce quite neutral white balance and nice skin tones. The red wall in the background is more saturated on the iPhone but skin tones are too red as well.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), neutral white balance, accurate color rendering
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), neutral white balance, accurate color rendering
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, warmer white balance, slightly reddish skin tones

Under indoor lighting, the white balance is more neutral on the iPhone but skin tones still are too red. Both Samsung phones produce again very similar color, with a cooler color cast and more neutral skin tones.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), natural skin tones, neutral white balance
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), natural skin tones, neutral white balance
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, warmer white balance, slightly reddish skin tones

Focus

95

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

97

Huawei P50 Pro

Autofocus tests evaluate the accuracy of the focus on the subject’s face, the repeatability of an accurate focus, and the depth of field. While a shallow depth of field can be pleasant for a single-subject selfie or close-up shot, it can be problematic in specific conditions such as group selfies; both situations are tested. Focus accuracy is also evaluated in all the real-life images taken, from 30cm to 150cm, and in low light to outdoor conditions.

All three comparison devices come with autofocus systems in the front camera, allowing them to focus correctly across varying subject distances. In the focus range graph below, we can see that all three devices deliver in-focus images across all tested subject distances (any acutance higher than 80% is considered in focus).

This graph shows acutance against shooting distance at a light level of 1000 lux.

The S22 Ultra’s depth of field is wider than the S21 Ultra’s but still somewhat limited. Background subjects in group shots tend to be slightly out of focus. In comparison, the background is slightly sharper on the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), depth of field
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: accurate autofocus, wide depth of field
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), depth of field
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), crop: accurate autofocus, slightly limited depth of field
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, depth of field
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, crop: accurate autofocus, wide depth of field

Texture

74

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

79

Asus ZenFone 7 Pro

Texture tests analyze the level of details and the texture of subjects in the images taken in the lab as well as in real-life scenarios. For natural shots, particular attention is paid to the level of details in facial features, such as the eyes. Objective measurements are performed on chart images taken in various lighting conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and different kinds of dynamic range conditions. The charts used are the proprietary DXOMARK chart (DMC) and the Dead Leaves chart.

Texture acutance evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of texture acutance with the level of lux for two holding conditions. The texture acutance is measured on the Dead Leaves chart in the Close-up Dead Leaves setup.

Our lab measurements show that texture acutance on the S22 Ultra is higher than on the comparison devices for most conditions, except very bright and very low light.

Under indoor lighting, the S22 Ultra produces better detail than the iPhone. Textures also look more natural than on the S21 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) , indoor texture
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) , crop: high levels of fine detail
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), indoor texture
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), crop: good fine detail
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, indoor texture
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, crop: good fine detail

Noise

52

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

90

Huawei P40 Pro

Noise tests analyze various attributes of noise such as intensity, chromaticity, grain, and structure on real-life images as well as images of charts taken in the lab. For natural images, particular attention is paid to the noise on faces, but also on dark areas and high dynamic range conditions. Objective measurements are performed on images of charts taken in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and different kinds of dynamic range conditions. The chart used is the DXOMARK Dead Leaves chart and the standardized measurement such as Visual Noise derived from ISO 15739.

When shooting outdoors, noise levels on the S22 Ultra are higher than on the comparison phones. Noise is most intrusive in the shadows and background.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), outdoor noise
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: high noise levels on background and shadows
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), outdoor noise
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), crop: slight luminance noise on background and shadows
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, outdoor noise
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, crop: hardly any luminance noise visible
Things change under indoor conditions and in low light where noise remains visible but is similar to the S21 Ultra and less intrusive than on the Apple phone.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), indoor noise
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: noise quite visible on face and walls
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), indoor noise
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), crop: noise quite visible on face and walls
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, indoor noise
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, crop: slight noise on face, strong noise on walls

Artifacts

82

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

87

Google Pixel 6 Pro

The artifacts evaluation looks at lens shading, chromatic aberrations, distortion measurement on the Dot chart and MTF, and ringing measurements on the SFR chart in the lab. Particular attention is paid to ghosting, quantization, halos, and hue shifts on the face among others. The more severe and the more frequent the artifact, the higher the point deduction on the score. The main artifacts observed and corresponding point loss are listed below.

Main photo artifacts penalties

Ghosting artifacts can be noticeable when capturing high-contrast or low-light scenes. Our testers also observed some ringing.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), artifacts
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: ghosting on moving elements
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), artifacts
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: ringing on high-contrast edges

Bokeh

75

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

Best

Bokeh is tested in one dedicated mode, usually portrait or aperture mode, and analyzed by visually inspecting all the images captured in the lab and in natural conditions. The goal is to reproduce portrait photography comparable to one taken with a DSLR and a wide aperture. The main image quality attributes paid attention to are depth estimation, artifacts, blur gradient, and the shape of the bokeh blur spotlights. Portrait image quality attributes (exposure, color, texture) are also taken into account.

This difficult scene is handled quite well by the S22 Ultra’s bokeh mode. Correctly, no blur has been applied to the plant as it is in the same plane as the subject. Additionally, the simulated aperture makes for a nice overall effect. Some slight depth artifacts are visible. This is the same for the other devices which also apply some slight blur to the plant.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), slight depth artifacts but natural blur and simulated aperture
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), good depth estimation but some depth artifacts
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, good depth estimation but some depth artifacts

Video

144

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

146

Huawei P50 Pro
About DXOMARK Selfie Video tests

DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 2 hours of video in controlled lab environments and in natural low-light, indoor and outdoor scenes, using the front camera’s default settings. The evaluation consists of visually inspecting natural videos taken in various conditions and running objective measurements on videos of charts recorded in the lab under different conditions from 1 to 1000+ lux and color temperatures from 2,300K to 6,500K.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos) Video scores vs Ultra-Premium
Video tests analyze the same image quality attributes as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture, or noise, in addition to temporal aspects such as speed, smoothness, and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

Exposure

81

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

86

Apple iPhone 13 mini

Color

84

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

87

Asus ZenFone 7 Pro

Exposure tests evaluate the brightness of the face and the dynamic range, eg. the ability to render visible details in both bright and dark areas of the image. Stability and temporal adaption of the exposure are also analyzed. Image-quality color analysis looks at skin-tone rendering, white balance, color shading, stability of the white balance and its adaption when light is changing.

In this video scene, the S22 Ultra produces accurate exposure with a good compromise between different skin tones and good detail retention in the bright background. The iPhone’s dynamic range is wider but the exposure is quite dark.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), well-balanced exposure, good highlight retention in background

Apple iPhone 13, well-balanced exposure, good highlight retention in background

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, wider dynamic range and better highlight retention but underexposure on faces

Target exposure is slightly better than the comparison devices in low light and quite similar to the S21 Ultra in bright conditions (slightly over target but still acceptable).

This graph shows lightness measured on the 18% gray patch of the Colorchecker® chart against the light level (in lux). The white area represents the region where the lightness is considered correct.

Video white balance on the S22 Ultra is colder than on the iPhone, but skin tones look more natural than on the predecessor S21 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), Natural skin tones, neutral white balance
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), slightly less saturated skin tones, warm white balance
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, warmer white balance, nice skin tones

Texture

88

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

97

Asus ZenFone 6

Texture tests analyze the level of details and texture of the real-life videos as well as the videos of charts recorded in the lab. Natural video recordings are visually evaluated, with particular attention paid to the level of detail on the facial features. Objective measurements are performed of images of charts taken in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux. The chart used is the Dead Leaves chart.

Measured video texture on the S22 Ultra is similar to S21 Ultra but noticeably higher than on the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

This graph shows texture and edge acutance against the light level (in lux). Texture and edge acutance are measured on the deadleaves chart in the video deadleaves setup.

Level of texture is higher for the S22 than the S21 and similar to the iphone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), very good detail

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), good detail

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, very good detail

Noise

64

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

83

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Noise tests analyze various attributes of noise such as intensity, chromaticity, grain, structure, temporal aspects on real-life video recording as well as videos of charts taken in the lab. Natural videos are visually evaluated, with particular attention paid to the noise on faces. Objective measurements are performed on the videos of charts recorded in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux. The chart used is the DXOMARK visual noise chart.

Spatial visual noise evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of spatial visual noise with the level of lux. Spatial visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup. DXOMARK visual noise measurement is derived from ISO15739 standard.
Temporal visual noise evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of temporal visual noise with the level of lux. Temporal visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup.

Video noise is well under control under indoor conditions and under low light. Noise levels are lower than on the competitors.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), noise well under control

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), more noise and underexposed

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, strong noise

The results we can see in the clips above are confirmed by our lab measurements. Noise levels on the S22 Ultra in the lab are lower than on the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

This graph shows temporal visual noise and temporal noise chromaticity ratio against the light level (in lux). Temporal visual noise and noise chromaticity ratio are measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup.

Stabilization

74

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

82

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Stabilization evaluation tests the ability of the device to stabilize footage thanks to software or hardware technologies such as OIS, EIS, or any others means. The evaluation looks at overall residual motion on the face and the background, smoothness and jello artifacts, during walk and paning use cases in various lighting conditions. The video below is an extract from one of the tested scenes.

While stabilization works well when holding the camera still, it is not very effective when moving during recording. A lot of residual camera motion is still noticeable in the footage. The S22 Ultra is worse than both comparison devices in this respect.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), ineffective stabilization when moving

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Exynos), better stabilization

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, better stabilization

Artifacts

88

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos)

92

Apple iPhone 12 mini

Artifacts are evaluated with MTF and ringing measurements on the SFR chart in the lab as well as frame-rate measurements using the LED Universal Timer. Natural videos are visually evaluated by paying particular attention to artifacts such as quantization, hue shift, and face-rendering artifacts among others. The more severe and the more frequent the artifact, the higher the point deduction from the score. The main artifacts and corresponding point loss are listed below

Main video artifacts penalties

Anamorphosis (perspective distortion) can sometimes be noticeable on faces close to the edge of the frame. In this clip, this is especially noticeable on the face on the right.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), anamorphosis at the edge of the frame

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