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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon) Camera test

OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We’ve already tested the camera of the Exynos-powered international version of the Samsung flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra. In this review, we take a close look at the version that is marketed primarily in North America and China and uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.

Camera specs between the two versions are identical, offering a primary module with 108MP sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera and two dedicated tele cameras. Medium-range tele range is covered by a 3x lens with 10MP resolution. For longer distances a 10x periscope-style module is on board.

In video mode, the S22 Ultra is capable of recording 8K footage at 24 frames per second or 4K resolution files at up to 60 fps. With such an impressive spec sheet the S22 Ultra competes with heavy weights such as the Apple iPhone 13 Pro, Huawei P50 Pro or Xiaomi 12 Pro. Let’s see how it did in the DXOMARK Camera test.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 108 MP 1/1.33″ sensor, 0.8μm pixels, 24mm-equivalent, f/1.8-aperture lens, OISPDAF, Laser-AF
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP 1/2.55″ sensor, 1.4μm pixels, 13mm-equivalent, f/2.2-aperture lens, Dual Pixel AF
  • Tele 1: 10MP 1/3.52″ sensor, 1.12μm pixels, 230mm-equivalent, f/4.9-aperture lens, Dual Pixel AF, 10x optical zoom
  • Tele 2: 10MP 1/3.52″ sensor, 1.12μm pixels, 70mm equivalent, f/2.4-aperture lens, Dual Pixel AF, 3x optical zoom
  • 8K up to 24fps, 4K up to 60fps, 1080p at 60fps (tested at 4K/30fps)

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon)
131
camera
136
Photo
98

111

106

107

100

109

101

111

73

102

64

77

65

82

70

80

70

80

85
Zoom
109

140

48

58

111
Video
105

118

100

107

106

109

85

99

90

105

69

94

100

103

Pros

  • Accurate white balance and good detail
  • Good exposure and wide dynamic range
  • Nice color and good exposure in flash-off night shots
  • Accurate subject isolation and blur gradient in bokeh mode
  • Accurate exposure and wide dynamic range in bright light and indoor video
  • Nice color and skin tones in video
  • Accurate face tracking in video
  • Effective video stabilization when walking while recording

Cons

  • Luminance noise in photo and video
  • Slow autofocus
  • Image artifacts, including ringing, fringing and fusion artifacts
  • Strong texture instabilities in tele shots
  • Strong ringing and loss of fine detail in video
  • White balance casts in bright light and indoor videos

With a DXOMARK Camera score of 131 the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon) achieves the same result as the Exynos-powered international model. Overall, the camera delivers a solid performance and some improvements over its predecessor the S21 Ultra, especially for zoom and video, but it isn’t up there with the very best in the Ultra-Premium segment. This is particularly true for night photography and in terms of texture/noise trade-off.

This outdoor image shows good exposure on the subject and a wide dynamic range. The white balance is neutral and the level of detail is high.

When taking still images, the camera does overall well and shines, especially in the color category, thanks to accurate and pleasant color rendering. Compared to the Exynos variant, luminance noise is less intrusive but still noticeable. Texture is slightly better as well. Our testers observed ringing artifacts in all conditions and fusion artifacts can appear in high-contrast scenes. Ghosting is better controlled than on the Exynos device, though.

Target exposure is usually good in all conditions and in this indoor scene, we can see that the Snapdragon device produces slightly better detail and lower noise levels than the Exynos version.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon), indoor scene
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon), crop: good texture and fairly low noise
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), indoor scene
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: slight loss of detail, fine luminance noise
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, indoor scene
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, crop: slight loss of detail, fine luminance noise

Pictures recorded on the ultra-wide camera show good detail at the center of the frame, but detail gets noticeably softer towards the edges. Color rendering tends to be neutral, but noise is noticeable, even in bright outdoor light.

Ultra-wide camera, 16mm
Crop: good detail at the center of the frame but drop-off towards the edges

When shooting at tele settings, the S22 Ultra (Snapdragon) suffers from resolution instabilities, especially at close-range settings when light gets dimmer. In comparison, the Exynos model and iPhone 13 Pro Max deliver a more consistent resolution across light levels and zoom factors.

Repeatability comparison at close range tele setting

In video mode, the Snapdragon phone’s performance is close to the Exynos device, particularly the good exposure and wide dynamic range in bright light and indoors, as well as the good autofocus system. This said, oversharpening results in strong ringing on high-contrast edges. This has a negative impact on detail rendering and is especially noticeable when videos are viewed on a large display. Our testers also observed higher noise levels in low light, especially in lab conditions.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon), video still, 1000 lux
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon), crop: loss of fine detail, ringing, moiré
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), video still, 1000 lux
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos), crop: similar detail, less ringing

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Correction:
Because of a bug in the measurement of image detail preservation, the Zoom score of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Snapdragon) has been updated to 85 from 82, and the Tele score to 109 from 105. These changes had no visible effect on the overall score.

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