Samsung debuts new flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone and upgraded tablets
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today introduced a new iteration of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone series, as well as three upgraded Galaxy Tab tablets that feature extensive hardware improvements.
Samsung’s new top-end smartphone is the Galaxy S22 Ultra, a 6.8-inch Android handset that will become available for order from $1,200. The premium price tag will buy customers a four-nanometer processor, a built-in stylus silo and several other features not included in Samsung’s previous-generation flagship smartphone.
The Galaxy S22 series includes a total of three devices: the S22 Ultra, as well as the lower-end Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus. The handsets will launch with a starting price point $800, $1,000 and $1,200 respectively.
The flagship S22 Ultra features a 6.8-inch OLED display with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. The display is built into a case that represents a significant departure from the design of Samsung’s previous flagship handset. Samsung has equipped the S22 Ultra with a rectangular case that closely resembles the Galaxy Note, a high-end phablet the company discontinued in December.
The S22 Ultra’s also features other design changes. It’s reportedly made in part of Corning Inc.’s Gorilla Glass Victus Plus, a highly resilient glass designed to protect smartphones from falls and scratches. Little information is available about the material except that it’s an improved version of an earlier Corning product called Gorilla Glass Victus. The latter material enables smartphones to withstand a fall from up to six feet.
Alongside the new 6.8-inch display, the S22 Ultra’s case houses five cameras including a 108-megapixel main camera, as well as a silo for Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The smartphone is the first in the Galaxy S series to feature such a silo.
Stylus users will also benefit from improvements to the S Pen that Samsung says are expected to reduce latency by 70%, which should translate to improved response times. Latency is now 2.8 milliseconds compared with 9 milliseconds before. To improve response times further, Samsung devices include an algorithm capable of predicting the direction of the S Pen during writing, a feature that the company has improved as well as part of the update.
The S22 Ultra and the two lower-end devices in the new Galaxy S22 series all feature the same processor: Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system-on-chip. The processor made its debut last November.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is produced using a four-nanometer manufacturing process and features a built-in 5G modem. When the device it’s powering is connected to a 5G network, the chip can support maximum download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. Over Wi-Fi connections, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 manages up to 3.6 gigabits.
According to Qualcomm, the chip’s onboard graphics processing unit provides up to 30% higher performance than previous-generation silicon using 25% less electricity. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s so-called tensor accelerator, meanwhile, is twice as fast as its predecessor. The tensor accelerator is a computing module designed to speed up machine learning applications.
The S22 Ultra is rolling out alongside the S22 and S22 Plus, which provide the same Snapdragon chip in a more compact package. The standard S22 ships with a 6.1-inch display, while the Galaxy S22 Plus includes a 6.6-inch panel. Both devices’ displays feature a resolution of 2340 pixels by 1080 pixels.
Customers can order the S22 Ultra with 128 gigabytes to one terabyte of storage capacity and either eight or 12 gigabytes of memory. The S22 and S22 Plus, meanwhile, feature up to 256 gigabytes of storage and eight gigabytes of memory.
Samsung also refreshed its tablet line today with the introduction of the Galaxy Tab S8 series. The series features three devices headlined by the top-end Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, which introduces a 14.6-inch display that allows the tablet to function as a laptop replacement when a keyboard is attached.
Similarly to the S22 Ultra, the Tab S8 Ultra features a redesigned case. The case is described as being 40% less prone to bending than Samsung’s previous-generation tablets and 30% more scratch-resistant.
The Tab S8 Ultra ships with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, as do the two other new additions to Samsung’s tablet lineup: the Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus. The latter devices feature an 11-inch LCD screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 12.4-inch 120Hz panel based on OLED technology, respectively. Another difference between the two tablets: The standard Tab S8 features a 3,700mAh battery, while Tab S8 Plus units will ship with 4,500mAh batteries.
The Tab S8 Ultra is expected to launch with a starting price of $1,100, up to 16 gigabytes of memory and 512 gigabytes of maximum storage capacity. The Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus will be available from $700 and $900, respectively. Both tablets feature eight gigabytes of memory with up to 256 gigabytes of storage.
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