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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review – slimmed down, brightened up
2:00 pm | July 26, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: One-minute preview

While it was Motorola that popularized the clamshell form factor when it appeared back in the mid-1990s, in the smartphone era it's been Samsung that has steered the ship with regard to what a clamshell foldable smartphone looks like and is capable of.

In the three short years in which the Galaxy Z Flip line has cemented its place among the best foldables, we've seen the rapid evolution of both the form factor itself and Samsung's specific approach, with this year's Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 offering some overdue refinements to combat fresh-faced competition in a race where Samsung once ran unopposed.

Looking at the evolution of its foldable lines up to this point you certainly couldn't call the company complacent, but the main upgrades that the Z Flip 5 brings to the table give us the impression that, for the first time, Samsung is playing catch-up to newcomers to the foldable space such as Oppo and the aforementioned Motorola. But caught up it has.

The Z Flip 5 – like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 which launched alongside it at July's Samsung Unpacked event – offers one important and overdue upgrade over its folding forebears: when you close the phone its two halves finally fold perfectly flat against each other, with no gap. Despite the near-wizardry that phones with folding displays such as these are seemingly imbued with, in order for past Flips and Folds to bend in two, Samsung has always had to make an allowance for the radius of the bend placed on each device's main screen, and that has resulted in a wedge-shaped profile with a visible gap through the middle of their folded forms.

Now, both the Flip 5 and Fold 5 echo the numerous rivals that already boast such a silhouette, making them markedly thinner without compromising on what still remains a rarity in the foldable space – IPX8-certified water resistance.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 side

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 closed

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 front

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 back angled

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 back

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Beyond its new slimmed-down profile, the Flip 5 arguably has a bigger upgrade to shout about than its larger folding sibling, thanks to a significantly larger outer screen that now dominates the exterior of the phone. A bigger display on the outside allows for more functionality without having to open to phone up, meaning email triage, quick-reply messaging and checking your notifications without diving into the full-screen apps is more accessible than it ever was on the stamp-sized outer screen of the Flip 5's predecessor.

There's still a dual 12MP camera setup on the outside, as with last year's Flip; however, the bigger external cover display also makes for a far more visible viewfinder, meaning that framing shots when you've set the Flip 5 down on a flat surface to capture photos with friends is easier than ever.

The last major upgrade to speak of has to be the chipset, with the same exclusively-tuned Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy that Samsung and Qualcomm collaborated on for the Galaxy S23 series which launched at the start of the year also making an appearance here (it also powers the new Fold 5 and Galaxy Tab S9 series).

Also like the S23 line – namely the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra – there's no longer a 128GB storage SKU to speak of. Instead, you have the choice of 256GB of 512GB of internal space, with the price starting at £10 less than you would have paid for the equivalent storage on last year's Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 in the UK, and Australian customers paying the same. Meanwhile US customers pay the same as they would have for a 128GB Flip 4 ($999.99), making the phone an even better deal Stateside.

With the key upgrades out of the way, let's dive into details of Samsung's most sophisticated Z Flip yet.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on partial open angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Pre-orders from July 26, on sale August 11
  • Available from $999.99 / £1,049 / AU$1,649

In an impressive display of self-confidence, Samsung actually let fans register their interest for pre-orders before the Flip 5 had even been announced, pairing the experience with the promise of pre-order bonuses which vary by region.

In the US, buyers can expect $50 of Samsung Credit on their pre-order, and save up to $540 when they bundle a Z Flip 5 (or Fold 5) with a Galaxy Tab S9 series and / or a Galaxy Watch 6. In the UK those who order multiple new products launched at the July Unpacked event can stack a similar credit deal – meaning savings of up to £150 – along with a free upgrade to the 512GB Flip at no extra cost. In Australia, buyers who pre-ordered get AU$100 off their purchase or can instead grab a 10,000mAh battery pack, worth AU$59.

Pre-orders themselves kicked off during Unpacked, on July 26, with the Z Flip 5 on sale from August 11.

As you'll see from the table above, US customers get the best deal, being asked to pay no more than they would have last year for a 128GB Z Flip 4, UK customers pay £10 less than they would have for an equivalent 256GB Flip 4 (making the double storage pre-order bonus all the more worthwhile) and pricing remains unchanged relative to storage between generations in Australia.

Check out our rundown of the best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 deals for the latest offers on this next-gen foldable and its launch partner.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on front straight table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

As with the last Z Flip, Samsung lets you customize the finish on the Flip 5, not to mention there are some colorways that you won't find from other retailers.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Design

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on back angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Gorilla Glass Victus 2 back
  • IPX8-certified
  • 2mm thinner when closed, compared to Z Flip 4

There aren't all that many clamshell foldables currently on the market, but the Galaxy Z Flip series sports the most defined aesthetic makeup, with the Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4 being the most like-minded of the run so far.

The Z Flip 5 has plenty of familial traits too, if you're familiar with the last two generations of Samsung's signature clamshell; with a polished color-matched (with most colorways, at least) Armor Aluminum frame, relatively tight radii at its corners and a flat back – save for the dual circular camera lenses jutting out of the top left corner.

With the display placement on the last two models, the cameras sat vertically (the ultra-wide underneath the main sensor) but in order to accommodate the new greatly-expanded cover display on the Flip 5, they now sit laterally. The phone doesn't have the same two tone finish of its predecessors either; with the cover display ensuring that the top half of the Z Flip 5's back is now a glossy black (when the screen's off), regardless of colorway.

Speaking of colors, Samsung has stuck with a similar pastel palette to previous generations, however, saturation looks to have been reduced across the board, meaning in some lighting, it's hard to tell what color the finish of the phone is at all – is that the new signature 'mint' finish, or just white?

Thankfully, there are a few bolder options to choose from, especially if you aren't sold on the four default hues – mint, lavender, graphite and cream. As with previous generations there are a number of exclusives to choose from: blue, green, gray and yellow, which I haven't seen in person but look to be bolder finishes by comparson.

Beyond new colors and a rebalance of visual contrast in the design (brought on by that new larger outer screen), the big hook of opting for the Z Flip 5 over its predecessors – from a design perspective, at least – is the revised water-drop hinge, which lets the phone finally fold flat when closed, resulting in a significantly slimmer profile than the Flip 4. 2mm might not sound like much but in the hands and, more importantly, in the pocket, you'd notice the difference if you could compare the two side by side.

Despite reworking the series' most complicated mechanism, Samsung has instilled the Flip 5 with the same reassuringly sturdy Flex Hinge feel that you'd find on the previous generations and, as before, you can position the phone between 75 degrees and 115 degrees to enable Flex Mode, which optimizes UI placement when placing the phone down on a flat surface and viewing it with the screen angled within that range; great for watching shows while you're busy in the kitchen or want to sit back hands-free while on a video call.

Samsung has also managed to retain the phone's IPX8-certified water resistance – a standout durability feature that most rivals can't rise to meet the Z Flip 5 on. There's also talk of improved dust resistance, although Samsung hasn't confirmed this in an official capacity, meaning durability on paper is similar to the Flip 4, albeit with the guarantee of newer Gorilla Glass Victus 2 – as introduced on the Galaxy S23 series.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Display

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display clock handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.7-inch Full HD+ (2640 x 1080) AMOLED main display w/ adaptive 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate
  • 3.4-inch 720 x 748 60Hz AMOLED cover display
  • Almost 80% larger cover display than Flip 4

Compared to prominent rival Motorola, Samsung has proved consistently reluctant to expand the size of the cover display on its recent clamshells between generations, plateauing at 1.9-inches for the two entries prior to the Flip 5.

This year, however, it's finally decided to make the jump and cover the majority of the upper half of the phone's back with pixels; a screen size increase of almost 80 percent. This means functionality of 'Flex Window' – as Samsung calls it – has been greatly expanded, with familiar experiences like a variety of clocks, a calendar and timers on all hand, as well as third-party support (for things like Spotify and Google Stocks) that's likely to keep growing beyond the 13 available at launch, now the phone is available. The added size also allows for a full QWERTY keyboard typing experience, so you're no longer relegated to quick replies-only when responding to messages without opening the phone up.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display weather

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display alarm

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display apps menu

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display calendar

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display clock handheld 21:9

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display clock handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display Netflix

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display Samsung Health

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display stocks

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display timer

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on display crease

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on side open

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 side

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Samsung Labs menu in the phone's settings also lets you enable unsupported apps to be run on the Flex Window, bringing functionality more in-line with what the last two generations of Motorola Razr have been capable of.

Speaking of the Razr, or more specifically the recent Motorola Razr Plus 2023/Razr 40 Ultra, while both have gone big on their cover displays this year, Motorola's iteration looks to be ahead of the curve, wrapping pixels all the way around its dual camera system, while the Flip 5's Flex Window skirts around the cameras, leaving a little more bezel; not that you'd know from the press images, where the darkest areas of the wallpaper conceal the cover screen's true boundary, in the same way Apple tried to hide the notch on the iPhone Xs' press images when it first launched.

It's a small aesthetic quirk that helps differentiate these two top-tier clamshell foldables but when we're talking about phones where design is one of their key selling points, it feels like a distinction worth highlighting.

While there's a lot to talk about with the cover display, the Flip 5's main screen is comparatively more pedestrian, at least in the sense that it's seemingly unchanged from the main screen on the last Z Flip: a 6.7-inch Full HD+ (2640 x 1080) 'Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Display' (Samsung's marketing team was clearly left unsupervised with that one), with an adaptive refresh rate that can scale from a silky-smooth 120Hz, all the way down to 1Hz, for optimum power consumption.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Software

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on front angled handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Runs Android 13 on top of One UI 5.1.1 out the box
  • 4 years OS updates + 5 years security updates

If you're coming from an existing Samsung phone, One UI 5.1.1 (atop Android 13) on the Flip 5 should feel wholly familiar, with both Google Play and the Galaxy Store at your disposal, and in fact a number of Google and Samsung apps sitting side by side (most of the latter can be uninstalled or hidden if they're duplicates you don't intend on using).

One UI has a distinct aesthetic that differs from more stock builds of Android, from its use and placement of color to the squircle icons throughout your home screens and app drawer. Of course, Samsung wants to give users a little added value beyond a new coat of paint and its own app store, so you'll also find features like Edge Panels – granting access to favourite apps or contacts, and even app pairs, so you can jump into split-screen multitasking (particularly enjoyable on the Flip 5's tall display) with a single tap.

The Flip being the Flip, there's also Flex Mode to consider, which lets you place the phone down on a flat surface partially open (between 75 degrees and 115 degrees) at which point supported apps will shift to the upper half of the display, so they're more easily viewable, while controls will appear on the lower half. If you're streaming a show, for example, you'll be able to play/pause, scrub, skip forward or back in time and change the volume, all without obstructing what's on-screen. There's even a one-touch screenshot button and you can turn it into a computing-style trackpad, complete with mouse cursor.

One aspect of the software experience that Samsung has instilled within its top-tier phones and even its mid-range entries is practically unmatched long-term software support (particularly in the Android camp). This means the Z Flip 5 will benefit from four years of OS updates post launch and an additional year of security updates; that's more than practically all of the other best Android phones and means better long-term value and usability for buyers.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on closed angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 12MP primary and ultra-wide rear cameras
  • 10MP hole-punch selfie camera
  • New main lens with reduced lens flare
  • New FlexCam third-party optimizations

It would appear that the cameras at play on the Z Flip 5 ape those of its predecessor exactly; with a 12MP primary sensor sporting 1.8μm pixels, an f/1.8 aperture and OIS (optical image stabilization), accompanied by a 12MP ultra-wide snapper with 1.12μm pixels, an f/2.2 aperture and a 123-degree field of view. The front-facing 10MP hole-punch selfie snapper reads the same as well, with 1.12μm pixels and an f/2.2 aperture, so are there any upgrades to consider here? Some but only minor.

Samsung says the lens on the main 12MP sensor is new and less-prone to lens flare that would otherwise wash-out and reduce contrast in shots, with most of generational improvements to image quality coming straight from the new silicon at the phone's heart, provided by Qualcomm.

Improved multi-frame processing with the chipmakers AI Object Aware Engine, should do a better job of processing depth and detail in images, digitally-zoomed shoots shout retain more detail too, while skin tones and low light performance are also touted as areas of focus and improvement all of which will likely be hard to judge without side-by-side testing with the Flip 4 but sound great, in theory.

FlexCam is the Flip 5's party piece when it comes to photography and that larger cover display makes capturing content even easier. Samsung has worked to improve third-party camera experiences when using FlexCam, so while your Flip 5 is set down on a flat surface ready to record the action, you can capture directly to the likes of YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and TikTok.

As with previous generations, you don't need to open the Flip 5 up to grab high-quality selfies using the phone's main camera either, with the ability to switch between the main and ultra-wide, shoot video and choose between a natural and a warm tone finish on your shots – a pleasing level of versatility that's always accessible, it would seem.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on A stand angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • No 128GB model, only 256GB or 512GB this year (UFS 4.0)

As with the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra this year, Samsung has bid farewell to the base 128GB storage model found on the last few generations of Z Flip, leaving you with just 256GB and 512GB to choose from. As the pricing hasn't really changed in markets like the UK and Australia, this means the barrier to entry for owning a Z Flip is higher than before, even if you're getting at least double the storage out the gate.

Unlike the Z Fold 5, which gets 12GB of RAM – likely to support its focus on productivity and multitasking – the Flip 5 comes with 8GB RAM, regardless of storage configuration. In an effort to raise performance across the board, though, the phone boasts the latest LPDDR5X RAM, UFS 4.0 storage and the same tailor-made Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset first seen in the S23 series that collectively promise a one-two punch of faster performance and greater power efficiency, which is great for a phone which still sports a relatively small battery.

Beyond raw power, which the Flip 5 looks to have plenty of, the 8 Gen 2 SoC is also the main driving force behind the phone's camera improvements and battery life promises, so it'll be interesting to see just how much of a different it makes compared to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 that powered its predecessor.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Battery life

  • 3,700mAh battery (same as Flip 4)
  • 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging

Like the Flip 5's main display and camera sensors, the battery tech on offer seems unchanged from that found in the Galaxy Z Flip 4; a 3,700mAh cell that supports up to 25W fast wired charging.

While that's disappointing at first blush, concessions have to be made for the fact that Samsung has managed to make its latest clamshell foldable 2mm thinner, without affecting battery capacity – one of the first things that's often affected when the dimensions of a device change between generations.

This, paired to the more efficient chipset, RAM and storage should, in theory, result in better longevity compared to the Flip 4, which although it managed to last all day, delivered a sub-par 4 hours of screen-on time per charge in our tests.

Foldables seem far more likely to be experience greater variance in usage and power consumption compared to your conventional candy bar smartphone, primarily because of their dual-screen setup. On the one-hand the outer display is larger than it's ever been for a Z Flip, however, in the past that would have led to most users to resort to the larger primary display to carry out important actions not possible from the tiny cover screen. With the Z Flip 5, however, with so much more screen real-estate and functionality on offer from its cover screen, will users find fewer reasons to open up the phone and use the main, presumably more power-hungry display We'll have to test this theory out for ourselves come the full review.

First tested July 2023

Xiaomi 13 Lite review – the Civi’s new suit
10:32 pm | March 10, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi 13 Lite: Two-minute preview

Xiaomi had a lot to shout about at its February 26 launch event in Barcelona. Most notably, the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro made their international debut after having previously launched exclusively in China, late last year. There was, however, one additional surprise entrant in tow that, prior to this, we'd heard very little about – the Xiaomi 13 Lite.

At a glance, the Lite is a bit of an oddball, an outlier in the Xiaomi 13 series. For one, it doesn't get any special Leica treatment like its series siblings – with regards to its triple rear sensor setup. It also looks very different compared to both the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, with their sizeable squared rear camera bump.

In truth, the phone clearly takes its design cues from the previous Xiaomi 12 series more so than the company's current flagship line and there's a particular device, already within Xiaomi's portfolio, that bears more than a passing resemblance to the new 13 Lite.

It would seem that the Xiaomi 13 Lite looks to be a repackaged Xiaomi Civi 2, which debuted in China in the latter half of 2022. The Xiaomi 13 Lite sports the same slim and lightweight design, runs on the same Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, and boasts the same specialist features; like dual front-facing LED flashes to offer what the company calls 'Xiaomi Selfie Glow'.

In fact, despite running on Android 12 – while the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro arrive with Android 13 – the Xiaomi 13 Lite does join them on the company's latest MIUI 14 user experience.

While there's no Leica involvement in the camera system, the main 50MP sensor still looks to be an impressive offering at first blush (it's the same Sony IMX766 found in the likes of the Xiaomi 12), while the secondary 8MP ultrawide and 2MP macro look a little more pedestrian and expected, considering the phone's mid-range standing.

In a decidedly iPhone 14 Pro-style move, the front 32MP camera is accompanied by a secondary 8MP depth sensor that together sit within a pill-shaped cutout in the top center of the display in a way that screams 'Dynamic Island'. However, don't expect iOS-like functionality here.

In truth, the design may be Lite's biggest selling point. Despite sitting in the middle of the Xiaomi 13 series in terms of screen size, at 6.55-inches (in between the Xiaomi 13's 6.36-inch display and the 13 Pro's 6.73-inch display), the 13 Lite is both notably thinner at 7.2mm (versus 8mm or 8.4mm) and lighter, at 171 grams (versus 185 grams and 210 grams, respectively).

Even with that snatched waistline, the 13 Lite still manages to sequester the same 4,500mAh capacity battery as the standard Xiaomi 13, along with the same 67W fast wired charging. What you do lose out on is any form of wireless charging tech. However, with a full charge promised in 40 minutes, that seems like a minor hardship.

Provided you don't need flagship performance or camera prowess, the 13 Lite looks to be a capable-enough mid-ranger, with some unique touches in an attractive, lightweight design. You'll have to check back for a full assessment though.

In the meantime, read on for more insights into what the Xiaomi 13 Lite has to offer and why not check out our hands-on Xiaomi 13 review and hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review, as well as a rundown of the best Xiaomi phones currently out there.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Price and availability

The Xiaomi Civi 2 made its debut in China back in late September 2022, while the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro arrived later to the region, on December 11.

Fast-forward to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 26 2023, where the Xiaomi 13 series' international launch then took place; with the 13 and 13 Pro making their way to market internationally on March 14. The Xiaomi 13 Lite, meanwhile, was confirmed to be on sale on the same date of its reveal: February 26.

With Xiaomi's mobile endeavors absent from the US and Australia, you'll only be able to get a Xiaomi 13 Lite as an import or via a grey market retailer in those regions. However, the phone is readily available direct from Xiaomi across the UK and Europe, priced at £449 / €499 (approximately $535 / AU$810) for the single storage and memory configuration it's being made available in, internationally.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Specs

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on side buttons

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

If you're already familiar with the Civi 2, you'll notice that for the phone's adaptation into the Xiaomi 13 Lite for international release, the company has stripped back both the colorways and storage and memory configurations available.

While the Civi 2 could be had with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of non-expandable storage, the 13 Lite comes with a fixed 8GB RAM and 128GB storage – UFS 2.2 storage at that, far slower than the UFS 4.0 storage found on its more premium launch siblings.

You'll also find a choice of three colors internationally: black, Lite Blue, and Lite Pink, whereas the Civi 2 was made available to Chinese customers in those same three colors, alongside a "Little White Dress" version with a different surface finish, in white and a Hello Kitty special edition, with photochromic elements on its back that change from white to red.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Design

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on side

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Gorilla Glass 5 front, glass back, plastic frame
  • Impressively thin and lightweight
  • Three colorways on international model

The defining element of the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro has to be their sizeable squircle camera bumps, which sit proudly on each phone's back and stand out in contrast with a plain of flat glass, colored black.

By comparison, the Xiaomi 13 Lite's camera design is wholly different and far closer to the look of the Xiaomi 12 line; with color-matched surround around each sensor, and small dividing lines carving up the various sections of the module.

While the 13 and 13 Pro stand in contrast to one another with the former's flat-sided design to the latter's rounded edges, the 13 Lite's form also more closely echoes the Pro in this regard, with a thin frame, tapered Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, and a rounded glass back.

One of the Lite's big selling points is its thin and pocket-friendly 7.23mm profile, but the rounding at the point where the glass meets the frame gives the impression that the device is even thinner, especially in the hand. The Lite is also pleasingly... light for its size, at 171 grams, no doubt made possible by the material choices.

Unlike the original Civi, the Civi 2 and, in turn, the Xiaomi 13 Lite, rely on a shiny plastic frame instead of a metal one. During my first encounter with the phone, it looked fine, although the quality of the finish and the material's reflectivity give away the game a little bit, in terms of a lesser fit and finish compared to the phone's launch siblings.

However, the real concern is how the plastic will weather and wear after prolonged use. For a design-led phone like the Xiaomi 13 Lite, you'd hope that general use doesn't cause disproportionate wear and tear on the frame that would have been far less noticeable had Xiaomi stuck with metal, but only time will tell in that regard.

While the frame plays host to hardware controls along the right side and USB-C connectivity on the bottom, as you'd expect, an IR blaster set into the top of the frame was an unexpected surprise that even amongst phones from Chinese manufacturers, appears to be a less and less common inclusion.

As for finish options, as touched on earlier, while 13 Lite owners won't get as much choice as Civi 2 owners in China did – in terms of colorways – the trio of finishes that most markets will receive remains tasteful; the Lite Pink shown in these pictures gets a special commendation for its alluring iridescence.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Display

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on front camera

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display
  • 120Hz refresh rate. 240Hz touch sampling rate
  • Dual hole-punch cutout front cameras

Despite being the 'baby' of the bunch, the Xiaomi 13 Lite's 6.55-inch display actually places it between the standard and Pro models – in terms of screen size – while the tech specs of the panel aren't too dissimilar from the pricier Xiaomi 13.

On initial inspection, the Full HD+ AMOLED display offers pleasing colors and viewing angles, and competent-enough brightness, although its promised peak 1,000nits is almost half that of both the 13 and 13 Pro (both of which are cited as boasting a 1,900nit ceiling), meaning visibility in bright surroundings leaves plenty of room for improvement.

Gamers will appreciate the smooth 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch response rate, while media lovers aren't likely to balk at the 10-bit panel's support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ standards, as well as the full DCI-P3 color gamut.

The use of OLED tech over LCD – which occasionally still crops up in the mid-range market – makes for better contrast, more vivid visuals, and improved power efficiency, while Xiaomi's use of 1,920PWM dimming and assistive viewing tools, like a dedicated reading mode, should make it easier on the eye, in terms of viewer comfort.

There's an optical under-display fingerprint sensor for security and up top, a decidedly Dynamic Island-like pill-shaped cutout that plays host to two front-facing camera sensors. The user experience doesn't give the cutout any iPhone 14 Pro-like additional functionality, though (leave that to Realme's C55).

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Software

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Runs Android 12 on top of Xiaomi MIUI 14 out the box
  • 2 years security updates minimum

While the shift from the Civi 2 to the Xiaomi 13 Lite may seem slight, one notable change comes with the phone's software. To keep the 13 Lite feeling fresh, Xiaomi has graced the phone with the latest and greatest iteration of its own-brand user experience, MIUI 14.

Although the 13 Lite comes running Android 12 out the box – while the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro arrive with Android 13 – all three phones sport MIUI 14 from the get-go, which maintains the company's signature take on Android from an interaction perspective, but includes a few new additions too.

There's a new card-like interface to make select on-screen information more digestible and glanceable, while behind the scenes MIUI 14 reportedly takes up less space and fewer resources than MIUI 13 did, all while adding improvements to privacy and performance optimization that promise to improve the 13 Lite's quality of life.

Unlike its launch siblings, Xiaomi hasn't yet confirmed just how long the Xiaomi 13 Lite will benefit from software support, leading us to assume that it simply receives the company's bare minimum of two years of security updates. However, we've reached out to Xiaomi to confirm, and the hope is that Lite's software roadmap is much closer to the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro, which each come with three years of OS updates and five years of security updates. We'll update this section should we hear anything new.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Cameras

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on XIaomi Selfie Glow dual front flash

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Dual front-facing cameras with dual LED 'Xiaomi Selfie Glow' flashes
  • 50MP f/1.8 main camera (Sony IMX766)
  • 8MP f/2.2, 119° FoV ultrawide camera
  • 2MP f/2.4 (4cm fixed-focus) macro camera

Unfortunately, the promise of cameraphone supremacy that Xiaomi says it's achieved with the Leica partnership found on the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro doesn't carry across to the Lite, which features a more pedestrian sensor setup.

It leads with the same 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor used by the Xiaomi 12, whose camera experience we only described as "okay" during review, backed up by an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP fixed-focus macro that undoubtedly add variety to the phone's photographic experience, but not necessarily quality.

It's really the front camera system that perhaps has had the most attention paid to it. There's a 32MP main selfie-snapper accompanied by an 8MP depth sensor, that undoubtedly comes into play when taking portrait selfies; hoping to achieve a luxurious creamy bokeh around your face.

There are two neat tricks twinned with the phone's front-facing photographic experience: one hardware and one software. Xiaomi Selfie Glow is the branding used for the dual LED flash array, mounted on either side of the front camera; meant to offer superior illumination when taking selfies in dimly-lit environments. The flashes' offset position should help reduce the hard point-light effect that some front-facing selfies taken with the flash on fall prey to.

Second is Dynamic Framing, which can push from 1x to 0.8x to 0.6x zoom automatically, when shooting with the front camera, depending on how many subjects the phone detects in-frame, partly. It's made possible by the selfie snapper's wide 100° field of view.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Performance and audio

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on back handheld

The Xiaomi 13 uses USB-C (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (UFS 2.2)
  • Dolby Atmos

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset is a relatively unknown quantity in the wider phone space, as it's only really used by the Xiaomi Civi 2 / Xiaomi 13 Lite and the Chinese version of the Oppo Reno 8 Pro. It comes from pedigree, however, and should prove more than capable for most users' needs, including playing high-fidelity games (even if maximum graphical settings are likely out of reach).

In bringing the 13 Lite to global audiences, not unlike colorways, Xiaomi has seen fit to strip back the memory and storage options to just one, compared to two of each on the Civi 2 in China.

As such, the Xiaomi 13 Lite comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB of non-expandable UFS 2.2 storage. While fine for general use, it's notably older and slower storage tech, compared to the cutting-edge UFS 4.0-compliant storage found on the flagship-class Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro.

The audio experience doesn't make mention of stereo speakers, and at the event where we went hands-on with the phone, we were unable to properly test the phone's sound quality against the din of the crowds but Xiaomi does, at least, promise Dolby Atmos support, which provides a baseline that suggests audio quality isn't a total afterthought on the 13 Lite.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Lite review: Battery life

Xiaomi 13 Lite hands on back angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 4,500mAh battery
  • 67W wired fast charging
  • No wireless charging support

Despite touting such a thin and lightweight design, the Xiaomi 13 Lite manages to integrate the same 4,500Mah capacity battery as the far-thicker Xiaomi 13 and, better yet, matches its promisingly-speedy 67W wired charging speeds.

One notable trade-off for such a thin profile is that wireless charging is out of the question here, but with a full charge promised in under 40 minutes, having wired charging as your only option doesn't seem so bad.

First tested February 2023

It’s official: Nothing Phone (2) will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 series chipset
11:58 pm | February 28, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

Nothing didn't want to be left out of the media spotlight this week what with all the announcements happening at MWC in Barcelona, so it started its teaser campaign for the upcoming Phone (2) in earnest. We're expecting to be drip-fed tidbits of information about the new device over the next few weeks or months, since that's a strategy that Nothing CEO Carl Pei loves and has employed many times before, including at OnePlus before founding Nothing. It all starts with the chipset. The Nothing Phone (2) will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 series. Nothing Phone (1) Unfortunately the...

Xiaomi 13 Pro review – a camera-led flagship for the world
7:01 pm | February 26, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi 13 Pro: Two-minute preview

The wait felt long but Xiaomi is finally bringing its latest flagship line – the Xiaomi 13 series – to international markets. The best phones on the global stage, like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, have a new contender to worry about; one that doesn't mess around, based on my initial time with the Xiaomi 13 Pro.

Although it's intended as a direct successor to Xiaomi 12 Pro, one of the 13 Pro's biggest selling points (that new Leica-branded camera system) is actually a direct continuation of the technology first seen in the China-exclusive Xiaomi 12S Ultra that we encountered later into 2022, in August.

Our first taste of the company's newly-minted relationship with the optical wizards at Leica, mated with Sony's sizeable 1-inch IMX989 sensor and Xiaomi's own image processing, proved to be a recipe for success; impressing reviewer Basil Kronfli, who described the 12S Ultra as "the best camera phone I've used."

A photo of the Xiaomi 12s Ultra smartphone

Xiaomi 12S Ultra paired Leica optics with a 1-inch Sony sensor. (Image credit: Basil Kronfli / TechRadar)

With such lofty praise, the 12S Ultra's absence from the international market felt like a crying shame, making the Xiaomi 13 Pro's fresh international release all the more significant.

That killer camera setup, features a trio of 50MP rear sensors, including a 3.2x telephoto with a floating lens arrangement. The Xiaomi 13 Pro also comes with a ceramic-backed body, plus Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile chipset, with faster and more efficient memory and storage than its predecessor.

For charging, we get the same impressive 120W wired, 50W wireless and 10W reverse wireless charging as before, but this time paired to a larger, 4,820mAh battery. Nice.

Although the verdict is still out on whether this is one of the best Android phones of the year, it certainly has the makings of a great flagship device, one that I can't wait to sink my teeth into for a full review, so don't forget to check back soon for a final verdict.

In the meantime, read on for my hands-on experiences with the Xiaomi 13 Pro, and if you're curious about its smaller-but-still-potent launch sibling, we also have a hands-on Xiaomi 13 review for you to enjoy too.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Price and availability

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Xiaomi 13 review with Xiaomi 13 Pro backs angled

The Xiaomi 13 (left) launched alongside the Xiaomi 13 Pro (right) at MWC 2023 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 review with Xiaomi 13 Pro cameras closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 review with Xiaomi 13 Pro front angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 review with Xiaomi 13 Pro front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 review with Xiaomi 13 Pro USB C

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Both the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro were first unveiled for the Chinese market back on December 11 2022, however, fans globally have had to wait until the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, where on February 26, the phones released globally, accompanied by the addition of the Xiaomi 13 Lite.

Although a global release, with Xiaomi's absence from the US and Australian markets, you likely won't see the phones available unless purchased through gray market channels in each region.

Prospects in the UK are (ironically) sunnier for the Xiaomi 13 Pro's availability, with Xiaomi itself, along with 'official retail channels' and local retailers, like Currys and Argos, stocking the phone from March 14.

In the UK, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is priced at £1,099 (approximately $1,310 / AU$1,950), undercutting the aforementioned iPhone 14 Pro Max and S23 Ultra by £100 and £150, respectively, but falling short of the recently-released OnePlus 11, which packs the same chipset and relies on the expertise of Hasselblad for its camera credentials instead of Leica.

For context, the standard Xiaomi 13 costs £849 (approximately $1,015 / AU$1,510) and the Xiaomi 13 Lite comes in at £449 (approximately $535 / AU$800), in the UK.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Specs

Xiaomi 13 Pro review front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

In China, you'll find the Xiaomi 13 Pro with more memory (8GB or 12GB), storage (128GB / 256GB / 512GB) and finish (blue or ceramic white, black or green) variations than the rest of the world, while most international markets serve the phone up with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage, along with ceramic white or black finishes. UK buyers only have a single 12GB RAM, 256GB storage option in ceramic black to choose from, but I'm not complaining.

Why Xiaomi pairs down the variety of 13 Pros customers can opt for overseas – especially in the UK – is unclear, but at a guess it's that the company can't guarantee sales in the same way it can in its homeland.

Like the Galaxy S23 series, the Xiaomi 13 Pro also benefits from the latest in memory and storage technology; with faster and more power efficient LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage (up from LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1 on the Xiaomi 12 Pro).

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Design

Xiaomi 13 Pro review back angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Elegant ceramic finish
  • Sizeable camera bump
  • Fingerprint magnet

Unlike previous generations, the Xiaomi 13 series isn't quite as consistent across models, aesthetically speaking.

The 13 and 13 Pro both sport a pillowed back (hewn from Gorilla Glass in the case of the 13 and ceramic in the case of the Pro), as well as a prominent squircle Leica-branded camera bump. And what a bump it is; the Pro's, in particular, has to make room for that huge 1-inch sensor and two OIS systems, meaning it rises high off the phone's back.

In truth, it's unapologetic, which I admire, and while it perhaps doesn't look quite as elegant as the Xiaomi 12 series' camera modules, it's an undeniable statement; representing the phone's power and photographic prowess.

The 13 and 13 Pro also stand apart from one another with the latter's use of a rounded aluminum frame (not unlike the OnePlus 11), to the standard model's decidedly iPhone 14-like flat polished edging. Oddly enough, the Xiaomi 13 Lite most closely emulates Xiaomi 12 series design language out of the three new phones.

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Xiaomi 13 Pro review angled camera bump

One heck of a hump. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review side camera bump

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review fingerprint smudges

Keep your polishing cloth close... (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review USB-C

The elliptical speaker grille resembles an audio waveform. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review top angled

One of the few phones that still features an IR blaster, to control your TV, aircon and more. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review side buttons

Hardware buttons all fall on the phone's right side. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review back straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review fingerprint sensor

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 13 Pro review USB C straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The ceramic black back (pictured) of the 13 Pro is cool to the touch, while its rounded form makes this fairly large phone sit comfortably in the hand; although that polished finish is no-less susceptible to fingerprints and smudges than glass (even the included flexible transparent case holds onto them too).

At 229 grams, the Xiaomi 13 Pro is a heavy device too – even for its size. Sure, it's not as weighty as the S23 Ultra (234 grams) or the latest Pro Max iPhone (240 grams) but it's in the same ballpark, for sure. It's rounded form is IP68 dust and water resistant too, which is appreciated.

Although more colorways would be welcome, the fact that it's only available in black in the UK isn't all that bad, as it best complements that large camera bump and serves up the most tasteful appearance overall (fingerprints permitting), in my opinion.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Display

Xiaomi 13 Pro review MIUI 14 software

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.73-inch 'AdaptiveSync Pro' AMOLED display w/ exceptional brightness and viewing angles
  • Dynamic 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate. 240Hz touch sampling rate
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front

Brightness was one of the big wins for the Xiaomi 12 Pro's display,  especially during video playback, and that's what's seen the biggest upgrade. The Xiaomi 13 Pro's screen now tops out at a beaming 1,900nits, up from 1,500 previously.

To the eye, while brightness is undeniably impressive, I was also surprised by the screen's exceptional viewing angles, which appear to show minimal brightness drop-off or color distortion, even at extreme angles.

Beyond these key traits, the 13 Pro serves up a viewing experience similar to its predecessor, set behind a layer of protective Gorilla Glass Victus.

The 6.73-inch 20:9 E6 AMOLED 'AdaptiveSync Pro' display boasts a dynamic 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate, with a 240Hz touch sampling rate that's ideal for gaming. The WQHD+ resolution at this size also ensures that it's sharper than most rivals' screens, with a pixel density of 522ppi.

Xiaomi's MIUI software also serves up plenty of control over the viewing experience, which itself is flexible enough to support various display standards; from Dolby Vision to HDR10+. What's more, it comes with SGS Eye Care certification, which means the 13 Pro's screen is equipped to ensure less eye fatigue than some competitors' displays (likely possible through included technologies like its 1920PWM dimming and adaptive reading mode).

There's also a perfectly responsive optical in-display fingerprint sensor, however, the face unlock enabled by the punch-hole in the top-center of the screen is even more eager to unlock the phone at some impressive angles and distances.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Software

Xiaomi 13 Pro review front angled on stand

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Runs Android 13 on top of Xiaomi MIUI 14 out the box
  • 3 years of OS updates, 5 years security updates
  • Duplicate apps aim to add value

Xiaomi's MIUI has long pulled away from the established Android user experience you'll find on phones like Google's own Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, with a layout and behavior that, on the surface, is more reminiscent of Apple's iOS.

Swiping down from the top right reveals the quick settings menu, while pulling from the top left corner brings in your notifications. There's no apps drawer by default, and Xiaomi also favors three-button navigation as standard. However, both of these interface choices can be reverted, to reinstate the drawer and favor gestures instead, by altering settings.

In fact, MIUI 14 running atop Android 13, as it comes on the Xiaomi 13 Pro, is heaped in customization; with a theme store that can change everything from the wallpaper to apps icons, plus the ability to swap out UI animations and more.

Xiaomi 13 Pro review quick settings

Is that you Control Center? (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There are also a fair number of third- and first-party apps that stand alongside the expected gamut of Google apps, including Chrome, Google Photos, Google Maps and the like. The third-party entries, for the most part, feel like spam (I don't need at my beck and call), but can thankfully be uninstalled.

As for the first-party apps, while there are a fair number of duplicate offerings to Google's pre-installed suite of service, Xiaomi does try to offer a little added value. Xiaomi's web browser, for example, has a number a nice additional features not found on Chrome, like a built-in video downloader.

Xiaomi 13 Pro review optimizer software

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There are also characterful elements that add a little zest to what is otherwise and conventional user experience, like the way storage used is represented by a virtual liquid that sloshes around on-screen and reacts to how you move and rotate the phone in your hand.

Xiaomi's also continuing its respectable commitment to software support for its flagship devices, and both the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro arrive with up to three years of subsequent OS release updates and five years of security updates. That's on-par with Google Pixel and a year less than Samsung and OnePlus, in terms of OS support, but still, pretty good.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Cameras

Xiaomi 13 Pro review camera closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • First Leica-branded triple rear camera setup for Xiaomi, globally
  • 50MP f/1.9 main camera w/ OIS, Sony IMX989 1-inch sensor and Leica Vario-Summicron ASPH 23mm lens
  • 50MP f/2.0 'floating' telephoto camera w/ OIS and 3.2x optical zoom
  • 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera w/ 115° FoV

If you're willing to embrace the Xiaomi 13 Pro's not-insignificant camera bump, you'll be gaining what looks to be a formidable trio of 50MP sensors, tuned in partnership with the camera masters at Leica.

While the Xiaomi 12S Ultra was the first phone to leverage Xiaomi's Leica partnership after the camera company's previous collaboration with Huawei came to an end, the Xiaomi 13 series is the first of the company's devices to launch internationally packing Leica-supported camera tech.

Beyond the branding on the back and the elaborately-named 'Vario-Summicron ASPH' lens setup, Leica's involvement also carries across to the software side of things too. You have the choice of shooting in 'Leica Vibrant' or 'Leica Authentic', with Vibrant pushing contrast and color saturation, while Authentic intended to yield more true-to-life imagery; something I'll be putting to the test come the full review.

What Xiaomi's calling the 'master-lens system' makes picking the right lens for the the intended result easier and more akin to rifling through a bag of physical lenses, while the 'Xiaomi Image Engine' is in place to deliver less shutter lag than previous entries and faster autofocus on subjects, even if they're in motion.

There's also the option to shoot in Pro mode, which allows for 10-bit RAW DNG capture, with color profiles on hand, created by Adobe.

Xiaomi 13 Pro review camera modes

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

50MP across the board ensures a greater level of consistency when shooting the same scenario using all three of the phone's rear lenses, however, that huge one-inch Sony sensor's ability to combine four pixels into one larger 3.2μm binned-pixel should make for some excellent low light shooting, supported by an OIS (optical image stabilization) system called 'HyperOIS' and an 8P lens configuration for greater clarity and reduced reflectivity.

The 50MP telephoto sensor, with its 3.2x optical zoom, also sounds impressive, thanks to its floating lens construction – which should prove particularly helpful when capturing portrait shots.

There's also 8K video capture at 24fps on the table, along with Dolby Vision-compliant 4K video capture at 30fps, with promised enhancement for recording at night.

It's also worth mentioning that there's a 32MP front-facing punch-hole camera, set into the top of the display, that supports HDR and portrait shooting too.

If it isn't already obvious, the cameras are a huge part of what defines the Xiaomi 13 Pro experience and there's a lot to dig into, for which I'll be serving up camera samples and a complete evaluation come the full review.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Performance and audio

Xiaomi 13 Pro review performance Game Turbo

The Xiaomi 13 uses USB-C (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset
  • Connectivity includes the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard
  • Powerful stereo speakers

Both the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro run Qualcomm's latest and greatest mobile SoC – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. While not the tuned variant exclusive to Samsung's Galaxy S23 series, even in its standard form, it's already proven its potential as one of the best pieces of silicon on the market; offering notable gains in performance, graphics and gaming, and AI computing.

As mentioned earlier, the global 13 Pro can be had with 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, both of which boast greater read and write speeds, as well as improved power efficiency, compared to the RAM and storage in last year's Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Connectivity includes 5G, with dual SIM support, NFC and support for the latest Wi-Fi 7 standard and speeds.

On the audio side of things, Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi 13 Pro alongside the Buds 4 Pro true wireless buds, which can connect over the phone's Bluetooth 5.3 connection, while integrated stereo speakers boast Dolby Atmos support. In practice, there's a definite bias towards the down-firing speaker, but volume and overall clarity seem strong, based on my initial impressions.

Hands-on Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Battery life

Xiaomi 13 Pro review charger

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Larger 4,820mAh battery than predecessor
  • 120W wired fast charging (charger in box)
  • 50W wireless and 10W reverse wireless charging support

A lot of the Xiaomi 13 Pro's size and weight presumably comes from the new, high-capacity, higher-density 4,820mAh battery it has to find room for.

Like its predecessor, Xiaomi has seen fit to grace the 13 Pro with an impressive set of numbers when it comes to charging: 120W 'HyperCharge' fast wired charging, plus rapid 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging (compatibility permitting) that's collectively faster than pretty much any other phone that supports all three technologies.

Xiaomi quotes a rapid recharge time of only 19 minutes to 100% over wired charging, and the Surge charging chip onboard keeps watch over the recharge process to make sure things stay cool, stable and safe, and battery health over time remains as good as it can be.

By comparison, the standard Xiaomi 13's 67W fast wired charging promises to reach 100% in 38 minutes, which is still very respectable and both entries in the series stand head and shoulders above both Apple's and Samsung's newest flagships, in terms of quote recharge time. As for real-world performance, you won't have to wait long to find out from us whether Xiaomi is true to its word.

First tested February 2023

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
6:26 pm | February 25, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Two-minute review

If we were to judge the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra on nothing but its cameras and, in particular, the optical and digitally-enhanced zoom capabilities, we might call it the best smartphone ever.

Or at least, the best phone of 2022. Its successor has since been announced though, so check out our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for first impressions of that. We also have a hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 review and a hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review.

Of course, even before its successor landed, it wouldn't have been fair to judge the S22 Ultra as the best based on its cameras alone – every handset is the sum of its design, features, components, utility, and value – but taken as a whole, this Samsung Galaxy Series-Galaxy Note hybrid is an excellent, albeit massive Android handset that not only ticks all the important boxes, but delivers more features than you may ever want or use.

The design is an echo of, but also more forward-leaning than, Samsung’s last Note device. It really is a hybrid. There will be no complaints about the ultra-high-resolution, 6.8-inch screen, which offers brilliant colors and smooth motion at 120Hz, but is smart enough to stop down all the way to 1Hz, when that’s all you need, to save on battery life.

The camera array is strong. Sure, it’s not a complete overhaul of the Galaxy S21’s camera system, but that was already pretty darn good. This is arguably better – the Optical and Space Zooms are simply marvels of modern technology.

We also love the thin and light S Pen, and we’re thrilled that it’s finally integrated – literally – into the Galaxy line. It does so many things so well, and for productivity-focused mobile users it could be a godsend.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra full back

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's back is black, satin Gorilla Glass Victus+ (Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Specs

Display: 6.8-inch, Quad HD+
Dimensions: 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 229G
Screen refresh: 120Hz
Screen brightness: 1750 nits
Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
Water resistance: IP68
Selfie camera: 40MP resolution
Main camera: 108MP resolution
Telephoto camera: 2 10MP resolution sensors
Ultrawide: 12MP resolution
Battery: 5000mAh
Memory: 8GB or 12GB available
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB available

Samsung’s One UI 4.1 software is mostly good, even if it does create some duplication of browsers, photos, and messages apps. Other tools, like Expert Raw, a freely downloadable Samsung app that gives you full access to all the camera controls and lets you capture and save RAW format photos, and the video-conferencing app Google Duo, which both do an excellent job of showing off the phone’s power and versatility, are the real highlights here.

Performance-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor acquits itself nicely (no, it doesn’t beat Apple’s A15 Bionic). The point is, we couldn't find a single app that was sluggish or disappointing on the mobile monolith.

Battery life was more of a mixed bag. We did get a full day of solid use (18 hours or so), but we thought we might get more out of the massive 5,000 mAh battery and high-performance, energy-efficient CPU.

Ultimately, though, this is the kind of device that can make you forget what’s come before it. If you were used to a smaller-screen device, you’ll feel cramped if you ever go back to it. If you struggled in the past to take photos of the moon, you’ll wonder why Apple hasn’t figured this out yet. If you wished that your device had just a little more power to complete those raw image-editing tasks, your wish has been granted.

Part of Samsung’s new S22 lineup, but looking nothing like its siblings, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is to the casual observer a Galaxy Note in a shiny, new coat. It does have a much bigger and bolder camera array (lifted pretty much intact from the S21 Ultra), but it’s otherwise a canny adjustment of the Note aesthetic or, as Samsung might call it, the “Note Experience.” Still, this adjustment leaves it as easily the best Samsung phone.

If you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Release date and price

  • Starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM
  • Storage options up to 1TB, no microSD slot for expansion

A device that combines the best of Samsung’s S Series and the Note’s more industrial design and capabilities doesn't come cheap. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM.

There are naturally bigger storage options (that also include more RAM), which can take you all the way to a 1TB model ($1,599.99 / £1,499 / AU$2,449 ). 256GB will run you $1,299,99 / £1,249 / AU$1,999, and 512GB is $1,399.99 / £1,329 / AU$2,149. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Choose your storage options wisely, because none of the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones come with a microSD card slot for upgrading your storage space.

The good news is, prices are often lower than that now that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is getting on a bit - and they're likely to drop further now that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has arrived.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Screen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's AMOLED screen measures 6.8-inches diagonally. (Image credit: Future)
  • Screen is 6.8-inch OLED with WQHD+ resolution
  • Armor Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • S Pen housed in a silo in the phone

An inarguably beautiful device, the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – owing to its Note roots – doesn’t look much like the Galaxy S22 Plus. It starts from the original Galaxy Note 10 design but takes it forward with even more premium materials.

The frame is a solid Armor Aluminum that rigidly resists bends. Polished on the outside to a near-chrome finish, the metal is sandwiched between two Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ plates. The front glass is high-gloss, and the back is a warm satin finish; both do a decent job of repelling fingerprints. The phone’s IP68-rated body also handily resided the water we ran over it.

The above finishes come in seven color options: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue and Red. The dark green is sexy, but we’ve fallen in love with the inky Phantom Black of our test device.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Did we mention that this is a big phone? Its dimensions are 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm, which is taller than a 6.7-inch Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, but, somewhat surprisingly, at 229g, lighter than Apple’s biggest handset. Small hands will struggle with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The curved edges make the Galaxy S22 Ultra comfortable to hold, but the lack of edges also makes it feel slippery as a fish – albeit a fish made of hard glass and metal.

There are two flat surfaces, on the top and bottom of the device. The top plane is a mostly unbroken slab of metal, with one tiny drill-through hole for a microphone. The bottom surface houses the SIM slot, USB-C charging port (the phone ships with a USB-C cable but no charging brick- BYOB is a thing now), speaker grille, and the S Pen.

If you’re in any doubt that this is a Note in S Series clothing, you need only to press that slight bump on the base and pop out the familiar and light S Pen. It’s all the things a Samsung S Pen should be, giving up nothing for its new Galaxy S22 Ultra home. More on the stylus later.

The 6.8-inch AMOLED screen is another highlight. It supports up to 3088 x 1440 pixels (WQHD+) resolution, which works out to 500 ppi. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, by contrast, has 458ppi on its 6.7-inch 2778 x 1284 screen. It’s worth noting that the S22 Ultra’s default resolution is 2316 x 1080 (FHD+), which Samsung says uses somewhat less battery life – although halfway through our testing we switched to WQHD+ and didn’t notice much, if any, battery performance loss.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra base

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra edge

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra wet screen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra wet screen (Image credit: Future)

Everything from games and videos to apps looks fantastic on the display, which now has the ability to smoothly shift from a 1Hz refresh rate all the way up to a butter-smooth 120Hz. Such adaptive technology can be hard to notice because, for instance, 1Hz might be used for the home screen or a word processor, while 120Hz might be called on for gaming.

The point is, when the imagery should be clean and smooth, it is. The lower refresh rates primarily help to conserve battery – there’s no need to update the screen more than a hundred times per second if nothing is moving.

With a peak brightness of 1750 nits and Samsung’s new Vision Booster technology, the screen does a decent job of maintaining visibility even in direct sunlight. Naturally, though, this means the brightness gets turned up to 100%, which will impact your daily battery life.

Hidden under the screen, roughly a third of the way up from the bottom edge, is the effective ultrasonic fingerprint reader. We found it easy to both register a finger and use it to unlock the phone. The other biometric security option is facial recognition, but Samsung warns that this isn’t as secure as other options, like a PIN or fingerprint.

There’s also a small drill hole through the screen for the 40MP front-facing camera.

Put simply, this is a lovely screen for viewing and writing.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera array

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera array (Image credit: Future)
  • Main camera is 108MP with f/1.8 aperture and an 85-defree FOV
  • Two telephoto lenses with 10MP sensors, one ultrawide 12MP sensor
  • Optical zoom up to 10x, Space Zoom enhanced up to 100x

When people say, “So, it’s basically a new Samsung Galaxy Note, right?” we have to flip over the phone to show them the camera array, which is a dead ringer for the one on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. 

Don’t worry, though – this is not some Frankenstein’s monster of smartphone design. Because Samsung has done away with the contour box that popped the whole thing up a millimeter or so above the back of the S21, the S22 Ultra’s array of five lenses looks perfectly at home.

The cameras don’t just look similar – they’re almost the same. There are two 10MP telephoto lenses: one is f/2.4 with a 36-degree field of view (FOV) and the other is f/4.9 with an 11-degree FOV. There’s also a 12MP ultrawide with a 120-degree FOV, and then there’s the 108MP main wide camera (f/1.8) with an 85-degree FOV. 

However, the technology backing these lenses has gotten an upgrade. While the image sensors haven't changed since the S21 Ultra, Samsung has done some work on optical image stabilization, digital image stabilization (for a better Super Steady system), and image processing. The result is better performance from all the lenses, but especially in the zoom arena. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s zoom capabilities simply blow away anything we’ve ever seen before from a mobile phone camera. Obviously, the 3x and 10x optical zoom are not only solid but offer clear images of distant objects with enough clarity that you can crop in on details without seeing much pixelation.

The 30x and especially 100x Space Zoom is where, at least in previous iterations of Samsung’s technology, you’d see significant artifacts in your photos.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1x (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 10x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 10x (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 30x space zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 30x space zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 100x space zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 100x space zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Now, however, these images are shockingly good, at least at first glance. Sure, you can’t crop in too much without the images breaking down into a Picasso-like mess, but untouched, these can be perfectly shareable images.

Part of this has to do with the stabilization, which at 100x, basically takes control of the lens and holds a subject (like the moon) in the frame. It can feel a little like you’re no longer in control of the lens, but it does do a good job of countering your shaky hands.

Wide and ultrawide images also benefit from some new pixel sorcery. With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung introduced Adaptive Pixel. This takes nona-binning (first introduced with the S21 Ultra), which takes nine pixels of information and combines them for better color and contrast, and combines it with the full resolution of the 108MP wide-angle original. That lens also gets an auto-focus assist from what looks like a fifth lens on the back of the phone - it's actually a Laser Auto Focus sensor. If you look closely, you can see the little red laser light peeking out from behind the glass.

Virtually every image we shot looked great, even if we did detect a hint of over-saturation (it wouldn’t be Samsung if they didn’t over-saturate the image).

The front-facing camera, meanwhile, uses tetra-binning to combine four pixels into one for a high-quality 10MP image.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Nightography selfie

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Nightography night sky shot

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra long exposure pro camera settings test

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung’s lenses, stabilization, image sensors, and algorithms also make what the company calls ‘Nightography’ possible. While we don’t like the marketing term, the phone’s night-time and low-light photographic skills are clear. It can brighten a night sky to near daytime, capture the moon or your face in poor lighting, and has some long-exposure skills too.

The front and rear cameras do a nice job with portrait photography, courtesy of a Portrait mode that’s getting good enough to separate stray hairs from a bokeh background. Samsung told us this is due, in part, to its new depth map technology. The presets, which include the ability to create a virtual backdrop (a chromakey color is used so that you can easily substitute some other background later) are pretty good, as well.

You can also shoot some high-quality 4K video at 60fps, and up to 8K at 24fps. We were pleased with the results.

We were less impressed with the phone’s Portrait Video capabilities, which come nowhere close to the magic of Apple’s iPhone 13 line’s Cinematic mode video (it needs a face in frame to work). The auto-framing capability, which literally zooms the camera in and out to keep people in frame, doesn’t seem all that useful – we suspect it needs more refinement.

One thing we do appreciate about Samsung’s video shooting capabilities is that, unlike an iPhone, it lets you shoot video, hit pause, and continue shooting while keeping the entire shoot in one video file. Apple should add this feature ASAP.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo of almost full moon

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo of almost full moon (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom shot of the moon through trees

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom shot of the moon through trees (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom bird photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra sunset photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ultrawide camera photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra optical zoom test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra optical zoom test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra front facing camera Portrait Mode test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra front facing camera Portrait Mode test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra portrait mode test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra portrait mode test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo Freedom Tower from 3 miles away

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo Freedom Tower from 3 miles away (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Pro Camera test full control shutter speed ISO

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Pro Camera test full control shutter speed ISO (Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: S Pen

  • Very light and versatile
  • Take notes on the lock screen

Aside from the awesome cameras, the main reason you’d spend all that extra dough on a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is for the integrated S Pen. The light and versatile stylus is hidden inside the phone’s body; it’s small, thin, and feels so easy to lose that you’ll wish there were magnets in the S Pen and on the body of the S22 Ultra to hold these companions together when you don’t slip the stylus inside the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen (Image credit: Future)

With the S Pen, you can take notes on a lock screen (they’re white ink on a black background), or open the phone and access a slide-in menu of eight customizable options. 

These include taking notes, viewing them, making smart selections of anything on the screen, drawing on a screen capture, live messages, doodling in augmented reality, translations, and PenUp, a community space where you can learn how to draw with the S Pen and share your creations with others. 

All of these features work as advertised, and offer fast ways of grabbing content, marking it up, and sharing with friends and coworkers.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with S Pen on top

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra drawing with the S Pen

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen software menu

(Image credit: Future)

In our estimation, the S Pen is a wildly useful implement and, despite its small size (small for this reviewer’s hands anyway), it’s an effective drawing implement. We opened Sketchbook and had a great time drawing, especially because the pen and screen recognize pressure and angle.

The S Pen is also a solid productivity tool. We scrawled some notes in Samsung Notes and then let the system convert the scribbles to real text. It didn’t miss a word.

Overall, there’s a lot you can do with the S Pen, but it also follows the 80/20 rule – most of us will use 20% of the features, 80% of the time.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Software

  • Android 12 with Samsung One UI 4.1
  • Some apps, like Messages, are duplicated with Samsung and Google versions

While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an Android 12 phone - and one of the best Android phones at that - it’s also running One UI 4.1, the latest version of Samsung’s Android interface software. Like most Android overlays, this one isn’t primarily there to enforce a bespoke design aesthetic on top of pure Android; rather, it duplicates some utilities, like the web browser and photos apps, and adds tons of smart software touches and useful tools, like Samsung’s new Wallet, that should enhance the Android experience

Samsung’s onboard photo and video-editing capabilities, for example, are strong. We especially like the ability to magically remove an object from a photo, which worked like a charm on a photo of a dozen donuts – instead of eating them, we just selected them one by one and removed them from the original image. The software did leave behind a few telltale artifacts, but you'd be hard-pressed to tell what was there before we digitally removed a donut.

There’s also a freely downloadable Expert Raw app, which gives you access to all the pro shooting tools (ISO, white balance, focus, shutter speed) and lets you shoot raw images, which we then edited on the phone in Adobe’s Lightroom app.

It’s not great, however, that there’s both a Messages app and a Samsung Messages app. The icons look similar, but they’re two distinct apps. It’s this kind of nonsense that will always keep the Android messaging system slightly behind iOS’s iMessage. We want one system – the new RCS (Rich Communication Services) is fine – and complete cross-app compatibility.

Samsung has made a lot of noise about Google’s updated Google Duo video conferencing utility, which makes its debut on the S22 Ultra, and it does work as advertised. We made a Duo call to a friend, which looked and sounded good on both sides, and then quite effortlessly shared views of our screen, apps like Twitter, and played a YouTube video that we were both able to enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra connecting phone to Windows 11

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra connecting phone to Windows 11 (Image credit: Future)

Samsung is also strengthening its partnership with Microsoft, and we had no trouble adding our Microsoft account, which includes OneDrive and the Office Suite. It was also easy to connect the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to our Windows 11 PC. 

We started the process on the phone, and then we had to visit a URL on the PC (it was supposed to pop up automatically, but didn’t) where we found a QR code. We pointed the S22 Ultra camera at the code, and the phone then guided us through the rest of the set-up process.

With the connection complete, we were able to control our phone through the desktop using our mouse; we even ran Asphalt 9 for a hot second before the connection crashed.

While, in our tests, it wasn’t immediately clear how having these platforms blended in this way benefits the user, we think the ability to quickly access on-phone data, messages, and calls is surely part of the attraction.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specs and performance

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with camera app open

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with camera app open (Image credit: Future)
  • A 4nm processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in most of the world
  • UK and Australia get Samsung Exynos 2200 chipset

Over almost a week of intense testing, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra never let us down. It’s a fast and powerful phone. The 4nm processor (in our test phone it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset – UK or Australia will get Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset.) doesn’t outperform Apple’s A15 Bionic in Geekbench benchmarks, but raw numbers never tell the full story.

For what it’s worth, here are the numbers for our device, which shipped with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage). 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Geekbench benchmarks


Single Core: 1236
Multi-Core: 3417

OpenCL Score: 5866 

Apple’s numbers are better, but the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra didn’t feel any slower across all tasks. Perhaps the only situation where we detected a small stutter was on 8K video playback (that’s 8K video that we shot with the very same phone). 

This is also a gorgeous and quite powerful gaming phone, and handled my Asphalt 9 race through Barcelona without a single hiccup.

Call quality was generally excellent. We could hear our caller clearly, and they told us we were coming through equally clear. The 5G performance (we were on T-Mobile in the US) was, by turns, excellent and average – it seemed to depend on how close we were to a decent 5G tower.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Battery life

  • Large 5,000 mAh battery and wireless charging
  • Could not meet our expectations for battery life

Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S22 Ultra features a beefy 5,000mAh battery and wireless charging. In our tests, the battery was good for a full day of varied activity (roughly from 7am to 11pm) but not much more (this was the same for mid-range and high-resolution screen settings). 

We were a little surprised that such a large battery didn’t provide a day and a half of battery life. Perhaps the new 4nm chip isn’t as efficient as Samsung had hoped. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 S Pen

(Image credit: Future)

The phone has a built-in vapor champer and heat-sync material. Even so, we detected some warmth on the back of the phone when performing a variety of tasks, including web browsing, photography, and gaming, for extended periods. We wonder if Samsung might be able to improve battery performance with some software tweaks.

As noted above, the phone doesn't ship with a charger, just the USB-C cable to connect to one – a potential shock for people upgrading from the previous Note. Also, the in-the-box package no longer includes a set of earbuds, and while this at least makes some sense, as the phone no longer has a 3.5mm headphone jack, you start to feel like Samsung is asking for more money while giving you less.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably not for everyone. It’s giant, expensive, and might be overkill for people who simply want a nice screen, decent photos, and a good on-screen social media experience. For those who want more, say a phone that is ready to run Raw photo editing apps, mark up screens and images, create detailed works of art and take zoom photos that will make you the envy of all your iPhone-carrying friends, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is worth every dime.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also consider...

If the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review has you curious about the fastest smartphones on the market, you can read our full roundup of the best phones you can buy. 

First reviewed: February 2022

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Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

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