The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a weird quirk with the camera – it would never happen with the iPhone
Your Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra may take better or worse photos and videos than other Galaxy S22 Ultras, and for a reason you can’t control: the chipset.
According to camera testers from DxOMark, the camera performance of US model Galaxy S22 Ultra and international model is slightly different. Both handsets end up with the same overall score and ranking position, but it’s interesting that this difference exists in their photo, zoom and video capabilities. A difference you will never find on other phone brands.
In case you need a reminder, the US and Chinese versions of all three Galaxy S22 series phones use Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipsets, while the international versions (including the UK) get an Exynos 2200 chip. Although the camera hardware is the same between these versions, their image processing capabilities differ due to the different ISPs used by either chip. There’s also a slight difference in performance, as we discovered when comparing two Galaxy S22 Plus handsets.
Based on DxOMarks overall rating, no phone definitely comes out on top. However, in its score distribution, the Exynos 2200-equipped S22 Ultra performs better in zoom tests, delivering more detail and less noise. It’s also a bit better for shooting video, as its clips have less unwanted artifacts and less noise in low-light shots. On the other hand, the Snapdragon version generally does better when taking regular photos, offering improved lighting and texture to the subjects being photographed.
While this is interesting, don’t consider this enough of a reason to get a Galaxy S22 model that isn’t normally available in your country. Performance differences will not be worth the additional import costs. So if you like the sound of any Galaxy S22 model, pick the locally available ones we’ve highlighted in our best Samsung Galaxy S22 deals.
A particularly strange problem
That said, this is still a very odd problem that rivals like Apple or Google would never encounter. iPhones and Pixels use the same chip worldwide, providing a unified experience for all users. We’ve known for some time that Samsung’s two-chip approach has currently caused a performance difference between US and international Galaxy S phones, but it appears to extend to cameras as well.
Samsung, due to reaching an agreement with Snapdragon maker Qualcomm several years ago, seems stuck with this split in its flagship phone lineup for now. Until this stops, some users, whether in the US or overseas, will have a better or worse experience with certain aspects of the phone, which just isn’t fair being given that they all pay the same (rather high) price for the privilege of buying a Samsung flagship.
If you’re looking for the best Android phones, or the best phones overall, the Galaxy S22 series, and the Ultra in particular, are worth buying for more than just their cameras. All three phones have great screens and performance whether they have Snapdragon or Exynos chips, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra also gets a built-in stylus.