Why the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra won our Phone of the Year award

Samsung S22 Ultra phone on table with logo for TechRadar Choice Awards winners
(Image credit: Samsung)

This has been a superb year for smartphones, and yet one of the first flagships that really made a statement in 2022 managed to stay at the top of the pile through it all. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra proved itself worthy of the Phone of the Year award at the TechRadar Choice Awards 2022 sponsored by Sky Broadband, by being able to fend off practically every major competitor that's followed.

We've seen an interesting shift in the last couple of year's with Samsung's flagship phone strategy, represented most notably by the company's decision to shelve its Galaxy Note line and double-down on it's Galaxy Z foldables. But that move also left the door open for Samsung to further enhance the Galaxy S line, in areas once addressed by the company's Note series.

As such, the Galaxy S22 Ultra represents the perfect fusion of design and functionality between the Note series and previous Galaxy S entries; tackling every key area – from display, to performance, to camera, to productivity – with an uncompromising approach that landed it at the top of our list of the best phones.

Samsung somehow managed to improve the already-excellent camera framework established by the previous Galaxy S21 Ultra; serving up vastly-improved zoom, low light, and video capabilities that mean the Galaxy S22 Ultra is also the best camera phone out there right now; backed up by a consistency and quality across sensors that's hard to match, even when compared to the obvious rivals like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Google Pixel 7 Pro.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in burgundy, held in a hand with the back showing

(Image credit: Samsung)

The newfound integrated S Pen stylus functionality may seem like a niche feature but it's a key differentiator in a crowded market of high-end handsets that sets the S22 Ultra apart from its rivals while also expanding its productivity skill set in a way that other devices physically can't compete with.

Top-notch performance, one of Samsung's characteristically stellar displays, versatile charging functionality, compatibility with an ever-growing, ever-strengthening ecosystem of adjacent products and update support that outclasses even Google; the Galaxy S22 Ultra, has it all, does it all and sets the standard for what users should expect from a flagship phone experience in 2022.

Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews.