It is a foregone conclusion that Samsung will launch the Galaxy S22 early next year. The Samsung faithful will be watching this release even more keenly with the lack of a Galaxy Note this release cycle. A new leak has good news for Note fans—the Galaxy S22 Ultra looks like it might as well be part of the Galaxy Note family. Yes, it has a slot for the S Pen, and even the physical shape is a dead ringer for the Note.
This leak comes courtesy of Steve “Onleaks” Hemmerstoffer, who has been behind a plethora of very accurate phone leaks. These are renders created from CAD files, so some small details like color and materials are guesses. However, I’m not aware of any instance in which Onleaks missed the mark generally. Until you hear otherwise, this is the S22 Ultra. Samsung said several months ago there would be no Note phone in 2021, due in part to the semiconductor shortage. S0, repurposing the S22 Ultra makes some kind of sense.
According to the render, we’ve got an edge-to-edge display measuring 6.8 inches. The panel curved ever so slightly on the left and right edges, and that radius continues all the way around to the back. The pill-shaped design with the flat top and bottom is more similar to the Note 20 Ultra than it is to the S21 Ultra. This phone has a little surprise on the bottom: an S Pen slot right where it is on the aging Note 20. The S22 Ultra measures roughly 163.2 x 77.9 x 8.9mm and has a thickness of 10.5mm.
Earlier this year, Samsung tried to make a version of the S Pen for the S21 Ultra. It was the first S-series phone with Samsung’s inductive stylus, but there was no slot in the phone. Instead, there was a larger S Pen that slotted into a special carrying case. Samsung has reportedly been disappointed with sales of this accessory, which seems to have failed to convert many Note fans. This could be the impetus for Samsung’s apparent transformation of the top-tier S22 into a Note replacement.
The other surprising thing about the leaked render is that Samsung has adopted yet another design for the camera module. There are still four sensors, including a periscope zoom module at the bottom. However, the camera bump is shaped a bit like a Tetris piece. The S21 phones all had the camera module flowing cleanly into the frame, which I think was a very nice design that could have become a brand identity for Samsung. This one, not so much.
We expect this phone to launch early next year alongside other S22 phones. Those will, presumably, not have the S Pen slot. You can bet they’ll be expensive, though.
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