S22 Ultra Snapdragon vs Exynos: do you really get different cameras?

You might think that a difference in the chip should only affect processing speeds, but it turns out that having a different chip means that the same camera system and hardware perform very differently.

In this comparison, we decided to test just that: is that difference really that noticeable? And which one actually takes nicer pictures: the Snapdragon or Exynos S22 Ultra model? We’ve taken a lot of pictures, so let’s take a look!

Can you tell the difference in photos taken during the day?

Colors and details are both different

While photos during the day are very similar most of the time, you can see some differences. For example, in the first picture there is a lot of noise in the ceiling in the pictures taken by the Exynos model, while Snapdragon one is much cleaner.

The colors are also muted in the Exynos image, while you get more vibrant and saturated tones out of Snapdragon.

Also notice in the second picture how the shadows get much darker on Exynos vs. Snapdragon.

These shades build up, and most of the time we were more satisfied with the image of the Snapdragon model.

What about night photos?

You can also see the hole in low light images

In low light, even from the first image, you see a similar problem: right in the middle, where you have the night sky, it is very noisy in the Exynos image, while the same area is completely clean on the Snapdragon version. Most other things are similar, but you get a little more saturated colors on Snapdragon (the red walls of the building on the left).

It’s not a huge difference between the two, but a similar story: the Snapdragon version looks better in our eyes on most of these photos.

Are the ultra-wide cameras different?

You guessed it … yes

Ultra-wide cameras share the same color characteristics as the main ones, which means we see similar trends as well.

The colors from the Exynos model are just a bit more muted and have less “pop”, and the details are just a bit cleaner on the Snapdragon images. It’s certainly not a gigantic difference by any means, but it is there and it is consistent across all images, so no coincidence here.

Zoom comparison

This one should be pretty close

The S22 Ultra is probably the best zoom phone on the market right now, but you already know that.

We shot mostly with 10X zoom, which looks really impressive and is something you can not get on other phones. The difference between the two here mostly boils down to the color reproduction: the same gloomy tonalities are present on Exynos, while Snapdragon is better saturated and images that are “ready to share” without much of an editing.

The Snapdragon version is also just a bit sharper.

Portrait mode

No difference in blur options, but color science is

You can take pictures in portrait mode with either the 1X or 3X cameras, and we love them both.

But just look at the first picture taken of the Exynos model, what a huge difference in colors! I look pale and the look of the whole scene has these almost depressing tonalities that lack liveliness. The Snapdragon model has a lively image with much more contrast, it’s an easy win for this one.

You can see the same trend across all images in portrait mode, 1X or 3X, colors are almost always not reproduced in an appealing way on the Exynos version. By the way, kudos to Samsung for perfection of portrait mode, it does an incredible job of separating the subject from the background!

Selfie time!

Surprise, surprise

Finally, when it comes to selfies, we do not see much difference and we will call this round a tie.

Both phones support a wider field of view for group photos or a close-up for real selfies.


At the end of the day, most of the people we showed these pictures to agreed that the Snapdragon version is the one they would go for.

And we can certainly see why. Snapdragon has more saturated, punchy colors, it has a bit more sharpness, while the Exynos model often looks gloomy with more toned down colors that lack the ‘wow’ factor.

You may not think that a change in the processor can lead to quite large changes in the image quality, but it does. Sometimes the difference is subtle, other times it is more noticeable, but it is always there.

In conclusion, we should say that in our opinion this difference is not really big enough to completely shut down a decision to buy the S22 Ultra, the Exynos model remains a pretty capable camera, but if you appreciate a really incredible camera, our advice is to look for a way to import a Snapdragon model.