22 March 2022
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RIKL Review: The Samsung S22 Ultra 1TB Sky Blue Cell Phone

But First: Expiration Vexation

Not, in this case, about either the system or the System. Just a stupid annoyance about which I'm entitled to complain, as are we all.

Gripe 1: Arizona granted me long ago a permit that happened to expire in early March this year. When I received it, I made a note in my calendar to apply for a renewal in early December of last year, because one must apply for a renewal no sooner than 90 days before expiration. Around the end of February, I contacted the appropriate agency inquiring as to the status of my renewal. They told me that they are behind due to lack of staff, and the department's "recent" mail hasn't even been opened yet. In effect, they'll get to it when they get to it! It's understandable that they are short-staffed, but instead of discommoding thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of people with long telephonic on-hold periods, why not simply put a note on the web site saying "expiration dates are extended by three months" or whatever period seemed necessary? Would that be too considerate?

(Anti-Gripe 1): Our Department of Motor Vehicles, or as they now officially call themselves, the "AZMVD, a division of ADOT," is very efficient. (Of course why we have to deal with them so much is another issue.)

Gripe 2: We're planning to take a trip for which a passport is needed. I noticed that my passport "expires" very comfortably after we expect to have returned, after which I could "renew" it at my convenience. But no! The passport must remain valid for six months after one is expected to return. Why? Who knows? So, I have to renew it before the trip. But the passport office, due to lack of staff, requires months to process the passport, which presumably involves such activities as un-stapling a photograph from the renewal form, somehow transferring it to the passport itself, and, probably, pressing a button. To be sure of receiving my passport in time for the trip, they recommend paying a fee* to "expedite" renewal, which reduces the three-month period to, hopefully, less than two months. The passport is notionally "good" for 10 years, but with the three-month renewal period and the six-month post-travel requirement, it's really only valid for 9-1/4 years. It also leaves one without a passport for several months, since the old passport must be returned with the renewal application.

I could go on, but I'm sure you're more interested in the cell phone review than in my whining, and, even more eager to know about my near-death experience, upcoming in a following blogitem. Mercifully the phone review will be short.

The Phone Review

I'm usually calm about getting a new cell phone. I've had a Samsung Note 10 for the past 2-1/2 years, and intended to get a Note 12 when it came out, except the Note line was discontinued. And the previous two generations of Galaxy phones had no memory card slot, which left me with a maximum of 512GB. Not enough! Although the S22 Ultra has no card slot, it was briefly available with a TB capacity, which I reluctantly decided would be OK even without the preferable card slot. It was a bit of a challenge to get it!

I Have One and You Don't

I had read rumors that the 1TB model would be in short supply. When it went on sale on the Samsung site, not only was the 1TB model on offer, but it was available from Samsung (only!) in blue. Of course, that's the model I wanted, but the site kept crashing at various stages of the ordering process. I was concerned, with subsequent justification, that the 1TB model would disappear, so I was diligent in my ordering attempts. I eventually found two of them in my "cart" but unable to either check them out or to delete one of them. It took most of the day before the Samsung site recovered sufficiently to let me order one, and only one. It eventually arrived.

If you tried to get the 1TB model in blue and failed, well, see the heading. As Dave Barry would put it, "neener neener,"

Here's the review

  • It makes phone calls.
  • It plays music.
  • It has almost enough memory.
  • Unaccountably, all the buttons are on the other side.
  • It's about a millimetre larger in all dimensions.

Is that it?

I remember that your reviews of the Blackberry Storm and the Motorola Q were interminable and soporific.

No, there's a bit more. Although I make no claim to be a photographer**, I do take pictures, a totally different thing. I read that the new '22 Ultra would have a better camera. And it does! You can believe me or your own eyes:

Note 10

Galaxy S22 Ultra Panasonic FZ1000 (a real camera)

The first row shows the same Sedona landscape taken with approximately 10x magnification. The second-row photos on the left and right have been adjusted to show the same central object, which required cropping. The center photo, from the S22 Ultra, was taken at 100x magnification, which the others can't do. It clearly has better resolution than the Note 10. The Panasonic gives a much larger field of view than the S22, but even so, the greater magnification of the S22 allows equally detailed views albeit of of smaller scenes.

So Many Lenses! So Blue!

Remember the Light Camera? It was a marvelous concept but wasn't executed well enough to be commercially successful. It was essentially a cell-phone-sized device with 16 lenses that used software to combine their photos into a large and very high resolution image. I have no doubt that eventually Apple and Samsung or perhaps some upstart will do this successfully. Meanwhile, cell phones seem to be approaching that multi-lens ideal with each new generation.

Although it may be hard to tell from this photo, the back of the S22 Ultra is indeed "sky blue," as Samsung has dubbed it. I can see the sky from where I'm typing this, and they're pretty close, color-wise.

I would have preferred turquoise or teal, but with Samsung, you take what you can get.


I made some unverified claims in my review above. For example, I assert that the S22 makes phone calls. I have every reason to believe it does, but I've never tried. It takes so long to transfer data, apps, and to organize and break in a new phone that I haven't even "activated" it yet. I have no reason to believe it won't play music, and real soon now I'll find out. But it does indeed take better pictures, and that makes it worth the effort.

* An extra $60 on top of the $130 renewal fee. I wonder what it actually pays for. Energy drinks?

** Here's a review of the 'S22 camera from someone who actually is a photographer.

Richard Factor


"Smell of Incense"

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band



Back in the '90s we made an aircraft instrument, the pioneering Argus Moving Map display. Unlike many adventures for which I only have the T-shirt, this lengthy, profitable, and worthwhile endeavor left me with a number of used instruments along with this T-shirt. It commemorates the Aircraft Electronics Association exhibition in Washington D.C. in May, 1990.

Not only was the show worthwhile, I finally got to see the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Nice artifacts, curator-people!

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