After the success of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 lineup, you might have big expectations for Samsung’s latest phones, the Galaxy S22 and S22+. But these devices aren’t major upgrades over their predecessors. And honestly, that’s not a bad thing.
Samsung really refined the S21 design with its S22 release. There are a ton of small improvements here that make the S22-series an appealing upgrade for those who are still using an old Samsung phone, although S21 owners may want wait a bit longer to upgrade.
Update, 2/9/22: Updated with new information on the S22 lineup.
Here’s all the raw Galaxy S22-series specs without any context. Read on further to get an idea of why these specifications matter.
- S22: 6.1-inch AMOLED 2X 120Hz, HDR10+, 1300 nits
- S22+: 6.6-inch AMOLED 2X 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits
- Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200
- Operating System: Android 12 (One UI 4.1)
- Storage: 128GB or 256GB
- RAM: 8GB
- Rear Cameras: 50MP main, 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, 12MP ultrawide (Maximum 8K 24FPS support)
- Selfie Camera: 10MP (Maximum 4K 60FPS support)
- S22: 3700mAh
- S22+: 4000mAh
- Charging Speed
- S22: 25-watt wired, 15-watt wireless, 4.5-watt reverse
- S22+: 45-watt wired, 15-watt wireless, 4.5-watt reverse
- Fingerprint Sensor: Ultrasonic in-display
- Networking: mmWave 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS
- Headphone Jack: Nope
- Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+, Armor Aluminum frame
If some of these specs look familiar, that’s because many of them are carryovers from the S21 lineup. So, let’s talk about it.
Samsung announced the Galaxy S22 lineup during its 2022 Unpacked event on February 9th. Along with the S22 and S22+, the company showed off its Galaxy Tab S8 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
All of these devices ship on February 25th, despite rumors that the phones would be delayed in some regions due to Exynos 2200 manufacturing problems.
Notably, Samsung carried over its pricing strategy from the S21 to the S22 lineup. The cheapest model of Galaxy S22 starts at $800, while the base S22+ is $1,000. Each of these phones’ base models come with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, though Samsung also offers a 256GB configuration.
You can buy the S22 and S22+ in four colors; Phantom Black, Phantom White, Pink Gold, and the plainly named Green. (That said, Samsung’s website carries exclusive Cream, Graphite, Sky Blue, and Violet colors.)
While the new S22 Ultra gets an updated design, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ look nearly identical to their predecessors. Samsung is sticking with the camera hump, though there are some small design changes that help these handsets stand out.
The most notable change comes to the display. While Samsung is reusing the same AMOLED 120Hz panels, both the S22 and S22+ now have flat screens without curved edges. This results in a slightly smaller footprint—a 6.1-inch screen for the S22 and a 6.6-inch screen for the S22+. (The S21 and S21+ had 6.2-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively.)
Additionally, Samsung gave the S22 and S22+ flat edges, similar to what we see on the most recent iPhones. The company calls these new flat edges the “Armor Aluminum frame” and brags that the phones use Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ for drop protection.
And as you’ve probably noticed, the S22 and S22+ ditch the two-tone color design we saw last year. The camera hump now matches the phone’s body, which is partially made from recycled fishing nets that used to float around in the ocean.
Samsung has gone out of its way to avoid mentioning the Galaxy S22 lineup’s processor by name, something that we discussed while evaluating the company’s relationship with Google. But we know what these phones run on—Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.
Customers outside of the United States and China get an Exynos 2200 processor, which is the first mobile chip to feature AMD graphics with ray-tracing support. (Minus the AMD graphics, the Exynos 2200 is virtually indistinguishable from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. We won’t know the real-world performance difference until we review the phones.)
These processors ensure that Galaxy S22 will be the most powerful Android smartphone at the time of its release (ignoring the OnePlus 10 Pro, which is a China exclusive until mid-2022).
On paper, the S22 lineup should be just over 20% faster than the S21 devices, which run on Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 chipsets. But as we haven’t tested the new S22-series phones, we can’t comment on real-world performance just yet. (One odd note—benchmarks indicate that the S22 and S22+ may be less power efficient than their predecessors. That’s not a good sign, as the S22 and S22+ also feature smaller batteries.)
Making bold claims about the S22’s cameras would be silly, given that we haven’t had a chance to review the phone just yet. That said, you should expect a noticeable difference in camera quality, as the S22 and S22+ now use a 50MP main camera, replacing the old 12MP sensor.
Samsung says that this new camera should offer improved photo quality, which seems obvious given the leap in megapixels. Because this sensor lets in more light, it should also lead to better low-light and night photography.
Notably, Samsung says that improvements to its AI camera system should make Portrait mode more effective, especially when capturing photos of pets or other difficult subjects. The company also rebranded its Night Mode to Nightography to highlight improvements to night photography and night video.
And for better or worse, Samsung downgraded the telephoto camera in the S22 and S22+. You’re now stuck with a 10MP telephoto lens with 3X optical zoom, as opposed to an oversized 64MP 3X zoom telephoto camera. (This downgrade makes sense, as the main camera should have the larger sensor, not the telephoto camera.)
Ignoring the telephoto camera, the S22’s other lenses should produce photos that are nearly identical to that of the S21. Samsung stuck with the same 12MP ultrawide lens and 10MP selfie camera for this release.
Resolution capabilities haven’t changed here, by the way. You’re still topping out at 8K 24FPS with the rear cameras and 4K 60FPS with the selfie camera.
The small details of the S22 and S22+ remain virtually unchanged from their predecessors. Both phones reuse the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, lack a headphone jack, and top out at 15-watt wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging is still 4.5 watts, assuming you care about that feature.
Most of the small changes hit the phones’ batteries, and these changes may not be too popular. The S22 is downgraded to a 3700mAh battery, while the S22+ has a 4000mAh cell. (Samsung used 4000mAh and 4800mAh batteries in the S22 and S22+. It’s unclear if these changes will lead to a shorter battery life.)
The Galaxy S22+ also gets a wired charging speed boost, as it now supports 45-watt speeds. Unfortunately, the standard S22 caps out at 25 watts, just like its predecessor.
You can pre-order the S22 or S22+ from Samsung, Best Buy, or your carrier of choice. Most retailers are offering pre-order deals that could save you hundreds, so be sure to get in before the phones launch on February 25th.
We’ll be sure to update this article with any new information that comes along, including anything we learn by reviewing the S22 devices. Yes, we currently have review units in hand!
Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+
With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, the Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+ are just as powerful as their Ultra cousin. Plus, they feature improved camera technology and a new flat-screen design.