It’s that time of year again, and we have the new Galaxy S smartphones in our hands. We’ll start our reviewing spree with the Galaxy S22+.
It’s important to approach this year’s devices with the right expectations. Maintaining the pace of innovation year after year is impossible, so as you’ll see, major changes are rather few and far between. Well, perhaps sans for the reincarnation of the Galaxy Note line in the S22 Ultra, but without the legendary “Note” branding.
While arguably getting increasingly boring (or tamer for lack of better words) over the last few years, Samsung’s flagship offers are nothing if not consistent. That has a lot of merit in itself. Apple proved that much time and time again with its incremental year-over-year strategy. So, what’s new with the S22 this year? Well, summing things up before we dive into the nitty-gritty – you get a new camera setup, new chipsets and slightly less battery that Samsung promises it will offset through better chipset and display efficiency. The displays on the vanilla and plus are now slightly shorter but do promise certain technological improvements.
The Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G is the subject of this particular review. Compared to last year’s Galaxy S21+ 5G in a bit more detail, it has gotten a bit shorter and ever so slightly wider and just a bit thinner and at 195/196 grams, also slightly lighter. Those last two bits probably have to do with the battery capacity reduction from 4,800 mAh last year to 4,500 mAh.
This time around, the S22+ has 45W fast charging, up from 25W last year. The display, while slightly shorter, gets an impressive brightness boost this year, thanks to Samsung OLED development. Then there is the new camera setup – a new main 50MP camera, with a 23% larger sensor than last year’s 12MP model. Also, a new 10MP telephoto with optical rather than hybrid 3x zoom. The ultrawide and selfie cams are carried over from the S21+.
Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G specs at a glance:
- Body: 157.4×75.8×7.6mm, 195g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus+), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus+), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins), Armour aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised).
- Display: 6.60″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 393ppi; Always-on display.
- Chipset: Europe: Exynos 2200 (4 nm), Octa-core CPU (1×2.8 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.50 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A510), Xclipse 920 GPU; Rest Of World: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm), Octa-core CPU (1×3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.40 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.70 GHz Cortex-A510), Adreno 730 GPU.
- Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12, One UI 4.1.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm, 1/3.94″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video.
- Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF.
- Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected], HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS; Front camera: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]
- Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 45W, USB Power Delivery 3.0, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, ultrasonic); NFC; Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.
Another thing Samsung has been doing exceptionally well over the past few Galaxy S generations is segmentation. This year, obviously, the Ultra is in a league of its own, even if it’s lacking a “Note” moniker. Comparing the regular Galaxy S22 to the S22+, however, basically comes down to size and, of course, price. The S22+ has a notably bigger 6.6-inch display that does get brighter, which we will discuss at length in the display section. Its body is proportionally bigger and houses a bigger battery, now with 45W charging support, as already mentioned. Though, that hasn’t proven to offer a huge practical advantage over Samsung’s 25W tech in the past.
The S22+ also gets Ultra Wideband (UWB) support. Other than that, the two phones are basically identical both inside and outside. This is truly great to see since all the user needs is to pick a size and/or budget.
Left to right: Galaxy S22 • S22+ • S22 Ultra
Speaking of budget, Samsung has remained impressively consistent on that front as well. You can check detailed pricing on the entire S22 lineup and the Galaxy Tab S8 here, but the S22+ basically starts at $1,000, €1,050 or £950, which is essentially the original S21+ MSRP. Getting the same price point is not an insignificant feat given the ongoing tough situation regarding supply chain and material shortages in the tech industry as a whole.
Left to right: Galaxy S22 • S22+ • S22 Ultra
So, that’s the S22+ in a nutshell – an incremental boring upgrade for some, a consistently-solid all-around flagship with no unexpected potentially deal-breaking surprises or price hikes for others. As usual, the devil is in the details. Follow along as we dig through them and really see what makes the Galaxy S22+ tick.
Unboxing the Galaxy S22 is not much of an “experience” in the conventional sense. If you were wondering, Samsung didn’t reverse its decision to exclude a charger from the retail box. That seemingly went away for good with the Galaxy S21 generation. The S22 family ships with a relatively short, sturdy USB Type-C to Type-C cable and a SIM ejector, plus some obligatory paperwork. And that’s it. As barren of a package as conceivable, but that’s the rule of the day.
On the flip side, though, there is almost no unneeded stuff in the box. The thin and compact two-piece box is made from 100% recycled paper, and Samsung has limited the use of plastics in the packaging as much as it can too. The printing is done with soy-based ink as well, making this among the most ecological retail packages around.