The Samsung Galaxy S22 was released in February of 2022 along with the S22+ and the S22 Ultra, Samsung’s current flagship phone. While a comparison of the S22’s specs shows that a few components have been degraded since the S21, such as the smaller screen and lower telephoto megapixel count, several changes have been made for the better. These include a new chipset and improved build quality, among others aspects. With a starting price of $799, is the S22 a good fit for you?
Here is a list of the Samsung Galaxy S22 pros and cons:
Better build quality
Not much has changed visually between the S22 and the S21, though a close inspection of the back of the device reveals that the glass has returned. While the rear of the S21 was made of polycarbonate, a type of plastic, the S22 makes use of glass, giving the phone a more premium look. Both the front and back glass are Gorilla Glass Victus+ and they are set in place with the usual aluminum frame.
As for the color options available for the phone, you have a choice between Phantom black, white, graphite, pink-gold, green, violet, cream, and Bora purple depending on who you purchase the phone through.
Clear, colorful display
The S22 features a 6.1” AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080×2340. This screen size is 0.1” smaller than the S21, but the difference is hardly discernible, especially since the resolution is already so high (FHD+). On top of this, the display has a maximum brightness of 1,300 nits, which helps in harsh sunlight. Especially with the HDR capabilities, colors are rendered well and with great depth.
The smooth performance paired with the 120Hz refresh rate gives the device a responsive feel.
A Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, with an octa-core CPU, Adreno 730 GPU, and 8GB of RAM, powers the phone. In the European market, the S22 has an Exynos 2200 chipset with an Xclipse 920 GPU. Performance between the two setups is similar.
With Geekbench benchmarks, the S22 scores 3682, higher than the S21’s 3238 and Pixel 6’s 3288. The score, however, pales in comparison to the iPhone 14’s 4761. Nevertheless, the S22’s performance is plenty sufficient for the majority of users, but some resource-heavy operations may take slightly longer.
Refined camera system
Samsung has switched things up a bit with the camera system when compared to the S21. The 64-megapixel telephoto camera has been dropped in favor of a 50-megapixel main wide camera. Along with the main wide camera, the S21 sports a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera capable of 3x optical zoom.
On the front is a 10-megapixel selfie camera. With the 50-megapixel main wide camera, there is more flexibility with cropping. And, as always, the inclusion of a telephoto lens on a base-model phone is a welcome addition. The focal length range you get between the wide-angle and the telephoto is comprehensive.
In general, colors are rendered accurately and boldly. Images taken during the daytime seldom disappoint. An overly warm cast and lack of detail may harm some low-light images, but much of this, like the warm cast, can be corrected in the device.
Good Video Ability
Along with the great cameras, the S22 can record equally great videos. 8k at 25FPS can be recorded at the highest setting. While the high resolution can’t be appreciated much on the phone’s FHD+ screen, it allows for extensive cropping and for quality stills to be extracted from video clips. At lower settings, 4k at 60fps and 1080p at 60fps can be captured. If using slow motion mode, 1080p at 240fps and 720p at 960fps are possible.
Video is kept still while recording thanks to the main wide camera’s OIS (optical image stabilization).
The S22 is the first Samsung phone to receive four years of updates, meaning the device will be kept up to date through 2026.
Limited storage options
While the S22 Ultra can be purchased in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options, the base model S22 only have the lowest two options. Though in the past this could be remedied with expandable storage via microSD cards, the S22 continues with the trend of excluding a microSD card slot.
Depending on the number of photos, videos, apps, music, and other files you plan on storing on the phone, you may have to invest in a Cloud service farther down the road in ownership of the phone.
Poor battery life
The 4,000 mAh battery in the S21 has been decreased to 3,700 mAh for the S22. Though the new chipset is more efficient, it does not make up for the smaller battery size, which means the battery life suffers. Depending on the usage of the phone, it tends to have an hour or two less battery life than the S21’s predecessor.
It will still make it through the day when the phone is newer (and thus the battery is newer as well) and when usage is moderate, but you’ll likely want to keep a power bank around on days of heavier usage, especially as the phone ages.
Many have reported overheating issues with the S22 when gaming, using the device while charging, running multiple apps, and for other reasons. Samsung claims to be actively working to improve the heat issue, and solutions have been published elsewhere that claim to fix the problem.
Pulse 2.0 Score: 4.0 out of 5
Though the S22 disappoints with its battery life, storage options, and overheating issues, it does have a number of benefits. These include longer device support, improved build quality, and good photo and video capabilities. The device has a starting price of $799 for both the 128GB and 256GB, a recent change.
Users of the S21 should wait until the next device before upgrading. If you’re using a phone from generations before, the S22 would certainly be a good fit, though you may want to consider the S22+ or S22 Ultra for their larger batteries. Discounts are becoming more common as the next Galaxy S series phone comes closer to arrival.
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