Samsung has just unveiled its latest range of flagship Galaxy smartphones: the S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra. And at first glance, they look to be worth the wait.
Samsung fans who were disappointed not to see a Samsung Galaxy Note will be pleased to see that the S22 Ultra comes with an S Pen stylus, alongside the more angular design that the Note was known for.
And while the S22 and S22 Plus don’t come with a fancy new stylus, both have been given significant upgrades to the camera and screen.
Find out all that was revealed about the new Samsung Galaxy S22 range.
Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus
The two standard S22 handsets have received updates and improvements from last year’s pairing.
Small changes to design, display and battery
For starters, both models are ever so slightly smaller this year, with a difference of 0.1 inches compared to their S21 counterparts. Which means this year’s S22, at 6.1”, is the smallest Samsung flagship handset since 2016’s Galaxy S7. The S22 Plus, on the other hand, has a 6.6” screen.
Samsung has always been known for its impressive screen brightness, and it claims that the screen on the S22 and S22 Plus will go even further than ever before. The phones have the exact same screen quality as last year, but thanks to a feature called BrightVision, it has increased the amount of nits in the display to emit more units of light than ever before.
So if you’re watching a beautiful scene on Netflix or YouTube, the colours will pop significantly more on the S22 compared to previous Samsung flagships. But you might have to watch how much you stream this time, because the S22 and S22 Plus both have slightly smaller batteries than last year.
The Plus now has 45W fast charging as opposed to the original 25W, so you can recover your battery life a lot quicker than before, but it might not last as long as the S21 Plus as a result. The standard S22 still only has 25W fast charging, which is better than many phones, but not lightning quick.
Unfortunately for Brits, the UK versions of the Samsung Galaxy S range don’t have the usual market-leading Snapdragon processor that the USA and China benefit from, and have Samsung’s own Exynos chips instead. The S22 and S22 Plus will see a slight upgrade from the Exynos 2100 to the 2200, but the smoothness and processing don’t quite cut it compared to the Snapdragon.
The new models will also have a stronger design, thanks to the latest Gorilla Glass Victus+ screen and a body made of Armor Aluminium. They’ll also have IP68 waterproofing, which means they can survive after being briefly submerged in shallow water.
Additionally, both models have the usual under-display, ultrasonic fingerprint reader, which is still one of the fastest on the market.
New camera system, same old array
One of the clearer differences this year is in the camera array, which Samsung says will take much brighter photos with a wider colour range. It also claims to let you “own the night” with a new nighttime photography and video feature aptly called ’Nightography’.
The three-lens camera setup remains from last year, but Samsung has tweaked the quality of two of them to help users take sharper photos. The main camera’s megapixels have been increased from 12MP to an impressive 50MP. But following in the footsteps of last month’s S21 FE, Samsung has lowered the resolution of its telephoto lens from 64MP to just 10MP.
The ultrawide lens and the hole-punch selfie camera stay unchanged at 12MP and 10MP, respectively.
This means that for the S22, Samsung wants to shift the focus towards capturing the true colour of a scene, light or dark, so nothing is missed when you spot something awesome on your travels.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung’s latest tip-top handset, the S22 Ultra, is in a league of its own compared to its standard versions.
It’s now more like the Galaxy Note than ever, with a much squarer design and a stylus (or ‘S Pen’) built into the side of the phone. It’s never been clearer that Samsung is planning on merging its two most powerful smartphones together, and we may never see a new Note again.
Aside from these huge design changes, there isn’t much of a difference between the S22 Ultra and last year’s version. But it’s still a very packed-out smartphone with top-of-the-range features.
It has an extremely detailed, bright, colourful 1440 x 3080 px screen. It has an impressive five-camera system, including a whopping 108MP main camera, that’s seamlessly integrated into the on the back of the phone, with no visible camera bump. It can shoot 8K quality video and even 4K video in selfie mode, thanks to its huge 40MP front-facing camera.
Essentially, the S22 Ultra continues to be the perfect phone for the power user. Almost every feature is maxed out to be the best a smartphone can currently offer.
Like its smaller siblings, the S22 Ultra also comes with a tougher, more durable screen, a new Exynos 2200 chipset, 45W fast charging and other general improvements.
However, it’s also lost some of the specs that the S21 Ultra boasted last year. Its screen resolution is slightly lower, likely because they needed to redesign the phone to fit in the S Pen. Plus, there’s no longer a 16GB RAM option, only a maximum of 12GB.
As for unchanged specs, the screen is staying at the same as last year’s Ultra at 6.8”, while the battery will still come with a whopping 5000mAh.
So it’s still an absolute beast of a smartphone, just lightly trimmed in certain areas.
Price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy S22 range is now available to pre-order. And right now, if you pre-order the S22, S22 Plus or S22 Ultra, you can get a whole year of Disney Plus for free. Prices for the S22 start at £769.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “Samsung has once again delivered what the tech giant is best known for - robust, good-quality handsets with impressive specs and innovative features.
“The most noticeable difference between the S22 and the S22+ is the handset size. The S22 Ultra is the more impressive flagship model, but it also comes with a hefty price tag.
“Last year we saw the S21 Ultra launch with S Pen compatibility and this year the S22 Ultra goes one step further, including one in its slot in the handset. Sadly, this does likely mean that the nail is in the coffin for the Note series, which proved popular with people using their phone for work or gaming.
“The improved performance in the range does result in an impact on battery life and Samsung fans will be disappointed to learn that the S22 and S22+ both see a 300mAh downgrade compared with last year’s models.
“The good news is that the S22+ and the Ultra come with up to 45W charging, which should compensate by speeding up recharging.
“Following the launch of the iPhone 13 Pro and the Google Pixel 6 Pro in the latter half of 2021, Samsung had some competition for the best camera - an area it has tended to dominate over the years.
“The removal of the chunky camera hump in the rear cameras of the Ultra make this one of the most visually appealing camera setups we’ve had from Samsung.
“The video camera across the three handsets has seen the most notable improvement, with improved stabilisation meaning that every frame of the video gives the user more detail than ever.
“The demand for these three handsets is set to be high, but with global supply chain issues still having an effect on the availability of tech in some countries, it will be important that Samsung does everything it can in the coming weeks to iron out any issues.”
Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S22 now.
Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus now.
Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra now.