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Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra hands-on review


Introduction

The Galaxy S22 family has arrived! Samsung’s non-foldable top-shelf roster for 2022 includes three phones – standard practice in the last few years, but for the first time one of them is a Note in disguise.

Bringing together the ultimate in camera tech and the productivity of the S Pen into one phone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is shaping up to be the one phone to rule them all. The most advanced Galaxy that doesn’t fold in half (and it’s superior to those in many ways, but let’s not go into that now) will get you a super-bright 6.8-inch OLED display, an improved main camera and more telephotos than most (two is more than the usual one), the latest chipsets from Qualcomm or Samsung, and the versatility of the stylus for both work and play.

We’ve heard complaints from both sides, though, and that’s just from within our office’s four walls. It has way too many cameras, unnecessary for a Note user. It’s also wasting valuable space with that S Pen, space that could have been battery instead, the other camp says. Note loyalists will appreciate the shape more than S-fans, we think – it’s a lot more Note20 Ultra this, than it is an S21 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G specs at a glance:

  • Body: 163.3×77.9×8.9mm, 229g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus+), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus+), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins), Stylus, 2.8ms latency (Bluetooth integration, accelerometer, gyro).
  • Display: 6.80″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak), 1440x3080px resolution, 19.25:9 aspect ratio, 500ppi; Always-on display.
  • Chipset: Exynos 2200 (4 nm) – International, Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm) – USA/China/India.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1, .
  • OS/Software: Android 12, One UI 4.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 108 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, Super Steady video; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm, 1/3.52″, 1.12µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/4.9, 230mm, 1/3.52″, 1.12µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom.
  • Front camera: 40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.7µm, PDAF.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; 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.

The non-Ultra Galaxy S22s are less dividing – they’re not as extreme and target a more mainstream clientele. A couple of shrewd choices on Samsung’s part certainly help, particularly with the S22 proper – it’s got a glass back this year, so it’s not missing out on that premium feel, and it’s also a touch smaller to lure in the seemingly ever-growing number of consumers looking for a more pocket-friendly alternative.

Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra hands-on review

Even more so this year then, the two sizes differ not in quality, but just in quantity. 6.1 inches vs. 6.6, 168 grams vs. 196, 3,700mAh vs. 4500 – a €/$200 premium gets you the bigger numbers. The non-Ultras get the same chipsets too, lower-res but still spectacular screens, same materials in the body as the true flagship, and a refined design building on last year’s.

Samsung Galaxy S22/S22+ 5G specs at a glance:

  • Body (S22): 146.0×70.6×7.6mm, 168g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus+), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus+), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
  • Body (S22+): 157.4×75.8×7.6mm, 196g (S22: 146.0×70.6×7.6mm, 168g Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus+), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus+), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
  • Display (S22): 6.10″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1300 nits (peak), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 422ppi; Always-on display.
  • Display (S22+): 6.60″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 390ppi; Always-on display.
  • Chipset: Exynos 2200 (4 nm) – International, Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm) – USA/China/India.
  • 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, multi-directional PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm, 1/3.94″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom.
  • Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery (S22): 3700mAh; Fast charging 25W, USB Power Delivery 3.0, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.
  • Battery (S22+): 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.

We got to spend some time with the three phones and have some early impressions to share. We’ll build up to the Ultra starting with the S22 and S22+ on the next page.


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