The Samsung Galaxy S22 might be one of the best smartphones for 2022. Introduced during the Galaxy Unpacked event on 9 February 2022 and released on 25 February of the same year, this least expensive vanilla Android smartphone from the entire flagship-grade Galaxy S22 lineup has strong selling propositions that make it one of the most ideal options among other high-tier mid-rangers and most flagship smartphones.
Nevertheless, this article provides a concise review of the Samsung Galaxy S22, especially taking note of its main selling points and foremost drawbacks, as well as highlighting the reasons why one should or should not buy this flagship Android smartphone.
Pros of Samsung Galaxy S22: Reasons Why You Should Buy
Samsung did not do drastic for its 2022 low-tier flagship. This device looks a lot like the previous Samsung Galaxy S21. Some might not even readily notice the differences between the current and former flagships. However, the biggest advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S22 are the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1—or the Samsung Exynos 2200 in European versions—and the improved rear and front camera systems.
Below are the specific selling points, features, advantages, and reasons why you should buy this flagship smartphone from Samsung:
1. Bright Dynamic AMOLED Display with Adaptive Refresh Rate
One of the biggest pros of the Samsung Galaxy S22 is its 6.1-inch OLED panel mounted on the device in an edge-to-edge configuration to produce around 87 percent screen-to-body ratio. The bright display peaks at 1300 nits which makes it effortlessly viewable even when used under direct sunlight. The screen can compete head-on with high-end IPS LCD panels used in high-tier consumer electronic devices in terms of outdoor visibility.
The screen also has a high refresh rate of 120Hz for smoother scrolling and animations. There is an option to switch from 60Hz, as well as an option to turn on the adaptive refresh rate to achieve a 120Hz refresh rate and activate the Vision Booster technology.
Vision Booster does not only adjust the brightness but also the contrast of the colors to avoid washed-out and unnaturally-looking contents. Note that most mid-range Android smartphones, including the Galaxy A53 5G, the A73 5G, and the Galaxy S21 FE do not have an adaptive refresh rate. The iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 have a refresh rate of 60Hz.
Of course, while the 1080×2340 resolution of the screen does not match up to the 1440p QHD+ of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the fact that it has a pixel density of 422 ppi in a 6.1-inch panel means that graphical contents look sharp and detailed. The device supports HDR video for watching high-definition streaming videos on YouTube or Netflix.
Durability is another selling point of the screen. The Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus protects the OLED panel from scratch and drops. There is also an in-screen fingerprint reader using ultrasonic technology for fast and accurate biometrics security.
2. Improved Camera Systems with New Hardware and Software Features
The device has 3 cameras on its rear camera array and 1 camera on the front. The main camera is a 50-megapixel shooter that is 23mm wide with optical image stabilization. There is also a telephoto camera that shoots at 10 megapixels and provides 3x optical zoom and has built-in optical image stabilization, as well as a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera.
Furthermore, the rear camera array can record 4K videos at 24fps and 4K videos at 30fps or 60fps. The front or selfie camera is a 10-megapixel shooter that supports recording 4K videos either at 30 frames-per-second or 60 frames-per-second. It also has Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus or PDAF that uses every pixel on the sensor for phase detection and faster autofocus. Note that the main rear camera also has Dual Pixel PDAF.
Compared to the previous vanilla Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21 FE, images and videos taken using the Samsung Galaxy S22 have more details and accurate colors. The camera capabilities of this camera can outcompete high-tier mid-range phones and most vanilla flagship devices. These capabilities are due to the processing prowess of the system-on-a-chip.
Samsung included a slew of features to add to the photo-taking and video-recording advantages of the Samsung Galaxy S22. Adaptive Pixel switches between 50MP high-resolution mode and 12MP high-sensitivity mode according to the lighting. Both modes can also be used at the same time and the device merges all frames for brighter and sharper photos. Detail Enhancer uses deep-learning artificial intelligence to automatically and intelligently adjust shadows and highlights for more improved image quality.
Other features include the Single Take, which captures up to 20 seconds of footage and automatically populates the Gallery with different formats such as stills, loops, and hyper-lapse, among others; Auto Framing that automatically keeps the subject on the center while recording a video; Director’s View, which record videos using all cameras at the same time for different points of view; and Space Zoom that allows zooming in at 3x or 30x in between.
3. Powerful and Flagship-Level Hardware For Resource-Intensive Use Cases
In the United States and other regions, the Samsung Galaxy S22 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 while in the United Kingdom and Europe, it comes with the Samsung Exynos 2200. The Snapdragon variant is the flagship-grade system-on-a-chip from Qualcomm used in other Android flagships while the Exynos is also another flagship-grade chip designed and manufactured by Samsung.
Both SoCs are among the fastest for 2022. They are also based on the 4nm manufacturing process node. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has about 10 billion transistors while the Exynos 2200 has more than 11 billion. Note that the number of transistors determines processing capabilities, power efficiency, and overall performance.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is about 20 percent faster and 30 percent more power-efficient than the previous-generation Snapdragon 888. It has an 8-core CPU and an Adreno 720 GPU. The Exynos 2200, on the other hand, has around 55 percent better graphic processing efficiency and up to 21 percent better overall performance than the Snapdragon 888. It also has an 8-core CPU and an AMD co-designed Xclispe 920 GPU.
Results from Geekbench 5.0 tests showed that the Snapdragon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S22 scored 947 points for single-core processes and 2927 points for multi-core processes. The Vivo X70 Pro scored 718 and 2652 for single-core and multi-core processes. Results from 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited showed another one of the notable pros of the Galaxy S22: faster GPU based on a score of 9595 versus the 5289 points of the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The processing prowess of the S22 fundamentally translates to better overall user experience, smoother mobile gameplay, sustained and consistent multi-tasking performance, stable average to above-average uses, and better and faster processing of images and videos. This device has also been equipped with 4G LTE and sub-6 5G cellular technologies, as well as support for near field communication, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth 5.2, and USB Type-C interface based on USB 3.2 Gen 1.
4. Sleek and Modern Design Built on Glass and Metal at a Compact Form Factor
Another great thing about the Samsung Galaxy S22 is that it is a relatively compact smartphone, especially when compared with the S22 Plus and the S22 Ultra, as well as several Android smartphones. Remember that this device has a 6.1-inch screen that is similar to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, as well as a dimension of 146.0 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm and a weight of 167 grams. The compact form factor makes it ideal for most people.
The edge-to-edge Dynamic AMOLED panel is downright flat and occupies almost the entire front side of the device. Consuming content such as watching videos or playing video games is more immersive and engaging because of the premium-looking screen-to-body ratio and the absence of thick bezels The S22 is indeed a flagship device.
Of course, take note that its design is not a huge departure from the Galaxy S21 but it looks bolder and sharper with flat edges reminiscent of the iPhone. Note that both the front and the back are made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus while the entire frame is made of aluminum. It is fundamentally a high-end slab of glass with an aluminum frame.
The overall look of the Galaxy 22 is sleek while giving a premium feel. For comparison, the material used in the back cover of the Galaxy S21 was plastic. The same is true for mid-range Samsung Galaxy devices and some Android flagships.
Cons of Samsung Galaxy S22: Reasons Why You Should Not Buy
Of course, like in other consumer electronic devices, there are reasons why one should not buy this vanilla flagship smartphone from Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy S22 has some shortcomings. This is understandable. It falls under the lower-priced flagship sub-category. Samsung did not introduce something revolutionary and it reserved its bigger guns for the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Then there are also some notable limitations.
The following are the drawbacks, limitations, and reasons why you should not buy this flagship smartphone from Samsung:
Limited Battery Capabilities: One of the major drawbacks of the Samsung Galaxy S22 is that it only comes with a 3700 mAh lithium-ion battery. Note that Samsung mid-rangers such as the Galaxy A53 5G and A73 5G come with 5000 mAh lithium-polymer batteries. The device would not last more than 15 hours on a single charge under moderate usage. This is not ideal for individuals who are always outside their homes. This device also supports 25 watts of fast charging only.
• No Headphone Jack and SD Card Slot: Several flagship smartphones have geared away from including a headphone jack and expandable storage via a microSD card. The absence of these features might be a bummer for those who are still into using wired headphones and still prefer using removable storage to store their files. Buying this device at a particular storage configuration means that they are stuck with what they have and have to depend on cloud storage services to free-up spaces.
• Display Not Based on LTPO: Note that the OLED panel of this device is also not based on LTPO. This backplane technology uses low-temperature polycrystalline oxide and has been used in several flagship smartphone devices and high-end wearables. It has notable advantages that center on the fact that it is an intermittent semiconductor that enables display panels to drive down the screen refresh rate to as low as 1Hz for a more efficient and adaptive power consumption.
• Screen Size Might Be An Issue: This smartphone is also not ideal for individuals who need larger displays panels. For mobile video gaming, the edge-to-edge screen and small form factor might result in unwanted touches and an uncomfortable grip. The small screen also translates to fewer or smaller contents on display. This can be a problem for individuals with visual impairments or those who need a large screen real estate for multitasking and productivity purposes.
• Cameras Are Not The Best: Another one of the key cons of the Samsung Galaxy S22 is that it does not have the best camera system among the entire population of flagship smartphones. The cameras are great. However, when compared to the images and videos taken using the iPhone 13 Pro, the Google Pixel 6 Pro, or the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, the differences in quality are noticeable.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Review Verdict: The Good and the Bad
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is not a perfect device. It has notable cons or drawbacks that should compel consumers to think twice before purchasing one. For individuals who put more weight into camera performance, they might be better off choosing the iPhone 13 Pro or the Vivo X70 Pro Plus. The selling propositions of iPhones and the entire iOS have also remained a key hurdle to the attractiveness of flagship Android smartphones. Then there are the issues as regards the limited battery life and the absence of expandable storage.
One of the main reasons why users should not buy this device is if they are upgrading from Samsung Galaxy S21 or other flagship-level Android smartphones from 2021, especially those that sport high-tier SoCs such as the Snapdragon 888. These devices remain as capable as the newer flagships. They might score lower on benchmark testing platforms but real-world use cases would tell that they remain powerful and efficient.
The fact remains that the selling points and pros of the Samsung Galaxy S22 make it an all-around and well-balanced flagship Android smartphone. While it does not sport extra features found in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra nor the unparalleled camera prowess of other high-tier devices such as the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, it remains the best smartphone under USD 1000.00. It has one of the best displays around, a flagship-grade camera system, powerful processor and hardware, and a form factor that is not too big nor too small.