If you think the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a lot, you’re not mistaken. For anyone looking for an altogether more responsive and streamlined smartphone, we might pique your curiosity with the Galaxy S22 or S22 Plus, two virtually identical spec phones with all the power of their larger, more expensive sibling. but less excess.
The S22 and S22 Plus feature the same strengths that made the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus such smart options: slim bezels, Samsung’s latest and greatest interface experiences, and most importantly, lower prices. For 2022, Samsung has updated the lineup with better cameras, updated PC integration and new designs made from more premium materials.
But if you already have an S20 or S21, are the new Samsung See or S22 Plus flagships worth upgrading, and should you really be considering the S22 Plus when you can get the Ultra for a few hundred pounds more?
Design and screen: Sleek, thin and stylish
While the S22 Ultra looks like a successor to the Note 20 Ultra, the S22 and S22 Plus build on the design language of last year’s S21 and S21 plus. They both sport a simple, clean, smartphone-by-numbers style, with the Plus simply being a scaled-up version of the vanilla S22.
The entire S22 series features Gorilla Glass Victus Plus – a Samsung-exclusive version of tempered glass, and it’s paired with an Armor aluminum frame and IP68 water and dust resistance.
These factors should make the phones sturdy, while the color options add a touch of smoothness and style to the mix. Available in green, phantom black, phantom white and rose gold, Samsung strikes a good balance of classic and fun colors, with all four looking and feeling rich in the hand.
Phones aren’t the only things Samsung has revamped. The packaging of the S22 series has been reduced by almost 20% compared to the S21 series. The plastics of the phones are also ocean plastics, and the contents of the box contain no plastic other than the components of the device and the connection.
As for the screens, the S22’s measures 6.1 inches, while the S22 Plus’s measures 6.6 inches. Other specs are largely the same either way – they’re Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate. That means they’ll be punchy with superb image, smooth to look at and responsive to the touch.
The entire S22 range also includes Vision Booster, which illuminates some parts of the screen but not others for efficient and energy-efficient image enhancement in bright environments.
Performance: Enough of everything
The S22 and S22 Plus come with Samsung’s new One UI 4 on top of Android 12. This means excellent app support, high-quality security features, and plenty of customization options.
A smart new feature in the series is Windows Connect, which lets you use your phone from your PC through a virtual on-screen window. Samsung does better than Huawei, as the feature works on all Windows devices, not just its own branded laptops. That said, there’s no word yet on macOS compatibility.
Just like the S22 Ultra, the S22 and S22 Plus feature a 4nm Exynos 2200 processor in most regions, while in China and the US the phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Available with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, even power users should have plenty of space, so the lack of an SD card slot shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
As for the batteries, the S22 has a 3700mAh cell with up to 25W wired charging, while the S22 Plus battery is 4500mAh, with up to 45W wired charging. Both support 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, so the phones can power your watch or a friend’s phone without cables.
Camera: best, but not the best
The cameras on the S22 and S22 Plus are stripped down compared to the S22 Ultra. There’s no 108MP main sensor or 10x zoom. Instead, there’s a main 50MP wide camera with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS. The phone’s ultra-wide camera is 12MP with an f/2.2 aperture, while the telephoto camera is 10MP with an f/2.2 aperture.
Bringing more pixels and more optical zoom to the table compared to the Galaxy S21 series, we’re optimistic that the camera system will improve year on year, however, it’s not yet clear how many features the S22 will have. Ultra have succeeded in the S22 and S22 Plus. These include enhanced nighttime video thanks to the S22 Ultra’s imaging NPU, as well as auto-framing – turning the phone into a subject-tracking camera.
The S22 and S22 Plus should be good, reliable phones with a premium design, great displays, and nippy internals. Time will tell how good their new camera system is and whether the phones can hold their own against the 108MP behemoth – the S22 Ultra, or other champions like the iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6.
First impressions are unabashedly positive for all three of Samsung’s S22 smartphones, with the S22 in particular being the choice of lovers of slim phones weighing just 168g and measuring 7.6mm thick. Meanwhile the S22 Plus is a competitor to the OnePlus 9 Pro, with its larger display and sub-£1000 price tag, while the Ultra, which you can read about in our handy S22 Ultra, offers an S Pen input , even bigger visuals, and a class-leading camera system.