|Compact design||Slow charging|
|Excellent display||Small battery|
With very few changes over the S21, this is very much an incremental upgrade. But with a smaller form and enhanced cameras, this is a decent phone. Ideal for anyone that wants a compact smartphone with some high-end specs.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is a small upgrade on last year’s model, bringing a slightly more compact design. But that also means a smaller screen and battery.
So for those that want more portability and an enhanced camera setup, this hits the mark. But for anyone looking out for bleeding-edge tech advancements, they may be left wanting.
This sits alongside the larger S22 Plus and S22 Ultra, so there are more options out there. But the S22 model reviewed here is aimed at the Apple equivalent of the iPhone 13 – not the biggest or most powerful but still a very capable and popular handset.
The display here has taken a drop in size, over its predecessor at 6.1-inches, but that doesn’t mean a loss in quality. As Samsung is a display manufacturer you’d expect the best and it delivers with a dynamic AMOLED that achieves a buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate, supports HDR10+ and offer’s an eye-watering 1,300 nits of peak brightness.
The resolution is FHD+ at 1080 x 2340 for 425ppi, so not that QHD+ that some may be looking for. However, you do get some very rich colours and a deep black range as well as dazzling whites – everything you’d expect from an AMOLED, which also means it does all this while being battery efficient.
Since the display is edge to edge, you get a lot of display in that one-hand friendly design, but more on that below.
Samsung has opted for the Contour Cut camera panel and flat-edged front that you may recognise from the S21. What’s changed now is that the rear is no longer made from plastic but is instead sporting a glass finish for a more premium look and feel. This does also make it a little heavier, but in a reassuringly well-weighted way.
Don’t expect a 3.5mm headphone port though as Samsung ditched that before and is showing no signs of bringing it back. What is has brought is a selection of colour options that include Phantom Black, White, Pink Gold, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet or Cream.
When it comes to processing power you’re getting the very latest silicon in this powerhouse. That means an Exynos 2200 CPU which uses the latest 4nm tech to power this octa-core processor. All that means more than enough power for everything you could want, be it gaming, AI or even video editing.
The CPU is backed by 8GB of RAM in both the 128GB and 256GB storage options, meaning a very quick response rate.
Since the phone is 5G powered too you can expect the fastest possible speeds over network connections as well as on WiFi thanks to WiFi 6 being built-in here.
As you’d expect from a flagship Samsung smartphone, the camera setup is impressive. On the rear you have a triple lens in-line setup and round the front is a single selfie camera, also packing a powerful pixel punch.
On the rear you have a 50MP wide angle camera, 10MP telephoto shooter and 12MP ultrawide lens. All this means a jump from the S21 as you now get 3x optical zoom, as opposed to 1.1x in the previous model.
You have a lot of versatility between the telephoto zoom and the wide angle options. But that upgraded main sensor at 50MP with a new enhanced design, jumping up from 12MP in the predecessor, means bright and colourful photos. Some may find them a little oversaturated, if anything, but that’s the Samsung way.
The camera app has plenty of features including Single Take and Dual View, the latter of which takes advantage of that 10MP wide-angle selfie camera.
On the front camera you can record up to 8K resolution at 24fps, or 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps or in 720p at a super slow motion 960fps. The ability to record in HDR10+ is also a welcome addition to take full advantage of that screen which can display that quality too.
This model features wireless charging as well as reverse charging, which is useful for those with earbuds who may wish to charge on the phone by simply placing the case on it.
The Android 12 OS is a welcome system but you do have the Samsung One UI skinned over the top which isn’t to everyone’s tastes. But it’s the price you pay if you want a Samsung.
Audio on this handset is impressive with stereo speakers tuned by AKG with 32-bit/384kHz capabilities – so pretty decent if you forget your headphones then.
That new glass back, and front, use the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ meaning they should be tough enough to take a knock and scrape without too much worry.
The battery on this model is smaller than the last, at 3,700mAh, but with a smaller screen and better processor efficiency you shouldn’t notice a drop in longevity. The only downside is a relatively slow charger at 25W, or 15W wirelessly.
Memory options are very simple with 128GB or 256GB and no option to expand with a microSD card in this model.
For connectivity you have 5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C 3.2 and NFC.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 might not be a massive jump forward from last year’s model but it has some helpful upgrades that make it appealing. The enhanced cameras, glass back build quality improvement, latest CPU speeds and efficiency and that more compact design all make it a high-end handset that justifies its price.
For those that want more size and performance there are the S22 Plus and S22 Ultra options too. But for a do-it-all option that doesn’t break the bank, the S22 is a valiant contender for Android flagship standing against the Apple iPhone 13 competition.