With the launch of Galaxy S22 series, Samsung is bringing back the Note but with a rebrand called S22 Ultra. However, the smaller models, out of which the Galaxy S22 is the one which most would be eyeing, seems like a similar device as its predecessor, the Galaxy S21. However, there are a few key differences between the two that set them apart. But do these differences justify an upgrade from last year’s Galaxy S21 to the Galaxy S22? Let’s have a look.
A design that’s inspired from last year
The Galaxy S21 and the S22 are very similar looking smartphones. Both of them have the camera module at the same location and in the same shape. However, where it curved into the sides of the Galaxy S21, its a separate element on the S22 altogether. Moreover, where last year’s devices had a back panel made of plastic, Samsung decided to upgrade it to Glass this year which is great, but wouldn’t matter much in day to day usage, especially for those who have cases on.
The rear panel is now also flat, in comparison to the curved panel on Galaxy S21, which should result in a change as to how the device feels in hands. A major change is on the front though, where we now have symmetrical bezels around the display on Galaxy S22 that make it look much better than Galaxy S21. But again, this isn’t much of a useful update in terms of design and doesn’t justify an upgrade either. So what does? And there’s that. Yes, there isn’t anything on the S22 with regards to design which we can say makes it a worthy upgrade. Let’s move on to the internals.
Powerful Internals! But are they powerful enough?
Last year’s Galaxy S21 came with the Snapdragon 888 under the hood while the Indian variant had Exynos 2100. While we still don’t have information as to what the Indian variant of Galaxy S22 will have, leaks point towards the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Considering that, we still don’t believe that it makes it worth an upgrade because the Exynos 2100 is a powerful processor that can handle everything, especially day to day tasks, with ease. We recently saw the proof of same with Galaxy S21 FE where it performed very well in every scenario.
So to summarise, if you are using the Galaxy S21, we don’t see any point in upgrading to the S22 when it comes to performance. Yes, there’s a performance bump which will mainly be felt in gaming, but that alone doesn’t make the Galaxy S22 a device you should upgrade to if you are coming from an S21. Even the software on both of them is likely to be identical, except the version number as S22 series has OneUI 4.1 but S21 is running on OneUI 4.0. But both of them are based on Android 12. However, with S21, you’ll get upgrades till Android 15 while with S22, you’ll one extra update till Android 16.
Next up, is battery. Sadly, Samsung decided to go ahead with a downgrade in this department. This is because you now get a 3700mAh battery on the Galaxy S22, which is smaller than the 4000mAh cell on Galaxy S21. While we still have to check how the Galaxy S22 performs, a 3700mAh cell sounds like a bummer, considering it has to power a 120Hz display panel. Talking about displays, the S21 also has a slightly bigger display at 6.2 inches in comparison to 6.1 inches on Galaxy S22. This isn’t a big deal but is surely a difference. Both of them are 120Hz panels so there’s no difference in that department.
Cameras, finally something in favour of Galaxy S22
Cameras are the only department where there’s a decent upgrade. The new setup comprises of a 50MP primary wide camera with f/1.8 aperture, multi-directional PDAF and OIS. Then there’s a 10MP telephoto sensor with 3x Optical Zoom support, an f/2.4 aperture, OIS, PDAF and a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and 120-degree FoV. Finally, both of them have a 10MP f/2.2 front-facing camera.
The Galaxy S21 however, has a 12MP rear camera with LED Flash, f/1.8 aperture, OIS, 12MP Ultra Wide sensor, f/2.2 aperture, and a 64MP Telephoto lens with f/2.0 aperture, 3x hybrid zoom, 30X space zoom, and OIS. This is a department where both the phones need to be tested side-by-side, but on paper, the Galaxy S22 does seem to have a better camera system. So if you are a camera person and click a lot of photos and if you feel that your S21 just doesn’t do enough, you may opt for the S22.
As we mentioned, both the phones have a good set of things in common and the ones that differentiate both of them just aren’t enough to recommend the Galaxy S22 as an upgrade over the Galaxy S21. For those with a Galaxy S20 series device, the Galaxy S22 is an upgrade you should make without thinking twice. But for S21 series owners, we’d recommend you to skip this one.