HomeReviewsSamsung Galaxy S22+, Galaxy S22 Review: Dawn of the Galaxies

Samsung Galaxy S22+, Galaxy S22 Review: Dawn of the Galaxies

Here’s our review of the latest Galaxy Flagships from Samsung, the Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S22+.

Pros

Display, Design, Software, Performance, Haptics, Cameras, Audio

Cons

Average Low Light photography performance, slight lag while gaming, heating, slow charging

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S series smartphones include a trio comprising the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22. While the Ultra is in a league of its own where it’s targeted at a certain demographic, the Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22 are the devices which most users should be aiming at. While we have already taken a first look at the Galaxy S22 Ultra and found it to be impressive, let’s take a look at its younger siblings, the Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22.

Design & Display

Galaxy S22+

The Galaxy S22+ and the S22 follow the same design language as its predecessors but with a few changes, such as the camera module is now separated from the frame of the device, and the bezels around the display are now symmetrical on all sides. Moreover, instead of the Glasstic approach Samsung took with the Galaxy S21+ and the S21, it has now been replaced with actual frosted glass, both on the S22+ and the S22 which is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus+.


Galaxy S22 white

This is why the S22+ and the S22 feel even more premium in hand than their predecessors. The Galaxy S22+ is a bit bigger in size than the S22 and isn’t usable by one hand by any means. To reach the top, you’ll have to use your other hand or bring the phone down a bit. However, it still has one of the most premium looks for a smartphone in its price range that not only looks great but also feels the same. As the rear and the back are now completely flat, it does result in a better grip than other smartphones which have a curved panel.

Galaxy S22 sides

The Galaxy S22 on the other hand is smaller in size with a 6.1-inch display that makes it much better in terms of feel and grip. While the S22+ is slightly wider as it has a bigger form factor, the S22 is relatively narrower and you can reach all the corners with one hand easily while the overall aesthetic of the design remains identical to the S22+. The S22 in White looks clean and slim but it does pick fingerprints at times. The S22+ in black has a better look and the fingerprints aren’t very visible on this colour.

The aluminium frame has a glossy finish and you get power and volume buttons on the right while there’s a Type-C port, speaker grille, a mic and a SIM tray at the bottom. Only the right spine has no antenna bands while there’s a single on the top, three at the left and two at the bottom.

Galaxy S22, S22+ display

On the front though, the S22 gets a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x panel on which the refresh rate can range between 48Hz and 120Hz, depending on what is being shown on the screen. It gets 1500 nits of peak brightness, supports HDR10+ and is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus+, same as on the rear panel. The S22+ has an identical display but is bigger at 6.6-inches with a higher 1750 nits of peak brightness.

While the brightness seems to be higher on the Plus model, it isn’t noticeable and both of them get bright enough under direct sunlight for a clear viewing experience. Both of them reproduce very accurate and punchy colours while the viewing angles are excellent as well. The display seems slightly sharper on the Galaxy S22 because it has a higher ppi count at 425 but a smaller sized display. On the other hand, the Galaxy S22+ has a bigger display but with a ppi count of 393.

Galaxy S22

The difference is negligible in real usage and you cannot notice it unless you put both of them side by side. You can view HDR content on supported apps such as Netflix and YouTube. The blacks look deep while symmetrical bezels also enhance the look of the device on the front. The high refresh rate does help in providing a smoother than ever experience. Both of them have an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor which is impressively quick in unlocking the device and doesn’t fail to recognize the fingerprint. Samsung has always been making splendid displays for most of its devices and it proves itself once again this time.

Haptics & Sound

Adding to the design element, there are two more important hardware elements that constitute a well rounded flagship, and these include haptics and audio. The S22 and the S22+ get a new X-Axis Haptic Motor that is strong and accurate in letting you know there’s a notification or a call. On a soft surface though, it might not be as strong in notifying but in my pocket and if on a hard surface like on a table, I was easily able to know that my phone is vibrating.

Samsung also provides various ringtones where the vibrations work in sync with them and these also add to the experience of using the S22 series. I have read some reports online which state that the haptics aren’t strong enough but in my experience, I felt they worked perfectly.

As for the sound, there’s a stereo speaker setup which includes one at the top and one at the bottom. The one at the top also doubles as an earpiece. The sound out of these speakers is definitely loud and clear, however, doesn’t have bass to it, in comparison to other high end smartphones, such as the iPhone. The phone supports Dolby Atmos for an elevated experience along with tuning the equalizer and also has Dolby Atmos for Gaming.

Read More: Samsung S22 Ultra First Impression: Taking Note from Note Series

Performance & Software

Breaking the streak this time, Samsung decided to equip the Galaxy S22 series with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC instead of an Exynos SoC. The RAM on the Galaxy S22 and the S22+ is limited to 8GB while you can expand it up to another 8GB using the RAM Plus feature. This will churn out the specified amount of RAM from the internal UFS 3.1 memory.

There have been reports of overheating and throttling in the Galaxy S22 series because of an app called Game Optimizing Service (GOS). Instead of optimizing the games, the app seems to limit the performance of these games along with some other apps as well that are being throttled. However, Samsung has confirmed that a software update will solve the issue and it has already started to roll out in some parts of the world.

On the other hand, in real-world usage, I didn’t face any issues with any of the apps. The apps were kept in memory for a good period of time and were loading up quickly. The animations as well as other transitions were silky smooth and there were no lags in daily usage. When gaming, titles like Call of Duty Mobile ran without any issues. However, I did notice the devices getting heated up quickly after a match started which does result in occasional frame drops. Further, games such as RL Sideswipe work without any issues at all.

Samsung’s OneUI has matured over the years and with OneUI 4.1 based on Android 12 on the Galaxy S22 series, there are a few minor changes in comparison to OneUI 4.0. The most prominent one being a better colour picker when using Dynamic theming that chooses the accent colours of the whole system based on the wallpaper you set. Further, it is filled with features and to customize the experience even more, you can install Good Lock from the Galaxy Store. You do get some amount of bloatware which can easily be uninstalled, including some of Samsung’s own apps.

Galaxy s22 software

Then there’s an AR zone app where you can create a custom avatar of yourself and then use it across the system at various places. For example, you can create an AR video and use it on the incoming call screen or the lock screen. You can create various stickers and do a lot more.

Apart from that, Samsung is focusing on software support more than ever. The Korean manufacturer announced that it will be providing 4 major Android OS upgrades for the Galaxy S22 series which means you’ll get support up till Android 16. Moreover, you’ll get 5 years of security patches which is more than what any Android smartphone manufacturer is currently providing in the whole world. Samsung even surpassed Google in terms of software support as Google provides 3 years of OS upgrades and 4 years of security patches. Furthermore, we also got the March security patch on both the devices on March 7. This makes Samsung even more reliable if you are looking to stick to a smartphone for long.

I didn’t face any connectivity issues either, be it on 5Ghz Wi-Fi or Airtel mobile data. Calls were also loud and clear on both ends and the performance remained optimum.

Battery Life

The Galaxy S22+ gets a 4500mAh battery that supports 45W fast charging while the Galaxy S22 gets a smaller 3700mAh cell with support for 25W fast charging. There has been a lot of discussions around the internet regarding the Galaxy S22+ and S22 Ultra’s 45W fast charging being almost equivalent to the 25W charging on the regular S22.

During my testing, I charged both the S22+ and the S22 with the OnePlus 65W charger that not only supports up to 65W charging for OnePlus phones, but also embraces 45W USB PD PPS too. This means that in theory, it should be able to charge the S22+ at 45W without any issues and of course, the S22 at 25W. However, it wasn’t able to charge the Galaxy S22+ because the phone showed Super Fast Charging instead of Super Fast Charging 2.0, which depicts that the phone is charging at 45W theoretically. 

This means that the S22+ also charged at 25W and took exactly 1h 18m from 0% to 100%. The S22 on the other hand took 1h 17m from 0% to 100%. Both the phones take a good amount of time to charge and the charging times of both remain in the same ballpark. For flagships, the duration of charging is pretty long considering we now get 120W charging with some devices which almost cost half of what the S22 series is priced at.

We didn’t have a Samsung 45W charger at the time of testing the S22+ so we can’t claim how much faster it actually is, in comparison to 25W. As we told you above, reports online state that it’s a matter of minutes when you compare both of them.

S22+ battery life
Galaxy S22+ Battery Usage

As for the battery backup, the S22+ lasted me a whole day without any issues with almost 4.5 to 5.5 hours of screen-on time. My usage included light gaming, streaming on YouTube at more than 50% brightness, social media browsing, chatting, and voice calling. Further, Always-On display was also enabled at almost all times. The battery backup is decent, however, could have been better considering this a flagship.

Galaxy S22
Galaxy S22 Battery Usage

The S22 on the other hand seems to have a smaller battery on paper but this device can output an almost equivalent performance as the S22+. This one can also last a day with moderate usage with about 4 to 5 hours of screen-on time. However, if you are gaming a lot, or navigating throughout the day using maps, you can consume a lot of it very quickly such as 3.5 hours of SOT with 7 hours of usage out of which the device screen was off for about 3.5 hours. These are some of the scenarios where you can end up killing it before the day ends.

Cameras

Galaxy S22 cameras

The Galaxy S22 and the S22+ are equipped with some of the most high-end sensors one can find on a smartphone right now. As both of them have an identical sensor, these include 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. Further, on the front, both of them have a 10MP f/2.2 front-facing camera.

The camera app on the Galaxy S22 series is just like its predecessors where the main modes take a front seat. These include Video, Photo, and Portrait. Rest of the modes such as Night mode, Pro, Pro Video, Directors View, etc are housed inside the ‘More’ option. These options can also be added to the main front menu where you can access them even more quickly.

Galaxy S22 cameras

As for the photos, the cameras on the Galaxy S22 series are exactly how you’d expect them to be on a flagship device. Samsung has done a good job in optimizing the scene when you are clicking shots in daylight. Clicking outdoors in broad daylight is where the S22 and S22+ cameras shine the most. There is a high level of detailing and a good dynamic range. Yes, the shutter lag is slightly noticeable but isn’t a disturbance most of the time. Shots with 10x zoom or the max this camera can give, that is 30x, obviously aren’t as impressive as the 100x zoom on the S22 Ultra. They have little details and can barely show you the zoomed in subject.

Galaxy S22 wide-angle

Wide-angle shots are just as beautiful with very little colour shift. The detailing remained as good as the primary sensor while the distortion at the edges was well contained. The dynamic range was great and these were sharp enough. However, if I clicked ultra wide-angle shots under artificial lighting, the photos had a cooler tone compared to the warmer tone on the primary sensor.

Portrait photos on the other hand were also superb. The camera does crop into 3x to take portraits but you can also zoom out to 1x and the end result is again, excellent. The photos weren’t oversharpened and the details in the picture remained high. Even though the S22 and the S22+ lack laser auto-focus which their elder sibling comes with, the S22 Ultra, these were still quick enough in identifying the subject. The bokeh behind the subject was also well created with accurate edge detection.

Clicking photos at night is what Samsung calls Nightography. Talking about the same, night photos were good with night mode enabled as it did some colour correction, as well as sharpened the photo a bit more. Without the night mode, the shots were acceptable but not the best. Noise levels remained under control for the most part.

Galaxy S22 Selfies

Under low-light conditions, the performance can be improved further because the sharpness and the detailing level was below expected. The exposure was kept high enough for the photo and the subject to look clear overall. Selfies with the 10-megapixel sensor came out to be decent. There was enough sharpness in the photo, however, the skin tones could have been improved slightly.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
  • ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM (GB)8
  • Storage (GB)128, 256
  • Display6.6-inch, 1080 x 2400 pixels
  • Front Camera10MP
  • Primary Camera50MP + 12MP + 10MP
  • Battery4500mAh
  • Operating SystemAndroid 12

Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22
  • ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM (GB)8
  • Storage (GB)128, 256
  • Display6.1-inch, 1080 x 2400
  • Front Camera10MP
  • Primary Camera50MP + 12MP + 10MP
  • Battery3700mAh
  • Operating SystemAndroid 12

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design
9.5
Display
9.5
Performance & Software
9
Battery Life & Charging
8
Cameras
9

SUMMARY

Samsung Galaxy S22 series looks like the ideal choice of flagship one would go for. If you prefer a compact Android flagship with decent battery life, the S22 should be your choice while the S22+ is better in terms of a bigger display that gives you a more immersive experience with a slightly longer battery life. Both of them prove to be the perfect flagships in their segments. Hence, the dawn of the Galaxies is upon the smartphone world.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 series looks like the ideal choice of flagship one would go for. If you prefer a compact Android flagship with decent battery life, the S22 should be your choice while the S22+ is better in terms of a bigger display that gives you a more immersive experience with a slightly longer battery life. Both of them prove to be the perfect flagships in their segments. Hence, the dawn of the Galaxies is upon the smartphone world.Samsung Galaxy S22+, Galaxy S22 Review: Dawn of the Galaxies