Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S22 series review: A pocket-sized flagship

The Galaxy S22 sports a 6.1-inch AMOLED panel and a Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chip.

The Galaxy S22 is Samsung’s entry-level phone in the new flagship lineup that packs a solid punch. Although it lacks the super premium features of the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the gigantic screen of the Galaxy S22 Plus, it does offer one key aspect: value for money.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 offers the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, the same chipset powering the other rugged S22 variants. Plus, the screen and camera module are the same as the Galaxy S22 Plus, and the best part is that it’s $200 cheaper than the next Galaxy model.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 isn’t for everyone, however. The phone pales in comparison to the specs of the Samsung S22 Ultra. However, if you want a smartphone with great features that can handle daily tasks with ease, take great photos, and offer solid battery backup, the Galaxy S22 might be the right phone for you.

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

A sleek frame and superior camera make the Samsung Galaxy S22 irresistible.

Samsung Galaxy S22 price and availability

The base Galaxy S22 model starts at $799 and is available at all major US retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon. You can even order the phone directly from Samsung.com.

The phone is available in four color variants: Phantom White, Phantom Black, Green, and Pink Gold. Other color options are available on Samsung.com – Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet and Cream.

If you own an older Samsung phone like the Galaxy S21 or Note 20 Ultra, there are also great trade-in programs in some places.

Design and display

The Galaxy S22 has a unique design. It is one of the most compact flagship phones with Android. Instead of going for a curved screen, Samsung has opted for a flat screen this year, which is a welcome step in our view.

The 6.1-inch AMOLED panel is bright and crisp, ideal for consuming content. There’s nothing to complain about with a pixel density of 425 pixels per inch and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Suppose you want to set the display to refresh at a lower rate of 60Hz in order to save some battery. The panel also supports HDR10+ content, which makes watching movies and videos a treat.

There’s a 10-megapixel punch-hole camera in the display, but it’s less intrusive than you might think.

Unfortunately, the frame of the Samsung Galaxy S22 is aluminum with a glossy finish rather than steel. The volume rockers are on the right, while the Sim card tray and USB C charging port are located at the bottom. Overall, the handset looks premium, and thanks to its flat screen, you can easily find screen protectors that will protect the display.

On the downside, there’s no expandable memory option as there’s no micro-SD card slot, and there’s no headphone jack, which is pretty much standard on our days. It’s ironic, however, that phones under $100 have a headphone jack, and absolutely no premium phone does, but that’s a discussion for another day!

Samsung brought back the S-view box with the Galaxy S22 this year. It is a cover flop with a small window for permanent display.

Cameras

The Galaxy series of phones have never been in the background when it comes to the camera department. The Galaxy S22 doesn’t disappoint either. The main shooter is a 50MP camera, 12MP ultra-wide and 10MP telephoto in the array. While photo quality is great when it’s bright, the camera struggles when it comes to low-light conditions and indoor lighting.

The S22 still ups the color saturation in true Samsung heritage, but images are still crisp and perfectly usable.

Performance and battery life

The Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chip makes everything on the phone feel smooth as butter. The chipset is not available in Google Pixel 6 specifications, one of the direct competitors of the S22. There is no lag when navigating the UI or opening and closing apps. The 8GB RAM is more than enough to handle multiple apps with ease.

Note that the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chip is not available in all countries. Besides the US and a few other countries, the Galaxy S22 comes with an Exynos 2200 chip.

The S22’s battery is a tiny 3700 mAh, which is a bit too small for heavy users. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has a 4500mAh battery, while the Samsung S22 Ultra specs include a huge 5000mAh battery. The Google Pixel 6 specs include a larger 4614mAh battery that outpaces the S22.

If you frequently play games, watch videos, and browse social media apps, you should expect around 3-4 hours of screen time. The good news is that the phone comes with a 25W fast charger that can charge the phone from 0-100% in around 50 minutes.

Galaxy S22 vs. Google Pixel 6

The Galaxy S22 puts Samsung in an odd position this year. Although the price of the new version is the same as last year’s Galaxy S21, it has a slightly smaller screen and a worse telephoto lens.

The Samsung Galaxy S22’s biggest competitor is the significantly cheaper (starting at $600) Google Pixel 6 with a superior camera system. The competition between S22 and Google Pixel 6 is strongly one-sided when it comes to software. The Pixel 6 comes with a vanilla version of Android that’s customized to deliver the best possible performance.

However, the battle between S22 and Google Pixel 6 is evenly matched in premium feel and performance.

That said, if you’re looking for a flagship-grade phone that’s compact with great performance and haven’t changed a phone in over two years, then the S22 is for you.