Samsung Galaxy S22 & S22+ Review: Well balanced package for those looking for the best of Android
Galaxy S22lineup consists of 3 smartphones.
- The lineup is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor.
- The smartphone is said to get 4 years worth of
AdvertisementSamsung revealed three new smartphones to the world from the latest
I have been using the Galaxy S22 as my primary device from the day of its release, while it’s quite impressive in everyday usage, I planned to test it outside the regular usage conditions. So I decided to take the Galaxy S22+ and the compact Galaxy S22 on a trip, and this review is my time with the two phones.
The two phones share almost the same set of specifications except for display size and battery capacity. So the overall experience on both is the same, but they both suit better for different kind of users only because of their size.
Check out the unboxing for
Price and Availability
Samsung Galaxy S22 starts at ₹72,999 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant. There is another variant with an upgraded 256GB storage and similar 8GB RAM that is available for ₹76,999.
The bigger Galaxy S22+ is offered at a price of ₹84,999 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, and ₹88,999 for the 256GB storage variant.
Both these smartphones are live on sale at Samsung’s own D2C website, Amazon, and retail stores.
Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+ - Design & Build quality
The first thing anyone aware of the S21 design would notice is that the Galaxy S22 follows the same design language. The company has trimmed down the phone making it a tad bit lighter at 167 grams, the design is more flush and fine too. Another visible difference is the matte-like Gorilla Glass Victus+ back which completes the glass sandwich design for this device.
The in-hand feel is great and is exactly what you expect from a flagship. Samsung’s attention to detail won me over, there is nothing ‘extra’ about the Galaxy S22. It’s a subtle design and combined with a great color like white in my case, the device feels complete.
The edges on Galaxy S22 strike a correct balance between flat and curved, which makes it easier for you to hold it. The aluminum frame not only looks good but in my one week of heavy usage has managed to hold up well against scratches and smudges. It is also IP68 water and dust resistant, so rough terrains are not a problem, I had the phone in my pocket when I was crossing a pond and while my pants were soaking wet, the Galaxy S22 didn’t give me a heart attack. I usually don’t recommend not using a case, but here it’s worth it.
While some might think of it as a ‘smaller’ smartphone by today’s standards, I tend to disagree. In a side-by-side comparison, it is visibly similar to my iPhone 12. Using it with a single hand is easy, and I for one enjoyed its form factor over the bigger Galaxy S22+.
Other physical characteristics include a power on and off button on the right-hand side of the smartphone, which is also the Bixby button by default. There are volume rockers neatly placed above it. For a smartphone with just the ‘necessary’ amount of physical switches, the build quality is robust.
On the bottom, you will find a SIM-card slot that supports 2 nano SIMs, and right next to it is a USB Type-C charging port. The absence of a 3.5mm port doesn’t surprise me anymore. Just like the absence of a charger in the box.
Samsung Galaxy S22 UI - Smooth but boring
Samsung Galaxy S22 runs on Android 12 out of the box and has Samsung’s own One UI 4.1 skin on top. Samsung has mastered the amalgamation of One UI with android software by now and the result is a smooth user experience with virtually no lags, making you feel one with the device.
The UI is responsive and doesn’t miss out on a beat. The seamless integration between Android 12 features, and One UI shows up every now and then. Like the ‘material you’ design, which gives you unprecedented access to customize your smartphone. You can change the color palette of the skin, change themes and of course do some generic customization like putting the phone in dark mode.
A change that I would personally like to recommend is switching the keyboard to the one from Google. Samsung’s default keyboard is fancy but with someone like me who has big thumbs typing on it is difficult. was not jamming well with my productivity.
Coming back to the add-on they do get you excited for a while, but eventually, start to become boring. Samsung’s One UI is more or less similar across all its devices, and for a premium buyer, this can be a bit disheartening. I look forward to having a unique take on Samsung flagships in the future with respect to the UI.
That being said, credit, where it’s due Samsung, has promised to provide 4 years' worth of updates for the Galaxy S22 line-up, so yes it can be deemed as a future-proof smartphone.
AdvertisementMy experience was similar on the bigger S22+ as well.
Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+ Display - Best in the business!
Samsung displays are dominating the entire smartphone landscape so, to no surprise, the 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is gorgeous. It’s well lit and with a peak brightness of 1300 nits using it under direct sunlight was no issue at all, and I am talking about peak afternoon sunlight on a farm.
Watching anything on the panel is easy on the eyes, and you can make out each and every detail in a scene. Since, it does support HDR10+, which works efficiently with supported third-party OTT apps, you are in for a treat.
Simply put, the screen allows you to watch videos, play games, or even see photos as they are supposed to be.
That’s not all, with an adaptive refresh rate ranging from 48Hz to 120Hz, the Galaxy S22 aids your visual adventures. From browsing the internet to playing fast-paced games, adaptive refresh rate makes everything slightly better.
Initially, it did miss a beat or two while adapting to a new situation but after a recent update, it switches the refresh rates effortlessly.
Complimenting the display is a stereo speaker set-up which is loud for the size on offer, however, I found the volume levels to be lower for my liking but audio is still very well defined.
The screen also incorporates a super-sonic fingerprint sensor, which is hands down the fastest in-display fingerprint reader I have used in a long while. A light tap and the Galaxy S22 unlocks.
Throughout my trip, I must have unlocked it countless times and it didn’t miss even once. It’s fast, responsive and quite accurate so far.
You also have the classic, always-on display feature, which is as useful as it should be. Reading time to notifications, it comes in handy. It does cost you battery life, but nothing significant.
Quickly touching upon the Galaxy S22+ here, with a bigger 6.6-inch display, and a peak brightness of 1750 nits, and the rest remains the same. That being said it is a better choice for a consumer who likes bigger panels. And honestly, watching content was more fun on it. Part of the reason is the fact that the stereo speakers on Galaxy S22+ are much louder than what we get on regular Galaxy S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22 performance - There are some hiccups!
The Galaxy S22 is perhaps the first of the ‘S’ series to be launched in India with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.
Is this great news? Somewhat, but not entirely. The Samsung Galaxy S22 runs on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and the results are a bit confusing.
In day to day usage, this is perhaps the best Android experience you can ask for. Everything feels smooth from something as simple as app response to boot-ups which are done in a flash.
You don’t have to wait with the Galaxy S22, your commands are well received and reverted to in microseconds.
The memory management is top-notch even after hours of non-usage you can jump to the exact frame in an app and carry on with your work.
Now of course this is a brand new device, so the performance may vary down the line.
The gaming performance was also incredible, my go-to game for testing a smartphone is BGMI, and the Galaxy S22 ran it smoothly. There were no frame drops and the game ran smoothly at maxed-out settings of extreme frame rates and Ultra HD graphic.
While I was enjoying my experience, my hands were getting hot, and no it was not the adrenaline rush from the game. The Galaxy S22 does get very warm and the aluminum frame adds a more hurtful zing to it. But that’s a common trait we’ve experienced with other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones too.
Any task that required major chipset contribution like gaming or shooting videos resulted in a burning hot Galaxy S22. The first 10 minutes are fine, but the 11-minute mark results in heavy heat and uncomfortable temperatures.
While I write this article, Samsung has pushed a new update on the Galaxy S22 which has reduced the heating issue but not drastically. Maybe a future update will fix it completely, I can only hope.
This experience is a tad bit better on the Galaxy S22+ mostly because the heat dissipation on the phone is better.
Coming to the battery life, the Galaxy S22 features a 3700 mAh battery, which on paper is not a lot, especially since we find 5000mAh cells on the brand’s budget devices.
But is it really not enough? I disagree. On my 3 day trip when I was mostly outside, I was plugging in the Galaxy S22 once in 2 days.
Ever since coming back in my generic day of usage, I have to put it on charge every night which I find to be okay, given the performance and productivity.
During the testing, I used a 61W USB PD to charge the Galaxy S22. The Galaxy S22 managed a full charge in 1 hour, 33 minutes. It is indeed quite slow compared to the competition, most of which come with their own fast-charging adapters.
We do have to note that the Galaxy S22 supports 25W fast charging and the Galaxy S22+ supports 45W fast charging.
The Galaxy S22+ with its bigger 5000mAh battery lasts well over a day and a half with moderate to heavy usage and took 1 hour 42 minutes to charge completely with the same adapter.
The integration of the chipset is seemingly in sync with the battery on board and it boils down to you, choosing between the 2 smartphones. Do note that the battery life mostly depends on your usage pattern.
Touching upon the network connectivity, now this is a 5G smartphone but there is a while before I can comment on that performance. However, the network connectivity was fairly impressive and I faced no call drops with my Vi sim. Yet again, it is worth noting that your mileage may vary based on network conditions in your area.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera - Enough for everyone?
Now a 3-day trip means volumes of photos and that’s what you can expect in this section. Both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ feature the same triple rear camera set-up.
There is a 50MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 10MP telephoto sensor.
The results are stunning.
The primary 50MP sensor is an absolute beast, with an aperture of f/1.8, it takes in the optimum amount of light providing you with beautiful frames.
The images look sharp retaining every possible detail. The colors might be a bit off sometimes, but they are mostly close to natural. The camera also showcased a good dynamic range and I am happy with the results.
Thanks to the advanced aperture, night mode also performs smoothly and is not pixelated beyond recognition.
Coming to the ultra-wide sensor on S22, it should suffice for most users. Yes, it’s living under the shadow of the mighty Galaxy S22 Ultra, but a variable zoom range of 0.6 to 30X is no joke by any means. You can go wide with your frames bringing in most of the subjects you want, max zoom intends to pixelate the image, but that’s natural. Still, you can flex on it.
The telephoto lens performs well, and the portraits on Galaxy S22 are gorgeous and worthy of your social media feed. The edge detection is impressive, but still not as good as a Pixel 5A or iPhone 13 and the bokeh effect mostly delivers great results.
AdvertisementYou can also do some fun editing with your portraits in the gallery, by changing background effects after clicking the photo.
The video performance of the camera set-up is stunning, with the phone able to capture 8k footage at 24fps. A generic user might never use it, but the potential in the camera setup is immense and so are the modes and filters to play with your photos.
Video results are comparatively better in well-lit conditions than against what we see in darker set-ups.
Can you make a film-grade clip from the camera? - No. but you can definitely count on it if you are an everyday content creator or even a vlogger.
Coming to the selfie camera it is a 10MP sensor and performs decently. The colors on this one move further away from their natural state, but thankfully there is no beauty filter set on default that might spoil your frame.
There is portrait mode on here as well, which delivers good results. You can also create a wider frame on this one.
Videos recorded from the Selfie camera are a bit noisy if the lighting is not correct. Otherwise, under natural lighting, it’s pretty well.
Ever since brands have started diversifying their flagships with words like Ultra or Pro, it is usually the second in command flagships that go unnoticed in all the noise.
AdvertisementHowever, both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ shine through for me and seem to be a better option than their elder brother Galaxy S22 Ultra because of their value and usability.
They pack in all of the best features you expect in a flagship and deliver it to the users at a significantly lesser price.
My verdict is simple, these smartphones are a winner amongst the Android options. The Galaxy S22 is best suited for those who want a compact device and if you watch videos, movies, or simply want a bigger display then the Galaxy S22+ is a better choice.
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