Try as it might, Samsung just can’t stop its phones from being leaked left and right prior to the official announcement. Thus, we knew a great deal about the Galaxy S22 series before it was unveiled today. There are still some new details, and naturally, you can pre-order one of the new phones with “enhanced” trade-in credit. None of these phones will come cheap even with a trade-in, though.
Unlike the last few cycles, Samsung has bifurcated its Galaxy S family. The base model S22 and the S22+ share most of the same features and design elements. And then there’s the S22 Ultra, which has more in common with the Note series. There hasn’t been a Note phone since 2020, so the Ultra fills a sizeable niche in Samsung’s lineup. All models launch with Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI 4.
The S22 and S22+ look a lot like last year’s phones with a similar merger of the frame and camera bump. The cameras have gotten a nice upgrade, though, with a 50MP primary, 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP with 3x optical zoom. Last year’s non-Ultra models didn’t even have an optical zoom lens. The S22 Ultra goes above and beyond with an updated 108MP primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide, a 10MP with 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP folded periscope lens with 10x optical zoom. This is by far the most advanced smartphone camera setup available outside of Asia.
Inside, all three versions of the S22 have more in common. In the US, they will all run on the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. In most international markets, it’ll be the Exynos 2200. Strangely, Samsung backed off on the RAM and battery capacity this year. All models default to 8GB of RAM, with 12GB only available as an upgrade for the S22 Ultra. Likewise, the S22’s battery capacity has fallen to 3,700mAh from 4,000, and the S22+ is 4,500mAh instead of 4,800 like last year’s phone. The S22 Ultra is still higher at 5,000mAh. Samsung says the more efficient hardware and displays mean the phones can have smaller batteries and still last all-day. More than a day might have been nice, Samsung.
Speaking of displays, Samsung again touts offering the finest OLED panels possible. All the phones have a maximum 120Hz refresh rate — they’re 1080p on the S22 and S22+, but the Ultra bumps it up to 1440p, and it’s the largest at 6.8-inches. The other phones are 6.1 and 6.6 inches. The Ultra’s screen also has a digitizer built in for the S Pen. Yes, as a stand-in for the Note, Samsung has given its new flagship an integrated stylus. It has all the Bluetooth and motion control features of the old Note phones, and it has even lower latency for a smoother writing experience.
Samsung is asking $800 for the base S22, $1,000 for the S22+, and $1,200 for the S22 Ultra. These prices are just a touch higher than last year, but components are more expensive in 2022 — Samsung is not alone in boating prices. If you’re convinced you want an S22, now is the time to buy. If you pre-order the phone, you can get a larger credit for old phones. For example, the S21 Ultra will net you $700. You also get $200 in Samsung credit and a free upgrade to the next storage tier. The phones will begin shipping on February 25th.