Galaxy S22 Review: Is this Samsung’s BEST flagship?

Martin Guay
Martin Guay - Chief Editor
12 Min Read

The Galaxy S22 is a jack-of-all-trades that doesn't break any new ground when looking at photography, screen size, or battery life. When you want a high-end phone but don't need all the flashier bells and whistles, turn to the Galaxy S22; You get the same processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that powers Samsung's elite S22 options and a bright display, as well as the same impressive camera setup as the S22 Plus.

The Galaxy S22 is not for everyone, especially those who want every premium feature packed into a phone. But it offers enough high-end features to impress me (I'm currently not a Samsung consumer). I'm using the Oppo Find X3 Pro to this day as my daily driver. The S22 phone provides more megapixels than the iPhone for photos and gives you 3x optical zoom; To get something similar on the iPhone, you'll have to jump up to the pricier Pro models.

Galaxy S22 Review - DisplayGalaxy S22 Review - Display close up

Price & Availability

The Galaxy S22 starts at CAD$1,099.99 for a base model with 128GB of storage. You can bump that up to 256GB for another $70. The best Galaxy S22 deals/savings can help you drop that price tag quite a bit. Consider trading your current phone or check-out carrier specials. Major carriers and retailers are sure to have the S22 in stock.

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Consider visiting places like Bestbuy or Costco; You can often snag deals that make the device even cheaper. Today's best deal is at Best Buy Canada for the Galaxy S22 refurbished at $1,029.99.

Design – Galaxy S22

The Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch display, making it smaller than the Galaxy S21, which was a 6.2-inch display. Cleverly, Samsung has removed the plastic back and replaced it with Gorilla Glass Victus Plus; This makes the phone feel more premium and elegant. Now it feels every bit as solid as Apple's iPhone 13. Don't worry! I have no plans to adopt an iPhone in my life. The Galaxy S22's aluminum frame has a refined curve, making it comfortable to hold.

Keeping in line with how they defined the previous model with the camera cutout, it's no surprise we still see it today with the S22. It's an evolution from the S21 and even from the S20 line of Galaxy devices. Defining the Galaxy device is a step in the right direction. It's something smartphone enthusiasts and even consumers can identify Samsung's branded icon in the crowd.

There are just two buttons on the right of the phone. A tiny hole for a microphone is on the top edge. The bottom has one speaker that decently offers a loudspeaker aided by a speaker hidden along the top of the display, the SIM slot, another microphone hole, and the USB-C charging port.

Samsung offers the same colour choices in the Galaxy S22 Plus as it does for the Galaxy S22: black, white, green, pink and gold. Additionally, Samsung offers graphite, cream, sky blue and violet options through its online store.

The S22 is IP68 rated, which gives it the water and dust resistance needed to survive a drop in the pool.


Galaxy S22 Review - Back of deviceGalaxy S22 Review - bottom edge

Display – Galaxy S22

The Samsung Galaxy S22's Dynamic AMOLED display offers a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The S22 has a smaller black bezel around the screen and no intrusive notch, unlike the iPhone 13 with its perforated front. Samsung looked to improve display brightness across the Galaxy S22 lineup, and the S22 can hit up to 1300-nit peak brightness on higher resolution. In SDR, I used a light meter to measure peak brightness at 687 nits—having HDR turned on, that reading reached 1,211 nits.

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The adaptive refresh rate makes every movement in scrolling, videos, and games look smooth. High refresh rates can burn through the battery life quickly. You may want to leave the device on adaptive to get the best outcome. You can lock the refresh rate at 60Hz to extend the battery if you prefer having control.

Samsung's Galaxy S22 offers an even higher refresh rate than the 90Hz of the Pixel 6. Furthermore, the S22 can drop down to 48Hz when the on-screen action is static to preserve battery life. Samsung has made room for the 10MP front-facing camera by cutting a circle in the display's top edge. Adding even more tech into its display technology, we have the ultrasonic fingerprint reader near the bottom of the screen, which offers improved biometric security.

Camera – Galaxy S22

Samsung made changes to the lenses in its new flagship smartphone compared to the previous S21 offering. The 12MP ultrawide f/2.2 camera is the same but with a new 50MP f/1.8 primary camera and a 10MP f/2.3 telephoto. That last camera has fewer pixels than the previous-gen 64MP sensor, making it perfect for portraits, food, and other shots where you don't want to zoom in too much while retaining its 3x optical zoom.

Your selfie game will be unchanged, provided you're coming from the S21. The 10MP selfie camera will deliver your fantastic beauty for the never-ending social media post. An element that Samsung gives you as a feature is the ability to change the bokeh effect before and after.

Samsung's over-saturated colours are still present in the latest models, the sky looks too blue, and other areas look unnatural. Photos you take will rarely match what you see with the naked eye, but if you're not concerned about absolute colour fidelity, Samsung's latest cameras will satisfy your photographic needs. In my experience, most people tend to prefer bright photos from Samsung devices.

Galaxy S22 Review - Camera arrayGalaxy S22 Review - Camera array close up

Performance & Specs

Samsung equips all of its S22 line with the latest mobile chipsets. Its US version of the S22 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and outside the US, the Galaxy S22 runs on the Exynos 2200. Both processors use 8GB of memory, with either 128GB or 256GB of storage.

Benchmarks don't always paint the perfect picture for a device; This is one of my reason for simply using the phone as a daily driver to get a real-world use for what it can do. If you want to understand the device, go online, take pictures, be a selfie influencer, play video games and spend your time on TikTok or edit that 4k video! With the number of people making TikTok content and Samsung having developed the proper camera integration with TikTok, the level of edit for people has just skyrocketed, making Samsung devices the DEVICE to get.

When most consumers purchase a new device, they want enough storage space to accommodate their lifestyle. I wish that Samsung made the 256GB model the standard on all devices.

While the craze is the 5G speeds and internet connectivity with carriers boasting it, it's hard to imagine what to think. Sure 5G sounds better than 4G, but the reality is you won't see much of a difference unless you're actively watching for that magical download speed. There still isn't really use for 5G for the day-to-day consumer, where it will make a significant change to your life.

Galaxy S22 Review - side profile

Software – Galaxy S22

Samsung's new S22 phone family runs on Samsung's One UI 4.1 on top of Android 12; This is Samsung's spin on what Android should look like for everyone! It's a good approach, but some people may not like it.

In the One UI, Samsung largely stays out of the Android 12 experience, but it still has its dedicated web browser that you can ignore, along with Samsung's Calendar and Contacts apps and Bixby. Don't forget that Samsung has tied Bixby to the power button, which gets annoying.

Battery life – Galaxy S22

The Galaxy S22 features a smaller battery than last year's model — a 3,700 mAh power pack instead of a 4,000 mAh one. Samsung is probably banking on the more efficient chipset and another year of an adaptive display to improve battery life on the Galaxy S22. The tests showed 12 hours, although your mileage may vary based on device usage. It's hard to reach any conclusions about the battery life of the Galaxy S22.

Following the same trend as most brands in 2022, the Samsung S22 does not come with a wall plug. Samsung did, however, include a USB-C cable, but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets removed either. You can use any brand of 25W power adapter or charge via QI.

Should I buy it?

The Galaxy S22 isn't the cheapest Android phone, but a good deal for an atop-of-the-line Samsung S-series handset, making itself appealing to a lot. If you find most modern mobiles too big, this is a great alternative; The 6.1-inch Galaxy S22 is just what smaller hands ordered. But the 6.1-inch, in my personal opinion, isn't a mini smartphone. Samsung's Snapdragon chipset gives you loads of power for playing video games, video editing or anything else that needs to kick things up a notch.

A 6.1-inch display, even an FHD one like this, can feel a little cramped compared to a 6.5-inch. If you enjoy large phones and can afford that super-powered Android phone, we recommend you go for it. Upgrading from the S20 or S21, the fact that this is an incremental upgrade may not entice you enough, then skip it.

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By Martin Guay Chief Editor
I write, talk about technology, gadgets, the latest Android news as much as any other fellow geek, nerd, or enthusiast does. I work in the IT field as a System Administrator, and I enjoy gaming when possible. I'm into plenty of things, and you can usually find me around Ottawa, Canada!For all business inquiry email business-inquiry [@] cryovex [dot] com.
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