March 22, 2024

Samsung Galaxy S22 Review

Samsung launched the Galaxy S22 smartphone last month. Compared to last year’s Galaxy S21 with 6.2-inch screen, this has a slightly smaller 6.1-inch screen, making it slightly smaller, and it is also sleeker. Samsung has finally started offering Snapdragon SoC for its S series in India. It has new cameras, but comes with a slightly smaller, 3700mAh battery. Is this a good upgrade compared to the Galaxy S21? Let us dive into the review to find out.

Box Contents

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone 8GB RAM, 128GB storage version in Phantom White colour
  • USB Type-C to C Cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Quick Start Guide and Warranty information

Display, Hardware and Design

The phone comes with a 6.1-inch Full HD+ Infinity-O Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080×2340 pixels at about 425PPI, aspect ratio of 20:9. The display is bright, thanks to 1300 nits peak brightness, offers good color reproduction and the sunlight legibility is good as well. Since it has an AMOLED panel, it offers true blacks. The screen is protected by Corning  Gorilla Glass Victus+. You can also notice minimal symmetrical bezels around the screen that makes it attractive.

It has a 120Hz refresh rate screen that offers a fluid user experience with smoother animations, scrolling and gaming. Unlike the S22 Ultra which has 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate due to LTPO panel, this has 48 to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, according to Samsung, but DRM info shows that it can switch between 10Hz, 24Hz, 30Hz, 48Hz, 60hz, 96Hz and 120Hz. In the gaming mode, it offers 240Hz touch sampling rate.

Similar to the other Samsung phones, there is an Eye comfort shield that limit blue light emitted by the screen. There is also dark mode, which looks great on the AMOLED screen. You can choose from Vivid or Natural screen modes based on your preference, or set the white balance manually. The phone doesn’t have DC dimming or low brightness anti-flicker mode that is present in some AMOLED screen phones in the price range. I didn’t notice any screen flicker issues in low brightness on the phone.

It doesn’t have notification LED, but there is Always on display with tap to show option that shows the AOD screen for 10 seconds after you tap the screen. You can also set a schedule or set it to show always. There are a lot of options to select from such as clocks, GIF or you can download any AOD from Themes section.

On the top, there is an 10-megapixel camera in the tiny punch-hole, and the earpiece is present on the top edge that doubles up as a secondary speaker. The punch-hole is small and it is not intrusive.

There is a small chin below the screen. The phone has an in-display Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that is present toward the middle.

The phone has an Armor Aluminum frame, which Samsung says is the strongest aluminum frame. Even though the frame is glossy, it is not prone to scratches, but it attracts fingerprints and might be slippery. You can see the antenna bands all around. Coming to the button placements, the power button and the volume rockers are present on the right side. There is nothing on the left side. The dual SIM slot USB Type-C port and the loudspeaker grill are on the bottom. The secondary microphone is on the top.

The Galaxy S22 series features a redesigned vibration motor, which according to iFixit is a move to offer a Taptic-Engine-like feedback without sacrificing as much space as Apple does. It is crisp, but it is not as loud as the S21.

On the back, there is a triple camera module arranged in a single line. Unlike the S21 that has the side frame that extends to the camera part, this has a separate bump for the camera. There is a single LED flash next to the module. Even though the phone has a 6.1-inch screen, it is compact to hold. It is just 7.6 mm thick and weighs 168 grams, making it sleeker and lighter than the predecessor. The phone has a frosted glass back with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection, so it doesn’t attract fingerprints or smudges and is also not prone to scratches with day-to-day use compared to budget Galaxy models with a plastic body. It is recommended to get a case if you put the phone down often.

In addition to the White colour variant that we have, the phone also comes in Phantom Black and Green colours in India, but it doesn’t come in Pink. This comes with dust and water-resistant in freshwater to a depth of 1.5 meter for up to 30 minutes, with IP68 certification.

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  • 50MP main camera with LED Flash,  1/1.57″ 1um ISOCELL GN5 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, OIS
  • 12MP 120° Ultra Wide sensor, f/2.2 aperture
  • 10MP Telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture, 3x optical zoom, OIS
  • 10MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture

You can choose 50MP option from the aspect ratio settings on the top, since Samsung has switched from 12MP to 50Mp. It also has AR stickers, scene optimizer, portrait video, director’s view, hyperlapse and more modes. There is Live Focus mode for portraits, including a 3X mode that uses the telephoto camera for portraits. You can also adjust the bokeh effect before or after the shot. There is a selfie portrait option for the front camera that uses software to blur the background. There is also a wide-angle option for the front camera, similar to other Samsung phones.

Coming to the image quality, daylight shots are good, and it captures in 12MP resolution after pixel binning. The camera captures a good amount of detail, creates well exposed photos with good dynamic range and detailing, and dynamic range can further be improved enabling HDR mode from the settings, which automatically turns on HDR when needed. Apart from the 3x telephoto zoom camera, the standard digital zoom is also good, and has improved compared to the predecessor, so even 10x and 20x zoomed photos are good. Autofocus speeds are fast and accurate. Ultra-wide shots from the 12MP camera are good in daylight.

Macro shots from the main camera is good, but you can use 2x or use 3x telephoto for close-up shoots. Live focus is good at detecting the edges, and has seen a good improvement compared to S21. Low-light performance is good, which can be improved further with Night mode that offers more details, but you need to keep your hand steady, since it takes two to three seconds to process. Images with flash is good and is not overpowering.

The 10-megapixel front camera is good in most cases. Wide-angle mode takes images in 10-megapixel resolution, while the normal mode takes images in 6.5-megapixel. Software blur in the live focus mode has good edge detection even in low light.

The S22 offers 8K video recording at 24 fps, 4K UHD video recording at 60 fps, Super Steady 1080p video at 60 fps, Super Slo-mo 720p video support at 960 fps, slow motion 1080p video support at 240 fps and Hyperlapse 4K video support at 30 fps. The normal stabilization works with both ultra-wide and main camera, but only the main camera has OIS.  You can switch between normal, ultra-wide telephoto and front cameras when video recording is in progress. There is also HDR10+ recording that you can enable in the settings, but it limited to 4K 30 fps.

Software, UI and Apps

Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 12, and it recently got March 2022 update a few days back. On the top of Android 12, it has the latest Samsung One UI 4.1, which brings several new features that brings new theme options to configure home screens, icons, notifications, wallpapers and much more. There are also redesigned, upgraded widgets with deep customization, microphone and camera usage indicators and more.

It has also partnered with Google to bring ability to live share your display in Google Duo, integrated Voice Access capabilities and preview YouTube videos directly from the messages app. Samsung has confirmed 4 OS updates and 5 years of security updates for the S22 series.

The Device maintenance option lets you manage your device’s battery life, storage, RAM usage, and security all in one place. Out of 128GB (UFS 3.1) in our unit, 104GB is free. Out of 8GB LPDDR5 RAM, about 7.22GB is usable and 3.5GB is free when default apps are running in the background. There is also a RAM Plus feature, which uses the internal memory of the phone to expand the RAM by an extra 8GB, in addition to the existing 8GB of RAM. This is enabled automatically. Since this has UFS 3.1 storage, we got sequential read speeds of, 1459.83MB/s.

Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google Apps, the smartphone comes with Facebook, Netflix, Spotify and Microsoft apps such as OneDrive and LinkedIn. You get the option to install apps when you are setting up the phone, which you can choose not to. It also has Samsung Pay via NFC. It also has Samsung Pass, Secure Folder, Bixby Voice/Vision, Samsung Cloud, Easy Mode and Samsung Knox support.  The phone doesn’t have ads, but shows notifications of new Samsung products occasionally.

Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock

The phone has Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint 8×8 sensor present toward the middle. And is engineered to allow the device to detect a larger fingerprint image than the normal optical sensor. Unlike alternative authentication solutions. Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor uses acoustic-based technology that reflects the unique features of a user’s individual fingerprint. Says the company.

You can add up to 4 fingerprints, and adding fingerprint is easy. It has support for Face recognition, which doesn’t work well if the lighting is poor in the room, if you use hats or sunglasses. Both these are protected by Knox security.

Music Player and Multimedia

YouTube Music is the default music player. It has equalizer, Dolby Atmos, UHQ upscaler, and Adapt that can be enabled from the settings. All these improve the audio when listening through earphones, and Dolby Atmos also works with speakers. It doesn’t have FM Radio support. That said, audio through earphones is good. Loudspeaker output from the stereo speakers is good as well, but I felt the iPhone 13’s speaker was slightly better.

The phone comes with Widevine L1 support out-of-the-box so that you can enjoy HD content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and other streaming apps. There is also HDR playback support for Netflix and YouTube.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

It has support for 5G SA with support for several 5G Network Bands in India, thanks to  Snapdragon X65 5G Modem. Other connectivity options include, Wi-Fi 802.11 6 ax (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.2 and GPS with GLONASS. It has support for USB OTG and NFC that works with supported payment apps. It has 4G connectivity with support for a lot of bands and has Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi-Calling or Vo-Wi-Fi support for Reliance Jio, Airtel and more, and also has support for LTE-A or Carrier Aggregation. This lacks Wi-Fi 6E and UWB which are present in S22+ and S22 Ultra models.

The Galaxy S22’s head SAR is at 1.280/Kg which is a bit high, but it well under the limit in India which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g).

Performance and Benchmarks

Coming to the performance, it is one of the first phones to be powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 4nm Mobile Platform. Samsung has finally switched from Exynos to Snapdragon in India. It has 1 x Kryo Prime CPU (Arm Cortex-X2-based) at up to 3.0GHz, 3 x Kryo Performance CPUs (A710-based) at up to 2.50GHz, 4x Kryo Efficiency CPUs (A510-based) at up to 1.80GHz.

The new Qualcomm Adreno GPU provides a 30% boost in graphics rendering capabilities and 25% improvement in power savings compared to the previous generation. Unlike the S22 Ultra, which has an improved cooling solution, the Galaxy S22 uses the phone uses standard cooling. When you play graphic-intensive games like COD. BGMI and Genshin Impact. Or use the camera for a long time for recording videos. It gets hot quickly. But Samsung has managed to keep the temperature down by limiting the performance. So there are some frame drops when gaming. It reached maximum 45º in our testing indoors in Wi-Fi. But this might vary outdoors in 4G. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

As you can see, the scores are less than Snapdragon 888 in some benchmarks.

Battery life

Coming to the battery life, the phone packs a 3700mAh (typical) built-in battery. Slightly smaller than the 4000mAh battery in the S21. It lasts for a whole day with average use on Wi-Fi. But with 4G and dual SIMs. And heavy multimedia use. It lasts less than a day since this has a powerful processor. I got about 3 and half hours of screen on time with a day of use on Wi-Fi and in 120Hz. Which is less. You can use power saving options to improve the battery life.

Since this has a slightly smaller battery, Samsung has also reduce the maximum charging speed for the S22. Which is 25W compare to 45W in the S22+ and the S22 Ultra. It takes about an hour to charge the phone fully using a 25W charger. And 0 to 50% takes about 20 minutes. Most competitors have a bigger battery that can charge in less than half the time as the S22.

Also Read : Motorola Edge 40 Neo 5G: A Comprehensive Review


Overall. The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the best compact Android flagship you can get since it offers the best overall package right from the screen to the camera and the build quality.

Even though this is a compact phone. And has the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC that heats up quickly since it doesn’t have space for a powerful cooling solution. If you are a heavy user. You will need to carry a power bank since the phone might not last the whole day with the small, 3700mAh battery.

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