Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: A good phone that plays it safe | Samsung

The Galaxy S22+ is Samsung’s premium big-screen phone for 2022, offering the best specs and good-quality hardware, but few new or exciting features. It is a safe and solid device.

At an RRP of £949 ($999 / A$1,549) that doesn’t mean low cost, but it’s £200 cheaper than the £1,149 S22 Ultra superphone that sings and dances all to its Galaxy Note-like design. Shop around, though, and you’ll soon be able to find it for less.

the back of the galaxy s22+
The back of the phone is smooth frosted glass with matching aluminum sides and camera housing, shown here in ‘rose gold’ colour. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The S22+ is similar to S21+ from last year with a flat glass front and back and solid-feeling aluminum sides. It looks and feels refined rather than flashy, and while it has a large 6.6-inch screen, it’s easy enough to hold with sharper edges for finger grips and a relatively light weight of 195g.

The 120Hz AMOLED display looks fantastic with vibrant colors, good viewing angles, and an extremely high peak brightness of 1750 nits (a standard measure of screen brightness), which activates when exposed to direct sunlight, making it easier to see outside than its rivals.

specs

  • Main screen: 6.6-inch FHD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X (393ppi) 120Hz

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 2200 (EU) or Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US)

  • RAM: 8GB RAM

  • Storage: 128 or 256GB

  • Operating system: A 4.1 user interface based on Android 12

  • Camera: Triple rear camera: 50 MP wide, 12 MP ultra wide, 10 MP 3x telephoto; 10MP front

  • Connectivity: 5G, dual nano sim, USB-C, Wi-Fi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, UWB and GNSS

  • Waterproof: IP68 (1.5m for 30 minutes)

  • Dimensions: 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm

  • Weight: 195g

Best chips and solid battery life

the usb-c port at the bottom of the samsung galaxy s22+
The phone fully charges in 60 minutes, reaching 50% in 21 minutes with a 45W PPS USB-C charger (power adapter not included). Fast wireless charging (15W) and reverse wireless charging are available. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

In the US, the S22+ has Qualcomm’s standard 2022 top Android chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. But in the EU it has a samsung exynos 2200 with the first mobile graphics processor designed by AMD, the company behind the chips used in the xbox series x Y ps5 game consoles

When testing the EU version, overall performance was excellent, though not noticeably faster than last year’s already snappy models. Gaming performance of AMD graphics was more variable than competitors using Qualcomm, likely requiring optimization for gaming.

The battery lasts about 35 hours between charges, in 5G two hours and Wi-Fi the rest, using the screen about five hours in various chat apps, the camera, Spotify, Chrome and a light gaming point. That’s enough for a good day’s use, but a little shorter than last year’s model and miles behind the market leader by more than 48 hours Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Sustainability

the fingerprint sensor icon displayed on the screen of the S22+
The under-display fingerprint sensor is fast and responsive, making it easy to unlock your device or authenticate payments. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung does not provide an expected battery life. Those of similar devices typically maintain at least 80% of their original capacity for at least 500 full charge cycles.

the phone is usually repairable. Screen repairs cost £179, while the battery can be replaced at authorized service centers. But the phone only scores three out of 10 on iFixit Repairability Ranking.

Various internal components They are made of 20% nylon or recycled plastic. Samsung offers barter Y recycling systems for older devices. The public company annual sustainability reports but not impact assessments for individual products.

OneUI 4.1

a shelf of app icons displayed on the s22+
One of the useful additions to stock Android is a small shelf with app icons that can be pulled out to the side to open two apps side by side in a split-screen view. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The S22+ comes with OneUI 4.1, which is based on the android 12 latest version and get fast updates unlike some competitors. It is a refined version of Android that offers many customization options and useful tools.

The S22+ will receive at least five years of software updates since launch, including four major Android version updates and monthly security patchesmaking it one of the longest-lasting Android devices available and right behind Apple’s six-plus-year support for its iPhones.

Camera

the camera app on a galaxy s22+
The camera app offers point-and-shoot simplicity, but also has a full ‘pro’ mode for manual control and the ability to save RAW and JPEG files. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The S22+ has a triple camera system on the back: a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 10MP 3x telephoto camera.

The main camera is excellent, capturing really good images in a variety of lighting conditions. Its low-light performance has been significantly improved over previous models, dramatically brightening scenes. However, it sometimes loses contrast in the process with a tendency to make people look like you’ve flashed a flash in their face.

The telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom and produces sharper images in good light than last year’s model, but still struggles in low light to produce bright but heavily processed images.

The ultra-wide camera produces slightly sharper images in good light and handles lower light levels better than before. The 10MP selfie camera did an excellent job of balancing detail and grain in fairly challenging light, producing nice, detailed shots most of the time.

Samsung’s video capture stays ahead of most of the Android pack shooting up to 8K at 24 frames per second and packed with features including a new auto-framing system that tries to keep up to 10 people in focus and in the shot at any given time. moment. .

Overall, the S22+’s camera is very good, but it falls a bit short of the best on the market.

the s22+ camera housing
The camera housing is molded into the side of the phone for a more streamlined look while protecting all three lenses. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ costs from £949 ($999/AU$1,549) with 128 GB of storage.

For comparison, the Galaxy S22 costs £769the S22 Ultra costs £1,149the Flip Z 3 costs £949the Google Pixel 6 Pro costs £849 and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max costs £1,049.

Verdict

Everything about the Galaxy S22+ feels premium, but it lacks a certain wow factor, particularly next to it. Samsung’s other £949 folding flip phone.

The screen is excellent, the camera is good, the performance is snappy, and the battery life is reasonable. These are all great upgrades on older models, but no more than expected on a top phone in 2022.

The S22+ feels better and is easier to hold than many rivals. In theory, it’s more durable, made from stronger aluminum, and has the toughest smartphone glass available.

It will receive at least five years of software updates from launch, making it the longest-lasting Android phone available and just a bit behind Apple’s iPhone. It is the first Samsung phone that is also partially made from recycled materials.

Buy it for less than the RRP, around £750-£800 than previous models were available, and it offers a lot of phone for the money. Keep it for five years that you can use safely thanks to security updates and offers better value than many cheaper rivals.

Advantages: 120Hz screen, good camera, One UI 4.1/Android 12, good performance, decent battery life, fast fingerprint scanner, five years of software support, contains recycled materials, premium feel.

Cons: big, expensive, no headphone jack, battery life and camera bettered by others, no flashy features.

the back of the galaxy s22+
The phone is attractive, extremely well made with excellent build quality and small design touches. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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