Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: A good phone to play it safe | Samsung

+ Galaxy S22 is Samsung’s big screen feature phone of 2022, offering the best specs and quality hardware, but few new or exciting features. It is a safe and powerful device.

With a recommended retail price of £949 ($999 / AU$1,549) that doesn’t mean low cost, but it’s £200 cheaper than the £1,149 Galaxy Note-style S22 Ultra. Shop around, though, and you’ll soon be able to find it for even less.

The back of the Galaxy S22 +
The back of the phone is smooth frosted glass with color-matched aluminum sides and a camera cover, shown here in “rose gold”. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The S22+ is similar to last year’s S21+ with flat front and rear glass and solid aluminum sides. It looks more refined than glossy, and while it has a large 6.6-inch screen, it’s fairly easy to hold with sharper edges to grab with your fingers and a relatively light 195g.

The 120Hz AMOLED display looks great with vibrant colors, good viewing angles and an extremely high brightness of 1,750 nits (a standard measure of screen brightness), which is enabled in direct sunlight making it easier to see outdoors than its competitors.

to set

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

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

  • RAM: 8 GB of RAM

  • storage: 128 or 256 GB

  • The operating system: One UI 4.1 based on Android 12

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

  • Delivery: 5G, dual nano sim, USB-C, wifi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, UWB, GNSS

  • Water Resistant: IP68 (1.5 meters for 30 minutes)

  • Dimensions: 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6 mm

  • Weight: 195 grams

High chips and strong battery life

usb-c port on the bottom of samsung galaxy s22+
The phone is fully charged in 60 minutes, reaching 50% in 21 minutes using a 45W USB-C PPS 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 highest standard 2022 Android chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. But in the European Union, it has a Samsung Exynos 2200 with the first portable graphics processor built by AMD, the company behind the chips used in game consoles. Xbox Series X and PS5.

When testing the EU version, overall performance was excellent, although it wasn’t noticeably faster than last year’s already fast models. Gaming performance for AMD graphics was more variable than competitors using Qualcomm, which likely requires optimization for gaming.

The battery lasts about 35 hours between charges, on 5G for two hours and WiFi for the rest, using the screen for about five hours in different chat apps, Camera, Spotify, Chrome, and a bright spot for gaming. That’s enough for a good day of use, but it’s a little shorter than last year’s model and miles behind the 48-hour market flagship as well as the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Sustainability

The fingerprint sensor icon appears on the S22+ screen
The fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen is fast and responsive, making it easy to unlock the device or authenticate payments. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung does not provide the expected battery life. Devices in similar devices typically maintain at least 80% of their original capacity for at least 500 complete charge cycles.

The phone is generally repairable. Screen repairs cost £179, while the battery can be replaced at an authorized service centre. But the phone only scores three out of 10 in the iFixit repair rating.

Many of the internal components are made of 20% nylon or recycled plastic. Samsung offers replacement and recycling schemes for old devices. The company publishes annual sustainability reports but does not publish impact evaluations for individual products.

OneUI 4.1.0 Update

Shelf for app icons displayed on s22+
A useful addition to standard Android is a small shelf with app icons that can be pulled from the side to open two programs side by side in split-screen view. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The S22+ comes with OneUI 4.1, which is based on the latest Android 12 and receives instant updates unlike some competitors. It is an enhanced version of Android that offers a lot of customization options and useful tools.

The S22+ will receive at least five years of software updates from release, including four major Android version updates and monthly security patches, making it one of the longest running Android devices available and Apple has supported it for six years in addition to supporting its iPhones.

camera

Camera app on galaxy s22 +
The camera app offers the simplicity of point-and-shoot but also has a full “Pro” mode for manual control and the ability to save RAW files as well as JPEGs. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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

The main camera is excellent, taking really good pictures in a wide variety of lighting conditions. Its low-light performance has been significantly improved compared to previous models, significantly increasing the brightness of scenes. However, sometimes it loses the variance in the process with the tendency to make people look like you’ve lit a flash in their face.

The telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom and produces clearer photos in good light than last year’s model, but it still struggled in low-light settings that produced bright, densely processed photos.

The Ultra Wide camera produces clearer images in good light and handles low light levels better than before. The 10MP selfie camera did an excellent job of balancing detail and grain in fairly difficult light, producing delightful, detailed shots most of the time.

Samsung’s video capture remains at the top of most Android packages capturing up to 8K at 24 frames per second and with plenty of features, including a new auto frame system that attempts to keep up to 10 people in focus and in the shot at any given time. . .

Overall, the S22+’s camera is pretty good, but it’s a little less than the best on the market.

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

price

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

For comparison, the Galaxy S22 costs £769, the S22 Ultra costs £1149, the Z Flip 3 costs £949, the Google Pixel 6 Pro costs £849, and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max costs £1,049.

Rule

Everything about the Galaxy S22+ looks excellent but lacks a certain wow factor, especially next to the £949 Samsung foldable phone.

The screen is great, the camera is good, the performance is fast, and the battery life is reasonable. These are all major upgrades over the older models, but nothing more than would be expected in a top-of-the-line phone in 2022.

The S22+ looks nicer and easier to hold than many competitors. In theory, it’s more durable, made of aluminum, the strongest and toughest glass available for smartphones.

It will receive at least five years of software updates from release, making it the longest running Android phone available and only behind Apple’s iPhone. It’s the first Samsung phone made partially from recycled materials as well.

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

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

cons: Big, expensive, no headphone jack, better battery life and camera than others, no flashy features.

The back of the Galaxy S22 +
The phone is attractive and very well made with excellent build quality and cute little design touches. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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