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First Look at the Samsung Galaxy S22 Series Phones

by Suzanne Kantra on February 09, 2022

Is it time to upgrade to a new Samsung Galaxy phone? For Samsung Galaxy S and Note users, the new line of Galaxy S22 phones has a lot to offer. The S22 Ultra is the first Note replacement since the Galaxy Note 20 in August 2020, and all the new S22 series phones receive a boost in processing power to deliver significant feature upgrades.

From the left, the Samsung Galaxy S22 (pink), S22+ (white), and S22 Ultra (green) on wooden shelving with plant in the background.

All the Galaxy S22 series – the S22 (above left), S22+ (above center), and S22 Ultra (avobe right) – will use a new 4nm-technology processor. With more transistors packed in on the new processor, it will be five percent faster than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 used in last year’s models, which use 5nm technology. The graphics processing unit gets a 40 percent boost. The phones also get a new neural processing unit (NPU), which Samsung claims is twice as fast as the chip used in last year’s models.

The processing power upgrades will be most noticeable in the new camera features. For instance, with the new Enhanced Portrait mode, the camera can now “see” single strands of hair or fur due to better stereo depth mapping. People and pets will more realistically pop out from their backgrounds.

When shooting video, you’ll now be able to automatically track up to 10 people at up to five meters and keep them in the frame. Last year’s models could track three people and up to three meters. With the additional processing power, the phone can predict your movements and take them into account to correct the camera angle and keep everyone in the shot. In my limited hands-on testing, it was easy to select people to track and the camera did an admirable job of keeping people in frame.  

And for Super Space zoom, Samsung’s digital 30x (for the S22 and S22+) or 100x zoom, the camera can process four times more uncompressed image data for a crisper image.

Super Steady Shot gets a big boost. The S22 series cameras now process four times as many frames to create smoother video. And all the cameras have a wider field of view: the S22 Ultra’s primary lens is two percent wider, and the S22 and S22+’s primary lens is eight percent wider. So, the new Super Steady Shot should be noticeably better between these two upgrades.

The displays will be 6.1-inches for the S22, 6.6-inches for the S22+, and 6.8-inches for the S22 Ultra (shown below) – but they get a new technology called VisionBooster. As a result, when you’re outside on a sunny day, the display will not only become brighter so you can still view your screen, but the contrast and colors will adjust for a more accurate picture. It was a rainy gray day when I had to opportunity to view the new phones, so I can't attest to the enhanced image quality.

The S22 Ultra has a new S-Pen with lower latency than the Note 20. Now, the phone will anticipate the direction you’re writing or drawing for a more lifelike pen and paper experience. In my limited testing, the writing experience was smooth, and the screen had good palm rejection. And like with prior generation Note phones, the S-Pen stores in the phone and launches S-Pen tasks when you remove the S-Pen.

The S22 Ultra and S22+ now support Super Fast 45-watt charging. So, in 20 minutes, you can get 50 percent more charge. The S22 will support 25-watt charging. None of the phones will come with chargers in the box.

All S22 series phones support UWB and mmw 5G, and the S22 Ultra and S22+ support WiFi 6E, which has a 6GHz band in addition to 5GHz and 2.4GHz.

All the Galaxy S22 series phones go on pre-order today. The S22 Ultra costs $1,199.99 and comes in Phantom Black, Green, Phantom White, and Burgundy (shown above). The S22 costs $799.99, the S22+ costs $999.99, and both come in Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Pink Gold.

[Image credit: Suzanne Kantra/Techlicious]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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