Despite an increasingly robust premium Android smartphone world, when Samsung releases a new S range handset, people pay attention.
This year, the Samsung Galaxy S22 series pulled something of a blinder. The top of the range, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has effectively taken on the mantle of the Galaxy Note range - it’s a smartphone with an S-Pen built into the device.
While the S22 and S22+ don’t have this USP, they are still fantastic handsets in their own right.
We’ve been playing with the Samsung Galaxy S22+ for a few weeks now, here are 5 things you need to know…
1. Being in the middle is no bad thing
The Samsung Galaxy S22+ is slap-bang in the middle of the S22 range. It’s a bigger variant of the S22 and doesn’t have the fancy stylus functionality of the S22 Ultra. Being in the middle is no bad thing, though, as we found out.
For a start, the screen size is, well, perfect. At 6.6-inches it’s big but not too big. It comes with a variable 48Hz-120Hz refresh rate (which means it can ramp up if you want to watch movies and play games on the thing) and as Samsung is the master of AMOLED, this handset has one stunning display, that’s nearly a third brighter than what was found on the S21. Impressive.
2. Design wise, it’s stunning
Seriously, we couldn’t stop looking at the back of the Galaxy S22+. It’s an all-glass panel, back and front (protected by something called Gorilla Glass Victus+, which sounds super hard but is also, well, super hard) that’s surrounded by an aluminium frame.
The camera housing is contoured, with the three camera lenses vertical down the left-hand side.
Granted, it’s not a huge design change from the S21 range, but by making the edges that little bit sharper it’s actually easier to handle, which is a bonus.
3. Cameras are upgraded, impressively so
While the shift from the S20 to the S21 didn’t really come with a big camera change, we finally have a rather significant camera array refresh.
For a start, there’s a 50MP main camera instead of the 12MP snapper found on the S21 and you get a 3x zoom lens, which is fantastic to use. The telephoto lens isn’t as decent as the one on the S22 Ultra, but what you have here is a great camera setup that nearly matches the Pixel 6 in our tests.
The third lens is an ultrawide and that remains the same as what was on the S21, but even with this non-change it’s a significant step up in terms of imaging quality.
4. The S22+ performs admirably
No matter where you get the Samsung Galaxy S22+ it comes with a decent processor - either the Snapdragon 8 or Samsung’s Exynos 2200.
Both make for a slick operation, where gaming doesn’t bother the device, nor does 4K movie streaming. There was no lag between switching between apps and the like and even pushing the phone with a a number of applications on the go at once it seemed to carry on with ease.
While we are a stickler for stock Android (as found on the Pixel 6) we were really impressed with One UI 4.1 - Samsung’s custom skin. Samsung is also offering some five years of updates guaranteed, which is a nice hefty promise there from the tech giant.
5. Battery is good, could be better
It’s a bit of a head scratcher as to why the Samsung Galaxy S22+ has a smaller battery than the Galaxy S21+ (4,500mAh, compared to 4,800mAh), but it easily lasted the day for us and then some. We’re guessing that Samsung has managed to refine its hardware so it doesn’t sap as much battery as before.
Unfortunately charging is a little on the slow side. Even though it is compatible with 45W, double that of the S21+, we would still like it speedier.
Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Final Verdict
There are a few niggles with the Samsung Galaxy S22+ (no microSD slot, only 8GB or RAM available and slower-than-hoped-for charging), but these are tiny imperfections on what is a stunning phone.
When it comes to design and performance, Samsung is always there right at the top or thereabouts and the S22+ doesn’t disappoint.