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Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ feature a new 50MP camera and powerful 4nm processor — starting at $799 and $999

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ arrived alongside the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and Galaxy Tab S8 line at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked today and feature a handful of intriguing updates while adhering to the design introduced with last year's Galaxy S21. 

The primary camera is the most notable upgrade, jumping to a 50MP sensor that is 23% larger than that of the Galaxy S21, S21+, which combined with Samsung's Adaptive Pixel technology should yield dramatically better low-light photos. The new 4nm processor may be a performance and efficiency boost thanks to its advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) processing. Top this off with Samsung's outstanding adaptive 120Hz AMOLED displays that are brighter than ever, and the Galaxy S22 and S22+ look like an intriguing pair of early 2022 flagships.

Here's a deeper dive into everything you need to know about the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+.

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ price and availability

Samsung is sticking to its price adjustment from last year with the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ starting at $799 and $999 respectively. The base model for each includes 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM with the option to upgrade your storage to 256GB. 

Pre-orders for both phones start today (February 9) at Samsung.com along with major retailers and carriers. The phones will be available starting on February 25.

Pre-orders made through February 24 will include an upgrade to the next highest storage tier, a $150 Samsung credit with Galaxy S22+ ($100 with Galaxy S22) and 25% off the purchase of a Galaxy Tab S8.

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ specs

Samsung Galaxy S22Samsung Galaxy S22+
Display6.1-inch FHD+ Dynamic Super AMOLED 2X with adaptive 120Hz6.6-inch FHD+ Dynamic Super AMOLED 2X with adaptive 120Hz
CPU4nm Octa-core4nm Octa-core
RAM8GB8GB
Storage128 or 256GB128 or 256GB
Cameras (Rear)50MP f/1.8 wide angle; 12MP f/2.2 ultra wide; 10MP f/2.4 3x telephoto50MP f/1.8 wide angle; 12MP f/2.2 ultra wide; 10MP f/2.4 3x telephoto
Camera (Front)10MP f/2.210MP f/2.2
Battery3,700mAh (25W 4,500mAh
Dimensions5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches
Weight5.9 ounces6.9 ounces

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ design

Samsung created a unique new design for the Galaxy S21 line last year with its distinct Camera Cut Housing melding with the top and sides of the phone. It was a breath of fresh air in the often stagnant world of flagship phone design, so it is not surprising that Samsung didn't look to change things up again this year.

Depending on the color you choose, you would be hard-pressed to spot the difference between last year's models and the Galaxy S22 series. The most notable change is the camera housing is now color-matched to the back of the phone regardless of the color, while last year, that was only true of the Phantom Black model. I appreciated the contrasting camera housing color and texture, but it was perhaps too bold a look for some, and there are always cases if you want to get more outlandish with the look of your phone.

Another potentially welcome change is a slight size reduction to the Galaxy S22. The drop to a 6.1-inch display (versus 6.2-inches on the Galaxy S21) makes it shorter and even lighter. There seems to be a market for at least somewhat more modestly sized flagships, and matching up with the size of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro seems like a reasonable decision from Samsung.

This year's color choices are identical for Galaxy S22 and S22+ with Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Pink Gold. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ display

The Galaxy S22 and S22+ feature FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X adaptive 120Hz displays. The Galaxy S22, as previously mentioned, comes in at 6.1-inches, while the Galaxy S22+ once again offers a 6.7-inch screen. Samsung claims a much higher peak brightness for each this year with a 1,300 nit max for the S22 and an incredible 1,750 nits for S22+. 

The LTPO panel again allows it to scale the refresh rate from 10Hz up to 120Hz depending on the content on your display, meaning you get both the best performance and the best efficiency. For those considering the Galaxy S21 FE, this is one of the differentiating factors as that phone cannot switch its refresh rate automatically.

We'll be putting both displays through our rigorous lab and real-world testing to determine just how well they hold up against the other flagships on the market, but there are few safer bets than Samsung in the mobile display market. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ cameras

If the updates so far seemed underwhelming, then this might be where you change your tune. The primary camera on the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ is a night and day difference from its Galaxy S21 counterpart, by which I mean it should be able to virtually turn night into day thanks to the 23% larger sensor size. 

The 50MP f/1.8 wide-angle may not hold up to the likes of the iPhone 13 Pro or Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra, but it's a game-changing update for the two junior members of the Galaxy S22 lineup. Samsung felt like it was treading water with its trio of 12MP cameras for a while now, so we're excited to see what is possible with this new sensor. 

The 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, on the other hand, is the same sensor from last year, and while it is adequate in daylight, it's not something we are going to get excited about in 2022. Particularly for the Galaxy S22+, which starts at the same $999 as the iPhone 13 Pro with an f/1.8 ultra-wide, this just doesn't quite cut it. 

The 3x optical telephoto zoom at f/2.4, on the other hand, at least on paper, remains as good as anything else in this price range. It's a notable advantage for the Galaxy S22 versus the iPhone 13, which lacks a telephoto lens.

Some camera software improvements from Samsung should also bolster the upgraded primary sensor. Highlights include Adaptive Pixel technology that brightens and enhances detail in darker photos and a new AI Stereo Depth Map for improved Portrait Mode photos. Finally, to ensure that you never cut anyone out of group photos, the new Auto Framing feature will track up to 10 subjects and ensure they all stay in the shot and in focus.

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ battery and charging

The Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+ both take a 300mAh hit to battery size versus their predecessors at 3,700mAh and 4,500mAh, respectively. We'll need to test the phones to see if this was a mistake, but the smaller 4nm processor powering the phones may deliver enough efficiency improvements to make up the difference.

While the Galaxy S22 sticks to the same 25W fast charging as last year's models, the Galaxy S22+ joins the Ultra with an upgrade to 45W charging. While naturally you still need to purchase a compatible adapter, that's a significant upgrade that outpaces most of its mainstream rivals.

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

Outlook

The lack of significant design changes to the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ may lead some to believe it's a minor update; however, the new 50MP primary camera and the move to a 4nm processor are both potential game-changers.

The Galaxy S22+ also picks up the impressive 45W charging found in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, something we've been waiting to see out of a mainstream manufacturer for a couple of years now.

As we get underway with our review of the Galaxy S22, we'll be examining whether some of those more minor changes to the phones, such as the brighter display and slightly smaller battery, impact real-world usage.

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.