The Samsung Galaxy S22 trio arrived earlier this week to take their spots as the rulers of the Korean company’s bar phone lineup. The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ both get updated main cameras and slightly changed sizes, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the first Samsung phone to come with a built-in S Pen since the Note20 Ultra in 2020.
Galaxy S22 and S22+ now fit their positions better
The Galaxy S22 and S22+ come with revamped camera setups compared to their predecessors, including a significantly larger main sensor and proper telephoto cameras instead of relying on digital zoom from a 64MP sensor. Those along with the new chipsets that bring a major boost to computational photography promise to bring significant boost to image quality.
But arguably the bigger change is the slight tweak to screen sizes and dimensions that make these two fit better within the lineup.
Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+
The Galaxy S22 is more than half a centimeter shorter than the S21 in addition to being slightly narrower. That brings it closer to the Galaxy S10e than its predecessor, and makes it the first truly compact Samsung flagship in three years.
The Samsung Galaxy S22+ has shrunk a bit too, helping it distance itself a little better from the Ultra member of the lineup. It likely won’t entirely avoid the anonymity stemming from being the middle child, but it may be seen as a viable choice for those finding the Ultra too large instead of merely serving as a consolation for those that find the top dog too expensive.
Samsung Galaxy S22+
The flatter frames of the S22 duo compared to the Galaxy S21 and S21+ also make them feel a bit more compact even if they hurt grip a bit. And along with the Gorilla Glass Victus (a new plus version at at that) fronts and backs they also have a more premium vibe.
Galaxy S22 Ultra – king of the S-series and protector of the Notes
The Galaxy Note series is seemingly gone for good, but its legacy lives on. Last year we had the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold3 support the S Pen, but with no built in holster on either phone few people bothered getting one.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra embodies the spirit of a Galaxy Note far better and even its design is more akin to the Note 20 Ultra than the S21 Ultra. With the second half of the year flagship spot reserved for the foldables it’s better to have a best-of-both worlds Note and S-series flagship than no Note at all. In fact it might be better this way even if there weren’t foldable to worry about.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The top Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models were becoming redundant, with the sole difference being the addition of an S Pen slot. The S9+ and Note9 had the exact same camera setups, S10 5G and Note10+ had nearly the same setups (slightly different lenses) and the S20 Ultra/Note20 Ultra only had different telephoto units.
With the S22 Ultra, Samsung is also pivoting back to more aggressively curved screen and boxier overall shape. There’s a good reason for that too – the S Pen silo means it can’t be tapered like the S21 Ultra.
Jury is still out on Galaxy S22 Ultra camera
With the S22 and S22+, the main cameras are updated to a large 50MP sensor with improved OIS. The telephoto cameras are also natively 3X telephoto now compared to the previous 64MP hybrid solution of the S21 and S21+. So it’s quite reasonable to expect them to do better photos and videos than thtier predecessors.
The S22 Ultra, on the other hand, has largely identical camera hardware. In fact, the only differences are the smaller sensors on its telephoto cameras. However we all know the importance of computational photography for the image quality of modern smartphones. Samsung says its software tweaks brings a significant improvement to lowlight photography and videography, but we won’t know for sure if it’s true until the reviews come out.
We are also yet to see if those software improvements trickle down to the Galaxy S21 Ultra as well.
Software updates can now compete with Apple
Android smartphone makers have shown interest in making their devices last longer with firmware updates lately, but none more so than Samsung. The company not only surpassed the previous “standard” of two major Android upgrades, but also often releases the monthly security patches before even Google updates its Pixels.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung follows by offering four years of One UI updates and five years of security updates. Only Google promises that kind of support and it only includes three major updates.