[ PROMO ] Redeem a 45W USB-C PD Super Fast Charger (worth RM199) for free when you buy the Galaxy S22 series with the promo code GS22VIPSC via the Samsung Malaysia online store. Offer ends 31 March 2022 while stocks last.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 series launch may be one of the most important Galaxy S launches in a while. That’s because Samsung isn’t just launching a couple of new smartphones—they’re merging two of their most popular smartphone lineups into one.
For starters, there are three phones launching this year. The Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra. All three smartphones have top of the line internals, with the main star being the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor at its heart. And yes, we’re finally getting a proper Galaxy S flagship with a Snapdragon processor—something we haven’t seen in a long time.
You also get 8GB of RAM with up to 256GB storage for the Galaxy S22 and S22+, while the Ultra variant gets up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. In Malaysia however, Samsung says that storage will top out at 512GB instead.
From here, the phones start to differ by quite a lot, especially when it comes to the S22 Ultra. I mean, it even looks like a completely different smartphone.
Gone are the rounded edges and super curvy nature of the Galaxy S’ design language. And in its place is a smartphone that looks a lot like a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with a new coat of paint and updated specs. Then, there’s the elephant in the room, which is the inclusion of an S Pen and silo built directly into the device. This new S Pen apparently has the lowest latency of any S Pen since, though using it, I couldn’t really tell.
Up front, the S22 Ultra gets a massive 6.8” QHD+ curved Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate. Unsurprisingly, it’s gorgeous, and sharp and pretty much everything you’d love about a flagship Samsung AMOLED panel. Keeping the lights on is a 5,000 mAh battery, which is good to see despite the extra space taken up by the S Pen’s silo. This phone also supports 45W fast wired charging and 15W fast wireless charging though neither charging brick is included in the box.
While the Galaxy S22 Ultra definitely looks like an updated Note 20 Ultra, the S22 and S22+ retain a lot of the Galaxy S design language with a few updates.
Unlike the Ultra, the smaller S22 duo’s frame is much flatter on the sides which to me gives it a little more grip in hand. And since Samsung wasn’t going all out with curving either the back or front glass, you’re getting a much more pronounced frame here. The good news is that these phones still feel as premium as ever, and there really isn’t much separating the S22 from the S22+ because they’re both also running glass backs now.
The biggest difference between the two would be the size of the screen, with the S22 featuring a 6.1” Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display while the S22+ kicks things up to 6.6 inches instead. Oh, that and the fact that the S22’s 3,700 mAh battery only supports up to 25W fast wired charging, while the S22+’s 4,500 mAh battery supports 45W fast wired charging.
With the specs out of the way, let’s talk about the new cameras. Naturally you’ll find a more capable quad-camera system on the S22 Ultra with a 108MP wide camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and two 10MP telephoto cameras. On the other hand, the S22 and S22+ feature triple camera systems with a 50MP wide, a 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto cameras.
Despite the differences in hardware, the main focus here is apparently the same, and that’s to take incredible photos in low light. And although I only got to spend like a hot minute with the phones, what I saw there was enough to get me excited for camera comparison. What was particularly impressive to me was the colour reproduction. Where previous Galaxy S low light photos looked a little washed out, this new one seems to do a really good job. It still struggles a little with dynamic range, but the vibrance I was getting from the photos were impressive.
That being said, there is a small caveat here. Samsung Malaysia wouldn’t let us take the photos out of the smartphone, so I could only view it from the device’s screen. And on the phones, the pictures looked amazing. But I can’t say for sure if that’s because Samsung has an amazing screen or if their cameras are actually that good. For that, I’ll have to wait for a review unit.
If you started reading this wondering whether Samsung actually combined their Galaxy Note and Galaxy S lines, the answer to that question would be yes. But, did they do it the right way? If you’re asking my opinion, I’d probably say no.
Don’t get me wrong, from what I can tell, these are perfectly good smartphones that will undoubtedly be one of the best practical flagships the market will see this year. And I’m particularly excited for that small S22 in Green. But at the same time I also think that Samsung combined the two lines in probably the most boring way they could.
I mean, look at the S22 Ultra—it can just as easily be called the Note 21 Ultra or something along those lines. As someone who’s followed tech for some time now, this merging of streams is a big moment and I think Samsung could have taken their time to produce something truly unique and revamp their flagship smartphone line up.
Maybe a new design that pays homage to the Note line while also retaining the curvy essence of the Galaxy S. But no, what they did was replace the Galaxy S Ultra smartphone for what could have easily been a Galaxy Note Ultra smartphone. And that to me, is what I’d call a wasted opportunity.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 series is priced as follows: