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Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ first impressions: Pocketable powerhouse

The unbeatable duo?

Samsung Galaxy S22 first impressions
Galaxy S22 price in India starts at Rs 72,999 (8GB/128GB). The S22+ starts at Rs 84,999 (8GB/128GB).

The Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 are smaller than their predecessors, the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21. While the S22+ is 6.6-inch (versus 6.7-inch), the S22 is a 6.1-inch phone (versus 6.2-inch). They have a new design, too. Generally speaking, they’re more rectangular with a flat frame—this is made of armour aluminium, same as the Fold 3 and Flip 3—vaguely reminiscent of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

The back is made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+. This is smooth to the touch. The contour-cut aesthetic is gone although the module is surely a throwback to it. Only this time, it isn’t fused with the frame. Samsung has cleverly accented the whole backplate with a bold outline matching the colour of the frame. The clever bit is that it’s not overdone. It’s just the right amount making the S22+ and S22 visually striking and distinctly original.

Samsung Galaxy S22 first impressions
Both phones are made of glass and metal. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The focus was clearly on making these phones as compact and pocketable as possible. The S22 and S22+ are, without a doubt, some of the most well thought out—as well as well put out—phones in the market today.

They’re textbook Samsung: nice to look at, and luxurious to hold.

Also Read | Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra first impressions: A Note-worthy crossover

The S22+ is getting the bigger update when it comes to screen prowess. The Dynamic AMOLED 2X display here has a 1080p resolution (2340x1080p) and a variable 48Hz-120Hz refresh rate. Like the S22 Ultra, its panel can peak 1,750nits. It’s frankly ridiculous that a smartphone can even pull this kind of brightness. For some context, the pro iPhone 13 models top out at 1,200nits. The S22 has the same resolution and variable refresh rate but it can go only up to 1,300nits. Both phones support 240Hz touch sampling (in game mode), have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection and a hole punch cut-out at the centre— with a 10MP (f/2.2) camera. Biometrics are handled by an ultrasonic fingerprint reader.

Samsung Galaxy S22 first impressions
The S22+’s panel can peak 1,750nits. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The display on-board the S22 and S22+, again, works as advertised. These are some of the nicest screens to consume content. Samsung has greatly reduced the bezels, also. They’re practically non-existent.

The biggest update is coming by way of core hardware, though. Both the S22 and S22+ are running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, much like the S22 Ultra. You get up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage—this is non-expandable. The phones boot Android 12-based One UI 4.1 and will get four major OS updates and five years of security updates, Samsung has confirmed.

Performance has been nice and smooth during our brief time with the devices.

Samsung Galaxy S22 first impressions
Both phones have a triple camera setup. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The cameras, too, seem compelling. Both phones have the same triple camera setup which is a combination of 50MP main sensor that sits behind an optically stabilised f/1.8 lens, a 12MP sensor behind an ultrawide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture and 120-degree field-of-view, and another 10MP sensor behind an optically stabilised f/2.4 aperture 3x telephoto lens.

It won’t be wrong to say that the S22 and S22+ are pocket rocket phones, packing flagship artillery inside a super sleek chassis, but that’s not to say, everything is reassuringly top-notch. The battery capacity —to no one’s surprise— is getting a hit in this generation. The S22+ has a 4,500mAh battery (versus 4,800mAh in the S21+) while the S22 a mere, 3,700mAh (versus 4,000mAh in the S21).

Samsung Galaxy S22 first impressions
The phones boot Android 12-based One UI 4.1. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Charging stats have received a major shot in the arm, though, with the S22+ getting 45W and S22, 25W fast wired charging. Samsung does not bundle a charging brick in the box, only a USB C to USB C cable. 15W wireless charging is supported, too. Wireless powershare is also available. 

Rounding off the package are IP68 dust and water resistance, dual stereo speakers, and a dual-SIM slot along with support for 5G. The S22+ additionally supports Wi-Fi 6E and ultra-wideband (UWB). The S22 has Wi-Fi 6.

Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ | First impressions

The S22+ and S22 clearly have the potential to become the default Android flagship phone(s) to get in 2022. As you can probably tell, the only red flag that we can point out—at the time of writing—is the battery size in these phones. Everything else is top-of-the-line, with prices to match. The Galaxy S22 price in India starts at Rs 72,999 (8GB/128GB). The S22+ starts at Rs 84,999 (8GB/128GB). Stay tuned for our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22+ coming soon.

Also Read | Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G review: Is the sequel as good as the original?

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