Here's everything we think we know about Samsung's next-generation flagships.
After the hubbub around Apple’s annual iPhone keynote passes, there’s a moment where things are quiet, and mobile experts know—with one exception—that we probably won’t see any major cell phone releases until MWC in February. That one exception? Samsung and its Unpacked event, which this year is likely to feature the Galaxy S22.
Unpacked invitations have yet to arrive, but that doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of news and rumors spreading about the Galaxy S22. Here’s everything we know so far.
How Many Galaxy S22 Models Will Be Announced?
As always, Samsung isn’t saying anything about its next-gen flagships, but we’re not expecting any surprises. We believe Samsung will release three models for 2022: the Samsung Galaxy S22, the Samsung Galaxy S22+, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
What Will the Samsung Galaxy S22 Look Like?
After a major overhaul in 2021, we don’t anticipate any major design changes for the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, on the other hand, is likely to get some minor tweaks to even further blur the lines between the Galaxy and Note series.
Let’s start with the Galaxy S22 and S22+. According to Let’s Go Digital and several other tipsters, both phones will be slightly smaller than their predecessors and have plastic backs. That’s a win for durability, but if you’re worried about the overall aesthetic, don’t be. Several leakers report that Samsung is going with a more refined plastic backplate that looks like glass.
If renders are to be believed, the Galaxy S22 will look a lot like the Galaxy S21.
If the photos from Front Page Tech are accurate, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looks like a thicker version of its predecessor with an S Pen port and the camera module that’s almost flush with the body of the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will reportedly look a lot like its predecessor.
Samsung also looks poised to offer more vibrant color options across the Galaxy S22 lineup. According to a number of leaks, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will will available in black, green, rose gold, and white. If you’re shopping for the S22 Ultra, you’ll be able to pick between black, green, red, and white. There’s a good chance Samsung will offer additional colors in certain regions or may even nix one or more of these colors, however, as it did with the gray version of the Galaxy S21, which made an appearance in last year’s Unpacked event but was never mentioned again.
What Hardware Does the Galaxy S22 Have?
As Samsung’s flagships, the Galaxy S22 series will be packed with top-of-the-line hardware. That said, we’re not expecting any major upgrades to the storage and RAM configurations.
The Galaxy S22 trio will feature Qualcomm’s 8 Gen 1 mobile platform in the US. Europe and the majority of the globe will likely get the S22 with Samsung’s Exynos 2200 SoC. And while there are rumors that Verizon requested the Galaxy S22 with the Exynos 2200 platform, we’ve not seen any strong evidence to support the claim.
The US version of the Galaxy S22 will be powered by Qualcomm’s 8 Gen 1 mobile platform.
Qualcomm’s latest mobile platform has three 18-bit image signal processors, a completely tweaked AI Engine, and an updated low-power sensing hub that can power Face ID-like security features. (Though as PCMag’s Sascha Segan found out when running benchmarks on the 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm has a ways to go before it can beat Apple.)
There are conflicting details on the RAM and storage configurations, but we don’t think much will change here. Based on our research, current supply chain constraints, and historical flagship comparisons, we are prepared to make a few predictions.
- We believe the Samsung Galaxy S22 will be available with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM in the US. A 128GB/8GB variant may be available in other regions.
- You’ll likely have two options when it comes to the Galaxy S22+: a 256GB/8GB base model and a 256GB/12GB variant.
- The Galaxy S22 Ultra will be the most powerful of the bunch. We think the base model will ship with 256GB/12GB, with 512GB/12GB and 512GB/16GB variants also available. We don’t believe Samsung will offer a 1TB storage option since it doesn’t have a 1TB UFS 3.1 chip in mass production.
On the S22 and S22+, expect a slightly smaller battery. Multiple tipsters claim the S22 will have a 3,800mAh battery, and capacity for the battery on S22+ will clock in at 4,600mAh. That said, Qualcomm’s more efficient mobile platform, improved 5G antennas, and slightly smaller displays will likely yield better battery life overall. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will reportedly ship with the same 5,000mAh battery as its predecessor.
All three phones are said to have 15W wireless charging and reverse PowerShare. There’s also a chance at least one of the phones will ship with 45W fast charging.
How Big Is the Samsung Galaxy S22’s Screen?
After several years of smartphone screen growth, it looks like we may be at a turning point. SamMobile reports the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will have smaller screens than their predecessors.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 will reportedly have a 6.06-inch, 2,400-by-1,080 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Its predecessor clocked in at 6.2 inches, so the difference is minimal.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra will reportedly come in a vibrant red.
On the Galaxy S22+, you’ll find a 6.55-inch, 2,400-by-1,080 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a bit trimmer than the 6.7-inch display on last year’s Galaxy S21+.
Both the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will likely have the same ultrasonic fingerprint sensor as their predecessors. We also expect Samsung to introduce a brighter HDR10+ display.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra will sport a curved, 6.81-inch low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) screen. Display resolution reportedly clocks in at 3,200-by-1,440 pixels and will have a peak brightness of 1,500 nits. The S22 Ultra’s dynamic refresh rate will also get a major bump, supporting refresh rates from 1Hz to 120Hz. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will reportedly have a dedicated S Pen slot, too.
How Many Cameras Does the Galaxy 22 Have?
Samsung’s Galaxy flagships have long been known for having some of the best smartphone cameras on the market, but Samsung appears to be going all out on its S22 trio.
The Galaxy S22 and S22+ are rumored to have a triple camera module with Samsung’s 50MP ISOCELL GN5 sensor. The lens uses 4×4 pixel binning for crisp 12.5MP shots and has a significantly larger sensor. Phase detection auto focus (PDAF) and optical image stabilization (OIS) is also on board.
There’s also a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, dual pixel PDAF and OIS as well as a large format 12MP ultrawide sensor with built-in stabilization. On the front of the phone, you’ll find the same 10MP selfie camera that shipped on the Galaxy S21.
Of the trio, the Galaxy S22 Ultra packs the most interesting camera stack. It will have an improved 108MP primary lens with PDAF, laser auto focus, and OIS. There’s also a 10MP periscope lens with 10x optical zoom, dual pixel PDAF, and OIS, as well as another 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, dual pixel PDAF, and OIS. The stack is rounded out with a 12MP ultrawide lens with dual pixel PDAF, and image stabilization that’s similar to sensor shift on the iPhone 13. The front-facing camera clocks in at 40MP.
How Much Does the Samsung Galaxy S22 Cost?
Here’s the bad news: The Samsung Galaxy S22 lineup may be more expensive this year than in past years. In addition to semiconductor shortages and other shipping delays, Samsung is reportedly bumping up the minimum amount of storage across the board.
The Galaxy S22 is likely to start at $849, while the S22+ could set you back a minimum of $1,049. Fans of the Galaxy S22 Ultra will likely see the most significant price increase with the phone starting at $1,249. Keep in mind, however, the S22 Ultra will likely include the S Pen.
Although the Galaxy S22 Ultra will likely cost more than its predecessor, we believe it will include an S Pen in the box.
It’s worth noting that the pricing rumors come from a single source, so take them with a grain of salt until we get additional sources.
When Is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Coming Out?
Although Samsung surprised us with a January Unpacked event in 2021, smartphone tipster Jon Prosser claims the Samsung Unpacked event will take place on Feb. 8, 2022. It will reportedly be available for pre-order the same day and begin shipping on Feb. 18.
It’s still too soon to say if Samsung will host a live Unpacked event for 2022, but it will probably livestream its announcement either way. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as we learn more; we’ll add a link for coverage as soon as it becomes available.