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Samsung Galaxy S22 buyer's guide: Everything you need to know about the series

We have all the info you need on specs, pricing, release dates, and more for the Samsung Galaxy S22 family of smartphones.
By
May 24, 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 family in blue angled camera closeups
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Every year for the past 12 years, Samsung has launched a new Galaxy S phone. In 2022, we have the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, which now represents the best-of-the-best from the company. These phones have the best cameras, fastest processors, and most innovative features of any Samsung phone on the market.

Of course, there are three phones in the series again, and each one offers something a little different — and at very different price points. If you’re confused and want to know exactly what’s up, we’ve got you covered! Below is our Galaxy S22 buyer’s guide, and it has all the info you need.

See also: A history of the Samsung Galaxy S series

Samsung Galaxy S22 series at a glance

Samsung launched the Galaxy S22 series on February 9, 2022. This was about a month later than the launch of the Galaxy S21 series. The phones hit the pre-order phase on February 9 and became available for general purchase on February 25, 2022.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra color family on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Of the three new phones launched in the Galaxy S22 family, none can compare to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Unlike the previous two “Ultra” variants in the Galaxy S family, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is more like a Galaxy Note device than anything else. In fact, if you just looked at it, you might think it is the true follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from nearly two years ago.

The phone’s boxy shape, flat top and bottom, and curvy sides are all Galaxy Note hallmarks. However, the thing that most ties the Galaxy S22 Ultra to the Note line is the inclusion of an S Pen, complete with a storage slot accessible from the bottom of the phone.

Our review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the power user’s best friend

Outside of its Note-like design, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the natural sequel to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has a similar camera setup headlined by a 108MP primary sensor, but with better hardware than we saw in 2021. It has a newer, faster processor, plenty of RAM and internal storage space, and an enormous 1440p display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is also the most expensive of the three new phones. It starts at $1,199 (£1,149 / €1,259).

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Solid performance • Punchy, versatile cameras • S Pen functionality • Above average software support
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a throwback to the days of the Galaxy Note.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looks like a Galaxy Note phone. It has an S Pen just like a Note, a boxy shape just like a Note, and...well, you get the picture. It is by far the top dog in the Galaxy S22 lineup with the best display, biggest battery, best cameras, and most options for RAM and storage counts.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus rear in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The middle child of the Galaxy S22 series is once again the Plus variant. It has a less robust camera array when compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra and sticks with the design ethos of the Galaxy S21 series. Unlike the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it has a smaller 1080p display but still retains the 120Hz adaptive refresh rate.

Our review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is the all-rounder Android phone to beat

Really, the Galaxy S22 Plus is just a subtle upgrade of the Galaxy S21 Plus. It has the new 2022 flagship processor, an upgraded camera system, and some new software features. However, it looks nearly identical to last year’s model. It even has the same base level price as last year: $999 (£949 / €1,059).

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Excellent display • Powerful camera package • Solid battery life
The bigger and better (but not best) Galaxy S22.
The Galaxy S22 Plus is bigger than the vanilla Galaxy S22. It has a larger display, a larger battery, and charges faster with a wired connection. However, its cameras, processor, RAM, and internal storage options are the same as its little brother's.

Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22 rear panel angled on book
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Like the Galaxy S22 Plus, the Galaxy S22 is not all too different from last year’s model. It has the same design ethos with a recessed camera module at the top left of the phone’s backside. Thankfully, though, Samsung dropped the “glasstic” back of the Galaxy S21 and went with true glass. Nice move, Samsung.

Our review: Samsung Galaxy S22 is the best, in a small package

Outside of the new build materials, though, the upgrades remain subtle and only on the inside. The camera array has better hardware, headlined by a new 50MP primary sensor. The processor is the 2022 flagship and there are a few nifty new software tricks. However, you won’t find the Galaxy S22 to be a drastically different experience from the Galaxy S21.

As with the other two phones in the Galaxy S22 series, the vanilla model retains the same entry price as last year: $799 (£769 / €859).

Samsung Galaxy S22
Refined, compact design • Small yet sweet display • Impressive camera setup
Samsung isn't going big, but it still hopes you'll bring this phone home.
The vanilla Samsung Galaxy S22 is subtly tweaked from its predecessor, the Galaxy S21. It has a glass back again (nice!) and features the latest 2022 silicon. It also has an upgraded camera system that should be much better than the 2021 model.

Are the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones worth buying?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus side edges
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra earned an award from our readers as the best phone of 2021. When you consider that our readers chose Galaxy Note phones as the winners for three years in a row prior, it’s a bygone conclusion that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be in the running for the same award in 2022.

Likewise, we loved the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Even a year later, we still loved it. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to think the Galaxy S22 Ultra would also be in the running for our Editor’s Choice award for 2022 (which went to the Google Pixel 6 last year, but the Galaxy S21 Ultra was a close second).

See also: The best Android phones to spend your money on

Meanwhile, we and our readers liked the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus phones a lot. When you consider the 2022 versions of these devices are subtly upgraded models, it’s unsurprising to know we loved them, too.

Generally, there hasn’t been a year in which the annual Galaxy S series launch wasn’t a hit with both critics like us and our readers. As such, this year is no different.

Read also: Galaxy S22 cases | Galaxy S22 Plus cases | Galaxy S22 Ultra cases

What experts are saying about the Galaxy S22 series

Samsung Galaxy S22 back panel on cushion 1
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Here at Android Authority, we loved the Galaxy S22 series. The Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Plus both received stellar 4.5/5 scores and each earned our coveted Editor’s Choice badge. Meanwhile, the vanilla Galaxy S22 received a solid 4/5 score and earned a Recommended badge.

The reason the Galaxy S22 didn’t measure up to its siblings was due to one problem: battery life. The smallest entry in the Galaxy S22 series naturally has the smallest battery, but it’s even smaller than last year’s model. Everything else about the phone was terrific, but battery life just isn’t up to par.

The other two phones, though, were nearly perfect. Our only significant complaints stemmed from less-than-stellar speaker quality and, in the case of the Galaxy S22 Plus, a limited selection of RAM/storage options.

Here’s what other sites around the web had to say:

  • CNET: All three Samsung Galaxy S22 phones received 4.5/5 stars from CNET. However, like us, the publication significantly criticized the poor battery life of the vanilla Galaxy S22.
  • The VergeThe Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus received 4/5 stars from The Verge. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra received a 4.5/5 star review. Once again, the lower-end models were criticized for poor battery life, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra was praised as being one of the best Android phones you can currently get.
  • Tom’s Guide: Not one to buck the trend, Tom’s Guide also gave the Galaxy S22 a 4/5 star review and the Galaxy S22 Ultra a 4.5/5 star review. It appears most of the major tech publications are in agreement on these phones!

What readers are saying about the Galaxy S22 series

Samsung Galaxy S22 routines
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

When the Samsung Galaxy S22 series launched, we ran a simple ‘Hot or Not’ poll for the phones. We saw close to 3,000 votes, and the chart below shows the results:

It’s clear to see that the majority of our readers love the Galaxy S22 series.

However, the poll article was filled with comments from readers complaining about certain aspects of the phones. The lack of a microSD card reader was a big one, as was the smaller battery of the vanilla Galaxy S22.

In other words, yes, the majority of our readers like the phones, but a large minority have some significant grievances.

Samsung Galaxy S22 series specs

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus in blue and white
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

As usual, the three phones in the series have the standard upgrades over last year’s models. This includes a faster processor and better camera hardware. Check out the full specs for all three devices below.

Galaxy S22Galaxy S22 PlusGalaxy S22 Ultra
Display
Galaxy S22
6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
19.5:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Galaxy S22 Plus
6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Flat display
19.5:9 aspect ratio
FHD+ resolution (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Galaxy S22 Ultra
6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Edge display (curved)
19.3:9 aspect ratio
QHD+ resolution (3,088 x 1,440)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
Processor
Galaxy S22
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
Galaxy S22 Plus
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
Galaxy S22 Ultra
US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200
RAM
Galaxy S22
8GB
Galaxy S22 Plus
8GB
Galaxy S22 Ultra
8GB or 12GB
Storage
Galaxy S22
128GB or 256GB
No microSD card support
Galaxy S22 Plus
128GB or 256GB
No microSD card support
Galaxy S22 Ultra
128GB, 256GB, or 512GB with additional 1TB option
No microSD card support
Power
Galaxy S22
3,700mAh battery
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Galaxy S22 Plus
4,500mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Galaxy S22 Ultra
5,000mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Galaxy S22
REAR:
- 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
- 10MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Galaxy S22 Plus
REAR:
- 50MP wide (1.0μm, ƒ1.8, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.0μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)

FRONT:
- 10MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Galaxy S22 Ultra
REAR:
- 108MP wide (0.8μm, ƒ2.2, 23mm, 85-degree FoV)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.4μm, ƒ2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FoV)
- 10MP telephoto (1.12μm, ƒ4.9, 230mm, 11-degree FoV, 10x optical zoom)
- 10MP telephoto (1.12μm, ƒ2.4, 69mm, 36-degree FoV, 3x optical zoom)
- Laser autofocus

FRONT:
- 40MP wide (ƒ2.2, 23mm, 80-degree FoV)
Video
Galaxy S22
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Galaxy S22 Plus
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Galaxy S22 Ultra
REAR:
- 8K at 24fps (main lens only)
- 4K at 60fps (all lenses)

FRONT:
- 4K at 60fps
Audio
Galaxy S22
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
Galaxy S22 Plus
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
Connectivity
Galaxy S22
5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6 (ax), Dual Band
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Galaxy S22 Plus
5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)
Galaxy S22 Ultra
5G (mmWave + sub-6GHz)
Wi-Fi 6E (6GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC support
Ultra-wideband support (UWB)
Security
Galaxy S22
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
Galaxy S22 Plus
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor
4 x 9mm size
Software
Galaxy S22
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Galaxy S22 Plus
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Android 12
One UI 4.1
S Pen support
Galaxy S22
No
Galaxy S22 Plus
No
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Yes, with storage slot
Materials
Galaxy S22
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Galaxy S22 Plus
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back
Armour Aluminum frame
Durability
Galaxy S22
IP68 certified
Galaxy S22 Plus
IP68 certified
Galaxy S22 Ultra
IP68 certified
Dimensions and weight
Galaxy S22
146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
168g
Galaxy S22 Plus
157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
196g
Galaxy S22 Ultra
163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
229g
Colors
Galaxy S22
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold

Online exclusives: Cream, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet
Galaxy S22 Plus
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold

Online exclusives: Cream, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet
Galaxy S22 Ultra
Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy

Online exclusives: Graphite, Sky Blue, Red

What’s the deal with the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s S Pen?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra bottom edge
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Last year, the Galaxy S21 Ultra supported the S Pen. This was the first time ever that a Galaxy S device had supported it. However, the phone didn’t come with an S Pen and didn’t have a slot to store it. Instead, you needed to buy a case for the phone that had space to slot the stylus.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, though, is all-in on the S Pen. Like previous Galaxy Note phones, the S Pen comes with the device and fits right into the storage slot in the phone itself.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the first Galaxy S device with an S Pen in the box and a slot to store it within the phone itself.

Samsung has also upgraded the S Pen when compared to previous Galaxy Note phones. The company says it has a lower latency than previous S Pens, which should make writing feel more like “pen-to-paper” than ever. It also has an improved handwriting-to-text feature with support for 88 languages. Using this, you can write yourself a note in your own handwriting, quickly convert it to type-written text, and then save, copy, or otherwise manipulate it as if you had typed it out.

Finally, as with previous Galaxy Note devices, the S Pen is Bluetooth-connected to the phone, allowing it to act as a shutter controller, music controller, and many other tools. When stored in its slot, the S Pen leeches battery power from the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Are the cameras good on the Galaxy S22 series?

Samsung Galaxy S22 black white and pink showing camera modules
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In 2021, the Galaxy S21 Ultra was one of the best cameras of the year. In fact, in our shootout battle of six of the best camera phones of the year, we called the Galaxy S21 Ultra the standout for “its sheer consistency and flexibility.” When you consider the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera setup is simply a slightly upgraded version of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that we think the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a terrific camera phone.

See also: The best camera phones you can get

Likewise, the cameras on the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 — which are the exact same systems — are also exemplary.

Check out some example shots for each phone below. For more on the cameras of each phone, consult our full reviews of the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Plus.

Galaxy S22 Ultra camera samples

Galaxy S22 Plus camera samples

Galaxy S22 camera samples

How is the Samsung Galaxy S22 series’ battery life?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus display in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The 5,000mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is pretty good. Although we saw better battery life on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will power through a full day of heavy use without needing to top up. With lighter use, it could be a two-day phone.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Plus also has good battery life, albeit with a smaller 4,500mAh battery inside. Still, its smaller, lower-resolution display helps a lot with keeping up with power efficiency, so you might actually see better battery life with this than you would the Galaxy S22 Ultra — especially if you have the S22 Ultra maxed out to its WQHD+ resolution of 1,440p.

Related: Here are the Android phones with the best battery life

Finally, the vanilla Galaxy S22 has so-so battery life. Its relatively tiny 3,700mAh battery can’t really keep up with the power demands of its chipset and camera system. As such, you shouldn’t expect to get more than a day out of the Galaxy S22 without needing to recharge.

Regardless, we do have some good news as far as charging goes. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra have 45W wired charging speeds. On paper, that’s nearly twice as fast as last year’s models. However, our testing shows that it won’t be as drastic of a speed difference as you would expect. Do note, though, that the Galaxy S22 has the same 25W wired charging speed as last year. All three phones charge at 15W wirelessly and also support reverse wireless charging.

Remember that none of the Galaxy S22 phones have chargers in their retail boxes.

How about performance?

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 reference phone
Qualcomm

Inside all three Galaxy S22 smartphones, you’ll find either the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the Exynos 2200 chipsets. The United States, India, South Korea, and a few other countries get the Snapdragon, while the rest of the world gets the Exynos.

For the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, it will be the best Android chipset launched in the first half of this year. It’s the sequel to last year’s Snapdragon 888. Our data so far shows this new CPU is a powerhouse and can handle pretty much any task you throw at it. However, it’s also very power-hungry, which is a big reason why the battery life of the Galaxy S22 series suffers a bit.

There's no question that the Galaxy S22 series is powerful. However, expect battery life to suffer.

Meanwhile, the Exynos 2200 is also a powerful chip. As usual, it isn’t as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but it does outshine it in a few areas. Check out our full benchmark tests for more.

Do note that Samsung has faced some controversy recently due to throttling software appearing in the Galaxy S22 series (as well as other Galaxy smartphones). You can read more about what’s happening in this article.

Either way, the 8GB of RAM in the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus should be fine for your tasks and gaming. The 12GB RAM option for the Galaxy S22 Ultra — available only with the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models — should be more than enough for what you need. Even though 12GB of RAM is less than the 16GB the Galaxy S21 Ultra offered, 16GB of RAM is absolute overkill in a smartphone, so don’t worry too much about it.

Phone software and updates

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus display with plant in the background
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

All three Galaxy S22 phones ship with Android 12 out of the box. Samsung skins the operating system over with One UI 4.1, a slight upgrade over the One UI 4.0 release the Galaxy S21 received in November 2021.

Required reading: Everything you need to know about One UI

Samsung’s stated update policy for these phones is four Android upgrades and five years of security patches. That means the Galaxy S22 series should see Android 13 in late 2022, Android 14 in 2023/2024, Android 15 in 2024/2025, and Android 16 in 2025/2026. It would then see an extra year of security patches before reaching the end of its support cycle.

This is the best update policy available in the Android world, even surpassing Google’s, which is limited to just three Android upgrades. Samsung has also been great with the speed of its updates over the past few years, with monthly patches sometimes hitting its phones well before Pixels get them.

In general, Samsung’s flagships are a great choice for people who value fast, consistent, and long-lasting updates. The Galaxy S22 series won’t disappoint in this regard.

Galaxy S22 series vs Galaxy S21 series: What’s new?

The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus aren’t much different from last year. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, though, is very different, specifically when it comes to design. Below, we’ve rounded up the major differences between this year’s and last year’s models. Please note that these aren’t all the differences, just the most significant ones.

Galaxy S22/S22 Plus vs Galaxy S21/S21 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 rear panel
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Design: Although the Galaxy S22 series looks nearly identical to the Galaxy S21 series, there are some subtle differences. The phones are slightly thinner, smaller, and lighter than last year’s models, for example. The back of the Galaxy S22 is also made of glass in place of last year’s “glasstic” design. Both models also feature Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the front and back, which is nominally better than the regular Victus of last year’s phones.
  • Display: Because the phones got slightly smaller, the displays shrunk a bit as well. The Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch display, while the Galaxy S21 had a 6.2-inch screen. Likewise, the Galaxy S22 Plus’ display is 6.6 inches as compared to the Galaxy S21 Plus’ 6.7-inch display. Display specs, though, are pretty much the same across all models.
  • Performance: In the US, India, and other select countries, the Galaxy S22 models have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. This is a better chip than last year’s Snapdragon 888, which appeared in the Galaxy S21 series in those same countries. The rest of the world gets the Exynos 2200 in the Galaxy S22 series, which should be better than the Exynos 2100 of last year.
  • Bluetooth: All Galaxy S22 models support Bluetooth 5.2. The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus maxed out at Bluetooth 5.0 support, so this is a nice upgrade.
  • Wi-Fi: The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus support Wi-Fi 6. The Galaxy S22 sticks with that protocol, but the Galaxy S22 Plus has Wi-Fi 6E, which is nominally better and helps future-proof the device.
  • Power: Both Galaxy S22 models have smaller battery capacities than last year’s models. Samsung shaved 300mAh off each, resulting in 3,700mAh for the Galaxy S22 and 4,500mAh for the Galaxy S22 Plus. As far as charging, the Galaxy S22’s protocols remain unchanged (25W wired, 15W wireless). The Galaxy S22 Plus, though, now supports 45W wired charging.
  • Cameras: The rear camera module configuration remains the same as last year (wide, ultrawide, and telephoto). However, the wide is upgraded from a 12MP sensor to a newer 50MP model. The 64MP telephoto also gets upgraded to a newer 10MP sensor. The ultrawide sensor stays the same. On the front, the phones get a new 40MP selfie camera, which is the same as the one on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Both the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus have the exact same camera setup.

Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra rear in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Design: The Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t look anything like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Instead, it looks more like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. This includes a boxy shape, a flat top and bottom, and curvy sides. This design allows for the Galaxy S22 Ultra to store an S Pen, which comes included with your purchase, just like all previous Galaxy Note phones. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is also slightly smaller than the Galaxy S21 Ultra but is heavier and of the same thickness. Finally, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus covers the front and back of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, while vanilla Victus covers the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
  • Performance: In the US, India, and other select countries, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. The rest of the world gets the Exynos 2200. Both chips should be better than those that appeared in the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
  • RAM/Storage: The Galaxy S21 Ultra maxed out at 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The Galaxy S22 Ultra maxes out at 12GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. In other words, you have a higher storage option in 2022 but less RAM than in 2021.
  • Power: The Galaxy S22 Ultra supports 45W wired charging. This is almost twice as fast as the 25W charging of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Both phones have the same wireless charging speed, though (15W). Remember that there is no charger in the box with any of the Galaxy S22 Phones, including the Ultra model.
  • Cameras: The layout of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera module is the same as last year: wide, ultrawide, normal telephoto, periscope telephoto, and laser autofocus. However, the hardware on offer with the 2022 phone has been slightly upgraded as compared to 2021. The 40MP selfie shooter has also been slightly changed, but not significantly.

What are some good Samsung Galaxy S22 alternatives?

Samsung Galaxy S22 in pink with display angled
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you aren’t super into the Galaxy S22 series, we have a selection of other phones here you might be interested in! Do note, however, that last year’s models in the Galaxy S21 series are no longer available. Some third-party companies will still sell stock for the foreseeable future, but Samsung won’t be making new models.

  • Google Pixel 6 series ($599—$899): Launched at the tail end of 2021, the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro were some of our favorite phones of the year. Not only will they offer a lot of similar specs when compared to the Galaxy S22 series, but they are significantly less expensive. The Pixel 6, in particular, is hundreds of dollars cheaper than even the cheapest Galaxy S22 and walked away with our Editor’s Choice award as the best phone of 2021.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE ($699): If you like the idea of the Galaxy S22 but wished it was a bit cheaper, the Galaxy S21 FE is worth a look. Launched in January 2022, the Galaxy S21 FE is a lot like the Galaxy S21 but slightly bigger, with a bigger battery. It cuts down on build materials and camera specs to keep the price down.
  • OnePlus 10 Pro ($899): The latest OnePlus flagship will be quite similar to the Galaxy S22 Plus and land at a slightly cheaper price. The camera experience won’t be as good, and the software update policy isn’t nearly there, but it’s a good alternative if the Galaxy S22 Plus just doesn’t do it for you.
  • Sony Xperia 1 III ($1,299): The Galaxy S22 Ultra might end up being one of the best flagships of 2022, but it’s missing two important features: a microSD card slot and a headphone jack. Thankfully, the Sony Xperia 1 III has both and still delivers a great camera experience. The only downsides are its price and Sony’s history of poor software support. You gotta give a little to get a little with this one.
  • iPhone 13 series ($699 — $1,099): If you are OK with leaving Android behind, the iPhone 13 series phones are the latest and greatest from Apple. They feature similar pricing and specs as compared to the Galaxy S22 series. Notably, there’s a very small version called the iPhone 13 Mini which would be great for folks who think even the Galaxy S22 is too big. Do note, though, that none of the iPhone 13 models feature a periscope zoom camera or S Pen equivalent, so the iPhone 13 Pro Max isn’t exactly a 1:1 facsimile of a Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones

Samsung Galaxy S22 family spread like cards
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 (8/128GB): $799 / £769 / €859 / CA$1,099.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 (8/256GB): $849 / £819 / €909 / CA$1,169.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8/128GB): $999 / £949 / €1,059 / CA$1,399.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8/256GB): $1,049 / £999 / €1,109 / CA$1,469.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8/128GB): $1,199 / £1,149 / €1,259 / CA$1,649.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12/256GB): $1,299 / £1,249 / €1,359 / CA$1,789.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12/512GB): $1,399 / £1,329 / €1,459 / CA$1,929.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/1TB): $1,599 / £1,499 / €1,659 / CA$2,209.99

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S22 series opened on February 9, 2022. General sales began on February 25, a little more than two weeks later.

As usual, the easiest way to get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy S22 is to head to Samsung.com. If you’d rather grab the phone unlocked from a third-party seller, you can hit up Amazon or Best Buy, among others.

12%off
Samsung Galaxy S22
Refined, compact design
Small yet sweet display
Impressive camera setup
$699.99 at Amazon
Save $100.00
25%off
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Excellent display
Powerful camera package
Solid battery life
$749.99 at Amazon
Save $250.00
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Solid performance
Punchy, versatile cameras
S Pen functionality
Above average software support
$1,199.99 at Samsung

Verizon

If you’re looking to buy from Big Red, you’ll find all three of the Galaxy S22 smartphones.

As a reminder, Verizon only offers 36-month payment plans now. That breaks down as such for the base-level models of the Galaxy S22 series:

AT&T

AT&T is offering its usual trade-in discounts. If you trade in an older Galaxy phone, you can get the Galaxy S22 for free, assuming you attach it to an unlimited plan and stick around with AT&T for three years. If not, you can earn up to $800 off your purchase, depending on the model and condition of your trade.

AT&T also only has 36-month payment plans now, so its prices are the same as Verizon’s for the base-level models:

T-Mobile

T-Mobile is offering free Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus phones with a trade-in of an eligible device along with a Magenta Max subscription. To be clear, this deal works if you already have Magenta Max, so current subscribers can trade in their old eligible device and walk away with a free Galaxy S22.

T-Mobile only supports 24-month installment plans, so here’s what you’ll pay for the base-level Galaxy S22 models:

Visible

Verizon’s budget-oriented subsidiary carrier is offering the Galaxy S22 lineup. Notably, Visible charges a slightly higher amount for all three phones when compared to other carriers.

Additionally, if you’re a new Visible customer, you can get a $200 Visa gift card when you purchase a Galaxy S22 device. To get the gift card, you’ll need to port in a number from an existing carrier and stay with Visible for three billing periods at the minimum.

Here’s what each device costs:

FAQs

Samsung Galaxy S22 in black in front of plate
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

If you don’t want the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the choice between the other two is easy: the Galaxy S22 Plus is bigger. Other than the sizes of the phones (and the sizes of their batteries), the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus are pretty similar. If you want the best of the best, though, you want the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Yes. All three phones are IP68-certified, so they can withstand 30 minutes of submersion in 1.5m (~5ft) of water. They are also dust-resistant.

No. None of the Galaxy S22 phones have expandable storage, so choose your storage variant wisely.

No. You will need to use a charger you already own for these phones. Conversely, you can buy a new one separately to get the top charging speeds from the phones. For the Galaxy S22, you want a USB PD PPS-compliant charger capable of 25W speeds. For the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra, you want a USB PD PPS-compliant charger capable of 45W speeds.

If you buy any of the three Galaxy S22 phones unlocked, you can use them on any carrier and they will connect to that carrier’s 5G network. This is possible because all three models support both mmWave and Sub6 5G connections.

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