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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera module on pink
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
aa2020 editors choice

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review: The all-rounder Android phone to beat

Can Samsung's middle child forge its own identity?
By
September 21, 2022
aa2020 editors choice

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

It might not have the wow factor of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but don't make the mistake of overlooking the Galaxy S22 Plus. It's every bit a premium device and outperforms its siblings in some key areas. The Galaxy S22 Plus is one of Samsung's very best and the top Android phone to beat for those who don't need a stylus.

Retail price: $999.00

$999.00 at Samsung

What we like

Excellent display
Powerful camera package
Solid battery life
Premium hardware
Top-notch performance
The best software support on any Android phone

What we don't like

Speakers are a little weak
Limited memory/storage combos

Our scores

Battery
Display
Camera
Performance
Software
Design
Audio
Value
aa2020 editors choice

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

It might not have the wow factor of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but don't make the mistake of overlooking the Galaxy S22 Plus. It's every bit a premium device and outperforms its siblings in some key areas. The Galaxy S22 Plus is one of Samsung's very best and the top Android phone to beat for those who don't need a stylus.

 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus stands in between the larger Galaxy S22 Ultra and smaller Galaxy S22 models, leaving it with a bit more to prove than the others. People naturally gravitate toward the biggest and tiniest of things, meaning the middle product has to prove its mettle in ways its siblings don’t. The Galaxy S22 Plus is every bit a flagship that fights hard to create a compelling identity all its own. Could it be the Goldilocks option for premium device buyers who can settle for a little less than the absolute best of the best? Find out in the Android Authority Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
First rate hardware • Top software support • Long battery life
See review
MSRP
SAVE
$749.99
$250.00
$749.99 at Amazon
See review
About this Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review: I tested the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review unit over a period of seven days. It was running Android 12 on the January 2022 security patch with Samsung One UI 4.1. The unit was provided by Samsung for this review.

Update, September 2022: We’ve updated this review by adding in a few new Galaxy S22 Plus alternatives you should check out, among other things.


What you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus display aligned right on bench
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8GB/128GB): $999 / £949 / €1,059 / CA$1,399.99 / Rs. 84,999
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (8GB/256GB): $1,049 / £999 / €1,109 / CA$1,469.99 / Rs. 88,999

The Samsung Galaxy S22 series is the company’s latest trio of flagship Galaxy S smartphones. Where the Galaxy S22 Ultra is distinctly more of a Galaxy Note successor, the S22 Plus and S22 are more traditional Galaxy S hardware. That means the S22 Plus has a large, but not oversized display, top specs, plenty of features, and a lower price when compared to the beastly Ultra.

See also: The best Samsung phones

The Galaxy S22 Plus isn’t looking to be the absolute pinnacle of smartphone design and technology its Ultra sibling, but it does seek to set the bar for phones just below the $1,000 threshold. It competes directly with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and flagships from the likes of OnePlus and Xiaomi.

There are two core models of the Galaxy S22 Plus. Both have the same 8GB of RAM, while the cheaper model includes 128GB of storage for $999 and the costlier model packs 256GB of storage for $1,049. These are launch prices. You can currently save as much as $200 when buying the S22 Plus, although the deals are constantly changing and may not last for long.

The S22 Plus is a world-class device that keeps the competition on its toes in more ways than one.

You can also save some real cash — up to as much as $800 in some cases — via Samsung’s aggressive trade-in deals. Additionally, Samsung is (at the time of this writing) throwing in a four-month YouTube Premium subscription and six months of 100GB OneDrive cloud storage for free. In the US, the company’s carrier partners are offering their own deals. Some are fairly aggressive and are worth considering if you’re in the market for a carrier-based upgrade.

The phone comes in four main colors — Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Pink Gold — though if you order from Samsung.com you’ll be privy to four exclusive online colors: Cream, Sky Blue, Graphite, and Violet.

Is the Galaxy S22 Plus a smarter buy than either of its stablemates? We have some thoughts about that.


Design: Natural evolution at work

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus left profile on bench
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus
  • 157.4 x 78.5 x 7.6mm
  • 196g
  • Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader
  • IP68
  • Stereo speakers
  • Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold, (Graphite, Cream, Sky Blue, Violet — online only)

Samsung has opted to refresh its design language modestly rather than reinvent the wheel with its latest Galaxies. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is the natural evolution of the Galaxy S21 Plus, and the two phones look strikingly similar. That said, there are some subtle (and I do mean subtle) cues that give the S22 Plus its own identity.

Samsung upgraded the chassis all the way around. The frame has graduated to what Samsung calls Armor Aluminum for added strength and the glass has been updated to Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back. This represents a huge improvement in the overall quality and feel of the phone, which is classy all the way.

Samsung nailed the sizing. There's no question the S22 Plus strikes the delicate balance between too large and too small.

Samsung updated the shape of the phone, though just a smidgen. It hammered out the side edges so they are a bit flatter and less rounded than the S21 Plus. Samsung also reduced the curved shape of the rear panel where it joins the frame. These elements give the phone a slightly blockier (and, um, more iPhone-like) appearance than last year’s model. It’s an attractive, premium design that radiates quality. If there’s one design element that Samsung didn’t change much, it’s the camera module. The device carries over the Contour Cut shape of the S21 Plus’ module, though it loses the attractive two-tone shading on all the colorways except those that are exclusive to Samsung’s online store. I like the simplicity and uniformity of the Contour Cut camera module, but it does lead the phone to wobble a bit when used on a flat surface.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus family colors on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

With eight colorways to choose from, Samsung is giving people plenty of room to find the experience they want. Samsung lent us the Pink Gold model. It’s charming in its own way (though, ultimately, not for me.) I particularly like how the metal frame has been shaded a mixture of pink and gold without being gaudy. The main Phantom White, Phantom Black, and Green shades are fairly common for a modern smartphone, but the Cream, Sky Blue, Violet, and Graphite are nice diversions that restore the two-tone aesthetic of the Galaxy S21 Plus.

Samsung nailed the sizing. With a fractionally smaller display panel than last year’s phone, Samsung was able to shrink the S22 Plus’ dimensions and weight enough to make it noticeably more compact and lighter than the S21 Plus. There’s no question it strikes a fine balance between being too large and too small. Moreover, the smoother, rounded exterior shaping of the phone makes it much more comfortable to hold and use than the bulky S22 Ultra (pictured below.)

Check out: The best Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus cases

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra black vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus pink gold rear on bench
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

As far as the controls are concerned, Samsung replicated the experience across the S22 series, which in turn takes its inspiration from past generations of Galaxy S phones. That means the power button and volume toggle are both on the right edge of the phone. The former has good action, though it’s not as tight as the action of the S22 Ultra’s power button and I wish it were a little bigger. The volume toggle is sized well and works as expected. The top and left edges of the phone are pure, uninterrupted metal, save for several antenna lines.

The SIM card tray is positioned on the bottom edge of the phone, as is the USB-C port and downward-firing speaker. The phone doesn’t support microSD memory cards, though there is dual-SIM functionality for the US models due to eSIM support.

The phone’s haptics are a mixed bag. They are much more refined than the haptics of the S22 Ultra and thus are better for activities such as typing or otherwise interacting with the screen. At the same time, the raw strength of the haptics has been reduced to the point where it is easy to miss notifications when the device is in your pocket. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

In terms of biometrics, the Galaxy S22 Plus packs an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader. I wish the positioning were a little lower on the front and that the reader were a little larger. Despite these small complaints, the reader is a breeze to train and flawless in real-world use.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus fingerprint reader
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

You get Dolby Atmos stereo sound thanks to the combination of the earpiece and bottom speaker. The experience is mostly similar to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is to say the S22 Plus generates a clean sound that can be set at fairly high levels with no distortion. Low frequencies are lacking compared to the punchier mid-range and penetrating highs. The speakers absolutely suffice if you’re casually streaming some music while making dinner or doing homework, but if you’re settling down to watch a movie you’ll be better off with a pair of good headphones.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus display aligned left against rock
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Last, the S22 Plus has an IP68 rating just as most Galaxy S phones have for many years now. The phone can handle a 30-minute dunk in water up to 1.5m (~5 ft) deep. I let the phone sit in a shallow pan of water for a bit and it’s still working just fine.

The Galaxy S22 Plus sacrifices nothing in terms of quality, materials, and build.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is a friendlier phone than the S22 Ultra thanks to its smaller sizing and rounded shape. Otherwise, it sacrifices nothing in terms of quality, materials, and build. The only exception is the lack of an S Pen, which is reserved for the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

The S22 Plus is an attractive device that would totally own the Galaxy S22 series spotlight were it not for the ostentatiousness of the Ultra model. More importantly, it puts Apple, Google, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and others on notice — this is how you build a ~$1,000 smartphone in 2022. Just because the S22 Plus isn’t the biggest of the bunch doesn’t mean it can be ignored.


Display: No nit-picking here

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus display on gray
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • 6.6 inches, Dynamic AMOLED 2x
  • 2,340 x 1,080 resolution
  • 390ppi
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has a screen that may seem reserved when you look at its core specs, but it’s got an ace up its sleeve that helps set it apart.

At 6.6 inches across the diagonal, it measures 0.1 inches less than the Galaxy S21 Plus. For the sake of comparison, the S22 Ultra’s screen is 6.8 inches and the Galaxy S22’s is 6.1. Along with the fractional change in size, the S22 Plus slightly reduces the raw pixel count and pixel density but keeps the same max refresh rate as last year’s phone.

See also: Display tech and terms explained

These basics give you a really good experience. Some competing phones offer higher resolution screens, but many are in this same size range and refresh rate, and the FHD+ resolution is more than adequate for this size. Of note, you can’t control the resolution on this phone at all (such as stepping it down to HD+ to save power.) The Galaxy S22 Ultra, conversely, allows you to choose between HD+, FHD+, and QHD+. Even so, websites, apps, games, and video streaming services all look clean and sharp, so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Samsung is known to oversaturate things from time to time, but the S22 Plus display has a pleasing color profile out of the box that most people will like. If you don’t like it, you can choose from several preset color profiles or dial in your own color levels. That’s a nice feature to have.

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

As for the refresh rate, the phone can be set to a static 60Hz, which doesn’t change at all, or a maximum of 120Hz, which does range up and down to balance power consumption with a smooth scrolling experience. How far up and down does the rate change? The display itself can handle rates as low as 48Hz, while the application processor can send data to the display at rates as low as 10Hz. Despite the screen’s 48Hz limitation, Samsung says the combination of the screen and processor working together helps reduce power draw. The S22 Ultra’s screen, by way of comparison, is able to drop to rates as low as 10Hz. It is easy to see the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz when scrolling, but the difference doesn’t dramatically impact most other activities on the phone.

Fancy yourself a gamer? The S22 Plus display supports a touch sampling rate of 240Hz when used via the Game Launcher. The 240Hz rate is quite good, though not as blazing fast as the rate of some dedicated gaming phones. It means the phone and game controls will respond faster when you press the glass.

There’s no question it’s one of the brightest phone screens I’ve ever viewed.

The S22 Plus’ killer feature is called Vision Boost. You can thank the Dynamic AMOLED 2X lighting for this feature, which provides brightness levels of up to a whopping 1,750 nits. This incredible brightness (the same as the S22 Ultra) allows you to use the phone outdoors under direct sunlight with total ease. There’s no question it’s one of the brightest phone screens I’ve ever viewed. It comes across as more vivid and dynamic when compared to the iPhone 13, Pixel 6, and older Samsung models. It’s a video monster.

Expectedly, Samsung provides owners with plenty of control over the display’s settings, such as night mode, blue light levels, and so on. These are all easy to master.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus’ display doesn’t have quite the visual pop of the S22 Ultra due to the difference in size and resolution, but it’s darned close. It’s a flagship display through and through that often outshines many competitors and sets a high bar for the competition throughout the rest of 2022.


Performance: GPU gains

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Adreno 730
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB non-expandable storage

There are two global variants of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: one with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and one with a Samsung Exynos 2200 processor. The Snapdragon model is sold primarily in the US, while the Exynos version is found throughout Europe. Where the 8 Gen 1 succeeds the Snapdragon 888, the 2200 succeeds the Exynos 2100 — both of which powered the Galaxy S21 Plus in their respective regions.

Samsung kept the RAM in check at just 8GB of RAM, which already isn’t the most generous offering. What really stinks, though, is the lack of any additional RAM options. We’d have definitely preferred to see 12GB of RAM accompany the 256GB variant to hit that sweet spot for multitaskers and future-proofing, as flagship seekers at this price tier are still hungry for top specs. Similarly, the S22 Plus could really do with at least one more storage variant. As it is, the phone is available in only 128GB and 256GB configurations — with no support for microSD cards. This is a limiting factor, especially compared with the Apple iPhone 13 Pro, which ranges up to 1TB in storage.

See also: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor

Those pain points aside, does the S22 Plus deliver on performance? We tested the 8 Gen 1, 8GB/256GB model and we have some observations.

After using the phone day in and day out for more than a week, I can tell you that the experience of putting the S22 Plus under my thumb was right up there with the best. Absolutely nothing taxed the phone at all. Not browsing the web, not scrolling through social networks, not streaming HD video content, not high-intensity gaming. The Galaxy S22 Plus pushed its way through every task I set it on without blinking an eye or batting a lash. In other words, people who buy the S22 Plus and do regular smartphone stuff with it will find that it kicks butt.

What about those pesky benchmarks? We ran the phone through the gauntlet, including 3DMark, AnTuTu, and GeekBench, and the phone put up solid numbers, but they weren’t quite the chart-topping figures that we were expecting. The CPU numbers achieved by the S22 Plus often only equaled those of Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100-based devices. Meanwhile, Apple’s A15 Bionic, in the iPhone 13 Pro, beat the pants off of the 8 Gen 1 on CPU scores.

The S22 Plus is a powerful phone with a connectivity suite that rivals any premium flagship.

Flipping to the GPU, however, things are reversed. The 8 Gen 1’s GPU managed to outscore the A15 Bionic, and easily surpassed the Snapdragon 888, previous Exynos SoCs, and Google’s Tensor. It’s no surprise, then, that the S22 Plus is a very capable gaming phone.

As for the Exynos 2200, we’ll be testing the chipset very soon and will update this review as soon as we know more. On paper, however, it appears to at least be a match on the CPU front.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus 5G networks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Many potential buyers might not weigh wireless performance as a vital component of their purchase, but that is a mistake. The good news is the Galaxy S22 Plus matches the Galaxy S22 Ultra, meaning it commands a significant lead over most phones in its price tier when it comes to connectivity.

On the cellular front, the phone supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G. That gives it good 5G support in both the US and many world markets. We tested an S22 Plus model compatible with T-Mobile 5G in the US and came away impressed with its overall coverage support and data speeds.

Related: The best 5G phones you can buy right now

Beyond 5G, the S22 Plus also features Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, both of which represent the very best of short-range wireless specs right now. In my tests, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth performance were excellent. Last, there’s ultra-wideband support. This tech is mostly used for short-range wireless features such as locating Bluetooth trackers, and enabling keyless car entry.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is every bit the performer of the pricier S22 Ultra. It covers all the number-crunching and bit-squishing computational needs of most users and ensures that the phone will connect to modern and future networks with no problem.


Battery: Better than ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus fast charging
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • 4,500mAh
  • 45W wired charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • Wireless Power Share

There’s been some consternation concerning the S22 Plus’ battery following the phone’s reveal. If there’s any advice I can offer after extensive testing, it’s keep calm and carry on.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus featured a 4,800mAh battery, which was an exceptional battery for the price category and device class at the time. Here in 2022, most $1,000 flagships are expected to ship with a battery pushing 5,000mAh. It’s no wonder then that people are worried about the S22 Plus’ 4,500mAh battery. After all, why would Samsung decrease the size of the battery? According to Samsung, the decision was made to meet design and thermal considerations. The good news is you needn’t worry about the numbers and should instead pay attention to the overall experience.

The Galaxy S22 Plus delivered noticeably better battery life than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

On an average day with the S22 Plus, I scored a respectable screen-on time of about seven hours. That’s a bit more than what I got with the S22 Ultra. Further, the phone was ending the day with more left in the tank — closer to 40% than the Ultra’s 30%. That allowed me to use the phone through the morning of the following day before requiring a recharge. In sum, the Galaxy S22 Plus delivered noticeably better battery life than its larger stablemate despite the difference in battery capacities.

Like the Ultra, the S22 Plus charges at a maximum of 45W via a USB Power Delivery PPS-compatible charger. Samsung doesn’t ship a charger in the box, so you’ll have to pick one up on your own. Using a Samsung 45W charger we saw excellent charging times for the S22 Plus. It typically topped up from 0% to 100% in just over 50 minutes, and easily reached the 50% mark in just 25 minutes. That’s not the fastest we’ve seen, but it’s fast enough for most people.

Wireless charging is limited to 15W, the same as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Our 18W Qi wireless pad needed a solid 90 minutes to recharge the Galaxy S22 Plus from zero, which is a significant improvement over the wireless charging time required for the S22 Ultra’s larger battery. There’s also reverse wireless charging available at a pokey 4.5W. It’s slow-going to recharge accessories such as smartwatches, but the S22 Plus is on par with the competition in this respect.

Related: The best phone charging accessories

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus won’t net you two days of battery life, but it easily outlasted the S22 Ultra by reaching lunch of the second day. For many users, that should be plenty adequate.


Camera: Keeping up with the family

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera module on bench
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • 50MP, Dual Pixel AF, OIS, (f/1.8, 1.0μm)
  • 12MP ultrawide, (f/2.2, 1.4μm, 120-degree FoV)
  • 10MP telephoto, 3x optical zoom, OIS (f/2.4, 1.0μm)
  • 10MP front camera, (f/2.2, 0.7µm, 80-degree FoV)
  • 4K video up to 60fps, 8K up to 24fps

The camera module of the Galaxy S22 Plus may look identical to that of the S21 Plus, but a lot has changed. While previous generations reserved all the camera upgrades for the Ultra, this year Samsung has shown the vanilla and Plus variants some love. The result is a camera suite that’s surprisingly close to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, though there are notable differences.

Where the S22 Ultra has a main shooter of 108MP, the S22 Plus’ is stepped down to 50MP. Nevertheless, this is a big improvement over the 12MP camera we saw on last year’s S21 Plus, which itself was carried over from the Galaxy S20 Plus. The Galaxy S22 Plus also has the same 12MP ultrawide camera and the same 10MP 3x optical telephoto camera of the S22 Ultra. Considering how well we know those cameras can perform, this is pretty great news. It has a lower-resolution 10MP selfie camera but the same video recording capabilities. Most importantly, the S22 Plus has the same advanced new shooting tools to use, such as the AI-assisted “Nightography” and specially coated glass to cut down on glare.

That’s enough talk, let’s get to the photos.

Related: The best camera phones

The megapixel count may be different, but the results from the main camera are practically identical to those of the S22 Ultra. That is to say, shots taken in a variety of settings show solid focus with proper white balance and good exposure. Samsung’s treatment of color continues to be a bit more oversaturated than competing devices, but the company has dialed things back so the results aren’t too ostentatious. HDR worked well in the majority of shots and, most importantly, the images mostly match what my eyes saw in the real world.

The telephoto camera has an optical range of 3x compared to the main camera, as you can see from the photos above. I think the most important aspect of these images is the uniformity of exposure and color with the main camera. There’s still plenty of detail in these shots and the zooming action didn’t introduce too much noise, either.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a second, dedicated 10x zoom telephoto lens that the S22 Plus does not share. The sample images at 10x zoom, like the 3x shots, still show color uniformity and carry over a pleasing amount of details. You will see more noise in these images, however, and they’re not quite as sharp.

The 12MP ultrawide does a fine job. It pulls things out to a focal length that is 0.6x that of the main lens. There’s clearly some optical distortion in these images, which reach a 120-degree field of view, but that’s part of the fun of ultrawide cameras. They certainly give you a different perspective. Again, the color tone matches the other cameras and there’s still lots of detail, good exposure, and little noise.

In the series above you can see the entire focal range of the Galaxy S22 Plus, which can run from ultrawide through 30x Super Zoom (a combination of digital zoom and Samsung’s AI Super Resolution technology). The photos through about the 10x setting are totally usable, but the 20x and 30x images are beginning to look a bit rough. As you can see, however, the S22 Plus provides users with an excellent amount of focal range that allows for lots of creativity when snapping pics.

The S22 Plus is able to take portraits from both the main camera and the telephoto camera. The above series shows you what a standard photo looks like from the main camera followed by a 1x portrait and then a 3x portrait. The bokeh in the 1x portrait is subtle and the focal depth leaves enough room that both figures appear to be in focus. The bokeh in the 3x portrait is far more aggressive, which means Washington’s head stands out more. One thing to note: the S22 Plus produced better exposure in this series than the S22 Ultra did.

Here is a series of selfies and self-portraits, taken during the day and at night. The daytime photos are decent all around, with good focus, exposure, and detail. The night shots are a lot softer and much grainier. One thing to point out, the default “single person” selfie view provides images that are only 6.5MP in size. You have to use the “multi-person” view (or wide-angle selfie) to get the full 10MP from the front camera.

How does the S22 Plus camera fare at night? It does a fairly decent job most of the time. Critically, the exposures, color, and details are more or less identical to the results of the S22 Ultra. That suggests Samsung’s software is doing a good job. That’s not to say the photos are perfect. For example, despite giving the lenses a fresh coating meant to help reduce glare in nighttime shots, you can see plenty of it from the lights in the pictures above. The bottom three photos are all the same scene taken with the three different cameras. Again, even at night, the consistency across the photos is impressive.

On the video front, the S22 Plus delivers the goods just about any time of day.

On the video front, the Galaxy S22 Plus delivers the goods just about any time of day. With the ability to record up to 8K, you’ve got plenty of resolution to work with. The phone is set to FHD/30fps out of the box, likely in consideration of the limited storage, but you’ll get the smoothest results if you upgrade to the 4K/60fps setting. The video samples I captured looked excellent in terms of clarity, color, exposure, and dynamic range. This is particularly evident in low-light and nighttime settings, where the phone’s horribly-named Nightography setting makes a big difference in capturing more light. The selfie camera is also capable of snagging clear and consistent video up through 4K/60fps, though it isn’t quite sharp as the results from the rear camera.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus software Camera UI
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung’s camera application is chock full of features, tools, and settings to help you get the most from the S22 Plus. In addition to some quick settings that are easy to toggle along the left edge of the viewfinder, you have a full range of shooting modes, such as portrait, photo, video, pro, pro video, Single Take, night, food, panorama, super slow motion, slow motion, hyper-lapse, and portrait video. Some of the deeper settings can be a bit cumbersome to adjust in a hurry, but they do provide lots of flexibility when shooting. The app is far more advanced than what’s available to Google’s Pixel phones but is on par with what’s available from competitors such as OnePlus and Xiaomi.

The Galaxy S22 Plus' camera setup can easily keep up with the best in the business.

Speaking of competitors, where does the S22 Plus stand with respect to the iPhone, Pixel, and others? Well, first we have to say that the results from the S22 Plus are very, very close to those of the S22 Ultra, which is vying for a spot at the top of the camera phone ladder.

Read next: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S22 Plus camera shootout

Samsung, Apple, and Google each take their own approach to camera performance, with the latter two trending away from Samsung’s boosted colors. While personal preference will play a key factor, on the whole, the Galaxy S22 Plus generates excellent results that easily keep up with the best in the business.

You can check out the full-resolution camera samples in this Google Drive folder.


Software: One-upping Google

  • Android 12
  • One UI 4.1
  • Four years of OS updates, five years of security updates

The Galaxy S22 Plus ships with Android 12 and Samsung’s own One UI 4.1 skin. The handset, along with select other Galaxy phones, will get four years of OS updates and five years of security updates. That surpasses Google’s planned three years of OS updates and four years of security updates for its Pixel 6 series. Galaxy S22 Plus buyers can be more than confident that their device will be kept up to date for years to come. The Android 13 update has not yet been released for the handset, but we expect Samsung to roll it out soon. Be sure to bookmark our Galaxy S22 series update tracker for all the latest new software features.

One UI 4.1 behaves just fine on the S22 Plus. As we noted in our performance analysis, the phone runs its overall system software and apps flawlessly. That said, One UI 4.1 can become a maze when you’re trying to find and adjust specific settings. Further, Samsung pre-installed a fair number of apps that some buyers may not find useful. For example, the company’s ongoing partnership with Microsoft means you get a handful of Microsoft apps on board. There are also far too many of Samsung’s own-branded apps, such as Samsung Calendar and Samsung Contacts, rather than the Google-made versions. Many of these apps can be deleted, though not all of them can. I also didn’t encounter any ads during the testing period.

Also read: Everything you need to know about One UI

The S22 Plus carries over most of the advanced features of the S22 Ultra, minus the S Pen functionality of course. That means you’ve got split-screen multitasking, Samsung DeX for desktop-like computing, and Link to Windows for casting your phone screen to a Windows 10 or 11 PC. The phone also includes Samsung oldies such as Edge Panels for quickly accessing select apps, App Pairs, and settings from a small tab on the edge of the display.

The Galaxy S22 Plus offers a smooth, well-supported, feature-packed Android experience.

Samsung gave the Galaxy S22 Plus a powerful selection of software, features, and controls. While it doesn’t include the S Pen functionality of the S22 Ultra, the S22 Plus is still one of the most capable Android smartphones in the market and shouldn’t be ignored even by power users.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus specs

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

Value and competition

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
First rate hardware • Top software support • Long battery life
A premium device at an affordable price
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is one of the most powerful Android phones from Samsung, outperforming its siblings in several aspects. It offers the best software support and a powerful camera, set at an affordable price. The Galaxy S22 Plus hits the balance between performance and value providing users top specifications, a large but not oversized display and the latest features at a lower price than other devices from the Samsung S22 series.

Competing in the market for $1,000 flagship phones is a bit tougher than the market for ultra-premium $1,200+ phones. With more options from which to choose, today’s flagships really have to impress in order to shoulder past their peers in the crowded field. In this segment, the Galaxy S22 Plus should be an easy winner.

With a launch price of $999, it’s right where it needs to be in terms of features and performance. The phone has one of the best spec sheets in the market — and those specs deliver where it counts. The Dynamic AMOLED screen impresses, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor pushes GPU performance on Android to new heights, and the battery outlasts its bigger brother. The S22 Plus boasts nearly all the software features of the Ultra model but loses some bulk by skipping out on the S Pen. Keep in mind that you can save hundreds of dollars by trading in an older Samsung or Apple device if you do so online.

See also: The best Samsung Galaxy deals

Still weighing up what new phone to get? There is no shortage of other options. Keeping things in the Samsung family, the Galaxy S22 Ultra ($1,199) is the obvious upgrade. The larger Samsung offers more pixels on the display, a 108MP main camera, an extra 10x optical telephoto camera, more RAM/storage options, and of course the S Pen stylus. The trade-offs are the higher price, lack of single-hand usability, and battery life. Want something smaller than the Plus? The vanilla Galaxy S22 ($799) is cheaper, easier to manage, and includes nearly all the same specs as the Plus, such as processor, cameras, and RAM/storage, though it loses about 800mAh of battery capacity, drops to 25W charging, and loses ultra-wideband compatibility.

Samsung Galaxy S22 family in blue on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Keeping it within the Samsung family, but beyond the S22 trio, you could consider the Galaxy S21 FE ($699), which stands as the entry point to the 2022 Galaxy S series. This phone offers the basic Galaxy S experience, though it swaps out Gorilla Glass for polycarbonate and is powered by 2021’s flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 888. It packs the same Android 12 and One UI 4 software combination but can’t compare when it comes to the camera. While the Galaxy S21 FE is certainly affordable, premium phone seekers will be better off sticking to the Galaxy S22 Plus, or at the very least the regular Galaxy S22.

The last Samsung that might be a good stand-in for those looking for something more innovative is the foldable Galaxy Z Flip 4 ($999). It’s about the same size as the S22 Plus when opened and still carries that premium aura thanks to its flexible screen, customizable colors, and easily pocketable form factor. The Z Flip 4 doesn’t have the greatest battery life, however, and there’s no telephoto camera on board.

Read next: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Pixel 6 Pro

Looking beyond Samsung, Google is arguably the closest competitor in the Android space. Of the two Google Pixel 6 devices, the larger Pixel 6 Pro ($899) is the more appropriate competitor to the Galaxy S22 Plus thanks to the similar screen sizes, camera arrangements, and other core features. Notably, the S22 Plus has a more powerful processor than the Pixel 6 Pro, as well as better battery life, though the Pixel 6 Pro keeps things on the level thanks to its incredibly accurate camera and a little extra RAM to keep things ticking along.

Then there’s the OnePlus 10 Pro ($899). The handset sports a larger 5,000mAh battery with faster 80W charging (65W in the US). It also features a slightly larger display with a higher QHD+ resolution and can be had with more RAM and storage. However, it lags behind the Galaxy S22 Plus in the camera department, doesn’t have an IP rating (except the T-Mobile version), and generally lacks attention to detail. It’s not a bad option for OnePlus fans, but we think the S22 Plus is the better buy.

From Samsung’s perspective, however, the only real competition is Apple. The company’s top smartphone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max ($1,099), is the most comparative device to the S22 Plus thanks to its top-shelf performance, excellent camera configuration, and industry-leading battery life. Moreover, Apple offers one of the most competitive OS and security update programs available to any phone and has more accessory partners and developers creating for it. The smaller iPhone 14 Pro ($999) is the same price as the S22 Plus, but its screen and overall footprint are closer in size to the vanilla Galaxy S22.

Check out: The best Samsung Galaxy S22 series alternatives


Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review: The verdict

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus rear panel on pink
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is no less a premium flagship than the S22 Ultra. Sure, it loses a few features here and there, but what matters is that it offers buyers the same core experience for $200 less. The phone is every bit as well designed and well made as its stablemates, and, more importantly, it surpasses many of its competitors in a number of ways.

The screen outshines most rivals, the battery outlasts much of the competition, and the processor outguns practically everything at the moment. Add to that a compelling camera package and one of the best software update commitments in the market, and Samsung has a winner on its hands.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is one of the best phones in the market right now.

That’s not to say everything is perfect. Samsung cheaped out a bit on the memory and storage options, particularly when you consider there’s no expandable storage. The speakers could be better, too.

In the long run, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is one of the best phones in the market. It may not boast the extravagance of the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its quirky S Pen, but it’s not trying to. The Galaxy S22 Plus stands firmly on its own ground with its own strengths and its own identity, making it the top Android phone to beat for those who don’t need a stylus.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus top questions and answers

Yes, the S22 Plus is IP68 rated, meaning it will survive in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.

No, the Galaxy S22 Plus does not come with a charger in the box. Check out our guide for the best options.

No, the Galaxy S22 Plus does not expandable storage, which means you have to think carefully about which variant to get. You can choose between 128GB and 256GB models.

The S22 Ultra has a larger screen with a higher resolution, a slightly better camera system, and a larger battery. It can also be had with more RAM and storage — see our detailed comparison here.

The main differences are that the S22 Plus has a larger display, a bigger battery, and supports faster charging (45W vs 25W).

There are seven colors to choose from: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold, Cream Graphite, Sky Blue, and Violet. However, the last three are online exclusives on Samsung’s official store.

No. Unlike the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the S22 Plus has a flat display.

Yes, the Galaxy S22 Plus supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G technology.

Yes, the Galaxy S22 Plus is among the best — if not the best — phones in its class.