The Galaxy S22 series was launched in early February and my initial reaction to it was mostly positive. I like how the Ultra version looks similar to a Note series with the S-Pen in tow. And the camera setup is something new to look at especially by Samsung.
While the Ultra version adopts a new look, the non-Ultra versions such as the S22 and S22+ evolved from the previous S21 generations with minor tweaks on the “feel” rather than the design. What I meant by “feel” is that it feels flatter and squarer than the predecessors.
Entering 2022, most tech companies are moving towards a sharper, squarer design for their mobile phones and Samsung is no exception. But while it is squarer, Samsung is able to maintain a slight curvy edge to give a comfortable grip for its users on the S22 series. And after 4 weeks of using and playing around with the brand new Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, I have much to say about this phone.
Here’s for those who want a complete quick rundown of the entire review. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is the middle child of the S22 Series but it is just as powerful as the Ultra version with an awesome camera and great performance for gaming and entertainment. It feels more solid and flatter but still has some curves to it to give a good grip. An awesome all-rounder premium device indeed.
For those who want to read the whole entire review, please continue.
First Look And Design
I almost hit copy and paste from my previous S21 Plus review for the design of the Galaxy S22 Plus but there are some minor changes on the design and feel to it. So I’ll continue.
As I said earlier, the Galaxy S22 Plus still retains the curved feel along the sides to maintain a good grip when handling the phone in one hand. But this time, the front display and the back panel has a flatter feel that the edges have a slightly sharper feel to it. I am a fan of this. I like squared design on a phone just like on some of the latest phones on the market right now. To me, it looks elegant and premium. And the Galaxy S22 Plus has that.
The display comes in slightly smaller than last year’s S21 Plus at 6.6” as compared to 6.7” on the latter. But improvements have been made on the Dynamic AMOLED display that now max out its brightness at 1750 nits as compared to 1300 nits previously. That is a huge difference. So viewing the display when the sun is right on top of your head is as clear as the day itself.
The front selfie camera sits at the same spot near the top center of the display and there is also the ultrasonic under display fingerprint sensor near the bottom. Samsung has been making phones with great AMOLED displays and there is not much to say about it. And the Galaxy S22 Plus has their signature 120Hz dynamic refresh rate that can go as low as 1Hz when idle. The display is now protected by an improved Gorilla Glass Victus+ which is said to be more resistant to scratches.
There’s a familiar look around the back. The camera module sits in the same contour cut bump that seamlessly blends into the frame which Samsung called “Armour Aluminium”. It is basically an upgraded aluminium-based alloy that was first introduced in the S21 series last year. And this time around, they have upgraded it to make it stronger and more durable.
All the functional buttons are basically located at the same place with the volume rocker and power button on the right side while there’s nothing on the left. On top, there’s one of two microphone holes and around the bottom, there’s the USB-C port, the second microphone and the bottom firing speaker. The Galaxy S22 Plus comes with a stereo speaker so watching movies or playing games on it is very satisfying and the sound quality is quite good.
As for what’s in the box, there is nothing else other than the phone and the USB-C charging, data cable and some documentation including the warranty. Samsung has opted out on providing the charging brick for their flagship devices to save the environment. But you can always get a compatible charging brick elsewhere.
User Experience and Daily Use
Samsung has announced recently that they will provide long term support and updates for some of the latest flagships and mid rangers. This is probably the best news we’ve had this year as we can look forward up to 4 years of Android OS updates. And I’m pretty much excited about this. No other phone makers have made any similar promise with this, so we will see more users shift into Samsung’s ecosystem in years to come.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is powered by the latest Android 12 with OneUI 4.1, which I think is the most good looking version of OneUI to date. It adopts Android 12’s customizations for some widgets and accent colours. Now, you will have full control on what colours you want to use for the icons and accents.
As for the brain of the device, the Galaxy S22 Plus is backed by the latest (and current greatest) Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. The unit that I’m using is the 128GB storage version but I can still install more apps and take tons of photos or videos before it is completely filled up.
With all that power, it needs an equally powerful battery to, well, power it up. The Galaxy S22 Plus comes with a 4500mAh Li-Ion battery with 45W fast charging and also supports Qi/PMA wireless charging at 15W. It can also do a reverse charging to charge up another supported device at 4.5W. Good to have when you’re always on-the-go.
The battery can last me almost 2 days on a single charge but it depletes quicker when I’m watching some movies or playing heavy graphic games like PUBG Mobile. And still, I don’t have to plug it in the charger by the end of the day. I usually do this the next day. I simply don’t like to charge my phone overnight while I’m sleeping.
Multitasking on the Galaxy S22 Plus is super smooth. I can do so many things at once like video editing, photo taking, read some emails, chat on a messenger and watch some YouTube videos without removing any apps from the multitask panel. I can have as much as 10 apps opened at once without it being sluggish.
And when I play games, I can opt to turn on the performance mode so that I can push its limit to the max. This option can be found in the battery settings under processing speed. There are three options to choose from; Optimised, High and Maximum. However, leaving this option as Optimised is good enough for a really smooth gaming experience.
This is where the true power of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 can be tested. The Galaxy S22 Plus scored a total of 843636 points on the Antutu 3D benchmark which is currently the highest I’ve ever got personally. With that score, gaming will be super smooth.
And it is.
Launching PUBG Mobile takes a tad faster than usual. And I set the graphic settings to maximum FPS with HDR quality. And thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate turned on, the smoothness is real. I didn’t notice any lags and such. Gameplay is very smooth and exciting. So far, I’ve never seen any other phone that renders graphics as good as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Yes, I know there are many others out there that can perform just as good or better, but the satisfaction that I got with the Galaxy S22 Plus is pleasurable. And because of that, I can’t stop playing.
It doesn’t come with a 3.5mm audio jack, so I use either a USB-C earphone or a wireless earphone for the audio. With the Galaxy S22 Plus, I connect my Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro for in-ear audio. And the latency between these two Galaxy devices is kept low so that I can get the best gaming audio experience.
Camera and Photography
Phone cameras have always been Samsung’s main focus over the years. Much improvements have been made since the S20 series era especially with the launch of 100x Space Zoom back then. And they have not stopped from making that improvement for the S22 series. The S22 Ultra version is very much the best at that but the Galaxy S22 Plus is not being left behind.
This time around, the main wide angle camera has been bumped up to 50MP as opposed to 12MP last year. But the telephoto camera is down to 10MP from 64MP on the S21 Plus. I guess Samsung was focusing on the telephoto camera last year but this year, they decided to give it all to the main wide angle camera.
What do I think of this? Good choice, in my opinion. I use the main camera almost all the time and I prefer it to have the best sensor possible. So having 50MP on the main camera will be more versatile in the long run.
The third camera which is the ultra-wide angle still has the same sensor as the predecessor and still works great. Most of the post-processing is done in the camera app so most of the improvements are done in the software itself.
Another improvement is the night photography. This time, Samsung is promoting more on the nightography capabilities on all the S22 series. That simply means night photography, if you didn’t already know. And yes, I’ve tested it and it’s way better than before.
In almost complete darkness, I can still capture sharp and bright photos with minimal to no “noise”. What it does is that it captures multiple photos at once at different exposure levels and mashes it up into one optimised HDR type photo that looks like it was taken in a bright area.
There are many other camera modes that you can play around with such as Pro and Pro video, Single Take (one of my favourites), Night, Food, Panorama, Slow-mo and Super Slo-mo up to 960fps, Hyperlapse, Portrait Video and Director’s View.
So many functions to play with, ample time to test it all out. I will be doing a full review solely on the Galaxy S22 Plus camera and photography in the next few weeks so be sure to check that one out too.
Meanwhile, have a look at some of the photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus in the gallery below.
All I can say about the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is, it works really well no matter what kind of task you’re doing. It is a capable phone for everyday use and more. If you like smartphone photography, you will be amazed at what the S22 series can do. Photos are bright and punchy with high standard in quality. I simply love it.
As for multitasking and productivity, there’s nothing that the Galaxy S22 Plus can’t do. If you’re at a workstation with a monitor on standby, you can always connect the Galaxy S22 Plus to the monitor wirelessly or with a HDMI adapter to use Samsung DeX. It will turn the phone into a full blown desktop machine for easy multitasking and productivity tasks, just like a normal desktop computer. I use this often, by the way.
And when the time comes for some entertainment, it does not disappoint as well. Be it gaming, movie time, music or video editing, everything can be done seamlessly and quickly, thanks to the superb performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
Will it be worth every penny? Yes, if you’re looking to get a really capable device for long term use. The biggest advantage for some of the latest Samsung smartphones is the promise of long term extended software updates for years to come. Right now you’ll have the best of Android 12, later this year you’ll get the Android 13 update and Android 14 after that. That is really cool.
So if you’re thinking of getting one for yourself, you can now head over to Samsung’s official site to make your purchase. The price for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus starts at RM4,099.00.