Samsung Galaxy S22 Review – Is Smaller Better?

I have always been a fan of mini devices especially on smartphones. The previously reviewed Galaxy S21 base version is small, but not that small. But this time around, Samsung made the new Samsung Galaxy S22 smaller than the one before. So how good does the mini version flagship perform? 

I’d say, better. 

I had the privilege to review the new Samsung Galaxy S22 base version, which means it’s not the Plus or the Ultra version. Just the basic one with all similar features of its bigger counterparts. Of course, the Ultra version has the most upscale specs especially for the camera but basically still uses the same chipset. 

Let me tell you why I love the Galaxy S22 and why it can be a better option if you want to upgrade. 

First Look At The Galaxy S22

At first glance, it looks exactly like last year’s Galaxy S21 but when I held it in my hand, I quickly felt the difference. It feels smaller, lighter yet more solid and rigid. It has a flatter back panel and front display, just like the S22+. But it feels so comfortable in one hand because of its size. This is one of the phones that I enjoy holding and not wanting to let go, seriously. 

When mentioning a similar design, the same can be said about the camera system and its metal bump that merges with the frame. This design is unique to Samsung and it’s still gorgeous to me. The three camera system sits inside the metal bump. And one look at it, you know they mean serious photography business. 

I don’t usually like peachy colours like this review unit but I kind of like it. At a certain angle, it looks like pink. The Galaxy S22 comes in 8 different colour variants and the review unit is known as Phantom Pink Gold, or something. 

On the front is the 6.1” Dynamic AMOLED HDR10+ display with 425ppi pixel density that looks super gorgeous and sharp. With a smaller screen, the pixels are packed closely together to give that super sharp and detailed clear picture. The display is protected by a Gorilla Glass Victus+, just like the one on the S22+ and Ultra version. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Review

Near the top center of the front display, is the 10MP front selfie and there is also an under display fingerprint sensor near bottom. The overall design of the Galaxy S22 is very much the same as the S22+ which to me, is clean and almost minimalist style.

On the right side of the device is the volume rocker and power button while there’s nothing much going on the left side. Same can be said with the top side. Around the bottom, there’s the SIM card tray, USB-C port and a bottom firing speaker. The Galaxy S22 comes with a stereo speaker so you can get better surround music when listening to Spotify on the device. 

Going around to the back, there’s the signature S22 series camera system that I talk about a lot. There are three cameras inside the “bump”, a 50MP normal camera, a 10MP telephoto camera and a 12MP ultrawide angle camera. 

The back panel is very flat, unlike the one on the older S21 series. And the sides or the edges feel almost squarish when having it in my hand. But there is a slight curve around the sides to give enough grip. But since the Galaxy S22 is smaller in size, you should have no problem gripping on the phone. 

That being said, I love everything about the Galaxy S22. I said this because I like the feel of a smaller phone in my hand. Any mini version phones are welcome in my books. And come to think of it, it is somewhat mini but the screen size still goes beyond 6”. How time changed. 6” screen phones from 8 years ago means you have a phablet in your hands. Remember that? 

I remember the Galaxy Mega back in the days with the same screen size as the Galaxy S22 but much bigger in size and bulkier. Back then, a 5.5” screen phone was considered as the ideal size. Now, that is just too darn small. 

Daily Use and Experience

Now, being a “mini” version of the S22 series does not stop it from getting the very same internal hardwares. Powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM, the Galaxy S22 is a compact powerhouse. You can get either the 128GB storage version or the 256GB version. I would suggest you get the maxed out storage. 

As for the software side, the Galaxy S22 is managed by Android 12 with One UI 4.1 straight out-of-the-box. One UI 4.1 to me is currently the best version of Android launcher you can get. The features you’ll get are plentiful and very user friendly. The look and feel to it are clean and simple, but yet it’s very intuitive and functional. With One UI 4.1, there are so many ways you can personalise your own home screen or play with colours. 

For my daily tasks, the Galaxy S22 handles everything like a charm. Since it is powered by the current best Snapdragon chipset, I can literally throw anything and everything at it. Multitasking is so snappy, I can check emails, chat on a messenger, browse the web, checking out social media accounts, record a video or capture some photos, everything feels smooth and does not affect the overall speed at all. 

While doing all that, I can still slip in some movie watching a little bit and go all out on the entertainment side of it. Let’s not forget that the Galaxy S22 comes with stereo speakers and is tuned by AKG. Just make sure you turn on the Dolby Atmos settings to get the best audio experience. The high and low notes are well balanced. If I place the S22 right in-front of my face and close my eyes, I feel like I’m sitting in-front of a large 7.1 surround speaker. 

Now imagine playing games on the Galaxy S22 with the same audio sound. 

Firing up my usual PUBG Mobile on the Galaxy S22 is very fast. Graphics are set to the highest level and maxed out the HDR and framerate. Gameplay is extremely smooth without any stutter. Display is gorgeous, thanks to the superb AMOLED screen and high pixel per inch density. It is simply the best thing ever to play games on one of the most powerful devices at this moment. But I do have to note that due to age factor and smaller screen size, I have to put my reading glasses on while gaming on the Galaxy S22. 

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I have to admit, although I love smaller size phones, I may have trouble looking at some text on the display or when I’m playing my favourite game on it. Moving on.

Since gaming on the Galaxy S22 is such an easy task, let’s see how it performs on the Antutu 3D benchmark. The Galaxy S22 managed to score 812763 points, which is slightly lower than the Galaxy S22+. But to be in the 800k mark means that the S22 is a very mean mini device waiting to show its full potential to its new master. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Review

With all the power hungry apps, games and hardware, it also needs a long lasting battery to power everything up. The Galaxy S22 comes with a Li-Ion 3700mAh battery with 25W fast charging capabilities and supports Qi wireless and reverse charging. The battery capacity is quite low. But it still managed to keep up its power to last me the whole day. And once it depleted to below 10%, it only took me about 40 minutes to get it back up to 100%. 

Camera and Photos

If you know anything about Samsung flagships, you will always want to find out how good it is with photography. Being the base version of the Galaxy S22 series, the camera system still packs some hard punches. So I’m saying, do not underestimate the S22’s abilities to produce some good photos. 

Needless to say, the Galaxy S22 performed just as good as its bigger brother, the S22+. No doubt, they both have the same camera setup and sensors. It has the exact same rear camera system and same selfie camera. So what is there to compare? Honestly, I have tested both the S22 and S22+ and in my own experience, they are both the same or similar in many ways. 

To recap, the camera system on the Galaxy S22 are as follows: 

Rear camera

  • 50 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.94″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video

Selfie camera

  • 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF
Samsung Galaxy S22 Review

The 50MP main shooter at the back is very versatile. Most of the photos that I managed to capture have stunning details and are well balanced. I don’t need to edit much if or when I want to post on social media. So with it, most of my hashtags will come with #noedit tag. 

Shooting 4k videos is fun. The superb video quality often made me forget that I shot the video on a phone. Even some of my TikTok videos are shot with the Galaxy S22. 

The 10MP telephoto camera works well too. Zooming in to my faraway subject is easy and fast. The photo quality is okay but if I push it too far, it doesn’t look that great but it can still retain some good quality. But my favourite is the ultra wide angle camera. I love taking landscape photos. It managed to capture well balanced details and I don’t see any warped image or rather distortions around the edges. It is a well rounded little fella. 

If you like taking selfies, you’ll be glad that I will vouch for its excellent bokeh and portrait photography. Taking portrait selfies is so much fun with the Galaxy S22. The photos turned out smooth without any fake looking cutout edges, if you know what I mean. I love how it managed to isolate the background and foreground subjects to give that stunning bokeh effect. 

So enough of the technical stuff and on to the pictures. 

Conclusion

Is being smaller a good thing? In this case, yes. Like I said many times over, I love compact phones. And the Galaxy S22 is the right size for me. It is currently my favourite device by Samsung and I would love to have one for myself. 

The Galaxy S22 is definitely a very well capable device that can accompany you to your social media stardom. Multitasking is easy and snappy. Gaming is a lot of fun on the Galaxy S22. Entertainment is equally fun with good surround audio tuned by the best in its class. 

You can use it for work or for play. It is up to you. Being smaller than usual means it is very portable. You can fit it in your jeans pocket and still be able to move around comfortably. It is a good companion for me when I go out. And I’m sure it can be yours too. With a powerful chipset like that, you can’t get a better bargain for its size. 

Should you get a Galaxy S22? Yes, if you’re looking for a smaller, compact phone. Yes if you want portability and be able to perform when you need it. Yes if you have small hands. I wouldn’t say no to this one. I very much prefer the base S22 over the plus version. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. Probably it’s simply because of the size.

You can now get one for yourself at Samsung’s official site. The Samsung Galaxy S22 retail price starts from RM3,499.00

Samsung Galaxy S22 5G

From RM3,499.00
8.8

Price

8.0/10

Battery

8.5/10

Performance

9.5/10

Camera

9.0/10

Build and Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Love the size
  • Excellent camera
  • Best performance
  • Good battery
  • IP68 rating

Cons

  • No audio jack
  • Heat up during long camera use
  • Pricey for some people

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