When the Samsung Galaxy S22 was announced, many were cautious as its battery capacity was smaller. The overall specs are also rather complicated and detached from the Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
For me, I want to leave all of those specs and comparisons aside and only focus on the Galaxy S22 alone. I didn’t even get to test out the Galaxy S21 from last year – so I’m going in blind.
Throughout my week with the Galaxy S22, I found out a lot of interesting points about this phone.
Let’s start off with the usual – design. It’s using the same design as the S21 and it’s still a very nice design. It has a matte finish with that iconic camera cutout too.
This Galaxy S22 is also available in a few different colors too. What I did realize though, is that the green color of the S22 is much darker than the S22 Ultra’s green.
This Galaxy S22 is tiny, but not in the ways that I expect. This phone is what I’ll describe as stubby since it is short and wide – but that is because I am using the Galaxy Z Fold3 for a long time. Either way, combined with its sharp edges, it does dig into my palm a little but that’s not really a big deal.
What is a big deal though, is the sharp camera bump – especially the points where the ends meet. Yeah… if you can this phone across a wooden table at a certain angle, it’ll definitely scratch the table.
But the cameras themselves within the Galaxy S22 were also tweaked. We still have a total of 3 different cameras here and they all still take fantastic photos. Again, it is one of those phones that I can just start snapping pictures without worrying much about the end result. Of course, the Galaxy S22 doesn’t have laser autofocus so the focusing time isn’t the fastest or the most accurate – but it works most of the time.
To have a look at all the pictures taken with the Samsung Galaxy S22, watch our video at the top of this review instead.
As a bonus, Samsung also updated the Expert RAW app to support the Galaxy S22. That means we can take some fantastic-looking pictures with this compact phone here – but we’ll leave that topic for another time. I assure you, we’ll have some content about that soon.
As for the screen, this is also something interesting. This phone is using a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with up to 120Hz refresh rate and has a resolution of 2400×1080.
Everything looks magnificent and my eyes are very happy with this. It has thin bezels all around and it comes with a flat screen so that I can buy tempered glass screen protectors for this phone.
Since my eyes couldn’t see anything wrong with it, I decided to use our colorimeter to test it out. What I found out was also interesting.
By default, the maximum manual brightness is about 460 nits. The whitepoint isn’t exactly the best but it’s good enough. Then, I headed into the settings menu and found out that even the Galaxy S22 has the option to turn on the “extra brightness” option.
And it reached beyond 750 nits too! Even the whitepoint was centered! This level of brightness is also similar to what we found out on the Galaxy S22 Ultra – click here for that review.
We also tested the color accuracy at 100 nits brightness and its absolute maximum brightness of 775 nits and the color gamut coverage results were very similar. However, the Delta E number changed quite a lot.
When it comes to the performance, this is something that I’m not going to focus on much. It’s still using the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, it performs well enough with my day-to-day task.
I’m not going to touch on gaming with the Galaxy S22 as I personally find that my hands will take up most of the screen, and the performance coming out of it is going to be very similar to the S22 Ultra as these two phones are also thermally throttled.
However, I have spent a lot of time with the S22 as my secondary phone in my pocket and I usually open a lot of apps at once – and its 8GB of RAM handled everything just fine.
And of course, the battery life is my biggest concern here. Just like what we did for the S22 Ultra, we calibrated it to 100 nits of brightness and ran the PCMark 10 battery life test and we got about 9 and a half hours.
That’s not a bad number for such a small phone, honestly. Remember – the Galaxy S22 had its battery capacity was shrunk down from the S21. To put things into perspective, it did manage to last just as long as the Galaxy Z Fold3.
I found out that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is indeed more efficient than the Snapdragon 888 in the Z Fold3. At least it didn’t heat up as much when I was browsing the web.
The charging time for the Galaxy S22 though, remains at 25W max. I plugged it into our 100W Ugreen GaN charger and got about 95 minutes – which is about an hour and a half to charge from 15% to 100% battery.
It’s definitely not fast in terms of charging but I’m okay with it since I charge my devices overnight anyway.
As for the software, it’s the same as the Galaxy S22 Ultra so I won’t touch on it that much. As a quick recap, it runs One UI 4.1 and comes with Android 12 out of the box, and this phone is also part of the new update policy too.
It is promised to have a total of 4 generations of Android OS upgrades and 5 years of security patches – which I think is fantastic.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22?
And so, for the starting price of RM3,499, I think this is still a fantastic compact phone. Remember, small phones come with the limitation of space – hence some tradeoffs need to be done. I’m definitely not happy with the shrunken battery when compared to the S21, but as an overall package, this is still a fantastic phone.
However, if are okay with a larger phone, then I suggest taking a look at the Galaxy S21 FE instead. Looking back, that phone comes at a lower price as it uses the previous generation chipset (which is the more efficient Exynos 2100 for us here in Malaysia) and it comes with a much larger battery too.