Samsung Galaxy A22
+ Vibrant 90 Hz AMOLED display
- Lack of Full HD resolution
+ Good camera performance
- Slow charging speed
+ Good battery life
+ Expandable storage
Shortly after reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, Samsung has sent us a unit from the mid-ranged A series to play around with - the Samsung Galaxy A22.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Like its sibling from the A series, it comes in a white box with a picture of the device on it. As the image shows, the unit I've received comes in black colour. It is also available in Violet and Mint.
Inside the box, you'll see the phone itself, a box of paperwork, along with a SIM ejector, wired earphones, a 15 W fast-charging support, and its corresponding USB-A to USB-C cable.
The back of the phone is smooth and glossy so expect to see some fingerprint marks and smudges at the end of the day but you can wipe them off easily. Since Samsung doesn't offer you a free TPU case in the box, I'd recommend you to get one if you find the fingerprints-covered back an eyesore. The curved edges further facilitate a good grip besides the lightweight and comfortable size of the phone.
On the back, you'll have a camera bump housing a quad-camera setup and on the front, there's a punch-hole selfie camera. You will see both the volume rocker and power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner on the right while the SIM tray is located on the left. The top houses a microphone while the bottom has another, along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, mono speaker, and a USB-C charging port.
Overall, I like how it weighs comfortably and is not too wide for one-handed use. The clean and glossy design makes it look just elegant for its price.
The 6.4" Infinity-U Display features a Super AMOLED panel, which means you'll get to enjoy vibrant colours and contrast on this unit. It has a 720 p resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. It boasts 600 nits of brightness in its HDR mode. Interestingly, you'll be getting a 90 Hz refresh rate, which is any day better than the standard refresh rate on many phones within this price range. I would appreciate it if Samsung had given it a slimmer chin bezel as it's noticeably thick but considering its price point, it's fair enough.
Similar to the Galaxy A52, this one lets you adjust the refresh rate between 60 Hz and 90 Hz. If you're going to play some games or binge Netflix, you can choose the 90 Hz for a smoother experience. But if you're only scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, and you wish to conserve battery, 60 Hz would suffice.
It's worth mentioning that the Edge Panel allows you to open two apps at once, sharing the top and bottom halves of the screen. While it may be useful if you need to work on two apps at the same time, I wouldn't recommend you to use the feature when unnecessary as the display is not big enough so dividing the screen for two apps means you will have to spend more time scrolling.
You can also adjust the colours on the phone's screen by choosing between natural or vivid screen mode. It also lets you further tweak the white balance and RGB levels according to your preferences.
This phone features a 12 nm MediaTek Helio G80 chipset and Arm Mali-G52 graphics, along with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. Storage is expandable up to 1 TB via a MicroSD card. It runs on One UI 3.1, which is based on Android 11.
In terms of performance, it can handle daily tasks like social media, browsing websites, and watching videos well. For games, it will do well with casual games. Since it won't even stand a chance with graphically demanding games like Genshin Impact, I'll just let it pass.
The main reason I love this unit is because of its great battery life. It can last for an entire day of social media browsing, notifications, texts, calls, and even some casual games. Not only did it last for one day but it still managed to last for the morning of the second day. However, I'd still recommend you to charge it at the end of the day in case you forget your power bank the next day if you're outdoors.
The 5000 mAh battery supports 15 W fast charging which takes 51 minutes for me to top up 40%, which is quite slow for today's standards.
Samsung's mid-range phones usually perform better than other brands when it comes to the cameras, and the A22 is no exception.
The quad-camera setup consists of the following:
48 MP OIS main camera (F1.8)
8 MP ultra wide camera (F2.2)
2 MP macro camera (F2.4)
2 MP depth camera (F2.4)
The main camera did a great job in capturing high-quality shots in daylight, retaining most details and providing on-point colours optimisation. You can go from 0.5x up to 10x digital zoom with the primary sensor, although subjects beyond 4.0x start to get fuzzy.
zoom: 1x vs 2x vs 4x vs 10x
As the main camera uses Tetra Binning technology, which allows four times as much light coming in the lens, so you'll get brighter and clearer shots in low light situations. You'll get even better results when you turn on the Night mode.
normal vs night mode
For video shooting, you will get stable videos at a maximum of FHD at 30 fps, thanks to the OIS. Due to Helio G80's limitation, you can't get anything with a higher resolution than that.
As I mentioned earlier, there's only a speaker grille on the bottom so the audio is not balanced. You get a bottom-firing loudspeaker but it lacks optimum bass. Of course, gamers and binge-watchers will probably let it go as the audio is quite loud. But if you're an audiophile, you'll miss the details and depth with this phone.
There's also the Dolby Atmos feature which will automatically activate when you're playing games to experience enhanced and refined sound quality.
Buy or no buy?
In essence, the Samsung Galaxy A22 is a solid budget-friendly phone with all the basics you need, topped with the 90 Hz AMOLED display and a surprisingly good camera setup for its price. Apart from those, you'll also get expandable storage and good battery capacity for your daily use.
However, the phone does have its downsides that can be improved like its audio, the slow charging speed, and the lack of Full HD display resolution is probably its biggest downer.
Anyway, you'll have to think and make some sacrifices of features and specs when your hands are tight. At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide what you need on a budget-friendly phone - a great camera setup for the social media-reliant trend or better specs for your own better experience.