[Review] The Golden Middle Child: The Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G
Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G
+ Premium design
- Phone heats up a lot
+ Bright and beautiful display
- Lack microSD card slot for storage expansion
+ Powerful performance
+ Solid battery life
The Galaxy S22+ 5G is among one of the Galaxy S22 series that Samsung has recently launched. The middle child of the series doesn't support the S Pen like the S22 Ultra and neither is it compact like the S22 but being the middle one, it actually strikes a balance between performance, portability, and value among the three.
If you're familiar with the Galaxy S21+, you'll see the obvious similar designs between it and the S22+. The rear camera module and the back cover of the S21+ are different in colors but they are the same on this one. More familiarly, it has the same concept as the S21 FE that we reviewed not long ago.
The S22+ gives off a premium feel with a metal matte back that's comfortable to touch and not too slippery. Compared to the different contours between the camera unit and the back on its predecessor, I'm actually more of a fan of the design on the S22+. The unit that I received comes in the beautiful Pink Gold and it's delicate to see the back of the phone showcasing the same color. For more color options, it also offers another interesting Green variant as well as the more common Phantom White and Phantom Black.
While the matte back is fingerprint resistant, the shiny aluminum edges are quite the magnets. The volume rocker and the power button sit on the right, blending into the edge. At the bottom, there's a SIM card slot, a USB-C charging port, and a bottom-firing speaker. Samsung has once again denied fans of a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot.
The overall design of the S22+ is premium and delicate. If I were to pick a flaw, it would be that the phone is unable to lay flat on a desk due to the camera bump. Otherwise, it's comfortable to hold in hands.
The S22+ has a 6.6" Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which is 0.1" smaller than the S21+'s 6.7" screen. Even though it's smaller, the display has been improved with a super smooth adaptive 120Hz refresh rate that ranges from 10Hz - 120Hz. However, Samsung recently revealed that the display's refresh rate ranges from 48Hz - 120Hz and "data transfer rate" drops as low as 10Hz.
You can also lock it at 60Hz if you want to preserve the battery consumption. The display expectedly exhibits vibrant and accurate colors when playing HDR content. Gaming is also more accurate with its 240Hz touch sampling rate.
A major improvement that is available on the S22+ is Vision Booster, which boosts the brightness of the display up to 1750 nits for content to remain visible under direct sunlight. The phone has an FHD+ resolution, which raises eyebrows as there are other devices within this price range offering a QHD resolution. Surprisingly, only the S22 Ultra has a QHD display.
The S22+ houses a triple rear camera module, which consists of a 50MP main camera that takes 12MP photos using a four-pixel binning method; a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. On the front is a 10MP selfie camera.
1x, 3x, 10x, 30x zoom
The phone is capable of taking photos with good color accuracy and decent details within the 3x optical zoom. Beyond that, photos are applied with heavy sharpness.
I was able to snap some crispy images of moving cars but sometimes, they look blurry too.
Normal vs Night mode
Normal vs Night mode
Personally, I'm quite impressed with the new Nightography feature that Samsung claims to improve the camera's low-light performance. The main camera did quite an amazing job without the Night mode, producing pictures with a great amount of brightness in the dark.
As for the front-facing camera, it can shoot beautiful selfies with nice focus and excellent background blur. Colors and sharpness are also on point. One thing I'm happy to see from the selfie camera is the not-heavy AI filter applied on the selfies.
The S22+ can capture up to 4K videos at 60fps across all of its cameras, including the ultrawide camera. The main camera can even go up to 8K at 24fps. The results are solid and sharp with the colors true to life.
The Galaxy S22+ is powered by the latest top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Apps launching and animations transitioning are chef's kiss, and while games can run without a hitch, the phone tends to heat up quickly and it gets really hot.
In terms of battery life, it lasted me for a full day of use of web browsing and social media, which is enough if you're an office person like me, who spends most of your time hooked in front of your PC screen. On Genshin with medium settings at 30fps, I managed to squeeze a 4-hour battery life out of the phone before it dropped to 10%, believe it or not. It's actually very impressive despite the smaller 4500mAh battery.
It also comes with a 45W wired charging support, which Samsung claims can get from 0% - 50% in 20 minutes. Since the charging unit isn't included, we'll just take Samsung's words for it.
Buy or no buy
Overall, the Galaxy S22+ is well-rounded with good performance, surprisingly long-lasting battery life, and a much better beautiful display. Especially the display's brightness, you'll love how the outdoor screen brightness makes life so comfortable when you're outside. Imagine when you're walking outdoors and checking on your map but you can't see what's on-screen.
Performance is also top-notch with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor but I'm a little disappointed by the cooling system as it heats up a lot when gaming. Then again, its cameras received upgrades and it has an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. If you're using an S20 or anything before that, this would be an excellent upgrade.