We are still a couple of months away from the potential release of Samsung’s Galaxy S22-series lineup, but as usual with such popular and anticipated devices, the rumor mill is running at top gear.
With the Galaxy S21-series being an evolutionary refresh of the disappointing Galaxy S20-series, we are hopeful that 2022’s Samsung flagships will shake things up a bit with bolder design, even better performance, and most importantly, much better cameras. Rumors are also putting multiple functionality improvements in Samsung’s next flagship, including that anticipated under-screen selfie camera we’ve been hearing for ages, as well as an integrated S Pen for the S22 Ultra.
Overall, things are shaping up as quite interesting for Samsung’s entry into 2022. How would it all pan out for the Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra?
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Latest Galaxy S22 rumors and leaks
Galaxy S22 Release date
Judging from previous releases, the Galaxy S22 will likely be released in January 2022, just like the Galaxy S21, which was announced and subsequently released in January 2021. However, recent rumors about possible chip shortage delays as well as accommodations of the Galaxy S21 FE in the lineup have reportedly pushed the Galaxy S22 release to February. In particular, a rather specific “second week of February”-prediction regarding the pre-orders of the flagships are floating around, hinting at a very early announcement in February. One of the main reasons for this release window is the rumored Galaxy S21 FE’s possible announcement at CES 2022.
Galaxy S22 Price
Hopefully, the Galaxy S22 wouldn’t deviate much from those general prices, and hopefully Samsung will try to keep the price as low as possible. We expect the price spread to vary between the $800 and $900 for the regular Galaxy S22, $1000-$1,100 for the Galaxy S22+, and finally, $1,200-$1,400 for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S22 launch price: $849
Samsung Galaxy S22+ launch price: $1049
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra launch price: $1299
As a refresher, the Galaxy S21 started at $799, while the Galaxy S21+ cost $999 at launch, and the range-topping Galaxy S21 Ultra priced at $1,999 in the beginning
Galaxy S22 Name
So far, the naming of the Galaxy S22 series isn’t exactly set in stone. For example, the mid-sized version of the Galaxy S22 could actually carry the Galaxy S22 Pro name. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 will likely continue carrying this name, but the range-topping model could not be called Galaxy S22 Ultra. Instead, due to the heavily rumored S Pen stylus that would make the rounds on the phone, the device could carry the Galaxy Note 22 Ultra name, quite the mouthful. Regardless of the naming, one thing is certain according to the the rumor – we are indeed getting three new devices.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to employ an improved ISOCELL HM3 sensor with familiar-sounding specs like a 108 megapixel count, 1/1.33-inch size, 0.8 nanometer pixels, and f/1.8 aperture. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will come with the same 108MP camera sensor that debuted on the Galaxy S20 Ultra and was later used on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but much better than before. In particular, Samsung leakster Ice Universe says that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be able to shoot out more detailed 108MP pictures. Still, by default, the camera will most certainly churn out 12MP pixel-binned images instead of large and super-detailed 108MP shots.
What other cameras will be at the back of the Galaxy S22 Ultra? Ice Universe says a 12MP ultrawide camera and two telephoto cameras (10X and 3X zoom), likely 10MP sensors with the same 1/3.52-inch size. The 10X periscope telephoto lens would likely come with an f/4.9 aperture, while the 3X telephoto camera is tipped to land an f/2.4 aperture. Last but not least, a seemingly unchanged 12MP ultra-wide-angle Sony shooter with 1/2.55-inch size and f/2.2 aperture will be taking care of your landscape shots.
The Galaxy S22 and S22+ might come with the new 50MP ISOCEL GN5 camera sensor. The main strength and selling point of this new 50MP sensor is its super autofocusing speed which has been achieved thanks to using many more photodiodes — nearly a million. These allow for nearly instant autofocus, as claimed by Samsung. This sensor is packing 1.0-micron pixels, which is slightly smaller than the 1.4-micron pixels on the ISOCELL GN2, launched earlier in 2021. This sensor is outfitted with Samsung’s proprietary dual-pixel technology, which applies Front Deep Trench Isolation (FDTI) to each pixel and “enables each photodiode to absorb and hold more light information, improving the photodiodes’ full-well capacity (FWC) and decreasing crosstalk within the pixel.” There are also rumors of improved 8K video capture on the Galaxy S22 series.
We should keep in mind and remember that merely half of a good photo is produced by the hardware, with software and computational photography responsible for the rest. Samsung will certainly improve those important aspects of the camera experience, though we probably wouldn’t catch wind of that until the official announcement of the devices. After all, it’s much harder to leak software algorithms.
Galaxy S22 Storage
Rumor has it the Galaxy S22 will arrive with 128GB of base storage on board, but 256GB, 512GB, and even a 1TB versions for the Galaxy S22+ and S22 Ultra are totally not out of the question. Indeed, after the iPhone 13 Pro Max scored a 1TB storage option for the ultimate iOS power-users out there, it only makes sense that the range-topping Galaxy S22 Ultra (or Note 22 Ultra, if that name sticks) would get one as well. Sadly, there are reports that the microSD card slot won’t be making a return, which limits the potential storage options to the native ones.
Galaxy S22 Design
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has recently leaked in the flesh. The first unexpected change that strikes us is the lack of a dedicated camera island where all the camera lenses reside. Indeed, the Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Ultra featured quite the prominent camera islands, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra completely does away with this important design element and substitutes it for… well, nothing really.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with camera lenses that stick out directly out of the phone’s rear panel in a P-shape. Certainly a callback to simpler times when cameras were a lot less imposing from a visual standpoint, but the lack of a camera island that we’ve grown accustomed to in recent times would certainly require some getting used to, though it certainly looks elegant.
Maybe Samsung leaked the S22 Ultra in advance so that people could get used to the new camera design?
Another important takeaway from the newly-leaked images of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the slightly curved display, which trumps the rumors that claimed Samsung will be going for an all-flat screen this time around. Judging from the leaked photos, the S22 Ultra could feature a slightly more curved display than the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but that remains to be seen once the phones become official or even more credible leaks catch our attention.
Galaxy S22 Ultra leaked images
Rumors also claim the displays of the Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra will be just a smidgen shorter and wider thanks to a 19.5:9 screen ratio in contrast with the screens adorning the Galaxy S21 generation, which utilized a 20:9 ratio. At the same time, we expect the back of the phones to facilitate a curve on both sides, which would aid the comfort when holding the phone in your palm.
Another important tidbit regards the bezels at the front. According to IceUniverse himself, Samsung has taken a page out of Apple’s design book and reportedly adorned the Galaxy S22 line with symmetrical bezels on all sides. As a refresher, most of Samsung’s bezel-less smartphones in the past few years have featured a slightly thicker bottom bezel in comparison with the top and side ones.
Finally, all three models will reportedly shed some weight. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will weigh 228 (1gr less than the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G with mmWave on deck), while the Galaxy S22 reportedly weighs in at 167 grams, down from 169 grams on the lightest Galaxy S21 model. On the other hand, the Galaxy S22+ will land at 195 grams compared to the 200 grams of the Galaxy S21+.
Insider information reportedly reveals that the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will have slightly different camera islands at the back than the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The latter is rumored to have locked in a P-shaped camera island facilitating all the camera lenses.
Some of the early rumors claim that both the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will be made of plastic. As a refresher, the Galaxy S21 was the first to ditch glass on Samsung’s contemporary flagship lineups, but it looks that the cost-cutting design changes will likely reach to the Galaxy S22+ as well next year. Alas, only the Galaxy S22 Ultra will seemingly keep that ultra premium feel normally associated with glass.
Finally, a wild rumor is putting an S Pen inside the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Provided that this is true, the phone could actually be called Galaxy Note 22 Ultra.
Galaxy S22 Display
Galaxy S22 Ultra: 6.81″ LTPO AMOLED
Galaxy S22+: 6.55″ LTPO AMOLED
Galaxy S22: 6.06″ LTPO AMOLED
In terms of display, rumors claim Samsung will slightly decrease screen sizes in contrast with 2020. We expect a Galaxy S22 with a 6.06″ display, an S22+ with a 6.55″ one, and an S22 Ultra with a LTPO 6.81″. That’s in contrast with the Galaxy S21’s 6.2″, 6.7″ S22+, and 6.9″ S21 Ultra displays. Thanks to Samsung’s latest advances, we can expect displays with variable refresh rate that intelligently switch between the available levels with power-savings in mind. Both the Galaxy S21 and the S21+ features displays that can switch between 48 and 120Hz, while the S21 Ultra can do so all the way down to 10Hz. Hopefully, all of next year’s phones will get the improved version of that technology on deck for even greater efficiency.
What’s even more intriguing is the hinted record-breaking maximum brightness of the flagship range. Reportedly, the S22 Ultra could very well breach into 1,600-nit territory, which is mind-boggling, but we should remember that most manufacturers measure peak display brightness in a small portion of the display with an uniform image, so such high brightness probably won’t be achieveable by regular users in everyday scenarios.
The big question here is whether Samsung will deliver in terms of under-display camera. There’s been talk of such cameras for a couple of years, and despite other manufacturers’ best efforts, a worthwhile replacement of your regular punch-hole device hasn’t come out yet. This could all change with the Galaxy S22, but we’ll remain cautious on that.
Galaxy S22 Hardware and specs
According to ex-Samsung employee turned whistleblower Super Roader, Samsung might be planning to equip all Galaxy S22 devices around the globe with the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 898 chipset and completely skip using its own Exynos chips in the upcoming Galaxy S22 series due to the supercodunctor shortage and Samsung’s inability to produce so many Exynos 2200 chips in time for the Galaxy S22’s release.
This could be a “first” for Samsung, which usually favors its own Exynos chipsets in most regions across the globe, but relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets in the US and a few other key markets. The Galaxy S21 series, for example, comes with the Snapdragon 888 chip in the United States, Canada, China, Japan, but utilizes the Exynos 2100 chipset elsewhere. The upcoming Snapdragon 898 announcement has been scheduled for November 30, so we are just weeks from getting the full scoop on Qualcomm’s next flagship chipset.
Interestingly, rumors suggest that Verizon might have expressed interest to sell the Exynos-powered Galaxy S22 in the US, which will be a first for the Exynos line. Apparently, both will step things up a notch and use a 4nm manufacturing process instead of a 5nm, which should theoretically deliver performance gains and battery savings.
Additionally, the Exynos 2200 will reportedly be paired with an AMD graphics unit, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 898 will be powered by the company’s Adreno GPU.
Another change might affect cooling. Rumor has it that Samsung seems to be planning to ditch the vapor cooling solution for thermal graphite pads for cooling on the Galaxy S22-series, for cost-saving reasons. Instead, the Galaxyu S22 will feature multi-layered graphite thermal pads to dissipate heat away.
Galaxy S22 Battery and charging
Galaxy S22: 3,700mAh
Galaxy S22+: 4,500mAh
Galaxy S22 Ultra: 5,000mAh
The Galaxy S22 is rumored to carry a smaller 3700mAh battery compared to the 4000mAh battery on the Galaxy S21. The Galaxy S22+ is rumored to sport a smaller 4500mAh battery compared to the 4800mAh component on the Galaxy S21+. The only one of the three models not losing any battery capacity this year is expected to be the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its 5000mAh battery matching that belonging to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.