Samsung Galaxy S22+ full review

Samsung's new flagships are here and the one we are going to see about today is the galaxy S22 plus what's new and is it worth upgrading to over last year's model. The Galaxy S22 Plus is the flagship phone that sits in the middle of this year's s series lineup. It has a bigger and brighter screen than the vanilla model as well as a larger battery and support for faster charging. Samsung hasn't tried to reinvent the wheel here and the S22 plus doesn't catch anyone by surprise but there are some refinements and new features to check out. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+ full review

First difference is a fresh new build the phone is made not of gorilla glass victus but gorilla glass victus plus on the back and the front. We're not sure exactly what that plus means because for now, that glass is exclusive to these phones only, but it seems like it should be more durable. The back is a lot flatter here than last year and the camera bump doesn't wrap into the frame like before the frame itself is made of armor aluminum, it's glossy and has a subtle curve to it. Samsung claims that some plastic parts of the phone are made from salvage fishing nets which is commendable and of course, you also get the ip68-rated dust and water resistance that we've come to expect from these sorts of flagships. You can get 128 or 256 GB of storage on board but this isn't expandable through MicroSD either here or on any of the new S22 phones and for your biometrics, the S22 plus has an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint reader, it's quite accurate and quick. The display of the S22 plus is a flat 6.6-inch AMOLED with a 1080p resolution and a fast 120hz refresh rate. Making swiping and scrolling on screen much smoother the refresh rate is very adaptive. We saw it go down to as low as 24 hertz when not interacting with the screen in order to save power and it will change to match the fps of the content on screen too. The overall quality of this display is excellent content looks crispy and contrasty and there's HDR10 video support too but no adobe vision, colors are really accurate even without having to tweak them, though of course you can do that in settings. The S22 Plus display also brings chart topping max brightness, while there is a new extra brightness mode you can toggle in settings, this just adds a brightness boost to the manual slider. The maximum we achieved in our testing was in auto mode, we were able to measure over 1200 nits from this panel. There's also a new feature called vision booster if you have auto brightness mode turned on the phone also adjusts the tone of the picture on screen based on the ambient light in order to maximize contrast and sunlight legibility. For audio the S22 plus brings a hybrid stereo setup with the earpiece acting as the second speaker. The phone earned a score of very good on our loudness charts and the sound quality is excellent with tight mids and a better-sounding low end compared to last year's model. The interface of the new galaxy phones is Samsung's one UI 4.1 based on android 12. It feels quite familiar with proprietary Samsung apps and things like edge panels, but there are some new features here too. Compared to previous iterations you get more customization options especially for widgets and there are color palettes which are based on a new android 12 feature the phone can create a theme for your menus and even icons based on the colors of your wallpaper. There's a privacy dashboard which lets you manage all of your permissions and privacy settings in one place and Samsung says that the S22 plus will get four generations of android and one UI updates and five years of security updates.

Behind all of these features is one of two chipsets an Exynos 2200 for some markets like Europe or snapdragon 8 gen 1 for the others. This chipset brings a brand new GPU compared to last year. It was made in collaboration with AMD. Performance is excellent all around and games run great. The thermals are just okay. It's also worth mentioning that in benchmarks the gap between the S22 plus and last year's android flagships is pretty small. For some reason the S22 plus battery is smaller than last year's model. It's 4500 milliamp hours but it's not bad with the S22 plus scoring an endurance rating of 97 hours in our tests. There is a major issue with the charging though the S22 plus has support for 45-watt wired charging while both last year's model and this year's vanilla one are capped at 25 watts but for whatever reason it didn't make a difference in our tests, with the 25 watt Samsung adapter we were able to charge from zero to 62 percent in half an hour while 45-watt one got us to 64 in the same amount of time and the time to full charge is virtually identical between the two. Samsung is getting ready to launch a brand new 45-watt charger but we don't expect charging speed would be any different because it has identical power ratings and it's not listed as a requirement for the S22 series. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+ full review

Now we have the cameras which include a new 50-megapixel main camera a new 10-megapixel telephoto with three times optical zoom and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera you get the same setup on the vanilla S22. Shots from the main camera come out at 12 megapixels and they are flagship grade you get a solid level of detail and colors look great not dull but also not over the top. Dynamic range is also stellar. Like most cameras which have a quad bare filter you can shoot in the full native resolution in this case 50 megapixels. The differences from the regular auto mode shots are minimal but a new feature on the S22 series is detail enhancer available in the 50-megapixel mode this uses AI and combines multiple shots to resolve as much detail as they can and the results are impressive. The 10-megapixel telephoto cam is new this year it has a native three times optical zoom unlike the hybrid zoom of the S21 plus. It does use some up scaling because it outputs photos at 12 megapixels but even so its zoomed shots are very sharp and detailed colors look great matching the main camera and noise is minimal. Portraits can be taken with either the main camera or the telephoto. In either case both the subject separation and the quality of the background blur are excellent the subject does come out a little softer, if you're shooting with a telephoto camera though the ultra-wide camera is the same as on last year's model and its photos are reasonably detailed and sharp the colors look great and match the other two cameras well. There is a little noise and excessive sharpening if you look closely. In low light, the main camera's photos are impressive with an excellent level of detail low noise and great dynamic range. In general though night mode will kick in automatically when the phone detects a dark scene, these are noticeably improved as far as exposure and dynamic range go with better contained highlights and more detail in shadows there is some additional sharpening though which creates a more heavily processed look. Without night mode shots from the telephoto camera are still solid they have good detail and dynamic range a bright exposure and a mostly faithful color rendition, there is plenty of noise though. With net mode enabled zoom shots are sharper and have more detail in both the shadows and the highlights, there is some extra sharpening here just like on the main camera. This year there is a night portrait mode too. Subject separation is great but like during the day, the subject looks softer when shot through the telephoto camera. With night mode off the S22 plus ultrawide camera doesn't impress. Night mode has a profound effect on the quality the end results are far from perfect but much more usable. Selfies are taken with the 10-megapixel front-facing cam which is the same as on last year's model. The quality is still impressive, the shots are detailed and sharp looking with great dynamic range and the autofocus is consistent.

The S22 plus can capture video from all of his cameras in up to 4k resolution at 60fps and up to 8k at 24fps with the main one. Let's start off with 4k from the main camera, it's impressive all around with a solid level of detail and sharp textures colors are generally true to life and dynamic range is wide. 8k video isn't bad but any benefits and detail over the 4k footage are pretty minimal and of course at the same time these videos take up a lot more storage space. 4k video from the telephoto was awesome the detail level is stellar and everything has a clean look there's less sharpening applied here than on the main cameras footage and the dynamic range is wide, the colors do pop though and don't quite match those of the other cameras. The ultrawide's 4k video isn't as impressive but it's still very good especially for this sort of camera there's a great level of detail and wide dynamic range plus colors match the main camera well there's electronic stabilization available on all of the cameras and resolutions and it works quite well, there's also super steady mode it smooths things out even further but only on the main and ultra-wide cams and only in 1080p resolution.

So that's the galaxy S22 plus you get a fresh design which is supposed to be quite durable the AMOLED screen is smooth and super bright the stereo speakers sound great and you get a flagship chipset and an excellent set of cameras. If you're comparing this to last year's model though the differences are pretty small a brighter screen slightly more powerful chipset new gorilla glass and the 45-watt charging which doesn't actually charge the phone any faster, probably is the telephoto cam which is the biggest improvement with this native three time zoom but with all that said if you're not looking to upgrade from the S21 plus and just want to get the latest Samsung flagship the S22 plus is worth recommending.

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