Samsung Galaxy S22 review | The fast, premium, light new phone

by W. Andrew Powell
Samsung Galaxy S22

The Samsung Galaxy S22 won me over very quickly. The phone’s aluminum frame, glass body, and the whole design looks fantastic, and beyond the details, it’s fast and feature-packed.

After more than 2 weeks using the phone, I’m a big fan of the whole package, especially for anyone looking for a fast, smaller phone, at the right price.

Is the Galaxy S22 right for you?

If you appreciate smaller devices, the Galaxy S22 is a great choice. The Galaxy S22 balances the bright and clear 6.1″ display with speed, power, and features like an excellent trio of rear cameras. My main recommendation is to get the 256 GB model, since there’s no way to expand memory on the phone, and photos, videos, and apps can take up a lot of space over a few years of use.

For most users, the phone will last around 12+ hours with medium to light usage, like browsing the web, email, taking photos, streaming some video, gaming, and using apps. Watch my hands-on review below or on YouTube.

If you’re a heavy user, and spend a lot of time streaming videos, gaming, and watching content on your phone, or for those looking for a larger screen, you should consider the Galaxy S22+ or even Galaxy S22 Ultra since they have a larger battery and display.

Design and Display

Samsung Galaxy S22

I love the design of the Galaxy S22. The phone’s premium materials offer a unique look that’s also stronger than most Android alternatives, thanks to an aluminum frame, and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ glass on the front and back to protect against scratches and cracks.

The 6.1″ adaptive AMOLED display offers up to 120 Hz refresh rate, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and the back has a wonderful pearly finish that hides fingerprints and smudges really well.

Jumping between games, video, and apps, the phone handles the display rate well, and it always felt responsive and quick, even with multiple apps running at the same time. I also love the brightness, clarity, and vivid colour.

The camera bump does stick out slightly, which is fairly common these days, but a good case will protect it. I like the new rounded edges and overall metal finish protecting the lenses, since that’s an easy spot to get damaged otherwise.

As far as colours go, I don’t normally like white but Phantom White looks incredible. The Samsung.ca exclusive Graphite would otherwise be my first choice since it looks so sharp and unique.

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S22

The cameras on the Galaxy S22 are a notch above what we saw from the Galaxy S21. The trio of cameras on the back of the S22 include a 12 MP Ultra-Wide, 50 MP wide, and a 10 MP telephoto, and then there’s a 10 MP selfie camera on the front. Photo mode also offers a fantastic 50 MP 4:3 mode.

Three of the biggest improvements otherwise are in portrait mode, night mode, and overall with video stabilization.

For portraits, the phone’s improved cameras, AI, and more powerful 4nm processor deliver more eye-popping results that look like they came out of a professional camera. Editing features also allow you to change the lighting and blur for the perfect results.

For Samsung’s Nightography mode, the improved night mode uses a big pixel sensor for impressive results that are both clearer and brighter than anything Samsung has delivered before. It even works for night portraits, and video.

Looking at stabilization, I tested out video in multiple modes, including portrait video, pro video, and director’s view, and the results were very satisfying. Whether you’re filming action, or just walking and talking, the video is incredibly stable, even when you have heavy steps like me.

Pro video mode on the S22 also goes up to 8K video, and in director’s view you can now save video as two files, if you prefer.

I hope that at some point Samsung will offer director’s view, or one of the other unique video modes, with 4K resolution, but so far video still only captures at HD quality in those modes.

Pricing and Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is available now starting at $1,099.99 for the 128 GB, and $1,169.99 for 256 GB. Available colours include Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Pink Gold, and in exclusive colours through Samsung.ca: Graphite, Cream, Sky Blue and Violet.

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