Galaxy S22 last-minute rumors: Everything we know before Samsung Unpacked – CNET

Samsung S22

The Galaxy S22, announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event.

Richard Peterson/CNET

At its Unpacked event on Wednesday, Samsung unveiled the long-rumored Galaxy S22 series (and the Galaxy Tab S8, too). Preorders for the new flagship line are available now. But before you choose between the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra, there’s some key information you should know, from the price of each model to color options and camera specs. 

Last year’s Galaxy S21 impressed us with its solid all-round performance and better balance of features and price than the S20. The Galaxy S21 Ultra blew us away with its incredible camera setup and its ability to take superb zoomed-in shots. So what about the follow-up series? Now that the Galaxy S22 made its debut, here’s everything you need about Samsung’s latest smartphones.

How many Galaxy S22 models are available? Three

Samsung offers multiple variations of the Galaxy S22, with different specs at a variety of prices. There’s the base Galaxy S22, along with an S22 Plus and an S22 Ultra model with the best specs — and the highest price to match. It’s a recipe Samsung has followed for the last few generations, and as a strategy it’s working. (Here’s how the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra variants compare.) 

For those on more modest budgets, it’s possible the company will also do a more affordable Galaxy S22 FE (FE stands for Fan Edition), although that didn’t launch with the range. The Galaxy S20 FE launched in October 2020, eight months after the flagship S20 lineup, and the Galaxy S21 FE launched earlier in January. The Fan Edition phone made a few smart features and specs sacrifices to achieve a more budget-friendly price.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review: A great $700 phone coming at an awkward time

When will the Galaxy S22 be released, and what about preorders?

Each model in the Galaxy S22 line is available for preorder today. Despite rumors of possible delay, the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra will launch and be available to purchase on Feb. 25. 

Samsung typically launches its S-series phones in March, but it bucked that trend in 2021 by launching the Galaxy S21 line in January. Although Samsung typically follows a 12-month cycle of updating its handsets, the company unwrapped it’s new Galaxy S22 series on Feb. 9. 

Read more: How to buy a new iPhone or Android phone in 2022: CNET’s top shopping tips

How much does the Galaxy S22 cost? The price depends on the model

For 128GB of storage, the Galaxy S22 ranges in price from $799 to $1,199 depending on the model. The base Galaxy S22 costs $799, the S22 Plus costs $999 and the S22 Ultra costs $1,199. The price, however, increases as storage capacity gets larger. 

Sales of the Galaxy S20 line didn’t impress, likely because of the generally high prices, coupled with widespread financial uncertainty for many people caused by the pandemic. The S21 offered handsets at slightly more affordable prices by swapping glass back panels for toughened plastic. (Here are all the differences between the Galaxy S21 and S20.) 

At launch, the base S20 came in at $1,000 in the US, while the base S21 undercut that at $800. Instead of raising prices back to S20 levels, Samsung’s has mirrored the Galaxy S21’s pricing for the Galaxy S22 series.  

Here are the Galaxy S22’s US pricing, for reference.

Samsung Galaxy S22 prices

128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB
Galaxy S22 $799 $849 N/A N/A
Galaxy S22 Plus $999 $1,049 N/A N/A
Galaxy S22 Ultra $1,199 $1,299 $1,399

What colors does the Galaxy S22 come in? 

Alongside the three new Galaxy phones, Samsung introduced a few new color options. The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes in black, white, green and burgundy, while the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus come in black, white, pink gold and green. 

The green and pink color options for the Galaxy S22 were teased during Samsung’s August 2021 Unpacked event. At one point in the presentation (about 46 minutes in), when Samsung talks about the S Pen stylus’s compatibility with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the words “SS22 colors” are written on the foldable phone. The text appeared next to a separate window showing a light green plaid pair of pants and a baby pink blazer that pointed to the words “pistachio green” and “flamingo pink,” although those aren’t the official names for the new Galaxy S22 color choices.

Read more: Best cases for your Galaxy phone in 2022

Does the Galaxy S22 ship with Android 12? 

The Galaxy S22 line runs on Android 12 — announced in June last year at Google’s I/O event and is now available to download — with Samsung’s own user interface tweaks over the top, including additions like Samsung Health, Samsung Pay and its Bixby virtual assistant software.

Read more: Android 12 hidden features you’ll want to try

What’s new with the Galaxy S22’s cameras? 

The Galaxy S22’s camera specs look similar to that of the previous generation, aside from the S22 and S22 Plus’ bump up to a 50-megapixel main camera. But the company claims to have made some important under-the-hood tweaks. Looking at the high-end model, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 108-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel ultrawide and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a similar camera set up. Both Ultra models also sport a 40-megapixel selfie camera. 

For the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, both phones have a 50-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel ultrawide and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens. 

All three phones also come with internal camera upgrades that should make the phones better at taking photos in the dark and automatically framing subjects. 

Before the Galaxy S22 line’s reveal, it was speculated that the S22 Ultra could come with a 200-megapixel main camera. This would have been the highest pixel count available for a Samsung phone. Samsung Exynos, the electronic company’s division for chipmaking, even flaunted a 200-megapixel phone camera in a March teaser tweet. However, maybe this could mean bigger camera updates are coming in the future. 

Read more: Best camera phones for 2022

How does the Galaxy S22 compare to the S21? 

Since the Galaxy S21 debuted last year, Samsung updated its Galaxy S line and delivered a collection of processor, design, charging and storage upgrades in the form of the Galaxy S22. 

When compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, support for 45-watt fast wired charging and new color options (as mentioned above). The Galaxy S22 Ultra even comes with an S-Pen and an 1TB storage option, which wasn’t available for the Galaxy S21 series. 

In terms of display size, the standard Galaxy S22 is slightly smaller than that of the S21. The S22’s display is 6.1 inches, while the S21’s is 6.2 inches. The Galaxy S22 also sports a smaller battery to match. The Galaxy S21 Plus (6.7 inches) is also slightly larger than the S22 Plus (6.6 inches). The display size of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, remained the same at 6.8 inches. 

For a more in-depth look at how the Galaxy S22 measures up against other Galaxy models, check out CNET’s comparisons of the Galaxy S22 and S21, as well as the Galaxy S22 and S21 FE

Other notable Galaxy S22 features: 45-watt charging, 5G, Wifi 6E and 1TB storage

Samsung upgraded the Galaxy S22 lineup with up to 45-watt wired charging support, meaning it offers faster charging times than last year’s Galaxy S series. The option of 45-watt wired charging has been available in other galaxy devices in the past, but skipped the Galaxy S21 series. 

According to tipster Ice Universe, 45-watt fast charging is enough to power the phone up to 70 percent in 35 minutes. But, we won’t know the accuracy of the leaker’s claims until CNET puts the Galaxy S22 to the test. 

The Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra also each come with 5G connectivity, while the S22 Plus and S22 Ultra support Wifi 6E. (The base S22 supports Wifi 6.) 

Although Samsung didn’t add expandable storage or the option to add a microSD card to the Galaxy S22 series, the S22 Ultra offers a 1TB storage option for those who need the extra space, especially for those high-resolution images and 8K videos. 

For more, check out everything announced at Samsung’s event and CNET’s Galaxy S21 FE review.

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