Samsung Galaxy S22+ review

Hitting the sweet spot

from ₹ 84,999

The middle child is often the one getting overlooked, as people shower the young’un with love and treat the oldest sibling with respect. But this analogy doesn’t hold true for Samsung’s flagship S-series. 
While it’s not at the level of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Samsung Galaxy S22+ does enough to catch your attention. It’s got the premium design, flagship-grade specs, and an interesting price tag. But, can it come out of the shadow cast by the towering S22 Ultra and leave its mark? Well, read on.

Design: Coming of age

If you feel as if you’ve seen this design before, that’s because you have – on the S21 series. But that doesn’t mean Samsung's designers have been on a break for a year. The company has essentially opted to evolve an existing design language, instead of reinventing the wheel. And evolve it has. 
For starters, the chassis has been upgraded with an Armour Aluminium frame, and Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus Plus front and back. The overall shape too is a bit boxier, and the side edges flat-ish. While the size and shape make it easy to hold, the phone itself is as slippery as a conman on the run. We would suggest buying a case to improve the grip, and also for added protection. 
A design element that hasn’t changed a lot is the camera module. Just like on the S21, the contour cut shape module houses the cameras, only this time the colour is a bit different. The phone is also IP68 certified, making it perfect for that pool party you’ve been planning on the upcoming Holi weekend. 
The overall design may just be incremental but Samsung has cut no corners because the Galaxy S22+ is every bit of a premium Android smartphone. To look, feel and hold. The size also makes it friendlier than the ginormous Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Display: Treat for the eyes

On paper, the display specs of the Galaxy S22+ may come across as a bit reserved, but it is a whole different story IRL. Let’s start with the size, and at 6.6 inches, it is quite comfortable to use one-handed. Take that S22 Ultra!
The display is sharp and colours pop on the screen but without feeling oversaturated. The colour profile is nice and sober right out of the box, but those missing Samsung of old, can head over to settings and tweak the display to their liking. 
With a 120Hz variable refresh rate, everything looks as if gliding on ice with the grace of an Olympic figure skater. Thanks to the Dynamic AMOLED 2x and Vision Boost feature, the display can reach brightness levels up to 1,750nits allowing you to see the phone’s content (text, images or videos) clearly even if you’re on the surface of the sun.

Performance: Smooth as silk

Under the hood is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Yes, you read that right! This year, Indian buyers are getting the Snapdragon variant, and performance levels are expectedly fantabulous. 
At no point during our testing, did the phone struggle to handle anything we threw at it. Despite not being a ‘gaming phone’, games like Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty work like a charm, and the latter is aided by a 240Hz touch response. Even when streaming high-def movies like No Time to Die on Prime Video, the phone didn’t struggle. 
If we were to nitpick though, we did notice the phone getting hot after a while. Whether shooting photos outdoors or playing games indoors, the back panel heats up quite quickly. Fortunately, the temperature didn’t reach uncomfortable levels, and performance levels weren’t hampered either.

A lot of that performance also comes down to the clean UI, and the S22+ runs Android 12-based One UI 4.1. It is clean, fast, and without pesky ads. There are a bunch of pre-installed Samsung apps though, and most of them need updating right out of the box. 
Besides running on the latest Android, the cherry on top of the cake is Samsung’s promise of four years of OS updates, and five years of security updates. In fact, we got the March security update within days of getting our hands on the phone.

The 4,500mAh battery powering the S22+ is also suitably impressive, consistently lasting more than a day. Despite putting it through the wringer during testing, the phone’s battery was able to last almost through the day. On a more judicious use, we were able to push the battery to the next day. 
When you do need to juice it up, it supports up to 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. As is the case with most flagship phones these days, there’s no charger in the box. With a suitable charger, you can fully charge it in about an hour, and about an hour and a half on a wireless pad. It may not be the fastest around, but these speeds should get the job done for most people. 

Cameras: Shine in daylight

In the camera department, Samsung has gone for a combination that’s the opposite of what was found on the S21+. Instead of a bigger telephoto lens, this time, there’s a 50MP primary lens, and a 10MP zoom lens. With that out of the way, let’s see how the cameras perform.

In ideal lighting conditions, the Galaxy S22+ cameras are right up there with the best. Photos shot have good exposure, high levels of detailing, wide dynamic range, and natural colours with a tinge of pop. Samsung certainly has come a long way from the days of photos that looked painted by Andy Warhol.

The 10MP zoom lens has an optical range of 3x, and the zoomed-in photos were able to maintain the exposure levels and colours of the primary camera. Even after zooming in on the photos, you notice the details.

The cameras also do a fair job once the sun has gone down. They retain a decent amount of exposure, colours and details. Using Night mode helps in brightening up the photos, but at times these photos look unnaturally bright, and one notices a fair bit of noise and oversharpening.

As far as selfies are concerned, the 10MP snapper housed in the display cutout does a fantastic job. It captures a good amount of details, and the skin tone mapping is quite accurate as well. At night, the selfies and self-portraits tend to be a bit softer, but still usable on social media.

Verdict: Should you buy it?

There’s not a lot to complain about the Samsung Galaxy S22+. From its size to performance, and even the price tag, everything comes together in a well-made package.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra may garner the most attention, but its size and price put it beyond everyone’s reach. For everyone else, there’s the Galaxy S22+. Samsung has laid down the marker, and it will be interesting to see how soon its rivals can beat it.

Stuff Says

The Android phone to beat despite lacking the wow factor of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Premium and mature design

  1. Brilliant display

  1. Top-notch performance

  1. Latest software with clean UI

  1. A bit slippery to hold

  1. Runs hot after a while

  1. Fair amount of pre-installed Samsung apps