Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely evaluation: A principally transportable powerhouse


If I needed to guess, I might put my cash on foldables being the longer term. More and more, the high-end of the market goes to shift to those units as cellular fans heat as much as the concept and costs come down. However we’re not there but—foldables nonetheless have unavoidable drawbacks that you just will not have to fret about with the Galaxy S22 Extremely. This cellphone would not fold, but it surely does nearly all the pieces else you would ask of a flagship gadget in 2022.

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A lot has been made in regards to the design and built-in S Pen of the S22 Extremely, which clearly pegs it as a Word cellphone in all however identify. The identify won’t match, however the mannequin household would not matter—what issues is “Extremely.” This cellphone earns the moniker with an excellent show, speedy efficiency, a hyper-advanced digicam array, and the perfect construct high quality this aspect of the iPhone. Oh, it is costly to make certain, however for a sure sort of smartphone purchaser, the S22 Extremely may be the one selection.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely is the perfect piece of {hardware} working Android, but it surely instructions a worth so excessive that most individuals ought to look elsewhere.

Specs

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Show: 6.8-inch 1440 x 3088 OLED @ 120Hz
  • RAM: 8,12 GB
  • Storage: 128, 256, 512, 1024 GB
  • Battery: 5,000mAh, max 45W charging, 15W wi-fi
  • Working System: Android 12 with One UI 4.1
  • Entrance digicam: 40MP f/2.2, 26mm
  • Rear cameras: 108 MP f/1.8 major, 12 MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 10 MP f/2.4 3x telephoto, 10 MP f/4.9 10x telephoto,
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e; Bluetooth 5.2; 5G mmWave and sub6
  • Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm, 229 g
  • Value: Beginning at $1,199
Professionals

  • Trade-leading show high quality
  • Built-in S Pen stylus
  • Extremely-long replace assist
  • Highly effective digicam array
  • Incredible construct high quality
Cons

  • It is a gigantic cellphone that nearly calls for two arms
  • Excessive $1,200 price ticket
  • Would not include a charger

Purchase This Product

Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field

Evaluating the S22 Extremely to the S21 Extremely instantly reveals they’re at finest tangentially associated. The digicam modules are in the identical areas, they usually have roughly comparable dimensions, however that is about it. For a direct comparability, we’ve to return to 2020’s Galaxy Note20 Extremely—that is the true ancestor of the S22 Extremely (see under). And that is superb by me. I actually appreciated the look of the final Word cellphone, and that is an evolution of it. A bit thicker and extra refined, however a Word all the identical.

S22 Extremely, Note20 Extremely, S21 Extremely

The S22 Extremely has flat caps on the high and backside, harking back to the Sony XZ sequence. In truth, the cellphone can get up by itself, which is not helpful, however I feel it is neat. These caps merge easily into the steel rails working alongside the aspect. The “Armor Aluminum” body strains up flush with the glass panels, like a steady curve linking the back and front. There’s extra steel and fewer glass than the Note20 Extremely had, which makes for a smoother transition between supplies and tighter seams. It is an attractive piece of {hardware}, proper up there with the newest iPhone Professional fashions.

Somewhat than bulk up the digicam array with the body extension of different 2021 and 2022 Galaxy S telephones, the Extremely has its sensors remoted on the matte glass again. Our evaluation unit is the “Phantom Black” colorway, which has an actual 2001 monolith vibe. The one branding on the complete cellphone is an etched Samsung brand on the again, giving the cellphone a traditional, elegant vibe. There isn’t any IMEI quantity printed on the again this 12 months, thank goodness. The pared-back body makes the cellphone really feel extra balanced—the S21 Extremely is reasonably top-heavy by comparability. The S22 Extremely is 20g heavier than the Word 20 Extremely was, placing it on the high of the dimensions for non-foldable smartphones, so each little bit helps. Aesthetically, I favor the minimalist design of the S22 Extremely to the Word’s inelegant rectangular digicam island. And bonus, the S22 Extremely can lay virtually flat due to it. That is refreshing.

Talking of refreshing, the display screen does that as much as 120 occasions per second, and the decision clocks in at 1440 x 3088. As talked about above, the display screen curves down barely to satisfy the aluminum body, however there’s nonetheless loads of flat real-estate on a panel measuring 6.8 inches. You shouldn’t purchase this massive, heavy cellphone in case you’re accustomed to one-handing your gadget, although. Individuals like massive screens, which is why smartphones are this monumental within the first place, however the high quality of the panel makes up for that. The S22 Extremely has the perfect show I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. It is sharp, easy, and the out of doors brightness is unreal. Samsung says the S22 Extremely can hit 1,750nits, sufficient to make it simply readable underneath even the harshest daylight.

It is an attractive piece of {hardware}, proper up there with the newest iPhone Professional fashions.

Underneath the show, you may discover the identical ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that was within the final Samsung flagships. Samsung says the algorithms have been improved additional, however I did not have any points with the S21. There isn’t any subject getting the S22 Extremely to unlock, both—Samsung’s in-display biometrics work swimmingly at present. It takes barely a faucet for the cellphone to acknowledge my fingerprint, and the sensor is in a really comfy location: aligned with the center of the underside house display screen row.

The buttons on the suitable edge have a contact of pre-travel earlier than the clicking, which might make them really feel spongy in comparison with some telephones. That stated, they do not wobble, and the tactility is nice. I am at all times shocked how telephones that also value $600-800 can have wobbly energy buttons, however you may’t get away with that on a cellphone that prices $1,200. There’s additionally a 5G radio window on this aspect, which is the only real ingredient that takes away from the cellphone’s slick aesthetic. The underside cap has the USB-C port, a speaker (stereo configuration with the earpiece), a microphone, and, in fact, the S Pen.

The S Pen within the Galaxy S22 Extremely picks up the place the Word left off, proper all the way down to the fidget-friendly push-push ejector. Because it occurs, the size are an identical to the Note20’s stylus. It is sufficiently small to suit contained in the cellphone, so it isn’t comfy to make use of for lengthy durations. Regardless of being arduous to hold round, the add-on S Pen from final 12 months’s S21 Extremely was extra usable. The S22 Extremely’s pen feels extra matte than previous variations, which provides extra resistance when inserting and eradicating, but it surely’s in any other case the identical S Pen expertise with Bluetooth connectivity and an accelerometer. The gestures nonetheless do not work very properly, and app assist is slim, however I do like utilizing the S Pen as a digicam distant.

Samsung consists of subsequent to nothing with the Galaxy S22 Extremely, regardless of the excessive price ticket. It is simply the cellphone and a brief 3-foot USB-C-to-C cable. As annoying as that is, it isn’t stunning. Even the $1,800 Z Fold3 would not embody a charger. In case you’re in want of 1, we’ve a listing of the perfect Galaxy S22+ & S22 Extremely chargers.

Software program, efficiency, and battery

The Galaxy S22 Extremely ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1. In case you’ve seen One UI 4, and we have lined it extensively, there’s not an excessive amount of new to see. You continue to get a middling implementation of Materials You, assist for icon packs, and numerous enhancements to the inventory apps and widgets. One good bonus, Samsung is lastly utilizing Google Messages within the US as a substitute of Samsung’s personal messaging app, but it surely’s a barely tweaked model recognized within the package deal identify a “Samsung dynamic.” There are a number of icon adjustments, and the UI shifts downward to be extra one-handable within the model of One UI.

I am completely happy that Android is emphasizing widgets once more—all it took was Apple caring about them. Along with the brand new widget designs from One UI 4, model 4.1 on the S22 Extremely provides numerous Good Widgets that ape Apple’s Good Stacks. Samsung’s model is available in a number of totally different sizes, permitting you to stack a number of widgets in a single merchandise which you could swipe by on the house display screen. Good Widgets will even robotically change to point out you probably the most related data, however that is primarily of use in case you’re deep within the Samsung ecosystem. Even in case you do not care about that, there are nonetheless use circumstances. I am utilizing a Good Stack to maintain a number of playback widgets helpful with out losing house display screen house.

Samsung has not expanded its assist for Materials You theming, but it surely has expanded the colour palette. You now get extra tones in every theme unfold across the OS. Likewise, Samsung hasn’t mounted RAM Plus, a characteristic that steals your storage to make digital reminiscence, however at the very least now you can select the quantity of storage sacrificed. You possibly can go as little as 2GB or as excessive as 8GB. These telephones have already got 8GB of RAM minimal, and I count on that will probably be loads. My evaluation unit has 12GB of RAM, and it does really feel like Samsung is making smarter use of it. General utilization RAM stays greater, and my apps keep alive within the background extra reliably.

This cellphone is not a “Word,” but it surely has all of the S Pen options you’d affiliate with the Word. You possibly can launch apps from the Air Command pop-up, use handwriting enter, extra skillfully edit screenshots, mark up paperwork, doodle with screen-off memo, and extra. It is all constructed into the S22 Extremely, and it works. Samsung used to depart uncared for options in its software program to infect the expertise, however all the pieces in One UI 4.1 feels intentional. I do not love all of Samsung’s choices, although. Regardless of being an unlocked gadget, our unit got here with apps like Fb and Workplace pre-installed, and it defaults to putting in bloatware like LinkedIn and Spotify throughout setup. Fortunately, you may take away or disable nearly all the pieces.

We won’t discuss in regards to the S22 Extremely’s software program with out addressing updates. This cellphone ships with Android 12, and Samsung is now promising 5 years of replace assist, and extra apparently, 4 years of main OS updates. So, the S22 Extremely will get Android 13, 14, 15, and 16. You possibly can add this to the listing of issues that assist to ameliorate the S22 Extremely’s excessive price ticket. That is longer replace assist than Google’s Pixel telephones, though Samsung will not be as fast to replace as Google, particularly after the S22 sequence is yesterday’s information.

The S22 Extremely runs on the identical Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 as the opposite members of the S22 household. There are many benchmarks floating round, so I do not assume something is gained by throwing extra numbers at you. Having lived with the cellphone this final week, the S22 Extremely feels uncompromisingly quick. Intense video games like Genshin Affect and Fortnite run in addition to they ever do on a cellphone, and you may split-screen apps with none detectable slowdowns. My solely issues relate to the wi-fi radios. On a number of events, I’ve seen the cell sign drop to zero earlier than returning to regular, and Bluetooth typically refuses to play properly with choose units. I am working pre-release software program on this gadget, so these foibles may very well be passed by launch day.

With all of the highly effective {hardware}, I had some worries about battery life. With out making any main settings adjustments, the S22 Extremely lasts me slightly over 24 hours with round six hours of display screen time. That features messaging, internet shopping, gentle gaming, music streaming, and movies. Within the realm of flagship telephones, that is about pretty much as good because it will get. There are positively telephones that may last more on a cost, however the majority of them are a lot much less highly effective, and due to this fact additionally cheaper. If you would like a cellphone that performs just like the S22 Extremely with its flagship chipset and 1440p show, there’s going to be successful to battery life.

Samsung boosted the utmost charging pace to 45W, one thing it experimented with on the Note10 household. Nevertheless, it is unlikely you could have a charger with the required PPS assist to hit the utmost, however Samsung sells a wired charger appropriate for these speeds. Sadly, even a $1,200 cellphone would not include a charger lately, and I’ll by no means be okay with this. Fortunately, the S22 Extremely is extra cooperative with common USB-PD than its predecessors. I have been seeing 30W with a daily high-wattage PD plug, which remains to be sooner than most telephones within the US.

Cameras

The Galaxy S22 Extremely has 5 digicam sensors; 4 on the again and one on the entrance. I do not contemplate myself an knowledgeable on selfie high quality, however I haven’t got any objection to this 40MP shooter. It has a good f/2.2 aperture, and the S22 household provides Camera2 API assist to the selfie cam. That ought to make third-party apps a bit higher. This sensor peeks by the punch gap on the high of the show—no under-display digicam on this dangerous boy, however that is superb by me. The UDC on the Z Fold3 wasn’t the perfect.

We have already posted some early impressions of the quad-camera array—test our gallery submit if you wish to see the pictures from every sensor individually. Having used the cellphone extra, I am nonetheless very proud of the digicam efficiency. The 12MP binned photographs from the 108MP sensor have wonderful element and dynamic vary. The colours are pleasant and punchy with out being too over-the-top. That is to not say that they are at all times correct. Samsung likes to push extra saturated tones, however that does make them nice to share on social media. In case you spy any gorgeous vistas, the ultrawide digicam might come in useful. It has little or no edge distortion, so you would use it inside, too. Though, it is arduous to think about a state of affairs by which you’d need to use it over the extra versatile 108MP major.

Like different Samsung telephones, the S22 Extremely leans towards longer exposures, which might make movement arduous to seize. Nevertheless, in average gentle, the S22 Extremely manages to maintain the first sensor shutter above 1/100, and the ISO not often peeks above 1000 except you are capturing in evening mode. In contrast to most smartphone cameras, Samsung can produce good colours and correct white stability even in difficult situations. Samsung is making a giant deal of the S22’s improved low-light efficiency, and certainly, the S22 Extremely can flip darkish to gentle with ease, however movement is hit-and-miss.

The 2 optical zoom sensors are new this 12 months. They’re each an IMX754, however one has a 3x lens and the opposite is behind a 10x folded periscope lens. These sensors really feel like an enchancment over final 12 months’s cellphone, pulling out extra element with brightness; so long as you do not crop them. Samsung’s picture processing can nonetheless have an air of watercolor when seen up shut. If the cellphone would not assume there’s sufficient gentle for the zoom cameras to work, it can crop the primary sensor. That is nothing new—most telephones with zoom cameras do that, however Samsung appears to alter to the first sensor extra aggressively.

The zoom cameras have narrower apertures than the first, so the shutter pace will probably be slower. In good gentle, these cameras are nonetheless quick sufficient to deal with slightly motion however do not count on motion photographs. Even with optical stabilization, it is arduous to maintain the 10x completely nonetheless whereas capturing, however Samsung does an admirable job while you push the zoom into “Area Zoom” vary. That is simply Samsung’s fancy branding for digital zoom between 30x and 100x. The small print will probably be fuzzy, however you will get photographs with Area Zoom that are not attainable on different telephones. There’s an enhanced stability characteristic this 12 months that makes it a lot simpler to take these excessive zoom photographs, too.

So, how does it stack as much as the Pixel? If you wish to pull out a cellphone and snap some images that may in all probability look good, the Pixel is king. If you wish to monkey round with 8K video, totally different focal lengths, ISO settings, and the remainder of the professional package deal, that is the Galaxy S22 Extremely. Hell, the Pixel 6 would not even have a professional picture mode.

Must you purchase it?

Possibly, however provided that you may swallow the value. In case you’re spending $1,200 on a cellphone, it isn’t since you want it. You are doing it since you need the perfect—premium supplies, industry-leading replace assist, sub-pixel-level OLED perfection, and a stylus in case you really feel prefer it. I might have droned on twice as lengthy about all of the issues this cellphone can do, however I nonetheless would not have the ability to hit all of it.

Whereas I would not say the Galaxy S22 Extremely has the finest digicam expertise, it is at the very least aggressive with the Pixel. Whereas Google goes for ease of use and AI magic, Samsung offers you extra superior {hardware} and all of the settings you would ever need. That is going to enchantment to some smartphone consumers. And you’ll really feel protected shopping for an S22 Extremely even in case you care about what model of Android your cellphone runs. Samsung is promising to maintain this cellphone up to date even longer than Google updates the Pixels. OS updates may be slower to reach down the road, however 5 years of safety patches is a good deal in case you’re the sort to maintain a cellphone for the lengthy haul.

The S22 Extremely is probably the most refined piece of cellular {hardware} you should buy working Android at present. If that excites you, then perhaps it is best to contemplate shopping for it. Strive to not spend $1,200 on it, although. Samsung has very beneficiant trade-in valuations, and even in case you do not buy one in the course of the pre-order bonanza, there will probably be loads of gross sales down the road. With years of updates in entrance of it, the S22 Extremely will nonetheless be a superb buy when Samsung is trying to pump up these Q3 numbers.

Purchase it if…

  • You need the perfect Android {hardware} and the excessive worth would not trouble you.
  • You may truly use a stylus if it is constructed into your cellphone.

Do not buy it if…

  • The plethora of options will probably be wasted on you.
  • You do not like monumental, pocket-busting telephones.

UPDATE: 2022/02/25 BY RYAN WHITWAM

The all the pieces cellphone

I’ve caught with the Galaxy S22 Extremely for more often than not since our preliminary evaluation. That is nonetheless the identical large cellphone as earlier than, however the dimension has not weighed on me as a lot currently. That stated, I’ve handed it to some individuals, and the commonest response is to touch upon how massive and heavy it’s. In case you’re a small cellphone individual, you should not look twice on the S22 Extremely. If not, properly, I’ve adjusted, and also you in all probability will, too.

That is additionally the perfect S Pen expertise you will get at present. It is as responsive because it’s ever been, and the gadget not sacrifices battery capability to accommodate the interior slot. I’ve grow to be fairly enamored with the S22’s skill to enter textual content with the S Pen. You not must faucet or carry up a handwriting panel—simply begin writing in a subject, and the cellphone transcribes it. I’ve additionally used it to mark up a number of photos and screenshots. That is not one thing I must do so much, however once I do, the S Pen makes it a snap. The show remains to be a delight, and the curved edges have not brought about important points with the S Pen. There have been one or two occasions the tip slipped off whereas I used to be doodling, but it surely did not occur sufficient to grow to be a supply of frustration. The OLED seems to be superb even in direct daylight, and I can use it in a darkish room with out blinding myself. Most telephones are lacking one (or each) of these extremes.

I am nonetheless very proud of the digicam, however I am additionally getting a greater really feel for its shortcomings. Sure, Samsung nonetheless leans towards longer exposures than different units, however that is normally not an issue. Within the nice outdoor or shiny indoor gentle, the shutter will probably be quick sufficient to seize movement with out subject. Nevertheless, a whole lot of indoor areas will not be shiny sufficient for that. The subdued night gentle of my lounge, for instance, causes the S22 Extremely to gradual to 1/40 or decrease. At that time, a hyper child or canine will in all probability find yourself blurry. Fortunately, the S22 Extremely’s burst shot is extraordinarily quick. I’ve had good luck getting sharp images or movement in medium gentle by capturing a second or two of bursts.

My battery life has stabilized at a couple of day and a half with a number of hours of use, however the charging scenario remains to be perplexing. Samsung claims 45W charging, however even testing with the official accent, this cellphone would not attain the marketed speeds. You want PPS assist to get “Tremendous Quick Cost 2.0,” however the highest wattage I’ve seen is within the low 30s. I can deal with 30W wired charging—in any case, the Pixel 6 tops out at 21W, and that did not fuss me an excessive amount of. Nevertheless, I want Samsung could be up-front about why its telephones do not cost on the marketed speeds. And at the very least the battery life is healthier than the Galaxy S22+.

I take pleasure in utilizing the Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely, and it is good to hold a cellphone that may deal with something I might ever throw at it. Though, you in all probability should not purchase one at this actual second. As of at present, the pre-order bonuses are gone, and that makes the Extremely a much less compelling deal at $1,200. It’s best to await a few weeks and see if Samsung gives some higher reductions.



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