Samsung Galaxy S22 hands-on: price, release date, and more

Samsung is on a roll in early 2022. Just a month after unveiling the Galaxy S21 FE and Freestyle projector, the tech giant is back with a trio of new smartphones: the Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra, all of which offer a refreshed look, improved camera optics and a fancy new processor from Qualcomm – are the first Samsung devices to do so.

All three of the Samsung S22 lineup are up for pre-order now, with special offers available, and will ship on February 25. We’ve spent some time with the Galaxy S22 and S22+, so here’s our breakdown of what’s awesome, what’s new and what’s stayed the same. We’ll have full reviews of both closer to launch and you can catch our first look at the S22 Ultra here.

Where to pre-order the Galaxy S22 and S22+

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 and S22+ are available for pre-order and will start shipping on February 25.

Galaxy S22
Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green or Rose Gold
Storage options: 128 GB or 256 GB, as well as 8 GB of RAM.
Price: Starting at $799 at Samsung

Galaxy S22+
Colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green or Rose Gold
Storage options: 128 GB or 256 GB, as well as 8 GB of RAM.
Price: Starting at $999 at Samsung

If you pre-order an S22 or S22+ by February 24 from Samsung, you’ll upgrade to the next storage size for free. Plus, you’ll receive a $100 Samsung gift card with the purchase of the S22 or a $150 credit with the bonus S22+.

Galaxy S22 and S22+: first impressions

Jacob Krol/CNN

The Galaxy S22 and S22+ finally sport a truly premium premium design. Samsung is ditching the cheaper polycarbonate back for an aluminum and glass design. The S22 and S22+ will have a nicely matched bump on the back, unlike the accent colors of the S21. There’s also no built-in S Pen or stylus support here. The bottom of the device includes a SIM card slot, speaker and USB-C port, while you’ll find a power/standby button and volume rocker on the right side.

The S22 and S22+ felt great in our hands, and were definitely a friendlier size for those with smaller hands and just more pocketability. We particularly liked the flat design of the 6.1-inch (on S22) and 6.6-inch (on S22+) screens, and that they didn’t tilt sideways. It felt more even and gave us a better grip. Regardless of screen size, you also get that vibrant, crisp display. Yes, Samsung uses the same Dynamic AMOLED 2X display on the S22 and S22+ as on the Ultra.

It is also powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset with 8GB of RAM. The S22 and S22+ run Android 12 out of the box with Samsung’s latest interface. Both devices responded quickly during our hands-on and provided a smooth experience. But the good news here is that these two (plus the S22 Ultra) are guaranteed to get four Android updates, which is a big promise and delivery on value from Samsung. However, it is still behind Google’s support of software on the Pixel line.

Samsung promises all-day battery life on the S22 and S22+ and both devices support wired or wireless charging, with a 3,700mAh cell in the S22 and 4,500mAh in the S22+.

Jacob Krol/CNN

The S22 and S22+ share the same camera setup and Samsung is increasing the sensor size, improving the software and mostly sticking to the same megapixel count.

  • 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera: This is the same lens as on the S21/S21+ and should deliver crisp, clear photos while capturing a huge amount without physically moving. Like the ultrawide on the iPhone or Pixel, Samsung also uses software to remove any fisheye effects from the corners.
  • 50-megapixel wide camera: As on the S22 Ultra, the primary lens will pin pixels for sharper photos that contain more detail in daylight and lower light conditions.
  • 10 megapixel telephoto lens: The telephoto lens here powers up to 30x space zoom and 3x optical zoom to help capture a clear shot from afar. The 30x Space Zoom was hit or miss in our testing, but generally delivers a clear image at 10x.

The hardware is similar to the S21, which in itself is one of the top performers in the smartphone camera world. This baseline coupled with software improvements — like better night shooting and improved portrait mode — should lead to less blurry shots, faster processing times, and more detail.

Specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22

Galaxy S22+

Galaxy S22 Ultra

Starting price $799 $999 $1,199
Display 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM 8 GB 8 GB 8 GB or 12 GB
Storage 128GB/256GB 128GB/256GB 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
Cameras 12 megapixel ultra wide, 50 megapixel wide and 10 megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 10 megapixels (front) 12 megapixel ultra wide, 50 megapixel wide and 10 megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 10 megapixels (front) 12 megapixel ultrawide, 108 megapixel wide and 10 megapixel dual telephoto with flash (rear); 40 megapixels (front)
Drums 3700mAh 4500mAh 5000mAh
Height and weight 2.7 x 5.7 x 0.29 inches; 0.37 pounds 2.98 x 6.19 x 0.29 inches; 0.43 pounds 3.06 x 6.42 x 0.35 inches; 0.50 pounds