Released in January 2021, the Samsung Galaxy S21 impressed us with its solid all-round performance and its better balance of price. The Galaxy S21 Ultra meanwhile blew us away with its incredible camera setup and its ability to take superb zoomed in shots. But what about the follow up series? The Samsung Galaxy S22 isn’t expected for some time, but the rumor mill never stops turning and it’s possible to make some pretty educated predictions about what we may see from Samsung’s next flagship Android phone.
Here then is what we think we might see from the Galaxy S22.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. Galaxy S21: Rumors about new flagship’s release date and specs
Galaxy S22 release date: January 2022?
Samsung typically launched its S-series phones in March, but it bucked that trend in 2021 by launching the S21 line in January. The company typically follows a 12-month cycle of updating its handsets so we currently expect the S22 to be announced in January 2022, possibly at, or around the CES tech show in Las Vegas.
However, it’s also possible that Samsung might want to give the S21 line a bit more breathing room and could return to a March launch schedule. With COVID-19 restrictions hopefully being a bit easier by then, Samsung could hope to do an in-person launch event, which it often does simultaneously in cities across the globe.
Price: How much will the Galaxy S22 cost?
Sales of the Galaxy S20 line didn’t impress and it’s likely it had a lot to do with the generally high prices, coupled with widespread financial uncertainty for many people due to 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. While we don’t expect Samsung to try and make the S22 line even cheaper, we do think it’s a safe bet that the company will try and match the price point of the S21, rather than increase it back to S20 levels.
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Multiple Galaxy S22 models: Plus and Ultra
It’s a sure bet too that Samsung will offer multiple variations of the S22 line to offer varying specs at a variety of prices. It’s likely that we’ll see a base S22, along with an upgraded S22 Plus and an S22 Ultra model sitting right at the top of the range with the best specs — and the highest price to match. (Here’s how the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra variants compared.)
It’s a recipe Samsung has followed for the last few generations and it’s clearly a strategy deemed to be working. For those on more modest budgets, it’s possible that the company will also do an even more affordable Galaxy S22 FE, although that won’t launch with the range — we’re not even expecting the S21 FE until later this year. The Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for “Fan Edition”) launched in October of 2020, eight months after the flagship S20 lineup. The Fan Edition phone made a few smart features and specs sacrifices to achieve a more budget-friendly price.
Galaxy S22 processor, Android version and display
Samsung tends to use both Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and its own Exynos processors in its S series phones — depending on region — and we fully expect it will do the same again in the S22 line. But it’s safe to assume that it’ll be the next generation of both chips, possibly the Snapdragon 895 (which is expected to launch in December this year) and the Exynos 2200.
Back in 2019 Samsung partnered with graphics chip company AMD for better mobile graphics power, but so far we haven’t seen any Samsung phone equipped with dedicated AMD hardware. It’s possible that the S22 (or more likely, the S22 Ultra) could be the first AMD phone, boasting superior graphics performance for gaming.
It’s also a safe bet that the S22 line will run Android 12 — announced in June this year at Google’s I/O event and currently in beta form — with Samsung’s own user interface tweaks over the top including additions like Samsung Health, Samsung Pay and its Bixby virtual assistant software.
Display size will almost certainly differ depending on which model you opt for. With the S21 line, the base S21 was the smallest at 6.2 inches and the S21 Plus pushed things further to 6.7 inches, while the S21 Ultra ballooned ever further out to 6.8 inches. Some early rumors suggest that Samsung will make the S22 and S22 Plus slightly smaller — 6.05 and 6.5 inches, respectively. The same rumors suggest the S21 Ultra will stay pretty much the same size and, like the S21 Ultra, will be the only one in the range that will offer variable refresh rates up to 120Hz.
Galaxy S22 camera: 200-megapixel resolution?
Rumors suggest it’s the hero S22 Ultra that will see the most exciting camera upgrades this time round. That’s good to hear, as the S21 Ultra’s camera is superb, but wasn’t a big upgrade over its predecessor.
Some of the current rumors suggest that it’ll be the first Samsung phone with a whopping 200-megapixel resolution, based on a teaser tweet from Samsung’s own Exynos account showing a 200-megapixel phone camera. That would be a big upgrade from the already pixel-packed 108-megapixel S21 Ultra and would theoretically allow for crisper zoomed-in images.
Speaking of zoom though, the S22 Ultra is also rumored to get a continuous optical zoom, rather than simply having set 3x or 10x optical zoom lenses to switch between. Currently, if you zoom to, say, 7x zoom on the S21 Ultra that will use a combination of optical zoom and digital cropping, resulting in images that look lower quality than when you use the 10x optical lens. A continuous zoom would allow for uncropped optical zoom throughout the entire zoom range.
The base S22 and S22 Plus models aren’t expected to get similar camera boosts, ensuring that the S22 Ultra stands out and justifies spending the extra cash. Expect to still see multiple lenses and a 50-megapixel main sensor.
Galaxy S22’s extra features
Additional features like wireless charging, NFC for contactless payments, 5G connectivity and in-display fingerprint scanners are pretty safe bets for all the S22 models. It’s also likely that Samsung will continue to offer base storage options of 128GB on all models, with upgrades up to 256GB or even 500GB available for those who want the extra space.
Don’t expect to expand that storage though as the S21 series removed the option to add microSD cards. That was a real disappointment, particularly on the S21 Ultra as its high resolution images and 8K videos take up a lot of space. Fingers crossed for a return, but don’t get your hopes up.