Samsung officially launched the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S22 + and the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Let’s first talk about what they have in common.
Already there is a new aluminum finish, an aluminum that Samsung claims is up to 33% stronger than the previous generation – but the Korean does not mention any protocols and does not share the new properties of its alloy.
The three terminals are also protected, front and back, by Gorilla Glass Victus Plus. It remains to be seen whether Samsung will be able to offer a hardware resistance score at the level of what Apple offers on its iPhones.
All three terminals share the same SoC – the all-in-one processor. As in previous years, two versions of this chip exist depending on the geographical distribution areas: in the United States, Japan or South Korea, Samsung integrates the new high-end chip from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
But, in Europe, Samsung continues to bet on an in-house chip, the Exynos 2200. In both cases, these chips, based on ARMv9 CPU cores, are engraved in 4 nm by… Samsung!
So far, the Exynos versions have always proven to be a bit inferior to the Snapdragon versions, whether in pure power or in terms of autonomy. Should we believe in a change this year? The Exynos 2200 incorporates AMD’s 3D RDNA 2 mobile architecture, the same found in the Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles.
Of course, don’t expect the same level of performance as these powerful home consoles. There is not the same number of calculation units, nor the same frequencies. But we are still entitled to hope that the 3D performance is a cut above what Qualcomm offers. Hopefully for Samsung… and for AMD’s reputation.
Galaxy S22 Ultra: a Note-scented stylus
The most high-end terminal is the S22 Ultra version. It’s the largest device of the three, with a 6.8-inch screen. A large-format smartphone, with a large battery (5,000 mAh), which incorporates an element that once made the success of the Galaxy Note: the S-Pen stylus.
It is stored in the body of the terminal and allows efficient note taking thanks, in particular, to a very low latency time of only 2.8 ms.
The S-Pen and size aren’t the only things that make the S22 Ultra unique. The other advantage of the terminal is obviously its photo section.
Four modules are integrated: a 13 mm f/2.2 equivalent ultra-wide-angle equipped with a Dual Pixel technology sensor (fast AF), a 24 mm f/1.8 equivalent main camera module with a 108 Mpix sensor (optically stabilized), a 72mm f/2.4 equivalent small telephoto lens (Dual Pixel and OIS), and a 240mm f/4.9 equivalent super-telephoto lens. The latter two both have a 10 Mpix Dual Pixel sensor.
Always supported by a laser module for focusing – because it is slower than a Dual Pixel – the main camera module is the one that benefits from the greatest number of improvements.
The 108 Mpix image definition is still used as a priority for the nona-binning mode – a technique which consists of using nine photodiodes to calculate a pixel – hence a useful definition of 12 Mpix. If it displays the same image definition as that of the Galaxy S21 Ultra of 2021, its photodiodes are however 1.23 times larger. This allows it to harvest much more light and gives it a better dynamic range. However, these two points were Achilles’ heels of the previous generation.
Another notable improvement is a revised lens stabilization system. On the one hand, the parasitic movements are evaluated not 200 times, but 833 times per second (we pass from 200 Hz to 833 Hz). On the other hand, the floating lens (which stabilizes the image) benefits from an angular correction coverage improved by 57%.
What it means ? Simply that the terminal will analyze much more finely the parasitic movements of the user. It will therefore have more latitude to correct them and to produce sharp images, and stable video sequences, even when walking.
More NPU power and “expert” RAW format
In addition to the sensor and its stabilization system, it is also necessary to note a progress whose contours are a little more blurred. It is to be found on the side of the new neural processor (or NPU) which would be, according to Samsung, twice as powerful as that of the previous generation. However, the Korean giant does not specify whether it is only talking about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the Exynos 2200 … or both.
In any case, this extra power has an interest in both photography and video. In particular, a significant improvement in “portrait” modes, with better precision in the separation between the photographic subject and the decor. Or even substantial progress in the management of low light. This extra power improves both the precision of details and reduces digital noise, both in photos and in video.
To deal with the improved RAW files (ProRAW) of the iPhone, Samsung responds with an application called… Expert RAW. Pre-installed on the terminal, it not only provides access to expert shooting parameters , but above all it produces a 16-bit RAW file based on the capture and combination of several images (multiframe).
Expert RAW automatically saves a JPEG file, as well as a RAW in DNG format directly editable from Adobe Lightroom. What to stand up to the iPhone, or even “real” cameras? Impossible to answer, but the promise is interesting.
S22 and S22+: in (quiet) continuity
Aside from screen size, battery capacity is the only difference between the other two devices, the Galaxy S22 and S22+. Two terminals that take up the chassis of last year – in different colors – to take advantage of an updated electronic partition, that is to say the same as the Ultra version.
The Galaxy S22 is a terminal with a 6.1-inch FHD + Dynamic AMOLED panel (1080 x 2340 points) when the “+” version is entitled to the same definition, but on a larger 6.6-inch panel.
Stylus point for these smartphones. But on the other hand they take up two camera modules from the big brother: the ultra wide-angle and the small telephoto lens. The main camera module, although offering the same angular coverage as a 24mm equivalent, optical stabilization and the same f/1.8 aperture, swaps the super 108 Mpix sensor for a 50 Mpix sensor.
A “Dual Pixel” sensor which should be less precise in the sampling of images and, Dual Pixel requires, less good in low light… but faster to focus.
Samsung has not provided information on the dimensions of the ultra wide-angle sensors… It’s a shame, because we also expect the Korean in this battle. It should be remembered, Samsung is still the second largest producer of sensors for smartphones, behind Sony.
Android 12, One UI 4.1 and full of colors
The three terminals are delivered under Android 12, covered with the One UI 4.1 house overlay. According to Samsung, One UI 4.1 is an extension of the philosophy of Android 12, and allows you to go much further in the personalization of the terminal, in the advanced functions as well as in their readability.
On the declination side of the terminals, Samsung relies more on the colors than on the technical variations. For the S22 and S22+, it’s 8GB/128GB or 8GB/256GB and that’s it. The S22 Ultra starts on the same RAM base – 8G / 128 GB – but goes up to 12 GB for the other three variants – 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB. Note that this last “super” version will only be sold by Samsung live (from the online store of its website).
Speaking of distribution, Samsung makes a color difference. For the Galaxy S22 and 22+, stores and online distribution will offer the white/black/green/pink versions. At Samsung.fr the exclusivity of cream/sky blue/purple and gray shades. Same color separation for the S2 Ultra version, white / black / burgundy / green colors for third parties, red / gray / sky blue tones for Samsung.