We are more than half a year away from the potential release of Samsung's Galaxy S22-series lineup, but as usual with such popular and anticipated devices, the rumor mill is running at top gear.
With the Galaxy S21-series being an evolutionary refresh of the disappointing Galaxy S20-series, we are hopeful that 2021's Samsung flagships will shake things up a bit with bolder design, even better performance, and most importantly, better cameras. Rumors are also putting multiple functionality improvements in Samsung's next flagship, including that anticipated under-screen selfie camera we've been hearing for ages.
Galaxy S22 design and display
It's still too early to expect a clear view of the next Galaxies as it's just too early to expect credible leaks. There are rumors that the design is to be further refreshed on the Galaxy S22 in contrast with the Galaxy S21, but it's simply too early to know how drastic it might be. Given how elegant and precise the slight redesign of the Galaxy S21 was in comparison with the Galaxy S20 was, we probably shouldn't expect outrageous revamps in the exterior section.
Some of the early rumors claim that both the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will be made of plastic. As a refresher, the regular Galaxy S21 was the first to ditch glass, but it looks that only the Galaxy S22 Ultra will keep that ultra premium feel normally associated with glass.
In terms of display, rumors claim Samsung will slightly decrease screen sizes in contrast with 2020. We expect a Galaxy S22 with a 6.06" display, an S22+ with a 6.55" one, and an S22 Ultra with a LTPO 6.81". That's un contrast with the Galaxy S21's 6.2", 6.7" S22+, and 6.9" S21 Ultra.
Thanks to Samsung's latest advances, we can expect displays with variable refresh rate that intelligently switch between the available levels with power-savings in mind. Both the Galaxy S21 and the S21+
features displays that can switch between 48 and 120Hz, while the S21 Ultra can do so all the way down to 10Hz. Hopefully, all of next year's phones will get the improved version of that technology on deck for even greater efficiency.
The big question here is whether Samsung will deliver in terms of under-display camera. There's been talk of such cameras for a couple of years, and despite other manufacturers' best efforts
, a worthwhile replacement of your regular punch-hole device hasn't come out yet. This could all change with the Galaxy S22, but we'll remain cautious on that.
Galaxy S22 hardware and specs
The rumor mill has it that Samsung has already won the initial orders for the first batches of the upcoming Snapdragon 898
as well as prepping its Exynos 2200 to power international versions of the device. Apparently, both will step things up a notch and use a 4nm manufacturing process instead of a 5nm, which should theoretically deliver performance gains and battery savings.
Another change might come in the sphere of cooling. Rumor has it that Samsung seems to be planning to ditch the vapor cooling solution for thermal graphite pads for cooling on the Galaxy S22-series, for cost-saving reasons.
Galaxy S22 Ultra camera
Samsung will drop out of the megapixel wars as far as it more modest flagships are concerned and "only" settle for a 50MP main camera on the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus' camera loadouts, while the ultrawide and 3x telephoto lenses will use 12MP sensors. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to very much continue with the arms race and come with a 200MP camera
. Just recently, Samsung has officially announced the ISOCELL HP1
, which is a monstrous camera sensor with a 200MP resolution and a new pixel-binning technology that should allow it to capture much more light in dim conditions, thus vastly improving the low-light camera performance.
The sensor has 0.64-micron pixels, which isn't ideal for low-light scenes where larger pixels are generally favored. Fortunately, the ISOCELL HP1 alleviates this thanks to the new so-called ChameleonCell pixel-binning tech, which can group between 4 to 16 pixels together in a single pixel that is much more sensitive to light and thus improves low-light photography.
What's more, the new sensor allows for 8K@30fps video recording with quad-pixel binning, which bodes well for the Galaxy S22 Ultra's feature loadout. Of course, employing this sensor is not set in stone, so it isn't coming for certain.
Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ camera
There will likely be triple cameras on the Galaxy S22 and S22+ while the Galaxy S22 Ultra would possibly retain the quad-camera setup that utilizes dual telephoto cameras on top of the wide and ultra-wide snappers. We are all for that as the dedicated 10X zoom on the S21 Ultra turned out to be an actually useful addition to the flagship's camera. Here's to hoping that this tech will seep down to the lower-tier Galaxy S22 and S22+ early next year, but we are a bit pessimistic.
The Galaxy S22 and S22+ might come with the new 50MP ISOCEL GN5 camera sensor
. The main strength and selling point of this new 50MP camera sensor is its super autofocusing speed which has been achieved thanks to using many more photodiodes - nearly a million. These alloow for nearly instant autofocus, as claimed by Samsung. This sensor is packing 1.0-micron pixels, which is slightly smaller than the 1.4-micron pixels on the ISOCELL GN2, launched earlier in 2021
There are rumors of improved 8K video capture on the Galaxy S22 series, which bodes well with the natural evolution of camera technology. A 50MP like the one mentioned above allows for such video capture, but without pixel binning.
Galaxy S22 release date and pricing
Samsung had the habit of announcing and releasing its flagship smartphones in the February-March window, but the Galaxy S21 series surprised us with an early, mid-January announce. Judging from that, we can sort of assume that the Galaxy S22 will most likely follow a similar pattern, so we should expect a January 2022 announcement of the next flagship crop.
It's too early to speculate about the pricing of an upcoming phone series: the Galaxy S21-series actually arrived with a slightly more affordable price tag in comparison with the Galaxy S20-series, but would that the same be true for the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and Galaxy S22 Ultra? If anything, we expect the price spread to vary between the $800 and $900 for the regular Galaxy S22, $1000-$1,100 for the Galaxy S22+, and finally, $1,200-$1,400 for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.