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Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+: Our expectations

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Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+: Our expectations
The Galaxy S22 series is right around the corner, expected to become official in early February 2022. As is usually the case, the rumor mill is already turning at top gear and churning out saucy leaks and rumors that are definitely boosting our expectations.

But what if you bought a Galaxy S21+ last year or just stumbled upon a killer Black Friday deal? Should you upgrade from the “old” middle child to the upcoming one? I've come up with a preliminary comparison based on the leaked information and my personal experience with the Galaxy S21+, which I reviewed earlier in 2021

Also read:

Samsung Galaxy S21+

Samsung Galaxy S21+

The Good

  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Versatile camera modes and features
  • Great image quality
  • Smooth and vivid display

The Bad

  • No charger in the box
  • Slippery design
  • A bit too heavy
  • Gets hot under heavier load

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Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+ price

The jury is indeed still out there when it comes to the Galaxy S22+ pricing. The Galaxy S21+ started at $999 when it was launched, which was a bit high in comparison with the previous generation. Here's to hoping that the Galaxy S22+ wouldn't break the record and retain a more affordable price tag in order to better compete with the iPhone 13 and Pixel 6.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+ design and colors

The Galaxy S22 is largely expected to feature the same general design as the Galaxy S21+ and not incur any major changes. That's unlike the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which will get completely redesigned and resemble the Note series. The Galaxy S22+ is most likely retaining the curved back panel and mostly flat screen up front, though a major difference will certainly affect the user experience. The Galaxy S22+ (and all other members of the Galaxy S22 family) is expected to come with a slightly wider and shorter display aspect ratio than the Galaxy S21+, which could make the phone a bit harder to operate with a single hand.

Another rumor claims that the Galaxy S22+ will feature symmetrical bezels at the front of the device, which would finally make for a uniform look. The Galaxy S21+ (and most Android phones) still come with a slightly thicker bottom bezel, which certainly irks some folks the wrong way. The iPhone features thicker but uniform bezels, which works wonders for symmetry.

No other changes are expected on the front. The under-display camera that debuted on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn't expected to arrive on the Galaxy S22 series.

Despite the refreshed looks, the Galaxy S21+ definitely has the core Galaxy DNA etched deep into its exterior design. Unmistakably a high-end Samsung phone, the Galaxy S21+ fuses glass and metal in a premium blend that looks oh-so posh. The matte frosted glass back feels good in the hands and holds no fingerprints, but it's certainly slippery. Yet, the Galaxy S20+ somehow feels better in the hand as its curvier exterior carves less into the palm.

The Galaxy S22+ is also expected to feature a slightly redesigned camera island. Rumor has it there wouldn't be an intricate Contour Cut design element as the one on the Galaxy S21+ but a simplified camera island instead.

In terms of available colors, we will most likely have black, green, pink gold, and white color options for the Galaxy S22+. As a refresher, the Galaxy S21+ was available in Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, and Phantom Silver.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+ display

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ will be coming with a 6.55-inch LTPO Super AMOLED display with variable refresh rate, which is slightly smaller than the 6.7-inch display found on the Galaxy S21+. By the way, the latter dynamically switches between 48 and 120Hz depending on the use case, so here's to hoping the Galaxy S22+ will offer an even greater refresh rate spread for increased power savings.

From a display quality standpoint, we expect no disappointments from Samsung. The company's AMOLED displays from the past couple of years have always been exemplar in terms of colors, viewing angles, contrast, and brightness, so we have no reasons to believe the Galaxy S22+ will be anything different in terms of overall quality. One aspect in which the new phone could beat its predecessor is in terms of maximum brightness. Rumor has it the Galaxy S22 Ultra would be capable of hitting north of 1,500 nits in the right conditions, so the Galaxy S22+ could potentially get a similar boost in its peak brightness.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+ camera

  • Galaxy S22+: 50MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto
  • Galaxy S21+:12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 64MP telephoto

The Galaxy S22+ might come with the new 50MP ISOCEL GN5 camera sensor. The main strength and selling point of this new 50MP sensor is its super autofocusing speed which has been achieved thanks to using many more photodiodes — nearly a million. These allow 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. This sensor is outfitted with Samsung's proprietary dual-pixel technology, which applies Front Deep Trench Isolation (FDTI) to each pixel and “enables each photodiode to absorb and hold more light information, improving the photodiodes’ full-well capacity (FWC) and decreasing crosstalk within the pixel.” There are also rumors of improved 8K video capture on the Galaxy S22 series, which would likely entail higher frame rate.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21+ came with a rather adept camera setup that was mostly similar to the Galaxy S20+ from a year prior. Of course, there were some important novelties thrown in the mix: the ultra-wide angle camera has scored a wider F1.8 aperture as well as phase-detection autofocus, which is a good thing, but apart from that, the telephoto still relies on cropping a large sensor instead of regular optics for zooming, and Samsung has also ditched the ToF sensor at the back, so the situation was definitely of the "win some, lose some" variety.

What is the Galaxy S22+ image quality like? Here's an excerpt from my review back in February: “The Galaxy S21+ copes very well with capturing lovely photos in all kinds of scenarios, be it harshly lit landscapes or neon-illuminated buildings at midnight. Details are great on almost all photos I took, and the colors are, for the most part, lovely, albeit still on the colder side on some instances. Contrast is slightly more overstated in comparison with the Galaxy S20+, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it adds character to the pictures. Dynamic range is certainly better resolved on the Galaxy S21+ than on the Galaxy S20+. Despite the loss of a ToF sensor, the Galaxy S21+ is capable of capturing great portraits with very good subject separation and few if any artifacts.”

While it's too early to know what the image quality would be on the Galaxy S22+, here's to hoping that the rumored new sensor on board will greatly improve the camera image quality.

Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+ specs and performance

Despite the wild new rumor that all Galaxy S22 models will come with a Snapdragon processor regardless of the region, we still expect at least some international models to be powered by the upcoming Exynos 2200, while the US and other key markets will get the Snapdragon 898 chipset. This year's Exynos chipset is a tad more intriguing than previous iterations of Samsung's chipset line due to the custom AMD GPU on deck which hints at excellent graphics performance.

AnTuTu is a multi-layered, comprehensive mobile benchmark app that assesses various aspects of a device, including CPU, GPU, RAM, I/O, and UX performance. A higher score means an overall faster device.

Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S21+
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Google Pixel 5

In terms of storage, we expect at least 128GB of storage on board the S22+, though 256 and 512GB of storage options are also expected to make the rounds. There will be no microSD card slot on board, though.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ vs Galaxy S21+ battery life and charging speeds

There will be a pretty stark difference between the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S22+ batteries. While the older device boasts a sizeable 5,000mAh battery, the upcoming Galaxy S22+ will come with a 4,500mAh juicer at the rear. Hopefully, this wouldn't result in a much lower battery endurance in comparison with the older model. Surely the new processors on board will bring additional power saving gains, but it's always sad to see batteries shrinking in size. 

So far, we expect Samsung to adorn the Galaxy S22 series with 45W charging that wouldn't put them on par with the fastest-charging phones out there, but would definitely shorten those pesky charging times. There will also be wireless charging on board. In comparison, the Galaxy S21+ only charges up to 25W, and with the stock 25W Samsung charger, it takes it roughly 70 minutes to go from 0 to 100%. Hopefully, the Galaxy S22+ will slash those times by half, at least.

hours Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S21+
12h 11 min
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
16h 7 min
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
14h 6 min
Google Pixel 5
12h 40 min

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