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The Samsung Galaxy S22+ is a classy, handsome phone that does everything well

When compared to its S-series siblings, this model’s battery life is second to none

<p>We checked out games, video storing and plenty of mainstream apps such as WhatsApp and Citymapper</p>

We checked out games, video storing and plenty of mainstream apps such as WhatsApp and Citymapper

Samsung’s latest trio of phones – the Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 ultra – fall into its high-end S series.

The ultra is the most advanced, and therfore, priciest of the bunch, costing around £1,149. But the S22 and S22+, differentiated from each other mostly by size, are still premium devices, though noticeably more affordable starting at £949 – a £200 saving.

That extra money buys you a bigger display, more cameras and even a smart stylus for extra productivity, which fits right into the body of the phone. And, it has a longer-lasting battery.

Where the ultra switches to an all-new design, the S22 and S22+ follow the styling of the S21 and S21+ released last year. Those were fast, capable phones, so Samsung is seeking to build on that success here.

With the larger, pricier S22 ultra and the more compact S22, is the S22+ the sweet spot or the neither-here-nor-there option?

Read more:

How we tested

We tested the Samsung Galaxy S22+ for several weeks, at home, at work and on the move. We checked out games, video-streaming and mainstream apps like messaging, web browsing, email, maps, Citymapper and WhatsApp to see how different usage affected how much battery was left at the end of the day.

We tried out reverse wireless charging, to charge another phone from the Galaxy, to see how quickly it charged the other and how soon the Galaxy battery was in trouble. We also checked out how quick it was to recharge by cable and wirelessly. We took photos and shot videos to test out the multiple cameras on board. Oh, and we made some phone calls, too. Here’s what we made of the 22+.

Samsung Galaxy S22+: From £949, Samsung.com

  • Rating: 7/10
  • Display 6.6in FHD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X (393ppi) 120Hz
  • Processor: Samsung exynos 2200 (UK and EU) or Qualcomm snapdragon 8 gen 1 (US only)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Rear Cameras: Triple rear camera: 50mp wide, 12mp ultra-wide, 10mp 3x telephoto
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Dimensions: 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
  • Weight: 195g

The front of the phone is all-screen, with a small circular cut-out where the front-facing camera peeps through. The bezels around the display are very narrow and, unusual for many phones, uniform on all four sides of the screen.

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ is certainly slick, looking elegant and appealing in the pink-gold review unit. The rear of the phone is glass, but with a matte finish that looks more like brushed aluminium, and the company logo is in gloss. A camera panel sits in the extreme top left, a raised oblong in a contrasting colour (matte gold) with three identical black circles. The aluminium edging, the bit you’ll feel in your hand unless you buy a case for the phone, is gleaming and shiny. Other colours available are phantom white, phantom black and green.

Because it’s gently curved, it means the phone feels comfortable in the hand, even though it’s not small. If you have smaller hands, however, the smaller Galaxy S22 will suit better. Like previous Galaxy phones, this one is water-resistant – it has a rating of IP68, which means it can survive a dunking in water 1.5m deep for up to 30 minutes. Overall, this is a handsome, well-proportioned phone that fits the hand well.

Display

Samsung’s displays have been among the best available for some years. This phone has a handsome, bright and detailed 6.6in display with a very fast refresh rate (120Hz), which means that using the phone is a smooth experience, whether you’re scrolling through menu lists at speed, playing games or streaming video.

Read more: Which is the best Samsung phone in 2022?

It has a dynamic refresh rate, though, so when you’re looking at a static page, it can drop the refresh rate to as low as 10Hz, which helps save battery life. This display is bright enough to be easily readable in bright sunlight – though not with sunglasses.

Unlike some previous Galaxy displays, this one is flat, that is, it doesn’t have a pillowed finish where the screen tumbles down the sides of the phone a little. Many people prefer this and it helps to keep the phone robust and slim.

The display also contains two methods for unlocking the phone: the fingerprint sensor is well-placed, around 4cm from the bottom of the screen, and the unlock is fast and effective. Unlocking the phone is easy. Once you’ve set a password, you register your finger and just touching the sensor will unlock the handset. There’s also facial recognition and as you raise the phone, an animated line circles the front-facing camera and the phone unlocks. It’s fast and works pretty much every time.

Cameras

There are three rear cameras here, and the ones on the S22 are identical to the S22+. However, the ultra has more and a different design and resolution, so the ultimate camera freak will favour the pricier model. But the three cameras here are very good indeed.

For a start, there’s the main camera with a huge resolution, 50mp, compared with 12mp on the main sensor on last year’s S21+. A high pixel count on its own doesn’t guarantee quality, with sensor size the crucial factor – and this one is 1/1.56in which means the pixels are a decent size. Bigger pixels also help deliver better light recognition, meaning better results in lower-light conditions and in brighter light, the photos are bright and colourful.

Like many other phones, this one has portrait mode, where the background is artfully blurred and your subject in sharp focus. It does this by using more than one camera at a time and the results here are tremendous.

Then there are the ultra-wide camera (12mp) and telephoto (10mp) modes. These are smaller sensors but they still take great photos, and they move seamlessly between lenses as you zoom. The telephoto is the equivalent of a 3x zoom compared to the main camera.

Beyond that, Samsung has advanced digital zoom capabilities here. Digital zoom is never as good as optical, but when handled with the right software, the photos can still be very strong, even as you inch towards the maximum 30x zoom available on this phone.

Read more: 8 best vlogging cameras that’ll have you shooting to internet fame

Video recording is excellent, too. The highest resolution is 8K, which is four times that of a full-size 4K TV. In other words, video shot at this resolution is future-proofed, as hardly anyone has an 8K TV just yet.

There are neat extra features too, such as single take – this is where you shoot a video and the software chooses the best single still shot. We were impressed with how well it works.

Performance

The processor in the S22+ varies according to where you buy it. In the US, for instance, the Qualcomm snapdragon 8-gen-1 is the processor. However, in the UK (and the rest of Europe), the processor is Samsung’s own, the exynos 2200. There’s really not much difference between the two, and certainly, the exynos is fast.

Games open and load very quickly, and this processor means you can run games with the best graphics available. Similarly, video playback is very smooth, partly thanks to that high-refresh-rate display.

Throughout, everything happens at speed, and you’re never kept waiting for apps to open, pages to upload, for the camera to be ready to shoot and so on.

Read more: Is the Samsung Galaxy A53 a budget-friendly killer?

Plus, the latest Samsung software, an overlay on the standard Android operating system, looks good, with neatly designed app icons.

Battery

There’s plenty of juice to last a full day, and the S22+ has a longer life than the smaller S22. It won’t last through a full second day, but few phones do, so an overnight charge is needed. But not only does this phone have better battery life than the S22, it seems to last longer than the pricier ultra as well.

The phone recharges quickly, though nowhere near as fast as some other phones on the market. Even so, overnight charging means this shouldn’t be a problem. There’s no power brick in the box – a practice begun by Apple and followed by some other manufacturers to minimise electronic waste.

It also has wireless charging, though this is slower, unsurprisingly, and there’s also reverse wireless charging, where placing another wireless-chargeable device such as earbuds or another phone, means the Samsung shares its battery with it. Handy if a friend’s phone is flat, though it has implications for your own phone’s battery level, of course.

Buy now

The verdict: Samsung Galaxy S22+

Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy 22+ is a classy, handsome phone that does everything with great speed and effectiveness. The design is attractive and eye-catching without being overstated and the available colours are appealing. It’s fast and effective with a decent battery.

Samsung’s cameras are routinely excellent and here they excel whatever the situation or lighting conditions. Video recording is the best yet on a Samsung and the three cameras work together to make for a complete and effective cameraphone.

Actually, that’s a good description of the phone overall; it’s an efficient and capable handset that, while it may not hit the heights of the most premium phones, does everything, and does it well.

Samsung Galaxy S22+

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