Since 2020, Samsung has introduced three new Galaxy S every year. Rebelote in 2022 with the Galaxy S22, S22 + and S22 Ultra. After getting our hands on the most luxurious of them., we made the smaller model our main smartphone. Still sold from 859 euros, it is still in direct competition with the iPhone 13, available from 909 euros. To keep this “small format”, Samsung has made more concessions regarding the Ultra version. But the fact that the Korean manufacturer does not provide a stable processor makes it lose precious points in its battle against the iPhone 13.
the perfect compact
Visually, Samsung knows how to do it, taking over last year’s copy almost line by line. The integration of the camera modules has not been revised as in the Ultra version, but it was not as necessary. As in 2021, its plastic back will make you doubt since the differences compared to the glass seem so small. The finishes are excellent and the grip is pleasant. The biggest evolution in terms of design ultimately lies in the contours of the device. Now they are aluminum. To the naked eye, the detail hits the mark even if progress, overall, remains minimal. But the great strength, in our opinion, of this 2022 vintage remains its compactness. With a 6.1-inch screen and a featherweight of 168 grams, the Galaxy S22 is one of the smallest smartphones on the market with few sacrifices on paper. We will see later in this test that it is actually not without them.
The screen quality is there.
Since we mentioned the sacrifices, know that Samsung continues to offer a 1080p screen. Information that could seem outrageous in 2022 and yet, given the size of the screen, the density of 422 pixels per point is far from embarrassing. Even if the exceptional brightness of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is not achieved, with an average of 875 cd / m², the S22 is at the top of the basket in its price category. Even in extreme light conditions, the screen is clearly visible and remains beautiful. The adaptive frame rate of up to 120 Hz is always there, which provides a certain comfort of use.
As usual, Samsung produces quality screens, but does some questionable color grading. With default settings, we measured a Delta E of 7.34 on the S22. Remember that the closer this figure is to 1, the more realistic the colors are, this gives you an idea of the difference… The Korean manufacturer, however, knows how to offer quite realistic colors. The test offers in its settings to put the screen in “Natural” mode. Our Delta E measurement by our lab then drops to 2.68, a more satisfactory figure.
One UI 4.1: always on top
A quick word about the operating system, One UI 4.1 is on the game and we reconfirm that it is one of the best mobile operating systems at the moment. Being able to relieve our hands in the larger models, in this compact format, is really happiness. One-handed use in all circumstances, made possible by the 6.1-inch screen, does justice to the qualities of this overlay.
An amazing pocket camera
Until now, the S22 stood out relatively little from its predecessor. When it comes to photography, Samsung has done well too.
The main sensor, equivalent to 24 mm, is now 50 megapixels compared to 12 last year. The idea here is to have a lot of pixels to allow the system to gather as much information as possible and actually create a better shot. To be honest, we haven’t seen any real improvement over last year. Keep in mind though that photos taken with this sensor remain what’s best today. We did notice however that the colorimetry of the photos is a little more realistic and that the management of the dynamic range has improved.
It’s about time, but Samsung is finally offering a true 70mm equivalent telephoto lens. The Galaxy S21 offered a bit of an odd combination with a 64MP sensor, while it was 29mm equivalent. Suddenly we had a half digital, half optical zoom that didn’t really live up to the Korean’s reputation.
And now, are we satisfied? Yes ! Especially since the shots are successful in good light conditions, but also at night.
This year, Samsung has communicated a lot about night photography. We also had the opportunity to le S22 Ultra tester and it is true that the results on the main sensor and the X3 optical zoom are good. Here, the same observation. The situations in which these two sensors will let you down at night are countless. We’re still under the impression that it’s a bit worse than the S22 Ultra, but frankly, at 859 euros, we’re not going to be picky.
You’ll notice we haven’t mentioned the 13mm-equivalent ultra-wide sensor yet. The reason is quite simple, it is not as satisfying as the two friends of him. It offers a correct daytime result, nothing more. At night, it is difficult to use it. Sometimes you have to do it several times to get a net result. It’s a shame because if we omit this point, the Galaxy S22 is one of the most versatile pocket cameras on the market. And its small size, compatible with all pockets (yes, it’s important!), will make you want to take it everywhere.
If you want to see other shots, you can click this link which will take you to an album with a selection of photos taken with the Galaxy S22.
See also video:
This smartphone is a clock that will tick in your head
So what is blocking? As we said in our Galaxy S22 Ultra test, Samsung’s in-house Exynos 2200 processor isn’t exactly vintage. If this was not prohibitive in the womb of his older brother, here the question arises. So yes, by the power of it, he is capable of running any recent app or game. But at what price?
First point, the smartphone gets hot. The temperature reading taken by our lab shows that it quickly reaches 43.2 degrees. It’s quite tall, without being dramatic. The problem is that the materials used on the back of the device conduct this heat to the fingers, making it quickly unpleasant to use. We could advise you not to abuse the game, but this situation occurs even during long navigation phases. When watching video content, it sometimes takes less than thirty minutes for the grip to become unpleasant.
The problem is that this heating does not happen for nothing. The processor consumes a lot of power, even for less complex tasks, probably due to optimization issues. Therefore, it needs a lot of energy to work. Result, the autonomy takes by its range. The 01net.com laboratory noted a versatile autonomy of 12 h 10. A figure that is no longer very high compared to the competition, even at prices twice lower. In addition, the autonomy of video transmission was measured at 10 hours in general. It’s very low and even lower than the previous generation, which isn’t really polished anymore on that side.
For sometimes surprising reasons, the battery melts like snow in the sun, even when you’re not using your smartphone. For example, it has happened to us that we lost 15% of battery in two hours… when we had just taken out the mobile to answer some messages!
Important data to take into account when comparing it with the Pixel 6 Pro, whose versatile autonomy is substantially the same. However, it is not impossible to finish the day without recharging the Google terminal. It’s much more difficult with the Galaxy S22. Impossible to go a whole day without your charger! On a daily basis, if you use your smartphone frequently, it is a sword of Damocles constantly hanging over your head. At this point, Samsung hasn’t got it right: in addition to having a poorly optimized processor, the manufacturer has reduced the battery size to 3,700 mAh, down from 4,000 mAh last year.
Fortunately, with 3700 mAh and fast charging, we should be able to easily recover autonomy, right? Not even: the manufacturer made the decision not only not to offer this charger in the box, but above all to restrict the smallest of the S22 to 25W! An aberration where the competition has no problem offering 65W in this price range.
The duel against the iPhone 13 is lost
Positioned at a fairly similar price (859 euros for the S22, 909 euros for the iPhone 13), and with the same screen size, we decided to oppose the Galaxy S22 and the iPhone 13 in a dedicated box. To be completely frank, operating system considerations aside, before using both devices for 10 days, we thought the Galaxy S22’s versatility in photography would have given it the edge. And indeed, you have more photographic possibilities. But this concern for autonomy and heating seems too important for the Korean to win. The iPhone 13 isn’t perfect, but it offers more than just a Galaxy S22: serenity. There is no need to push the duel further, the apple brand wins this duel.