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Samsung Galaxy S22: Your complete buyer's guide

Samsung Galaxy S22 Regular Plus Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Regular Plus Ultra (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

After months of leaks and speculation, Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event revealed the Galaxy S22 series and Galaxy Tab S8 series, due to arrive in a couple of weeks. Samsung's new phones mostly match the information we've seen over the past few months, but we did learn a couple of unexpected surprises.

In the expected column, Samsung revealed the Galaxy S22 series will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200, the Galaxy S22 has a more compact iPhone-esque design than the S21, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra has all but assumed the Note mantle complete with S Pen slot and a boxy design.

A more unexpected and welcome surprise is that Samsung promises the S22 will receive four years of OS updates up to Android 16/ One UI 8 and five years of security upgrades. With better software support than even the Google Pixel, the S22 offers more longevity than any Android phone before it.

If you want to see how the S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra perform in action, our Galaxy S22 hands-on has the rundown. Otherwise, whether you want to know about pricing, the release date, pre-order deals, color options, specs, and everything else you need to know about the S22, we're here to help.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Price and colors

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Burgundy And Green

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Despite plenty of speculation that the Galaxy S22 would cost more than the Galaxy S21, the new Galaxy series uses the same price structure as before. The Galaxy S22, Plus, and Ultra cost $799, $999, and $1,199, respectively.

For these prices, all three ship with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, despite the fact that the Galaxy S21 Ultra gave 12GB of RAM for that price. You can upgrade the Galaxy S22 and S22+ to 256GB for $50 extra. As for the S22 Ultra, the 256GB upgrade comes with 12GB and sells for $1,299, while the 512GB and 1TB configurations cost $1,399 and $1,499.

You have four main color options for each phone, with Phantom Black, Phantom White, and Green available for all three. The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ also ship in Pink Gold, while the Ultra is available in Burgundy.

If you buy the phones from Samsung directly, you'll also get your shot at exclusive Galaxy S22 colors. You can choose Graphite or Sky Blue for all three, Cream and Violet for the S22/ S22+, and Red for the S22 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Release date, availability, and deals

Samsung Galaxy S22 Back White 02 With Galaxy Buds Purple

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung announced the Galaxy S22 on February 9, with pre-order deals available through February 24. From this, we can assume the phone will ship starting Friday, February 25, but Samsung didn't explicitly confirm this to us. We'll update this once Samsung give us a hard date in the Unpacked event.

With the Galaxy S21, Samsung launched the phone in 60 countries before eventually selling in over 130 countries. Presumably, we should see a similar international reach this year, making the phone much more accessible than competing phones like the Pixel 6.

While you can purchase the phone through major retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, you'll get a free storage upgrade if you pre-order from Samsung.com. That means jumping to 256GB for free with the Galaxy S22/S22+, or from 256GB to 512GB for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Verizon and AT&T have already revealed their Galaxy S22 carrier deals, if you're looking to save money and don't mind a contract. And ordering the S22 (or Tab S8) will also score you four free months of YouTube Premium, assuming you don't already have an account.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Which should you buy?

A recent survey indicated 44% of Android users considering buying an S22 would choose the Ultra model. But even if plenty of people are excited for this Note reincarnation, the smaller and more affordable models may be a better fit for you.

With most flagship phones offering massive displays, the Galaxy S22 is a refreshing change of pace for people who miss fast, small phones. At just 6.1 inches but backed by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200, the S22 will match or beat the best Android phones for speed at a reasonable price. Compared to the S21, you'll get a revamped main camera and selfie camera with improved camera processing, slimmer bezels, a flatter glass-backed design, and (unfortunately) a smaller battery and the same 25W charging speeds.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Regular Plus Ultra Crop

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The Galaxy S22+ mostly upgrades on the S22 in size, offering a more traditional 6.6-inch display for those who want more screen space. You get the same performance and camera quality with both, but the S22+ does offer a significantly larger battery and 45W charging, so it tops off more quickly and lasts longer. It also gives you UWB and Wi-Fi 6E, which the S22 lacks. You have to decide if these small improvements justify the $200 difference.

And then, of course, you have the Galaxy S22 Ultra. That model is the only one to offer 12GB of RAM, but only if you spend $300 more than the S22+. If you can accept the base 8GB, the $200 upcharge jumps you to QHD resolution, an 108MP main camera and second 10X-zoom telephoto lens, and an S Pen with just 2.8ms of latency. A larger, more pixel-rich display will speak to buyers with expensive tastes, and Note fans will love the boxy design and edge-to-edge display. But current S21 Ultra owners with the same cameras and more base RAM may want to stand pat.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Black

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Ultimately, your purchase comes down to preference more than anything; the software, speeds, and overall quality should prove consistent across all three. We'll soon have our hands on the phones for full reviews to give you more insight.

If you're planning to pre-order now, we'll keep it simple: if you're planning on using this phone for years to come, the S22+ and S22 Ultra have more future-proofing with better charging speeds and connectivity, and the Ultra wins for photography and intensive apps like gaming. But don't sleep on the S22, which despite some compromises delivers the same quality of experience for much less.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Specs

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Display

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung has at last unveiled how its three new phones compare to one another. From the processor and display to the cameras and battery, here's how the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, and Galaxy S22 Ultra stack up to one another.

CategoryGalaxy S22Galaxy S22+Galaxy S22 Ultra
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200
Display6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
1080x2340
120Hz refresh rate with 240Hz touch sampling
6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
1080x2340
120Hz refresh rate (10-120Hz) with 240Hz touch sampling
6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
QHD+
120Hz refresh rate (1-120Hz) with 240Hz touch sampling
Memory8GB8GB8GB or 12GB
Storage128GB or 256GB128GB or 256GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear Camera50MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.0μm, (85-degree wide-angle)
12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm (120-degree ultra-wide)
10MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.0μm, 3x optical zoom (telephoto)
50MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.0μm, (85-degree wide-angle)
12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm (120-degree ultra-wide)
10MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.0μm, 3x optical zoom (telephoto)
108MP, ƒ/2.2, 0.8μm, (85-degree wide-angle)
12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4μm (120-degree ultra-wide)
10MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.12μm, 3x optical zoom (telephoto)
10MP, ƒ/4.9, 1.12μm, 10x optical zoom (telephoto)
Front Camera40MP, ƒ/2.2, 80-degree wide-angle40MP, ƒ/2.2, 80-degree wide-angle40MP, ƒ/2.2, 80-degree wide-angle
Battery3,700mAh
25W Fast Charging
15W Wireless Charging
4,500mAh
45W Fast Charging
15W Wireless Charging
5,000mAh
45W Fast Charging
15W Wireless Charging
UWB🚫✔️✔️
Wi-FiWi-Fi 6 (ax), Dual BandWiFi 6E (6GHz)WiFi 6E (6GHz)
S Pen🚫🚫✔️
microSD card slot🚫🚫🚫
3.5mm headphone jack🚫🚫🚫
Dimensions70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm75.8 x 157.4 x 7.6 mm77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm
Weight168g196g229g
Water and dust resistanceIP68IP68IP68
ColorsPhantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink GoldPhantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink GoldPhantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Burgundy

Samsung Galaxy S22 Design

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Unlike the Galaxy S21, which has a more rounded feel in its curves, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ look decidedly more flat and severe around the edge. Samsung made the colors more subdued, the bezels slimmer and more symmetrical, and the overall size smaller for both. People with small hands or wearing thick gloves in winter should have less trouble holding these phones than their 2021 counterparts.

Overall, our team member who tested the phones in person described them as having a more "manmade" appearance than before, and looking very much like the iPhone 13.

As for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it is simultaneously thicker, more rectangular, and more curved than its smaller bretheren. It mimics the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra design in many ways, including a slot for the S Pen. While the metal frame is fully flat on the top and bottom, the left and right sides curve around the frame.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Software

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Display

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

All three phones ship with One UI 4.1, a small upgrade on One UI 4 currently available on most recent Samsung phones. With this release, Google has announced new Android 12 features like live app sharing through Google Duo, Voice Access support, and other small tweaks.

The more significant software announcement of the day is that the Galaxy S22 will receive four OS updates and five years of security updates through early 2027. Considering Samsung is currently the fastest brand for Android 12 updates, even for phones that are several years old, it's promising to see that the S22 will quickly receive the latest software relatively quickly every year.

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.