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Seriously, Hold Off on Buying a Samsung Galaxy S22

The Galaxy S23 should be coming this week, so it's best to wait for an upgrade or swap.

Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared
From left, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22.
Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

This story is part of Samsung Event, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Samsung's most popular products.

Editor's Note, Feb. 1, 2023: Samsung's Galaxy S23 line was unveiled at the company's February Unpacked event alongside a new Galaxy Book. There are three new phones in the series: a standard, Plus and Ultra version.

If you've been thinking of getting a Galaxy S22, you should probably wait. 

Samsung's Galaxy S23 lineup is expected to debut on Feb. 1, meaning the Galaxy S22 you're thinking about purchasing could feel outdated in just a matter of days. Even if you just want to score a discount and don't necessarily care about having the latest phone, there are good reasons to wait.

The biggest one, of course, is that the Galaxy S23 family will likely have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which should bring perks like better graphics and power efficiency. Purportedly leaked images published by the blog WinFuture also indicate that a slightly different design might be in store. 

The most significant update, however, is expected to arrive on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is rumored to get a 200-megapixel camera, according to often-correct leaker Ice Universe. Samsung's new 200-megapixel image sensor should provide both high resolution and solid performance in challenging conditions, as my colleague Stephen Shankland reported. However, we won't know whether that chip will be in the Galaxy S23 Ultra until Samsung announces the phone.

Those changes might not sound like much, especially when it comes to the regular Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus. But it's still a good idea to wait if you can. 

You'll get more longevity out of the Galaxy S23 compared with an older phone like the Galaxy S22 for two simple reasons. One is that the processor is newer, so performance will remain speedy for a longer period of time. But the more important point is that it will likely get an extra year of software and security updates. 

Samsung committed to offering four generations of Android updates and five years of security updates for the Galaxy S22 last year, and it will probably do the same for the Galaxy S23. The Galaxy S22 is already one year into that upgrade cycle.

Read more: How to Watch Samsung Unpacked

You might be tempted to buy the Galaxy S22 anyway, since there are plenty of deals available through Samsung and other retailers. I'd encourage you to consider that similar discounts on the Galaxy S23 lineup may surface once the devices launch. Last year, for example, AT&T shaved $800 off the Galaxy S22 even when trading in an older, broken phone. Samsung also offered some bargains last year to promote the Galaxy S22 family at launch. Those who preordered the device before Feb. 24 were eligible to upgrade to the next storage tier and gain Samsung credit that could be applied toward the Galaxy Watch 4 or Samsung Freestyle projector. 

There's also a chance that we may see some Galaxy S22 discounts after the Galaxy S23 launches. Samsung released the Galaxy S21 FE in 2022 as a slightly cheaper alternative to the Galaxy S22, targeting the audience that would typically opt to save a few bucks by going for the prior year's model. Since Samsung didn't release a Galaxy S22 FE, perhaps it'll keep a version of the Galaxy S22 around at a lower price. 

Regardless, it's a good idea to wait if you're in a position to do so. Learning about what the Galaxy S23 has to offer and seeing which discounts are available will help you make a more informed decision. And of course, CNET will have plenty of advice on whether the Galaxy S23 is worth the upgrade once it launches.

More on Samsung Unpacked