You can get a Galaxy S22, S22 Plus or S22 Ultra in your hands in about two weeks. Here's every spec you need to know before you buy.
Alexandra GarrettAssociate Editor
Alexandra is an associate editor on CNET's Performance Optimization team. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and interned with CNET's Tech and News teams while in school. Prior to joining CNET full time, Alexandra was a breaking news fellow at Newsweek, where she covered current events and politics.
Andrew LanxonEditor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
At its Unpacked event on Wednesday, Samsung unveiled the long-rumored Galaxy S22 series (and the Galaxy Tab S8, too). Preorders for the new flagship line are available now. But before you choose between the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra, there's key information you should know, from the price of each model to their colors and camera specs.
Last year's Galaxy S21 impressed us with its solid all-round performance and a better balance of features and price than the S20. The Galaxy S21 Ultra blew us away with its incredible camera setup and its ability to take superb zoomed-in shots. So what about the follow-up series? Now that the Galaxy S22 has made its debut, here's everything you need to know about Samsung's latest phones.
Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S22 first look: Hands-on with all 3 new phones
All the new Galaxy S22 models available
Samsung offers three variations of the Galaxy S22, with different specs at a variety of prices. There's the base Galaxy S22, along with an S22 Plus and the S22 Ultra model, which has the best specs -- and the highest price to match. It's a recipe Samsung has followed for the last few generations, and as a strategy it's working. (Here's how the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra variants compare.)
The Galaxy S22 is coming Feb. 25 and you can preorder now
Each model in the Galaxy S22 line is available for preorder today. Despite rumors of possible delay, the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra will launch and be available to buy on Feb. 25.
Samsung typically launches its S-series phones in March, but it bucked that trend in 2021 by launching the Galaxy S21 line in January. Although Samsung typically follows a 12-month update cycle, the company unwrapped its new Galaxy S22 series on Feb. 9.
Watch this: Samsung's Unpacked event in 11 minutes
How much does the Galaxy S22 cost? The price depends on the model
For 128GB of storage, the Galaxy S22 ranges in price from $799 to $1,199 depending on the model. The base Galaxy S22 costs $800 (£769, approximately AU$1,249), the S22 Plus costs $1,000 (£949, AU$1,549) and the S22 Ultra costs $1,200 (£1,149, AU$1,849). The price, however, increases as storage capacity gets larger.
At launch, the base S20 came in at $1,000, while the base S21 undercut that at $800. Instead of raising prices back to S20 levels, Samsung's has mirrored the Galaxy S21's pricing for the Galaxy S22 series.
Here are the Galaxy S22's US pricing, for reference.
Samsung Galaxy S22 prices
Galaxy S22 Plus
Galaxy S22 Ultra
What colors does the Galaxy S22 come in?
Alongside the three new Galaxy phones, Samsung introduced a few new color options. The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes in black, white, green and burgundy, while the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus come in black, white, pink gold and green.
The Galaxy S22's green and pink colors were teased during Samsung's August 2021 Unpacked event. At one point in the presentation (about 46 minutes in), when Samsung mentioned the S Pen stylus's compatibility with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the words "S22 colors" were visible on the foldable phone. The text appeared next to a separate window showing a light green plaid pair of pants and a baby pink blazer that pointed to the words "pistachio green" and "flamingo pink," but those didn't turn out to be the official names for the new Galaxy S22 color choices.
Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S22 cameras
The Galaxy S22's camera specs look similar to that of the previous generation, aside from the S22 and S22 Plus' bump up to a 50-megapixel main camera. But the company claims to have made some important under-the-hood tweaks. Looking at the high-end model, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a 108-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel ultrawide and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a similar camera set-up. Both Ultra models also sport a 40-megapixel selfie camera.
For the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, both phones have a 50-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel ultrawide and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens.
Before the Galaxy S22 line's reveal, it was speculated that the S22 Ultra could come with a 200-megapixel main camera. This would have been the highest pixel count available for a Samsung phone. Samsung Exynos, the electronic company's division for chipmaking, even flaunted a 200-megapixel phone camera in a March teaser tweet. However, it could mean bigger camera updates are coming in the future.
Since the Galaxy S21 debuted last year, Samsung updated its Galaxy S line and delivered a collection of processor, design, charging and storage upgrades in the form of the Galaxy S22.
When compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy S22 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, support for 45-watt fast wired charging and new color options (as mentioned above). The Galaxy S22 Ultra also comes with an S Pen and an 1TB storage option, which wasn't available for the Galaxy S21 series.
In terms of display size, the standard Galaxy S22 is smaller than that of the S21. The S22's display is 6.1 inches, while the S21's is 6.2 inches. The Galaxy S22 also sports a smaller battery to match. The Galaxy S21 Plus (6.7 inches) is also slightly larger than the S22 Plus (6.6 inches). The display size of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, however, remained the same at 6.8 inches.
Other notable Galaxy S22 features: 45-watt charging, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E and 1TB storage
Samsung upgraded the Galaxy S22 lineup with up to 45-watt wired charging support, meaning it offers faster charging times than last year's Galaxy S series. The option of 45-watt wired charging has been available in other galaxy devices in the past, but skipped the Galaxy S21 series.
According to tipster Ice Universe, 45-watt fast charging is enough to power the phone up to 70% in 35 minutes. But, we won't know the accuracy of the leaker's claims until CNET puts the Galaxy S22 to the test.
The Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra also each come with 5G connectivity, while the S22 Plus and S22 Ultra support Wi-Fi 6E. (The base S22 supports Wi-Fi 6.)
Although Samsung didn't add expandable storage or the option to add a microSD card to the Galaxy S22 series, the S22 Ultra offers a 1TB storage option for those who need the extra space, especially for those high-resolution images and 8K videos.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 returns to the flat screens of of the Galaxy S7. The regular Galaxy S22 is the smallest of the bunch, with a 6.1 inch screen but is powered by the the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It's a proper beast even if it is diminutive compared to its bigger brothers.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is very similar to the smaller S22, but features 6.6 inch screen and can host up to 12GB of RAM. It does, however, use the same three camera set-up as the smaller S22. The S22 Plus is also missing the Note-esque stylus that comes with the S22 Ultra.
Samsung's latest flagship superphone, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has an impressive lineup of specs, including a quadruple rear camera, a big, vibrant display and the S Pen stylus you might remember from the Galaxy Note series. It comes with a high price, but those of you looking for one of the best Android phones around should have this on your short list.