Samsung is back with a new set of flagship phones and this time one of them is extra…noteworthy.
The Galaxy S22 line of smartphones was officially unveiled at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday and, just like last year, there are three models: S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra.
They’ll launch on Feb. 25 and start at $799, $999, and $1,199, respectively. You can pre-order them starting Feb. 9, as well. The S22 Ultra comes in phantom white, phantom black, green, and burgundy. The S22 and S22+ have the same color selection, minus burgundy and plus a pink gold option instead.
If you were a fan of the now-dead Galaxy Note line of phones, the Galaxy S22 Ultra says hello.
The new Ultras sure look a lot like Notes, complete with S-Pen support. Credit: Samsung
Samsung added an embedded S-Pen slot to the S22 Ultra this time around to go along with a more boxy design that’s reminiscent of the late Note phones. Folks who enjoyed the stylus-driven creativity and productivity enabled by the Note phones should feel right at home on the S22 Ultra. Obviously, though, they’ll have to pay a lot to get there.
The S22 Ultra has a big 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate packaged in an aluminum frame. A quad-camera rear array sits in a vertical bump on the back of the phone with a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 108MP wide lens, and a pair of 10MP telephoto lenses. Samsung claims the phone’s nighttime photography is improved by the ability to blend multiple exposures into one shot, while an auto-framing feature will appropriately frame a shot with up to 10 subjects with optimized focus. Oh, and portrait mode now works with nighttime shots.
It’ll also support WiFi 6E, a newer and faster WiFi standard that’s starting to be built into modern routers.
As for the “lower-end” models, the S22 and S22+ will work more like previous Galaxy S phones. That means no embedded S-Pen. The base S22 has a 6.1-inch display while the S22+ comes in at 6.6 inches, and both of them are AMOLED 120Hz displays. Both phones have three rear lenses instead of the four found on the Ultra, with the wide lens bumped down to 50MP and just one 10MP telephoto lens. Fear not, however, as you’ll still get auto-framing and nighttime portrait shots.
The S22 and S22+ phones, meanwhile, are more standard Galaxy S fare. Credit: Samsung
The other main disadvantage to going with the cheaper models is battery size. The S22 Ultra comes with a beefy 5,000mAh battery, as compared to the 4,500mAh battery found in the S22+ and the S22’s 3,700mAh battery. The base S22 only offers up to WiFi 6, as well. All three phones support 5G, at least.
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Ultimately, the most interesting thing about the Galaxy S22 line is how the Ultra model accommodates Galaxy Note fans with an embedded S-Pen. Samsung was already dealing with feature redundancy between the two lines when the final Galaxy Note model launched in 2020, but Note fans were left wandering in the wilderness for 2021. Now, the Galaxy S phones smartly work for people who just want a powerful flagship and for people who want something a little more.