The Samsung Galaxy S22 has to be right up there when it comes to the best phones launching in the next year or so – a Galaxy S series phone launch is always one of the most eagerly anticipated on the technology calendar, and the next one should be no different.
So what can we expect to see from the Galaxy S22? What rumours and official news has emerged so far? Here we'll outline everything we know at the moment about this phone series, and where it's likely to land in the overall best Samsung phone ranking.
We're expecting the usual range of models. So expect a Samsung Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra. Sammobile suggests that the model numbers will be SM-S901x, SM-S906x, and SM-S908x.
It's fair to say that the list of the best Android phones is an impressive one at the moment – and there are already several Samsung handsets on there – but we think the Galaxy S22 could end up blowing them all away. Here's what you need to know about the device.
It's also worth noting that some clues for the Galaxy S22 might be found in this year's summer Unpacked. Samsung will launch new two new folding phones, and probably the S21 FE. Those devices may hint at what will appear next year on the S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22: launch date
So far we haven't heard any rumours about when the Samsung Galaxy S22 will launch, but we can glean some clues from previous handsets: the Galaxy S series launch date has been getting earlier and earlier with each passing year.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 launched in March 2017, then the Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S10, and Samsung Galaxy S20 all launched in February (though the date kept creeping towards the start of the month by a few days each time).
Then we saw the Samsung Galaxy S21 show up in January 2021, just 14 days into the new year. It's unlikely that the Galaxy S22 will launch in the same year, so it seems like a safe bet that we're going to see it make an appearance in January 2022. That said, as the world (hopefully) opens up a bit we might see a change. That's because Samsung might wait for CES to be over, and resume its old schdule of releasing phones a bit closer to MWC's date (although that changed too, so we'll just have to see).
Samsung Galaxy S22: price
As with the launch date, the only hints we've got at this stage about Galaxy S22 pricing are what has happened before on other handsets. We do know that Samsung has been trying to make the S series more affordable, and that could continue in 2022.
The starting prices for the standard S21 were £769 / $799 / AU$1,249, which went up to £949 / $999 /AU$1,549 for the S21 Plus edition, and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra model first went on sale with a starting price of £1,149 / $1,199 / AU$1,849.
It's by no means certain that Samsung is going to stick to those price points, or that it will release three models in the Galaxy S22 range (with the Galaxy S22 FE perhaps following later) – but that gives you a general idea.
Samsung Galaxy S22: specs
The Samsung Galaxy S21 phones come running either the Samsung Exynos 2100 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, depending on where you are in the world, and it's highly probable that the Galaxy S22 will run whatever the next flagship CPU happens to be from either Samsung or Qualcomm.
At the moment, we don't know what those CPUs will be called, or how powerful they'll be – but they'll be the fastest yet in their respective ranges. Samsung might call its next chipset the Exynos 2200, to match the name of the phone, but that's speculation.
As for Qualcomm, it went from the Snapdragon 865 to the Snapdragon 888, so it's difficult to predict exactly where its numbering system is going to go yet. It's still early days in terms of rumours and leaks around these internal components.
When it comes to the other specs, 5G will of course be standard across the board, and we might well see improvements in terms of charging speeds – at 25W wired and 15W wireless for the S21 series, this is one area where Samsung is falling behind its rivals in the Android smartphone market.
Samsung and other phone makers are starting to reach a plateau when it comes to RAM and storage: just how much does a phone need? The Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus topped out at 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra went all the way up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. That's a lot, even for power users, so it's tricky to judge whether or not Samsung would try and improve on that with the S22.
We will no doubt see improvements in the triple-lens and quad-lens cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S21 phones – there have been strong hints that a 200MP sensor could be in the pipeline. Expect Samsung to announce better low light photography and better image processing with the Galaxy S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22: design
The design of the Galaxy S21 phones was substantially different from the Galaxy S20 handsets that came before them – in relative terms at least. The wraparound camera module was a good move in our eyes, and we don't think Samsung would ditch it after just one year.
Around the front, the Samsung Galaxy S22 might be the series where Samsung finally introduces a selfie camera under the display, getting rid of the punch hole notch for good. We know that Samsung is working on the tech – we've seen the patents – but whether it'll be ready for January 2022 is a matter of speculation.
While we've seen little in the way of authentic-looking leaks, Samsung fans are already working hard on concept videos of what the Galaxy S22 might look like, and one of the best efforts yet – from Technizo Concept – is embedded below.
In terms of screen sizes we can look back at the S21 line: 6.2 inches for the standard model, 6.7 inches for the Plus model, and 6.8 inches for the Ultra model. It's difficult to predict whether or not those will stay the same next time around, and so far we haven't heard too much in the way of leaks and rumours when it comes to display sizes.
Something we have heard is that Samsung is experimenting with different types of rollable and foldable display form factors, but that's unlikely to affect the S series phones – the S22 will no doubt stick with a flat screen, but be on the look-out for a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 in the near future as well.
The colour choices for the Samsung Galaxy S series are always interesting, and it's likely that Samsung will add some variation here. Across the three S21 phones we had grey, white, violet, pink, black, silver, gold, red, titanium, navy and brown to choose from – some of those might stay and some might go with the S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22: other features
It's still early days for Galaxy S22 rumours and we haven't heard many other murmurings about what could be in store with these upcoming handsets. We might get a few more clues if and when the Galaxy Note 21 makes an appearance in the middle of 2021. Other Samsung projects, like transparent displays, might not be ready in time for the S22.
Speaking of the Note, stylus support could be expanded beyond just the Ultra edition when the S22 rolls around. Meanwhile, expect features like IP68 protection against water and dust to be standard across the board again – the S series phones are flagship-level devices, and you wouldn't expect anything less from a flagship phone.
Pricing could be one area where Samsung decides to innovate with the next batch of S series phones, and with the FE models now appearing regularly, it's possible that prices could shift accordingly – or we might see one of the S22 models dropped.
- Check out our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20