Without a shadow of a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy S21 was one of the best phones of the year. But things move quickly in the world of the best Android phones – and thoughts have now turned to the release of the Samsung Galaxy S22.
With any luck, that means some exciting updates are inbound, including more jaw-dropping designs, hefty spec sheets, and a sizable serving of rumor-fueled excitement in the lead-up to next year's release. Here are 5 things I'm most excited about for Samsung's next flagship smartphone.
The best Samsung phones are known for their stellar image-capturing abilities and for pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with smartphone cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus offered, amongst other fantastic features, one of the best cameras ever seen on a smartphone – however, the Samsung Galaxy S22 could elevate this even further.
Several reliable leaks (opens in new tab) have reported that a possible newly-formed partnership with camera specialists Olympus could be the driving force behind a range of camera advancements in time for the Galaxy S22. Samsung hasn't revealed any concrete details or yet confirmed the link-up, which means the information should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, if other brands are anything to go by, then it doesn't seem implausible. OnePlus is an example of a phone manufacturer that has already partnered with Hasselblad to deliver a truly amazing camera system on the OnePlus 9 Pro, so it's exciting to think about the opportunities that an Olympus-Samsung collab could bring to the Galaxy S22's cameras.
The Galaxy S21 saw Samsung adopt a different approach to the phone's design when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S20. Though we saw a big design refresh this year, Samsung never rests on its laurels, and another design overhaul could see a new look furnished upon the Galaxy S22. This makes me excited for a number of reasons: first, it's always a treat to get a new look phone, even if it means losing some popular design facets from older models. By that very same token, a recent leak notes that the Galaxy S22 Ultra's camera module may appear as either two camera modules side-by-side, or one P-shaped module. That’s according to Let’s Go Digital (opens in new tab), which has added fuel to speculation that the "Ultra" variant of the Galaxy S22 line will feature a different design to its predecessor.
It's no easy task redesigning something as impeccable as the Samsung Galaxy S21 – in fact, you might take the view that if it ain't broken, then don't fix it. Still, innovation is never a bad thing, even if it means starting afresh. In the safe hands of the Samsung design team, I'm hopeful that 2022's premium flagship model could lay the first stone in a new creative direction for the brand – especially if a design shake-up is on the cards.
Performance is a measure of the nuts and bolts of a smartphone, the innards that make a phone tick. We've already heard that the iPhone 14 could make use of a shiny new Qualcomm modem, amongst many other exciting new features; likewise, Samsung has its own designs on what will form the core of its 2022 flagship.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 could be one of the first devices to feature Qualcomm’s successor to the Snapdragon 888 – which is rumored to be called the Snapdragon 895 (opens in new tab). What's most exciting is that Samsung could reportedly handle the manufacturing of this Snapdragon chip in-house. The pandemic has, amid many other difficulties, accelerated a shortage of silicon for SoCs. Samsung taking this in-house could be a savvy move, which will hopefully only bring benefits to its next round of flagship phones by avoiding delays and ensuring it has a grip on all aspects of the manufacturing process from the silicon to how the phone looks.
There's a huge amount of speculation around Samsung's plans for the Galaxy S22's display – but perhaps most intriguingly is the latest rumor suggesting that the Samsung Galaxy S22 will get smaller. Yes, that's right, smaller. One report claims that the standard Galaxy S22 will adopt a 6.06-inch screen, which would see the base flagship shrink in size from the 6.2-inch screen on the Galaxy S21.
That's all well and good – but what for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, could this also shrink? Reliable leaker Mauri QHD (opens in new tab) seems to think so, noting that the Galaxy S22 Plus will also reduce in size, dropping from 6.7-inches to a 6.5-inch display. Similarly, the hyper-premium Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could shrink from 6.9 to 6.81-inches. Though this is all very much still up in the air, it's possible that a shake-up in screen sizes could pave the way for innovations in other areas. Less can most certainly be more, especially where Samsung is involved.
And last but not least, not a feature per se, but what for the tumultuous rumor mill thus far for the Samsung Galaxy S22. Speculation has been swirling across the internet over perceived cancellations, delays, and a whole other smorgasbord of negativity around the Galaxy S22. As of 11 December, though, leaker Snoopy (opens in new tab) reports that manufacturing efforts are merrily underway, with the tipster saying that production is in "full swing."
Samsung didn't launch the Galaxy Note 21 this year, so the onus is on the Samsung Galaxy S22 in 2022 to rekindle some of that magic that the Samsung Galaxy S21 brought to the table. That in itself, in my opinion, is something to get excited about all over again.