Samsung Galaxy S22 Review: Alternatives to the iPhone 13?
Samsung Galaxy series phones are almost always at the top of the Android ecosystem, offering premium features supported by a powerful software experience.
This year too, Samsung has brought its A-game with the Galaxy S22 series and fixed most of the flaws of the previous generation. The Galaxy S22 is a perfect Android phone with solid build quality, gorgeous display and a super versatile camera setup making it one of the best phones from Samsung this year.
In this review of the S22, we compare it to the iPhone 13 (review) and try to find out if it sets a benchmark for the premium Android phone in 2022.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Review: In the Box
The Galaxy S22’s retail box comes with a Type-C cable to charge the phone. There is a SIM ejector pin and some paperwork to go with As expected, you won’t find a power adapter in the box and it’s an additional accessory that you can buy for Rs 1,999.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Review: Key Specifications at a Glance
Price: Rs. 72,999 – 8GB / 128GB Rs 76,999 – 8GB / 256GB
Display: 6.1-inch AMOLED, FHD + (2340×1080 pixels), 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10 +, Gorilla Glass Victus +
Thickness: 7.6 mm
Weight: 168 grams
Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
Built-in storage: 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1
Expandable storage: no
5G support: n1 / 2/3/5/7/8/12/20/25/28/38/40/41/66/77/78
3.5mm Jack: No.
OS: One UI 4.1 based on Android 12
Rear camera: 50MP (f / 1.8, OIS) + 12MP Ultra-wide (120-degree FOV) + 12MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom
Rear camera video: 8K (24fps), 4K (up to 60fps)
Front camera: 10MP (f / 2.2)
Speakers: Stereo speakers (tuned by AKG)
Battery and charging: 3,700mAh, 25W fast wired and 15W fast wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy S22 Performance Review
Unlike the past few years, this year Samsung has launched the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 version of the S22 series in India which means you will get strong performance across the board, be it in your daily use or intensive gaming. The Galaxy S22 can automatically stop when it comes to web browsing, scrolling through social media feeds, playing games, taking pictures or videos.
In my use, I haven’t had any major problems with the S22, and its overall functionality remains strong, which goes toe-to-toe with its main competitor, the iPhone 13. Both phones have their fair share of good and bad but what? Optimizations under the hood differ, with a solid combination of hardware and software, where Apple always has a top.
Now, don’t get me wrong, but after using the iPhone 13 for a while, I can see that the S22 is not as fluid though it has the hardware chop to give that experience. And the iPhone 13 doesn’t have a high refresh rate display, yet it’s so smooth. The S22 exhibits overall solid performance and is generally smooth at all times. But when it comes to intensive tasks like playing BGMI rounds at the extreme frame rate, you will see some frame drops and jerks like me. While this is not a complete deal-breaker, those who play these games, sometimes for hours on end, may be disappointed.
The Galaxy S22 is not at the top of the list of synthetic benchmarks like the iPhone 13, but demonstrates admirable functionality that is enough to do everyday work and then something.
On the AnTuTu benchmark, the S22 doesn’t come close to the 1 million points that we’ve seen happen with other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones like the Moto Edge 30 Pro and iQOO 9 Pro. It got 872285 on AnTuTu. Similarly in Geekbench and PCMark work stress test, S22 got good marks which reflects that it can easily handle your daily tasks.
In terms of GPU testing like 3DMark Wildlife and GFXBench, the S22 has a good score which means it is suitable for casual gamers. For those looking for sustainable gaming performance, there are dedicated gaming phones like the iQOO 9 Pro or even the ROG Phone 5s that are designed to play intensive games for hours on end.
We used the Gamebench metrics to analyze in-game performance, and according to the recorded gameplay, the S22 runs COD Mobile at 90% FPS with 99% stability and Asphalt 9 with 98% stability at 30FPS. It runs BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India) on UHD graphics and runs Ultra Frame Rate at 40FPS with 100% stability and bumping the settings to HDR Graphics and extreme Frame Rate allows it to run at 51FPS at 99% Stability.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is a fairly new chipset and so, I think phone makers need to spend more time and effort to better optimize it and integrate it with Android 12. In its current state, the Galaxy S22 is often warm to the touch after playing just a few rounds of COD mobile and especially when a 4K video is being recorded. Although it is not unbearable, it does affect battery life. Since the profile of the phone is slim and compact, the performance of the S22 is probably being throttled to reduce heat so that it does not go overboard, ensuring longevity.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy S22 is equipped with a smaller battery than the S21, which is the result of its smaller and lighter profile. Even then, I was able to get about 5.5 hours of screen-on time in heavy use. Depending on your usage, you can get a day’s worth of battery life from the S22 if you don’t play games or record video. In our video loop test, the Galaxy S22 lasted 9 hours and 52 minutes which is a reasonable score for the size of this battery. And with this enabling adaptive refresh rate, the brightness became maximum. Using a 25W charging adapter, the S22 takes about an hour to fully charge.
One of my pet peeves with the Samsung and S22 is that it supports 25W fast wired charging which is the same as last year and in no way supports the premium you are paying for. Interestingly, the S22 Plus gets a faster 45W fast charging support, but the youngest sibling gets the smaller edge of the stick.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera Review
The Galaxy S22 is a great and compact point-and-shoot camera, perfect for capturing the fleeting moments of your life. It’s basically the same camera system as the S22 Plus. The images from the original camera are sharp, vivid and pleasing to the eye. I tried to capture some samples in different situations and the results were beautiful. In daylight, the camera gives a natural depth of field, which looks great in closeups and usually you will be able to get good pictures from this phone without much effort.
To me the iPhone 13 was easy and surprisingly the results were equally good, if not better. Details, sharpness and HDR processing are good but shaded areas are not highlighted. Now, I understand that in the case of photography it is somewhat thematic, but in general people have developed a resemblance to more vivid and colorful images than natural images. And the S22 puts you on a plate! The iPhone 13 creates natural colors from around. But in my opinion, both phones make equally beautiful pictures.
At night, the images were clearer and sharper than those of the iPhone 13, but when pixel-piping you’ll see a stream of sound. The iPhone 13 models have a warm white balance, while the S22 falls towards the cool spectrum. Night mode brings more clarity but at the expense of more noise. The iPhone 13 images add more sharpness in night mode, but the highlights are better processed on the S22.
The Galaxy S21’s ultra-wide camera produces slightly more saturated images than the iPhone 13’s balanced color tones. But the S21 has a seemingly low barrel distortion and considerable sharpness at the corners. Shadow zones are not highlighted like the iPhone 13, which is capable of maintaining exposure levels. At night, the S22’s camera adds sound but Night Mode comes in handy because it reduces noise and increases clarity.
The telephoto camera on the S22 gives you the ability to zoom up to 3x and the results are great. You can also use a telephoto camera for macro photography which is a good addition and the pictures I got are crisp. This is something the iPhone 13 can’t do because the telephoto lens is reserved for Pro models.
The selfie camera upfront takes close to natural photos with balanced color and sharpness. The iPhone 13 has a wide range of selfies but has been further processed to look.
The Samsung Camera app is fairly easy to use and facilitates point-and-shoot photography. You can shoot in different styles and Pro mode allows you to control every aspect of the shot. The best addition to the S22’s camera is the object eraser that removes people or objects from the image. It can also remove shadows and reflections, which comes in handy when someone makes a photobomb.
Samsung Galaxy S22 build and design
The Galaxy S22 looks and feels great on hand. It’s a bit thinner and lighter than both the S21 and the iPhone 13. The edges are rounded which gives it great performance and makes the S22 feel stiff. I’m not particularly a fan of the huge phone and the size of the S22 is perfect for everyday use as it is comfortable to hold and does not lose weight in your pocket either.
One of the major differences between the S22 and S21 is that it has a Gorilla Glass Victus + glass rear panel and the frame is more durable than before. Samsung has sent us the Phantom White color for this review and it has a matte finish on the back. It easily handles fingerprints and smudges. The chrome finish of the frame gives an elegant touch and it looks more premium than before.
Samsung Galaxy S22 display
The display of the Samsung Galaxy S22 is 0.1-inch smaller than that of the S21, but it is the same size as the iPhone 13. It supports 120Hz variable refresh rate which can cover between 48-120Hz and not LTPO panel like S22 Ultra. Whatever the case, the display is great for everyday use and for watching videos. The visuals look crisp, bright and colorful all the time while giving you an immersive experience, appreciated by stereo speakers which can be quite loud.
Samsung claims that the display in the S22 offers 1300 nits peak brightness and is achievable in lab conditions, this does not mean that the display is not bright. According to our tests, the display measured about 490 nit peak brightness in normal mode and about 500-525 nit peak brightness in high brightness mode. Although the numbers may seem low, the S22’s display can be quite bright and provide great sunlight clarity.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Bottom Line
Samsung Galaxy S22 is one of the best premium compact phones in India right now. It is the right size for everyday use and is packed to the brim with features like a bright and gorgeous display, a premium design and a capable camera that is perfect for point-and-shoot photography.
While the iPhone 13 offers long-lasting performance that can appeal to power users, the S22 is no slouch, at least in terms of Android. It can easily perform daily tasks which is suitable for the average user.
The S22’s cameras offer a better photography experience than the previous generation, and it can hold its own in front of the iPhone 13. The telephoto lens is great and lets you zoom into a frame without losing too much precision and makes the camera system everything. More powerful.
If you are looking for a great and compact Android phone, you can’t go wrong with the S22. Although the iPhone 13 offers a more refined experience and it brings a much more secure OS, S22 features and a great balance of software which makes it a sweet deal for people looking for an iPhone 13 alternative. For those who are looking for a big phone with big display, big brother, S22 Plus is going to be my recommendation here. You can read our review of Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus here.