As we get closer to 2022, the rumors and hearsay around the Samsung Galaxy S22 are gathering pace, with claimed camera leaks and renders slowly building up a strong picture of what we can expect from the next series of Galaxy S phones.
One of the most compelling rumors is that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will have a lot of the Note lines DNA, which our Phones Editor Jordan Palmer reckons could be the could be the Galaxy Note we’ve all been waiting for.
And across the line of next-gen phones, we’re expecting camera upgrades, a new chipset, refined design and more. Such upgrades will be rather welcome. While our Samsung Galaxy S21 review was largely positive, shoppers didn’t seem all that excited about Samsung’s three flagship phones. The Galaxy S22 Ultra should be the most exciting model, as it’s tipped to include an S Pen and a Galaxy Note-like design.
Notably, some refinement in camera performance would be welcome, as the iPhone 13 series delivers better image quality than the S21 in some scenarios. And the Galaxy S22 will also have to compete against the Google Pixel 6 and its Tensor chip, as well as against the cheaper S21 FE, which leaked again this week and is expected to arrive in January.
Here are all the early rumors for the Samsung Galaxy S22 and what we want to see from this series.
The latest rumor pegs the Samsung Galaxy S22 launch date as February 8, 2022; preorders will begin the same day, and the phone will go on sale on February 18. This same rumor, from Jon Prosser, also says that the Galaxy S21 FE will be released on January 4, 2022.
That’s a few weeks earlier than another recent report that claimed the Galaxy S22 will be released February 28, just ahead of MWC 2022.
The Galaxy S21 range launched in January, slightly earlier then usual. But that might not happen with the Galaxy S22 as it could be pushed back to make way for the rumored Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, which has been tipped for a January launch.
A separate report from WinFuture says that components for the Galaxy S22 series have entered mass production as of early November, so it’s possible that the phone could launch sooner rather than later.
With the Galaxy S21 lineup, Samsung reduced the cost for all three models by $200, and we don’t see prices going back up.
So if Samsung stays consistent, the Galaxy S22 will cost $799, the Galaxy S22 Plus will be $999 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be priced at $1,199.
However, a new rumor has the Galaxy S22 range tipped to get a price increase. The Galaxy S22 will reportedly increase to an $849 starting price, the Galaxy S22 Plus to $1,049 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra to $1,299. Seeing the Ultra bump up to the same price that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra launched at isn’t all that surprising given it’s expected to be a spiritual successor to the Note.
If alleged leaked Galaxy S22 diagrams are to be believed, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Pro will sport similar designs to their S21 predecessor but with smaller dimensions.
The regular S22 could measure 149.98 x 70.56 x 7.65mm, compared to 151.7x 71.2 x 7.9mm. And the Galaxy S22 Pro (not the Plus) could be 157.43 x 75.83 x 7.65mm for the S22 Pro; the S21 Plus was 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm.
A big change that could be coming to the Galaxy S22 is an under-display camera, a feature that debuted to mixed success in the Galaxy Z Fold 3. This would enable a true full-screen design without a traditional punch hole at the top of the display.
That said, another rumor from Ice Universe claims the Galaxy S22 might not get an under-display camera after all. While the tech may have made its Samsung debut on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it offered pretty lackluster results, so it could be that Samsung is taking it slow with this particular piece of tech.
Elsewhere, a tip from leaker Mauri QHD on Twitter claims that the Samsung Galaxy S22 will feature a thinner design than the Galaxy S21. However, this may result in smaller batteries.
There’s also a set of concept renders for the Galaxy S22 from LetsGoDigital, which highlights possible design changes. These include a massive main camera flanked by four smaller sensors, and a possible active cooling system.
New information obtained by Let’s Go Digital (from an alleged former Samsung employee) claims that the Galaxy S22 will look different than the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The site produced some renders which show a phone that looks a lot like the Galaxy S21 with a similar camera hump. Meanwhile, the S22 Ultra is expected to adopt a more Note-like design, further separating the upcoming Galaxy S22 family.
As far as colors go, analyst Ross Young has tweeted the likely options. He claims the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus will come in black, green, pink gold and white varieties, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be available in black, green, white and a dark red model.
The latest titbit of design information around the Galaxy S22 models comes courtesy of alleged images of a trio of screen protectors for the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Going by these images, if legit, it would appear that the both the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus models are indeed getting smaller screens with with sizes of around 6.06- and 6.55-inches respectively. Whereas the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is set to be a surrogate Galaxy Note 22 in all but name, is set to retain its 6.81-inch frame.
The screen protector for the rumored Galaxy S22 Ultra (more on that below) is particularly compelling as it shows how the phone could very much have the more rectangular shape of the seemingly defunct Galaxy Note phones, where as the smaller models have more rounded sides and overall shape.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Things could get very interesting with the rumoured Ultra version of the Galaxy S22 line, as that phone is set to get a lot of the DNA from the seemingly dead Galaxy Note line.
A new set of images of what is claimed to be a dummy unit of the Galaxy S22 Ultra shows off how it could have a blockier, squared-off design that harks back to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
The usually reliable leaker OnLeakers has also shared unofficial renders of the Galaxy S22 family, with designs for the Galaxy S22 Ultra showing an unusual camera array in a “P” shape, also seen in the dummy units. A Note-like style is also apparent, complete with S Pen dock, though that wasn’t seen in the dummy units; the jury is out on the Galaxy S22 Ultra having a built-in S Pen holder.
To further back up these renders, leaker Ice Universe has shared some leaked renders that are supposedly of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s case. These again show a cutout for a P-shaped camera module, and otherwise point to a Note-like design.
However, a new render of the Galaxy S22 Ultra has shown off a phone with a different take on the P-shaped camera, with the phone keeping the same rough P-shape but split into two modules; one hold a trio of cameras and a smaller pill-shaped module holds two cameras.
There’s also a third idea of what the rear cameras may look like. The latest design, apparently endorsed by leakers IceUniverse and FrontTron, was produced by Technizo Concept for LetsGoDigital and shows a “waterdrop” camera array, with the lenses all sitting separately and flush with the back of the phone. It’s a unique design that would make the S22 quite different from previous Galaxy S phones.
A fresh batch of Galaxy S22 Ultra renders have also been posted by LetsGoDigital in partnership with artist Giuseppe Spinelli.
These build upon the other renders, further showing off the alleged rear camera design, as well as a render image that hints at what the phone might look like on display. If Samsung does indeed adopt this design, then we could be looking at a rather attractive handset that more than nods at the Note.
Furthermore, the P-shaped camera design rumors was given more weight with what’s claimed to be a leaked photo of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s back panel. As you can see in the photo above, there are cut-outs for cameras that back up the design we’ve seen in the renders so far.
Otherwise, the same square-edged design with a gently curved display is present, drawing upon the Galaxy Note’s DNA and looking rather slick. Of course, this is all just a concept render so we need to take these with a pinch of salt.
In terms of dimensions, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is tipped to measure 163.29 x 77.87 x 9.05mm, which would be bigger than the S21 Ultra’s 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm frame.
However, leaker Jon Prosser got his hands on leaked photos of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It corroborates many of the rumors and other leaks we’ve listed here, including the quad waterfall camera array, rounded edges, blocky design, and, yes, the S Pen. Samsung looks to be leaning heavily into the Galaxy Note’s DNA for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
So Note fans will have something to rejoice about if these leaked photos are true — and they appear to be, given that the display is powered on in some photos and showing different things.
Prosser also said the camera layout would be a 108MP main sensor, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 10MP 10x telephoto. That could make the Galaxy S22 Ultra the camera zoom champ for 2022, leaving others like Apple and Google in the dust.
This was given more credence by known tech leaker Ice Universe, who seemingly tipped a whole suite of specs for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. While on paper these look very similar to the Galaxy S21, improved sensors and potentially upgraded computational photography could make all the difference.
Ice Universe recently posted three photos of an alleged Galaxy S22 Ultra with a clear case. The idea is that the photos come from a case maker, though we’re not sure since Ice Universe didn’t say where they got the pictures.
The phone in question looks very Galaxy Note-like with a blocky design and flat top and bottom edges. It also has the P-shaped camera module, which each lens standing alone and flush with the back of the phone.
|Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra|
|Main sensor||108MP, f/1.8, 1/1.33”, 0.8µm||108MP, f/1.8, 1/1.33”, 0.8µm|
|Periscope telephoto (10x)||10MP, f/4.9, 1/3.24”, 1.22µm||10MP, f/4.9, 1/3.52”, 1.12µm|
|Optical telephoto (3x)||10MP, f/2.4, 1/3.24”, 1.22µm||10MP, f/2.4, 1/3.52”, 1.12µm|
|Ultrawide||12MP, f/2.2, 1/2.55”, 1.4µm||12MP, f/2.2, 1/2.55”, 1.4µm|
For more on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, see our Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra comparison.
Samsung Galaxy S22 displays
A rumor from leaker Mauri QHD, who has a pretty good track record with Samsung leaks, claims that Samsung is shrinking the displays on the Galaxy S22 lineup compared to the Galaxy S21; Ice Universe, another reputable leaker has shared the same thing. Our take is that this is a good thing and that the Galaxy S22 could save us from oversized phones.
The Galaxy S22 would be 6.06 inches (down from 6.2 inches on the S21); the S22 Plus would sport a 6.5-inch panel (down from 6.7 inches); and the Galaxy S22 Ultra would be 6.81 inches (down from 6.9 inches).
Samsung will keep the overall shape of the display the same for the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, according to a leak showing the phone’s displays or display protectors. However the Galaxy S22 Ultra appears to feature squared corners, again a sign of the phone’s Galaxy Note-ification.
The S22 Plus’ display shrinkage was further backed by a report from SlashGear.
In addition, Mauri QHD claims that only the Galaxy S22 Ultra will boast LTPO technology, which means only it would be able to scale the refresh rate on its display from 120Hz down to 1Hz. This helps save battery life.
A more recent Galaxy S22 Ultra tip claims the phone will have the brightest display ever for a Galaxy phone. Given the Galaxy S21 Ultra hits a brightness of 1500 nits, we could except the next-gen Ultra to top that, possibly pushing towards 2,000 nits. And a boost in brightness can help deliver more convincing HDR and colors, ideal for watching movies and playing games.
In terms of product mix, one report from The Elec says that 6.1-inch Galaxy S22 will see the highest volume of production at 50-60%. Just 20% of the allocation is reportedly earmarked to be 6.6-inch S22 Plus. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will apparently account for the remaining 20 to 30%.
Samsung Galaxy S22 cameras
It’s looking like the Galaxy S22 and it’s Plus stablemate are set to get upgraded main and telephoto rear cameras, at least according to reliable leaker Ice Universe.
Apparently, both phones will make use of a 50MP main camera, which could be equipped with a Samsung GN5 sensor that the company unveiled earlier in the year, and that has already been providing impressive results on the Google Pixel 6.
What about the zooming power? One rumor points to the Galaxy S22 offering a 3X telephoto zoom lens with a 10MP resolution. This would be an upgrade over the previous 3x hybrid optical zoom.
Samsung is also reportedly testing the ability to shoot 8K video at 60 frames per second for the Galaxy S22. This would be an improvement over the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which maxes out at 24fps for 8K video. Granted, there are very few people who own 8K TVs, as they are prohibitively expensive. But this upgrade would result in a more future-proof phone.
Around the front, the Galaxy S22 range has been tipped to come with the same resolution sensors as their predecessors; so 10MP for the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus and 40MP for the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This may seem a bit disappointing, but there’s potential for some hardware changes, such as wider apertures. And Samsung is very likely to have worked to improve the image processing on the software side of its next-gen phones, hopefully reducing over-sharpening or over-smoothing, as well as letting in more light and delivering even colors.
Samsung Galaxy S22 S Pen support
According to leaker Ice Universe, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could feature an integrated S Pen and slot, which would ostensibly make it a Galaxy Note device. This progression would make sense, as Samsung offered S Pen support on the previous S21 Ultra but without a holster.
In addition, the S22 Ultra’s design could be similar to the Galaxy Note series, which could be a more squared-off look along with a wider aspect ratio. The latter would make sense so that there would be more room to write.
We don’t know whether the Galaxy S22 or Galaxy S22 Plus would get S Pen support.
Samsung Galaxy S22 specs and graphics
The main chip powering the Galaxy S22 could be the just unveiled Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. In fact, a rumor that circulated before Qualcomm revealed its new chipset claimed that Samsung could be the company to manufacture the new Snapdragon chip.
A benchmark for a Galaxy S22 Plus has been discovered using the next-gen Snapdragon chip. The results don’t look too hot compared to currently available phones, but we’d imagine the scores will increase as Samsung does some final tweaking to the phone before launch. For what it’s worth, Qualcomm says that the Kryo CPU in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is 20% faster than its predecessor with 30% more power savings. The Adreno GPU is supposed to boost speed by 30% while being 25% more efficient in terms of power consumption.
It had been rumored that the Samsung Galaxy S22 could get a major boost in graphics power, with a GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, which happens to underpin the PS5 and Xbox Series X. That’s not to say the Galaxy S22 will have the power of the latest games consoles, but it could easily surpass the handsets on our best gaming phones list.
This rumor has been given more credence with a tip that Samsung is testing several configurations of a new Exynos 2200 chip that sports AMD graphics. And reliable leaker Ice Universe posted alleged Wild Life results on Twitter of the performance of one configuration; the graphics benchmark results showed a score of 8,134 points with an average FPS of 50.3. That’s extremely impressive for an Android phone.
The Exynos 2200 chip may even support ray tracing. This was apparently confirmed by Samsung via its Weibo account, but the post has since been deleted. If it was accurate, then this would make the S22 an incredible phone for mobile gaming. Assuming game devs were able to make games that would support it.
What’s not clear is whether any of this AMD tech will be reserved for Samsung’s Exynos 2200 processor or if it will also find a home in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; Qualcomm’s certainly made no mention of it.
More recently, it’s been rumored that Samsung, lacking in parts for the Exynos 2200 chip, will use the next-generation Snapdragon chip worldwide for the Galaxy S22. Not every leaker agrees with this, but if it’s the truth, then we’ll miss out on that AMD-enhanced Exynos chip for the time being.
This same leak also told us what memory versions there could be of the different S22 models. The vanilla S22 and S22 Pro may use 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, while the S22 Ultra will have a choice between 12GB and 16GB of RAM, and 256GB and 512GB of storage.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm has said that it plans to power 40 to 50 percent of Galaxy S devices in 2022, though it’s not clear how many of those would be the Galaxy S22 versus other handsets.
Samsung recently announced the development of its new LDDR5X DRAM, an upgraded take on the LPDDR5 found in flagship Android phones. This new memory promises to be faster and more efficient. And there’s an outside chance it could feature in the Galaxy S22. It may not hit production in time, but if it does we could see the Galaxy S22 get a bigger performance boost over its predecessor and potentially more scope to hold more apps in a standby mode within the RAM.
Samsung Galaxy S22 battery and charging
Early Galaxy S22 rumors centered around charging — we have heard that Samsung might re-introduce upwards of 65W fast charging with the Galaxy S22. This comes courtesy of known leaker Ice Universe, who claims that Samsung is testing 25W, 45W, and 65W charging.
However, that may now not be the case as a new listing relating to the Galaxy S22 range seen on China’s 3C tech regulator website, has the upcoming flagship phone set to stick with the 25W charging of its predecessor. This could be a hefty letdown, given the previous rumors and the fact that Samsung lags behind the likes of Oppo and OnePlus when it comes to charging speeds and wattage.
Ice Universe has some other details about potential Galaxy S22 batteries. The leaker claims the Galaxy S22 will offer a 3,800 mAh power pack while the Galaxy S22 Plus will use a 4,600 mAh battery — both figures represent 200 mAh downgrades. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to retain the 5,000 mAh size of its predecessor.
However, a new listing supposedly from 3C Certification, China’s compliance service for electrical products, has shown what’s believed to be the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra with smaller battery capacities than their predecessors.
The Galaxy S22 Plus could have a 4,370 mAh battery and the Galaxy S22 Ultra could come with a 4,855 mAh battery capacity. That means the batteries may be even smaller than Ice Universe has claimed. These reported battery sizes do contradict another report by Dutch website GalaxyClub, which claims the S22 Plus will have a 4,500 mAh battery. Either way, the trend is downward.
The above has been given more credence by a new rumor that the Samsung Galaxy S22 could have a smaller battery than the Galaxy S21. This titdbit claims the Galaxy S22 will have a battery rated for 3,590 mAh, which is hardly a huge capacity for 2021 standards let alone 2022. A certification posted at Safety Korea also corroborated this rumor, after posting a battery alleged to be from the Galaxy S22. That battery had a total capacity of 3.700 mAh, and a usable capacity of 3,590 mAh.
However, we have no way to verify this information. And Samsung may have put prioritization on battery optimization than capacity in order to deliver a solid battery life overall.
Samsung Galaxy S22: What we want to see
With plenty of time between now and the S22’s launch, we’ve got a wishlist of features we hope Samsung will incorporate.
A true full-screen design: This is rumored to be coming true so it’s not a big ask. We’d like to see a full-screen design for the Galaxy S22 with a front camera that disappears when you don’t need it. We’d also like to be able to use apps in full-screen mode without having to dig into settings as you do now with some apps and games.
A sharper display: Samsung dropped the resolution on the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus from quad HD to 1080p, likely in an effort to save cost. But it would be nice if the sharpest resolution wasn’t a Galaxy S22 Ultra-exclusive feature this time around.
S Pen support for every Galaxy S22: Right now, only the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports the S Pen as an option, while the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus do not. So if Samsung is serious about adding S Pen support to more devices, providing a digitizer for all three Galaxy S22 models would be welcome.
Faster charging (even if it’s not in the box): After offering a 45W charger option on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung stepped away from that perk for the Galaxy S21 lineup. However, a leak points to Samsung releasing a 65W charger, and we hope that it supports the Galaxy S22 lineup.
Longer battery life: The Galaxy S21’s battery life wasn’t bad, but it could be better. On the Tom’s Guide battery test, the regular Galaxy S21 lasted 9 hours and 53 minutes when web surfing over 5G, but that dipped all the way down to 6:31 with adaptive display mode on.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra fared better, as it endured for 11 hours and 25 minutes in 60Hz mode and 10:07 in adaptive mode. Keep in mind that the the adaptive display on the S21 Ultra is more dynamic, as it can scale down to 10 Hz, as opposed to 48Hz for the S21 and S21 Plus. So it would be nice if Samsung graced the S22 and S22 Plus with the same refresh rate range as the Ultra for its next phones.
Better cooling: Some Galaxy S21 users and reviewers have complained that the Galaxy S22 can run quite warm under heavy workloads or when gaming for longer stretches. So it would be good to see a better cooling solution for the Galaxy S22.
Bring back microSD: The Galaxy S21 saw the removal of the microSD card slot, much to the chagrin of many users and fans. While Samsung didn’t provide reasoning for this, we expect it might have something to do with keeping the S21 costs reduced as much as possible. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see expandable storage come back in the Galaxy S22. Samsung was one of the last bastions of this feature in the flagship market after all.