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Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Finding that flagship sweet spot

(Pocket-lint) – Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S series line-up for 2022 delivers three different phone sizes: the smaller 6.1-inch S22 model, the mammoth 6.8-inch and curved screen of the S22 Ultra (complete with integrated S Pen stylus) and the flat-panel 6.6-inch S22+. Given this Plus model’s place in the trio, it might well sit in the ideal sweet spot for many people.

Much like we said about the smaller S22, the S22 Plus is all about subtle refinement, moderately shrinking the handset’s screen size and overall scale compared to its S21+ predecessor, while tweaking the camera arrangement, too.

Do those changes help this mid-positioned flagship stand out from the other two S22 models in the trio and, indeed, the recent release of the S21 Fan Edition model. Or does it feel as though the S series has plateaued and has little new to offer in the way of killer features.

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ doesn’t make huge changes from the Galaxy S21+ from 2021 and many might find there’s little reason to upgrade – it’s much the same design, much the same experience, but slightly tweaked. It also suffers from sitting in the shadow of a newly-refreshed Galaxy S22 Ultra.

This changes the position from 2021: with the introduction of the S Pen on the flagship S22 Ultra, some might think that phone is heading in a direction they don’t want to go.

At its core, the Samsung Galaxy S22+ is a great phone. It’s well built, it has a great display and audio, it’s smooth to use and the battery life lasts well enough. But you could get a similar experience from the S21 FE or the S21+ for a little less money.

For those sitting on an older Samsung phone, the Galaxy S22+ makes a lot of sense as an upgrade: this will be a phone that performs in all areas, but it’s not a huge upgrade from the previous version.

Design

  • IP68 dust/weather resistance
  • Under display fingerprint scanner
  • 75.8 x 157.7 x 7.6mm; 196g
  • Colours: Phantom Black, White, Green, Pink Gold

Sometimes you have to go back to go forwards. After a spate of handsets expanding their scales and bending their screen edges to greater extremes, the Galaxy S22+ shuns that way of thinking. That’s because this Plus model is actually a little ‘minus’ compared to its S21+ predecessor, shrinking the screen size from 6.7- to 6.6-inches.

Moreso than the panel size’s reduction, however, is squashing of the physical dimensions by a few millimetres here and there compared to the S21+. That has resulted in a squeeze on the S22+’s battery capacity, though, which is reduced by just over 6 per cent overall. That’s not really the general trend of smartphones, and, while the hardware is increasingly efficient year on year, demands are only on the increase when it comes to the battery.

Otherwise, in terms of design, you could look at the S22+ and assume it was the S21+, albeit a whisker smaller. However, that doesn’t mean the same plastic rear as before – it’s glass this time around right across the range. There’s recycled plastic inside, while an aluminium frame make-up the core, all dressed up in an attractive style, which is available in four colour options (the black photographed here, perhaps the least interesting of the lot). We do think the colours, which are altogether less bling, make the camera unit appear even better integrated, too.

There’s quite an edge around it due to the flat nature of the screen, we’d say, and some might find it a little less comfortable than gripping something with curved edges. That being true, if you’re using a case, you’ll likely never notice that subtle difference.

 

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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