A FedEx package containing the newly announced Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra arrived at my house shortly after Samsung announced the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra at its Unpacked event earlier this month. Since then, it’s been my primary Android phone, taking the place of the Pixel 6 Pro or the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as my go-to non-iPhone option.
So far, I haven’t found much to complain about with the S22 Plus. I really like the design, the display is stunning, and the camera produces high-quality images. Performance is satisfactory, with the exception of an inconsistent scrolling issue, which I discuss further below.
After receiving a Galaxy S22 Ultra review unit, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that, unless you absolutely need a S Pen or the best S22 Samsung has to offer, the S22 Plus is more than adequate for most people. If you want to know what other people think about the S22 Ultra, ZDNet’s Matthew Miller has been reviewing Samsung’s Note replacement since it was announced. It’s also worth noting that I don’t have a standard Galaxy S22 to compare the S22 Plus to, but they’re essentially the same phone except for the overall design and charging speed.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Design
The Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 both have the same overall design. It has flat edges on all four sides, which reminds me of a more modern version of the iPhone 5’s design. The display on the S22 Ultra has curved edges on either side of the screen, which I like because it makes the phone feel smaller and easier to hold, but the display edges on the rest of the S22 lineup are flat. Before I got my hands on a review sample, I wasn’t sure how much of an impact (if any) it would have on holding the phone and managing it in situations where single-handed use is required.
So far, I haven’t encountered any situations in which I felt the S22 Plus was too large or unwieldy to handle. To be fair, my primary phone is an iPhone 13 Pro Max or a Pixel 6 Pro, so I’m used to dealing with a large phone. Having said that, if you end up going with the smaller S22, you’ll appreciate the design as well.
The S22 Ultra appears to be a little too large. It is slightly wider and taller than the S22 Plus, making it more difficult to maneuver.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Battery Life
I was concerned about battery performance on the S22 Plus after seeing on the spec sheet that the battery size in both the S22 and S22 Plus had dropped 300mAh on each model compared to last year’s respective S21 equivalent. To clarify, the battery in the S22 Plus is 4,500mAh (down from 4,800mAh) and the battery in the S22 is 3,700mAh (down from 4,000mAh).
I can’t speak for the standard S22, but I can say the S22 Plus has been fine. It gets me through a typical day of Slack, Discord, email, Twitter, Reddit, an occasional YouTube video or two, and some text messages.
If you’re worried about the smaller battery resulting in poor battery life, my personal experience hasn’t been that way.
Galaxy S22 Plus Camera
Samsung changed the camera setup on all three Galaxy S22 models, shifting the emphasis (pun intended) away from the telephoto lens and toward the main camera. The Galaxy S21 Plus comes equipped with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 12-megapixel wide camera, and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera.
The S22 Plus comes equipped with a 50-megapixel wide camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens.
I can’t tell you how often I use a telephoto lens, but I can tell you that I use the main camera on any phone almost every day. I’ve never understood the emphasis on the telephoto lens having a higher megapixel count, and I’m glad to see that Samsung has reversed its position.
I haven’t had a chance to try out the new night photography features on the S22 Plus yet (I’m in Colorado, where it’s been cold and snowy), but after looking through my photo library, I’ve realized that I rarely take nighttime shots. While anecdotal, I’m beginning to wonder if there has been too much emphasis placed on photos of the night sky and in very dark environments? Do people care about night mode photography, or is it just another camera feature like space zoom? It’s cool to see on the spec sheet, and in theory it’s a great feature to have, but in practice, it makes no difference to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Galaxy S22 Plus Performance
In the United States, the entire S22 lineup is powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. Qualcomm, in fact, used the same Snapdragon processor in its Tab S8 lineup. The S22 Plus has 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, with the base model having 128GB.
In almost every case, I’ve been pleased with the performance of the Galaxy S22 Plus over the last few weeks. Twitter and Reddit, on the other hand, continue to stutter while scrolling. The stuttering gets worse as you scroll faster. Here’s a video of what I’m going through:
When scrolling through my Twitter timeline, you can see a stutter effect, as seen in the video. It’s almost as if every image or video that’s pushed past the screen hangs for a split second before transitioning. The same thing happens in the Reddit app, but not when browsing ZDNet’s website or reading an article. Or, as far as I can tell, in any other app. To add to the mystery, if I scroll slower in the Reddit app, the lag almost completely vanishes. Scrolling slower in the Twitter app, on the other hand, does not appear to have any effect.
I initially thought it was because of the screen’s adaptive refresh rate, which can reach 120Hz, but the stuttering and lag persisted when I switched to a standard 60Hz refresh rate.
I contacted Samsung about the problem and was told that it is most likely the apps that are causing the problem, rather than the phone itself. After installing the S22 Ultra, the first thing I did was check the Twitter app, which, unfortunately, does the same thing.
A quick Twitter search reveals that other users are experiencing the same problem, particularly in the Twitter app. Hopefully, Samsung and/or Twitter will be able to figure it out and release a simple update to fix it. To be clear, neither my Z Fold 3 nor my Pixel 6 Pro exhibit the scrolling issue.
I assume it’s all software and will be fixed in a future update, but don’t expect one before the phones start shipping to customers. Meanwhile, if there’s anything else you’d like to know about the Galaxy S22 Plus that I haven’t covered here, please leave a comment below. I’ll write a full review and post it soon.