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Since 2020, Samsung has launched three new Galaxy S annually, Rebelote in 2022 with the Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra. After laying our hands on the most luxurious, we made the smaller model our flagship smartphone. Still on sale from 859 euros, still in direct competition with the iPhone 13, available from 909 euros. To maintain this “small format”, Samsung has made more concessions compared to the Ultra version. But the Korean manufacturer’s failure to provide a stable processor caused it to lose valuable points in its fight against the iPhone 13.
The perfect compact
Visually, Samsung knows how to do it and takes last year’s copy almost line by line. The camera module integration hasn’t been as revised as it has been on the Ultra version, but it’s not as necessary. As in 2021, the plastic back will blow your mind as the difference to the glass seems minuscule. The finish is very good and the grip is pleasant. The biggest evolution in terms of design ultimately lies in the contours of the device. They are now aluminum. At a glance, the details are on point though progress, overall, has remained minimal. But the biggest strength of this 2022 vintage in our opinion is its compactness. With a 6.1-inch display and weighing 168 grams, the Galaxy S22 is one of the smallest smartphones on the market with, on paper, few sacrifices. We will see later in this test that it was actually not without them.
Screen quality is there.
Since we mentioned the tradeoffs, know that Samsung continues to offer 1080p screens. Information that may seem embarrassing in 2022, but considering the size of the screen, a density of 422 pixels per dot is far from embarrassing. Even if the incredible brightness of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is not achieved, with an average of 875 cd / m², the S22 is at the top of its price category. Even in extreme light conditions, the screen is clear and still beautiful. Adaptive frame rates up to 120 Hz are always present, which provides a certain convenience of use.
As usual, Samsung produces a quality screen, but does a dubious color grading. With default settings, we measured a Delta E of 7.34 on the S22. Remember that the closer this number is to 1, the more realistic the colors are, it gives you an idea of the difference… This Korean manufacturer knows how to offer quite realistic colors. In fact, it offers in its settings to set the screen to “Natural” mode. Our Delta E measurement by our laboratory then dropped to 2.68, a more satisfactory number.
One UI 4.1: always on top
Operating system at a glance, One UI 4.1 is in the game and we reiterate that it is one of the best mobile OS out there. Being able to lighten our hands on the biggest models, in this incredibly compact format, is a real joy. One-handed use in all the situations the 6.1-inch screen allows is worth the quality of this overlay.
Great pocket camera
So far, the S22 has stood out relatively little from its predecessor. In terms of photography, Samsung also does well.
The main sensor, 24 mm equivalent, is now 50 megapixels compared to 12 years ago. The idea here is to have lots of pixels to allow the system to gather as much information as possible and actually make a better shot. To be honest, we haven’t seen any real improvement from last year. Note that photos taken using this sensor remain some of the best today. We note that the photo colorimetry is slightly more realistic and dynamic range management has been improved.
It’s about time, but Samsung is finally offering a true 70mm equivalent telephoto lens. The Galaxy S21 offers a bit of an odd mix with a 64MP sensor, while being 29mm equivalent. We suddenly have a half-digital, half-optical zoom that doesn’t live up to the reputation of the Koreans.
And now, are we satisfied? Yes! Mainly because the shot was successful under good lighting conditions, but also at night.
This year, Samsung has been talking a lot about night photography. We also had a chance to test the S22 Ultra and it’s true that the results on the X3’s main sensor and optical zoom were good. Here, the same observation. Situations where these two sensors will let you down at night away from legions. We still have the impression that it is slightly worse than in the S22 Ultra, but frankly, at € 859, we would not be picky.
You’ll notice that we haven’t mentioned the ultra wide-angle sensor, equivalent to 13 mm. The reason was quite simple, he was not as satisfied as his two friends. It offers true daylight results, nothing more. At night, it’s difficult to use it. Sometimes you have to do it a few times to get a clean result. It’s a shame because if we ignore this point, the Galaxy S22 is one of the most versatile compact cameras on the market. And its small size, which fits every pocket (yes, it matters!), makes you want to take it with you everywhere.
If you want to see other shots you can click on this link which will take you to an album with a selection of photos taken with the Galaxy S22.
See also the video:
This smartphone is a clock that will tick in your head
So what’s in the way? As we said in our test of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung’s in-house Exynos 2200 processor isn’t the best. If this wasn’t forbidden in his elder brother’s stomach, here the question arose. So yes, with its power, it is capable of running any latest application or game. But how much will it cost?
The first point, the smartphone gets hot. The temperature readings taken by our laboratory showed that it quickly reached 43.2 degrees. It’s fairly tall, without being dramatic. The problem is that the material used on the back of the device transfers this heat to your fingers, making it quickly uncomfortable to use. We can advise you not to abuse the game, but this situation arises even during long navigation phases. When viewing video content, it can sometimes take less than thirty minutes for the handle to become unpleasant.
The thing is that this warm-up is not in vain. The processor consumes a lot of energy, even for not very complex tasks, possibly due to optimization problems. Therefore, it takes a lot of energy to operate. As a result, autonomy takes its toll. Laboratories 01net.com noted a versatile autonomy of 12 hours 10. A figure that is not very high compared to competitors, even at a price two times lower. What’s more, video streaming autonomy is measured at 10 hours overall. It’s very low-key and even lower than the previous generation, it’s not very polished on that side already.
For reasons that are sometimes surprising, batteries melt like snow in the sun, even when you’re not using your smartphone. For example, we lost 15% of our battery in two hours… when we just took our phone out to answer some messages!
An important data to keep in mind when comparing it to the Pixel 6 Pro, which has almost the same versatile autonomy. However, it’s not impossible to end the day without needing to recharge the Google terminal. It’s much more difficult with the Galaxy S22. Impossible to go all day without the charger! Every day, if you use your smartphone a lot, it’s the sword of Damocles that keeps hovering over your head. In this regard, Samsung is not doing very well: apart from a poorly optimized processor, the manufacturer has reduced the battery size to 3700 mAh, compared to last year’s 4000 mAh.
.Fortunately, with 3700 mAh and fast charging, we should be able to restore autonomy easily, right? Not even: the manufacturer made the decision not only not to offer this charger in the box, but above all to limit the smallest S22 to 25W! A deviation where competitors have no trouble offering 65W in this price range.
The duel against the iPhone 13 is lost
Positioned at fairly similar prices (859 euros for the S22, 909 euros for the iPhone 13), and with the same screen size, we decided against the Galaxy S22 and iPhone 13 in a special box. Frankly, apart from operating system considerations, before using both devices for 10 days, we thought the Galaxy S22’s versatility in photography would give it an edge. And in fact, you have much more photographic possibilities. But this concern for autonomy and warming seems too important to us for the Koreans to win over. The iPhone 13 isn’t perfect, but it offers something more than the Galaxy S22: serenity. No need to push the duel any further, the apple brand wins this duel.