Samsung shook up both its smartphone and tablet lineup today (February 9), introducing the Galaxy S22 lineup along with the Galaxy Tab S8 series of tablets. Each product line gets three new versions, highlighted by an Ultra model that packs in what Samsung is touting as the latest and greatest features.
All this took place during the hour-long Galaxy Unpacked event that served as our official introduction to the new products. Of course, if you've been keeping tabs on rumors surrounding the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Tab S8, Unpacked didn't reveal many surprises, though it's still good to get the official word straight from Samsung.
Pre-orders of the Galaxy S22 range are also live, and you can get up to $200 in credit depending ono the model of phone you go for.
Here's a recap of the products Samsung announced during today's event, along with our live blog and an embedded replay of Galaxy Unpacked.
What Samsung announced at Galaxy Unpacked 2022
Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus: The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus ushered camera improvements, including a beefier main sensor and better optical zoom on their respective telephoto lenses. The phones feature a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset in the U.S. and come with slightly smaller screens than their Galaxy S21 predecessors; prices haven't changed from the S21, however.
Read our Galaxy S22 hands-on review
Read our Galaxy S22 Plus hands-on review
Galaxy S22 Ultra: The highlight of the lineup is the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which adopted many Galaxy Note features, as had been anticipated. There are camera improvements here, too, such as a clear lens that cuts down on glare and lens flare and 45W charging.
Read our Galaxy S22 Ultra hands-on review
Galaxy Tab S8 and Galaxy Tab S8 Plus: The Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Plus both include an S Pen. The Tab S8 offers an 11-inch LCD with 120Hz refresh rate, while the Tab S8 Plus ups that to a 12.4-inch OLED. Both are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip.
Read our Galaxy Tab S8 hub
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra: The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is the crown jewel of Samsung's tablet lineup, and it could finally give Samsung a formidable competitor for Apple's iPad Pro. You get a 14.6-inch screen, included S Pen and dual front cameras for video calls. People who've invested in other Samsung devices will appreciate the interoperability of the Tab S8 Ultra.
Read our Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra hands-on review
Good morning and welcome to our Samsung Galaxy Unpacked live blog. We'll be bringing you all the big news as the Galaxy S22 range is unveiled, together with information and analysis around everything else that gets announced.
If you're even thinking about the possibility of picking up whatever Samsung's announcing today, you'll want to act now and reserve your place in line for pre-ordering your phone or tablet. Samsung's been running a promotion where you can guarantee a $50 credit toward other Galaxy products by making a reservation to place an order and today's your last day to do so.
You're not obligated to pull the trigger on a purchase, but registering will make you eligible for other offers once pre-orders begin. Samsung's reservation site shuts up shop at 9 a.m. ET — an hour before Unpacked gets underway.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra feels like the star attraction headed into Unpacked, and for good reason — it's rumored to revive many of the features we missed when Samsung went through 2021 without issuing a new Galaxy Note. But don't sleep on Samsung's other rumored Ultra product, the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.
This is, potentially, a 14.6-inch tablet with some serious power — enough maybe to even be a viable alternative to the iPad Pro. Our colleague Mark Spoonauer certainly thinks so, and he never imagined himself getting excited about an Android tablet. Find out the five ways the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra could challenge Apple's tablet dominance, from the included S Pen to its rumored design.
Samsung certainly has a lot of ways to watch its Unpacked event — everything from TikTok to Amazon Live to Reddit will be hosting a feed. But the most intriguing way might be virtual reality. Or as we're now ordered to call it by Mark Zuckerberg, the metaverse.
For a VR take on today’s proceedings, head over to Samsung 837X. That's the immersive section of Samsung's flagship New York store where you can watch product reveals like the one today.
Likely the only products we're going to hear about today at Unpacked are the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy Tab S8. But this week saw some stirrings about another potential product release.
A Galaxy Tab S8 announcement press release that fell into the hands of leakers contained an odd footnote about the tablet's reverse charging features. According to the footnote, you'll be able to charge the Galaxy Tab S8 at 15W speeds using select Galaxy phones. That's not the weird part, though. The strange thing was that the press release specifically listed the Galaxy A53 as one of those phones — and that device hasn't been announced yet.
That's caused some rumor sites to speculate that the Galaxy A53 could also appear today, though we think that's a bit of a stretch. Samsung will likely want everyone talking about the Galaxy S22 — not some midrange phone that's part of its Galaxy A series. Which is not to say that there's no such phone in the works — rumors are picking up about the Galaxy A53. But one of those rumors is that the phone will arrive in March.
Yup, a month from now we could be doing this all over again.
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is set to be spearhead today's Unpacked event. But is it the big phone for you? Where once the Galaxy Note was the only real contender for big Android phones, now larger handsets are pretty common.
So here are our early thoughts on how the battle might play out between the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Google Pixel 6 Pro. After all the Google Pixel 6 Pro was the Android phone Roland Moore-Colyer was waiting for last year, as it's a killer big phone; the Galaxy S22 Ultra will need to bring out the big guns.
A lot of Android updates might be dull, offering small tweaks and security upgrades to phones, often downloading in the background. But they are pretty much essential for keeping a smartphone running smoothly and secure.
So the rumor that Samsung could equip the Galaxy S22 range, as well as the Galaxy S21 and other flagship grade devices with four years on Android updates is good news. It's also potentially a big deal, as not many phone makers offer such extended support. A long update program would help extend the life of a phone, so Samsung might be leading the charge here for others to follow.
And here's another last-minute leak, courtesy of Amazon Australia. It seems to show off the prices of the Galaxy S22 range. Starting at AU$1572.90, these prices seem a little steeper than expected, so take them with a serious dose of skepticism.
We'd roughly expect the Galaxy S22 range to have the same pricing cadence as that of the Galaxy S21 lineup. Perhaps the Galaxy S22 Ultra could be a little pricier given it's tipped to have Note-like features. But in a competitive smartphone arena, we doubt Samsung will want to go too far with hiking up its flagship prices.
Another Galaxy S22 pre-order bonus that's rumored to be on the cards is that Samsung will throw in a pair of the Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earbuds.
That's a pretty generous offer as the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are not your average pair of earbuds. In fact, they secured a spot in our best noise-cancelling earbuds roundup. We've also awarded the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro the "Most innovative headphones award" in the Tom's Guide Awards 2021 Audio category. We can't confirm if this rumor is legitimate, so don't gest too excited just yet!
Galaxy S22 in Pink Gold and Galaxy S22+ in Green ToneAlso the entire S22 Series will have high-level of improvements in portrait mode and night mode. The camera will see major improvement. #GalaxyUnpacked #samsung #Unpacked #Demonix #DemonixLeaks #GalaxyS22 #S22Ultra pic.twitter.com/zmmouLXa4LFebruary 9, 2022
It looks like some official marketing images of the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus have popped up online.
Don't expect a dramatic departure from the Galaxy S22's Contour Cut design, but that dark green color looks rather catching. Looks like Samsung has done away with the two-tone color scheme for the camera module and the rear panel; that might be a little disappointing, as the S21's Phantom Violet certainly drew one's eye, albeit in a blingtastic fashion.
The Galaxy S22 is shaping up to be a bit more evolution not revolution over the Galaxy S21. That not a bad thing in, as our Samsung Galaxy S21 review we concluded it's a very fine phone.
But going by the rumors so far, there may be a few notable upgrades. So to help you make snese of them we've divvied up the biggest rumored differences between the Samsung Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21.
But the Galaxy S22 is tipped to not only get the core features of the S21 but also some notable upgrades, mostly focussed on refinements to the triple camera array. That could make it a rather appealing phone for anyone deciding now's the time for a change from Apple and its locked down ecosystem.
A new Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra video has leaked showing off the key features of Samsung's new flagship tablet a bit early. You'll see that there's a huge display along with S Pen integration, as well as the ability to run three apps at once via multi-window software.
This video also shows what appears to be a full-sized keyboard and touchpad, as well as a Surface-like kickstand on the back. This could be the first good iPad Pro rival from the Android camp.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 live stream is now live with over 20,000 people tuning in on Samsung's YouTube channel to watch the evolution of the Unpacked art over the years and listen to some trippy music. Yes, we have a little time to kill, but the anticipation is definitely building...
Under 2 hours left until #SamsungUnpacked Beautiful devices!!! pic.twitter.com/RN678IaeJUFebruary 9, 2022
How about a nice Samsung Galaxy S22 family photo before Unpacked gets started? This image posted by @TheGalox_ on Twitter shows a leaked image of the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra.
As you can see, the regular S22 and S22 Plus look like an evolution of the contour cut design of the Galaxy S21 with rounded edges. But the Galaxy S22 Ultra has its own look with a camera array that's more flush with the back of the phone and squared off edges. And while you can't see it in this image, expect a built-in S Pen on the Ultra.
There's another phone that will be affected by the Galaxy S22's announced price today — that would be the Galaxy S21 FE that Samsung shipped last month.
One of the most appealing things about the original Galaxy S20 FE was the fact that it had most of the features of Samsung's main flagships, but at a fraction of the price — the S20 FE cost $300 less than the Galaxy S20 when it debuted in 2020. Since Samsung introduced the Galaxy S21 at lower prices, that trick was harder to pull off with the S21 FE. That phone costs $699, but that's only $100 cheaper than the main S21.
Ironically, if the Galaxy S22 debuts at a higher price, it makes the Galaxy S21 FE a more attractive buy. When we reviewed the phone, we liked its cameras and performance, but found it hard to enthusiastically recommend until we knew what the Galaxy S22 would cost. In less than an hour, we're going to find out.
Samsung sometimes rolls out exclusive colors for its phones on its website, and that could be happening this time around, too. Leaker Evan Blass has posted what he calls "exclusive online colors" on his Twitter account, with pictures of the different models, too.
If you can't see the tweet, we've posted a screen cap above. The Galaxy S22 Ultra's online colors will allegedly be graphite, red and sky blue. The Galaxy S22 is tipped to have cream, graphite, sky blue, and violet options.
It won't be long until we see how accurate this leak — and the hundreds of other Galaxy S22 leaks — are.
If you are only now tuning into the Galaxy Unpacked live stream — embedded above for your convenience — Samsung is running its usual pre-show reel that highlights the logos of past Unpacked events while futuristic music plays. As hype videos go, it's very soothing.
There's a Galaxy S22 rumor that hasn't gotten a lot of play since it emerged this week, but we certainly hope its true. Samsung is allegedly going to increase the amount of support you get with the Galaxy S22. Instead of three years of software updates, the rumor claims, you can expect four years of Android updates with the Galaxy S22.
HUGE software commitments from Samsung! 👀Galaxy S22 seriesGalaxy S21 seriesGalaxy Z Flip 3Galaxy Z Fold 3Galaxy Tab S8 seriesAll of these devices will get FOUR Android OS upgrades and FIVE years of security patches 👏🏻 Samsung previously promised 3 OS upgrades. pic.twitter.com/N7t5d9aTPYFebruary 7, 2022
That's big news, if true. One of the biggest edges Apple has over the Android world is that it supports iPhones with software updates for ages and ages. The iOS 15 update still works on phones that came out six years ago, for crying out loud.
Samsung's not going to be able to match that, but this rumored increase in software support moves the Galaxy phones a little bit closer to the kind of support iPhone users enjoy.
Samsung Legal boilerplate is your sign that Unpacked is underway. TM Roh of Samsung is promising us an Unpacked like any other.
While Samsung makes its opening remarks, why don't you enjoy this Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra hands-on for a first look at Samsung's marquee new phone.
Samsung is promoting its efforts to improve the environment – it's already talked about how recycled plastic figures into the materials on the Galaxy S22. Now, a United Nations rep is talking about the ongoing Samsung Global Goals effort for promoting sustainability and inclusion.
The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus are very similar save for their different screen sizes (6.1 inches for the S22, 6.6 inches for the S22 Plus). Get a closer look at the two phones in our Galaxy S22 hands-on and our Galaxy S22 Plus hands-on .
Samsung's kicking things off by talking about the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, and it's focusing on camera features out of the gate. That tells you how important cameras are to this particular update.
You're getting an updated 50MP main lens, and a 10MP telephoto lens that now supports a 3x optical zoom. (The S21 had to use a hybrid zoom to get to 3x.)
Low-light photography looks to be a major focus this time around. Ai Stereo Depth map is being integrated into the Portrait Mode, and that's supposed to better separate the subject of the photo with the background. Long story short, expect more stylish blurs.
It's also worth knowing that Samsung began the event with a Bridgerton parody in which a lord gains the queen's favor by showing off a Galaxy S22. That's certainly more impressive than the raincoat that inept Lord Macintosh -- get it? — showed us.
Prices — the Galaxy S22 starts at $799 while the S22 Plus will cost $999. If those prices seem familiar, that's because they're what the Galaxy S21 family cost when it was introduced a year ago.
The fact that prices are staying the same is good news for shoppers interested in the S22 models. It doesn't do much for the Galaxy S21 FE's value proposition, though.
You can preorder the phones now, and they'll be available February 25.
Time to meet the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and yes, it's reminiscent of the Galaxy Note. That includes a built-in S Pen.
You can get the S22 Ultra in four colors — Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green and Burgundy. Get the Burgundy, friends.
Armor Aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass Victus Plus should make the Galaxy S22 Ultra very durable. (Gorilla Glass is on the back of the phone and the front, covering the 6.8-inch display.)
As you'd imagine, the 120Hz refresh rate returns to the S22 Ultra, with the phone able to scale down to a 1Hz refresh rate when you're engaged in static activities. There's also a peak brightness of 1,7500, with Vision Booster technology aimed at taking surrounding light into account and adjusting brightness and color accordingly.
In talking about performance, Samsung is talking about the boosted machine learning features included in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Don't ever let anyone convince you that Google's Tensor chipset isn't changing the conversation about what's important to smartphone performance.
The company's also detailing how it manages the phone's temperature to avoid overheating.
Back to cameras, this time for what the Galaxy S22 Ultra has to offer. The 108MP main sensor is back, but now the phone supports adaptive pixels, which combines 9 pixels into one for better images in the dark.
Samsung is touting the cameras on the Galaxy S22 Ultra as the most powerful AI camera yet, using deep learning to elevate image quality.
Samsung is taking on the challenges of low-light photography with new "nightography features" — their words, not mine. There's an anti-reflective coating on the lens to minimize glare and lens flare. A Night Solution feature removes frames with noise and blur, merging the remaining frames into a single shot for an improved image. (It works with Portrait mode, the telephoto zoom and even the front camera for selfies.)
Expect smoother video from the Galaxy S22 Ultra. thanks to some new stabilization features Samsung is introducing. (In addition to optical image stabilization, there's something called VDIS that also helps stabilize you video.) The low-light improvements also extend to video capture, according to the company.
Galaxy S22 Ultra costs $1,199 — again this is the S21 Ultra's price — and you can preorder the phone today. Order from Samsung and you'll find some exclusive color options.
The phone goes on sale February 25, just like with the S22 and S22 Plus models.
And that's it for phones. Samsung now wants to tell us about its new tablets, but you can get the jump on them by reading our Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra hands-on.
The word of the day for the Tab S8 Ultra's display is "expansive." It's 14.6 inches. There's an ultrawide lens on the tablet that's ideal for video chatting, and three microphones with noise cancellation should make your voice heard.
The Tab S8 Ultra comes with an S Pen that has reduced latency. The Notes app is getting some new features that make it easier to move images and links into your documents. An interesting addition is the ability to use your Galaxy S phone as a color picker for your tablet when you're drawing on the Tab S8's screen.
Attach a keyboard to the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and Samsung's DeX feature essentially turns your tablet into a PC. You can also use the tablet as an external monitor for your PC.
Samsung is touting the powerful performance of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. That's courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, the same silicon powering the Galaxy S22 models released in the U.S.
Let's talk pricing. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will cost $1,099. There will also be Plus and standard models available for $899 and $699, respectively. (Here's a recap of the standard Galaxy Tab S8.)
Preorders begin today. If you preorder, you can get a keyboard case for free. The tablets ship on February 25.
Samsung talked about some of the new Galaxy Watch features involving fitness tracking and sleep tracking improvements. But those Galaxy Watch 4 features were detailed earlier this week.
We also get a presentation on Samsung Wallet, which stores digital payment, ID, keys, and other digital assets in one place. Does it sound like Apple's Wallet app to my untrained ears? It sure does.
After a recap of Samsung security/privacy features and a reminder about Samsung's commitment to sustainability, Galaxy Unpacked is over. Our final tally — three new phones and three new tablets, with Ultra models highlight each product line. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to check out our in-depth coverage of everything announced here today.
The bad news is that the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra's keyboard costs $349. That's a lot of money for a keyboard, touchpad and adjustable kickstand. Apple charges the same amount for its Magic Keyboard. The good news is that if you pre-order through Samsung.com you can get the keyboard for free.
All the products Samsung announced today are now available for pre-order. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S22 deals spotted so far, and we can also help you pre-order the Galaxy Tab S8. Be sure to bookmark those pages, as we'll update them with new deals as they appear.
Ready for some unboxing videos? Here's what happened when we got our hands on the Galaxy S22 Ultra for testing.
Need a primer on the Galaxy S22 Ultra's Nightography mode? We've summarized what you need to know about Samsung's changes to the phone's low-light photo and video abilities in the linked article.
In brief, some new sensor and lens hardware, plus plenty of updated software trickery works together to make your images crisp and detailed, and your videos bright and smooth.
We're in the process of putting together our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review, and we thought this display comparison is quite interesting. The S22 Ultra is in the middle and provides a brighter and more vibrant image in this Reacher trailer than the Google Pixel 6 Pro (above) and iPhone 13 Pro Max (below.
What do you think?
If you want to know what the difference is between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the old Galaxy S21 Ultra is, take a look at our new face-off between the two phones.
Although some specs don't seem to have changed at all, the new S Pen, brighter and more responsive display and improvements to the cameras have made the S22 Ultra a much more impressive phone.
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