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.