As the year comes to a close we draw ever closer to the launch of the rumored Samsung Galaxy S22. As a result, the leaks and information tidbits are gathering pace, from detailing how Note-like the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be to launch date claims.
This has us now chewing over the main things we want to see from the Galaxy S22 lineup. The Samsung Galaxy S21 presented a great flagship phone for a competitive price, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra was one of the best phones this year.
But as ever there's room for improvement. So here are the key things we’d like to see the Samsung Galaxy S22 range offer us come early 2022.
Upgraded cameras for the Standard and Plus models
The Galaxy S21 phones have a great set of cameras, but Samsung didn't upgrade the sensor hardware on the standard and Galaxy S21 Plus models over their predecessors. Rather, it worked on improving the software side. That’s all well and good, but we'd like to see a boost in camera specs with the rumored respective Galaxy S22 phones.
Luckily, there’s a rumor that the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus will both get upgraded main and telephoto cameras, with the main sensor coming in at 50 megapixels. Combined with improved computational photography, the Galaxy S22 could end up with a shot at the upper echelons of our best phone cameras list. And the competition is fierce from the Google Pixel 6 in particular.
The current Galaxy S21 range charges at 25 watts, which falls under the banner of fast charging but isn’t exactly the fastest around. The rumors are split on the type of charging the Galaxy S22 could get with one claiming that the phones will stick to 25W charging, while another says Samsung is testing 25W, 45W, and 65W charging.
We’re hoping it’s the latter, especially for the Galaxy S22 Ultra with its tipped 5,000 mAh battery capacity. After all, a large battery is only one part of the battery life equation — if it takes ages to fill that'll be frustrating. And with the OnePlus 9 Pro and Oppo Find X3 Pro both offering 65W charging, we think Samsung has room to improve here.
S Pen storage for Galaxy S22 Ultra
S Pen support for the Galaxy S21 Ultra was a neat addition, especially since the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 has gone the way of the dodo. But unlike the Note phones, there was no neat way to store the S Pen with the S21 Ultra unless you got an optional case, and even so it wasn’t the sleekest of solutions.
But with the Galaxy S22 Ultra rumored to be a spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note, that could all change. We’re expecting there to be an S Pen slot in the S22 Ultra’s body. And we really hope this rumor comes to fruition, as built-in S Pen storage was one of the Note’s top features.
Galaxy S22 improved video recording
Arguably, there's not a huge amount separating the photography skills of the top flagship phones, with a lot coming down to taste and consistency. But video looks to be the next frontier for phone battles, and it’s an area that Samsung loses to Apple.
In our experience, the iPhone 13 range is still the king of video, offering the best quality recordings with winning colors, detail and white balance; the video modes on the iPhone 13 are also trivially easy to use, including the new Cinematic mode that provides a pro-grade rack focus effect. So we’re hoping Samsung does some catching up here with the Galaxy S22.
While the current Galaxy flagships offer up to 8K recording, the finesse and quality of video simply isn't up there with Apple’s phones. So a boost in not just features but overall processing, stabilization and quality would be very welcome in the Galaxy S22.
One chipset to rule them all
If we were to place a bet, we’d put a substantial sum down on the Galaxy S22 having the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. While it was thought that Samsung might use the Exynos 2200 with an AMD graphics accelerator, those rumors seem to have simmered down, leading us to suspect that Qualcomm’s silicon will be used in the Galaxy S22.
But that also raises the question of whether Samsung will continue its bisecting of the Galaxy flagship phones by offering U.S. and Chinese users handsets with Snapdragon chips and those in other parts of the world phones with Exynos chips. In the past this has meant that those with Exynos-based phones have got a rough deal, with Galaxy devices that can’t match the performance or efficiency of their Snapdragon-equipped siblings.
So we’re hoping that Samsung finally decided to commit fully to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and put the system-on-a-chip in all versions of the Galaxy S22. And even more so give the boost in performance and AI features the new Snapdragon chip offers.
Of course, if the Exynos 2200 with AMD graphics does become a reality, and meet our expectations of a pseudo Xbox phone, then we’d like to see it used in all regions rather then just in select countries.
And with that, those are the five main things we’d like to see the Samsung Galaxy S22 feature. They might seem fairly standard requests — see our article on what the Galaxy S22 could copy form the Google Pixel 6 for alternative ambitions. But they could all add up to making the Galaxy S22 a contender for our best phones list when early 2022 comes calling.
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Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.