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Samsung Galaxy S22 chip rumor could be bad news for US shoppers

Renders allegedly of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus phone, on a white background
(Image credit: OnLeaks/91Mobiles.com)

The Samsung Galaxy S22, whether it's the basic, Pro or Ultra version, has been claimed to have two different editions: one with a Snapdragon 898 chip and the other with an Exynos 2200 chip. And this could make for a big difference in graphical performance.

That's according to a new post from Max Weinbach on Twitter. This perhaps isn't a surprise to long-time followers of Samsung's smartphones, but having it mentioned by a reliable leaker makes this particularly interesting in light of other rumors about these chips. 

The Exynos 2200 version of the Galaxy S22, presumably the one our U.K. readers will be able to buy, has been the subject of some fascinating leaks. Other than being really quite powerful according to benchmarks, this chip will reportedly come with a new GPU made in partnership with AMD, potentially including RDNA architecture and ray-tracing technology just like the latest graphics cards for the PS5 and Xbox Series X

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There's no sign of whether these graphical benefits will be available on the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S22. Hopefully there is, for the benefit of Samsung's large American fanbase. However, if the AMD technology is for whatever reason tied to the Exynos chip, it could mean the best S22 models will be those sold in Europe.

Samsung splits its phones' chips like this since most U.S. networks are designed with the use of a technology that just happens to be patented by Qualcomm, the manufacturer of the Snapdragon line of chips. Samsung therefore faces the choice of either buying Snapdragon chips to use in models sold in the U.S. (and a few other select markets), or pay expensive licensing fees to make use of Qualcomm's patented designs.

Samsung's semiconductor arm also manufactures some of Qualcomm's chips on its behalf. This may include the Snapdragon 898 chip (according to leaker Ice Universe) that is expected to power the majority of next year's Android flagship phones as well as the Galaxy S22.

Beyond the silicon, we've heard several other rumors of the Galaxy S22. Recently there's been a lot of discussion over the new design of the phone's rear cameras, which currently is believed to have a "waterdrop" design. There's also talk of the base S22 and the S22 Pro (the replacement for the Galaxy S21 Plus) becoming smaller than last year's equivalent models. Meanwhile, the S22 Ultra will reportedly remain the same size as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but may feature a built-in S Pen stylus in the style of Samsung's Galaxy Note models.

Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.