Samsung Galaxy S22 could save us from oversized phones

Samsung Galaxy S22 camera
(Image credit: (Image credit: Technizo Concept/LetsGoDigital))

The Samsung Galaxy S22 isn't expected to launch until early 2022, but there's already a big rumor to chew on. According to Mauri QHD, who has a pretty good track record with Samsung leaks, Samsung is shrinking the displays on the Galaxy S22 lineup compared to the Galaxy S21.

And I have one thing to say about that possibility — good.

According to Mauri QHD, the Galaxy S22 will get a 6.06-inch display, down from 6.2 inches in the Galaxy S21. The Galaxy S22 Plus would also see a reduction in size from 6.7 inches on the Galaxy S21 Plus to 6.55 inches. Even the Galaxy S22 Ultra might be less Ultra this time around. 

The current Galaxy S21 Ultra sports a mammoth 6.9-inch OLED display, which will allegedly come down to 6.81 inches for the S22 Ultra. That would still make the S22 Ultra a two-handed affair, but it would be slightly easier to reach your thumb towards the center of the display. 

If this rumor is accurate, the Galaxy S22 Ultra would be the only new Samsung flagship to offer LTPO technology. This allows the screen refresh rate to scale from 120Hz all the way down to 1Hz, which can help save battery life. Presumably, the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus would continue to offer 120Hz refresh rates, but without the ability to adapt on the fly. 

Perhaps Samsung is hearing it from customers that its phones are just getting too darn big. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, for example, measures 6.7 inches, and that's a really big phone. And the iPhone 13 Pro Max is rumored to be the same size for this fall's launch. As much as I love the capabilities of the S21 Ultra — especially its powerful Space Zoom telephoto feature — I find it too unwieldy to use as my daily driver.

The regular iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro both sit at 6.1 inches, which I find to be almost too compact, so I see a 6.5-inch Galaxy S22 Plus as a happy medium between the rumored iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. A 6.06-inch Galaxy S22 would give Samsung a more direct rival for the iPhone 13, which should have the same 6-inch panel as its predecessor.

At the same time, Samsung is trying to push more and more customers toward foldable phones. And if the early leaks are accurate, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 will sport a 6.2-inch screen up front and 7.5 inches on the inside. Creating more of a size gap between the Fold 3 and Galaxy S22 Ultra could spur more interest in the new Fold, especially if the reports around a lower Fold 3 price comes true.

Some people might see the Galaxy S22 potentially shrinking as a downgrade, but I see it as a positive development. The arms race for bigger and bigger screens never made sense, and with LG existing the smartphone business, there's frankly less competition for Samsung to worry about in terms of specs.

In essence, Samsung could be right-sizing phones come 2022. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.