The Samsung Galaxy S22 rumors are heating up as we get closer to its expected launch, which is expected in early 2022. And the S22 will have to impress if Samsung is to improve on the reportedly poor sales of the Galaxy S21.
So far, the features tipped for the Galaxy S22 tend to be camera centric, notably that the phone could have a camera developed in partnership with Olympus. But other rumors have the Galaxy 22 predicted to get Qualcomm's Snapdragon 895 chip, a thinner design, slightly smaller displays and a possible under-display camera.
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Such upgrades will be rather welcome. While our Samsung Galaxy S21 review was largely positive, shoppers didn't seem all that excited about Samsung's three flagship phones.
Notably, some refinement in camera performance would be welcome, as the likes of the iPhone 12 Pro set the bar high for smartphone photography over the past 12 months. And by the time the Samsung Galaxy S22 arrives, it will need to square off against the iPhone 13 and Google Pixel 6 and the latter's new Tensor chip.
Here are all the early rumors for the Samsung Galaxy S22 and what we want to see from this series.
Samsung Galaxy S22 news (updated September 17)
- Another rumor has claimed the Samsung Galaxy S22 could have a smaller battery than the Galaxy S21, with the battery tipped to be rated for 3,590 mAh.
- A new rumor claims that the Galaxy S22 will come with a 50MP camera, faster charging speeds, but no under-display camera lens
- Samsung has taken the covers off a powerful 200MP camera sensor, but we don't think it'll make it into the Galaxy S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22 release date rumors
The Samsung Galaxy S22 will likely launch in early 2022. Samsung moved up the release date of the Galaxy S21 from its typical February timeframe to January 29.
It’s not clear whether Samsung will be as aggressive this time around. The last Friday in January 2022 is January 28, if Samsung sticks to a similar timeframe for the Galaxy S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22 price
We haven’t seem any rumors on the Galaxy S22 price yet, but we anticipate that Samsung will keep the prices similar to the Galaxy S21 lineup. The company reduced the cost for all three models by $200, and we don’t see prices going back up.
So if Samsung stays consistent, the Galaxy S22 will cost $799, the Galaxy S22 Plus will be $999 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be priced at $1,199. It will be interesting to see whether Samsung introduces a lower-cost Galaxy S21 FE sometime between now and the S22's launch, but there's a rumor that the S21 FE could be delayed due to the global chip shortage.
Samsung Galaxy S22 design and under-display camera
The biggest change that could be coming to the Galaxy S22 is an under-display camera, a feature that debuted to mixed success in the Galaxy Z Fold 3. This would enable a true full-screen design without a traditional punch hole at the top of the display.
According to LetsGoDigital, Samsung has filed a patent for a punch hole camera with sub-display. And an internal pop-up display covers the selfie camera when it’s not in use. Given that the iPhone 13 is rumored to still include a notch — even if it's smaller than the notch on the iPhone 12 — this design change could give Samsung a notable advantage.
That said, another rumor from Ice Universe claims the Galaxy S22 might not get an under-display camera after all. While the tech may have made its Samsung debut on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it offered pretty lackluster results, so it could be that Samsung is taking it slow with this particular piece of tech.
Elsewhere, a tip from leaker Mauri QHD on Twitter claims that the Samsung Galaxy S22 will feature a thinner design than the Galaxy S21. However, this may result in smaller batteries.
There's also a set of concept renders for the Galaxy S22 from LetsGoDigital, which highlights possible design changes. These include a massive main camera flanked by four smaller sensors, and a possible active cooling system.
Samsung Galaxy S22 displays
A rumor from leaker Mauri QHD, who has a pretty good track record with Samsung leaks, claims that Samsung is shrinking the displays on the Galaxy S22 lineup compared to the Galaxy S21; Ice Universe, another reputable leaker has shared the same thing. Our take is that this is a good thing and that the Galaxy S22 could save us from oversized phones.
The Galaxy S22 would be 6.06 inches (down from 6.2 inches on the S21); the S22 Plus would sport a 6.5-inch panel (down from 6.7 inches); and the Galaxy S22 Ultra would be 6.81 inches (down from 6.9 inches).
In addition, Mauri QHD claims that only the Galaxy S22 Ultra will boast LTPO technology, which means only it would be able to scale the refresh rate on its display from 120Hz down to 1Hz. This helps save battery life.
Samsung Galaxy S22 cameras
A Galaxy S22 camera upgrade could come in the form of a potential Samsung partnership with Olympus. According to several tweets from usually reliable sources, the two firms are set to partner on cameras for forthcoming smartphones, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra tipped to be the first phone to get the new tech.
Given that Olympus has recently announced its intention to collaborate with other firms, there's reason to believe this rumor could come true, though there's no official word yet.
An earlier rumor from leakers Ice Universe and Digital Chat Station suggest that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will come with a huge 200MP sensor to take on the iPhone 13. However, in a more recent tip Ice Universe has backtracked and claimed that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will have an improved 108MP sensor rather than a 200MP camera. Instead of upping the megapixel count, Samsung could instead concentrate on image signal processing and computational photography.
The regular Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus could include a 50MP main camera lens, plus 12MP ultrawide and telephoto lenses. On the 50MP camera front, one rumor has the Galaxy S22 tipped to use an RGBW sensor. While most phone camera sensors rely on red, green, and blue (RGB) sub-pixels to reproduce colors for photographs, this rumored 50MP sensor adds a fourth white sub-pixel, thus RGBW. Such a sensor could deliver better colors in high-contrast scenes, which is an area Samsung phones have struggled.
What about zooming power? One rumor points to the Galaxy S22 offering a 3X telephoto zoom lens with a 10MP resolution. This would be an upgrade over the previous 3X hybrid optical zoom.
Samsung is also reportedly testing the ability to shoot 8K video at 60 frames per second for the Galaxy S22. This would be an improvement over the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which maxes out at 24fps for 8K video. Granted, there are very few people who own 8K TVs, as they are prohibitively expensive. But this upgrade would result in a more future-proof phone.
Samsung Galaxy S22 specs and graphics
The main chip powering the Galaxy S22 could the new Snapdragon 895, which is said to be a 4nm chip. In fact, rumor has it that Samsung could be the company to manufacture the Snapdragon 895.
Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy S22 could get a major boost in graphics power, with a GPU based on AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, which happens to underpin the PS5 and Xbox Series X. That's not to say the Galaxy S22 will have the power of the latest games consoles, but it could easily surpass the handsets on our best gaming phones list.
This rumor has been given more credence with a tip that Samsung is testing several configurations of a new Exynos 2200 chip that sports AMD graphics. And reliable leaker Ice Universe posted alleged Wild Life results on Twitter of the performance of one configuration; the graphics benchmark results showed a score of 8,134 points with an average FPS of 50.3. That's extremely impressive for an Android phone.
What's not clear is whether this AMD tech will be reserved for Samsung's Exynos 2200 processor or if it will also find a home in the Snapdragon 895.
Samsung Galaxy S22 battery and charging
Early Galaxy S22 rumors centered around charging — we have heard that Samsung might re-introduce upwards of 65W fast charging with the Galaxy S22. This comes courtesy of known leaker Ice Universe, who claims that Samsung is testing 25W, 45W, and 65W charging.
Samsung has used 45W charging before as an option with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, that option disappeared with the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy S21 phones. We'd really like to see faster charging on the Galaxy S22.
However it seems that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be the one to offer 45W charging speeds, while the S22 and S22 Plus stick with with the same 25W charging speed as the Galaxy S21 range.
Ice Universe has some other details about potential S22 batteries. The leaker says the Galaxy S22 will offer a 3,800 mAh power pack while the Galaxy S22 Plus will use a 4,600 mAh battery — both figures represent 200 mAh downgrades. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to retain the 5,000 mAh size of its predecessor.
However, a new listing supposedly from 3C Certification, China’s compliance service for electrical products, has shown what's believed to be the Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra with smaller battery capacities than their predecessors.
The Galaxy S22 Plus could have a 4,370 mAh battery and the Galaxy S22 Ultra could come with a 4,855 mAh battery capacity. That means the batteries may be even smaller than Ice Universe has claimed.
The above has been given more credence by a new rumor that the Samsung Galaxy S22 could have a smaller battery than the Galaxy S21. This titdbit claims the Galaxy S22 will have a battery rated for 3,590 mAh, which is hardly a huge capacity for 2021 standards let alone 2022. However, we have no way to verify this information. And Samsung may have put prioritization on battery optimization than capacity in order to deliver a solid battery life overall.
Samsung Galaxy S22: What we want to see
With plenty of time between now and the S22's launch, we've got a wishlist of features we hope Samsung will incorporate.
A true full-screen design: This is rumored to be coming true so it's not a big ask. We'd like to see a full-screen design for the Galaxy S22 with a front camera that disappears when you don't need it. We'd also like to be able to use apps in full-screen mode without having to dig into settings as you do now with some apps and games.
A sharper display: Samsung dropped the resolution on the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus from quad HD to 1080p, likely in an effort to save cost. But it would be nice if the sharpest resolution wasn't a Galaxy S22 Ultra-exclusive feature this time around.
S Pen support for every Galaxy S22: Right now, only the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports the S Pen as an option, while the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus do not. So if Samsung is serious about adding S Pen support to more devices, providing a digitizer for all three Galaxy S22 models would be welcome.
Faster charging (even if it's not in the box): After offering a 45W charger option on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung stepped away from that perk for the Galaxy S21 lineup. However, a leak points to Samsung releasing a 65W charger, and we hope that it supports the Galaxy S22 lineup.
Longer battery life: The Galaxy S21's battery life wasn't bad, but it could be better. On the Tom's Guide battery test, the regular Galaxy S21 lasted 9 hours and 53 minutes when web surfing over 5G, but that dipped all the way down to 6:31 with adaptive display mode on.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra fared better, as it endured for 11 hours and 25 minutes in 60Hz mode and 10:07 in adaptive mode. Keep in mind that the the adaptive display on the S21 Ultra is more dynamic, as it can scale down to 10 Hz, as opposed to 48Hz for the S21 and S21 Plus. So it would be nice if Samsung graced the S22 and S22 Plus with the same refresh rate range as the Ultra for its next phones.
Better cooling: Some Galaxy S21 users and reviewers have complained that the Galaxy S22 can run quite warm under heavy workloads or when gaming for longer stretches. So it would be good to see a better cooling solution for the Galaxy S22.
Bring back microSD: The Galaxy S21 saw the removal of the microSD card slot, much to the chagrin of many users and fans. While Samsung didn't provide reasoning for this, we expect it might have something to do with keeping the S21 costs reduced as much as possible. However, that doesn't mean we don't want to see expandable storage come back in the Galaxy S22. Samsung was one of the last bastions of this feature in the flagship market after all.