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Samsung Galaxy S22 rumor looks like bad news for the specs

An unofficial render of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, showing the phone's front, back and S Pen in white on a white background
(Image credit: Technizo Concept/LetsGoDigital)

There's guaranteed to be a powerful chipset at the heart of the Samsung Galaxy S22. However, newly emerged leaks have revealed a divide in opinions about exactly what chip that will be.

The latest video from Korean leaker SuperRoader (via LetsGoDigital) claims that Samsung has decided to use the next-gen Qualcomm flagship chip in the Galaxy S22 for Korea, the U.S. and Europe. That would set a new precedent, as normally Samsung only uses Qualcomm chip in U.S. and Chinese version of its Galaxy S series phones, with other regions getting Samsung's own Exynos silicon. However, this new leak is not universally believed by other tech tipsters who claim knowledge of Samsung's activities.

SuperRoader fleshes out his leak by explaining that Samsung had planned to use a Snapdragon 895/898 chip in the U.S. versions of the Galaxy S22 models and an Exynos 2200 chip in the models made for Asia and Europe, which is how Samsung split the Galaxy S21 and older flagship phones. However, Samsung has allegedly been struggling to source components to make these chips. Therefore to solve its supply problem, SuperRoader claims Samsung decided to go with the more abundant Snapdragon chip for all versions of the Galaxy S22.

This would be a pity since the Exynos 2200 chip has been rumored to use AMD graphics. It could have meant big things for mobile gaming on the Galaxy S22, including ray tracing according to one source.

SuperRoader also gives details on the three Galaxy S22 models' RAM and storage: 8GB and 256GB for the base S22 and S22 Plus (also possibly named the S22 Pro), and either 12GB or 16GB RAM and 256GB or 512GB storage for the Ultra.

This seems like a fairly conclusive rumor, but SuperRoader's story doesn't mesh with those of other well-established leakers. For example Max Weinbach and IceUniverse have both stated in no uncertain terms that they believe there will still be the same Snapdragon/Exynos divide that Samsung has used in previous years.

In previous years, we'd have been glad to hear Samsung was going all-in on Snapdragon devices for its flagship phone. While there's only a small performance difference between Snapdragon Galaxy S phones and Exynos ones, the Snapdragon models have historically performed better.

However with the Exynos 2200 supposedly more powerful than ever, and enhanced by an AMD GPU, we were looking forward to seeing what Samsung's in-house silicon was capable of. With Google having just moved to its own Tensor chip on the Google Pixel 6, and Apple continuing to build on its A-series silicon with the iPhone 13's A15 chip, Samsung's own chip, augmented with AMD tech, could be exactly what it needs to compete.

But if SuperRoader's claim is correct, then we may not get to see this supposedly supercharged Exynos chip. And while a flagship Snapdragon chip is nothing to be sniffed at, it would not be as exciting as a Samsung chipset with graphics built on the same RDNA 2 architecture as the  PS5 and Xbox Series X

There's more to a smartphone than its chipset though, and the Galaxy S22 series looks to be offering a host of desirable upgrades. While the base Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Pro are thought to be getting slimmer and receiving new camera sensors, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is believed to be a wider device with a built-in S Pen, and more refined versions of the cameras found on the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

With the leakers seemingly unable to come to a consensus, the only way we'll know the truth is when the phone launches. To the best of our knowledge, that'll happen on February 8, later than expected but done so as to allow the cheaper Galaxy S21 FE to launch first, which itself has been delayed by several months already.

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.