As 2021 winds down, Samsung can consider this a very good year. Between its phones, wearables, tablets, TVs and more, the Korean company kept its status as one of the most reliable tech brands around. But what will 2022 hold?
Apart from a couple of notable exceptions, Samsung's 2022 plans remain mysterious at the moment, unlike the repeatedly exposed plans of rival Apple in 2022. However, we can still make some educated guesses on what products Samsung will offer in the new year, and what exciting developments it will have to share.
Read on for our preview of Samsung in 2022, including the most anticipated devices and what rumors we've heard so far.
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy phones
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S21 FE
Let's start with an obvious one: a new line of flagship Galaxy S handsets. The Galaxy S22 is a given based on the torrent of leaks we've been seeing over the past several months. The basic S22 and S22 Plus are expected to get the latest Snapdragon 8 Series Gen 1 chip along with upgraded cameras. But the Galaxy S22 Ultra should see a greater transformation into a Galaxy Note-like device with a built-in stylus and a wider body.
On the cheaper side, we should also finally see the Galaxy S21 FE arrive in early 2022 (or so the rumors say). This handset will reportedly offer users a slightly outdated flagship experience compared to the S22, but with plenty of power and premium features combined with a cheaper asking price, it'll suit a slightly different group of Samsung users. We've pulled together a list of the 5 biggest upgrades we expect on the Galaxy S21 FE if you want to know more.
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy Z series
We anticipate another pair of foldables from Samsung next year, building on the success of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The clamshell Z Flip and the book-style Z Fold already have a substantial lead over other foldable phones, but hopefully Samsung won't sit back and will make welcome changes to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4. Things like a more effective version of this year's futuristic under-display camera on the Z Fold 3.
Beyond updates to these two existing models, there have been rumors for some time of a cheaper full-size foldable, to sit between the two current models. This tentatively named Galaxy Z Fold Lite could be just the thing to help grow foldable uptake by smartphone users by making the experience more affordable.
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy A series
Samsung will also need to refresh its mid-range phones in the coming year, presumably opting for a Galaxy Ax3 naming convention, like the newly announced Galaxy A13 5G. The current Galaxy A range also includes the Galaxy A32, Galaxy A42 and Galaxy A52, as well as the Europe-only Galaxy A72, so that's a whole bunch of potentially new phones to look forward to.
These phones aren't the cutting edge devices that the Galaxy S or Galaxy Z models are, but their focus on display, camera and battery still means you get a good deal on Samsung's high-quality hardware. They also help provide an alternative choice to other great cheaper Android phones like the Google Pixel 5a or the OnePlus Nord 2.
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy Tab
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy Tab tablets
Don't forget about Samsung's tablets. They may not be as ubiquitous as iPads, but they're still some of the best Android tablets you can buy. Similar to its phones, Samsung offers yearly updates to its Galaxy Tab A and Galaxy Tab S tablets, but there hasn't been a big refresh since 2020, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and the Galaxy Tab S7 FE remaining the company's current tablets.
Rumors of the Galaxy Tab S8 have been circulating though, with particular focus on the new top model — the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, and its new notched design. This sounds like a big update for Samsung, and one that should be its best attempt yet at dethroning the iPad Pro.
Samsung in 2022: Wearables
Samsing in 2022: Galaxy Buds
Samsung's still quite new to the true wireless earbud space, but it somehow already offers four different models. The newest are the Galaxy Buds 2, so we're unlikely to see another entry level pair of 'buds in 2022. It's the same story with the Galaxy Buds Pro, which debuted at the start of the current year.
However the Galaxy Buds Plus and Galaxy Buds Live will both turn two years old in 2022, meaning the time may be ripe for Samsung to update these mid-range 'buds to better tackle rivals like the newly released AirPods 3.
Samsung in 2022: Galaxy Watch
This year's been a big one for Samsung's smartwatches, thanks to the Galaxy Watch 4 series ditching Samsung's proprietary Tizen OS to move over to a new version of Google's Wear OS, developed in tandem with Google itself.
The next Galaxy Watch, presumably named the Galaxy Watch 5, hasn't been the subject of any rumors yet. However there's one feature we hope will finally appear after being rumored for the Galaxy Watch 4: blood glucose tracking. Keeping an eye on blood sugar levels would be of great benefit to fitness-conscious users, and could be a useful back-up tool for diabetic users too.
Samsung in 2022: Laptops
Samsung in 2022: Laptops
Samsung's Windows-powered Galaxy Book line and its lightweight Samsung Chromebooks are effective laptops for productivity or entertainment, particularly when used in tandem with other Samsung devices. With Windows 11 about to take over from Windows 10, it'll be interesting to see how Samsung makes use of the new features, but there's also a rumor of a new kind of laptop in the works.
Leaker IceUniverse claims that a 17-inch foldable Samsung laptop is on the cards for early next year. We've not seen a true foldable laptop available for purchase yet (the closest we've got is laptops with 360-degree hinges), but given how Samsung's really hit its stride with foldable phones in the past couple of years, we're looking forward to seeing how this translates to a laptop.
Samsung in 2022: TVs
Samsung has been staking out new technologies for the last several years, and some of those long-term plans will likely come to fruition in 2022.
The biggest of these is QD-OLED, an innovative take on traditional OLED displays that combines the per-pixel lighting of OLED with the color and brightness boosting qualities of quantum dots. Samsung has been developing the new display tech for years, but has started initial manufacturing of the new panel in late 2020, and is expected to showcase the new technology at CES in January.
MicroLED will also make advances, but with current models commanding stratospheric prices, it still has a long way to go before the OLED competitor starts showing up in affordable consumer devices. Samsung even scrapped plans for a smaller 70-inch 4K micro-LED TV this year. For now, MicroLED TVs are more of a proof-of-concept than a product anybody will want to buy.
For most shoppers, Samsung's biggest development in 2021 was Neo QLED — as seen in the Editor's Choice-winning Samsung QN90A Neo QLED TV that tops our list of the best TVs. Neo QLED weds mini-LED backlighting with Samsung's excellent quantum dot enhanced displays for truly excellent picture quality and brightness, and is a big step forward from normal QLED displays. Neo QLED will continue to advance in 2022, but Samsung's lower-end models will still use the inferior dual-LED backlight to keep profit margins high, with Samsung reserving the better technology for its flagship 4K and 8K sets.
Finally, we can expect Samsung's 8K sets to get more affordable. The company already makes some of the best 8K TVs, with some of the most affordable models on the market, with 65-inch screen size options for the QN900A and QN800A that launched at $4,999 and $3,499 respectively, but have dropped as low as $2,699 for the holidays. We expect a similar lineup in 2022, with perhaps a lower cost of entry on the cheapest models. (Whether there will be any 8K content to play on those high-resolution models is another question entirely.)