David Imel / Android Authority
Update: January 10, 2021 (12:57 AM ET): We’ve updated our Samsung Galaxy S22 rumor hub with apparent launch details via a Korean-based outlet. Read the “name and release date” section for more.
Original article: It’s been about eleven months since Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series. The company has since unveiled its fresh set of foldable phones in the form of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. With no plans for Galaxy Note phones this year, the next set of Samsung flagships will likely come in the form of the Galaxy S22 lineup.
Samsung’s forthcoming “S” series phones have already made several appearances in leaks and rumors. From what we hear, there’s a lot that might change on the phones next year. We’re expecting big camera upgrades, faster charging, new chipsets, and more. So will the Galaxy S22 series offer something for everyone like the current Galaxy S21 trio? Here’s everything we know so far.
Samsung Galaxy S22 series: Name and release date
David Imel / Android Authority
Samsung hasn’t officially announced the name of the next set of Galaxy S devices. However, we believe the company will stick to the nomenclature it has followed since the Galaxy S20 series, at least for the bottom two models. Keeping with the numbering system, the new phones should fall under the Galaxy S22 moniker. Most of the leaks we’ve seen also refer to the three upcoming phones in the lineup as the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus, and Galaxy S22 Ultra, so we doubt Samsung will stray from convention next year. An early December rumor speculated that the S22 Ultra would actually arrive as the S22 Note. However, we’ve heard no other sources corroborate that naming scheme, so it’s worth taking with a major grain of salt.
Related: A complete history of the Galaxy S series
As for the release date, Samsung pushed forward the launch of the Galaxy S21 series by almost a month in 2021. The phones were released in January as opposed to Samsung’s usual practice of unveiling Galaxy flagships in February. It’s too early to say whether Samsung would also stick to a January launch for the Galaxy S22 series. The ongoing global chip shortage might affect Samsung’s plans, forcing the company to push its launch timeline back to February. The late debut of the Galaxy S21 FE also suggests a slight delay might be on the cards. But for now, it’s safe to assume that the new flagships will launch sometime in the first two months of 2022.
Frequent tipster Jon Prosser claimed in early November that the Galaxy S22 series launch event would take place on February 8, 2022. He further asserted that pre-orders would kick off on the same day ahead of general availability on February 18.
Korean outlet Digital Daily reported on January 10 that Samsung’s Unpacked event will indeed take place on February 8. The outlet added that pre-orders would kick off on February 9 and general sales would take place on February 24. So it definitely seems like a February 8 launch is on the cards at the very least.
There was quite a shift in design between the Galaxy S20 series and the Galaxy S21 series. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re not going to see any big differences this year for the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus. However, the Galaxy S22 Ultra could see some huge changes.
Samsung could also get a little adventurous in terms of colorways. A September report stated that the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus may be available in white, black, Rose Gold, and green, while a leak from December said blue, grey, and beige colorways are also planned. The S22 Plus might also get an exclusive purple colorway, according to the December rumor. A more recent report suggests the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus could be available in Phantom Pink, Phantom Black, Phantom Green, and Phantom White. The Ultra may share these options but could add an additional Phantom Burgundy variant replacing the purple option on the S21.
Unlike the Galaxy S21 series, it sounds like all Galaxy S22 models will be made of glass, not glasstic.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The whole aesthetic of the phone departs drastically from the Galaxy S21 ethos. It has a boxy shape, a flat top and bottom, and ultra-curved sides. Really, it looks like the logical sequel to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, not the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
On the back, it has a quad-lens camera system that looks to be much the same as the one on the back of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, the module is redesigned in a “P” design that appears to be a “love-it-or-hate-it” decision. However, do note that a few days after we saw the leaked original renders, we saw an updated version. This new version does not have the “P” shaped camera module and instead splits it in half. Check out a side-by-side comparison below.
Departing from both designs entirely, an alleged backplate leak of the Galaxy S22 Ultra stemming from Weibo suggests each lens could be mounted in individual cutouts, similar to the LG Velvet’s “raindrop design.” This rumor gained more support with the leak of real-life images of a Galaxy S22 Ultra prototype:
Most recently, reliable leaker Evan Blass corroborated the all-lenses-separated rumor:
The display of the phone is allegedly 6.8 inches and obviously quite curvy on the sides. The alleged dimensions are 163.2 x 77.9 x 8.9mm with a thickness of just 10.5mm at the camera bump.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Unlike the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Galaxy S22 Plus appears to stick very closely to the design of the Galaxy S21 Plus. The renders above show a phone that could be a dead-ringer for the 2021 Galaxy S phones.
It does look like Samsung has moved the volume keys a little lower down the side of the phone compared to the S21 Plus. Otherwise, you’ve got a USB-C port, speaker grille, and SIM tray at the bottom of the phone. The phone is also said to measure 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm, with the camera bump bringing the thickness to 9.1mm.
Samsung Galaxy S22
Finally, it doesn’t appear Samsung has any big changes in store for the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S22 either. The leaked renders above show a phone that is nearly identical to the Galaxy S21.
The new phone is allegedly slightly smaller, though. The source of the renders claims the dimensions are 146 x 70.5 x 7.6mm. That’s definitely smaller than the Galaxy S21, which is 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm.
Specs and features
David Imel / Android Authority
The Samsung Galaxy S22 series will obviously get more grunt under the hood with new SoCs. While the next Snapdragon flagship — known as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 — should power the series in the US, all eyes are on Samsung’s rumored Exynos 2200 chipset with an AMD GPU. We already know that the new Exynos will bring ray tracing and variable rate shading capabilities to Samsung’s flagships. We’ll just have to wait and see what else is in store when the company finally reveals the SoC, likely later this year.
The usual regional chipset exclusivity could come under threat, too. According to a leak on September 5, several global carriers are requesting devices with the Exynos SoC over the Snapdragon option. Notably, Verizon is in this camp, which would be a stark departure from the usual US-Snapdragon Galaxy offering. China Telecom reportedly also wants to offer the Exynos option as an exclusive in China. Max Weinbach suggested that Samsung could offer both Exynos and Snapdragon options for each device, which would be a stark departure from the company’s market-dependent either/or approach.
Related: A history of Samsung’s Exynos chipsets
Elsewhere, it’s rumored Samsung might not use vapor chamber cooling on the S22 family. It’s believed that cost-related reasons are to blame if the phones don’t offer this cooling method, with thermal graphene pads mooted instead. For what it’s worth, iFixit found that there was little difference between the cooling methods at least on the Galaxy Note 20.
The batteries powering the vanilla Galaxy S22 and the S22 Plus might get a slight downgrade this time around. The phones could draw power from 3,700mAh and 4,600mAh batteries, respectively, as opposed to the 4,000mAh and 4,800mAh batteries on the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is estimated to have a 5,000mAh battery, the same as the current Ultra model. More recently, a 3C certification listing spotted by SamMobile points to a Galaxy S22 Plus battery with a 4,370mAh capacity (typical capacity of 4,500mAh) and an S22 Ultra battery with 4,855mAh capacity (5,000mAh typical). As for charging speeds, another 3C listing suggests that all three Galaxy S22 models will support 25W top-ups.
However, a new report from WinFuture‘s Roland Quandt suggests the Ultra model might receive special treatment. The device will reportedly gain compatibility with a new 45W PD charger (TPT4510) when it debuts. This doesn’t outright confirm the S22 Ultra will support 45W charging speeds, but the company has reached this benchmark on select flagship phones in the past.
Recently, a Samsung-made 25W wireless charger passed through the FCC, suggesting the upcoming flagships could support 25W wireless charging. Currently, no Samsung smartphone supports 25W wireless charging, and it’d be farfetched to think Samsung would make a wireless charger of this caliber if its own phones wouldn’t support the feature.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 series will ship with Android 12, the latest version of Android. We’ve heard barely anything else about the devices’ software, aside from getting a glimpse of the stock Galaxy S22 wallpapers. You can download them from this link.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Frequent leaker FrontTron detailed some new camera upgrades for the Galaxy S22 trio. The Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus are expected to finally move away from the 12MP main camera and house a 50MP primary shooter. This could be Samsung’s Isocell GN2 sensor that’s capable of producing 12.5MP pixel binned shots. It also features 4K/120fps slow-mo recording, upgraded dual-pixel autofocus, and 480fps video at 1080p.
Twitter tipster Yogesh also suggested that the 50MP sensor used on the Galaxy S22 phones could be an RGBW (red, green, blue, and white) unit. The addition of the white in the pixels should enable better low-light photography. However, we haven’t heard any other major leakers back this info just yet.
See also: The best camera phones you can get
A 12MP ultrawide shooter and a 12MP telephoto sensor might accompany the 50MP sensor on both the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s leaked camera configuration suggests the phone would pack a 108MP main sensor, two 12MP telephoto shooters (up from 10MP on the S21 Ultra), and another 12MP ultrawide camera. The setup is also rumored to include laser autofocus. The Elec reiterated some of these leaks but added that the S22 Ultra will also gain optical image stabilization on the ultrawide lens. This could allow for even smoother video stabilization and better low-light ultrawide shots.
The Ultra model may get even more camera enhancements, according to a leak from December. The Galaxy S22 Ultra will reportedly come with a “detail enhancer” button that’s believed to be exclusive to the 108MP sensor. Rumor has it this “detail enhancer” mode could provide more detailed macro shots, though our own Hadlee Simons speculates it could simply enhance 108MP photos in general using multi-frame processing and other software techniques.
Not everyone agrees with this information, though. Leaker Ice Universe believes the S22 Ultra will gain an “improved version” of the 108MP HM3 sensor as the headline camera, complete with an 85-degree field-of-view and an ƒ/1.8 aperture lens. It’ll reportedly be joined by two 10MP sensors for 10x and 3x zoom capabilities, and a 12MP ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field-of-view. It’s worth considering that Ice doesn’t have a spotless record, so it’s worth taking this leak with a pinch of salt.
Moving away from rear cameras, a new Galaxy Club report suggests selfie enthusiasts shouldn’t get too excited for the Galaxy S22 or its Plus sibling. These phones are believed to retain a 10MP sensor up front, a spec first used on the Galaxy S10. The Dutch publication also believes that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will continue using a 40MP front-facing sensor.
Beyond sensors, there were early suggestions that Samsung could partner up with Japanese camera maker Olympus on the Galaxy S22 series. However, the latter has told Android Authority that there is “nothing to talk about or announce.”
Samsung Galaxy S22 series: Price and availability
David Imel / Android Authority
The Galaxy S22 lineup will be one of the biggest smartphone launches of the year. As usual, you can expect the phones to be available at every major carrier in every major country. You can also expect unlocked models to be available from Samsung as well as many prominent third-party retailers.
You might also find it easier to get the base Galaxy S22 over the more premium models. A recent report from Korea suggests Samsung will dedicate 50-60% of its shipment goal to the Galaxy S22 model. That leaves just 20% of production capacity to the S22 Plus and 20-30% for the S22 Ultra.
The only thing to keep in mind, though, is the aforementioned chip shortage. It is possible this could make phones tricky to get in certain places. Depending on the severity of the shortage, it could also force Samsung to not bring the phones to countries that usually see Galaxy S devices. Time will tell.
Pricing, however, is much more of an enigma. Last year, Samsung surprised us all by dropping the prices of the Galaxy S line by hundreds of dollars. Judging from the renders and information we’ve seen so far, it would appear the company could be planning to leave pricing in that same area. For the record, that would be $800 for the Galaxy S22, $1,000 for the Galaxy S22 Plus, and $1,200 for the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Until we hear otherwise, we think those would be good estimates.
That’s all we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy S22 series! Be sure to bookmark this page as we will update it often as new rumors come to light.