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Samsung announces 3 new Galaxy S22 smartphones, including the redesigned S22 Ultra

Samsung announced a trio of new smartphones at its Unpacked 2022 event, including the new Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22.

Starting at the top of the lineup, the S22 Ultra features a large 6.8-inch display and is styled much like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra from a couple of years ago. It’s not just a case of a similar appearance, either. The S22 Ultra features an embedded S Pen stylus, a first for the Galaxy series. Samsung promises the most responsive stylus experience yet. The S Pen can be a Bluetooth remote to control the S22 Ultra’s camera. The S22+ and S22 don’t support the stylus, by the way.

Speaking of the camera system, the S22 Ultra is the only member of the new S22 series to include a 10x optical zoom camera. The 10x zoom camera has a 10MP sensor and an F4.9 lens. The main camera uses the same 108MP image sensor as last year’s model, The sensor is paired with an F1.8 lens and includes OIS and PDAF. The phone also includes a 3x optical zoom telephoto camera, 12MP ultrawide camera and a 40MP front-facing selfie camera. These three cameras are the same across all S22 series models, save for the front-facing camera, which is 10MP on the two smaller phones.

The S22+ and S22 may not feature 108 megapixels with their main cameras, but they do include a new 50MP image sensor that’s 23 percent larger than the primary sensors of the S21. The lens has a maximum aperture of F1.8.

While the different models include various camera systems, all the S22 smartphones feature a new image processing technology that Samsung calls ‘Adaptive Pixel.’ This tech is used to capture brighter high-resolution photos. It’s an interesting technology that combines 108MP or 50MP files, depending on the smartphone, with pixel-binned photos. For example, the 108MP sensor features a lot of pixels in a small space. It works well in bright light, but can struggle in dimmer conditions. To deal with this issue, there’s an alternative mode that combines multiple pixels into a larger pixel site that performs better in low light. All else equal, the larger a pixel, the better its low light performance. The new Adaptive Pixel technology combines two images, one that’s full-resolution and a second that has better noise performance.

Adaptive Pixel captures much larger images. WIRED states that the Adaptive Pixel photos are 20MB, versus 3MB for a typical photo. Perhaps for this reason, or others, Adaptive Pixel is not enabled by default despite a promised higher-quality output.

In addition to the different camera systems, each phone features different display sizes. What’s universal among the new S22 series devices is display technology. Each phone features adaptive 120Hz AMOLED displays. All devices include a new Vision Booster feature that Samsung says improves colors and contrast in sunny conditions. The S22+ features a 6.6-inch display, and the S22 has a 6.1-inch display. There isn’t a ‘small’ phone across the lineup, much like Apple’s ‘Pro’ series, which features 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch models.

Looking at the internals of the new smartphones, all three use a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and feature at least 8GB of RAM. The S22 Ultra also comes with 12GB if you up the storage. The S22 and S22+ come in 128GB and 256GB capacities, whereas the S22 Ultra adds 512GB and 1TB options. Unsurprisingly, the differently-sized phones include different batteries. The S22 has a 3,700mAh battery with 25W fast charging. The S22+ ups the capacity to 4,500mAh and has 45W fast charging. Finally, the S22 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast charging.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 comes in black, white, green and pink gold colorways and starts at $800. The Galaxy S22+ comes in the same color options and starts at $1,000. Rounding out the lineup is the flagship S22 Ultra device, which is available in black, white, green and burgundy colorways and starts at $1,200.

Samsung also announced new tablets today. If you’d like to read about those, head over to WIRED.


All images courtesy of Samsung

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