Galaxy S22 rumors: Everything we’ve heard about Samsung’s new phones

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The Galaxy S22 will be the successor to the Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra, shown above.

Sarah Tew/CNET

We’re a month out from the Samsung Galaxy S22 lineup’s rumored reveal — or possibly less, according to buzz about a Feb. 8 or Feb. 9 release date. We know we’ll see the new flagship line during the next Unpacked event at some point in February. You can already sign up to reserve a preorder for the new devices, which include the rumored Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra. Rumors suggest that the S22 phones will surface with upgraded features on the inside and out, from new colors to an Android 12 operating system. But, the base model for the Galaxy S22 Ultra may come with less memory than its predecessor.

Samsung’s August event excited us with two new foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, alongside the company’s latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4, and the Galaxy Buds 2. In October, Samsung showed off more ways to customize its foldable phones, and the first week of January brought us the Galaxy S21 FE. Although we’ve been collecting all the latest rumors and gossip, we’re still waiting on an exact announcement date for the Galaxy S22 from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 impressed us with its solid all-round performance and better balance of features and price than the S20. The Galaxy S21 Ultra blew us away with its incredible camera setup and its ability to take superb zoomed-in shots. So what about the follow-up series? Here’s what we think the Galaxy S22 might bring.

Galaxy S22 release date: Feb. 8 or Feb. 9?

Samsung typically launches its S-series phones in March, but it bucked that trend in 2021 by launching the S21 line in January. Although Samsung typically follows a 12-month cycle of updating its handsets, the company has teased a February Unpacked event for the Galaxy S22 line.

The exact date of the event is still unknown, but leaker Jon Prosser speculates the Galaxy S22 will be revealed on Feb. 8. A report from Korean publication DDaily also speculated the Galaxy S22 will be announced on Feb. 8. The report adds that the company’s upcoming flagship phone lineup is said to be available for preorder on Feb. 9 and in stores starting Feb. 24.

More recent buzz from Leaker Ice Universe, however, suggests the Galaxy S22 line may be announced a day later, on Feb. 9.

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The Galaxy S21.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Galaxy S22 could have a smaller display and battery than its predecessor

Samsung could offer slightly smaller display sizes for the Galaxy S22 line. According to Twitter leaker FrontTron, the Galaxy S22 could have a 6.01-inch screen, the Galaxy S22 Plus could have a 6.55-inch screen and the Galaxy S22 Ultra could get a 6.81-inch screen. For comparison, the Galaxy S21 lineup has 6.2-, 6.7- and 6.8-inch displays, respectively.

Batteries might also be smaller in the Galaxy S22 lineup. FrontTron speculates that the S22 and S22 Plus will have 3,800- and 4,000-mAh batteries, respectively. The leaker says the Galaxy S22 Ultra will maintain its 5,000-mAh cell.

Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s mobile experts.

Price: How much will the Galaxy S22 cost?

Sales of the Galaxy S20 line didn’t impress and it’s likely it had a lot to do with the generally high prices, coupled with widespread financial uncertainty for many people due to the pandemic. The S21 offered handsets at slightly more affordable prices by swapping glass back panels for toughened plastic. Here are all the differences between the Galaxy S21 and S20.

At launch, the base S20 came in at $1,000 in the US, while the base S21 undercut that at $800. While we don’t expect Samsung to try and make the S22 line any cheaper, we do think it’s a safe bet that the company will try and match the approximate price of the S21, rather than increase it back to S20 levels.

Speculative European pricing information for the Galaxy S22 series was revealed in a recent tweet from Leaker Roland Quandt. Although the pricing seems to be consistent with the Galaxy S21 line, the equally-priced Ultra model appears to come with less RAM than its predecessor.

Quandt claims the S22 will start at 849 euros, the S22 Plus at 1,049 euros and the base S22 Ultra at 1,249 euros. That starting price of 849 euros converts to about $960, £715 or AU$1,850, but bear in mind euro prices include tax. Every base model of the Galaxy S22 could come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra also offers options for 12GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage, according to Quandt. If this rumor becomes a reality, the base Galaxy S22 Ultra could come with 8GB of RAM instead of the 12GB that is in the base Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Previous leaks, however, speculate the Galaxy S22 line may be more expensive than we anticipated. According to tipster @chunvn8888 (a leaker who doesn’t have much of a track record compared to others), the Galaxy S22 lineup will be priced higher than the Galaxy S21 series. The standard Galaxy S22 is said to cost $899, while the Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 Ultra are rumored to be priced at $1,099 and $1,299, respectively. If this rumor comes true, Samsung’s new flagship phone collection would see a $100 price hike compared to the Galaxy S21 series.

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The Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra.

Drew Evans/CNET

Multiple Galaxy S22 models: Plus and Ultra

It’s a sure bet that Samsung will offer multiple variations of the S22 line with different specs at a variety of prices. It’s likely that we’ll see a base S22, along with an upgraded S22 Plus and an S22 Ultra model with the best specs — and the highest price to match. (Here’s how the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra variants compare.)

It’s a recipe Samsung has followed for the last few generations, and as a strategy it’s working. For those on more modest budgets, it’s possible the company will also do a more affordable Galaxy S22 FE (FE stands for Fan Edition), although that won’t launch with the range. The Galaxy S20 FE launched in October 2020, eight months after the flagship S20 lineup, and the Galaxy S21 FE launched earlier this month. The Fan Edition phone made a few smart features and specs sacrifices to achieve a more budget-friendly price.

Samsung Galaxy S22 (Jon Prosser leak)
The Samsung Galaxy S22 will seemingly have curved edges and S Pen support.

FrontPageTech.com

Allegedly leaked photos of the Galaxy S22, shared by Prosser, show us a glimpse of what the upcoming phone has to offer. The images reveal curved edges and S Pen support. According to Prosser, the back of the phone features a 108-megapixel main camera and three lenses: a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, a 10-megapixel 3x telephoto and a 10-megapixel 10x telephoto.

Tech leaker Max Weinbach took to Twitter to back Prosser’s claims, saying “Jon and I confirmed his images are legit. This is legit.”

Prior to the leaked images shared by Prosser, renders from LetsGoDigital and digital artist Giuseppe Spinelli show that Samsung’s new phone could have a similar design to the Galaxy S21 lineup with a metal camera block on the top left corner and a punch-hole camera in the top center of the display. LetsGoDigital and Super Roader, a former South Korean Samsung employee, obtained information about the Galaxy S22 lineup’s design and then commissioned Spinelli to make images of the phone based on that information.

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These renders show us what the Samsung Galaxy S22 could look like.

LetsGoDigital and Giuseppe Spinelli

Earlier renders shared by Digit and tipster @OnLeaks show that the Galaxy S22 Ultra could have a similar design to the Galaxy Note 20 with a slot for the S Pen and flat edges on the top and bottom of the phone. Digit and @OnLeaks also suggest Samsung’s new Ultra model will have a P-shaped camera module with a quad-camera setup.

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This render of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, shared by Digit and @OnLeaks, shows the rumored upcoming smartphone with a S Pen slot, a design similar to the Galaxy Note 20 and a P-shaped camera module.

Digit and @OnLeaks

The Galaxy S22 Ultra popped up in an allegedly leaked poster, obtained by LetsGoDigital, as well. The poster showed off the phone’s camera bump, square design and possible S Pen support since the stylus is shown on top of the phone.

A video from YouTube channel Unbox Therapy also gave an early look at Samsung’s next flagship. The video, which has since been delisted and reuploaded to other channels on YouTube, showed off what appears to be three dummy units of the Galaxy S22: the Galaxy S22 Ultra, S22 Plus and standard S22. Although the video doesn’t offer much new information about the lineup, it does provide a glimpse at how the size of each Galaxy S22 could compare.

Galaxy S22 could support 65W charging

Samsung could be upgrading the S22 lineup with 65-watt charging support, according to FrontTron. The tipster posted to Twitter in July that 65-watt fast charging is in the testing phase for Rainbow RGB, a rumored code name for the S22 series. If this speculation proves true, the S22 would offer significantly faster charging times than the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Note 20 lineup, which both have 25-watt charging.

Ice Universe speculates the Galaxy S22 Ultra will also come with 45-watt fast charging support. This is enough to power the phone up to 70 percent in 35 minutes, according to the tipster.

Galaxy S22 processor, Android version and display

Samsung tends to use both Qualcomm Snapdragon chips and its own Exynos processors in its S series phones — depending on region — and we fully expect it will do the same again in the S22 line. But it’s safe to assume that what’s used will be the next generation of both chips, possibly the Snapdragon 895 and the Exynos 2200.

In 2019, Samsung partnered with graphics chip company AMD for better mobile graphics power, but so far we haven’t seen any Samsung phone equipped with dedicated AMD hardware. It’s possible that the S22 (or more likely, the S22 Ultra) could be the first AMD phone, boasting superior graphics performance for gaming.

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s also a safe bet that the S22 line will run Android 12 — announced in June last year at Google’s I/O event and is now available to download — with Samsung’s own user interface tweaks over the top, including additions like Samsung Health, Samsung Pay and its Bixby virtual assistant software.

Display size will almost certainly differ depending on which model you opt for. With the S21 line, the base S21 was the smallest at 6.2 inches and the S21 Plus pushed things to 6.7 inches, while the S21 Ultra ballooned farther out to 6.8 inches. Some early rumors suggest that Samsung will make the S22 and S22 Plus slightly smaller — 6.05 inches and 6.5 inches, respectively. The same rumors suggest the S21 Ultra will stay pretty much the same size and, like the S21 Ultra, would be the only one in the range to offer variable refresh rates up to 120Hz.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Galaxy S22 camera: 200-megapixel resolution?

Some rumors suggest it’s the hero S22 Ultra that will see the most exciting camera upgrades this time round. That’s good to hear, as the S21 Ultra’s camera is superb, but wasn’t a big upgrade over its predecessor.

Earlier rumors suggest that it’ll be the first Samsung phone with a whopping 200-megapixel resolution, based on a teaser tweet from Samsung’s own Exynos account showing a 200-megapixel phone camera. That would be a big upgrade from the already pixel-packed 108-megapixel S21 Ultra and would theoretically allow for crisper zoomed-in images.

However, Ice Universe suggested (via GSM Arena) that the phone will retain its 108-megapixel sensor, with the main camera specs being roughly similar to the S21 Ultra. An August report from Galaxy Club claims the Ultra model of Samsung’s upcoming smartphone will house the same camera hardware as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as well.

A leaked spec sheet for the Galaxy S22, reported on by 91Mobiles, also shows the phone to have a 108-megapixel camera, but with a SuperClear lens. Additionally, the Galaxy S22 is said to be fitted with a 12-megapixel ultrawide and two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses with a 3x and 10x zoom and OIS support.

Speaking of zoom though, the S22 Ultra is rumored to get a continuous optical zoom, rather than simply having set 3x or 10x optical zoom lenses to switch between. Currently, if you zoom to, say, 7x zoom on the S21 Ultra that will use a combination of optical zoom and digital cropping, resulting in images that look lower in quality than when you use the 10x optical lens. A continuous zoom would allow for uncropped optical zoom throughout the entire zoom range.

The base S22 and S22 Plus models aren’t expected to get similar camera boosts, so the question remains whether the S22 Ultra will stand out and justify spending the extra cash. Expect to still see multiple lenses and a 50-megapixel main sensor.

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The Galaxy S21.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Galaxy S22 could come in four colors

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is said to come in four color options: white, black, burgundy and green, according to a January leak from deals site MySmartPrice and leaker Ishan Agarwal.

This nearly matches earlier rumors from Galaxy Club. The blog speculates that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be offered in white, black and a new dark red color, while the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus could come in  white, black, rose gold and green. The new green option is said to be similar to the Phantom Green of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Ice Universe also previously tweeted an image of a burgundy Galaxy S8 with the caption “burgundy red return!” Although the leaker didn’t specify which Galaxy model was in the image, LetsGoDigital followed Ice Universe’s post with a separate tweet saying the Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected in burgundy red, black and white.

LetsGoDigital previously speculated that during Samsung’s August 2021 Unpacked event the company may have hinted at possible new color options for the upcoming Galaxy S22. At one point in the presentation (about 46 minutes in), when Samsung talks about the S Pen stylus’s compatibility with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the words “SS22 colors” are written on the foldable phone. The text appeared next to a separate window showing a light green plaid pair of pants and a baby pink blazer that pointed to the words “pistachio green” and “flamingo pink.” It’s possible we could see these new colors for the Galaxy S22, but we won’t know for sure until the phone makes its debut.

Galaxy S22’s extra features

Additional features like wireless charging, NFC for contactless payments, 5G connectivity and in-display fingerprint scanners are pretty safe bets for all the S22 models. It’s also likely that Samsung will continue to offer base storage options of 128GB on all models, with upgrades up to 256GB or even 500GB available for those who want the extra space.

Don’t expect to expand that storage, though, as the S21 series removed the option to add microSD cards. That was a real disappointment, particularly on the S21 Ultra, as its high-resolution images and 8K videos take up a lot of space. Fingers crossed for a return, but don’t get your hopes up.

For more, check out everything we know about the next Samsung event and the Galaxy S21 FE. Plus, our most hoped-for features, in CNET’s Galaxy S22 wish list.

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