The Samsung Galaxy S22 series has been available for over a month now, and new launches, in most cases, often mean that the previous generation and its limited stocks are likely to be available at steep discounts. In addition, not all new releases are better than their predecessors. The new device can sometimes make a massive detour — case in point, the Galaxy S22 Ultra — leaving room for more options.
Currently, the Galaxy S22 series consists of three devices, the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus, and Galaxy S22 Ultra. While the standard S22 models feature iterative changes, the Ultra model is set to provide a vastly different user experience.
According to Samsung.com, the Galaxy S21 series is still available in limited quantity; Hence, with this article, we will try to answer the question about which lineup to choose a device from, the latest Galaxy S22 series, or the proven Galaxy S21 series.CONTENTS CLOSE
Galaxy S22 vs Galaxy S21
How different are they?
As you have just read, a successor device isn't always better than the predecessor, but with Galaxy S22, Samsung has made quite a few changes that can change the perspective with which you view the device.
The Galaxy S22 series includes changes here and there, but the most noticeable one would be the size reduction. The Samsung Galaxy S22 features a marginally smaller screen and has seen its dimensions shrink. I calculated this to be an 8.2% reduction in volume. And having held one in my hand, I second the notion that this phone does feel compact. The design of the Galaxy S22 also features more squared-off edges compared to the Galaxy S21, which has significant curves at every edge blending into the metal frame.
The back panel on Galaxy S22 also uses Gorilla Glass Victus+, an upgrade from the polycarbonate backing that Samsung adopted for Galaxy S21.
The display on the front measures at 6.1-inches (6.2-inches of Galaxy S21) and features uniform bezels; we believe this adds to the overall aesthetic of the device and is a welcome change. The remaining specifications remain similar or present generational upgrades. The front panel still adapts its refresh rate between 48 and 120Hz and has an FHD+ resolution. But the protection has gone a notch above, as the phone now uses Gorilla Glass Victus +, compared to standard Gorilla Glass Victus.
Amongst other changes, the camera on Galaxy S22 also sees a refresh. In his full review of the Galaxy S22 Plus (which shares its hardware with the Galaxy S22), Jaime Rivera mentioned the camera is better than the set on the previous year's smartphone. While the new 50MP primary sensor is likely to be responsible, the improved ISP with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is also likely to play a role in this phone's better images and overall performance.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy S22, owing to its reduced volume, does see its battery capacity taking a hit, reducing to 3700 mAh from the 4000 mAh cell that shipped with Galaxy S21. Apart from this, the newer generation Galaxy S22 is the better phone.
Which one should you buy?
Coming to the question of which to choose — If having a compact device is at the top of your list, the Galaxy S22 has to be the obvious pick. Not only is the Galaxy S21 slightly larger, but in some ways, it is less premium.
And unlike last year, when all Galaxy S20 devices were quickly discontinued and removed from online listings, it is still possible to buy units of Galaxy S21, but that is without any price cuts. So if you will be paying $800 for either device, it's clear that this year's model is better in more ways than one and the unit to pick up if you want the most value for your money.
Samsung Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S22 comes with a flagship 4nm chipset, a triple-camera setup on the back, and a battery that can last through a full day of use. So, if you have wanted a relatively compact and powerful smartphone, the Galaxy S22 is one of the best devices to get in 2022.
Samsung Galaxy S21
Part of 2021's flagship lineup, the Galaxy S21 is a compact device that offers great hardware. With possible price cuts on the line, this is a great phone to buy in 2022.
Galaxy S22 Plus vs Galaxy S21 Plus
How different are these two devices?
Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus was, in more ways than one, just an oversized Samsung Galaxy S21. But this year, with the larger size come a few extra features that bring the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus model closer to the Ultra that make it worth the additional $200, especially if you weren't looking to spend more and upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The Galaxy S22 Plus — like the standard Galaxy S22 — underwent a slight size reduction. Hence, it now ships with a 6.6-inch display compared to the 6.7-inch panel on Galaxy S21 Plus. Apart from this change, the specifications, once again, remain similar. Except for the improvements brought by uniform bezels and Gorilla Glass Victus +. These make the newer generation device just a tad bit more appealing to look at and use. And like the standard Galaxy S22, the processor sees a bump with the inclusion of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the Exynos 2200.
But let us bring your focus on the other improvements which help bridge the gap between S22 Plus and S22 Ultra — something the S21 Plus didn't do with its hardware.
Like the premier model, Galaxy S22 Plus comes with support for 45W charging, an improvement over the 25W limitation that bogged the entire Galaxy S21 series. The phone also comes with support for WiFi 6E, Ultra-Wideband connectivity, and has a display that reaches 1750 nits, allowing for a better viewing experience.
Which one should you buy?
If you ask us, the decision here is once again quite clear. The Galaxy S22 Plus does well at bridging the gap between the Ultra and Standard models and offers a respectable package for $1000.
For users that are always on the move, the Galaxy S22 Plus' improved 45W charging will provide respite, especially when powering up from zero, and even save you some minutes. The only real advantage the Galaxy S21 Plus would hold over the Galaxy S22 Plus would be its battery, which we say is accounted for by the successor's ability to better fast charge.
Hence, unless you can pick up the Galaxy S21 Plus for $800 or less, the Galaxy S22 Plus should be the device to get!
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
The Better Plus Model
The Galaxy S22 Plus is the latest flagship smartphone from Samsung. It comes with a powerful chipset, a large 6.6-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 50MP primary camera, and much more.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus
Larger Size Galaxy S21
Samsung's latest flagship comes with a premium build quality and a fantastic camera, high-end specifications.
Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Ultra
How different are these two devices?
And finally, we've reached the flagship smartphone for this year, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. In our opinion, differences brought by the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus pale in comparison to the physical and usage overhaul the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra introduces to the Galaxy S Ultra line.
This year, Samsung absorbed the aspects that made the Note lineup unique and stand out in the realm of smartphones into the Galaxy S22 Ultra. This decision brought with it a new design language, giving the phone a flat top, flat bottom, and a silo to store the S Pen. It also introduced a redesigned camera, featuring a step away from the well-liked Contour Cut design language. In comparison, the Galaxy S21 Ultra looks vastly different with its curved top and bottom.
But apart from the visual changes and the productivity aspect introduced by the built-in silo on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the smartphones share similar hardware. Each features a flagship chipset from its respective release cycle and camera hardware headlined by the 108MP ISOCELL sensor. Both phones also feature 6.8-inch QHD+ curved displays (capable of a 120Hz refresh rate). Although, this year, Samsung was able to improve the adaptive nature a tad bit, allowing the panel on Galaxy S22 Ultra to go down to as low as 1Hz and then come back up to 120Hz — Galaxy S21 Ultra had a refresh rate limit between 10Hz and 120Hz.
If you're an S Pen fanatic, the Galaxy S22 Ultra also features improvements in latency that can make a world of difference to how smooth the accessory functions. The S Pen on Galaxy S22 Ultra is also active in nature, so you can use it as a remote when required.
Lastly, focussing on battery, both devices feature a 5000 mAh cell, so a whole day of use shouldn't be too much of an ask with either model. But do keep in mind, the S22 Ultra does have an advantage with 45W wired charging support. The S21 Ultra is limited to 25W.
Which one should you buy?
Choosing between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Ultra is likely to be a difficult situation, as both phones are similar in many aspects, and the cost to own either is the same (at the time of writing).
Hence, we feel if you need a device with a heavy focus on productivity, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is going to be the perfect combination. The integrated nature of the S Pen can act as a reason for many to use the accessory. And if you were already a Galaxy Note user, having an upgrade worth considering after a year and a half is a positive.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, is the smartphone to consider if you're looking to get a no-compromise flagship experience. Although, from what we've seen at the time of writing, deals are still absent for the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Thus, if the design of the smartphone doesn't affect your decision, making a push for the newer Galaxy S22 Ultra makes the most sense.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with a larger 6.8" QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, a versatile camera setup, and a large battery that will keep you going through a whole day! Pre-order your Galaxy S22 Ultra from Samsung's website and receive $200 in Samsung Credit.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the company's latest flagship. It sports a 108MP primary camera, which is accompanied by three more cameras. There is a flagship SoC in the form of snapdragon 888.
Why should you consider the Galaxy S22 series?
And with that, we come to the end of this piece, which aimed to answer whether you should pick any Galaxy S Device from the previous generation. With any substantial discounts currently unavailable from Samsung and other retailers, we believe pushing to get the Galaxy S22 series does make the most sense, especially if the delivery times aren't absurdly long.
The only advantage the Galaxy S21 series and its limited quantities pose would be their immediate availability, as discounts aren't on the horizon. Trade-in deals are available for both lineups, but the newer generation does have the advantage of enhanced credit.
Going with the last generation will also push you back in line for software updates and get you a year less of major releases. Thus, unless you wish to have the curved nature of the Galaxy S21 series, their respective successors are a step up worth the wait and money.