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Here’s why Samsung Galaxy S22+ spells power and confidence

It wouldn’t be surprising if this phone turns out to be the best Android device of the year

Mathures Paul | Published 11.03.22, 05:10 AM
Samsung Galaxy S22+ offers a happy high in every department.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ offers a happy high in every department.

Courtesy: TT Archives

One day the second born is the youngest and a few years later, the tag “middle child” gets attached. The eldest is said to be groomed for greater success while the lastborn — or the baby of the family — enjoys large helpings of adoration. So, where does the inbetweener stand? In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S22+ — sandwiched between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S22 — it works extra hard to shine. The middle child is often cast as the oddball, the non-conformist, the individual who takes a less trodden path to prove a point or two. Ultra is niche while S22 gives a taste of flagship phones. The S22+ is the powerful middle-child most need to look at. Any other year, it is the S22+ that would have enjoyed the lion’s share of the spotlight.

Never a dull moment

If you accept that Galaxy Note is now selling under the moniker Galaxy S22 Ultra, I would say the Galaxy S22+ could have been called the Galaxy S22 Ultra any other year. At the moment, the Ultra model has that one big feature — the S Pen — but not everyone wants a stylus, not everyone takes notes, not everyone wants to make a doodle on the phone. For them, it is going to be the Galaxy S22+.

The element or gorgeousness is present in every department — screen, processor, camera, battery life, software support, sturdiness… it wouldn’t be surprising if this phone turns out to be the best Android device (minus a stylus) of the year .

The biggest difference I have noticed while using the Galaxy S22+ is in the camera department. The rear camera module has three snappers — main 50MP (f/1.8, 23mm), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 13mm) and 10MP telephoto (f/2.4, 69mm). It’s how all the pixels are used that’s interesting.

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, something called nona-binning is used, which combines nine pixels in a 3x3 array. The objective of tetra-binning on the Galaxy S22+ is similar to nona-binning. Instead of combining the pixels in a 9x1 ratio, it does 4x4 adjacent pixels in a 2x2 array to combine them into a large pixel.

Generally speaking, a bigger pixel size should increase the detail of an image but having more pixels on a sensor of the same size means each pixel needs to be smaller, so less light is captured. After pixel binning on the Samsung phone, the images become vivid. Galaxy S22 models have a pixel size of 1µm. This means, with tetra-binning you get 2µm pixels in the final 12.5MP photo, which is comparable with the 2.4µm of the 12MP images on the Ultra.

What does all that mean? Plenty of details, very little noise, dynamic range and HDR are great, and colours are natural. Samsung promised improvements in the portrait mode, which it has delivered as much on the Ultra as it has on the S22+. The algorithm, which determines what is supposed to be in focus and what is supposed to be blurred, has been refined greatly.

Night photography is the mainstay of the new Galaxy S22 series

Night photography is the mainstay of the new Galaxy S22 series

Night photography too is spot on. There’s some sharpening but the images don’t have a heavily processed look. Even without night mode, shots can still capture enough details and offer excellent dynamic range. It’s hard to distinguish videos taken using the Ultra and the S22+. I agree that shooting in 8K is a bit of an overkill while most will restrict to 4K, yet the company has future-proofed the device. And let’s not even get started about video stablisation, which is among the best on an Android phone.

There is one 10MP telephoto snapper (with 3x optical zoom) on the phone compared to the dual telephoto option on the Ultra. These are minor differences and don’t make any impact on everyday usage. What will make a difference is when you use the telephoto lens to capture shots because of the depth and artistic styling attached to the frame.

One more element in the camera department — Detail Enhancer, which is available while taking full 50MP shots. It uses AI and combines multiple shots to pull in as much details as possible, delivering impressive results. There’s never a dull moment while snapping up the surroundings using the Galaxy S22+.

Galaxy S22+ has a good point-and-shoot set-up

Galaxy S22+ has a good point-and-shoot set-up

More features that matter…

The Galaxy S series has always been about camera and display. The 6.6-inch dynamic AMOLED 2X display comes with 120Hz (adaptive) refresh rate, which is a given on a flagship phone. Colours are accurate even without having to tweak them and brightness levels are stunning, even more stunning when the “extra brightness” feature is turned on. A new feature you get to see on the phone is Vision Booster. If Adaptive Brightness mode is turned on, the phone automatically adjusts the tone of the picture based on ambient light. The hybrid stereo set up does justice to the excellent display. At the bottom is the speaker grille while the earpiece acts as the second speaker. Not only is the sound loud it also has excellent sound separation.

Colours have a natural feel and are not at all oversaturated

Colours have a natural feel and are not at all oversaturated

Privacy matters and it’s interesting to go through the list of features on the Galaxy S22 series. There are a few security features you should know about. There is always a chance of someone leaving the phone behind at the restaurant or the airport security counter. There is a feature under Lock Screen called “contact information”, using which you can have a contact number on the locked screen. Or consider the way you share Wi-Fi passwords with guests visiting the house — the password can be shared using the QR code which comes with a Wi-Fi connection. There is also control over the apps that access your clipboard where important information may get stored. There’s plenty more to talk about, so we will keep security and privacy for a separate article.

All the Galaxy S22 series phones come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the most powerful processor on Android phones at the moment. The processor does justice to the battery life because you get a 4,500mAh battery, which is far bigger than the 3,700mAh on the plain Galaxy S22. There is also Gorilla Glass Victus Plus — protection to handle accidental drops. And support for 45W wired charging (you need to get your own power brick) and 15W wireless charging.

Had it been any other year, this would have been the Ultra model. The middle child is often pragmatic, which is the case with this phone. The Galaxy S22+ spells power and confidence.

At a glance

Galaxy S22+ is compact

Galaxy S22+ is compact

Device: Samsung Galaxy S22+

Price: Upwards of Rs 84,999

High notes

• Camera system that shines at night
• Excellent display
• Packed with privacy features
• Built to last for years

Muffled notes

• The two-tone colour finish of last year is being missed

Last updated on 11.03.22, 10:59 AM
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