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7 Apr 2022

Why we love the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones (but you still shouldn't buy one)

If you're tempted by one of Samsung's new phones, hold fire. We reveal how you could make some big savings and still tick the most important boxes

Samsung's latest flagship phone launch gives us three new models - the S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra - and the Which? verdicts are in.

The new premium line comes with some of the most advanced specifications we've seen on a phone, but that's not to say it's a big leap forward from what we've seen before. The most exciting upgrades in the series are in the S22 Ultra, with an integrated S-pen that used to be reserved for the Note Series - allowing you to navigate the phone or annotate on the screen with a stylus.

Nonetheless, differences are small overall and Samsung has launched the phones at the same price as last year's S21 series. With these now on sale and so many other good options around, can you justify the new flagships' high price?

Find out more about Samsung's latest, and how to make a tidy saving on an alternative.

Browse all Samsung smartphone reviews to see if the new models are the best it has to offer.

Samsung Galaxy S22 5G (£769) - a core performer with refined features


There's little doubt that the S22 series are stunning looking devices, but our excitement was tempered when we found out that not much was going to change from the S21. Instead, it's more a case of refining an already stunning flagship phone.

The S22 is the smallest in the range. It's slightly lighter than its predecessor with a 0.1-inch smaller screen. The 6.1-inch display has a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution with a high 120Hz refresh rate, which means content refreshes quickly for one of the best user experiences. It comes in four colours: black, white, gold and green. It's available at the same price as the S21 at release, costing £769 for 128GB of memory, or £819 for 256GB.

The rear camera set-up sees some changes. The S21 has a 12Mp wide, a 64Mp telephoto and a 12Mp ultra-wide lens. The S22 has a different 50 Mp wide and a 10 Mp telephoto lens, with the same 12 MP ultra-wide lens. Both have a 10Mp selfie camera. Though the telephoto lens has reduced in the number of megapixels, the software built into the phone now has a stronger 3x optical zoom instead of the 1.1x optical zoom in the S21.

You can read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 review to see if it's for you, or check out our S22 contract deals.

OR find a deal on the S21 and save up to £230

Along with different hardware in the cameras lenses, the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G has a 6.2-inch display with a larger 4,000mAh battery to match, plus a different processor: the Exynos 2100. However, differences across the two phones are clearly minimal, so there could be a big saving to be made if you find a deal on the older S21.

The S21 is often found at a decent discount a year in - you can currently get it for £549 at Appliances Direct.

OR consider the Google Pixel and save £150

Compared to the S22, Google's Pixel 6 has an OLED screen that's 0.3-inch bigger at 6.4-inches, with a slightly higher resolution at 2,400 x 1,080 pixels. The Google Pixel 6 has also been released with five years of security updates guaranteed from October 2021, so you'll be able to use it for over four years from now.

You'll be compromising on not having a telephoto camera, which means the zoom quality on images might not be as impressive. But it has two rear cameras - a 50Mp wide and 12 ultra-wide camera to expand the camera's field of view. Like with the S22, videos can be shot in 8K to capture more detail than 4K recordings. But you will get a bigger 4,614mAh battery, in comparison to the S22's 3,700mAh battery.

See if a switch to the Google Pixel 6 will work for you in our Google Pixel 6 review, or compare contract deals on the Google Pixel 6.

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Samsung Galaxy S22+ (£949) - for big screen enthusiasts

S22 vs S22+ comparison

The S22+ is a bigger version of the S22, sporting a 6.6-inch display with 2,340 x 1080 resolution. A larger screen might suit if you watch a lot of videos, or you want to use the phone for gaming. It's also powered by a bigger 4,500mAh battery.

You can get it in the same colours and memory options as the S22 - and it's fuelled by the same Exynos 2200 processor. It starts at £949 for 128GB of memory, or spend another £50 for 256GB.

Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S22+ to see if bigger is better, or check out contract deals on the Galaxy S22.

OR find a deal on the S21+ and save up to £320

The S21+'s screen is 0.1 inches bigger than the S22+, but with the same resolution. The processor is the older Exynos 2100, but you'll still get four camera lenses on the back of the phone for versatile photography.

If you're keen on the big screen and are looking for a deal, you can currently get last year's Samsung Galaxy S21+ from Appliances Direct for £629.

OR consider the Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro 5G and save up to £170

The Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro 5G has a 6.7-inch OLED display with a 2,400 x 1,080 resolution, with a 120Hz refresh rate. It also has Dolby Vision for fluid, high-definition video playback. Like the S22+, it has three rear cameras made up of a 108Mp main lens, a 8Mp wide-angle lens and a 5Mp telephoto-macro combined lens.

If you're happy to step away from Samsung, you can currently get the Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro 5g for £479 at Very. Or read our full review to see if it's for you.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (£1,149) - a unique headliner

Samsung S22 Ultra in use

The S22 Ultra is the most exciting release in the line up. Samsung has blended some of the best features from the S series with those from its Note range, which includes an integrated S Pen - a stylus you can use to browse your phone or use like a pen to write on the screen. The S Pen charges automatically when inserted, and paired with the large 6.8-inch OLED display with a 3,088 x 1,440 resolution, it looks like a high-grade tablet and phone in one.

In recent years, we've expected big upgrades in cameras on flagships, but there aren't a lot of notable changes this year. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the S21 Ultra cameras were top of the line. The S22 Ultra has four cameras on the rear of the phone made up of a 108Mp wide camera, a 10Mp periscope telephoto camera, a 10Mp telephoto camera and a 12Mp ultrawide camera. There's one 40Mp wide selfie camera on the front of the phone. Videos can be shot in 8K.

Like the other phones in the S22 series, it has a sleek design and comes in some new colours including white, black, green and burgundy. But it comes at a price, starting at £1,149 for 128GB. If you opt for the biggest amount of data - 1TB, it will set you back a whopping £1,499. If you're looking for great cameras but don't need all the bells and whistles of the S22 Ultra, there are plenty of cheaper options out there. Check out our reviews of the best mobile phones if you want to pay less.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review to see how it did in our tests - or compare contract deals on the S22 Ultra.

OR find a deal on the S21 Ultra and save up to £220

The S21 Ultra has the same camera lenses as that of the S22 Ultra, and a very similar premium screen. You won't get an integrated S Pen, but you can always buy one separately, and you might be able to find a good deal now the S22 Ultra has been released.

The S21 Ultra is currently available from Appliances Direct for £929.

OR consider the OnePlus 8 Pro and save up to £580

The OnePlus 8 Pro is another phone with a gigantic screen at 6.78 inches and the same high 120Hz refresh rate as on Samsung's S22 range. It also has four rear cameras including a telephoto camera for high-quality pictures when zooming in.

It's a competitive phone worth considering as an alternative to the S22 Ultra. Find out more in our review, and it's currently available from Appliances Direct for £469.

Samsung delivers a boost to security support

phone updates news

Last but by no means least, the S22 series comes with Samsung's new guarantee of at least five years of security support. Any device that is connected to the internet needs regular security updates to keep your personal information secure and less vulnerable to be exploited by hackers.

Samsung's announcement for five years of security support is a welcome step-forward by the industry giant, but the even better news is that other Samsung phones included in this guarantee are the S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra mentioned above, plus the cheaper S21 FE. The five years is backdated from each phone's initial release, so you'll still get almost four years of support on the S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra from April 2022. Other Samsung phones that qualify include the Z series from the third generation onwards, and a select number of A series phones yet to be released.

Find out more about mobile phone security and use our Which? phone support calculator to see how long your phone may be supported for.