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[Test] Samsung Galaxy S22: a smartphone with tight dimensions and very honorable performance

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If the Galaxy S22 Ultra play the card “more is better” (trans: “more is better”), the Galaxy S22 seems to occupy the entry-level terrain of this high-end where “less is good enough” (trans: “less is good enough”). More compact than its big brothers, probably a little less well equipped (but the new Exynos 2200 is good in it), the S22 is to the new Galaxy range what the iPhone 13 is to that of the iPhone 13 Pro. With an equally convincing result? Here is what it is:

A more compact form-factor

Right out of the box, it’s clearly astonishment: the traditionally elongated form-factor of the Galaxy range, this edge-to-edge screen slightly curved on the sides, and above all these imposing dimensions… there is nothing all this. The Galaxy S22 is a fairly compact device with its 6.1-inch panel, and to be completely honest, if it weren’t for the back of the smartphone, which is perfectly recognizable among a thousand, the rest of the design reminds us a lot of that of the Galaxy S22. ‘iPhone X with its slightly domed and chrome edges as well as its clearly visible antenna lines (on the left).

Our impressions did not deceive us: with dimensions of 146 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm, the S22 is more collected than its predecessor. It doesn’t take much to tell the truth (a millimeter here and there), and yet, we notice it right away.

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No fast charging… but charging is fast

Without really “fast” charging (25 W, compared to 45 W for the S22 + and the S22 Ultra), the Galaxy S22 is not a priori a thunderbolt to be reinflated to the block before the first ignition. However, it will take less than an hour and a half for the device (almost flat upon receipt) to regain all its endurance, and without a charger suitable for the 25W, probably because the battery of the bouzin does not exceed 3700 mAh.

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An almost perfect screen

When switching on, it is once again an intense satisfaction: it feels a bit like repeating ourselves when it comes to Samsung, but the manufacturer makes the best panels on the market, and I assure you that sees. Absolute sharpness and contrast, very limited level of reflectance, and a maximum brightness that competes with that of my iPhone 12 Pro (around 900 cd/m² therefore). The Galaxy S22’s 1080 x 2400 pixel (FHD+) panel is absolutely flawless, although, as usual, you’ll have to play around with the display settings a bit to get the colors a little less vibrant and artificial. Since it is quickly possible to return to extremely faithful colorimetry, this panel calibration out of the box (and a bit marketing) is ultimately not a real concern.

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The sound a little less premium than the image

This display is never lacking, whether it’s watching a movie (with HDR), simple YouTube videos, or playing a graphically ambitious mobile game. The sound that comes out of the integrated speakers and that accompanies this premium display is a little less qualitative. The voices are certainly well defined, the bass not very present (but present, which is already not so bad), but as soon as you go up in volume, you lose clarity and spatialization. Regarding the sound to the headphones, since these are no longer delivered in the box, this part is not tested: the sound quality at the headphone output will depend greatly on the value of the headphones you use.

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Perfs: the Exynos 2200 is a bit disappointing

In terms of raw performance, the S22 provides the essentials, and this is perhaps the origin of a small disappointment: the much-vaunted Exynos 2200 does not really seem to change the situation. On the games, as on the One UI 4 interface under Android 12 (a few micro jerks sometimes), we are far from the boost that was promised after the announcement of the partnership with AMD. The test GeekBench 5 confirms this impression, with 1111 points for single-core processing and 3387 points for multi-core processing. It’s a bit less than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in single core (1200 points) and much worse in multi-core (3770 points). As for the iPhone 13, it is far ahead with 1700 single-core points and 4600 multi-core points. Ah, but, we are told in the headset, the Exynos 2200 would manage loads and consumption much better, which would guarantee correct autonomy. And the best part… is that it’s true. The S22 easily lasts 1 1/2 days in moderate use (but no more than a day in constant use), which is really good considering its 3700 mAh battery. Beyond the performance of the processor, the S22 is equipped with the standard for a flagship in 2022: 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage, 5G compatibility, IP68 certification (resistance to dust and rain), and Dual SIM.

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Photo: really correct… but no more

Our photos show it: the Galaxy s22 is a good photophone, but it doesn’t work wonders either. The photos are sharp in clear weather, well exposed, without the sharpness being exceptional. The blur effect is well rendered (see below), with a good outline of the subject and without artefacts, but we note, as too often with Samsung, a colorimetric drift. The colors are often too dapper and do not really reflect the reality of the shot. The IPS has a little less tendency to smooth out certain elements when the subject is more complex (like the fish tank), a good point that we also notice with the night mode, which is rather effective. The x3 zoom is very good and makes usable shots, but the same cannot be said for the x10, which falls into the trap of excessive smoothing. That said, we’ve seen much worse.

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No optical aberrations or smoothing for this shot where blurred and clear elements are intertwined

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3x magnification

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10x magnification

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Night mode, with just extremely low remote light

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Night mode, in almost total darkness: smoothing is very important, but the IPS greatly limits the noise level

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Zoom x3

Conclusion: a high-end flagship with honorable perfs

We can always quibble about the lack of innovation of this model, about its very balanced performance but without any grain of madness, but sometimes it’s good not to be caught out even if you don’t shine at the smartphone firmament. The Galaxy S22 is by no means average, and it’s already a success in itself: the display is stunning, the battery life is good, the handling above average thanks to this slightly more compact form factor. , the performance quite sufficient including for demanding tasks, and the photo part proves that Samsung has made progress on certain points which sometimes posed problems (excessive smoothing in particular). At the price of this model, it remains a very good investment for those who want to get a very solid top of the range without having to pay the equivalent of a salary.

Galaxy S22 colors

The Galaxy S22 is currently in pre-order, the commercial launch being set for next March 11 (Friday):

Pre-order at Samsung for €859

Pre-order at FNAC at a price of 859 euros.

Pre-order on Amazon at a price of 859 euros.

Pre-order on Boulanger at a price of 859 euros.

Pre-order on Cdiscount at a price of 859 euros.

Pre-order at Darty at a price of 859 euros.

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