Samsung Galaxy S22 Review – Is This Peak Smartphone?


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what’s going on guys my name is wade with tech daily so let me ask you a question have we reached peak smartphone marquez brownlee recently did a video discussing this with a focus on the iphone and rumors about the upcoming iphone 14 lineup he concluded that there is enough stuff each year still that kind of shows some innovation but when i look at this year’s samsung galaxy s22 i just don’t see that this is a great device from start to finish but objectively there’s not a whole lot that’s new or different or better than last year’s s21 and that phone wasn’t that much better than the s20 you can say that better by any measurement is still progress no matter how minor it may be but it’s almost negligible at this point barely impacts day-to-day usage and i’m not sure a device like this is worthy of a yearly release cycle anymore either and i’ll also say too that sometimes the changes we do get year over year aren’t even better they’re just different and in some cases they’re even a downgrade now mark has mentioned that year over year we should still expect more processing power more memory higher resolution displays more intelligence across the entire smartphone space that’s probably true but in the case of samsung’s flagship phones these last couple of years that’s actually not true at all sure the processors from qualcomm and snapdragon are still better year over year phones are more powerful and capable in that way but we aren’t getting more ram we’ve actually been getting less the s20 offered 12 gigs the s21 and s22 have since had eight gigs we also lost the sd card slot so less potential for storage the display resolution is also lower than it once was and to be honest i don’t know that my phone has gotten that much smarter in recent years either whether that be android or my favorite third-party apps again i want to make it clear that this isn’t a slight towards the s22 specifically there’s nothing wrong with this device it’s a powerful capable feature-packed flagship smartphone that i’ve enjoyed having that probably has five or six years of potential use which makes it a great investment and if you have a phone that’s a few years old you should get this one that would be a substantial upgrade but if you have last year’s s21 there’s definitely no reason to upgrade i think the year-over-year must-have hype of new smartphones it’s just not there anymore and to be completely honest i’m not sure what more samsung could have even added to garner up any sort of hype or make this phone truly objectively excitingly better than the s21 now weirdly enough one thing that did change with the s22 is actually its size this year it’s a marginally smaller 6.1 inch device you lose a tiny bit of screen real estate shave off a few millimeters all around it’s lighter too in the hand but in a world full of devices larger than 6.6 inches this phone is compact comfortable and a refreshing change it’s not only easy to use but it feels less like i’m fully engulfed by this big portable display and it definitely fits better in my pocket too there’s a plus version of the s22 of course but i opted for this regular one because i wanted to try something that kinda is considered small by today’s standards and i’m glad i did one other thing i’m glad to have seen or rather felt is the frosted glass around back samsung took the cheap route these last few years on their most expensive smartphones adding a plastic rear cover it was insulting and embarrassing even if it might have been more durable a premium glass and metal build is just one of those things you like to see when you’re paying this much for a phone and i’m glad samsung brought it back and by the way to protect those premium materials on my s22 these past few months i’ve been using some of these ultra slim cases from phoenix and not just because they were kind enough to sponsor this video but because i genuinely believe they offer a great product that delivers all the protection you need for your device while making it look like you don’t even have a case on at all seriously it’s practically invisible phoenix makes cases for minimalists those of us who still want the protection but who don’t want the phone to be shrouded in a thick hunk of rubber phoenix cases are sleek and slim and add no extra bulk at all and like i said you won’t even notice it’s on the phone at least until you drop it and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it did its job the cases are precision cut to give you that perfect fit around the corners edges cutouts and buttons and you’ve even got a little extra protection around the camera lenses with a raised edge and around the display phoenix cases come in black and matte black for a stealthier look and this frosted white which is my favorite here if you’re looking for a slim minimal case that still offers proper protection check out phoenix cases at the link down below there’s a 20 off coupon too if you’re interested and thanks so much again to phoenix for sponsoring this video so one thing i always go back and forth on when it comes to samsung’s flagships is the display on the one hand this is one of the brightest most colorful most pleasing to look at screen setups that you can buy with the silky smooth 120 hertz refresh rate as the cherry on top it’s a dynamic amoled panel so every color pops blacks look very dark and with the slimmest of bezels surrounding a perfectly flat piece of glass this is the most distraction-free viewing experience i think you could ask for the resolution though by 2340×1080 or about 425 pixels per inch isn’t over the top and for a flagship might actually be a little disappointing with a screen this small 6.1 inches it doesn’t really matter you won’t be picking out any pixels but samsung used to push the limits with the 1440p screen on the s20 yes you had to choose between the higher resolution or enabling 120 hertz back then and i guess based on these specs with the s22 now samsung made that choice for us high refresh rate lower resolution and no more option to choose the quad hd display and 120 hertz mode pairing is now reserved for the ultra but i think it’s just the principle of the thing it’s an example of a spec that’s been objectively downgraded and altogether year over year the display is also not measurably better either it’s good great even but it hasn’t been a point of innovation for samsung in recent years also underneath the display is samsung’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which is great too the fastest fingerprint sensor i’ve used no issues really once you figure out the placement but it too is the same as last year now one aspect of the s22 that is objectively measurably better is the performance but i think it’s fair to say that over the last maybe two or three years performance improvements have been marginal at best the new s22 gets the new snapdragon 8 gen 1 chipset from qualcomm or samsung’s own exynos 2200 if you’re outside the us pair that with 8 gigs of ram and either 128 or 256 gigs of storage and you get a setup that’s more than powerful to obviously handle anything and everything you might ask it to do in fact qualcomm’s newest chipset inside this phone i think is even better than expected no overheating issues for me no blips no instances of noticeable lag yeah there was that whole throttling debacle last month with samsung devices but a couple software updates should have corrected that and since then i’m fairly confident this phone has been running at 100 with every app game and task i have it do however there’s two counterpoints i do want to make when it comes to specs first while this phone is more powerful than last year it’s not that much more powerful and i don’t think you’ll experience any noticeable increase in speed with your average day-to-day usage compared to the s21 second eight gigs of ram is fine and is probably about as much as any person needs but samsung used to offer 12 and 16 gigs of ram options in some of their phones overkill for sure maybe they realized people didn’t care didn’t utilize it maybe there weren’t any apps or games i could ever need it maybe it was a cost thing whatever the reason may be it’s just another example of something that was taken back all in all this is still a top tier device and performance is a non-issue it’s also a great investment like i said multiple years of android updates and security patches to come but to me this is an area that feels like we’ve just reached our peak something that i wish samsung would give in a little bit on with their flagship phones in particular is the battery this slightly smaller phone packs in a slightly smaller battery than last year 3700 milliamps and this is something that should just never get smaller or worse year over year in fact this is probably the aspect of this phone in particular that i had the biggest trouble with i couldn’t always get the s22 to last a full day with my particular usage and that’s a shame sure i could bump down the brightness or disable 120 hertz or do some other things to keep the phone happy but i paid for the whole phone and i want to use the whole phone all the time make the device thicker increase the battery size by 20 or 30 it’s worth it people will be more than happy to have that versus a slightly thicker phone samsung crams five thousand and six thousand milliamp batteries inside some of their larger international devices anyway so i know they can do better than this and i don’t really understand why they don’t they also haven’t innovated really when it comes to wired or wireless charging 25 watt fast charging isn’t really fast by today’s standards and that hasn’t changed in years same with the 15 watt wireless charging i can’t imagine samsung is still hurting from the note 7 fiasco maybe they are but they could still implement even conservative but noticeable upgrades to the battery and charging the thing that samsung and really most other phone manufacturers have mainly been focusing on in recent years has been the camera tech and with the s22 this is where we pretty much see the only substantial upgrade this phone now offers a 50 megapixel main lens around back paired with a 10 megapixel telephoto shooter and a 12 megapixel ultra wide the selfie camera doesn’t seem to be any different from the last couple of years at least with the hardware and inside the camera app this phone doesn’t really offer any new standout shooting modes or features or other capabilities but when you take some pictures and videos with the s22 i think you’ll notice sharper looking images overall with noticeably increased details and better low light performance especially which are both great sort of general improvements across the board this phone also continues to have an incredible array of capabilities that we’ve seen before like 8k video htr 10 plus support 960 frames per second slo-mo high-level manual controls and cinematic features i don’t know that the average person would utilize most of that stuff even i don’t but it’s all there and like i said out of everything that’s where most of the focus has been the smartphones in the last couple of years that camera tech which is great these are the best mobile cameras we’ve ever had for sure but if that’s all we get nowadays i think that leaves a bit to be desired like i said already there’s really nothing wrong with the s22 specifically and in fact i think it’s a relatively well-rounded decently spec’d flagship phone that also happens to be a fun size the problem is just that it isn’t new or different or better than the s21 there’s not a single reason in my opinion to consider it on top of that i’m honestly not sure what i would have wanted out of this phone that would have made it better it’s not like it’s lacking anything any features any specs any abilities and it’s not like it does anything badly either maybe better battery life but i don’t see any other way to improve it significantly and i think therein lies the problem i genuinely think we’ve reached pique’s smartphone and this s22 is evident of that what do you guys think is there something here that maybe i’m missing let me know in the comments down below i’d love to know your thoughts of course but hopefully you guys did enjoy this video be sure to follow tech daily on twitter and subscribe to the tech daily youtube channel if you haven’t already and i’ll see you guys later

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