This is what I want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S22 series

This is what I want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S22 series

As we prepare for Samsung Galaxy Unboxed 2022 on February 9 certain things are expected. We will certainly get new phones like the galaxy S22, which was pretty much assured by Samsung’s promise of a Noteworthy eventand we can see tablets like the S8 tab also. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra was one of the best phones I’ve ever used and probably the best camera experience you could get on a phone in 2021. So it’s very exciting to see its successor.

However, before the event, I wanted to share a few things that I hope to see from the S22 series. Since phones are the only real guarantee right now, I’ll focus on those, though I can also think of a few things I’d like to see from the rumored tablets. Some of these wishes are entirely possible, based on technologies available in other smartphones, while others are, to use a Samsung term, “shots at the moon.”

S Pen slot on the Galaxy S22 Ultra

A Samsung S21 Ultra with S Pen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Last year, we got S Pen support on the Galaxy S21 Ultra for the first time. That experience was hampered by the need for a special case and a separate S Pen. It wasn’t an amazing experience, and it definitely wasn’t “noteworthy.” One of my only complaints about the Ultra last year was the “duct tape and wire wrap” solution that Samsung seemed to offer for the S Pen. It seemed like the S Pen was an oversight that was corrected at the last minute.

This year, it seems likely that the S22 Ultra will finally deliver a truly remarkable experience by putting an S Pen slot inside the body of the phone. Now that Samsung has had another year to figure this all out, this is the year to get it right. I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung just called it the S22 Note instead of the S22 Ultra. In fact, I think it should. It would be a great way to carry on the Note legacy which is possibly part of why Samsung is where it is these days. Sure, a few billion dollars in marketing helped, but many tech enthusiasts see the Note as the start of a wonderful new era. Keep it up Samsung.

Top quality construction materials

The camera bump on the back of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (right) is less pronounced than it is on the S21 Ultra.
Adam Doud/Digital Trends

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup started at an impressive price. But that price point lost a lot of its shine in light of the compromises that were made. Most point to the plastic back plate as a major hurdle that prevented the S21 from being considered a “true” flagship. While I personally don’t have a problem with polycarbonate build materials in mid-range/budget phones, my colleague Andy Boxall goes into detail about why the S22 line should be considered the best of the bestand not suffer the indignity of a plastic back.

Larger opening for the periscope lens

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and the Note 20 S Pen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra still offers the best camera experience you can find on an Android phone right now along with the pixel 6 pro. I particularly loved the 10x zoom lens, but it came with a fairly small f/4.9 aperture. It’s fine during the day in broad daylight, but if the lighting was a bit dim, the image quality suffered quite a bit. Most of the time, I noticed this during indoor events when the lighting wasn’t the best.

One of the most important use cases for a powerful zoom is capturing things up close when you can’t get close. Often that’s in a concert hall, on a playing field, or in a gym. Those won’t always have the best lighting, and if you can’t capture a good image, there’s no point in having the zoom lens in the first place.

Periscope zoom lenses are fairly new, so there are a lot of trade-offs here. But if there’s any way Samsung can up its telephoto game, that would make the best even better. Isn’t that the point?

Cleaner hybrid zoom

The zoom of the Samsung S21 Ultra camera.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

While we’re on the subject of zoom, let’s talk about Samsung’s hybrid zoom capability. On the S21 Ultra, Samsung claimed it could zoom to 100x Space Zoom, let’s just say the results were pretty mixed. If your goal was to capture text from a long distance, the hybrid zoom worked quite well with that. But once you move away from angular shapes and into the more organic forms of trees, landscapes and people, you start to get masterpieces of modern art instead of photographs.

Samsung has spent a lot of time and processing power working on the algorithms behind zoom processing, and for the record, up to 30x was pretty useful on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. But if Samsung continues to promise 100x Space Zoom, then there’s a lot of work to be done there.

faster charging

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra charges.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S21 series of phones was limited to 25W fast charging and 15W wireless charging. Personally, I have never been one to advocate faster charging since I charge my phones overnight. But the technology has improved a lot even in the last year. the OnePlus 9 Pro it’s capable of 50W wireless charging, not to mention the impressive 65W wired charging it’s capable of. And while it’s not available in the US, the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge can safely charge at an incredible 120W.

When that kind of speed is possible, plugging in your phone overnight is less necessary. Completing before exiting is incredibly fast. Not only that, but some phones last year and this year started shipping 65W chargers in the box. This isn’t much of a demand for Samsung, especially as things have gotten to the point where 25W charging is ridiculously slow.

it’s not too much to ask

Are all these first world problems? Absolutely. But when you’re looking for phones over $1,000, those are the kinds of solutions you want. This is a pretty short list of things that could put the S22 series of phones above the rest of the competition, and if that’s not Samsung’s goal, what are they doing here? So we’ll be ready for Unpacked on February 9th and see what Samsung has to offer.

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