- Samsung launched three new smartphones Wednesday: the Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra.
- With its new handsets, Samsung opted for subtle updates over flashy features like folding displays.
- The company also unveiled its new Galaxy Tab S8 series of Android tablets.
Samsung launched a slew of new smartphones and tablets at its Galaxy Unpacked event Wednesday, in a bid to take on the latest products from Apple.
The company’s new Galaxy S22 smartphone lineup features three new models: the standard S22, a slightly more expensive S22+ and the top-of-the-line S22 Ultra. The S22 and S22+ start at a price of $800 and $1,000, respectively, but you’ll have to shell out a cool $1,200 if you want the most advanced model.
The S22 is the smallest of the pack, sporting a 6.1-inch display. The S22+ has a 6.6-inch screen, while the S22 Ultra is the biggest of the three, coming with a 6.8-inch panel.
The latter two devices can connect to new, superfast 5G networks, while Samsung said all three models support the next generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6.
Each phone is designed with an aluminum frame and comes with chemically enhanced glass on both the front and back.
The S22 and S22+ will be released in four colors: white, pink, black and green. The S22 Ultra comes in each of those colors, as well as burgundy.
In terms of photography, Samsung’s S22 and S22+ models both come with a three-lens camera system, including a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 50-megapixel main lens and a 10MP telephoto sensor. The S22 Ultra, meanwhile, features a 108MP main camera and two 10MP telephoto lenses for more advanced zooming.
Samsung touted its use of artificial intelligence in the new phones to improve photography and make scrolling smoother. The company also said its AI algorithms can analyze how people use their phones to optimize their internet connection.
Galaxy S8 Tab
Samsung is also releasing three new Android tablets: the Galaxy Tab S8, S8+ and S8 Ultra.
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is a monster of a machine, boasting a huge 14.6-inch screen. Despite its size, Samsung says the tablet is light, weighing in at around half that of a similar-sized laptop. The S8 and S8+ feature 11-inch and 12.4-inch displays, respectively.
The company focused heavily on the video recording capabilities of the most expensive model. The S8 Ultra has a dual-lens, 12-megapixel front camera with 120-degree field of view. The device’s microphone also picks up sound from three different directions, which Samsung said will help reduce unwanted background noise on video calls.
Samsung also showed off some features for productivity and multitasking, including one that lets users sync up notes and share files between different devices. The company hopes its new tablet range can tempt Apple users away from its popular iPad computers.
Each of Samsung’s new smartphones and tablets come with chips made using the so-called 4-nanometer process, which is expected to improve performance and power efficiency.
The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra will retail at $1,100, while the S8 and S8+ are priced at $700 and $900, respectively. All of Samsung’s new devices are available for pre-order, starting Wednesday.
Taking on Apple
The unveiling of Samsung’s latest devices arrives several months after Apple launched the iPhone 13. Like Apple, Samsung is offering mainly incremental updates with the S22 range, including an improved camera and brighter screen.
With its new phones, Samsung isn’t trying to wow people with flashy features like folding screens. Instead, it’s hoping to tempt those who have shied away from upgrading their phones in recent years, content with the features on offer with existing handsets.
The South Korean electronics giant is set to attend the Mobile World Congress industry event in Barcelona later this month, so there’s a chance it could have more tech to unveil soon.
A key improvement the S22 Ultra makes to its predecessor is the camera module. Whereas the Galaxy S21 Ultra had a sizable bump on the back of the phone to house the camera, its successor does away with this, embedding it directly into the device.
Samsung’s S22 Ultra is very much aimed at more techie types and professional photographers who like to play around with all the best features a smartphone has to offer.
Last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first phone in Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S range to support its S Pen stylus, which previously only featured in its Galaxy Note phones. This year, the company has embedded the S Pen into the S22 Ultra, suggesting it is consolidating the Note series into the Galaxy S brand.
With a 20% share of the market, Samsung is the largest smartphone manufacturer globally, according to IDC data. It has benefited in recent years from U.S. restrictions on Huawei, which virtually wiped out demand for the Chinese firm’s handsets.
Still, Samsung continues to face competition from a slew of other Chinese smartphone brands, including Xiaomi and Oppo. These firms sell Android devices at cheaper prices but often still with premium specs related to the camera and screen.
Samsung’s mobile unit is also facing headwinds from the global semiconductor shortage. The company reportedly shipped only 25 million units of its Galaxy S21 models in 2021, virtually unchanged from the S20 series’ sales performance a year earlier.