Of the three great smartphones that make up Samsung’s flagship line-up, the regular S22 would be the best choice for many. That’s because there’s nothing very regular about it — it’s a smallish phone in a world of phones that totally dwarf it. Relatively speaking, it is easier to hold and grip, less fatiguing, and feels so much more reasonable. There aren’t very many choices for compact Androids in any case.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 5G looks familiar and yet comes with some design changes. It’s flat with only a slight rounding off to the corners for safety. There’s no curved glass on the front and the look is minimalistic and straight-lined. The back, made in glass and not the offending plastic that would have been unacceptable at this price, is in a matte finish in a variety of colours. Our review unit is a Phantom White and has the sheen of mother of pearl about it.

The camera housing doesn’t flow into the edge this time but aligns with it. One corner of that housing is slightly sharp and that’s something to keep in mind when you carry the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G as it could snag, though the possibilities are not high. The satin-smooth glass back only has the Samsung logo and the cameras, and doesn’t attract fingerprints at all.

Display dazzler

The front of the phone, protected in Gorilla Glass Victus, is a 6.1-inch screen with nice thin symmetrical bezels. It’s framed in armour aluminium. The display is a dazzler, as expected from Samsung, and is a 2K Dynamic AMOLED with 120Hz refresh and support for HDR10+ so even watching a movie on this little screen will be a nice experience. The screen reaches a peak brightness of 1300 nits. There are some differences between the screen of the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G and the other two in the series (such as how low the refresh self-adapts) but nothing that is likely to be noticed by anyone other than those who track these minutia. There’s a good set of speakers frequency-wise, but it does sound like a small phone and isn’t as loud and full as those on bigger phones.

Top processor

Like the other two S22 phones, this works on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. It’s no surprise that the phone is all fast and furious, especially for a new one.

But it gets a little warm if asked to do too many intensive tasks. Gaming, shooting video and heavy updates can make it a little hot under the collar. This is supposedly an issue with the 8 Gen 1 chip and not any of the phones that run on it.

Our device has 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. No memory card slot or headphone jack but it is a dual-SIM; numerous 5G bands are supported. The battery is a 3,700mAh with 25W charging — not a number we’re accustomed to because we get to see phones that are so much bigger. The battery lasts fine for the light to moderate usage for which the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G is possibly more suited, but heavy use will see you having to recharge during the day. It supports wireless and reverse charging, but there’s no charger in the box.

It’s a bit tough to refer to the charging as fast by today’s standards as it takes a good hour and a half to top up. By now, we’re seeing phones that get done in fifteen minutes. The battery is actually smaller than last year’s equivalent, so that’s been a complaint of many reviewers.

The phone is IP68 water resistant.

The software is all the goodness of Samsung’s OneUI in version 4.1 on top of Android 12. It’s an intuitive interface that now stands out as one of the best around. In tandem with the hardware, it actually allows you to do everything on the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G that you can do with the others in the series, barring some camera functions. It even works with the DeX connection to another screen, handles Bixby routines, etc. There’s no compromised experience here though it is on a smaller screen.

Improved camera

The main camera on the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G has moved up from a 12MP to a 50MP with a sensor that’s 23 per cent larger, and includes optical image stabilisation and improved low light performance. The ultra-wide lens is a 12 MP, f/2.2 with 120˚ view and software stabilisation for video. It also has a perfectly good telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. You can push it up to a software zoom of 30x, but of course there are few situations when you would need to.

The front camera is a 10MP. Video from the main camera can be shot at 8K at 24fps and 4K at 30/60fps, and from the front camera at 4K at 30/60fps. It’s a familiar camera setup and does a really good job. It is, in fact, comparable to the iPhone 13’s camera.

At ₹72,999 for the 128GB variant and ₹76,999 for the 256GB variant, the S22 is the most affordable of the flagship series. Both come with 8GB RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 5G is clearly more suited to someone whose usage is not quite ‘power’ level but it can still do most of what the bigger phones can while satisfying the desire for a more ergonomically friendly device.