Why You Should Upgrade to the Galaxy S22 From the S20 or Older, but Not the S21 | #android | #security

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series might seem like a significant upgrade over the Galaxy S21 lineup, but that’s not the case. The phone is only worth upgrading if you currently use the Galaxy S10, S20, or other older Galaxy phones.

Otherwise, you should save your money for next year’s flagship or Samsung’s foldable lineup for 2022. Here’s why.

1. Design Changes

The regular Galaxy S22 and the Plus model look largely the same as the S21 series. There are only some minor tweaks and enhancements, including flatter edges and the switch to Gorilla Glass back on the smallest model. Otherwise, the only way to tell the Galaxy S22 apart from its predecessor is through the new color shades.

The newer models also ship with a slightly smaller display that may not be liked by everyone.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a Note masquerading as a Galaxy. The sharp edges and the flatter display mean the Ultra is a lot more unwieldy to hold and use than the S21 Ultra—the latter’s rounded corners make handling it a lot easier.

Upgrading from the Galaxy S10 or S20 series, though, you’ll appreciate the use of the more durable glass, refined design, and stronger aluminum chassis.

2. An ‘S’ Upgrade

galaxy unpacked 2022 s22 smartphones
Image Credit: Samsung

Unlike the jump from the Galaxy S20 to S21, the Galaxy S22 series does not bring any breakthrough new feature to the table. There are some yearly improvements like a faster chipset and a brighter display, but that’s about it. Most of these refinements are from software enhancements, and Samsung has already rolled out the majority of them to the Galaxy S21 series with the One UI 4.1 update.


In fact, when you compare the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the S22 Ultra, you’ll realize the latter’s base model is a downgrade since it ships with 8GB RAM instead of 12GB. That means you’ll have to spend extra to get the model with the same amount of RAM. Samsung no longer pre-installs a screen protector, too, so you’ll have to buy and apply one yourself.

Despite the Korean smartphone maker hyping the low-light imaging performance of the Galaxy S22 series, comparison tests like the one from YouTuber SuperSaf show the difference is not big enough to warrant an upgrade from the S21 series. You do get better zoom performance, but there are other drawbacks like sub-par video quality and processing inconsistencies.

If you don’t care about the S Pen, the upgrade to the Galaxy S22 Ultra from the S21 Ultra makes even less sense. The addition of the S Pen is one of the key highlights of this year’s Ultra model, making it primarily appeal to loyal Note users.

If you are coming from the Galaxy S10 or S20 series though, the yearly improvements add up. You get a brighter and more efficient AMOLED panel, faster processing for AI and machine learning, and better and newer camera sensors coupled with a more powerful image signal processor (ISP).

This means you are going to enjoy some notable improvements in daily use, which is what you should be aiming for when upgrading your phone.

3. Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in hand

The Galaxy S22 series is a major downgrade compared to the S21 series in the battery life department. While the S22 Ultra packs the same 5000mAh battery as the 2021’s Ultra model, various tests have shown it does not long as last due to the power-hungry Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200 chips.

On the regular S22 and the Plus variant, Samsung has reduced the battery capacity, which also negatively impacts battery life.

To add insult to injury, there’s no bundled charger in the box with these phones. The bump to 45W charging speed also does not help much, with GSMArena’s testing revealing the phones still take an hour for a full top-up.

When upgrading from the Galaxy S10 or S20 series, you’ll notice an improvement in battery life due to a more efficient display panel and sensors, and bigger batteries. The S20 series, in particular, was known for its poor battery life due to the high refresh-rate 120Hz displays.

4. Software Support

One of the best aspects of Samsung’s phones is the software support. In 2021, the company announced three OS updates and four years of security patches for several of its devices, including the Galaxy S21 series. In 2022, while announcing the Galaxy S22 series, the company further raised the bar even further by guaranteeing four OS updates and five years of security patches.

The good thing is that the longer software update policy is also applicable for the Galaxy S21 series. The phone launched with Android 11 out of the box and should be updated to at least Android 15 and then continue to receive another year of security patches after that. The S20, by comparison, will only be updated to Android 13.

Additionally, the Korean giant is extremely quick with its software rollout and releases monthly security patches for its premium devices—irrespective of whether they are old or new—at the beginning of the month itself.

5. Price Differences

Samsung Galaxy Change Font

For all the improvements or the lack of it, the Galaxy S22 series carries the same premium price tag as the S21 series. If you already own Samsung’s flagship 2021 handset, you will not gain much by upgrading to this year’s model.

In fact, you might end up paying extra as the S22 Ultra base model only ships with 8GB compared to the S21’s 12GB RAM. Similarly, the 2022 flagship does not come with a charger bundled in the box meaning you’ll have to buy it separately.

However, if you own the Galaxy S10 or S20 series, now is the perfect time to upgrade. These devices will soon reach the end of their life in terms of software support, so upgrading from them now makes a lot more sense than doing it after a few months by which time their resale value would drop even further.

A Worthy Upgrade Depending on Your Current Phone

The Galaxy S22 series is worth upgrading to if you are coming from the Galaxy S10 or S20 series, or something even older. Upgrading to it from the Galaxy S21 series does not make much of a sense—you’ll be sidegrading instead.

There are no major improvements or benefits compared to last year’s model that immediately jumps out and would make the upgrade worth it.

galaxy unpacked 2022 s22 smartphones

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