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It’s my second week using the Galaxy S22+ and I think I’m in love

Opinion
By 

Last updated: March 29th, 2022 at 23:48 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy S22+ arrived at my doorstep nearly two weeks ago. Since then, I have made peace with the absence of an S Pen and retired my Galaxy Note 10. I’ve fully transitioned to the S22+ and have been using this device as my main exclusive daily driver. Furthermore, I’m pushing the Galaxy S22+ to its limit by using it as a PC replacement through DeX.

Regardless of whether or not I had planned for this to happen, it did. The Galaxy S22+ is now the centerpiece of my digital life. So, I was hoping it’d be good, because this device is now both my phone and personal computer, at the “office” or otherwise.

What do I think of the Galaxy S22+ after nearly two weeks of using it extensively? I think it’s great.

We got off on the wrong foot

Transitioning to this greatness wasn’t as easy as expected, though. Samsung Smart Switch does what it’s supposed to do, but for me, transferring my data from the Galaxy Note 10 to the S22+ via USB-C took an inexplicably long while — nearly two hours. And the thing is, I had already backed up my Gallery content to an external device, so I didn’t have that much data left on my Note 10.

Add to that one failed firmware update attempt, and the setup process, as a whole, left somewhat of a bad taste in my mouth. But I also realize that this experience might be wildly different for other people.

Thankfully, Smart Switch eventually completed its task, and the firmware update worked on a second attempt. So, with my new Galaxy S22+ set up, I was ready to experience one of Samsung’s best phones released to date, or so I was hoping.

The flatter design feels liberating

The first thing I noticed even before I started the Smart Switch transfer process was the different design direction of the Galaxy S22+ compared to the Galaxy Note 10. Both phones are gorgeous, and the old Galaxy Note 10 certainly has a few notable aesthetic qualities.

However, the new Galaxy S22+ feels better in my hand, as simply a solid object made of glass and metal. It’s a beautifully crafted slab of mobile tech, but its shape isn’t as slippery as the Note 10, so it feels like Samsung had a more sensible design approach regarding practicality. At the very least, I feel a lot more confident using the Galaxy S22+ without a case — even if it is larger than the Galaxy Note 10.

I shared my thoughts on the Galaxy S22+ design at length previously, so I’ll stop drooling over it now. But it is part of the experience and had to be mentioned again.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of the camera housing design Samsung chose for the Galaxy S22+. Because of its sharp-cut edges, it sometimes catches onto fabric. And because of its shape, it doesn’t stand well on my wireless charging pad. But everything else about this phone’s exterior design is almost perfect – including the flat display, which, ironically enough, feels so much more practical and not as susceptible to accidental touches as the Galaxy Note 10’s curved panel.

Once you go 120Hz, you can never go back

Jumping from a 60Hz to a 120Hz display didn’t feel very different to me. Not at first. It didn’t mesmerize me on the spot, let’s say. However, after I spent more time with the S22+, and once I got used to the 120Hz refresh rate, I could see and feel the downgrade every time I went back to the Galaxy Note 10. If not in refresh rate, then in the touch sampling rate, at least. The Galaxy S22+ display feels smoother and more responsive than the Note 10, and it’s not just because of the faster CPU and GPU hidden behind the glass exterior.

Do keep in mind that not every screen capable of a 120Hz refresh rate is the same. Some cheaper phones don’t perform as well as flagships in this area, or others, for that matter. Some cheaper 120Hz panels are not AMOLED.

As for my experience, transitioning from the Galaxy Note 10 to the S22+ and then back to the Note 10 was enough of a demonstration in favor of 120Hz. A high refresh rate is one of those great features that improve the user experience — sometimes even without the user ever noticing. But once you get used to it, you’ll never want to go back to 60Hz.

Beyond the high refresh rate, Samsung’s new flagship has a visibly superior display compared to the Galaxy Note 10. It’s so much brighter, more vivid, and color accurate. Thinking of it, the Galaxy S22+ display could have been a fantastic canvas for the S Pen, especially given its flat surface.

Performance is great, barring some odd hiccups

The high-refresh-rate display is backed by Samsung’s new Exynos 2200 SoC. And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t run a single benchmark because, outside of reporting the occasional unreleased Galaxy device that pops up in online tests, I’m personally not interested in synthetic performance benchmarks for mobile devices, outside the scope of my work. I don’t play enough mobile games to care (or at all), so what really matters to me is how responsive the phone feels in day-to-day use and how well the UI is designed. And now, using DeX, I pay closer attention to temperatures.

With that in mind, so far, One UI 4.1 on the Galaxy S22+ feels very smooth and snappy, barring some occasional hiccups. I’m not sure if the cause is a bug with an easy fix or a deeper firmware optimization problem concerning the new Exynos 2200 SoC, but the phone occasionally stutters.

This sort of breaks the magic spell of the otherwise awe-inspiring performance. After a while, the thought that the UI could stutter at any moment starts nagging you. And once that feeling of uncertainty becomes a part of the user experience, the problem is magnified.

Samsung will probably fix these issues through firmware updates, but I hope that day comes very soon. Because barring the occasional hiccups, the Galaxy S22+ feels very capable.

DeX works better on the Galaxy S22+

As some of you know, I began using DeX for my workstation a few weeks ago. My journey started on the Galaxy Note 10, and it now continues with the Galaxy S22+.

In short, the Galaxy S22+ is more powerful, so DeX runs better. Except when it crashes or stutters inexplicably.

I’m not sure if this is a problem with my setup or DeX on the Galaxy S22+. It could be either, given that I had to resort to using a third-party DeX hub because Samsung no longer manufactures its own.

Either way, DeX never crashed on me while I was using the Galaxy Note 10 (and the same setup), so I feel somewhat justified to suspect the Galaxy S22+ being the issue.

Again, I’m hoping that a firmware update can iron out all these kinks because I’m otherwise satisfied with the performance levels of the Galaxy S22+ in DeX mode. I believe it’s a worthy upgrade from the Galaxy Note 10 on website loading speeds alone.

Do I miss the S Pen enough to regret not geting the S22 Ultra instead of the S22+?

I did reach for the S Pen a couple of times when I was using Samsung Notes on the Galaxy S22+. It felt a little embarrassing, even if I was all by myself when it happened. Then, I had a bit of a chuckle and wondered if I missed the S Pen or if it was muscle memory that I needed to forget.

On further reflection, I can’t say that I miss the S pen enough to regret not buying the Galaxy S22 Ultra instead of the Galaxy S22+. I do like the flat design that much. And I must say that, out of all the Samsung phones I have tried in recent years, the Galaxy S22+ feels like it could’ve been one of the best matches for the S Pen ever. I know some of you agree on that one, at least. I’ve been reading your comments.

Ultimately, I think I have made the right choice picking the Galaxy S22+, and I am now certain that I would never trade a flat display for an S Pen, even if it’s attached to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is a faithful Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sequel, sans the name. But between you and me, I kind of wish the Galaxy S22+ had an S Pen slot — with a curved clicker button at the top if that’s what it took. Maybe next time.

The Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds I got as a pre-order bonus have added a lot to the experience

This last chapter — thank you for staying with me all throughout, by the way — has less to do with the Galaxy S22+ and more with my experience after the acquisition. Or rather, the pre-order. Let’s call it my experience as a Samsung customer pre-ordering the Galaxy S22+.

Like most other Galaxy S22+ early buyers, I have received a pair of Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds for free as a bonus for pre-ordering. Lucky me! I actually needed a new pair of earbuds after my AKG wired ones broke, and the Buds Pro would’ve set me back €160 otherwise. So, I got them for free, and I really enjoy using them. Check our review below, but they’re fantastic. I don’t know if I would’ve paid €160 for them, but I absolutely love them as a pre-order bonus!

At the end of the day, I feel like I got my money’s worth pre-ordering the Galaxy S22+. The earbuds are worth more than anything I could’ve hoped for from rivals like Apple. And the Galaxy S22+ itself is fantastic, save for a few performance and stability issues that I hope will be fixed through firmware updates soon.

This is it for now, but feel free to check our Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy Buds Pro reviews below for more.

Galaxy S22+ review | Galaxy Buds Pro review


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OpinionPhone Galaxy Buds ProGalaxy S22Galaxy S22 Plus
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