Whenever Samsung releases a new entry in its Galaxy S lineup, it improves various specs and features over the previous generation. That might include a sharper display, faster processor, better cameras, etc. The Galaxy S22 is a fairly modest upgrade over the Galaxy S21, but how does it compare to the two-year-old Galaxy S20? While there are some obvious generational improvements, the answer may not be as straightforward as you think.
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If there’s one thing immediately noticeable between the S22 and S20, it’s the design. While both phones have glass backs and aluminum frames, the S22 looks and feels considerably nicer. The contour-cut camera bump flows seamlessly into the frame, the matte glass back does a great job of hiding fingerprints, and the flat edges give it a more compact in-hand feel. That’s not to say the S20 is a bad-looking smartphone, but the S22 certainly feels more refined. What’s less of an immediate upgrade, however, are the displays. Despite there being two years between the phones, the S22 and S20 are remarkably similar in this regard. The Galaxy S22 ships with a 6.1-inch AMOLED panel, 2340 x 1080 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and up to 1300 nits of peak brightness. The Galaxy S20 has a 6.2-inch AMOLED panel, 3200 x 1440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and up to 1200 nits of peak brightness. You can only run the 120Hz refresh rate on the S20 if using the same Full HD+ resolution as the S22, but you also have the option of switching to Quad HD+ if you don’t mind stepping down to 60Hz (something the newer S22 isn’t capable of).
Other Upgrades Of The Galaxy S22
That said, it doesn’t take long for the Galaxy S22 to flaunt its newer hardware. Powering the S22 is Qualcomm‘s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. The Galaxy S20 has the two-generation-old Snapdragon 865. The 865 is still a very good processor these days, but the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is better in every way. It has a smaller fabrication design (4nm vs. 7nm), a higher CPU clock speed, and a much faster GPU frequency. Things level out a little bit on the memory front. The S22 has 8GB of RAM, the S20 has 12GB of RAM, and both phones have starting storage of 128GB. The S22 uses faster UFS 3.1 storage compared to UFS 3.0 on the S20, but only the S20 supports microSD cards for expandable storage.
Things again shift in the Galaxy S22’s favor when it comes to cameras. The S22 is rocking a 50MP primary camera, 10MP telephoto camera, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. The S20 has a 12MP primary camera, 64MP telephoto camera, and 12MP ultra-wide camera. Not only does the 50MP primary camera mean the S22 takes sharper photos than the S20, but it has other upgrades, too. It has a larger sensor size and improved pixel size, thus resulting in better low-light photos. The 50MP primary camera also means the S22 can record 8K video without having to crop in too much — something that’s a regular annoyance having to record 8K video on the S20’s 64MP telephoto camera. However, the selfie camera is the same across both phones, with each one offering a 10MP sensor. Also similar is the battery situation. The Galaxy S22 has a 3700 mAh battery, and the S20 has a slightly larger 4000 mAh battery. Charging options are identical between the two — including 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. Another big advantage of the S22 is its software support. The Galaxy S20 shipped with Android 10 and has since been updated to Android 12. It’s promised one more update to Android 13, but it won’t receive any additional OS upgrades after that. By comparison, the Galaxy S22 ships with Android 12 and is promised four years of major Android updates.
So, does all of that make the Galaxy S22 worth upgrading to from the Galaxy S20? That really depends on how you currently feel about your S20. If the phone still performs well for how you use it, doesn’t have major battery issues, and you like having expandable storage, you’re fine to keep holding onto it for at least another year. The Galaxy S22 is objectively a better phone thanks to a newer processor, camera system, and longer software support. It’s a decent upgrade for S20 owners who have some cash to burn and are itching for something new, but it’s also not a phone you have to rush out and upgrade to this very second.