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Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. S22+ vs. S22 Ultra: Which is right for you?

Samsung’s new Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra give Android fans a healthy list of new options when it comes time to upgrade their phones. With three new devices in Samsung’s lineup, however, it can be confusing trying to decipher which phone is the right choice for you.

All three of these phones use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, run Android 12 and have reliable camera setups. There are, of course, some key differences, such as display size and number of cameras — and there’s even an S Pen involved that can help you make a buying decision. Below we’ll break down which device you should buy if you’re shopping for a new Galaxy S22.

Get a Galaxy S22 if you…

Don’t want to spend a lot on a new phone

The Galaxy S22 is the least expensive of the three new Samsung phones. Pricing starts at $799 for the S22 with 128GB of storage. The S22+ starts at $999, while the S22 Ultra starts at $1,199. If you have an old phone to trade in, then you can end up getting an S22 for as little as $299 when you buy from Samsung. To be clear, the S22 and S22+ are virtually the same exact phone except for the overall size, which also allows for the S22+ to have a slightly larger battery and 45W fast charging. The S22 has the same camera, processor and display tech. You’re not getting a bad phone just because you paid less.

Like smaller phones

The Galaxy S22 is the smallest phone out of the S22 group. It has a display of 6.1 inches, undercutting the 6.6-inch S22+ and 6.8-inch S22 Ultra. Even though it’s the “smallest” phone in the lineup, it’s by no means a small phone, providing plenty of screen real estate for you to watch videos, read your next Kindle book or endlessly scroll through your TikTok feed. In fact, it’s virtually identical in size to Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, both in screen size and overall dimensions.

Get a Galaxy S22+ if you…

Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: A subtle improvement to one of the best Android phones

Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. S22+ vs. S22 Ultra: Which is right for you?

Want a large — but not too large — display

The S22+ has a 6.6-inch display, making it bigger than the S22’s 6.1-inch screen, but smaller and more manageable than the S22 Ultra’s 6.8-inch screen. Like the standard Galaxy S22, the S22+ has a fast 120Hz display that adjusts the screen’s refresh rate as you scroll through your Instagram feed or play a game, ensuring whatever’s on your screen always looks smooth.

Don’t care about the Samsung’s S Pen stylus

Outside of the obvious design differences between the S22+ and S22 Ultra, the S22+ lacks support for Samsung’s S Pen stylus. If you don’t care about having a small digital pen for taking notes, then do yourself a favor and save $200 by going with the S22+.

Get a Galaxy S22 Ultra if you…

Gotta have a big display

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is Samsung’s most expensive phone, but that’s because it’s also the best in Samsung’s early 2022 lineup. It has a massive 6.8-inch display that has an adaptive refresh rate that goes from 1Hz all the way to 120Hz. The speed of the refresh rate depends on what you’re doing. If you’re reading a long article with static text, the screen drops down to 1Hz to save on battery life. But if you’re scrolling through your Reddit feed or gaming, it can go as high as 120Hz.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review: The big-screen stylus phone we’ve been waiting for

Need the best camera setup

There’s a saying that claims the best camera is the one you have on you, and while there’s truth to it, it’s not that simple. If you’re someone who takes a lot of photos and videos and you want the best camera experience Samsung has to offer, that experience just so happens to be on the S22 Ultra, which has a 40-megapixel front camera and four rear-facing cameras with up to 100x zoom.

For those who want more specifics, that breaks down to a 12MP ultrawide camera, a 108MP wide camera and two 10MP telephoto cameras, one with 3x optical zoom and the other with 10x optical zoom.

Are a Galaxy Note fan (or want a phone with a stylus)

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is effectively a modernized version of Samsung’s Galaxy Note. It has all of the same features that you’d find in a Note smartphone, like an S Pen stylus complete with a silo for safekeeping. You can jot notes or sketch out ideas on the screen using the S Pen or take advantage of air commands to remotely control your phone, using the stylus like a magic wand. It can even convert your handwritten notes into typed-out text.

Bottom line

As you can see, even though all three Galaxy S22 phones use the same core technology, there are some key differences between them. The S22 is the entry-level model that has an easy-to-digest price tag but offers the same features as its bigger sibling. The S22+ is the model to get if you want a relatively big screen but don’t care about the fancy S Pen and extra camera features the S22 Ultra offers.

If you want the best Samsung has to offer, there’s only one option: the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s basically a Galaxy Note, with full S Pen support, a maxed photo and video setup with four different cameras and a large 6.8-inch display.

Galaxy S22 Galaxy S22+ Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Cameras12-megapixel ultrawide, 50-megapixel wide and 10-megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 10-megapixel (front)12-megapixel ultrawide, 50-megapixel wide and 10-megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 10-megapixel (front)12-megapixel ultrawide, 108-megapixel wide and dual 10-megapixel telephoto with flash (rear); 40-megapixel (front)
Size and weight2.7 x 5.7 x 0.29 inches; 0.37 pounds2.98 x 6.19 x 0.29 inches; 0.43 pounds3.06 x 6.42 x 0.35 inches; 0.50 pounds
PriceFrom $799From $999From $1,199

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