back to article Samsung reveals new smartphones, tablets... and yes. The S22 Ultra is undeniably good

Samsung sought to show off its eco credentials as it released the latest set of smartphones and tablets ahead of the Mobile World Congress. Under the Galaxy for the Planet initiative, Samsung has vowed to incorporate recycled material in all new mobile products by 2025, but we can confirm the batteries powering its current …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    For 1K in cash I want

    a removeable battery, a headphone jack, an SD card slot, proper physical buttons, and the ability to sideload whatever the hell I damn-well please.

    I can't have it you say? Then you can't have my money. Me, wallet, walking away. =-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For 1K in cash I want

      ...and not forgetting a good design that doesn't have 5 lenses slapped onto the back as an afterthought!

      It looks gaudy. Perhaps the nerds love it.

      Not only Samsung, they all seem to be heading in this daft direction. Even the Pixel 6 with it single rig of lenses isn't much of an improvement.

      In my design book I'd like to see them slickly integrated into one master lens, at least from an external viewpoint.

      1. juice Silver badge

        Re: For 1K in cash I want

        > In my design book I'd like to see them slickly integrated into one master lens, at least from an external viewpoint.

        It's incredibly difficult - if not impossible - to make one single lens within the constraints of a mobile phone's form factor, which can then do All The Things.

        And no matter how much "AI" Google and Apple throw at the problem, there's equally a limit as to how much you can compensate for this via software.

        Hell, there's a reason pro photographers tend to carry around half a dozen lenses for use with their DSLRs.

        Personally, with my S21U, the main lens gets the most use, followed by the wide-angle lens. Then the 3x lens.

        The 10x... hasn't been used that much, admittedly. But it's still useful on occasion - I've used it when on holidays, or to take pictures of wildlife without having to worry about the risk of spooking them by getting too close!

    2. James 51

      Re: For 1K in cash I want

      A fairphone 3 has everything on that list execpt physical buttons. Fairphone 4 doesn't have the headphone jack but has better waterproofing. Less than half the cost too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For 1K in cash I want

        And unfortunately is the size and weight of a brick.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. illiad

      Re: For 1K in cash I want

      look at Xiaomi 11i etc... on gsmarena website - headphone jack, an SD card slot, stereo speakers...

    4. Piro Silver badge

      Re: For 1K in cash I want

      https://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?nYearMin=2020&chk35mm=selected&sOSes=2&idCardslot=1&idBatRemovable=1

      Galaxy XCover series, maybe

    5. jgarbo
      Happy

      Re: For 1K in cash I want

      That's why I still use my "venerable" Note 4. New battery: $8, changed in 30 seconds.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: For 1K in cash I want

        Mine died recently. :-( I am now rocking a Moto G Pro Stylus. It's not quite as good as my old Note4 (with the exception of the camera, which is better) but it was only £200. It does have a headphone jack and an SD card slot,... no replaceable battery though. Stylus works OK, although not quite as good as the S-Pen. But then, it was only £200. Oh, the sound is _much_ better out of the Moto too. It's just I have lost the IR Blaster, and the heart rate monitor, and I made good use of both on the old Note. Ho hum.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eco credentials

    Can't help thinking it would be more eco-friendly to slap a 10% tax levy on phones that don't have repairable/replaceable guts, and spend the money on wind turbines etc.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Eco credentials

      Don't forget "eco-friendly" is just a hollow marketing argument, the fact some part of the box contains 30% recycled paper definitely won't save the planet. Not when you're supposed to bin a whole phone full of toxic waste every other year...

    2. -v(o.o)v-

      Re: Eco credentials

      Yeah those wind turbines... Really useful?

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    6.8" Edge QHD+ AMOLED display

    It's only a matter of time before people will be carrying their massive phones on their shoulders like the ghetto blasters of yore.

  4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Asian market first?

    The phones look very much like the sort of phone that Huawei et al like to sell in China. I'm happy to stick with my S10e for a few years yet.

    I think the reason the tablets are so expensive is the sceeens: full size notebook screen but AMOLED and on the way to a proper Android notebook.

    1. illiad

      Re: Asian market first?

      Xiaomi seems to have beaten most Huawei stuff... I am waiting for the current 'galaxy fest' to die down..

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Outski Silver badge

    Happy with my S10+

    Got my S10+ before the pandemic, on a very decent rate from O2 (third of O2's list, with a very decent data deal), I see absolutely zero reason to switch, nor for any of the family who are on various A series models.

    1. TiredNConfused80

      Re: Happy with my S10+

      Have you installed the one ui 4 update yet?

      I've been holding off as I'm assuming the update will basically knacker the phone / drain the battery faster / have other unwanted impacts... I'd be interested to hear how you got on with it if you've updated though..

      Thanks!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they sorted the fingerprint reader?

    I made the massive mistake of buying an S20 Ultra and the finger print reader is total shite and surprise surprise the facial recognition doesn't work with a mask on. And my eyes aren't what they once was so unlocking the phone with a password is a total pain. It's a wonder that my phone hasn't been beaten to dusk and that's probably only because I don't routinely carry a club hammer around with me.

    Also I'm with the shadow, no removable microSD card, no access to my wallet.

    1. illiad

      Re: Have they sorted the fingerprint reader?

      the reader on the Xiaomi has been getting great reviews... :)

  7. Piro Silver badge

    Nothing reasonable here buddy

    "going down to a more reasonable £769"

    Ridiculous money for a phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing reasonable here buddy

      But necessary for Veblen goods.

      Don't forget you can buy a quite serviceable phone (and even tablet) for around £100. If you decide to spend more it's because you need the bling factor: You want people to see you're a made man who can afford the finer things in life...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they sorted out the Blistering problems with Gorilla Glass yet?

    as seen on my S20.

  9. juice Silver badge

    As the owner of an S21U, I'm bemused...

    > As well it should – the RRP of the base S22 Ultra is £1,149 (and it will sell for $1,210 in the US; this is not a currency conversion). For over a grand, you only get 128GB of non-upgradeable storage and a disappointing 8GB of RAM.

    Does any phone really need more than 8GB?

    Looking on my handset atm, it's using 7.8gb (of 12), of which 6.6GB is marked as cleanable. 1.9GB of that is classed as "Apps not used recently".

    I very strongly suspect that few - if any - people will see any tangible benefits from having 12GB of ram.

    > It smacks a little of cost-cutting to us, which is a shame in such a premium device.

    Probably. Though with the supply chain woes everyone's having, it may simply be that there's not enough chips to go around, and as per above, few if any people will actually notice the difference. If anything, it's kinda nice seeing a company backing off the need to keep upping things simply to make the tickybox list of features look better than the competition.

    > Other than memory and storage, the processor (including a Neural Processing Unit that runs twice as fast the preceding S21) keeps things ticking along at an impressive pace atop Android 12.

    What does the NPU actually do in day-to-day processing? AI processing on phones has generally been a gimmick so far

    (To be fair, I'm mildly impressed with the features being added to the S21U's camera. E.g. auto-QR code processing, the ability to airbrush out unwanted items in photos, and even to identify "rectangles" which it can then straighten for you. But these have mostly come over from the Pixel as part of Android's standard feature build, so I'm curious as to whether they actually involve any use of said NPU...)

    > However, the cameras covering the back corner of the phone are the stars of the show.

    > The four snappers are a 12MP ultra-wide, a 108MP wide, a 10MP 3x optical zoom, and a 10x optical zoom camera. Selfie fans also get a 40MP front camera.

    ... which is exactly the same spec as per the S21U. Which makes me wonder if there's actually been any hardware improvements, or if they're just trying to throw some more software at improving the photo quality. Fire up that NPU!

    I've been vaguely debating buying the S22U, since between the pre-order freebies and the trade-in value of my current handset, I can potentially get a brand new phone and a small lump of extra cash, while maintaining the same monthly contract cost.

    But so far, I've seen nothing which indicates the S22U is anything other than a cosmetic refresh of the S21U, with some gimmicks and snake-oil thrown atop.

    (Yeah, I know it's now got a slot to put an S-pen in. But the S21U already supports the S pen and I never cared/bothered to try and use this, so from my perspective, this new feature is actually a negative point, since it's taking up room which could be used for a larger battery...)

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Still no room for a headphone jack

    But there's this much larger hole down the length of the phone for a stylus that people don't use.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I cannot get my head around the photo

    Is this a folding phone? How come the "back" is a different width to the "front"? Or is it a really wide phone, with 5 front-facing cameras and lots of blank space?

    After Googling for more images: it seems it is a standard phone, but the picture shows a truncated image of the back, next to a full image of the front. How bizarre.

  12. amateriat

    So far, Samsung hasn't offered me a single reason (save maybe 5G) to move on from my S10e, which has: SD card slot (currently housing Samsung's own 512GB card), compact size, and not-terribly-annoying, non-screen-based fingerprint reader. Its twin lenses in back are quite enough: as a photographer, I don't rely on the thing for much other than utility and extremely-casual snaps, and anything more than this would be useless overkill for me. Not that I'm in a huge hurry, but maybe next product cycle?

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