Samsung Galaxy S22 vs. Galaxy S20: Should you upgrade ?

It’s more complicated than you might imagine

The Galaxy S20 marked Samsung’s return to innovation, and the months that followed have given us plenty of reason to think that the corporation is dedicated to this goal. The Galaxy S22 is the most recent and greatest device offered by the firm, and if you skipped the S21, it’s probably already tempting you to sell your S20. But should you ?

Even after six months, the Galaxy S22 is still a great smartphone. Without losing features, the 6.1-inch display makes it portable and simple to use with one hand. The smaller Galaxy S22 carries the newest features and can compete with any other flagship, despite coming in second place to the larger S22 Ultra on our list of favorite phones this year. But since Samsung’s flagship devices have consistently been top-notch, the S22 begs the question of whether it is worthwhile to switch from an older Galaxy smartphone.

The only significant differences between the Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S21 are the upgraded cameras. It is not yet worthwhile to upgrade because the S21 still has three and a half years of software support. But what if your Galaxy S20 is older than 2.5 years? The decision of whether to upgrade now becomes more challenging.

Galaxy S22 vs. S20: Different but not different enough

The S20 has held up nicely over time thanks to the Snapdragon 865 and 12GB of RAM. It sports a stunning 6.2-inch 120Hz QHD AMOLED panel, which is still among the best. The 6.1-inch FHD+ 120Hz display on the more recent S22 is something we really enjoy, and it’s a tad brighter at 1300 nits (vs. 1200 nits of the S20.)

But there’s no denying that the S22 looks much better than the S20. I didn’t like the design of the S20 very much because it didn’t have any of Samsung’s quirks. It was perhaps Samsung’s worst design since the S5. The S22, on the other hand, is a complete stunner thanks to its special camera module. Not to mention, you can get it in up to eight different colors. The in-display fingerprint sensor on the S22 is another feature that sets it apart from the S20 in terms of speed and accuracy.

There are various differences to take into account here when we talk about the camera. The S22 has a 50MP primary, 10MP telephoto (3x optical zoom), and a 12MP ultrawide camera (roughly equivalent to the S20’s). The S20 has a 12MP primary, 12MP ultrawide, and a 64MP telephoto camera (1.1x optical zoom). It’s simple to get lost in the megapixel count, but the S22’s telephoto sensor will result in sharper images. Regarding the primary sensor, the S20 has a larger sensor size that captures more light despite the S22 having more pixels and a more potent chip for image processing. Nevertheless, in daylight, the readings from both phones should be very comparable. Samsung did highlight improved edge recognition in portraiture and enhanced low-light performance with the S22.

The S22 won’t be a comfort if you weren’t thrilled with the S20’s battery life. It has a 3,700mAh battery, which is somewhat less than the 4,000mAh battery on the S20. Even while the latter has more pixels to power (when used in QHD mode) and the S22 is technically powered by a more efficient chipset, this does not automatically give the latter an edge. However, in actual use, the S22’s battery life has been disappointing, so don’t expect a significant improvement over the S20 if that’s what you’re hoping for. In terms of charging, nothing has changed either; both phones support 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless, and 25W rapid wired charging.

Unsurprisingly, the S22 excels in one area: software support. Samsung guarantees four years of Android updates and five years of security updates for the S22. The S20 wasn’t a letdown, but it will only ever receive Android 13 officially. It will receive three Android updates (it is currently running Android 12) and four years of security patches. The S20 won’t be too far behind now that Samsung is testing Android 13 on the S22 series, and before it hits the end of software support next year, it’ll just have security fixes to look forward to.

Both the S20 and S22 are still running the same stable version of One UI 4.1, and the majority of software features are the same because One UI 5 is still in beta. The Galaxy S20 received an upgrade that added most of the new software features found in the S22, including Smart Calendar. While the smartphones currently have software parity and will again when they are both updated to One UI 5/Android 13, this will change when One UI 5.1 and later are released in the coming year.

It’s also important to note that the S22 does not have a MicroSD Card slot or a 1440p display mode, but it makes up for these shortcomings with quicker UFS storage, Gorilla Glass Victus, and a more effective display.

So should you ditch your S20 for the S22 ?

The S22 is undoubtedly a fantastic phone to take into consideration if you’re searching for a premium device that doesn’t cost more than $1,000. However, it makes sense to stick with an S20 if you have one in your hands and don’t see any issues with it. Although the S22 has a nicer design, a more advanced camera system, extended software support, and a marginally brighter screen, none of these improvements scream, “Oh, I’ve had to have this phone!”

Given that the S22 is merely a slight improvement over the S21, it stands to reason that Samsung will save some surprises for the following Galaxy S flagship. Even as we get closer to the second half of 2022, the Galaxy S20 still has the chops and software support to make the wait till then a breeze. It is anticipated that the Galaxy S23 will go on sale in Q1 2023, which isn’t too far off. On the other hand, the battery in your S20 might be failing after more than two years of use, and the S22’s vastly better cameras might be drawing your attention. If so, switching to the new phone won’t be anything you regret, especially at the current rate of discounts.

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