Now that Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, the next big highlight in the release calendar is probably the Galaxy S22.
Expected in early 2022, the Samsung Galaxy S22 has already been the subject of many leaks and rumors. Samsung would like to put the phone as a major upgrade when it is officially announced, but any improvements will undoubtedly come with a big price tag.
As smartphone upgrades feel increasingly incremental to the average user, should you hang on to the Galaxy S22 or just buy a Samsung Galaxy S21 today? Below we weigh the pros and cons of each option, based on both what we know and what we expect.
5 reasons to wait for Samsung Galaxy S22
Samsung Galaxy S22 may set a new standard for Android gaming performance
The company is reportedly working with AMD on an Exynos chip with RDNA 2 graphics, and that could mean big things for gaming performance. Leaker Ice Universe released some hugely impressive benchmarks last month, and provided this chip finds its way into the Samsung Galaxy S22, my colleague Roland Moore-Colyer believes the phone can offer “true console quality gaming on a smartphone.”
Samsung Galaxy S22 can be more pocket friendly
According to recent leaks, Samsung will reverse the size of the smartphone’s screen size, with the smallest handsets since the 5.8-inch Galaxy S10e. Rumors point to a 6.06-inch and 6.55-inch S22 and S22 Plus, down from 6.2-inch and 6.7-inch on S21 equivalents. If you like larger phones, the S22 Ultra will apparently cover you, as it will reportedly maintain the same 6.8-inch form factor as the current flagship Galaxy S.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra can benefit from Olympus cameras
A persistent rumor is that Samsung will follow in the footsteps of OnePlus and Huawei by partnering with an established camera brand – in this case Olympus. Samsung’s smartphone cameras have been consistently good, but this could be a partnership to take the company’s photography to the next level. We have not yet heard anything official on this front, but it is a reputation we very much hope has a basis in fact.
Samsung Galaxy S22 provides better future-proofing
Whether the S22 ends up using the Exynos 2200, Qualcomm Snapdragon 898 or something completely different, it will undoubtedly provide an increase in performance on the current model. But future-proofing doesn’t stop there: Samsung now offers four-year guaranteed security updates with its flagship phones, which means you’ll be covered by 2026 – just in time for the Galaxy S26 upgrade.
Even if you do not buy, it pays to wait
If you end up sitting rocky during Samsung’s S22 launch event, which is not impressed with the upgrades offered, you’ll still have won. Research shows that Samsung’s phone prices not only weaken over time, but fall significantly with the release of a new handset. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G reportedly lost 72% of its value after 12 months, and although you may not see such a purchase with the S21, it does not hurt to wait and see.
6 Reasons to Buy a Samsung Galaxy S21 Now Instead
Some Galaxy S22 phones may have different hardware
The big AMD graphics promise I mentioned above? According to leak @FrontTron, not all regions will have benefits thanks to “low returns”, with “most markets” instead of getting Qualcomm Snapdragon 898 plus a more famous Adreno GPU. If true, the new phone will undoubtedly still be powerful, but it will no doubt not offer enough over the current model to make it worth hanging out if you live in the wrong place.
Samsung Galaxy S21 is still one of the most powerful phones available
Yes, the S22 will no doubt be faster, as mentioned above, but for most users there is a sense of reduced return with annual upgrades. You may well find that the raw power offered by the Galaxy S21’s Snapdragon 888 processor is more than enough for your needs — and probably will be over the course of a two-year contract.
S21 and S22 will reportedly look extremely similar
According to the Ice Universe leak, the Samsung Galaxy S22 will contain a “modified version of [the] S21 design. In other words, no one will probably notice that you are not rocking the latest version.
Samsung Galaxy S22 will almost certainly be more expensive
Although we do not know the exact price Samsung has in mind, it would be surprising if we saw a big price cut for the next flagship. And even if we do, there is almost no chance that the prices will match the tempting price point available with the best Samsung Galaxy S21 deals available now. At the time of writing, you can buy an S21 from just $ 99.99 if you shop with an older handset.
Samsung Galaxy S21 can offer better battery life
The Samsung Galaxy S22 will reportedly be smaller, as mentioned above, but it may also have an effect on battery capacity. The S22 and S22 Plus will reportedly lose 200mAh on their corresponding 2021 models, and although the effect will probably be partially reduced by the supposedly smaller screen sizes, you may still need to visit the charger more often.
You can definitely buy a Galaxy S21 today, but the S22 may be in short supply
The global chip shortage affects everything from PS5 stock to cars, and phones are in no way immune to this trend. If it proves popular – and it probably seems even at this early stage – the Samsung Galaxy S22 could be subject to shortages and price increases, with scalps ready to take full advantage. In other words, waiting time can eventually lead to frustration that can be averted by buying today.
The bottom line
With six reasons to buy the Galaxy S21 right now, versus five to wait, this may seem like an open and closed case. Well, maybe, but it’s more a reflection of how excellent the phones in the Samsung Galaxy S21 are, rather than a critique of the S22 itself.
Plus, of course, the pros and cons are not evenly weighted. The promise of an AMD GPU alone may be enough to persuade you to hang on – if the rumors are true, and if it pops up in your region, that is. For that reason, it may be worth keeping the purchase decision until next year, even if you end up buying the S21 in the end (with the accompanying savings you unlock by being patient).
There is also an alternative: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE did not appear during Samsung’s latest event, but it is said that it will come soon. It can provide a good place between price and performance, while giving you the warm glow of having a shiny new product in your pocket.