Samsung’s latest F-series smartphone looks very practical, packs a punch in battery life and seems to offer decent hardware at a budget price. However, after using it for over a week, I found that this is not what the Samsung Galaxy F22 offers, but what it does not offer, making it just an average budget smartphone overall.
Samsung Galaxy F22 price in India and variants
Samsung’s Galaxy F22 is available in two variants. There is a base version of 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage, which we got for this review, and it costs Rs 12,499 in India. Then there is the second variant with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, which costs Rs 14,499.
Samsung Galaxy F22 design
The Galaxy F22 has a no-nonsense design, which is practical at best. It is available in two finishes: Denim Black and Denim Blue. The smartphone has a plastic body with the display panel made of Gorilla Glass 5. The plastic unibody has a matte finish with fine grooves on the back, which ensures a good grip. Both the display glass and the back panel are well resistant to fingerprints. The fit and finish feel solid, without creaks. Despite its 9.4mm thickness and 203g weight, the Galaxy F22’s relatively tall body made it easy to hold. It’s even comfortable enough for one-handed use, which is quite an achievement for a smartphone with a 6,000 mAh battery.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 has a 6.4-inch screen with a waterdrop-style notch at the top and a striking chin at the bottom. The display notch seems a bit dated as most smartphones in this price range now have screens with perforations. The placement of the ambient light sensor in that notch caused the screen to randomly dim when playing games in landscape, as I ended up blocking it with my thumb. Fortunately, the Game Booster app has a handy toggle to turn off the automatic brightness adjustment while playing games.
Samsung Galaxy F22 specifications and software
The Galaxy F22 uses the MediaTek Helio G80 processor, which was announced in early 2020. This SoC has two Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 2GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8GHz. The phone has 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB of storage along with a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 1 TB. Connectivity options include support for 4G/LTE, Bluetooth 5 and dual-band Wi-Fi ac.
The 6.4-inch screen has an HD+ (720×1600) resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz. Since this is a Super AMOLED panel, Samsung has enabled an Always On Display (AOD) feature, which shows icons for notifications when the phone is locked.
There is also an FM radio app, which allows you to listen to local stations after plugging in wired earphones. The phone has a single speaker on the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top. There is a 6000 mAh battery and this phone supports wired charging up to 25 W.
The Galaxy F22 runs on Samsung’s One UI 3.1 software, which is based on Android 11. Samsung seems to have worked on optimizing the rather bloated One UI to perform well on the 4GB RAM variant of the Galaxy F22. Still, there is a collection of pre-installed Samsung apps that you can’t uninstall, along with several third-party apps from Microsoft and others that can be uninstalled. Despite having all these apps, I was surprised to see very few promotional notifications when using the phone.
Performance and battery life of the Samsung Galaxy F22
Using a 90Hz refresh rate certainly enhanced the Galaxy F22’s software experience, and it felt fluid when swiping between screens or scrolling through lengthy social feeds. The HD+ resolution is low compared to the full HD+ panels used by some competitors at this price point, but the panel has punchy colors and deep blacks that are evident when streaming movies and playing games. Despite being sufficiently sharp for everyday use, Netflix only recognized Widevine L3 support, which allowed for SD quality playback. So some content didn’t look as sharp as on competing smartphones, some of which support Widevine L1 with HD resolution.
While the device’s user experience was satisfactory, the benchmark tests we conducted showed generally below-average performance for this price point. The Samsung Galaxy F22 scored 1,61,369 in AnTuTu, while the Realme Narzo 30 scored 3,56,846 points. I also noticed performance gaps between the two phones in Geekbench, where the Galaxy F22 scored 372 and 1,313 in the single- and multi-core tests, while the Realme Narzo 30 scored 532 and 1,700 points, respectively.
The gaming experience was decent at best, and the smartphone got quite hot while playing demanding games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends with default settings. Call of Duty: Mobile ran with a lot of skipped frames at the default settings for Medium graphics and framerate. Asphalt 9: Legends also stuttered and dropped frames while playing. This is indeed a smartphone that is not intended for intense 3D games, but is better suited for casual titles.
The 6,000mAh battery can be charged up to 25W, but Samsung only includes a 15W charger in the box. Charging was obviously relatively slow – the Galaxy F22 took 2 hours and 41 minutes to go from empty to fully charged. A large battery also means good battery life, and Samsung’s software optimizations seem to be paying off, with a phone lasting 29 hours 35 minutes in our HD video battery loop test. With regular use, with lots of social media apps, an hour of gaming, two or more hours of video streaming, and taking some photos, the phone easily lasted two days before I had to reach for a charger. The screen refresh rate was set to 90Hz during testing, and changing that to 60Hz would add a few more hours.
Samsung Galaxy F22 cameras
The Samsung Galaxy F22 features a quad-camera setup on the back with a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor that is used when portrait mode is active. Selfies are handled by a 13-megapixel camera, which is housed in the notch of the screen. The camera interface is simple to use with easy access to relevant controls and a customizable camera mode switch.
Photos taken in daylight with the primary camera were clean and showed good detail and dynamic range. The colors were a bit saturated, but not much different from the actual scene. Photos taken with the ultra-wide camera were not as detailed as those taken with the primary camera, and looked decent at best, with noticeable purple edges and some magnified highlights in brighter areas.
Daytime selfies when using portrait mode were a bit blurry, with brightly lit backgrounds becoming overexposed. I noticed the same issues when using portrait mode with the rear camera. Edge detection was decent and the camera didn’t hesitate to cut my hair when it felt like it. Macro photos showed a reasonable level of detail, but were not sharp enough to be useful.
As expected, the camera performance in low light was not great. The primary camera was slow to lock focus and shots showed a lot of noise in dark areas and cloudy textures all over. Night mode improved such photos by making them brighter, but textures and details only got worse and some of the photos looked quite blotchy. The ultra-wide-angle camera was not usable in low light and only produced blurry photos, and the night mode didn’t help here. Using the front camera in low light resulted in selfies with noticeable noise, average details and dull colors. Night mode managed better colors but couldn’t fix the noise.
Video recording tops out at 1080p 30fps for the front and rear cameras. Video taken in daylight with the front camera was a little shaky and the backgrounds were overexposed, but there was a decent level of detail in foreground subjects. 1080p 30fps video captured with the rear camera looked pretty good with good stabilization and detail. The phone can also record 1080p video using its ultra-wide angle camera, and such clips showed decent stabilization with decent detail, but brighter parts of the scene were overexposed. Low-light images had noticeable noise, but were usable provided there was ambient light nearby. Switching to the ultra wide-angle camera at night resulted in videos that looked very dull.
After using the Samsung Galaxy F22 for a week, I found it to be a decent budget smartphone for those with basic needs, but it has quite a few shortcomings.
There is a vibrant Super AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90 Hz which is good for watching videos and enhancing the user experience. Then there’s the 6000 mAh battery for those who don’t want to compromise on battery life.
But if you look closely at the competition, you begin to realize that other companies offer a lot more, not just in terms of specs, but even convenience. You should also keep in mind that the Super AMOLED screen doesn’t really mean you’ll get sharp video quality, as you’re limited to SD content for OTT apps. The battery life is well optimized, but the mega 6000 mAh battery takes just over two hours to charge with the included 15W charger.
Some people may find these compromises okay, but the Realme Narzo 30 (Review) offers good battery life, a Full HD+ display with support for HD content streaming and faster charging with a 30W charger in the box. Then there’s Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 (Review), which offers 33W charging, a Full HD+ Super AMOLED display and stereo speakers for an extra Rs 500.