4-Galaxy S22:S22+ Hands On CNN Underscored

Samsung’s new Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra were announced in early February, and with a starting price of $799, you may wonder how it compares to the fairly new Galaxy S21 FE, which costs $100 less.

On paper, it’s hard to tell the difference between Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone and its upper-range flagship competitor. The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S21 FE seem to share many characteristics, but a closer look shows us that price isn’t the only thing separating them.

Wondering which phone is best for you? Here’s what you need to know about the Galaxy S22 from the S21 FE to help you make an educated buying decision.

You should get the Galaxy S22 if…

3-Galaxy S22:S22+ Hands On CNN Underscored

You want flagship performance
If performance is important, the S22 is the phone for you. It’s one of Samsung’s latest flagships for 2022 and looks to offer some of the fastest speed you can get in a smartphone today.

The device comes with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which gets up to 35% better performance than last year’s Snapdragon 888. The chip is paired with 8GB of RAM and Adreno 730 graphics, which will help with heavier applications so nothing slows down. Samsung also uses the latest UFS 3.1 storage standard for faster read and write speeds, ensuring everything opens and closes quickly on the S22.

It’s worth noting that with last year’s Snapdragon 888 chipset and similar RAM and graphics configurations, the S21 FE certainly isn’t slow. However, for those who crave the most powerful phone, the S22 is the better choice.

You want great cameras
Samsung always delivers in the camera department on its flagship phones, and the Galaxy S22 is shaping up to be no different. It packs a 50MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera and a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens. The cameras capture stellar photographs with excellent detail and color, while videos remain crisp and steady. The S22 also improves nighttime photography and portraits over previous phones, making it one of the most well-rounded smartphone cameras on the market.

The S21 FE, on the other hand, can’t quite keep up. Its 12MP f/1.8 main camera is a solid sensor, but it’s unable to capture the amount of detail and contrast as the S22’s main camera. In addition, the 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens isn’t as sharp. Nighttime photos and videos also take a dip in quality.

For the camera enthusiasts out there, look to the S22 to suit your needs.

You value a fancier design
It shouldn’t be a surprise, considering it’s Samsung’s latest and greatest, but the Galaxy S22 is also a sleeker-looking phone with a more premium design. Not only does it have shiny stainless steel rails and come in four eye-catching colors, but it uses a frosted glass back instead of the S21 FE’s plastic for a fancier feel.

You like ‘smaller’ phones
The Galaxy S22 is by no means a petite phone, but compared to the S21 FE, it offers a more compact design.

The device boasts a 6.1-inch display, which translates to a device that’s 5.8 inches tall and 2.8 inches wide. In comparison, the S21 FE has a 6.4-inch screen and clocks in at 6.1 inches tall and 2.9 inches wide.

While the measurements differ only slightly, the S22 offers an overall smaller footprint.

You should get the Galaxy S21 FE if…

1-samsung galaxy s21 fe cnn underscored

You’re looking to save some money
The Galaxy S21 FE is $100 cheaper than the S22, which may be the biggest reason to consider the older phone. And though Samsung often offers its devices on sale, the S21 FE should always remain a more reasonable option due to its lower starting price.

If your wallet can’t quite accommodate a shiny new Galaxy S22, the S21 FE remains a great bargain with its flagship-like experience for considerably less money.

You want a bigger battery
The Galaxy S22 comes with a 3,700mAh battery. While that’s a pretty decent size, it’s considered mediocre in this day and age, thanks to the rise of 4,000mAh-plus batteries in high-end phones.

If you care about your phone’s endurance, consider the Galaxy S21 FE. It packs a 4,500mAh battery that’s been proven to last at least a full day on a single charge in our testing. And while you might not get the fastest recharge speeds at 25W, you do get wireless charging for convenience as well as reverse wireless charging to juice up accessories like earbuds in a pinch.

You need a bigger screen
If you’re looking for a smartphone with a larger screen, the Galaxy S22’s 6.1-inch display is decently sized, though it’s by no means one of the biggest you can get.

The Galaxy S21 FE, on the other hand, has an expansive 6.4-inch panel and uses the same screen technologies such as the Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel and 120Hz refresh rate for stunning picture quality. Overall, it’s a delightful display and will please anyone searching for a phone with plenty of screen real estate.

Bottom line

The Galaxy S22 and S21 FE are fundamentally different phones, yet they offer similar experiences. Those who want the best of the best should explore the S22 with its high-end design and specs, while those who want a bigger battery and a larger screen for less should check out the S21 FE.


6.1-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X

6.4-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X


Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

Snapdragon 888








50MP f/1.8 wide, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 10MP f/2.4 telephoto, 10MP f/2.2 selfie

12MP f/1.8 wide, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 8MP f/2.4 telephoto, 32MP f/2.2 selfie





5.74 x 2.77 x 0.29 inches; 5.9 ounces

6.13 x 2.93 x .03 inches; 6.24 ounces

Price $799.99 $699.99