Samsung’s newest F-series smartphone looks pretty practical, has a lot of battery life, and seems to have decent hardware at an affordable price. However, after using it for more than a week, I found that it’s not what the Samsung Galaxy F22 does, it’s what it doesn’t, which overall just makes it an average budget smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy F22 price in India and variants
The Samsung Galaxy F22 is available in two versions. There is a basic version with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage that we received for this test and which is priced at 12,499 rupees in India. Then there is the second variant with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage at a price of 14,499 rupees.
Samsung Galaxy F22 design
The Galaxy F22 has a no-frills design that is practical at best. It is available in two styles – 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 matt finish with fine grooves on the back, which ensures a good grip. Both the display glass and the back can withstand fingerprints well. The fit and workmanship feels solid, with no creaking. Despite its 9.4 mm thickness and 203 g weight, the relatively tall case of the Galaxy F22 was comfortable to hold. It is even comfortable enough for one-handed operation, which is quite a feat for a smartphone with a 6,000 mAh battery.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 has a 6.4-inch display with a water-drop-shaped notch on top and a noticeable chin on the bottom. The display notch looks a bit outdated, as most smartphones in this price range now have displays with punched holes. Placing the ambient light sensor in that notch caused the display to randomly dim when playing in landscape mode because I ended up blocking it with my thumb. Fortunately, the Game Booster app has a handy switch to turn off automatic brightness adjustment while gaming.
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 with a clock rate of up to 2 GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores with 1.8 GHz. The phone has either 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB of storage, as well as a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 1 TB. Connectivity options include support for 4G / LTE, Bluetooth 5 and dual-band WiFi.
The 6.4-inch display has an HD + resolution (720 x 1600) and a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Since it is a Super AMOLED panel, Samsung has activated an Always On Display (AOD) function , which shows icons for notification when the phone is locked.
There’s also an FM radio app that lets you listen to local stations after you’ve connected a pair of wired earbuds. The phone has a single speaker on the bottom and a 3.5mm headphone jack on top. There is a 6,000 mAh battery and this phone supports wired charging up to 25W.
Samsung’s One UI 3.1 software, which is based on Android 11, runs on the Galaxy F22. Samsung appears to have been working on tweaking its rather bloated One UI to work well on the 4GB RAM variant of the Galaxy F22. Still, there is a collection of pre-installed Samsung branded apps that you cannot get rid of, along with several third-party apps from Microsoft and others that can be uninstalled. Despite all of these apps, I was surprised that I saw very few commercial notifications while using the phone.
Samsung Galaxy F22 performance and battery life
Using a 90Hz refresh rate display definitely improved the Galaxy F22’s software experience, and it felt fluid when swiping between screens or scrolling through long social feeds. The HD + resolution is low compared to the Full HD + panels of some competitors in this price range, but the panel has punchy colors and deep blacks that can be seen when streaming movies and games. Although it was sharp enough for everyday use, Netflix only recognized the Widevine L3 support, which allowed playback in SD quality. Some of the content didn’t look quite as sharp as on competing smartphones, some of which support Widevine L1 with HD resolution.
While the user experience of the device was satisfactory, the benchmark tests we performed generally showed below average performance for this price level. The Samsung Galaxy F22 scored 1.61.369 points in AnTuTu, while the Realme Narzo 30 scored 3.56.846 points. I also noticed performance differences 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 in the default settings when playing demanding games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends. Call of Duty: Mobile ran with the default settings for medium graphics and frame rate with a lot of skipped frames. Asphalt 9: Legends also stuttered and dropped frames during the game. In fact, this is a smartphone that is not intended for intense 3D gaming, but is more suitable for casual titles.
The 6,000 mAh battery can be charged with up to 25 W, but Samsung only puts a 15 W charger in the box. Obviously, charging was relatively slow – it took the Galaxy F22 2 hours and 41 minutes to fully charge from an empty battery. A large battery also means good battery life, and Samsung’s software optimizations seem to have paid off: the phone lasted 29 hours and 35 minutes in our HD video battery loop test. With regular use, which included lots of social media apps, an hour of gaming, two or more hours of streaming video, and taking a few photos, the phone could easily last two days before I had to reach for a charger. The display refresh rate was set to 90 Hz during the test, and changing it to 60 Hz would have added a few more hours.
Samsung Galaxy F22 cameras
The Samsung Galaxy F22 has a quad camera setup on the back with a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor that is used in portrait mode is active. Selfies are processed by a 13-megapixel camera that sits in the display notch. The camera interface is easy to use and provides easy access to the relevant controls as well as a customizable camera mode toggle switch.
Photos taken with the main camera in daylight were clean, showing good detail and dynamic range. The colors were a bit saturated but didn’t look too different from the actual scene. Photos taken with the ultra-wide-angle camera weren’t as detailed as those taken with the main camera and looked decent at best, with noticeable purple fringing and some blown out highlights in lighter areas.
Daytime selfies in portrait mode were a bit blurry, with brightly lit backgrounds being overexposed. I encountered 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 off when it felt like it. Macro photos showed an acceptable level of detail, but were not sharp enough to be useful.
As expected, the camera’s low-light performance wasn’t great. The main camera was slow to lock the focus and the footage showed a lot of noise in darker areas and cloudy textures throughout. Night mode improved such photos by making them lighter, but textures and details only got worse, and some photos ended up looking pretty blotchy. The ultra-wide-angle camera was useless in low light and only produced blurry photos, and the night mode didn’t help either. 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.
The video recording peaks at 1080p 30fps for the front and rear cameras. Videos recorded with the front camera in daylight were a bit blurry and the background was overexposed, but there was a decent level of detail with foreground subjects. 1080p 30fps videos captured with the rear camera looked pretty good with good stabilization and detail. The phone can also record 1080p video with the ultra-wide-angle camera, and such clips showed decent stabilization with passable detail, but brighter parts of the scene were overexposed. Low-light shots had noticeable noise, but were usable when there was ambient light nearby. Switching to the ultra wide angle camera at night resulted in videos that looked very bland.
After using the Samsung Galaxy F22 for a week, I found that it is a decent budget smartphone for those with basic needs, but it has some shortcomings.
There is a vibrant Super AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz which is good for watching videos and enhancing the user experience. Then there is the 6,000 mAh battery for those who don’t want to compromise on battery life.
But if you take a closer look at the competition, you’ll find that other companies offer a lot more, not just in terms of specifications, but also in terms of convenience. You also need to keep in mind that the Super AMOLED display doesn’t really mean you will get crisp video quality as you are limited to SD content for OTT apps. The battery life is well optimized, but the mega 6,000 mAh battery needs well over two hours to charge with the supplied 15 W charger.
Some people might be fine with these tradeoffs, but the Realme Narzo 30 (review) has good battery life, a Full HD + display with HD content streaming support, and faster charging with a 30W charger in the Box. Then there is Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 (test report), which offers 33 W charging, a Full HD + Super AMOLED display and stereo speakers for an additional Rs 500.