The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G launched in India around July this year, but with a lot of other high-profile smartphone launches leading up to the festive season, it has slipped under the radar until now. Samsung has been making a big noise about how the Galaxy A22 5G supports a wide array of 5G bands (11 in total), as well as its other features such as a high-refresh-rate display and two years of OS updates. There's a lot of competition at around the Rs. 20,000 price point, some from Samsung's own stable, plus recent heavy-hitters such as the Motorola Edge 20 Fusion and iQoo Z3.
Is the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G worth the money? Let's find out.
The Galaxy A22 5G is available in two variants in India — one with 6GB of RAM, priced at Rs. 19,999, and the other with 8GB of RAM, for 21,999. Both of these have 128GB of internal storage which is expandable thanks to the dedicated microSD card slot. The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G is available in Violet, Mint, and Gray. Samsung sent me a Mint colour unit with 6GB of RAM for this review.
The design of the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G feels a bit dated and boring. Don't get me wrong, the fit and finish of the plastic is very good, and this Mint trim is somewhat unique. However, as soon as you turn on the display, you'll see where Samsung has cut costs. First off, there's the thick black bezel around the dewdrop notch, and a massive chin at the bottom, which makes the front of this phone look very dated and low-budget. The design of the camera bump resembles that of Samsung's F series, which is odd, since I would have expected the more modern design that we saw on the Galaxy A72 and Galaxy A52.
The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G isn't particularly slim but its curved edges help mask this. It's a bit heavy at 203g but the weight is distributed well. A headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and the speaker are all lined up at the bottom. There's a recessed power button on the right side which has a fingerprint sensor built in.
On the front, Samsung has fitted a large 6.6-inch LCD panel which has a full-HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. The quality of the display is fairly average; viewing angles are narrow and colours are not very punchy. The SIM tray is to the left of the display, and can house two Nano-SIMs plus a microSD card. The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G ships with a 15W fast charger, USB cable, and a SIM eject tool in the box.
Samsung has used a MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G SoC in the Galaxy A22 5G. It's not a particularly exciting chip, and isn't very competitive at this price either, considering that the Poco M3 Pro and Realme 8 5G both use it too and are priced considerably lower. The Galaxy A22 5G has Bluetooth 5 and dual-band Wi-Fi ac, along with support for the usual sensors and satellite navigation systems. Samsung Pay Mini is also supported. This phone features a 5,000mAh battery, which should be able to power it easily for at least a full day.
The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G runs One UI Core 3.1 based on Android 11. This is Samsung's leaner version of the standard One UI skin, and is used for its more budget-centric phones so it's a little odd to see it on this model. The latest version has pretty much all the features one might need for everyday use, however certain things such as Bixby, Samsung Knox, Easy mode, etc which you might be familiar with from previous Samsung phones, are not present. Android security was a little out of date on my unit, which only had the August 2021 patch. Also, some UI features such as Edge Panels, which are enabled by default on most Samsung phones, have to be manually enabled if you want to use them.
This brings us to the performance of the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G, which is a little underwhelming. The SoC manages respectable scores in benchmarks, but it's with actual daily usage that I felt there was something missing. Even with this so-called stripped down version of One UI, the interface lacked a sense of snappiness. In fact, if I hadn't checked the specs of the phone, I wouldn't have guessed the display was running at 90Hz. Once you're in an app or game though, things are fine. The fingerprint sensor and face recognition worked decently well but there were times when they struggled too, especially when attempting to use face recognition in low light.
Videos look good on the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G's display if you're viewing it head-on, however the screen appears darker when viewed from an angle, which could be a problem if there are multiple people around you trying to watch anything. Audio through the single speaker is loud, but feels one-sided. There's Dolby Atmos software enhancement but this only works with headphones. Games took slightly longer than usual to load, but ran well after that. Heavy titles such as Asphalt 9: Legends looked good. The best part is that even with long gaming sessions, the back of the phone barely got warm.
Battery life, as you'd expect from a phone with a 5,000mAh battery, was pretty good. On average, I was easily able to go more than a full day on one charge. Watching a lot of content tends to drain the battery quicker, as was evident from our HD video loop test which ran for just 13 hours and 22 minutes. Changing is not very quick, and even after an hour, I noticed the battery level was less than 50 percent.
Cameras are not a strong suit of the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G but they are serviceable if you're shooting under good lighting. The 48-megapixel main camera has a wide enough (f/1.8) aperture for detailed close-ups and decent landscape shots. Low-light shots are not great but shooting in Night mode helps with exposure a bit.
The ultra-wide angle camera has a resolution of just 5 megapixels, and the image quality is strictly average. Barrel distortion is corrected quite well, but don't expect good details especially if you try to crop anything from the image. Things get worse in low light, and unfortunately Night mode isn't supported for this camera. The third camera is a depth sensor and is used when shooting in Portrait mode. There's no macro mode on the Galaxy A22 5G due to the lack of a dedicated macro camera.
You can shoot videos at up to 2K resolution with decent stabilisation. Bright areas are overexposed at times and details are just about average. You can shoot using the ultra-wide camera too, but only at 1080p, and you can't switch between the two cameras while recording.
The 8-megapixel selfie camera captures decent photos once you turn off the default beauty filters, but it struggles to capture natural-looking skin tones under artificial lighting or in low light.
The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G doesn't quite deliver the kind of experience that most people would expect, considering its price and competition. A wide selection of 5G bands would be a good thing to brag about, provided one could actually take advantage of them in India, but I'm pretty sure that by the time we get to use 5G, we will have had multiple successors to this phone.
Unfortunately, there's little else to get excited about with the Galaxy A22 5G. In fact, I feel you'd be better served by Samsung's own Galaxy M32 5G or even the Galaxy F62. There's no shortage of good phones from the competition either, and a quick look though our list of the best phones under Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 25,000 should offer plenty of options.