The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G is a predictably solid affordable phone with a strong main camera and exemplary stamina, though its performance and display leave a little to be desired.
- Solidly built
- Decent main camera
- Strong stamina
- Mediocre LCD tech
- Poor performance
- Hefty build
- UKRRP: £209
- Great enduranceA big battery lasts a good long time between charges, and there’s a charger in the box
- Solid build quality Solid construction might not be high-end, but it looks smart
- Decent screenThe 90Hz display gets the job done at this price
Buying a 5G phone for around the £200 mark is a perilous business, but if anyone can instil a little confidence through brand strength alone it should be Samsung. So does the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G reward such trust?
The phone launched back in early June 2021, and with a launch price of just £209 it provided one of the cheaper 5G-ready phones of its time.
It’s since been replaced by the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G, but this means that you can currently pick up a brand new A22 5G from an established third party retailer for well under the £200 mark.
All of this leaves an obvious question: is the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G still a worthwhile buy if you’re looking for a bargain 5G phone?
Design and screen
- Solid but heavy body
- 6.6-inch FHD+ TFT LCD
- 90Hz refresh rate
The basic look of the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G follows the broad design template of other A-series handsets such as the Galaxy A32 5G and the Galaxy A52 5G. There are subtle differences to be found, however.
There’s a familiar plastic body with a curved metal-effect rim, though here there are curious ridges near the front and rear edges. There’s also a glass-effect plastic back like those other phones, but here the finish is matte rather than shiny.
On the colour front you get a choice of Grey, White, and Violet finishes. My model comes in the silky white option, which ensures that those greasy fingerprints won’t show up, at the very least.
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Another difference from those aforementioned Samsung stablemates is the Galaxy A22 5G’s camera module. Here the three camera sensors and flash are arranged in a rounded-square formation rather than stretched out in a line.
Again, Samsung’s A-series design is reassuringly solid and unshowy. It won’t win any beauty contests, but the very generic nature means that you could pull it out of a school bag or a business suit pocket without prompting any disparaging double takes.
Like the Galaxy A32 5G, however, this is not a small phone. At 9mm thick and with a weight of 203g, it’s perfectly manageable, but it doesn’t melt into the background quite as much as its normcore aesthetic would suggest it wants to.
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Curiously, the Galaxy A22 5G’s display is actually better than the more expensive Galaxy A32 5G’s, though it’s still far from a star component. You’re getting a 6.6-inch TFT LCD, which means you’re not even benefiting from the viewing angle-boosting benefits of an IPS panel, let alone the vibrant delights of full AMOLED. But at least here the resolution is a full 1080 x 2400, or FHD+.
What’s more, you get an elevated 90Hz refresh rate rather than the Galaxy A32 5G’s bog standard 60Hz, and it’s active by default. Most cheap phones that give you such a thing will require you to dive into the Settings menu to activate it manually.
It doesn’t get massively bright, however. Even cranked up to full brightness, it’s perfectly comfortable to view indoors, while even moderately bright days will render outdoors viewability tricky.
All that aside, image quality is decent, and colours seem relatively deep and accurate. You can do better for the money, but the screen isn’t such a leading reason to criticise the phone as it is in the Galaxy A32 5G.
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- Accomplished 48MP main camera
- Limited 5MP ultra-wide
- 8MP selfie camera creates some anomalies
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy A22 5G with a familiar camera set-up made up of three distinct sensors. There’s a 48MP wide camera, a 5MP ultra-wide, and a superfluous 2MP depth sensor.
That main 48MP sensor is by far the most accomplished of the three, and would appear to be the same as that found in the Galaxy A32 5G. Like with that fractionally pricier phone, this sensor captures bright, sharp, well exposed images in decent lighting.
Samsung’s hard-earned camera savvy and its smart algorithms result in a strong camera for the money. I was impressed with how well the main sensor picked out subjects, with sharp edges and a pleasingly natural amount of background bokeh.
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The 5MP ultra-wide is a major step down, however, with a big drop in detail and exposure quality, and with bags of grain at the edges. It’s a clear point of compromise, but not an entirely unexpected one at the price.
The Galaxy A22 5G’s 8MP selfie camera turned up some strange results for me too, capturing weirdly luminous skin tones and an odd ‘cardboard cutout’ effect on background scenery. The ability to ‘zoom out’ to a wider angle is a nice one, enabling you to squeeze more into your selfie, but the overall quality of the shots just seems a little off.
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- MediaTek Dimenisty 700 pretty slow
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage somewhat stingy
The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G runs on a somewhat limited MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip and a meagre 4GB of RAM. It’s scarcely a step back from the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and its Dimensity 720, with some elements of the Dimensity 700 actually proving faster, but then the Dimensity 720 was hardly a strong performer itself.
An average Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 1744 drops it into similar territory to its stablemate, along with the likes of the Redmi Note 11, and lands comfortably behind phones that run on the more mainstream Snapdragon 695 like the Realme 9 5G.
In the hand, the A22 5G feels just fine. I noted pauses here and there, such as the odd time when flicking over from the home screen to Google Feed, but generally it’s fluid enough to meet expectations at this end of the market.
You’ll have to contend with a relative lack of storage, though, with a starting point of 64GB falling well short of the 128GB we see elsewhere at this price point. That’s a bit of a disappointment.
Samsung has kept its affordable phone reasonably up to date on the software front. While it launched with Android 11 and One UI 3.1, it’s been updated to Android 12 and OneUI 4.1.
Most will be familiar with Samsung’s software. It’s a little heavy, but extremely reliable and feature complete. For things like battery optimisation and customisation options, there are few manufacturers who place as much fine control at your fingertips, even if the look of it can be a little overbearing compared to more stock Android offerings.
Samsung has also promised that the Galaxy A22 5G will get an Android