It is surprising how much manufacturers have managed to squeeze into budget smartphones priced below Rs. 15,000. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 offers a full-HD+ Super AMOLED display, dual speakers, four rear cameras, and a 5000mAh battery with 33W fast charging (including the 33W charger). Realme’s Narzo 30 gets you a 90Hz refresh rate display, MediaTek Helio G95 SoC, a snazzy design, and 30W charging.
Samsung with its Galaxy F22 seems to have found some interesting ways to stand out. At a starting price of Rs. 12,499, the Galaxy F22 offers a 90Hz refresh rate Super AMOLED display and a 6000mAh battery with support for 25W charging, which seems like a lot. Will this be enough when compared to what the competition offers in this price segment? I got to spend some time with the Samsung Galaxy F22, and here are my first impressions.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 is available in two variants. There’s a 4GB RAM and 64GB storage base variant, which is the one we have received for review. It’s priced at Rs. 12,499 in India. Then there’s the more ambitious 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, which is also priced competitively at Rs. 14,499. Both will be available in two finishes – Denim Black and Denim Blue.
We received a Samsung Galaxy F22 in the Denim Black finish for review. It features a plastic body with Gorilla Glass 5 protection for the display. The plastic rear panel has a fine ridge-like pattern, which offers good grip and is also good at rejecting fingerprints and smudges. The Samsung Galaxy F22 isn’t exactly slim, with a thickness that measures 9.3mm. Weighing in at 203g, it also does feel a bit chunky. For me, it seems to have a nice hand-feel, and limited one-handed use is manageable.
The fingerprint reader is integrated into the power button on the right side, with the volume rocker placed above it. The card tray is on the left, while the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker are at the bottom.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, which features a 90Hz refresh rate. It is an HD+ resolution display and showcases punchy colours. The Gorilla Glass 5 screen does not pick up fingerprints easily. It did feel a bit odd to see a waterdrop-style notch at the top of the display, as most smartphones in this price range now have hole-punch screens, which look cleaner. Also taking up space on the front is a thick bezel at the bottom of the display.
The Galaxy F22 has a triple-slot tray, which accepts two Nano-SIMs and has a dedicated slot for a microSD card. The smartphone supports storage expansion of up to 1TB.
There is a square-shaped camera module at the back. This phone packs a quad camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth camera. Selfie duties are taken care of by a 13-megapixel front camera.
The Samsung Galaxy F22 has a 6,000mAh battery and supports 25W fast charging, but comes with a 15W charger in the box. This is a bit disappointing compared to what the competition offers in this price range, but I expect the larger than usual 6,000mAh battery to last longer.
Samsung’s One UI 3.1 (based on Android 11) runs the show, and during my initial usage, it appeared to perform smoothly. The 90Hz refresh rate display also makes the software experience appear quite fluid, and I had to keep reminding myself that this is a smartphone with just 4GB of RAM. Several apps and games come preinstalled, including plenty of Samsung-branded ones. There are also some third-party ones such as Moj and MX TakaTak, along with Samsung’s usual serving of Microsoft apps including Office, OneDrive, LinkedIn, and Outlook.
The MediaTek Helio G80 SoC isn’t a bad choice for a budget smartphone by any means, but Realme’s Narzo 30 (Review) offers the higher-end Helio G95 processor for an additional Rs. 500. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 (Review) has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 SoC, and offers a full HD+ Super AMOLED display, dual stereo speakers and 33W fast charging at Rs. 12,999. Poco’s M3 (Review) uses the toned-down Snapdragon 662 SoC but with 6GB of RAM in its base variant which is priced at Rs. 10,999.
Going by hardware specifications, it’s easy to conclude that apart from the big battery, there’s not much going for Samsung’s latest F-series smartphone. However, it isn’t just about the hardware. We’ll be considering the overall usage experience, battery life, software, construction quality, and camera performance, which all matter, so stay tuned for our full review, which should be out soon.