Samsung Galaxy S22 series announced, available for pre-order in Kenya on March 1st

Samsung has officially announced its 2022 flagship smartphone series, the Galaxy S22 series, even though, going by the recent turn of events, that flagship helmet is increasingly being worn by the company’s foldables devices.

Still, for 2022, the Galaxy S22 series is expected to lead the way and prepare us for pretty much what we will see from the Korean company for much of the year. For many of us, it is going to be our reference point, regardless of whatever plans Samsung has in store for the near future.

The Galaxy S22 series, which is succeeding the Galaxy S21 series unveiled around the same time last year, and which got a refresh just last month with the release of the Galaxy S21 FE, features several upgrades over the lineup it is preceding.

Most importantly, it brings back to Samsung’s fold an accessory that has been missing from its candy bar form factor devices for a while now: the S Pen.

The Galaxy S22 series’ headliner is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Ultra’s most defining feature is its inclusion of the S Pen, a stylus that we last saw on a Samsung device of the S22 Ultra’s type with the release of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra nearly 18 months ago.

Not only is the S Pen making a bold return to Samsung’s candy bar devices with its reveal on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, this is also the first time that we are seeing the accessory on Samsung’s Galaxy S series. Previously, it used to be the one physical distinction between the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note series which, as far as we know, is dormant, nearing extinction.

“Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most powerful Ultra device Samsung has ever created,” says Samsung in a statement, citing the device’s 4nm processor.

There is no noticeable or announced upgrades to the S Pen experience save for what Samsung says is a 70% improvement in the latency (70% lower).

Besides the Ultra, the Galaxy S22 series also includes the Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S22+.

The Galaxy S22 is the standard variant, offering the series’ basic features and specifications while the Ultra offers the best that the series has. The Plus model is the middle child that seeks to combine the best of both worlds.

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Common features and specifications of the trio include the Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate that is protected by a Gorilla Glass Victus+ from Corning, the Exynos 2200 chipset that is powering all the devices being made available in the Kenyan market, IP68 water and dust protection, at least 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and One UI 4, Samsung’s own software overlay, powered by Android 12.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is larger with a 6.8-inch display packing the tech mentioned above. The Galaxy S22 features a 6.1-inch display and the Galaxy S22+ has a 6.6-inch display panel. At its peak, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s display hits 1,750 nits of brightness, something that it is matched by the Galaxy S22+ in. The Galaxy S22’s brightness maxes out at 1,300 nits, which is still a lot by industry standards.

Owing to its massive size, the S22 Ultra gets to keep at its back a big 5,000mAh battery unit while the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ have to make do with paltry 3,700mAh and 4,500mAh cells. While all the three devices can be charged wirelessly using wireless fast chargers (up to 15W), the standard Galaxy S22 is limited to wired fast-charging up to 25W while its two elderly siblings go all the way to 45W when plugged in.

Where three cameras adorn the backs of the Galaxy S22 and S22+ (an ultra-wide-angle lens with a field of view of 120 degrees, a wide lens with a field of view of 85 degrees and a telephone lens), the Galaxy S22 Ultra features an additional telephoto lens with 10X optical zoo while, at the same time, bumping up the wide lens to 108-megapixels, as we saw last year, up from the 50-megapixels on the Galaxy S22 and S22+.

On the front, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 40-megapixel selfie camera which towers over the Galaxy S22/S22+’s 10-megapixel selfie sensor.

Galaxy Tab S8

Also unveiled at the first “real” Unpacked event of 2022 is the Galaxy Tab S8 series. The Galaxy Tab S is Samsung’s lineup of premium tablets that, like the Galaxy S series for smartphones, has existed for over a decade now. The Tab S8 series comprises the Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8+ and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra.

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Samsung hinted at the Tab S8 series some Android 12L goodness in coming days, coming off its close partnership with Google.

There is no word from Samsung Mobile Kenya on the availability of the tablets but we are sure to hear from them in due case should they be hitting the market. Samsung has previously availed Tab S units in the country even though a lot more attention has been draw to the budget Galaxy Tab A tablets.

Pricing and availability

Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S22 series start on March 1st, 2022.

The series will be available for purchase in Kenya from March 10th, 2022, when the pre-order period lapses.

Even though Samsung avoided providing clear recommended retail prices for the Kenyan market during a local briefing after the global launch, it did share with us tentative pricing (subject to change because of currency fluctuations):

  • Galaxy S22 Ultra (512GB) – Kshs 160,000
  • Galaxy S22 Ultra (256GB) – Kshs 149,000
  • Galaxy S22+ (256GB) – Kshs 117,000
  • Galaxy S22 (256GB) – Kshs 99,000

“Customers that pre-order and purchase the Galaxy S22 series during the pre-order period, will receive the Galaxy Buds 2 for free,” says Samsung.

Samsung has partnered with a host of third-parties to make it hassle-free to acquire any of the above devices.

Device financing is available through Aspira and KCB Bank under various terms including 0%/interest-free credit for between 6 and 12 months. Badili, a third-party trade-in service, will also be allowing trade-ins of older devices (we can’t ascertain which ones are eligible at this time) with the above devices at 12 Samsung brand stores. Network operator Safaricom will offer buyers 15 gigabytes of mobile data for free.

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