Here’s where I was honestly blown away: The cameras felt better than the iPhone’s.
Specs-wise, it’s pretty comparable to Apple’s 12 MP Pro camera system, with one notable exception. The S22+ packs in a 10 MP selfie camera in the front, 12 MP ultrawide, 50 MP wide-angle, and 10 MP telephoto cameras in the back. I suspect that the mega-detailed wide-angle camera is what gives the overall crisp effect that I found myself oohing and aahing over.
I used the cameras in my day-to-day life, capturing portrait shots of my boyfriend, close-up pics of a bouquet of roses, food shots, and selfies. I even took some of these pics in what I knew was pretty bad lighting to see what the cameras could do. Even backlit against my sun-flooded windows, my subject was very in focus and well-saturated on the S22+. I took the same shot on my iPhone 13 Pro, and well…
I was much more impressed with the S22+’s version, as the camera seemed to capture the roses better than the surrounding sky. And it wasn’t just a test of which phone dealt with bad lighting better. In Portrait mode, which I have always felt the iPhone executes very well, I still found the S22+ to be crisper and somehow more real. It let me get closer to my subject, and the bokeh effect was still noticeable against a pretty plain background.
I also played around with low light mode and what I think of as the phone’s built-in camera “helpers.” Samsung calls this “Nightography,” so I put it to the test capturing videos while eating dinner outside at night.
Nightography did a great job capturing the colors and details of my food and the surrounding scene, and it let in plenty of light without making it look overly enhanced. I could still tell the video was taken at night, but I didn’t have to squint to see what was going on either.
As for the helpers, I loved that the camera had settings like Director’s View, which showed and captured footage from all four cameras at once. Deeper in the settings, I turned on intelligent features like Shot Suggestions, which helped me line up photos in the perfect spot for an optimal shot. There were also a bunch of other useful little things like gesture controls and voice commands that I honestly found made the camera experience delightful.