What to expect from Samsung’s Unpacked event

A fan favorite could return to the fold.

In a few short days, Samsung will host its first Unpacked of 2022. While the company is sure to stage many more events throughout the year (too many, if you ask us), the first one is always the most exciting. That’s because it’s usually where Samsung has announced the next iteration of its flagship Galaxy S line, and Wednesday’s Unpacked promises to be no different. On February 9th, the company is expected to unveil the Galaxy S22. No surprise there, but there could be more to that announcement than you might anticipate. Let’s break down everything we expect to see from the company later this week.

Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+

Samsun Galaxy S22
Evan Blass

Much like it did in 2021, Samsung is expected to launch a trio of new Galaxy S phones. As you’ll see in a few moments, the S22 Ultra is likely to be a significant departure from its predecessor. But as for the S22 and S22+, the expectation is that they’ll be more iterative updates.

Prerelease reports suggest they’ll feature a similar design with the same “Contour Cut” rear camera housing that you’ll find on the Galaxy S21 and its Fan Edition offshoot. As far as upgrades go, most leaks point to the Galaxy S22 featuring a new glass back and both phones coming with 50-megapixel main cameras. More interesting is what could be inside the phones.

Galaxy S22
Evan Blass

As it’s done in years past, Samsung is expected to source two different chipsets for the Galaxy S line in 2022. In North America, the phone will likely feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. That would make it one of the first phones to bring Qualcomm’s latest flagship SoC to the US and Canada. Meanwhile, in Europe and other parts of the world, the S22 will almost certainly come with Samsung’s own Exynos 2200.

Announced in January, the 4nm chip features an “Xclipse” GPU powered by AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture. In practice, what makes the Exynos 2200 noteworthy is that Samsung claims it’s capable of ray tracing. Early benchmarks suggest the Exynos 2200 could also be faster than its Qualcomm counterpart. All of that would make the potential differences between the North American and European versions of the Galaxy S22 more notable than in years past.

What we’re less clear on is how Samsung plans to price the Galaxy S22. In a recent tweet, WinFuture’s Roland Quandt said the base model S22 and S22+, both with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, would start at €849 and €1049, respectively. Those prices suggest the company won’t charge more for the S22 and S22+ than it did for the S21 and S21+. However, a separate leak from earlier in the month suggested every model in the S22 line could cost $100 more than its S21 counterpart. We’ll have until the 9th to get a better sense of those details.

Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22 Ultra
Evan Blass

Shortly before Samsung announced it was hosting an Unpacked on February 9th, company president TM Roh teased the event would feature “the most noteworthy S series device we’ve ever created.”

After component shortages and a pandemic-fueled decline in demand for high-end phones led Samsung to skip the Note line in 2021, the fan-favorite phone is coming back this year. In all but name, we expect the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be the Note 20 successor Samsung fans have been waiting to see for nearly two years. But don’t TM Roh’s or our word for it. In the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s Unpacked, images of the S22 Ultra leaked multiple times.

Renders shared by Evan Blass of Evleaks fame suggest the S22 Ultra will feature a dramatically different design from the rest of the S22 lineup. Not only will the phone seemingly come with an S-Pen stylus in the box, but it will also feature a curved display and flat backplate. What’s more, judging from photos shared by Front Page Tech, the S22 Ultra will include a slot for storing an S-Pen inside of the phone.

A set of alleged prerelease marketing images shared by Blass suggest the S22 Ultra will feature a quad-camera array with a 108-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide and two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras with Samsung’s 100x Space Zoom feature built-in. The leaked marketing material also suggests the phone will feature a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and QHD+ resolution.

Internally, the S22 Ultra is expected to include many of the same components found in the S22 and S22+. However, one potential source of drama related to the S22 Ultra may come down to how much RAM you’ll find in the base model. According to Roland Quandt, the most affordable S22 Ultra variant will ship with 8GB of memory. At the same time, it will cost as much as the entry-level Galaxy S21 Ultra, which came with 12GB of RAM. Per Quandt, European consumers will need to pay a €100 premium to get the model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It’s unclear if Samsung will implement the same pricing strategy in the US.

Galaxy Tab S8 and Tab S8 Ultra

Samsung Tab S8
Evan Blass

Samsung has been making Android tablets long enough for Google to first abandon the form factor and then more recently declare that it’s the “future of computing.” So it should come as no surprise reports suggest the company will update its Tab line at Unpacked. According to a separate leak from Quandt, we can expect the company to equip the 11-inch Tab S8 with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of internal storage, an 8,000mAh battery and a 120Hz LCD display.

As for the larger Tab S8+, Quandt suggests it will feature a 12.7-inch OLED display and a bigger 10,090mAh battery while being slightly thinner than its smaller sibling. We’ll note here some reports had said the Tab S8+ could feature a 12.4-inch display. Either way, both models are expected to come with a bundled S-Pen stylus.

But that’s not all, we also expect Samsung to add a new model to the Tab line. Per Quandt, the company will announce the Tab S8 Ultra on February 9th. It will reportedly feature a monstrous 14.6-inch AMOLED screen, up to 16GB of RAM and dual-front facing cameras housed in an unsightly display cutout. It could also come with a feature that would allow you to use the Galaxy S22 Ultra as a separate color palette when drawing with the S-Pen, which is exactly the sort of parlor trick only Samsung would think of to sell you on its most expensive devices.

Everything Else

By all accounts, the first Unpacked of 2022 will see Samsung focus on the Galaxy S22 and Tab S8. The company could surprise us with updates to its foldable and watch lineups, but so far there haven’t been any leaks and reports to suggest that will happen. Either way, you’ll want to visit Engadget on February 9th. We’ll have comprehensive coverage of all the company’s biggest news.

Catch up on all of the news from Samsung’s February Unpacked event right here!

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