With a total of six new devices, there's a lot of information to unpack (forgive the pun).
Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra
Arguably, the star of Wednesday's announcement is the latest trio of Samsung Galaxy smartphones. As Samsung has done in previous years, there are two standard models with nearly identical specifications. The biggest differentiator between them is size, with the Ultra model offering a premium option to consumers.
All three models are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and will have options available with varying memory and storage.
The Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus have the same overall design, reminding me of an iPhone 5 with beveled edges and flat sides. Both phones have three rear-facing cameras and a single front-facing camera. The triple camera array boasts a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 50-megapixel wide camera, and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera. The telephoto camera will give you a 3x optical zoom.
As previously noted, the biggest difference between the S22 and S22 Plus is the display size (and a few smaller tidbits you'll notice in the spec list below). The S22 has a display that measures 6.1-inches, while the S22 Plus measures 6.6-inches. They're both FHD+ and have a variable refresh rate that tops out at 120Hz, with a 240Hz touch sampling rate when you're gaming.
All in all, the S22 and S22 Plus are exactly what we expected to see from Samsung in the latest generation of its Galaxy S-series of phones. It's the S22 Ultra where Samsung decided to take a slightly different route.
With the release of last year's S21 Ultra, Samsung added S Pen support but didn't include anywhere for the S Pen to be stored inside the phone as we've seen on previous Galaxy Note devices.
It was the first time we'd seen Samsung bring the S Pen to a phone outside of the Note. And now with the S22 Ultra, Samsung is expanding that capability with what it's calling the Note experience. That is, taking the S-series and adding the most beloved feature of the Galaxy Note line to it.
The end result is the Galaxy S22 Ultra, complete with an S Pen -- and a silo to store it in the phone's housing -- along with all of the fancy camera features and impressive display tech Samsung fans are accustomed to across both lines.
The S22 Ultra has a 6.8-inch QHD+ display with the same variable refresh rate and touch sampling as the rest of the S22 lineup. It's an Edge display, which is Samsung's term for curved edges on either side. It's a design approach you either love or hate, but I happen to like it. The curved edges on a screen make a large phone, like the S22 Ultra, feel smaller and thinner than it actually is.
On the back of the phone you'll find four cameras, ranging from a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and 108-megapixel wide to a 10-megapixel 3x telephoto, 10-megapixel 10x telephoto camera. The front-facing camera is 40-megapixels. You can pick up the Ultra with either 8GB or 12GB of memory and up to 1TB of storage (only the 128GB model has the lower amount of memory).
According to Samsung, the S Pen experience is improved on the S22 Ultra with 70% lower latency compared to the S21 Ultra.
I really like the look of the S22 Ultra, even if it does look like a boxy Galaxy Note of a few years ago.
Samsung also added several new camera features to the S22 Ultra, including the ability for the camera to zoom in and out while recording video to ensure everyone is in the shot, similar to Center Stage, a feature Apple added to the iPad's front-facing camera last year.
All three models are available to preorder starting today, Feb. 9, with the official release slated for Feb. 25. Here are the specifications for each model, just in case you were curious:
Samsung unveiled its latest Android tablets, the Galaxy Tab S8, Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. All three tablets run Android 12 and Samsung's proprietary customization skin, One UI 4.1.
Each tablet is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, ranges in storage from 128GB to 512GB (Ultra only) and has expanded storage via a microSD card up to an additional 1TB.
For me, the real story about Samsung's new tablet lineup is the Tab S8 Ultra and its 14.6-inch display. It's the biggest display Samsung offers in a tablet form factor, beating out the 12.9-inch display of Apple's biggest iPad Pro. I'm intrigued by what the experience will be like on a tablet with a larger screen.
There are also two front-facing cameras on the Tab S8 Ultra. Samsung says that the two cameras will improve video calls by automatically keeping you framed during a call, even as you move around.
First look: Products revealed at Samsung Unpacked 2022 [in pictures]
The biggest question mark around the Tab S8 lineup is the same one I have every year -- who is buying an Android tablet? Google hasn't done anything meaningful to Android in years to improve the experience on a larger screen. Well, actually, Android 12L is currently in beta and is supposed to address those exact concerns, but it's not available for the Tab S8 right now.
Obviously, someone is buying Samsung's tablets for the company to continue refreshing its Tab lineup each year, and in fact, adding a third, mind you bigger and more expensive, tablet to the offering this year.
You can pre-order the Tab S8, Tab S8 Plus, or Tab S8 Ultra starting today, Feb. 9. When you preorder either the S8 or S8 Plus you'll get a free Slim Book Cover Keyboard. Tab S8 Ultra preorders will get the Backlit Book Cover Keyboard for free.
Here's the spec sheet so you can compare all three tablets. Overall, they're very similar.