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Galaxy S22 design will be different from Samsung’s new Note replacement

Published Nov 12th, 2021 7:31AM EST
Galaxy S22 Design
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S22 series in mid-February 2022, according to the most recent reports. That’s later than this year’s mid-January Galaxy S21 event, but in line with previous-gen Galaxy S launches. What’s unique about the Galaxy S22 series is that the Ultra version will become Samsung’s Galaxy Note replacement. This year, Samsung overlooked the Note series, choosing to make foldable handsets instead of a Galaxy S21 variation with a stylus. But it’ll try a new approach for the Note next year with the Galaxy S22.

This will mark the first time when the Galaxy S series delivers two distinctive designs. This might make it more difficult for some people to choose their next Galaxy flagship. A brand new leak shows us what the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra will look like.

Galaxy S22 design vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra

Well-known Samsung insider Ice Universe posted the following image on Twitter, showing screen protectors for the three Galaxy S22 family members:

We have the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra from left to right. The insider points out the screen curvature differences between the Ultra and the other Galaxy S22 models.

The purported screen protectors are in line with recent Galaxy S22 and S22 Ultra leaks. We saw renders for the new Samsung flagships in recent months. And real-life images of a Galaxy S22 Ultra prototype leaked a few days ago. All those leaks indicated significant design differences between the three phones.

Leaked image of the Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen slot. Image source: Front Page Tech

The Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus will have flat displays with uniform bezels and rounded corners, as seen above. The same leaker said earlier that the Galaxy S22 Plus will look like an iPhone with a hole-punch display instead of the traditional notch.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra will have a curved screen, like previous Galaxy S and Note phones. The corners are more rectangular rather than curved, as seen above.

Why is Samsung using two designs for the new flagship?

The Galaxy S21 series has a similar “issue.” The regular S21 (top image) and the S21 Plus feature flat displays. The S21 Ultra has a curved screen. But even so, the S21 Ultra has curved corners, similar to the S21.

Samsung can’t stick to similar design lines for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and that’s because it needs to compromise between design and function. In this case, it’s the S Pen stylus dictating the Galaxy S22 Ultra design.

Samsung has to place the stylus on one of the sides and have it sit as close as possible to one of the edges. That’s because of battery consideration. Smartphone vendors have to make the most of the internal space in a handset. They have to optimize the design of internal components and circuitry to increase the battery size as much as possible.

Leaked image of the Galaxy S22 Ultra powered on. Image source: Front Page Tech

As a result, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s S Pen can only sit on the left or right sides, as close as possible to the corner. For that reason, the bottom corners can’t curve like the Galaxy S22. The bottom side has to be flat. For symmetry purposes, the top side has to be flat as well. And both the top and the bottom sides have curved edges. This leads to the phone having curved sides and the screen curving as well.

With that in mind, you’ll have to choose what design you like most. But you can’t mix and match. You might want a Galaxy Note replacement with a flat screen. You have to go for the Galaxy S22 or S22 Plus if you prefer a flat screen, but that means ditching the S Pen stylus.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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