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Honor 50 review: Comeback is real?

It’s back with Google Mobile Services

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Before the year 2020 ended, Huawei sold its Honor to ensure the sub-brand’s survival. A year later, Honor successfully ventured past the lands it used to reign over, seeking greener pastures in an ethnically diverse continent — in hopes of making its mark in the consumer technology industry, but on a global scale.

Liberating from Huawei gave Honor the power to mend broken ties, especially in doing business with Western companies. The now-independent brand resumed partnerships with Google and Qualcomm, proceeding to deliver smartphones with the software and hardware that most people adore.

Marking the return of Google Mobile Services (GMS) to the smartphone maker is the Honor 50 lineup. Its latest promise is also equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset. So, like any big comeback, I think the elephant in the room needs to be addressed.

Is it worth buying? Should you jump and try it? Is it any better than any other smartphone today? And will Honor ever find its footing once again?

’tis the season of exes coming back

The advent of Honor 50 piqued the curiosity of the GadgetMatch team. But the most electrified one is none other than yours truly. For two years, I’ve been wandering aimlessly — jumping from one smartphone to another in hopes of finding the comfort and love I’ve experienced with Huawei.

Losing GMS was a dealbreaker; my modern life depended on it. I’ve attempted to bridge the gap through Huawei’s solutions over the years, but it lost the very essence of having a smartphone. Which, for me, should be about making your life easier. Why would I tinker with a smartphone when it’s supposed to be smart enough to do its job without using my last three brain cells?

For that very reason, I ended up cradling and alternating between Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones — which I learned to love along the way. But of course, nothing beats the time I spent with all of my Huawei phones.

Honor’s comeback gave me hope that maybe, there’s always a second chance to everything in life. Ex-lovers and smartphones included.

Take you wonder by wonder

The Honor 50 felt like your ex coming back around for a second chance. Except something has changed, inside and out. At first glance, the Honor 50 looks exactly like the Huawei P50. The way it was designed; curves flowing harmoniously. And one striking, horrifying arrangement: humongous lenses passing off like enlarged eyes of a housefly.

However, the details beg to differ. The Honor 50 comes in various colors: Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, Midnight Black, and Honor Code. Its color options are entirely different compared to the Huawei P50’s color lineup.

Originally, I wanted an Emerald Green. It looks expensive, classy, and apt for my premium taste. Twisted fate, I got the Frost Crystal. Shining, shimmering, splendid. Except there’s no Aladdin to ask me when did I last let my heart decide.

It looks dreamy with its diamond-like finish, sparkling from different angles. It’s perfect for anyone who has a flamboyant personality — something my colleagues describe me as making this an inevitable match.

While I do believe I have a bold personality, I’m not a fan of anything eye-catching. I highly surmise that all eyes should be on me or my face, not on any piece of tech I’ve been holding or wearing. I digress.

All eyes on you

For the untrained eye, the Honor 50 and the Huawei P50 strike an uncanny resemblance. But being meticulous pays off. You’ll see there’s more to the Honor 50 than meets the eye. Also, a friendly reminder to use discernment whenever someone from the past comes back lest you’ll be burned by the same love twice.

The Honor 50’s lenses, when you peruse it up-close, show off its quad-camera system. The first lens on top houses the 108-megapixel main camera, while the second lens on the bottom packs its triple, smaller lenses. An 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel bokeh camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera.

Having said that, one of the clamors around the Honor 50 is its low-megapixel count for its supporting lenses. I believe that cameras are one of the more important things to talk about, seeing how Honor has been carrying Huawei’s former glory in the camera department. So, don’t worry, bud. We’ll talk about it later on.

I still like you, but not as strong as before

Honor gave me a familiar feeling when I held it in my hands. The iconic ‘Curved Waterfall’ gave a comfortable grip that looks and feels sexy when caressing your fingers and gliding your palms along its curves and edges.

Yet somehow, the curved screen disconcerts me. What with my experience going after flat screens and boxy smartphones of Galaxy’s Note and Flip line. Typing, scrolling, and swiping on a curved display do not work flawlessly like before.

Honor 50

I find my fingers and grip slipping through the curves, somehow making my heart skip a beat for fear of dropping the smartphone. Precisely the reason why I don’t use my Huawei Mate 20 Pro anymore, and why I refused to switch to the latest Mate smartphones.

Despite the changes in my preference, the curved display is still wonderful to look at. I actually enjoyed re-watching Call Me By Your Name and other familiar titles on HBO Go. The unit I had isn’t compatible with Netflix — barring me from enjoying the heartwarming Hometown Cha Cha Cha during the course of the review.

Honor 50

My beau Simu Liu making this gorgeous smartphone look better

Nonetheless, the 75-degree curved 6.57-inch AMOLED screen is still a treat. It’s just isn’t my cup of tea anymore.

What changed?

Like any exes, assuming they’ve evolved and learned their lessons, they bring something new to the table. The Honor 50 hops on the fast refresh rate trend, bringing 120Hz to its display along with a 300Hz touch sampling rate.

As with any 2021 smartphone, the Honor 50 intelligently adjusts the refresh rate depending on your usage, which helps with preserving the battery because frankly, we don’t need to be using 120Hz all the time.

Honor 50

Its screen also got a low-blue light TÜV Rheinland certification. I never thought it would be noticeable. There was an instance where I glanced at the phone and saw a yellowish tint. For a moment, I thought I accidentally turned on Eye Comfort mode.

These changes had me enjoying the display. It’s bright under any lighting condition, vibrant enough to delight on visually appealing films, and has buttery-smooth interface navigation. My only gripe is you can’t use it single-handed properly despite having a ‘single-handed option’ that shrinks the screen to a size apt for my small hands.

Still feels like home

The Honor 50 is equipped with the latest hardware, promising a future-proof device that will certainly accompany you every day for years. It’s capable of 5G connectivity, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G chipset built on TSMC’s 6nm.

Honor 50

Despite being a mid-range chipset, I was able to play a graphics-intensive game called Sprite Fantasia — a mobile game adaptation of an online MMORPG I played on PC 11 years ago. Not once it did lag and heat up upon usage. Although after three hours of non-stop playing, I started feeling the heat when I brushed my fingers off the camera lenses.

I don’t have anything bad to say about how it performs. It’s wonderful, and simply too powerful for the average, casual user. The only caveat is how there was an occasional delay and app crash when switching between apps, or when you have a bunch of background apps running. But it’s more of a software thing that can be resolved by regular patches and updates.

That said, the Honor 50 dressed its interface with Magic UI 4.2 based on Android 11. Despite having new features, built-in apps, and a style that shows off Honor’s ownership — the experience felt like home.

Honor 50

Or at least, coming home. It was like using a Huawei smartphone both in software and hardware, but this time, with Google Mobile Services. It’s got the same security measures I enjoyed in my ex-Huawei smartphones. Both the facial recognition and fingerprint scanner work swiftly similar to my previous experiences.

Honestly, I cried tears of joy when I felt the rush of having something from the past come back. The yearning was satiated.

Accompanies you throughout the day

Huawei and Honor are both known to equip their devices with groundbreaking charging solutions. Honor’s breakaway made us wonder, is it still fast-charging and long-lasting?

Two weeks in, and it didn’t disappoint. Even with a 4300mAh battery, which Android fanboys claim to be small, the Honor 50 still lasted me a day. Gone are the days where your smartphone’s battery drain because of background apps and other standby features.

Most Android smartphones — particularly those belonging in the upper midrange and premium lineups — are more efficient when it comes to battery consumption.

Honor 50

In my experience, an average, casual user can last a full day on a single charge doing everyday tasks. Emails, social media, music playback, a few videos here and there, and taking photos of their day. I was able to leave for work in the morning and come home around seven in the evening with a 23 percent battery.

If you’re a power user, you can expect usage of around six to seven hours. Especially when keeping that mobile data on while playing games. Charging is quick AF, as long as you use Honor’s own cable and charging brick.

Gives you time and space while it recharges

Yes, you read that right! Honor packed a 66W SuperCharge adapter on its box. However, its fast charging technology doesn’t activate when you use other cables, bricks, or fast charging solutions.

Honor 50

Moreover, it doesn’t have a wireless charging feature. That’s probably my only dealbreaker since I tend to use a wireless charger at my home office and a Samsung wireless power bank coupled with Anker’s 3-in-1 cable for when I go out. Why hold back on the charging capabilities?

Nevertheless, it’s easy to fill the battery up. Right off the bat, the charging solution instantly gives you two percent more as soon as you plug it. In just 35 minutes, I was astounded to see the battery jump to 98 percent already.

On average, you can quickly fill it ip 40 minutes or less, but it won’t take an hour. That’s a guarantee. You can probably do your skincare regimen while you charge just like I do.

Come a little bit closer

Honor 50

It’s worth noting that the Honor 50 comes with a glorified 108-megapixel main camera on its top-most lens. Meanwhile, the bottom lens packs the throwaway 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and 2-megapixel macro camera.

The camera placements are unsightly and stick out like a sore thumb. Still, I was high in anticipation when I tested the cameras, and frankly, I’ve got mixed feelings after seeing the results.

Depending on the subject, shots using the default setting seemed wide. Although, I appreciate the background blur and cutouts since they’re yummy to look at. Somehow, they replicate flagship outputs similar to what I’ve used and tested in the recent past. Moreover, photos are color accurate and even pack a slight punch to their colors.

When you use the 2X zoom — which I use regularly, by the way — the outputs are still color accurate. Although, the focus area seems narrow and the output highlighted the blur more. But that’s only for subjects that are up close.

Using the 2X zoom outdoors gave a decent result. The photos may not be as detailed as you want them to be, but when looking at your screen, especially when uploaded on social media, you’ll barely notice the compression.

Show me how big your brave is

When I was de-stressing, I went to Climb Central to have some much-needed break. Granted, they’re physically exhausting but it’s a refreshing activity both for the mind and soul. And the facility is wide, giving me plenty of space to breathe. Of course, it was also the perfect spot to test the cameras indoors.

This is where the Honor 50 struggled. Having fewer light sources, the lenses wrestled with producing picture-perfect results. Colors aren’t as vibrant both in default and zoomed shots. Tint is also bluish due to fluorescent lights. The processing also blurred any movements during our bouldering session.

Wide-angle mode isn’t any better. Photos are devoid of life and are high on noise and grain due to low light. Still, I uploaded some of these on my Instagram account and I made minor adjustments in its temperature, saturation, and brightness — something that the Honor 50 is lacking when shooting at a disadvantageous lighting condition.

Taking selfies indoors included a vignette, which I can’t seem to shake off. Blacks and shadows are deep, and I hate to say it but after multiple re-takes, I didn’t upload the selfie anywhere except here for you to preview.

Does it ever drive you crazy just how fast the night changes?

We’ve seen how the Honor 50 struggled indoors, so how about when the sun is already out?

Taken during a blue hour using the default setting, the Honor 50 tried to brighten the sky while details are similar to shots taken using upper midrange smartphones. It’s simply not pleasing to the eye.

However, Night Mode tries to change the game. Though the details aren’t any better, the Honor 50 removed the unnecessary highlight on the sky to depict the scenario accurately. Well, at least, it got the night sky right.

✨Portraits✨

The Honor 50 houses a 32-megapixel camera up front. What I like about its selfies is how it doesn’t add extra beautification even on default setting, compared to most other Chinese smartphones.

Most people don’t like having wrinkles and scars on their face, but I do. I like showing bits of myself because they’re part of my memories and make up who I am. I took this selfie on a cloudy day, and while it isn’t as sharp as an iPhone or a Galaxy, I still like the result.

The same goes for selfies taken under a shade, although I’ve used Portrait Mode but removed the background blur and the beautification — which are only accessible in the said mode. Taking selfies on Portrait Mode tend to blow up the highlights, as seen on the background.

Earlier that day, I took a selfie when the sun was at its highest. Portrait Mode wasn’t able to handle the overexposure. But also because the software processing made sure my face is well lit at the expense of blowing up the highlights and the background. Which was blurred, by the way, using a f/1.0 aperture.

Using Portrait Mode for actual portraits, on the other hand, gives a bizarre result. Cutouts are sharp and the background is blurred quite heavily. However, the major concern is how it isolates the hair strands and blurred it softly as if it was part of the background.

Portrait Mode still has a long way to go. The closest one to perfecting it is the vivo X70, which I recently tested. But I guess it needs further testing and comparison before we come up with an absolute conclusion.

Recording your ‘love’ story

Short-form videos are on the rise. There’s a reason why most smartphones nowadays are pushing for video-centric features. There’s Apple’s Cinematic Mode for iPhone and Xiaomi has Cinemagic for its latest flagships. You get the picture.

Honor hops in on the trend, placing a 90-degree viewing angle on the front-facing camera. What I love the most is its multi-video feature where you can record using your front and rear cameras simultaneously.

Honor 50

There’s a ‘Story’ button that helps you come up with various edits and effects to make your TikTok videos, Reels, or YouTube shorts awesome. If I’m traveling right now with a beau, this is going to be my most-used feature.

There’s the wonder of the thing

One thing I’m curious about is how the Honor 50 utilizes different modes. I wondered if it can handle your needs as a content creator or an entrepreneur in need of a reliable smartphone camera for his/her/their business. So, I took out the Nivea Wonderbars I’m testing, which was recently sent over by Nivea to use on my face.

Taken during a sunny afternoon at a shaded porch, the photo I took looked bluish. I can’t control the scenario and lighting if I’m quickly shooting with just a phone. This might go under some post-processing.

However, the Pro Mode lets you manipulate the settings to your liking. Most people still don’t know how Pro Mode can help elevate the photos you take using your smartphone, and it’s about time you do.

There’s a Super Macro mode which seemed appropriate for product details, but it struggles with focus and depth-of-field.

The other workaround here is taking a shot using the Aperture mode, where you can adjust the depth-of-field accordingly.

Will you rekindle the flame?

The Honor 50 gave me a familiar feeling in a different body. I can still find the traces of my past with Huawei, but I didn’t mind. I like giving second chances, especially when I really see something has changed.

Honor 50

It’s got the same sturdy build, and astounding hardware and software, along with a striking design Huawei is known for. These traces might even help the brand soar in the coming years. The only thing I’m wary about is having no IP certification, so if you live your life on the edge, might as well slap a case on it and take extra care.

I still feel like the Honor 50 is an ode to Huawei. I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t fly on its own. But Honor knows that you can’t reach your destination if you don’t pay respects to your roots; where you once belonged.

Honor 50

And that’s also a reflection of how we should be in life as well. It doesn’t hurt to look back and bring over some nostalgia. After all the traces of past has been purged, there’s always something new to revel on.

While I would still probably wait for a year to see what Honor would do next, the Honor 50 is a smartphone I’d use in the meantime. I don’t mind waiting and making gradual changes. I actually prefer it instead of shifting things abruptly. People might have wanted Honor to shock them with a dazzling new smartphone, but Honor decided to honor where it came from. (Pun definitely not intended.)

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’ve been with Huawei for years and was heartbroken when the company was blacklisted resulting to Google-less smartphones, the Honor 50 is worth checking out. It’s got the familiar Huawei experience you’ve been dreaming of, superb cameras that could pass for your everyday use, and Google Mobile Services for your modern life.

Honor 50

That said, the phone isn’t something worth recommending to other Android smartphone users. It’s not worth trying if you didn’t bother cradling Huawei smartphones in the past. This is pretty much the same, and you might be disappointed since there’s nothing groundbreaking.

I have high hopes for Honor. Maybe next year, we’ll see something new. Or maybe we won’t. The future is uncertain. So for now, I’m going to enjoy holding this shining, shimmering, splendid smartphone.

The Honor 50 comes in Frost Crystal, Emerald Green, Midnight Black, and a special HONOR Code edition. It retails for EUR 529 (around USD 614) for the 6GB/128GB variant. Meanwhile, the 8GB/256GB variant costs EUR 599 (around USD 695).

Gaming

ROG Zephyrus G15: Lean, mean, gaming machine

And it’s a looker too

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Zephyrus G15

One of my favorite things about getting to try many new gadgets is that I learn more about myself and my preferences. The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 – which henceforth will just be referred to as just Zephyrus G15 – did just that for me and what I want in gaming laptops. 

For context, I have been sparingly using my ROG Flow X13 for most of my general Windows and PC gaming needs. It’s a great device, don’t get me wrong. But having to prop up the laptop itself along with the XG Mobile to reach its full potential can be quite cumbersome.

It’s a huge contrast to the Zephyrus G15 where I simply fire it up and it just works in a jiffy. And all the ports I normally use are right there, ready to use. I’m a big fan of convenience so I absolutely love it when gadgets just work without much friction. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Based on this introduction, I’m sure you already have some idea on what I generally think about the Zephyrus G15. But allow me to discuss it further. 

Tale of the tape

Zephyrus G15

Specs and benchmarks never tell the whole story. But specs are a good place to start. Here’s what our review unit is packing: 

  • AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
  • 15″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 240hz Pantone Validated 100% DCI-P
  • RTX 3070 TI 8GB GDDR6
  • 16GB DDR5 on board  + 16GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
  • 1TB M.2 NVM PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Moonlight White

Some standout stuff from the information provided above are the new processor, the Pantone Validated display as well as the RAM available. This isn’t even its highest configuration. There’s a variant that runs RTX 3080. You can upgrade your RAM up to 48GB and there’s another SSD slot so you can expand your storage. 

Zephyrus G15

That means there’s plenty of room to up the ante down the line should you choose to do so. That’s not something that you can say for every gaming laptop. 

Immaculate look and design

I love that ROG sent over the Moonlight White version for us to try. Black is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s refreshing to see gaming laptops brimming with power come in other colorways that could appeal to people that are kind of just over with black. 

The magnesium-aluminum lid and chassis also maintain the Zephyrus look giving it a sleek and tough exterior, while keeping the ROG Zephyrus identity. And you don’t have to worry too much about it picking up dust and dirt. In the few weeks I spent with it, it stayed pristine looking despite little to no wiping maintenance. That’s thanks largely to the wear-resistant coating which works exactly as advertised. 

Zephyrus G15

Adding to the overall functional design is the ErgoLift Hinge. This is one of my favorite things about ASUS laptops. The ergolift hinge not only allows a 180° for more flexibility, it’s also just ultra satisfying to move and look at. 

It looks fresh, feels tough, and is relatively compact making it easy to carry around. It’s a looker with some bells and whistles in the right places.

Ports, keyboard, and trackpad

Zephyrus G15

Speaking of those bells and whistles, the Zephyrus G15 is packed with possibly all the ports you’ll need. Whether that’s for a remote setup or one that’s neatly tucked into a home office desk. 

Zephyrus G15

Here’s everything it has to offer: 

  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (2x)
  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C(supports DP 1.4 & 100W PD Charger), (2x)
  • LAN RJ-45 jack (1x)
  • HDMI 2.0b (1x)
  • Micro SD Card Reader (UHS-II), (1x)
  • 3.5mm Audio combo jack (1x)
  • Kensington Lock (1x)

 

Zephyrus G15

The Stealth Type keyboard was a curious choice but one that I welcome. I was of the impression that the gaming demographic skews more towards the clickity clack of mechanical keyboards. But the one equipped on the Zephyrus G15 is about as quiet as they come. No complaints here though, as it didn’t distract my at-the-moment entanglement in slumber as I toiled away over late night labor. 

Zephyrus G15

One of the best trackpad experiences on a Windows Gaming laptop.

The trackpad, too, was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it’s also in conjunction with Windows 11 but using a trackpad on Windows now doesn’t feel as laggy as it used to. On days that I only worked using the Zephyrus G15, I never felt the need to connect a mouse. That feels like a breakthrough as I have never been able to say that for any of the Windows laptops I’ve reviewed in the past. 

Plays like a console

Yes, I paired a DualSense controller with the Zephyrus G15

Alright, before any PC gaming enthusiasts come at my throat, what I mean here is mostly the quality of life things. When I got the Zephyrus G15, I didn’t tweak it very much. Heck, I even opened Armoury Crate less than five times during my time with it. Despite this, it had no trouble running the games I attempted to play. Some of which are even very demanding AAA titles. 

Zephyrus G15

I’m a big fan of tech that just works. Especially with my current workload, the less time I have to figure something out, the better. And that’s the case with this gaming laptop. I simply fired up Steam, downloaded the games, and played to my heart’s content. 

Zephyrus G15

Teen Gohan vs Cell is a classic.

Naturally, I checked the settings on some of the first few games I tried like Control, Genshin Impact, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Everything was consistently on the highest settings right off the bat. Lags and stutters? I don’t know them. Not with the Zephyrus G15 in tow. 

To better understand where I’m coming from, I own an ROG Flow X13. The one that comes with the ROG XG Mobile. It’s a great machine, no doubt. But to get the most out of it, I still have to hook up the XG Mobile to the Flow X13. Whereas with the Zephyrus G15, I simply have to turn the laptop on. That’s an underrated level of convenience that may or may not mean much for some of you. 

You still have Armoury Crate but I didn’t feel the need to touch it as much.

It’s seriously making me consider trading up for the Zephyrus G15. And that’s just with the raw performance of games. I haven’t even talked about how good the display and speakers are. 

Eyes and ears candy 

Zephyrus G15

Its high-level performance is of course complemented by a stellar audio-visual experience. As indicated in the specs section earlier, this laptop sports a 15” WQHD 16:9 display with a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s also Pantone Validated which is great for color accuracy if you’re working on anything that involves visual media.

But all you really need to know is that it’s an absolute treat to the eyes. The 240Hz refresh rate on the panel is great for first-person shooters. Unfortunately, I am not great at first person shooters. I’d like to take this opportunity to whoever I played Valorant with because I totally dragged the team down. 

Zephyrus G15

This is a “Tomboy” fancam but listen to her album “MY” too!

 

It is a visual treat, no doubt. But like (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon, the Zephyrus G15 isn’t just a treat for the eyes. It also sounds hella good. I spent a good chunk of time watching Miyeon’s fancams on this thing and it’s just a fantastic overall experience. 

I also watched a few episodes of Netflix’s Business Proposal at the time of writing. Really, whatever type of content you consume, it’s bound to look and sound great on this thing. 

Zephyrus G15

Kim SeJeong is just adorable

One thing we did learn is that the display struggles a bit under really bright environments. When taking photos of the device, we opted to step out for natural light. But if you’re using this to work or play remotely, I recommend you find some place that isn’t too bright. 

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Zephyrus G15

The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 is easily one of my personal favorite devices that I’ve reviewed so far in 2022. It’s about as close as it can get to a plug and play PC gaming experience. And that’s not something you can say for many laptops and/or PCs. 

The Zephyrus G15 (2022) brings with it a distinct look, top-notch gaming performance, and a really solid audio-visual experience. As a gaming laptop, this is about as perfect as it gets and is something I can easily recommend especially if you’re willing to splurge for it.

Official pricing will be announced soon. We’ll update this space when it’s out.

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Reviews

vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review

vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!

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The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!

Unlike the X50, X60, and X70 series, the X80 series only consists of two models this time around.

Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.

But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?

Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!

 

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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch

Can’t help but fall deeper

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Galaxy S22+

A cosmic pull. A supernatural attraction. These aren’t phrases one normally says on a smartphone review. And yet, here I am. Falling madly for the Samsung Galaxy S22+. 

However, this wasn’t the case from the get go. First, I saw it in photos and it was alright. Then, I saw the specs on paper. Yeah, that’s pretty good. It was just another flagship, I thought. 

But everything changed when it came to my doorstep and held it in my hands. 

(P.S. All of my subheadings below are taken from the song “One Touch” by Gabe Bondoc. You can play it while you read 🙂). 

One touch and I’m hooked and I am drowning

Galaxy S22+

I am completely aware how overly infatuated I’m coming off and will come off for the rest of this article. But, having been in this smartphone reviewing gig for close to seven (7) years now, I’ve become almost numb to the usual releases. 

Yes, every now and then I take a liking to a smartphone or two. But it has been a while since I really, really wanted to keep and/or buy a phone I’m reviewing. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ just felt perfect on my hands. The right width, the right length, and the right thickness. The heft of the device, its shiny metallic edges, and the clean premium finish of the back all scream premium. The material on its back has a smooth, matte feel and finish. It’s both smudge and scratch resistant.


I’m a fan of its button placements too. With both the power button and volume rockers flushed on the right-hand side. It’s easy to slide up and down to press what you need to press.

And the metal lining on the edges feels smooth but grippable and perfectly complements the flat display. 

Excuse me, I don’t mean to be staring

It’s no secret that Samsung consistently offers one of the best displays, especially in their flagship line. This remains true for the 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel equipped on this beaut. The colors are rich and crisp under favorable lighting conditions. But even in broad daylight, the display is bright enough (1750 nits peak) to be comfortably operated without having to squint. 

Galaxy S22+

I had a grand time watching my favorite shows on the Samsung Galaxy S22+. I’ve had it for a while so I saw a few episodes of the Netflix K-Drama Business Proposal on it. I have also been catching up weekly on the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. For content that supports it, HDR10+ kicks in to elevate the visual experience. 

Galaxy S22+

The display looks so majestic that it prompted me to put the love of my life Momo Hirai of TWICE as my wallpaper. And then of course, there’s the dynamic refresh rate that goes up as high as 120Hz. This means the screen changes its refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. If you’re scrolling through socials and what not, it kicks into high gear to give you a smooth experience. When idle, the refresh rate lowers down to save battery. 

My heart won’t slow ’cause of you

The Galaxy S22+’s overall performance will really keep your heart racing. Normal, day-to-day interactions with your phone just feel extra sharp. The many features mentioned above coupled with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering this phone keeps it humming no matter what you do. 

Keeping up with the news in the morning, checking socials to see what you missed, using messaging apps to keep in touch whether for work or personal matters – all of these just feel like a breeze. And the ONE UI 4.1 skin on top of this Android 12 flavor definitely contributes to just how things flow when you use this smartphone. 

Galaxy S22+

I didn’t do a lot of gaming, though. To test it, I defaulted to my go-to which is a few hours of Call of Duty Mobile. As expected it runs without hiccups on high graphics settings. There’s a game manager of sorts here that I didn’t tinker with much. It’s not too different from the ones implemented in previous Samsung phones. Some key features include focusing the phone’s resources to gaming and limiting or completely blocking notifications. 

Battery life is also admirable. One afternoon, I used it to tune into a friend’s wedding via Zoom. The entire ceremony lasted roughly around two (2) hours. In that period, the Galaxy S22+’s battery went from 82% to 76%. 

Naturally, that isn’t the single indication of its battery performance. I generally start my days at around 9AM and end at around 8PM. On days that I’m glued to my laptop, with only occasional glimpses on the phone, I would end the day between 60% to 70%. On days that I’m out and about and rely on it a lot to get work done, my day ends with around 25% to 35% of battery left. 

You’re looking fine today, not that I only noticed now

Galaxy S22+

I have already done an entire separate article about the cameras on the Galaxy S22+. It’s one of the things that I enjoyed the most about the phone. It’s almost as if it’s impossible to take a bad photo with this on hand. 

Easily switching between lenses is great. But what’s even better is how the quality and color reproduction doesn’t vary much from lens to lens. Check these samples out.

Samsung Galaxy S22+

And you can even use 10X Zoom with barely any detail loss, especially if it’s a photo that you’re just uploading on social media. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+

That versatility is unmatched and is fantastic for quick, run and gun shoots like the one I did during the opening of the XM Studio in Singapore. 

I am thoroughly impressed and extremely satisfied with the quality of images it produces. And that’s saying a lot seeing as my regular daily phones include an iPhone 11 Pro and an OPPO Find X3 Pro. Both of which are excellent shooters in their own right.

Oh and yeah, “Nightography”. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+

You think there is a way that I can get you to stay?

You see, the thing about the Galaxy S22+ is that with just the first touch, you already know you’re in contact with something that you should hold onto for dear life. I can’t tell you how many oohs and aahs I got after letting other people hold it in their hands. It just has that effect.

Additionally, the phone is a smooth amalgamation of many other standout phones. It has the breathtaking display of Samsung phones, an overall footprint that feels like an iPhone 12/13 Pro Max, cameras that rival those that partner with notable camera brands, and much, much more. All of that comes in this package that looks and feels well-built on a phone that is easily an all-rounder performer. 

Truly, I never want to let it go. And that’s not something I always say about smartphones. So here’s to hoping that this high praise leads to the Galaxy S22+ staying with me more than a little while longer. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G is still available today in Samsung stores near you, via online at Samsung.com, or at your preferred telecommunication service provider. Pricing information on our key markets are linked in the following: USA | Singapore | Philippines

I know it’s been a while since its release. Despite all the hype long gone, it’s still a phone you won’t regret buying.

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