2022 Winners and losers: Samsung

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It’s hard to stay on top, especially in a market teeming with innovation and competition. It becomes increasingly difficult when it has been a challenging year defined by uncertainty, shortages and a looming economic downturn. But it’s not all bad for everyone, and for Samsung it was actually pretty good. It has 9 out of the 20 best phones in our database this year. Samsung released a diverse portfolio of capable mid-rangers, flagships, accessories and even a few tablets.

So let’s look at some of the winners from Samsung, as well as some of the inevitable losers. Let’s start at a high level.

Winner: Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra was our readers’ most popular phone of 2022. You simply can’t get enough of Samsung’s flagship, and for good reason. There’s hardly a better screen out there, and there isn’t one with S Pen support. All of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cameras have autofocus, you get a macro-ready ultrawide and two zooms, one of which goes further than any competitor.

Whether it’s the nostalgia-inducing design of the Galaxy Note or some Samsung party dust, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has been extremely popular and people love it – a winner for Samsung.

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4

The Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4 may look like their predecessors, but they’re better everyday phones in several important ways. The Galaxy Z Fold4 got a better 50MP main camera and a much better 3x telephoto camera compared to its predecessor, while the Galaxy Z Flip4 got a much-needed battery and charging speed boost.

Winners and losers: Samsung

Even better, Samsung kicked off sales of the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 with pre-order bonuses, buyback promotions and carrier deals that made the pair available and popular.

Losers: Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro

Alongside the new foldable devices, Samsung launched its Galaxy Watch5 series. They brought new colors and dressed all three sizes in sapphire crystal, which was a nice touch. But the new smartwatches use the same Exynos W920 chip and sensors as the Galaxy Watch4, which makes the smartness of the new watches on par with the old ones.

Winners and losers: Samsung

The Galaxy Watch5 Pro increased the battery by 40% and brought a different, arguably “pro-er” design, but it ditched the rotating bezel that was arguably the Galaxy Watch’s most recognizable feature – seasoned users will tell you it’s irreplaceable.

Winners: Galaxy A and M series

As in all recent years, Samsung’s midrange range was in demand. Both the Galaxy M series and A made small improvements over their predecessors, but kept the underlying philosophy intact – good user experience at a good price.

Winners and losers: Samsung

Samsung’s inherent edge in market availability kept the Galaxy A and M phones well ahead of most mid-range competitors in most global markets.

Losers: Galaxy S22 and S22+

Ultras aside, the Galaxy S22 series was underwhelming as an upgrade over the S21. Samsung brought back glass to the smaller S22’s back panel, and there was the generational update in the chipset, but the cameras weren’t a meaningful step up. We would have loved to have seen autofocus on the ultra-wide camera and will have to see it on the Galaxy S23 series or deduct points.

Winners and losers: Samsung

It seems that no one was interested in upgrading to the Galaxy S22/S22+, and they did more to increase interest in the competitors’ phones, which is not much of a gain.

Loser: Galaxy S22 FE

The Galaxy FE edition is traditionally a huge winner for Samsung. Last year’s Galaxy S21 FE 5G came out in early January, which made a lot of fans happy. But in the summer of 2022, we got reports that Samsung apparently decided to scrap work on an upcoming Galaxy S22 FE in order to increase S22 Ultra supply. And judging by the lack of leaks, a Galaxy S22 FE is definitely not happening.

Winners and losers: Samsung

Losers: Galaxy tablets

Samsung is by far the leader in Android global tablet market share for 2022, hovering around the 30% mark, which is nothing to scoff at. But Apple is at around 60%, and that’s only in terms of market share. If we look at the revenue, then Samsung is nowhere near Apple.

Winners and losers: Samsung

So yeah, being number two isn’t the worst, but for a company of Samsung Mobile’s stature, it’s a loss.

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