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Friday, September 24, 2021

Decent outdoor detail but room for improvement overall

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The Samsung Galaxy A22 5G is a smartphone aimed at budget-minded users and competes against other devices in the Advanced segment ($200 to 399). General specs include an octa-core processor, a 6.6-inch TFT display with FHD+ resolution, 64 GB of internal memory, and a large 5000 mAh battery.

The rear camera comprises a primary module with a 48 MP sensor, a 5 MP ultra-wide, and a depth sensor. Let’s see how this combo does in the DXOMARK Camera tests.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 48 MP sensor, f/1.8-aperture lens, AF
  • Ultra-wide: 5 MP sensor, f/2.2-aperture lens
  • Depth: 2 MP sensor, f/2.4-aperture lens
  • LED flash
  • Video: 2048 x 1152/30 fps, 720p/120 fps

About DXOMARK Camera tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone camera reviews, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate over 3000 test images and more than 2.5 hours of video both in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor and outdoor scenes, using the camera’s default settings. This article is designed to highlight the most important results of our testing. For more information about the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here.

Test summary

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

89

camera

Pros

  • Acceptable target exposure and mostly accurate focus outdoors
  • Fairly good detail outdoors, especially on portraits
  • Well-controlled noise in low light
  • Accurate white balance in video
  • Low noise in outdoor and indoor videos

Cons

  • Strong exposure instabilities in photos and videos
  • White balance casts and color instabilities in photos
  • Shutter delay in all conditions, focus failures in low light
  • Strong video autofocus instabilities
  • Limited dynamic range in videos
  • Low levels of detail in videos

With a DXOMARK Camera overall score of 89, the Samsung Galaxy A22 5G is located in the bottom half of the advanced segment and is hard to recommend to photo-centric users. The device earns itself a Photo score of 99 for its still image quality. Target exposure is good as long as there’s not too much contrast in the scene, but our testers observed very noticeable exposure instabilities across consecutive shots and quite intrusive highlight clipping in more challenging scenes.

Detail in outdoor portraits is decent, but our testers observed exposure and autofocus instabilities, among other issues.

The Samsung also has some room for improvement in terms of color. White balance and color rendering are often inaccurate, especially in low light, and white balance is also unstable across a series of shots. The autofocus system is mostly accurate in bright light and under indoor shooting conditions, but there is noticeable shutter lag in all conditions and overall focus is less accurate and repeatable than for many competitors in the segment.

On the upside, the Samsung manages the texture/noise compromise pretty well. Texture is decent in most shooting conditions, with fairly well-preserved detail in outdoor portrait scenes. At the same time, noise is mostly well under control even in low light, which is unusual in this segment. You’d have to live with some image artifacts such as ghosting, aliasing, and ringing, though.

Night (flash-auto mode): the A22 performs poorly in terms of exposure and dynamic range in low-light scenes.

Bokeh mode: pleasantly strong blur but depth estimation artifacts on the grid

Zooming in general is not one of the Samsung’s strengths, and users who zoom in or out a lot will find better options in this price bracket. The level of detail is generally low on the ultra-wide camera, and when using the tele-zoom, the loss of detail is akin to an oil painting effect.

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G, ultra-wide

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G, crop: Strong lack of detail

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G, long-range tele

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G, crop: Strong lack of detail, oil-painting effect

The video score of 75 puts the A22 5G in the bottom half of this ranking, too. Although the Samsung can record video at a slightly higher 2048 x 1152 resolution, image stabilization is not available at this setting, so we recorded test samples at 1080p resolution to maximize overall video quality. While white balance is generally accurate, pictures sometimes lack saturation. Dynamic range is limited, resulting in highlight and shadow clipping, and exposure is often unstable when recording. The same is true for the autofocus. Unlike still images, detail is low in videos, but noise is well under control as long as you record in bright light or indoors. Stabilization could be better. Residual motion and sharpness differences between frames are often visible.

Strong autofocus instabilities are visible in A22 video clips.





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