Fast charging: What have 2022’s Android flagships got right, and where have they gone wrong?

OPINION: Now that many of the major Android manufacturers have released their flagship smartphones for the year, here’s our opinion on their overall performance.

It may seem more than a little too early to give our opinion on 2022’s best smartphones when we’re just in the fourth month of the year.

Do not worry; I’m not going to close the book with a slap and give my final verdict on 2022’s best smartphones already, just four months into the year.

But as we stand now, many of the major manufacturers have already released their flagship phones for the year, with the schedule concentrated around MWC, and so this provides a clear opportunity to take stock of how things are going so far, at least as far as some general market trends.

Do things look like Android, or is there a lot more to do?

Starting with this year’s designs, there’s one modern trend that I’m very happy to see in full swing, and that is the preference for a matte finish rather than a glossy one.

I said in last week’s column that a matte finish is simply superior because of its resistance to fingerprints and obvious scratches that otherwise soil fresh shiny phones the moment they come out of the box. We loved the example from people like OnePlus 10 Pro, Xiaomi 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, while Realme GT 2 Pro even went further with showcasing a very smart paper-like back panel that fascinated our reviewer.

the back of the Realme GT 2 Pro
The back of the Realme GT 2 Pro

This positive trend was only further emphasized by an unfortunate charger, the Oppo Find X5 Pro, which had an incredibly glossy panel that looked brilliant for a full two seconds before capturing smudges from as much as a sideways glance.

However, there is one design trend that seems to refuse to die no matter how much I desperately want it and that is the curved screen. I do not quite understand how this choice has ever won fans as it does not add anything to the screen quality or feature and in my opinion actually degrades it when using full screen. That said, lots of great phones this year – including the OnePlus 10 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro – have stubbornly stuck to it, while I very much preferred the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, which went in rank to offer an excellent flat screen.

There’s a reason the flat screen has been a cornerstone across Apple’s range, and I wish Android manufacturers would take notes from this.

It’s all about the screens

Whatever my thoughts on the particular design choice are, I’m very happy to see that the actual screen quality of these devices has come by leaps and bounds. Superb displays can be found more or less across the ranks of this year’s Android flagships, especially the near-perfect AMOLED panel on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. With sharp resolutions, super-smooth adaptive refresh rates, HDR10 + support – you name it, we’ve seen completely ingenious screens on people like. .

Although, perhaps on a related note to the point above, there has been a common weakness among most Android flagships so far; relatively poor battery life.

Of all the phones mentioned earlier in the article, none blew us away with endurance as impressive as the iPhone 13 Pro Max for example, which seems a bit ironic considering that just a few years ago it was a relative weakness among Apple devices.

Yes, it’s true we’ve seen some amazingly fast charging results, especially for the OnePlus 10 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro, but honestly there’s simply no replacement for a powerful battery, as you usually do not have access to it when you have most need it. a charger.

Only a third of the year has passed, yet we have already seen some incredible Android handsets that have really impressed us; but there is certainly some work to be done as well, and if there is one improvement we would like to see before the year is over, it is better battery life.