Tools of the Trade: April 2022

By Michael Castelluccio
April 1, 2022


Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is its first flagship announced this year. Along with numerous improvements, it includes an S Pen from the abandoned Galaxy Note series and a new camera array on the back. The aluminum case is flat on the top and bottom and curved on the sides, with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the front and back. It’s available in four colors: burgundy, black, white, and green. The S Pen has improved latency and AI-based coordinate prediction ability. The handwriting-to-text function supports 88 languages. The display is a 6.8″ 1,440p Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel that refreshes at 120 Hz and has an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. There are two octa-core CPUs available—a new Samsung Exynos 2200 SoC and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 from Qualcomm. Both have improved AI processing. Memory for the Ultra ranges from 8GB to 12GB, and storage options run from 128GB to 1TB. The cameras include a main 108MP f/1.8 along with a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, two telephoto lenses at 3× and 10×, and a front-facing 40MP f/2.2 selfie camera. The ultrawide camera now has auto framing, and the portrait mode has been improved. www.samsung.com



The three tablets in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 series combine the 2-in-1 capabilities of a tablet and a PC. The large screens offer multitasking abilities, and attachable book cover keyboards, with the included stylus, allow touch, draw, and typed inputs. The three sizes range from an 11″ Tab S8, 12.4″ S8+, and a 14.6″ S8 Ultra, all with multiwindow toggled workflows and ultrawide and wide dual front cameras. Power features include an upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, fast connections with Wi-Fi 6E, and an all-day battery. The displays on the S8+ and Ultra are Super AMOLED, and the S8+ has 5G connectivity. Available memory is 8GB of RAM, and for storage, it ranges from 128GB up to 256GB on the S8 and S8+ and up to 512GB storage on the Ultra. Micro SD cards up to 1TB run on all three. www.samsung.com



Motorola announced its flagship Edge X30 at the end of 2021 in China, and now it will be available in the United States as the Motorola Edge Plus. The Edge Plus has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of internal storage. The exterior frame is polycarbonate, and the front and back are Gorilla Glass. The Edge Plus now has a smart stylus, sold separately with a case. It’s an active stylus like Samsung’s S Pen, both pressure-sensitive and able to activate controls without touching the screen. The display is a 6.7″ 1,080 OLED with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. There are three 50MP cameras on the rear: an f/1.8 standard wide with optical image stabilization and improved autofocus, an f/2.2 ultra-wide, and a 50MP macro vision. There’s also a 60MP selfie camera in the front. The Edge Plus supports fast 30W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. www.motorola.com



At MWC Barcelona in February, TCL announced five new phones with large screens, high-megapixel cameras, and reasonably low prices. Only one, though, is 5G; that’s the TCL 30 5G, and it’s the most expensive at about $279. The TCL 30, 30 Plus, and 30 V 5G have 6.7 AMOLED displays. The 30 XE measures 6.52″ and is the least expensive at around $155. Most phones have a triple rear camera with a 50MP main, an ultrawide, and a macro. TCL explained that different models will be available by country, and current announcements suggest that the TCL 30 V 5G will be exclusively available on Verizon and the 30 XE 5G will be sold by T-Mobile. www.tcl.com


Michael Castelluccio has been the technology editor for Strategic Finance for 26 years. His SF TechNotes blog is in its 23rd year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.

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