Samsung’s next big Galaxy S22 controversy might involve charging


The Galaxy S22 series has received positive reviews so far, but the phones aren’t perfect. The phone seems to break a lot easier than expected, but that’s something you can prevent with a good case. However, the Galaxy S22 has also been at the center of a few controversies so far, with 45W charging speed being the latest problem that users have identified.

Those keeping score at home should remember Samsung’s marketing lie about the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus display refresh rates. The company advertised much better specs than the product actually has. Then came the big app throttling problem that Samsung is rushing to fix. And if the findings about 45W charging speeds are accurate, then Samsung’s PR department will have even more work on its hands.

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How fast does the Galaxy S22 charge?

For years, Samsung fans urged the company to increase the charging speed of its phones. In recent years, phones from China have delivered increasingly impressive wired and wireless charging speeds. The latest example came a few days ago when Oppo introduced its 150W wired charging tech that recharges a smartphone in 15 minutes. The battery needs just 5 minutes to reach 50%.

The Galaxy S22 phones support two fast-charging speeds. The cheapest model goes to a max of 25W. The Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22 Ultra support 45W charging, but you will need to buy a different power adapter to actually get that speed.

Before we look at the new charging speed controversy, let’s go back in time to the Unpacked event from mid-February. Here’s how Samsung described the 45W charging speed.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus smartphone. Image source: Samsung

The unusual 45W marketing claims

For the Galaxy S22 Plus, Samsung wrote the following:

Galaxy S22+ also offers 45W super-fast charging, so you don’t have to wait when your power is running low.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 45W charging speed got somewhat weirder than that:

S22 Ultra also supports 45W super-fast charging, so you can record more than 50 minutes of video — after a 10-minute charge.

So weird that it needed this footnote:

Based on Super Fast Charging results from internal Samsung lab tests, conducted with 45W Travel Adapter while it has 0% of power remaining, with all the services, features and screen turned off. Actual charging speed may vary depending on the actual usage, charging conditions and other factors. 45W Travel Adapter sold separately. Use only Samsung-approved chargers and cables.

So, what Samsung is saying is that you can use the 45W charging speed for 10 minutes when your Galaxy S22 Ultra is at 0%. Your phone will then be able to record more than 50 minutes of video. That’s a bizarre claim to make.

Android vendors usually highlight the new charging speeds by telling buyers exactly how much faster the phone can recharge.

Over on Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra page, the company advertises the 45W charging speed like this:

Super Fast Charging
Full speed ahead. Get a super-fast charge that outlasts the day when you plug into the 45W Power Adapter.

Again, we need a footnote:

Wall charger sold separately; use only Samsung-approved chargers and cables.

Here’s how the Galaxy S22/S22 Plus page advertises “super fast charging:”

Enjoy a charge that’s ready for all you do with the 25W Power Adapter for Galaxy S22 and 45W for Galaxy S22+

And the relevant footnote:

25W Power Adapter, 45W Power Adapter and data cable sold separately.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in white
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in white, with stylus. Image source: Samsung

The 45W charging speed might be a gimmick

The conclusion is that Samsung doesn’t specify how fast the 45W charger is compared to the 25W. So people have no idea if it’s worth buying the speedier adapter, which retails for $49.99.

This brings us to two separate reports that indicate that you probably shouldn’t buy the Galaxy S22 45W charger.

One is from PhoneArena. The blog found that the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 5,000 mAh battery needs 62 minutes to reach a full charge on the 45W fast charging speed. With the 25W, it takes just 70 minutes for a full charge.

Separately, Android Authority also conducted a charging comparison experiment that concluded the 45W is barely faster than the 25W one.

Even more worrying, the second report showed that the 45W charger’s peak performance is sustained for just one minute. For the most part, the speed sits at around 30W. That’s why the Galaxy S22 Ultra will not charge significantly faster when using the “45W” charging speed.

But unless you have both 25W and 45W chargers to do your own comparisons, you might not realize the faster charging speed isn’t worth the extra $50.

The good news in all of this is that slower charging speeds might protect the battery’s health. However, it certainly looks like Samsung has another big Galaxy S22 marketing blunder on its hands.

Again, so far, the company said the Galaxy S22 phones have better screen refresh, faster app performance, and faster charging speeds than what users will actually experience in real life.


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