This week on The Wrap, get the low down on what Samsung launched in practically no time, covering the S22, S22 Ultra, and Tab S8. Plus an expensive watch, new headphones, and more, all in five.
For the middle of February 2022, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and while this week might’ve seemed like any other week, it was actually the week of the first major phone event of the year.
No, it wasn’t that phone, the iPhone — that won’t come until closer to the end of the year, with the iPhone 14 not likely until September — but Samsung did talk up its first phone, or rather its first three.
If you’re someone who loves themselves a Team Android phone, and even more so is curious what Samsung has up its sleeve for 2022, you may be interested to learn about the three models making their way to store shelves in March, coming in the Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra, a bit of a Goldilocks complex of smartphones.
That’s not dramatically out of kilter from the way it has been for the past couple of years, but the differences are even more noticeable this year, as Samsung revives the Galaxy Note. Kinda. Sorta.
If you remember the Note phone from a couple of years ago, it was a large phone with a stylus found in the body, replacing a notepad for many and letting you scribble, jot, and draw on your phone. Samsung technically included support for an S-Pen in last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra and in its Z Fold 3 foldable phone, but this year, it’s properly found inside the body of the S22 Ultra, and that’s not all.
There’s a 6.8 inch AMOLED screen, four cameras including a big 108 megapixel sensor, and even support for RAW. It’s shaping up to be Samsung’s best phone, at least until September when the new foldables will arrive.
You can also find slightly lower models in the S22 and S22 Plus, but these are a little smaller, offer three cameras instead of four, and remove the S-Pen support entirely. They’re like a flagship, but slightly under, and that wasn’t even all that Samsung announced.
Three styles of Galaxy Tab S8 are on the way, which offer big screens without much bezel, support for the S-Pen, and thin bodies. We’re not sure how many people look for Android tablets, but if that’s you, these will be out alongside the new phones in March.
Samsung’s phones and tablets will range from a thousand dollars to the mid two thousand, which is right where another gadget this week landed, a smartwatch from TAG Heuer.
The Swiss watchmaker has a Wear OS smartwatch coming in the Connected Calibre E4 42mm and 45mm, but they won’t be cheap, and probably not battery friendly. There’s a one day battery with health tracking technology, and a starting price of $2600 in Australia.
There’s also new stuff in sound this week, with a few pairs of headphones and a speaker.
For that last one, Sony has a new soundbar on the way in the HT-S400, a 2.1 soundbar that skips 3D sound but packs in a subwoofer priced at $500, while Huawei has packaged up another pair of noise cancelling earbuds in the strangest style yet: a pair of red earbuds designed to look like lipstick. Frankly, we’re not sure what these will be like. Huawei’s noise cancelling earbud approaches have been very hit and miss in the past, and while we’re still keen to review, designing them like a tube of lipstick is just a little strange.
We’re more curious about a pair of Australian headphones that launched this week.
If you know the name “Audeara”, you may know one of the three audio companies in Australia with a pair of headphones that can tailor sound to how you hear. There’s Nura, which had last year’s excellent NuraTrue earphones, Nuheara, and there’s Audeara, and they all offer a similar concept, with customisable sound for your ears.
However the last pair, the Audeara A-02, may not be a pair for everyone, and appears focused on older generations, providing large buttons to control volume, a gadget to let you stream audio from your TV, and availability through hearing specialists and on the NDIS. That’s the National Disability Insurance Scheme if you’re not down with the lingo, basically making for a pair of headphones for seniors made for people who aren’t sure regular headphones will do their ears justice.
They’ll be out shortly, and we should have a review soon, but right now, we have a review of another pair of earphones. This time, it’s from BlueAnt, another Aussie company, with a pair of relatively inexpensive noise cancelling earphones, the Pump Air Pro.
If you’re not familiar with BlueAnt, it’s a local brand that offers some great party speakers, plus some solid but inexpensive fitness earphones in the Pump Air.
The latest set is the $200 Pump Air Pro, and they’re compact wireless sweat resistant earphones packing a small amount of noise cancellation and a reasonable battery life. They come with a fair amount of bass, making them slightly warm, making them a possibly good choice for someone who listens to a lot of dance and wants the feeling of isolation.
However, the noise cancellation is a little basic and lacks an app, and you could definitely do better with other noise cancelling earphones, such as Sony’s WF-1000XM4, the Bose’s QC Earbuds, or Apple’s AirPods Pro. But for just under $200, they could be worth a look, especially if you can find them for less.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode appears every week on LiSTNR, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, but otherwise, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.