Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra charging speed leak shows Samsung is playing catch-up

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Samsung leads the mobile pack in many departments, but one area it lags far behind in is charging speeds, and a new Samsung Galaxy S22 leak shows that the company might be starting to catch up - but not fast enough.

According to popular - and often correct - leaker Ice Universe, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will "100%" have 45W charging. That's a speed Samsung previously used on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but the S20 - and all Galaxy S21 phones, including the Galaxy S21 Ultra - used a relatively slow 25W powering.

That's for wired charging, and we haven't heard much about wireless powering yet, but on Samsung phones that never exceeds the speed of wired charging.

Ice Universe has been prolifically leaking Samsung Galaxy S22 details, including screen specs, camera resolution and whether it'll have an in-display camera, and lots of these leaks, including this most recent one, do little to spark excitement in the new devices.

Analysis: a frantic game of catch-up

In the Android phone market, charging speed is one of the big specs companies use to differentiate their handsets from the competition. Gone are the days where you'll plug your device in for hours to power it up - now, the best devices go from empty to full in less than half an hour.

In this fast-charging world, 45W simply isn't fast enough. The mid-range Realme GT and Xiaomi 11T Pro cost half of what the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra likely will, and have 65W and 120W powering respectively - though those examples have been cherry-picked to emphasize Samsung's weak specs, most premium Android phones have powering of at least 55W, and often much more.

Some issues with fast-charging in the past have been that it can degrade the battery, or heat up the phone when in use, but companies are starting to solve those issues now - for example, at the Xiaomi 11T Pro's launch, the company stated that it'll take 800 charges before the battery starts to degrade. That's about two and a half years of use before it even starts to get worse.

Companies are also developing improved cooling systems for their phones - this is primarily to help with gaming, and to offset overheating and increased power consumption when playing games, but it can also help for keeping the device cool when charging.

So there are fewer and fewer reasons why Samsung shouldn't use faster charging speeds, and if it wants to stand apart from rival phones made by Xiaomi, Huawei and OnePlus, it really needs to bump up that power.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.