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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review
7:13 pm | February 28, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

Before getting to to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus it's worth noting that we now have a Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on review, as the S22 Plus's successor has been unveiled. You might also want to check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 hands-on review and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra hands-on review. So the S22 Plus is no longer one of Samsung's latest flagships. That doesn't mean it's not worth considering though.

That said, of the three members of Samsung’s 2022 flagship line, the Galaxy S22 Plus feels like the one that most people will forget about.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the one that’s easy to recommend: it’s small enough to fit comfortably in your hand, and has a low price that won’t immediately alienate buyers. And then there’s the S22 Ultra with its high price but its S Pen stylus, premium design and plentiful rear cameras which will interest those looking for a super-powerful handset.

Between those two phones, it’s harder to get excited for the Galaxy S22 Plus, the awkward middle child in Samsung’s 2022 family. It mostly has the same specs as the S22, and a similar design, but with a bigger screen and battery. Oh, and its price is a significant step up, too.

Like Samsung’s other S22 mobiles, the Galaxy S22 Plus remains one of the best phones in many different fields, but its high price and lack of upgrades over the S21 Plus make it look less appealing given the competitive actions of most rivals. Compared to the Xiaomi 12 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro or Realme GT 2 Pro, or even affordable and capable alternatives like the Moto G200, Realme GT and OnePlus Nord 2, this is a really tough sell.

There are certainly some points in its favor. The Galaxy S22 Plus is great for taking portrait shots, and the camera app’s Portrait mode is fantastic both at the artificial background blur and for the range of effects and filters you can utilize. The camera app is great, and Single Take (which basically picks the best picture from a burst) remains a huge selling point for the company’s phones.

We also have to commend Samsung for being one of the few phone companies putting out vibrantly colored phones - we tested a pink S22 Plus, and other options include green, blue and violet. How many companies are putting out pink phones these days?

And in many other areas, this is a powerful phone, with a top-end chipset, decent battery life and great main camera. 

But while in many ways it's one of the best Samsung phones, it’s not a perfect phone, and we have quite a few gripes, too. With a flat edge, it’s not particularly comfortable to hold, and OneUI remains a sluggish-feeling software that’s slightly slower than other Android forks to use. Its display quality, charging speeds, and build quality are all decidedly average, too.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Plus, it’s exceedingly expensive - we shouldn’t be calling a phone that costs this much ‘average’ in any way, and the overall use experience of this mobile is more comparable to mid-rangers than similarly priced Android or iPhone rivals you might be considering instead.

With a few discounts this phone might prove popular, but at its current price, it’s hard to recommend.

If, however, you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus price starts at $999.99 / £949 / AU$1,549 - and if you winced at that, you’re not going to like the prices for its other variants, which you can find listed below.

For context, the standard Galaxy S22 starts at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249 while the lowest price for the S22 Ultra is $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849. Last year’s S21 Plus cost exactly the same as the S22 Plus, so at least we’re not looking at a more expensive phone, even though the size decrease from last year made us hope for a lower price to match.

Either way, that’s a supremely expensive smartphone - but then again, Samsung’s S-series devices aren’t designed for people on a budget.

The Galaxy S22 Plus went on sale February 25 in the US, March 3 in Australia and March 11 in the UK.

You'll note that those dates were a while back now - long enough ago that you can often find the S22 Plus at a discount. In fact, it came out long enough ago that there's now a Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, so S22 Plus prices are likely to further fall.


We both love and hate the way the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus’ design.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

We love the way it looks. The phone comes in white, black, green, pink, gray, cream, pale blue, and violet (the latter four are only available via Samsung’s website), so you have loads of choices in the shade with some great options. The Contour Cut camera bump is fairly distinct and chic, as far as smartphone lens mounts go at least, but it certainly makes the phone look distinct.

The hate factor becomes apparent when you pick up the phone though, as it just doesn’t feel comfortable. This is partly because of its palm-stretching size, but also thanks to its angular edge. It’s not quite as sharp as the iPhone 13’s totally flat edge, due to its slight curve, but it still digs into your hand when you’re using the device.

Beyond that, this is your standard Android phone. There’s a USB-C slot but no 3.5mm headphone jack, and both the power button and volume rocker are on the right edge (and are fairly easily reachable even when using the device one-handed).

The S22 Plus is a little on the big side, with dimensions of 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm, but the ‘Plus’ in the name should mean that’s no surprise. It weighs 195g, so it’s not overwhelmingly heavy.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

One difference between this and the S21 Plus is the material - while that device was clad in plastic, this newer one uses glass, in particular Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus which is a hardy version of the material. This means it’s scratchproof and won’t disintegrate after a single drop. There’s also IP68 protection against dust and water submersion, so the device will survive a quick drop in the tub.


Samsung’s Galaxy S devices used to be industry-leading for its amazing-looking displays. While the S22 Ultra gets to keep this title, we’re not sure the S22 Plus deserves it. That’s not to say the display is bad looking, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

The screen is 6.6 inches across - that’s 0.1 inches smaller than the S21 Plus’ - broken up by a fairly small punch-hole cut-out for the front-facing camera. The bezel around the display is pretty small.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

With a resolution of 1080 x 2340 (or FHD+), the S22 Plus has the same resolution as most other Android phones save for super-cheap or super-pricey phones, and thanks to its cost, we would have thought the Plus falls into that latter category. The Ultra has a screen with a 1440 x 3088 resolution, and we would have liked to see something similar here.

FHD+ is fine for most tasks though, as only select streaming services or games offer content that’s a higher resolution than that anyway. There’s also a refresh rate of 120Hz, which means motion looks pretty smooth when you’re swiping between menus or playing games.

While the resolution is pretty average, the S22 Plus wins some points in other display areas. Its max brightness is very high at 1,750 nits, and thanks to the AMOLED screen, contrast is impressive.


The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has the same four cameras as its non-Plus counterpart: that’s a 50MP f/1.8 main, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide and 10MP f/2.4 telephoto for 3x optical zoom on the back, and a 10MP f/2.2 front-facing camera on the other side.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

That camera combination is somewhat of a remix of the S21’s sensors, with only the ultra-wide and front-facers the same, and the most notable difference is the jump from a 12MP to 50MP main camera. 

This upgrade is welcome as the 50MP sensor  is a large one, so it ‘sees’ more light, resulting in brighter images and more vibrant colors. This is most noteworthy for low-light photography, as we managed to capture some surprisingly bright-looking snaps at nighttime, but also helps during the day to make colors stand out more.

The S22 Plus doesn’t quite have the camera versatility of its Ultra sibling, most notably with a greatly reduced zoom distance - max digital zoom is just 30x here. Still, some of its great features are here too, particularly Samsung’s fantastic Portrait mode which is second to none at isolating a subject, adding great-looking ‘Bokeh’ background blur, and letting you add a range of effects to the snap.

The rear trio works well together - jumping between ultra-wide, standard photos and zoom in the camera app is seamless, and pictures taken retain the same color profile, too. Ultra-wide pictures were a touch distorted, but not much - we had to specifically look for this to find it.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The front-facing camera might sound iffy at just 10MP, but in practice images looked great, with vibrant colors and clear features. That was particularly true of Portrait mode on this camera, which was fantastic at balancing exposure - no overly bright background was going to ruin this selfie, no chance!

Video recording goes up to 8K, which we’ve no idea why any average user would  use. There’s also 4K recording at up to 60fps, and using a sub-8K-resolution also lets you use image smoothing and stabilization.

Some useful modes are present here, including Samsung’s Single Take which lets you record a video of a subject, and the camera app will pick out the best still shot from it and will edit it for you. This is a great way of letting AI do all the heavy lifting when you’re taking a snap.

Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A sunset shot taken on the main camera (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

An ultra-wide shot (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A 1x zoom shot (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A 3x zoom shot (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

Some balls taken in macro mode (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A selfie taken without Portrait mode (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

A selfie taken with Portrait mode (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus camera sample

Taken using Night mode during the nighttime (Image credit: Future)

Performance and specs

When it comes to performance, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus has two identities: in most of the world, it packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, while in Europe it uses Samsung’s Exynos 2200. Both are roughly equal in terms of performance, though Qualcomm’s processor generally has a slight edge over Samsung’s.

For our full review, we used the Exynos-powered phone, and it ran  well. When we put the device through a multi-core benchmark test using Geekbench 5, it returned a score of 3,431. That’s a very high score, and one of the highest we’ve seen from a Samsung phone too, but a few 2021 devices beat it, including the Xiaomi Mi 11, Realme GT, OnePlus 9, and ZTE Axon 30 Ultra. Those devices all use the Snapdragon 888, the predecessor to the 8 Gen 1, which points towards the Exynos chip being a tiny bit weaker.

We’re only talking about a couple of hundred points in the test though, and in practice, most people won’t notice that kind of difference. The phone is great for gaming as it loads titles quickly, doesn’t stutter during sessions, and lets you load up the top-graphics settings for games.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

There’s 8GB RAM here which is just about as much as any smartphone needs, and it’ll be useful for people who like jumping between different apps all the time. Storage comes in at 128GB or 256GB, but there’s no expandable storage, so you better be happy with whichever option you pick (or just use cloud storage).

Both chipsets are paired with 5G modems, so both of these phones let you connect to next-gen networks which is useful for streaming and gaming on the go.

We found the audio quality a tiny bit tinny when the phone was on higher volumes, but it was fit for something like gaming or taking video calls.


The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus comes with Android 12, with Samsung’s One UI laid over the top. At the S22 launch, Samsung pledged that its new phones would get at least four years of software updates, which will take you to Android 16 in 2026.

Android 12’s big feature is Material You, which lets you recolor aspects of the user interface to match your wallpaper, and that’s also here, to an extent, though it doesn’t affect too many aspects of the home screen and menus.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

One UI feels a little bit slower than lots of rival user interfaces like Xiaomi’s MIUI, OnePlus’ OxygenOS or even stock Android. The different animations for swiping between menus, opening apps and unlocking the phone all take a little longer than we’d like, and together these factors make navigating the phone feel sluggish.

Don’t get us wrong: using the S22 Plus isn’t the same as using a cheap phone. But it doesn’t quite feel like a flagship in terms of navigation either. This is something we’ve found with previous Samsung phones and it’s the case here, too.

Battery life

Many Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus reports criticized the phone’s battery life, but we can’t go that far. From our time testing the phone, the 4,500mAh battery saw the phone through a day of use just fine. Sure, the mobile didn’t last long into a second day, but most premium phones don’t.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Obviously intensive tasks like gaming, streaming lots of media or recording high-res footage will drain the battery quickly, but even with bouts of all three we found the phone lasted a day just fine. It certainly had more lasting power than the S22 Ultra, which we tested separately.

If there’s something that does make us narrow our eyes in doubt, it’s the charging speed. Samsung claims that the phone charges at 45W, a figure that’s hard for average users to test given that the phone doesn’t come with an in-box charger. But when we used an 80W charger on the phone, it still took over two hours to power from empty to full.

That’s not 45W charging, and we’re not the only reviewers who’ve found issues with Samsung’s claims of 45W charging. It seems that the powering speed is closer to 20W, which really isn’t good for a phone that costs this much.

There’s also reverse wireless powering at 15W and reverse power-sharing at 4.5W (which lets you power up other devices using the Plus as a wireless charging pad). 

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus? 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

  • First reviewed February 2022
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review
6:26 pm | February 25, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Two-minute review

If we were to judge the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra on nothing but its cameras and, in particular, the optical and digitally-enhanced zoom capabilities, we might call it the best smartphone ever.

Or at least, the best phone of 2022. Its successor has since been announced though, so check out our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for first impressions of that. We also have a hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 review and a hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review.

Of course, even before its successor landed, it wouldn't have been fair to judge the S22 Ultra as the best based on its cameras alone – every handset is the sum of its design, features, components, utility, and value – but taken as a whole, this Samsung Galaxy Series-Galaxy Note hybrid is an excellent, albeit massive Android handset that not only ticks all the important boxes, but delivers more features than you may ever want or use.

The design is an echo of, but also more forward-leaning than, Samsung’s last Note device. It really is a hybrid. There will be no complaints about the ultra-high-resolution, 6.8-inch screen, which offers brilliant colors and smooth motion at 120Hz, but is smart enough to stop down all the way to 1Hz, when that’s all you need, to save on battery life.

The camera array is strong. Sure, it’s not a complete overhaul of the Galaxy S21’s camera system, but that was already pretty darn good. This is arguably better – the Optical and Space Zooms are simply marvels of modern technology.

We also love the thin and light S Pen, and we’re thrilled that it’s finally integrated – literally – into the Galaxy line. It does so many things so well, and for productivity-focused mobile users it could be a godsend.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra full back

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's back is black, satin Gorilla Glass Victus+ (Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Specs

Display: 6.8-inch, Quad HD+
Dimensions: 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9 mm
Weight: 229G
Screen refresh: 120Hz
Screen brightness: 1750 nits
Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
Water resistance: IP68
Selfie camera: 40MP resolution
Main camera: 108MP resolution
Telephoto camera: 2 10MP resolution sensors
Ultrawide: 12MP resolution
Battery: 5000mAh
Memory: 8GB or 12GB available
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB available

Samsung’s One UI 4.1 software is mostly good, even if it does create some duplication of browsers, photos, and messages apps. Other tools, like Expert Raw, a freely downloadable Samsung app that gives you full access to all the camera controls and lets you capture and save RAW format photos, and the video-conferencing app Google Duo, which both do an excellent job of showing off the phone’s power and versatility, are the real highlights here.

Performance-wise, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor acquits itself nicely (no, it doesn’t beat Apple’s A15 Bionic). The point is, we couldn't find a single app that was sluggish or disappointing on the mobile monolith.

Battery life was more of a mixed bag. We did get a full day of solid use (18 hours or so), but we thought we might get more out of the massive 5,000 mAh battery and high-performance, energy-efficient CPU.

Ultimately, though, this is the kind of device that can make you forget what’s come before it. If you were used to a smaller-screen device, you’ll feel cramped if you ever go back to it. If you struggled in the past to take photos of the moon, you’ll wonder why Apple hasn’t figured this out yet. If you wished that your device had just a little more power to complete those raw image-editing tasks, your wish has been granted.

Part of Samsung’s new S22 lineup, but looking nothing like its siblings, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is to the casual observer a Galaxy Note in a shiny, new coat. It does have a much bigger and bolder camera array (lifted pretty much intact from the S21 Ultra), but it’s otherwise a canny adjustment of the Note aesthetic or, as Samsung might call it, the “Note Experience.” Still, this adjustment leaves it as easily the best Samsung phone.

If you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Release date and price

  • Starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM
  • Storage options up to 1TB, no microSD slot for expansion

A device that combines the best of Samsung’s S Series and the Note’s more industrial design and capabilities doesn't come cheap. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra starts at $1,199.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 for 128GB storage and 8GB of RAM.

There are naturally bigger storage options (that also include more RAM), which can take you all the way to a 1TB model ($1,599.99 / £1,499 / AU$2,449 ). 256GB will run you $1,299,99 / £1,249 / AU$1,999, and 512GB is $1,399.99 / £1,329 / AU$2,149. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Choose your storage options wisely, because none of the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones come with a microSD card slot for upgrading your storage space.

The good news is, prices are often lower than that now that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is getting on a bit - and they're likely to drop further now that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has arrived.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Screen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's AMOLED screen measures 6.8-inches diagonally. (Image credit: Future)
  • Screen is 6.8-inch OLED with WQHD+ resolution
  • Armor Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass Victus+
  • S Pen housed in a silo in the phone

An inarguably beautiful device, the 6.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – owing to its Note roots – doesn’t look much like the Galaxy S22 Plus. It starts from the original Galaxy Note 10 design but takes it forward with even more premium materials.

The frame is a solid Armor Aluminum that rigidly resists bends. Polished on the outside to a near-chrome finish, the metal is sandwiched between two Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ plates. The front glass is high-gloss, and the back is a warm satin finish; both do a decent job of repelling fingerprints. The phone’s IP68-rated body also handily resided the water we ran over it.

The above finishes come in seven color options: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue and Red. The dark green is sexy, but we’ve fallen in love with the inky Phantom Black of our test device.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Did we mention that this is a big phone? Its dimensions are 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm, which is taller than a 6.7-inch Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, but, somewhat surprisingly, at 229g, lighter than Apple’s biggest handset. Small hands will struggle with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The curved edges make the Galaxy S22 Ultra comfortable to hold, but the lack of edges also makes it feel slippery as a fish – albeit a fish made of hard glass and metal.

There are two flat surfaces, on the top and bottom of the device. The top plane is a mostly unbroken slab of metal, with one tiny drill-through hole for a microphone. The bottom surface houses the SIM slot, USB-C charging port (the phone ships with a USB-C cable but no charging brick- BYOB is a thing now), speaker grille, and the S Pen.

If you’re in any doubt that this is a Note in S Series clothing, you need only to press that slight bump on the base and pop out the familiar and light S Pen. It’s all the things a Samsung S Pen should be, giving up nothing for its new Galaxy S22 Ultra home. More on the stylus later.

The 6.8-inch AMOLED screen is another highlight. It supports up to 3088 x 1440 pixels (WQHD+) resolution, which works out to 500 ppi. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, by contrast, has 458ppi on its 6.7-inch 2778 x 1284 screen. It’s worth noting that the S22 Ultra’s default resolution is 2316 x 1080 (FHD+), which Samsung says uses somewhat less battery life – although halfway through our testing we switched to WQHD+ and didn’t notice much, if any, battery performance loss.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra base

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra edge

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra wet screen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra wet screen (Image credit: Future)

Everything from games and videos to apps looks fantastic on the display, which now has the ability to smoothly shift from a 1Hz refresh rate all the way up to a butter-smooth 120Hz. Such adaptive technology can be hard to notice because, for instance, 1Hz might be used for the home screen or a word processor, while 120Hz might be called on for gaming.

The point is, when the imagery should be clean and smooth, it is. The lower refresh rates primarily help to conserve battery – there’s no need to update the screen more than a hundred times per second if nothing is moving.

With a peak brightness of 1750 nits and Samsung’s new Vision Booster technology, the screen does a decent job of maintaining visibility even in direct sunlight. Naturally, though, this means the brightness gets turned up to 100%, which will impact your daily battery life.

Hidden under the screen, roughly a third of the way up from the bottom edge, is the effective ultrasonic fingerprint reader. We found it easy to both register a finger and use it to unlock the phone. The other biometric security option is facial recognition, but Samsung warns that this isn’t as secure as other options, like a PIN or fingerprint.

There’s also a small drill hole through the screen for the 40MP front-facing camera.

Put simply, this is a lovely screen for viewing and writing.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera array

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera array (Image credit: Future)
  • Main camera is 108MP with f/1.8 aperture and an 85-defree FOV
  • Two telephoto lenses with 10MP sensors, one ultrawide 12MP sensor
  • Optical zoom up to 10x, Space Zoom enhanced up to 100x

When people say, “So, it’s basically a new Samsung Galaxy Note, right?” we have to flip over the phone to show them the camera array, which is a dead ringer for the one on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. 

Don’t worry, though – this is not some Frankenstein’s monster of smartphone design. Because Samsung has done away with the contour box that popped the whole thing up a millimeter or so above the back of the S21, the S22 Ultra’s array of five lenses looks perfectly at home.

The cameras don’t just look similar – they’re almost the same. There are two 10MP telephoto lenses: one is f/2.4 with a 36-degree field of view (FOV) and the other is f/4.9 with an 11-degree FOV. There’s also a 12MP ultrawide with a 120-degree FOV, and then there’s the 108MP main wide camera (f/1.8) with an 85-degree FOV. 

However, the technology backing these lenses has gotten an upgrade. While the image sensors haven't changed since the S21 Ultra, Samsung has done some work on optical image stabilization, digital image stabilization (for a better Super Steady system), and image processing. The result is better performance from all the lenses, but especially in the zoom arena. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s zoom capabilities simply blow away anything we’ve ever seen before from a mobile phone camera. Obviously, the 3x and 10x optical zoom are not only solid but offer clear images of distant objects with enough clarity that you can crop in on details without seeing much pixelation.

The 30x and especially 100x Space Zoom is where, at least in previous iterations of Samsung’s technology, you’d see significant artifacts in your photos.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 1x (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 3x (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 10x

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 10x (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 30x space zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 30x space zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 100x space zoom

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 100x space zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Now, however, these images are shockingly good, at least at first glance. Sure, you can’t crop in too much without the images breaking down into a Picasso-like mess, but untouched, these can be perfectly shareable images.

Part of this has to do with the stabilization, which at 100x, basically takes control of the lens and holds a subject (like the moon) in the frame. It can feel a little like you’re no longer in control of the lens, but it does do a good job of countering your shaky hands.

Wide and ultrawide images also benefit from some new pixel sorcery. With the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Samsung introduced Adaptive Pixel. This takes nona-binning (first introduced with the S21 Ultra), which takes nine pixels of information and combines them for better color and contrast, and combines it with the full resolution of the 108MP wide-angle original. That lens also gets an auto-focus assist from what looks like a fifth lens on the back of the phone - it's actually a Laser Auto Focus sensor. If you look closely, you can see the little red laser light peeking out from behind the glass.

Virtually every image we shot looked great, even if we did detect a hint of over-saturation (it wouldn’t be Samsung if they didn’t over-saturate the image).

The front-facing camera, meanwhile, uses tetra-binning to combine four pixels into one for a high-quality 10MP image.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Nightography selfie

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Nightography night sky shot

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra long exposure pro camera settings test

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung’s lenses, stabilization, image sensors, and algorithms also make what the company calls ‘Nightography’ possible. While we don’t like the marketing term, the phone’s night-time and low-light photographic skills are clear. It can brighten a night sky to near daytime, capture the moon or your face in poor lighting, and has some long-exposure skills too.

The front and rear cameras do a nice job with portrait photography, courtesy of a Portrait mode that’s getting good enough to separate stray hairs from a bokeh background. Samsung told us this is due, in part, to its new depth map technology. The presets, which include the ability to create a virtual backdrop (a chromakey color is used so that you can easily substitute some other background later) are pretty good, as well.

You can also shoot some high-quality 4K video at 60fps, and up to 8K at 24fps. We were pleased with the results.

We were less impressed with the phone’s Portrait Video capabilities, which come nowhere close to the magic of Apple’s iPhone 13 line’s Cinematic mode video (it needs a face in frame to work). The auto-framing capability, which literally zooms the camera in and out to keep people in frame, doesn’t seem all that useful – we suspect it needs more refinement.

One thing we do appreciate about Samsung’s video shooting capabilities is that, unlike an iPhone, it lets you shoot video, hit pause, and continue shooting while keeping the entire shoot in one video file. Apple should add this feature ASAP.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo of almost full moon

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo of almost full moon (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom shot of the moon through trees

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom shot of the moon through trees (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom bird photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra sunset photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ultrawide camera photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra optical zoom test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra optical zoom test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra front facing camera Portrait Mode test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra front facing camera Portrait Mode test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra portrait mode test

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra portrait mode test (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo Freedom Tower from 3 miles away

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Space Zoom photo Freedom Tower from 3 miles away (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Pro Camera test full control shutter speed ISO

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Pro Camera test full control shutter speed ISO (Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: S Pen

  • Very light and versatile
  • Take notes on the lock screen

Aside from the awesome cameras, the main reason you’d spend all that extra dough on a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is for the integrated S Pen. The light and versatile stylus is hidden inside the phone’s body; it’s small, thin, and feels so easy to lose that you’ll wish there were magnets in the S Pen and on the body of the S22 Ultra to hold these companions together when you don’t slip the stylus inside the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen (Image credit: Future)

With the S Pen, you can take notes on a lock screen (they’re white ink on a black background), or open the phone and access a slide-in menu of eight customizable options. 

These include taking notes, viewing them, making smart selections of anything on the screen, drawing on a screen capture, live messages, doodling in augmented reality, translations, and PenUp, a community space where you can learn how to draw with the S Pen and share your creations with others. 

All of these features work as advertised, and offer fast ways of grabbing content, marking it up, and sharing with friends and coworkers.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with S Pen on top

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra drawing with the S Pen

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra S Pen software menu

(Image credit: Future)

In our estimation, the S Pen is a wildly useful implement and, despite its small size (small for this reviewer’s hands anyway), it’s an effective drawing implement. We opened Sketchbook and had a great time drawing, especially because the pen and screen recognize pressure and angle.

The S Pen is also a solid productivity tool. We scrawled some notes in Samsung Notes and then let the system convert the scribbles to real text. It didn’t miss a word.

Overall, there’s a lot you can do with the S Pen, but it also follows the 80/20 rule – most of us will use 20% of the features, 80% of the time.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Software

  • Android 12 with Samsung One UI 4.1
  • Some apps, like Messages, are duplicated with Samsung and Google versions

While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an Android 12 phone - and one of the best Android phones at that - it’s also running One UI 4.1, the latest version of Samsung’s Android interface software. Like most Android overlays, this one isn’t primarily there to enforce a bespoke design aesthetic on top of pure Android; rather, it duplicates some utilities, like the web browser and photos apps, and adds tons of smart software touches and useful tools, like Samsung’s new Wallet, that should enhance the Android experience

Samsung’s onboard photo and video-editing capabilities, for example, are strong. We especially like the ability to magically remove an object from a photo, which worked like a charm on a photo of a dozen donuts – instead of eating them, we just selected them one by one and removed them from the original image. The software did leave behind a few telltale artifacts, but you'd be hard-pressed to tell what was there before we digitally removed a donut.

There’s also a freely downloadable Expert Raw app, which gives you access to all the pro shooting tools (ISO, white balance, focus, shutter speed) and lets you shoot raw images, which we then edited on the phone in Adobe’s Lightroom app.

It’s not great, however, that there’s both a Messages app and a Samsung Messages app. The icons look similar, but they’re two distinct apps. It’s this kind of nonsense that will always keep the Android messaging system slightly behind iOS’s iMessage. We want one system – the new RCS (Rich Communication Services) is fine – and complete cross-app compatibility.

Samsung has made a lot of noise about Google’s updated Google Duo video conferencing utility, which makes its debut on the S22 Ultra, and it does work as advertised. We made a Duo call to a friend, which looked and sounded good on both sides, and then quite effortlessly shared views of our screen, apps like Twitter, and played a YouTube video that we were both able to enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra connecting phone to Windows 11

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra connecting phone to Windows 11 (Image credit: Future)

Samsung is also strengthening its partnership with Microsoft, and we had no trouble adding our Microsoft account, which includes OneDrive and the Office Suite. It was also easy to connect the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to our Windows 11 PC. 

We started the process on the phone, and then we had to visit a URL on the PC (it was supposed to pop up automatically, but didn’t) where we found a QR code. We pointed the S22 Ultra camera at the code, and the phone then guided us through the rest of the set-up process.

With the connection complete, we were able to control our phone through the desktop using our mouse; we even ran Asphalt 9 for a hot second before the connection crashed.

While, in our tests, it wasn’t immediately clear how having these platforms blended in this way benefits the user, we think the ability to quickly access on-phone data, messages, and calls is surely part of the attraction.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Specs and performance

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with camera app open

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with camera app open (Image credit: Future)
  • A 4nm processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in most of the world
  • UK and Australia get Samsung Exynos 2200 chipset

Over almost a week of intense testing, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra never let us down. It’s a fast and powerful phone. The 4nm processor (in our test phone it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset – UK or Australia will get Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset.) doesn’t outperform Apple’s A15 Bionic in Geekbench benchmarks, but raw numbers never tell the full story.

For what it’s worth, here are the numbers for our device, which shipped with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage). 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Geekbench benchmarks


Single Core: 1236
Multi-Core: 3417

OpenCL Score: 5866 

Apple’s numbers are better, but the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra didn’t feel any slower across all tasks. Perhaps the only situation where we detected a small stutter was on 8K video playback (that’s 8K video that we shot with the very same phone). 

This is also a gorgeous and quite powerful gaming phone, and handled my Asphalt 9 race through Barcelona without a single hiccup.

Call quality was generally excellent. We could hear our caller clearly, and they told us we were coming through equally clear. The 5G performance (we were on T-Mobile in the US) was, by turns, excellent and average – it seemed to depend on how close we were to a decent 5G tower.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Battery life

  • Large 5,000 mAh battery and wireless charging
  • Could not meet our expectations for battery life

Like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S22 Ultra features a beefy 5,000mAh battery and wireless charging. In our tests, the battery was good for a full day of varied activity (roughly from 7am to 11pm) but not much more (this was the same for mid-range and high-resolution screen settings). 

We were a little surprised that such a large battery didn’t provide a day and a half of battery life. Perhaps the new 4nm chip isn’t as efficient as Samsung had hoped. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 S Pen

(Image credit: Future)

The phone has a built-in vapor champer and heat-sync material. Even so, we detected some warmth on the back of the phone when performing a variety of tasks, including web browsing, photography, and gaming, for extended periods. We wonder if Samsung might be able to improve battery performance with some software tweaks.

As noted above, the phone doesn't ship with a charger, just the USB-C cable to connect to one – a potential shock for people upgrading from the previous Note. Also, the in-the-box package no longer includes a set of earbuds, and while this at least makes some sense, as the phone no longer has a 3.5mm headphone jack, you start to feel like Samsung is asking for more money while giving you less.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably not for everyone. It’s giant, expensive, and might be overkill for people who simply want a nice screen, decent photos, and a good on-screen social media experience. For those who want more, say a phone that is ready to run Raw photo editing apps, mark up screens and images, create detailed works of art and take zoom photos that will make you the envy of all your iPhone-carrying friends, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is worth every dime.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also consider...

If the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review has you curious about the fastest smartphones on the market, you can read our full roundup of the best phones you can buy. 

First reviewed: February 2022

Kobo Sage review
9:40 am | February 16, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

The Kobo Sage is ostensibly a more refined version of the now three-year-old Forma, one-upping Amazon’s Kindle Oasis by offering an 8-inch display that also boasts stylus support. It’s the first ‘mainstream’ Kobo ereader to come with the latter but, unlike the Elipsa (a bigger and more niche device), you’ll need to buy the Kobo Stylus separately.  

To further justify its premium price, the Sage has a noticeably improved chassis. Although it’s still plastic (unlike the metal body of the Kindle Oasis), it’s a step up from the slightly janky design of the Forma. The body has a cleaner and more elegant look with less distinct sections; it’s effectively just one front piece and one back piece that are cleanly sandwiched together.

Fitting into the sleeker chassis is the latest in E Ink displays. The 8-inch screen is now a Carta 1200 panel that enables faster page turns (Kobo claims it’s 20% more responsive than the previous-gen E Ink display) and has a higher contrast ratio that makes text appear sharper. Additionally, the new touchscreen integrates a ‘digitizer’ that allows handwriting and drawings to appear smoothly and clearly on the display.

Under the hood are even more notable changes, starting with a 1.8GHz quad core processor (inherited from the Elipsa) to keep the device running smoothly no matter how much you read or write on it. More importantly, there’s now 32GB of internal storage to store thousands of ebooks, notes and audiobooks.

Like the Libra 2 that launched alongside it, the Sage now has Bluetooth support built in. This allows you to pair a set of wireless headphones so you can listen to those aforementioned audiobooks, but note these have to be purchased directly from the Kobo Store, and can’t be sourced from elsewhere.

Despite all these improvements, the one area the Sage is a letdown is battery life. Unlike the Kobo Libra 2, which got a new 1,500mAh battery, the Sage sticks to the same 1,200mAh pack used in the Forma. It’s a strange choice, as the quad-core processor seems to suck up a lot more juice and, even after a recent firmware update that promised improvements, battery life on the Sage seems to max out at about 20 hours.

Somewhat frustratingly, though, the Sage’s design improvements over the Forma make the latter, older reader very hard to recommend at its current price, which is just $10 / £20 / AU$30 less.

If Kobo can address the battery issue, the Sage will get a lot closer to qualifying as the perfect package for anyone seeking a premium ereading and note-taking experience, especially since it packs OverDrive, Pocket and Dropbox integration too. With its sub-par battery life, however, it’s difficult to recommend for users who plan to use it exclusively for reading.

Kobo Sage on a table with headphones

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Price and availability

  • Announced October 2021
  • Launch price of $259.99 / £239.99 / AU$439.99
  • Kobo Plus available in select markets

The 8-inch Sage is Kobo’s most premium ebook reader (not counting the 10-inch Elipsa, which we consider a note-taking device first and ereader second) and as such it carried a high-ish price of $259.99 / £239.99 / AU$439.99 on release. As of February 2023, there has been a slight increase across all markets, and the Kobo Sage is now priced at $269.99 / £259.99 / AU$459.95.

For comparison, Amazon’s 32GB Wi-Fi Kindle Oasis is a touch more expensive at $299.99 / £259.99 / AU$449, but the Oasis does include an aluminum chassis, whereas the Sage uses soft-touch plastic (not to mention more functionality thanks to stylus support); the Kindle is undeniably the more premium option here. 

Depending on where you live, the Sage’s price is still a significant 50-60% step up from the next Kobo model down – that’s the 7-inch Libra 2, which sells for $189.99 / £169.99 / AU$299.99 and shares a very similar design in a slightly smaller (and arguably more convenient) size.

The Sage is now broadly available across the major regions that Kobo ereaders are sold in (North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania) and can be purchased directly from the Kobo online store in select markets.

Brightness settings on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design and display

  • Slightly refined body
  • 8-inch display
  • Latest E Ink screen tech

In many respects, the Sage is a more refined and polished version of the 2018 Kobo Forma. Both have an asymmetrical design and big 8-inch screens as their main draws, with the latter providing a significant step up from their 7-inch siblings in terms of visual real estate. That size difference may not sound like much on paper, but (as you can see in the side-by-side comparison image below) if you compare the Sage to the 7-inch Libra 2 in the flesh, you’ll find that the former is a surprising degree larger. 

Kobo Sage key specs

Kobo Sage sleepcover and stylus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Display: 8-inch E Ink Carta 1200
Storage: 32GB
Processor: 1.8GHz quad-core
Battery: 1,200mAh
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C
Weight: 240.8g

The display on the Sage and Forma provide roughly the same amount of physical space as the page of a printed paperback and their bigger screens give you more flexibility when it comes to font size, and also means onscreen images are bigger – both elements that lead to a generally more comfortable reading experience. The larger display also makes reading comics and graphics novels a more pleasing experience, with fewer frames and speech bubbles getting cropped as compared to the Libra 2.

From a tech standpoint, the Sage’s screen has had a generational upgrade from the Forma – employing an E Ink Carta 1200 panel versus a Carta 1000 one – however both displays share the same 1,440 x 1,920 pixel resolution, so they’re essentially the same in terms of sharpness, packing in 300 pixels per inch (ppi).

In many respects that generational jump is a subtle one. As mentioned earlier, Kobo claims a 15% improvement in contrast on the Carta 1200 and while it’s true that when compared side by side, black text on the Sage appears ever-so-slightly darker than on the Forma, we suspect some of that may be down to the Sage screen’s panel being fractionally darker overall – it’s whitepoint is slightly yellow, as compared to the Forma’s marginally bluish hue.

One area where the Sage’s screen upgrade does become apparent is with images; there’s a clear improvement when rendering gradients, in particular. On the Forma, subtle changes in color (like you’ll see on clouds, clothing and skin tones) can often result in what’s called ‘banding’, where similar colors get smooshed together and rather than blending into one another, you end up with distinct different colors separated into clear layers or ‘bands’. The Sage’s next-gen display almost eliminates this issue and makes reading image-heavy content (like comics, online articles you’ve saved via Pocket, or just books with lots of pictures, diagrams or graphs) a more natural experience.

Kobo Sage and Kobo Libra 2 side-by-side

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Physically, the Sage has also seen some notable changes – although arguably not all of them are positive. The chassis design feels more robust and is undeniably cleaner, friendlier and overall just more attractive as compared to the Forma. Much of that comes from the new seamless, single-piece front face, which is only broken by the two page-turn buttons.

In the hand, the page-turn buttons are, physically at least, a step up from the Forma. While they’re in an almost identical position, they’re sleeker and more distinct – very reminiscent of the Kindle Oasis – and provide a cleaner and more satisfying click action, making the Forma’s buttons feel sloppy and spongy by comparison. Despite the similarity of the page-turn buttons to those on the Oasis, the Sage’s are a bit longer and widely spaced apart.

The robust soft-touch plastic back remains a single molded piece like on the Forma, wrapping around all four sides and coming up to meet the screen, which is now flush with the bezels as on the Kindle Oasis. Kobo’s designers have also moved the power button, so it’s now on the back of the reader rather than the spine, and it’s also round and significantly larger (similar to what’s on the Kobo Libra H2O and Libra 2 models).

The charge/data port is now a far more convenient USB-C – ereaders are one of the final categories that have been hanging onto the (now-ancient) USB micro-B, so this change is arguably well overdue.

One change we’re not so enamored with is the Sage’s thicker body, which is where we assume most of the device’s extra weight comes from; it’s 20% heavier than the Forma, at 241g vs 197g. And that is something that’s definitely felt in the hand – and almost doubly so if you’re using it with a cover, which takes the Sage to 400g on the dot; that’s considerably heavier than all but the chunkiest of paperbacks.

Kobo Sage's USB-C port

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Features and ease of use

  • Stylus support
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 32GB storage

The Sage brings with it the same flexibility and range of features that we’ve come to expect from Kobo’s ereaders. On the hardware side, that means there’s IPX8 waterproofing, and on the software front there’s useful things like wide file-format support (ePub, PDF, TXT, RTF, Mobi, CBZ/CBR, BMP, PNG and more), the ability to sign into Adobe Digital Editions to read DRM-protected ePubs or PDFs you’ve bought from third-party ebook stores, and the potential to sync web articles via the Pocket ‘read-it-later’ service.

A more recent addition is Dropbox integration; it’s only available on the more premium Kobo ereaders, having debuted on the Forma. This allows you to save your personal digital library in the cloud and transfer ebooks and files back and forth wirelessly, without the need to ever plug your ereader into a computer.

And let’s not forget the quintessential Kobo feature – baked-in OverDrive support. Every Kobo ereader has this, including the Sage, and most libraries in countries where Kobo is available now allow users to borrow ebooks via the app – all you need is a library card.

Completely new is support for audiobooks, albeit at the requirement of pairing Bluetooth headphones. That’s thankfully easy to do, and similar to how it works on a phone. There’s one major audiobook caveat though – for the first time Kobo has shut its open-door and inclusive ecosystem by only allowing audiobooks purchased from its own store to play on the Sage (or Libra 2). Still, the catalogue is vast and you’ll find many popular titles on the Kobo Store.

In order to accommodate those audiobooks, the Sage comes with 32GB of internal storage by default – there's no long a smaller (and cheaper) option for those who might just want to stick with books.

Audiobook playback on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Also new is the addition of a dark mode, thanks to that new generation of E Ink screen tech. Available under the Settings pane, this allows you to invert the default colors to display white text on a black background… or pretty much how dark mode works on phones and computer screens. It’s important to note that dark mode inverts colors only for ebooks you’re reading – the home screen remains the usual black on white.

If you’re not a fan of dark modes, then Kobo’s proprietary ComfortLight Pro technology should ease the strain on your eyes. This is available on pretty much every Kobo ereader and involves a series of white and amber LED lights embedded just under the bezels. If you like reading at night, then setting the light to automatically change from cooler hues to a warmer yellow light is possible. If you’d prefer a vibrant white screen, though, all amber LEDs switch off. This tech works remarkably well as the light is projected absolutely evenly throughout the screen, with no evidence of gradients, bright spots or shadows.

When it comes to the interface, the Sage retains an almost identical fixed setup as the Forma, which again largely revolves around books. A bank of icons across the bottom gives you quick access to the main areas and features: Home, My Books, My Notebooks and Discover (aka the Kobo Store and OverDrive library lending) as well as More for secondary areas, like settings, saved articles, activity tracking and so on. On that main home screen, a strip across the top displays the four most-recent titles you’ve had open with cover previews, and below this are two large tiles linking to My Books and a selection of titles from a specific author. Directly underneath those tiles are text links – the left to the Kobo Store, and the right a dynamic notification that cycles through various options; spruiking Kobo Plus subscriptions, what’s new in the latest firmware, or reminding you about saved Pocket articles, for example.

Kobo Sage in sleepcover with stylus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Somewhat frustratingly, there’s still no way to customize the home screen – you can’t move elements around or replace less-used features with others (and reduce some repetition; there’s effectively two links to both the Kobo Store and My Books areas with the default setup). We’d love to be able to permanently pin a link to My Articles on the home screen, for example, rather than having to dig into the More menu to access it.

Arguably the biggest feature addition on the Sage is stylus support. If you’re old-school and like to jot down notes in margins of books or feel the need to doodle on the page, the Sage is the first mainstream ereader that lets you. However, as we’ve mentioned above, the Kobo Stylus is an additional accessory that needs to be purchased separately at a cost of $39.99 / £39.99 / AU$69.95. As with the larger Elipsa, the UX on the Sage includes a ‘My Notebooks’ tab on the homepage from where you can access all your notes and lists, and even upload those to Dropbox or transfer to a computer, if desired.

Notes app on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Reading experience

  • Sharp, high contrast display
  • Redesigned page-turn buttons
  • Heavy in the hand

Reading on the Sage is for the most part a first-class experience. The large, sharp, high-contrast screen delivers great-looking text and images, and the speedy new processor makes page turns and other interface actions both fast and responsive. In many respects, however, the Sage’s improvements over the Forma are only marginal – and depending on your preferences, some of them could arguably be a step backwards.

Firstly, as we touched on above, the Sage feels heavier in use. While that weight isn’t too much more than on the Libra 2’s 215g, its distribution across a larger surface area does subjectively make it feel heavier and more fatiguing over the long term. In comparison,  we could single-handedly hold both the Libra 2 and Forma in the air for long periods of time but, even when not in its standard case (which takes the weight to 241g), the Sage does eventually start to feel heavy.

That’s not the only physical issue with the Sage – the ‘improved’ page-turn buttons now require a firm press to ensure they register. It’s possible to press hard enough that they’ll actually physically ‘click’ underneath your thumb, but not actually trigger a page turn. While the buttons operate as intended the majority of the time, they’re broken frequently enough that it does become frustrating – and interrupts your reading flow – because it’s not always obvious that the page hasn’t turned and you end up re-reading a line or two on top of the old page before you realise the error. It’s a flaw that we’re frankly surprised made it through quality-assurance testing. Ultimately, we tried to avoid using the Sage’s page-turn buttons and just resorted to tapping the screen all the time – that element, at least, works without fault. 

Redesigning the power button from that of the Forma was a good move by Kobo; its position on the back means it’s now easy to locate just by touch, and it provides a nice, crisp click that isn’t prone to accidental pushes. However, the new position means it’s not quite as simple to use one-handed unless you have something to rest it on (a bit of a pain if you’re, say, standing up on public transport). And if you’re using it with the sleepcover designed specifically for the Sage by Kobo, it’s completely covered up, unlike the two Libras that have cutouts in the cover to access it. This might seem like a minor irritant, but when your device has gone to sleep due to inactivity, the only way to switch it back on is to close and open the sleepcover, as opposed to just reaching for the button.

Text displayed on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Writing and drawing experience

  • Stylus available as additional accessory
  • Smooth writing experience
  • Handwritten notes can be digitized and saved

As mentioned earlier, the Sage’s headline act is stylus support. This is an entirely optional extra, with the Kobo Stylus available for separate purchase at a cost of $39.99 / £39.99 / AU$69.95. If you choose to get the stylus, you’ll quickly find there’s nowhere to safely stow it (for that, you’ll need to pony up for the battery-equipped PowerCover, at $79.95 / £69.95 / AU$129.95), and chances are high it could just roll away and hide under some piece of furniture.

If you do manage to hold on to it, you’ll find it’s powered by a single non-rechargeable AAAA battery (it's thinne than the standard AAA battery), has a replaceable plastic nib and two buttons about an inch down the shaft – it’s the same pen that ships with the Elipsa. It’s all-metal body feels great in the hand and writing with it is quite natural. Using it also feels quite intuitive and you get used to the buttons very quickly – one lets you highlight text while reading, the other allows you to erase whatever you’ve done on the screen.

Writing or drawing with the Kobo Stylus is almost real time, with minimal lag before marks appear on screen – a few milliseconds at most. However, the 8-inch screen is still relatively small, so the margin space you have is limited on screen, and scribbling marginalia can feel cramped. That said, Kobo’s devs have been clever enough to realize that changing things like font style/size or margins will mess with the placement of notes, and have built in an option to switch back to the settings that were in place when the note was made.

Writing with the stylus on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As well as being able to scribble in the margins of selected books (including sideloaded and Kobo Store-bought ePubs – with marginalia available under the Annotations section), the Sage also provides a dedicated My Notebooks app as on the Elipsa. This lets you create virtual notebooks, each with its own title and (theoretically) infinite pages inside it – a new blank page is created as soon as you enter anything on the ‘last’ one.

Within notebooks, there’s also the capacity to convert handwritten notes to digital text, and this generally worked well (even with our less-than-perfect handwriting), although it can sometimes take 20 or more seconds for the conversion to complete, depending on how much you’ve written.

If you’re a doodler, there’s a variety of pen styles to choose from (ballpoint, fountain, calligraphy, brush and highlighter), plus five widths and five shades, giving you plenty of flexibility to create quite detailed black-and-white art. However, with only two levels of pressure sensitivity and inability to zoom in, it’s not at the same level as a dedicated graphics tablet (or even an iPad) when it comes to image creation.

If you think you’ve made a mistake at any point, whether while writing or drawing, the eraser button on the stylus will let you remove any marks you’ve made (stroke by stroke) by just tapping it, making quick work of deleting whole words or lines.

Despite being able to scribble in margins of books, there’s sadly no way to attach a written note to highlighted text – as with other Kobo ereaders, text highlighting only supports typed notes using an onscreen keyboard. It feels like implementing handwriting here (even if it then needs to be converted to digital text) would have been a no-brainer – perhaps it’ll be made possible with a future firmware update.

Kobo Sage battery indicator

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life

  • Poor battery life for an ereader
  • USB-C charging port
  • Additional PowerCover accessory works like a portable charger

One of the main reasons for choosing a dedicated E Ink reader over a small tablet (like an iPad mini or Kindle Fire, for example) for digital books is that ereaders provide significantly improved battery life – or at least they’re supposed to.

The Sage packs the same size li-ion battery as the Forma – a 1,200mAh pack – but sadly doesn’t offer anywhere near as much battery life as its older sibling. During our initial testing, we got no more than a maximum of 15 hours on a full charge (and that’s restricting use to just reading – no writing or browsing the Kobo Store), which is rather dismal for an ereader. 

We suspect the new quad-core processor and new digitizing layer in the screen (both of which are required for stylus support) are in large part responsible for the additional drain, but it’s worth noting that even if you’re not using the stylus (or don’t even have one paired) the Sage still depletes its battery much more swiftly than its predecessor.

A firmware update that arrived late in our testing did improve battery life marginally, extending reading-only time with the Sage up to about 18-20 hours, depending on backlight brightness and use. That’s a good improvement, but still far shy of the 35-40 hours you’ll get with the Forma, or the 50+ hours we achieved on the Libra 2.

Why Kobo decided to stick with a 1,200mAh pack for a device with a significantly more powerful processor is unclear (the Forma has a single-core 1GHz chip, while the Sage has jumped to a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU), especially since it gave the Libra 2 a 1,500mAh battery. Perhaps this oversight (if it truly was one) was only realized late in the device’s development, and Kobo’s answer was to create the PowerCover we mentioned earlier – that’s essentially a magnetic sleepcover with a built-in 1,200mAh battery, essentially doubling the battery capacity. We weren’t sent a PowerCover for testing, so we’re not certain on how much more life it would add, but it should theoretically offer another 15-20 hours. 

The Sage’s shortish runtime isn’t the only slightly underwhelming element when it comes to the battery – we found it also takes up to 3 hours to fully recharge. Despite that shiny new USB-C port, the Sage generally takes longer to recharge than the Forma – the latter goes from about 10% to full in 2 hours. While the Sage initially charges at about the same rate, once the 90% mark has been hit it seems to switch to a very slow trickle-charge setting, meaning the last 10% takes about an hour to complete.

Should I buy the Kobo Sage?

Kobo Sage sleepcover and stylus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

[First reviewed February 2022]

Hostinger web hosting review (2023): Pros, cons and features tested
1:08 pm | February 9, 2022

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Comments: Off

Founded in 2004, Hostinger is an experienced Lithuanian web hosting provider with 1,000+ employees and more than a million subscribers around the world.

Datanyze' Web Hosting Market Share report ranks Hostinger in 36th place, used by around 71,000 companies, for 0.5% of the hosting market. Hostinger isn't just building its own service, though: it has developed and launched new brands and products, including web host Hosting24 and the free 000webhost

In this review, we test Hostinger by creating a functioning WordPress website and signing up to Hostinger's Premium shared plan. We then monitor our site's performance, including speed and uptime and have a go using all the features available in the plan. We also go as far as utilizing Hostinger's customer support with a real issue we came across during our test. 

Hostinger plans have many features

Hostinger plans have many features (Image credit: Hostinger)

What sort of hosting plans does Hostinger offer? 

Hostinger offers cheap shared hosting for small to medium low-traffic sites. VPS hosting and cloud hosting give your website more resources for extra speed, making them suitable for more demanding, business-critical sites. (How demanding? A good VPS can run a WordPress site with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month.)

Hostinger doesn't have any dedicated server products, which is bad news if you're looking for the maximum performance and reliability. 

But by way of compensation for at least some users, Hostinger is one of the few big hosting names to offer pre-configured Minecraft server hosting from under $10 a month.

Which plan is right for you? Next, we'll explore Hostinger's shared, VPS and WordPress hosting range, break down what they offer, what they don't, and help identify the best choices for you.

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Hostinger shared hosting

Shared hosting works just as the name suggests: your site is stored on a web server along with many others, and everyone shares the server costs and resources. It's cheap and relatively easy to use, and although this is the slowest hosting type, shared plans may still be able to handle sites with tens of thousands of visitors a month.

Hostinger's shared hosting starts with the Single plan. It's cheap at $1.99 a month over four years ($3.99 on renewal), and has some welcome features: free SSL, easy WordPress installation and management. But it also has many limits: support for one website, no free domain, 50GB storage, a single email account, 100GB bandwidth, backups are weekly only. If you know exactly what you need, and this works, great; otherwise, it's best ignored.

The Premium plan is still cheap at $2.99 a month initially ($6.99 on renewal), but lifts or removes all those limits: there's support for 100 websites, a free domain, 100GB storage, 100 email addresses and unlimited bandwidth. Backups are still only weekly, which is a significant weakness.

The top-of-the-range Business plan adds the much-needed daily backups, though, and throws in Cloudflare's CDN (Content Delivery Network) for maximum speeds. It's priced from $4.99 a month for the first four years, $8.99 on renewal.

These are feature-packed products that performed very well in our speed tests, and are great value for what you're getting. The Business plan is our pick of the range. It's more capable than products twice the price from some other hosts, and Hostinger suggests it can handle sites of up to approximately 100,000 visitors a month.

Also consider HostGator, whose feature-packed shared hosting is great value, speedy in testing, and has some surprising bonus features for demanding users (free SSL upgrade and a dedicated IP in the business plan). 

Hostinger WordPress templates

Hostinger WordPress templates (Image credit: Hostinger)

Hostinger WordPress hosting

WordPress is the world's favorite website creator, a versatile platform which works for everyone from hosting newbies building a tiny family site, to international corporations with the most business-critical web projects.

Hostinger has strong WordPress support across most of its ranges, ensuring there's a solution for just about everyone.

The Single WordPress plan is extremely basic (supports one website, a single email address, no free domain, few resources, reduced speeds.) But it has easy WordPress installation, weekly backups, and (Hostinger claims) can handle up to 10,000 visitors a month. The plan's real appeal is its price, though, at only $1.99 a month over four years, $3.99 on renewal. It could work as a cheap way to learn WordPress, assuming you're only building the most basic of sites.

The Business WordPress plan is our pick of the range. It's significantly more expensive at $6.99 a month over four years, $16.99 on renewal. But it has far more capable specs - 100 websites, 100 email addresses, free domains, handles up to 100k visitors a month - and adds valuable extras including staging (a valuable website testing feature) and Cloudflare CDN (a major speedup plus). This is a capable plan with the power to cope with more demanding personal and small to medium business sites.

If your needs are even greater - you've several business-critical sites, or maybe a busy web store where speed is absolutely vital - then Hostinger's 'Hosting for Agencies' range might help. It has all the same WordPress features, but makes it easier to manage and control access to multiple sites, and boosts performance by giving you far more server resources.

The Agency Pro plan is our pick of the range: it gives you twice the resources of the Business WordPress plan, but it's still very affordable at $14.99 a month over four years ($49.99 on renewal).

Consider IONOS, too. Its Business WordPress plan has free SSL, a free domain and daily backups, but it's just $0.50 a month for the first year, ideal if you're looking to learn WordPress and see if it's right for you. 

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Hostinger VPS hosting 

Signing up for VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting gets you a private area in a web server with your own system resources. This automatically gives any VPS a speed advantage over shared hosting, and the more resources your plan includes (CPU time, RAM, storage space) the faster it's likely to be. If your site has 100k visitors a month or more, or it's especially demanding and 

Hostinger offers eight VPS plans, giving you plenty of choice. They start cheap at only $3.49 a month over four years ($6.99 on renewal) for an extremely basic 1 CPU core, 1GB RAM and 20GB storage VPS, but they ramp up from there, and the top-of-the-range VPS plan offers 8 cores, 16GB RAM and 250GB storage for $77.99 a month over four years ($131.99 on renewal).

The range is fair value, but it won't work for everyone. One reason Hostinger's prices are low is that their VPS plans are unmanaged. That means Hostinger doesn't monitor the operating system, set up the firewall, install security patches or do anything similar: you're left to manage the server's system software yourself. That's manageable for experts, and if you know what you're doing, the extra control can even be an advantage. But it's a potentially complicated hassle for everybody else.

There are some technical limitations, too. Hostinger's VPS plans get a 100Mbps connection to the outside world, for instance, which sounds good, but it's less than many top providers, and could get swamped if you're running busy sites with many simultaneous visitors.

If low prices are a must, consider IONOS. Its most basic VPS starts at $2 billed monthly, even a 6 core, 12GB RAM system is only $35 a month billed annually ($18 for the first six months), and all plans include a 400Mbps network connection.

But if it's choice you're after, look at Hostwinds. It has cheap unmanaged VPS from $4.99 billed monthly, but there's a managed VPS range (where Hostwinds does all the low-level server management for you) starting at only $8.24 a month. All plans are more configurable, there's Windows hosting if you need it, more powerful systems at the top of the range, and 1Gbps network speeds keep performance high even at peak times.

Zyro's editor

Zyro's editor is very easy to use (Image credit: Hostinger)

Does Hostinger have a website builder?

If you don't have a website yet, and WordPress seems a little intimidating, a website builder may be the easiest way to get started. Typically, they'll have a gallery of pre-built website designs you can use to get started. Adding pictures, videos, maps and other page elements is as easy as dragging and dropping, and customizing the content with your own text and photos works much like any editor.

Hostinger has its own website builder, which comes with unmetered traffic, unlimited free SSL certificates, web hosting, up to 100 websites, free domain, free email, ecommerce features, plus more.

We found it to be a simple and straightforward tool that we could use right away. No need to spend an age scrolling through feature lists, comparing plans or wondering what you can afford: just hand over your email address to create an account and you can start building right away.

The editor is relatively basic, but the online shop’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor will give you tools to create detailed descriptions with HTML titles.

Hostinger website builder costs $2.79 per month and is a decent website builder for personal use and small sites. There's not enough power here for business applications, and even if your site took off and became a real success, there's no upgrade path to help you cope with the extra demand.

HostGator’s Gator website builder is worth considering as a value alternative. It's fractionally more expensive, but has more features, and supports an unlimited web store for physical and digital products. If features are more important than price, Wix has more templates, more features, more power in every area, and is an absolute must for your shortlist.

WooCommerce for online stores

WooCommerce is a great platform for building web stores (Image credit: Hostinger)

 Can you build a web store with Hostinger? 

Hostinger doesn't have a specialist ecommerce website builder plan like we see with many providers, but there are a couple of routes you can take to begin selling online.

The simplest option, as we've discussed above, is to sign up with Hostinger's website builder service. With Hostinger Website Builder, users can add up to 500 products to their online store and over 20 popular payments are currently supported. It could be enough to run a simple home business.

If you need something more capable, the alternative is to sign up with one of Hostinger's other hosting plans, then install and use a specialist ecommerce platform. WooCommerce is probably the best-known option. It's a hugely capable WordPress plugin, which Hostinger can automatically install on any hosting plan, and includes all the product cataloging, inventory managing, payment taking and worldwide shipping integrations you need.

If you're happy with Hostinger's shared or VPS hosting, and you're willing to take the time to learn about WooCommerce and web stores in general, this could be a cost-effective solution.

But if you'd like hosting with specific web store features, and more help in getting your project online, it's worth considering some alternatives. Bluehost has an excellent WooCommerce hosting plan with payment processing and a stack of essential sales and marketing tools. IONOS has even more options, including a simple online store builder, a WooCommerce plan, and hosting for a bunch of other ecommerce platforms: Magento, PrestaShop, OpenCart and more.

Hostinger's performance

We rounded off the review by using to monitor our test website from multiple locations around the world, logging response times and any downtime.

Our test site was hosted on Hostinger's most basic shared hosting plan, but still managed a solid 100% uptime record over 10 weeks of monitoring. recorded a response time range of 171ms to 1.73s, with an average of 382ms, over the last seven days of testing. Starter shared hosting plans typically manage 200-400ms with an average peak of 700-800ms, so Hostinger is clearly on the slow side when it comes to response times.

Page load times matter too, though, so we used Dotcom Tools' Website Speed Test to measure our site performance from 16 locations around the US and Europe. This time the results were much better at 878ms, putting it in the top 25% of providers.

A mixed story, then, but keep in mind these are comparisons based on the cheapest shared hosting plan from each test provider. Some of those plans cost 5x to 10x the $1.39 you could pay with Hostinger, so on balance we think the company did reasonably well.

Hostinger's GTmetrix grade

Hostinger's GTmetrix grade (Image credit: Hostinger)

How fast is Hostinger?

Our web host performance tests start by measuring uptime, the proportion of time your website remains accessible to visitors. We set up a test WordPress site on a Hostinger shared hosting package, then used to access it every five minutes for 14 days and report the results.

Hostinger achieved 99.98% uptime, which was a little disappointing (because we expected a perfect performance over such a short test) though still very acceptable overall (because it's still significantly better than the 99.9% uptime guarantee offered by most web hosts).

We measure website load speeds with help from GTmetrix, which accesses a test page and reports how long its main content takes to load (a value known technically as Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP). A low LCP means your website is likely to pop up onto the screen more quickly, keeping visitors happy.

Graph showing Hostinger's performance

Hostinger's performance (Image credit: Hostinger)

Hostinger scored here with a speedy LCP of 0.607 seconds, the second fastest result in our last 15 tests, just behind HostGator. It's not significantly ahead of the competition - most providers have an LCP in the 0.60 to 0.80 area - but it suggests Hostinger isn't cutting corners to hit its low shared hosting prices. It really can compete with the likes of Bluehost and HostGator.

One-off load speed checks are important, but we also like to see how a site performs when it's busy. To do this, we use the stress-testing service k6 to unleash 20 virtual users on our site and measure what happens.

Hostinger's results showed some drops in performance at peak load, but that's what we would expect for a shared hosting package. Overall, it was able to handle 15 requests per second throughout the test, a typical result for most providers.

These are broadly positive results, and show Hostinger performs better than most budget hosts. But keep in mind that our figures are based on testing a shared plan, and if you're opting for VPS, dedicated hosting or any other product, your experience may be very different.

Hostinger hPanel

Hostinger hPanel (Image credit: Hostinger)

How easy is Hostinger to use? 

Hostinger doesn't offer cPanel to its shared hosting users, opting to use its custom hPanel platform, instead. Custom control panels make us wary, probably because most of them are underpowered in the extreme, but hPanel is a rare exception.

It looks similar to cPanel, for instance, with server details (location, IP address) in a sidebar, and colorful icons representing individual features, organized into sensibly-named groups: Domains, Emails, Files, WordPress and so on.

Most functions are accessible to even novice users. Create an email address, for instance, and you're only asked for the address and a password. But a sidebar adds more advanced tools, from importing existing emails, to setting up SPF and DKIM records (to authenticate emails and protect against phishing) in just a few clicks.

Custom control panels still aren't good news for hosting experts, as all their cPanel experience doesn't count for much; they're left to browse the menus and options, much like anybody else.

Overall, though, hPanel offers a good mix of power and ease of use, and the platform provides everything you need to get your site up and running quickly.

Hostinger support

Hostinger has live chat support but not phone support (Image credit: Hostinger)

How good is Hostinger's support? 

Unusually for a top hosting provider, Hostinger doesn't have telephone support. There's 24/7 live chat, though, and email or ticket support if you prefer.

We opened a ticket asking how we could install WordPress on a subdomain. That's not a complicated technical issue, but it's more involved than a simple product question, and gave us a better chance of getting an interesting response.

The reply arrived only 17 minutes later, just about as speedy as we could expect for ticket support. (Who needs live chat, anyway?)

The text used more jargon than we’d like, but was accurate and included all the detail we needed to figure out a solution.

Live chat is also available whenever you need it. We never waited more than a couple of minutes for a response, and agents were just as quick at identifying our issues and coming up with relevant and useful advice.

A web knowledgebase is on hand if you prefer the DIY approach. We'd recommend ignoring the Search box (it does a poor job of finding the best articles), and just browse the categories further down the page. There are hundreds of articles arranged into topics such as hPanel, cPanel, DNS, SSL Certificates and more.

These articles are often short, and not always organized or presented as you'd expect. The site does have plenty of useful advice on carrying out specific tasks, though, even when they're not about Hostinger's own services. 

If your domain is managed by another registrar, for instance, most hosting providers don't give you any real advice on how to modify DNS records. But Hostinger has separate articles for managing DNS at Bluehost, GoDaddy, IONOS, Namecheap, HostGator, SiteGround,, DreamHost’s, and many more: 30+ providers in total. 

There's clearly work to do here, but Hostinger scores well in most areas, and overall delivers a far better quality of support than most budget providers.

Final verdict: Is Hostinger right for you?

Even Hostinger’s cheapest shared hosting plan lets you create a professional email address, and you can create multiple email addresses with the more expensive plans. This simple offering makes Hostinger stand out, and is quite useful.

Hostinger is a great option for beginners simply because the service is straightforward to use and comes with a lot of additional help and support. Its low pricing is also extremely attractive and because Hostinger doesn't hold back on features and add-ons including in each package, it's definitely value for money in our opinion.

As we mentioned above, we wouldn't recommend its shared hosting plans for extremely busy websites but Hostinger performed adequately during our test so you may not need to completely rule them out if you're looking for an affordable option.

Hostinger FAQs 

What payment types does Hostinger support?

Hostinger accepts payment via credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Alipay and Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via CoinGate. 

Does Hostinger offer refunds?

Hostinger has a 30-day money-back guarantee covering its hosting plans and some other products. These include SSL certificates, often excluded by other hosts.

It's good to see Hostinger's policy covers renewal fees as well as your original purchase, something else we don't see with all hosts.

There's a final bonus in a limited four day warranty for some domain registrations and domain name transfers (see the official Refund Policy for the list.) Sure, four days isn't long, but most hosts don't offer any domain-related refunds at all.

Hostinger uptime

Hostinger uptime (Image credit: Hostinger)

Does Hostinger have an uptime guarantee?

Hostinger has an uptime guarantee of 99.9% per month, similar to many other budget hosts. 

If Hostinger doesn't hit that target, you can contact the company and request a credit of 5% of your monthly hosting fee.

Capping your compensation at 5% is one of the least generous guarantees around. Other hosts typically give you much more. For example, ScalaHosting promises to credit users with a free month of hosting if its uptime drops below 1% (that's around seven hours and 18 minutes of downtime.)

Hostinger data center locations

Hostinger data center locations (Image credit: Hostinger)

Where are Hostinger's data centers?

Hostinger has data centers in the USA, UK, Netherlands, Lithuania, Singapore, India and Brazil. That's far more than most hosts, and they're also more widely spread (many hosts barely step outside of the USA and Europe.)

The advantage of having a lot of data centers is that more users can choose to host sites close to their audience, for the best possible performance.

There's just one potential catch: some plans don't support all the data centers. The Shared, Cloud and WordPress plans can be hosted in all seven, but Hostinger's Linux VPS plans can't be hosted in Brazil or India.

Check the small print of individual plans to find out more, or take a look at Hostinger's 'Where are your servers located?' support document.

What is my Hostinger IP address?

Log into Hostinger's hPanel

Find your plan in the Hosting list, and click its' Manage button to the right.

The left-hand sidebar displays your hosting plan, server location and IP address.

Hostinger Nameservers

Hostinger Nameservers (Image credit: Hostinger )

What are Hostinger's nameservers?

Before using an existing domain with your web hosting, it may be necessary to point the domain to Hostinger's nameservers.

The hPanel, Shared and Cloud plans use the nameservers and

The cPanel plans use the nameservers and

How do I cancel a Hostinger product?

Log into Hostinger's hPanel.

Click Hosting in the menu at the top of the screen, then click Manage.

Scroll down and click Deactivate Account.

Choose whether to cancel your hosting account immediately, or when your subscription expires, and click Continue to complete the cancellation process.