Google Pixel 7 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Google Pixel 7 Pro vs.  Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung and Google make some of the best smartphones on the market, offering the most advanced features that make the most of their hardware and software integration. Both companies introduced new versions of their flagship phones this year, and our reviewers put them to the test. Now it’s time for the best Android smartphone: Which flagship phone – Google Pixel 7 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – is the best to capture the contents of your wallet?

Specifications

Google Pixel 7 Pro Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Size 162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm (6.4 x 3.0 x 0.3 in) 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in)
Weight 212 grams (7.5 ounces) 228 grams/229 grams (mmWave) (8.04 ounces)
Screen 6.7-inch always-on QHD+ LTPO OLED with up to 120Hz refresh rate 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED 2X with up to 120Hz refresh rate
Screen resolution 3120 x 1440 pixel resolution (512 pixels per inch) 3088 x 1440 pixels (500 ppi)
Operating system Android 13 Android 12
Storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
MicroSD card slot no no
Tap to pay services Google Pay Samsung Pay
Processor Google Tensor G2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Camera Rear: 50 megapixels (ƒ/1.85) main, 12 MP (ƒ/2,2) ultrawide, 48MP (ƒ/3.5) telephoto

Front: 10.8 MP (ƒ/2.2)

Rear: 108 MP (f/2.2) main, 12 MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10 MP (f/2.4) 10x telephoto, 10 MP (f/2.4) 3x telephoto

Front: 40 MP (f/2.2)

Video Rear: 4K at 30/60 frames per second (fps), 1080p video recording at 30/60 fps

Front: 4K at 30/60 fps

Rear: 4K at 30/60 fps, 1080p video recording at 30/60/120/240 fps

Front: 4K at 30/60 fps

Cellular 5G mmWave on selected models, LTE, Dual SIM (single nano-SIM and eSIM)NFC 5G mmWave on selected models, LTE,
Wi-Fi 6E, NFC
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.2 Bluetooth 5.2
Gates USB Type-C USB Type-C
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 5000 mAh

30W wired charging

12W to 23W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

5000 mAh

45W wired charging

15W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Samsung Galaxy/Google Play
Network support All major carriers All major carriers
Colors Obsidian, snow, hazel Phantom Black, Phantom White,
green, burgundy
Price $899 $1199
Available from Google Samsung
Review 3.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Design, display and durability

Pixel 7 Pro with screen on, showing home screen.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Google Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are flagship smartphones for their respective brands, and they are very different in design. The metal and glass Pixel 7 Pro features a curved display and slim design with an attractive stainless steel camera bar on the back. The styling is distinctive and recognizable, with cutouts for each camera sensor. The current Pixel design is also lighter, thinner and less curved than before, giving it a more balanced feel in the hand.

In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is wide and heavy, with a business look and feel reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s sharp lines and square corners. A curved display combines with square upper and lower corners, and it also has individual rear cameras. This is definitely a phone that helps you get things done, but because it’s so big and smooth, it might not be entirely comfortable for all hands.

There is less contrast between the two flagships in terms of display. Both have high-end 120Hz displays built on an OLED base, and the difference in size between the Pixel’s 6.7 inches and the S22 Ultra’s 6.8 inches is negligible. The phones’ front and back panels are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus or Victus Plus on the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 Ultra, respectively. Both phones have IP68 water and dust resistance ratings. When balancing design, comfort, screen quality and brightness, we’ll decide which design is better, as both are gorgeous.

Winner: Tie

Performance, battery life and charging

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra screen in hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphones have a 5,000 mAh battery, with some differences in charging speed and strength. The Samsung has up to 45W charging, while the Pixel only hits 30W. You’ll need to buy a Samsung or Google charger if you don’t already own one because neither comes with a charger in the box.

Our review found the real-world battery life of the Google Pixel 7 Pro to be unimpressive. While standby battery consumption was respectable, using multiple apps, playing games, or anything else that drives the processor significantly reduced battery endurance. The Pixel 7 Pro turned out to be a one-day smartphone at best, which with a 6.7-inch display and 5000 mAh battery was disappointing. While the Pixel 7’s recently reintroduced Face Unlock feature lets you bypass the lock screen, you still need the fingerprint sensor to access locked apps or to make a purchase with Google Pay. We found that Face Unlock worked quite well, but the fingerprint sensor still needs work. Unfortunately, the Google Pixel 7 Pro also suffers from a wide variety of software bugs, which greatly reduce the phone’s performance and usability. Also, the phone gets warm – meaning it sometimes heats up uncomfortably after just 30 minutes of gaming.

The battery inside the S22 Ultra maintained power for a full day of heavy use and two days of moderate use. By moderate we mean no games, streaming video, constant music or switching between a 4G and 5G connection. The Samsung phone is the best performer, even with the older Android 12 operating system, accompanied by Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 installed. Unlike the Pixel 7 Pro, we didn’t experience any bugs or issues.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Cameras

The camera line on the Google Pixel 7 Pro.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Pixel 7 Pro has three cameras: a 50-megapixel wide, a 48MP telephoto, and a 12MP ultrawide, with a 10.8MP front camera. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has four cameras: a 108MP wide, two 10MP telephotos (with different zooms), and a 12MP ultrawide along with a 40MP front camera. The Pixel 7 Pro can now accommodate 5x optical zoom, but lags behind Samsung’s 10x.

But cameras aren’t just about stats – cameras are about results, and the Google Pixel 7 Pro delivers. Images from the Pixel 7 Pro are exceptional, with bold color reproduction and strong lighting. The Google phone’s camera captures a ton of detail, and the image processing creates stunning images without much fuss. The camera app offers two shortcuts to jump to 2x and 5x zoom, but you can continue to zoom up to 30x, which is great for flexibility and creativity. The ultra-wide camera, with its new Macro Focus shooting mode, was most impressive. The selfie camera, unfortunately, is nothing to write home about.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cameras excel when compared to the Pixel 7 Pro. The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x optical zoom, 10MP 10x optical zoom and 40MP selfie cameras offer much more flexibility and precision. Its multiple optical zoom modes make it versatile, the main and wide-angle cameras capture beautifully colorful images with excellent balance, and the updated portrait mode is fantastic. Single Take mode allows you to record a short video, up to 15 seconds, which can be expanded to 20 seconds, while the phone’s AI generates various photos and videos from it. The native camera app is simple and customizable. Our review says it’s one of the best camera phones out there. Between Samsung’s Pro mode for stills and video and the new Expert RAW app, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra also takes great photos.

The Pixel 7 Pro takes slightly better photos (without Samsung’s aggressive saturation boost) and has a better point-and-click experience, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s zoom is fantastic and has real depth for those who want to spend some time. This is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Software and Updates

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in Phantom Black with S Pen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Pixel 7 Pro, which ships with Android 13, has Google’s new Tensor G2 chip and 12GB of RAM. The standard 128 GB of storage can be upgraded to 256 GB and 512 GB. While Google’s Material You engine simplifies customization, the various AI features derived from the Tensor chip make the experience unique. For the Pixel 7 Pro, Google promises three years of operating system upgrades and five years of security upgrades.

The Pixel 7 Pro’s Tensor processor includes new smart AI features like Photo Unblur and the upcoming Clear Calling and Recorder App features. The Pixel 7 Pro also revived Face Unlock – dormant since the Pixel 4 – but with an unwanted tweak that requires the fingerprint sensor to access locked apps or use Google Pay.

The competitor, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, has the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 with 8 GB of RAM. Storage options include 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. It comes with the older Android 12 operating system, accompanied by Samsung’s OneUI 4.1 installed, and offers four years of full updates. Samsung clearly promotes its own products and forces you to sign in to a Samsung account, prioritize Samsung Pay, update apps through the Galaxy Store, and ignore non-Samsung calendar and messaging apps. This practice is not unique to Samsung, but it is not friendly either.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Special functions

Holds Pixel 7 Pro.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The most prominent special feature of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the included S Pen – identical to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – which sits in its own storage space on the bottom of the phone. The S Pen is small and thin and is not particularly comfortable for large hands. While that’s useful, unless you usually draw or take notes, it’s probably not something you’d miss if it wasn’t there. Whether you want or need the S-Pen or not, it’s still a solid addition that wins Samsung’s special features contest.

While the Pixel 7 Pro has many new features, they are processor, software and update related, as mentioned above.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Price and availability

Both the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are on sale and universally available. There is a huge price difference between the two. The Pixel starts at $899 for the base model with 128GB of storage. You can get the 256GB or 512GB model for $999 or $1,099, respectively, from the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra costs $1199 for the 8GB/128GB version and costs $1299 for a 12GB/256GB model, $1399 for a 12GB/512GB model or $1599 for the 12GB/1TB version. It is available from Samsung and the same retail locations as the Pixel 7 Pro.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Google Pixel 7 Pro may at first appear to be a better value for money with its graceful looks, sophisticated software features, amazing camera and Android 13 interface. Still, despite its bold design and advanced features, we found Google still struggling to build on the Pixel’s good points, failing to improve on previous models. Overall, we concluded that the Pixel 7 Pro is a frustrating smartphone based on poor battery life and persistent buggy performance that mars the phone’s overall performance.

In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is much more expensive, but it will be money well spent. The Samsung phone offers even more impressive camera specs, a bigger screen, faster charging and a built-in stylus. The phone is a marvel of technology that will serve you well for years to come.

The editors’ recommendations




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