Flagship Android Battle: Pixel 7 and 7 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 and S22+

Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones are finally a reality. But they face tough competition from Samsung’s Galaxy S22 lineup. In the Android world, the Pixel and Galaxy phones generally lead the way in the US market, so we’re anxious to put them side-by-side. For now, that means nitpicking spec differences, though we plan to fully review the new Google handsets in the days ahead.

Google Pixel 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22
Looking at the two lower cost phones first, we have the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22. The price difference is stark: The Pixel 7 starts at $599, whereas the Galaxy S22 costs $799. That $200 in savings could easily make the Google device a more viable option for your budget. Both devices come with 128GB of storage but no microSD card slot. If you need more storage, the 256GB versions of the Pixel and Galaxy devices cost $699 and $849, respectively.

For power, the Pixel 7 uses the Tensor G2 chip and the Galaxy S22 runs on the top tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform. We still have to benchmark the new Tensor hardware before we can definitively declare a winner, but based on the first-generation Tensor’s performance, we expect similar overall output from the newer processor. Both phones stick with 8GB of RAM.

The Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch, 2,400-by-1,080-pixel screen is a little bigger than the Galaxy S22’s 6.1-inch, 2,340-by-1,080-pixel panel, but the pixel density is almost identical at 417 and 423 pixels per inch (ppi), respectively. The S22 does offer a higher refresh rate (up 120Hz), however, whereas the Pixel 7 maxes out at 90Hz.

Cameras are a huge factor for many in the smartphone buying decision. The Pixel 7 comes with a 50MP primary sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, which matches up exactly with the Galaxy S22’s 50MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide unit. But the Samsung phone also includes a 10MP 3x telephoto lens, something the Pixel 7 doesn’t have. Google’s exclusive software features such as True Tone, Magic Eraser, and Face Unblur might be more important to you, however.

Connectivity isn’t much of a differentiator. Both phones support Wi-Fi 6E and the latest 5G technologies.

Google and Samsung both pledge five years of security updates for their phones, which means you should be safe through 2027. That said, Samsung promises four years of software version updates whereas Google offers just three. Something else to mull is whether you prefer Google’s clean version of Android or Samsung’s stylized OneUI.

Google Pixel 7 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22+
The Google Pixel 7 Pro competes most closely with the Galaxy S22+. It starts at $899, whereas the S22+ sells for $999. Because of the similar price, the spec differences matter more here than in the previous comparison.

Both phones come with 128GB of internal storage and don’t offer any storage expansion. If you want more space, Google offers 256GB and 512GB versions for $999 and $1,099, respectively. Samsung charges $1,049 for a 256GB version of its phone but doesn’t have a 512GB variant.

The processor specs (listed above) are the same: The Pixel 7 Pro uses the new Tensor G2 chip and S22+ runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform. Interestingly, the Pixel comes with 12GB of RAM while the Galaxy stays with 8GB of memory.

The Pixel 7 comes with a 6.7-inch, 3,120-by-1,440-pixel QHD+ screen and the Galaxy S22+ has a 6.6-inch, 2,340-by-1,080-pixel panel. Google easily takes the resolution win (513ppi compared with 390ppi), but both phones have a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz.

Both handsets offer a 50MP main sensor and 12MP ultra-wide camera, but the Pixel 7 Pro adds a 48MP telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom and up to 30x Super Res Zoom. The Galaxy S22+ features the same 10MP 3x telephoto lens as the base S22.

Connectivity shouldn’t be an issue with either: Each supports the latest 5G and WiFi 6E standards.

On paper, the 7 Pro offers better specs across the board and costs less. But we still want to wait for a chance to complete a full review before we make any definitive conclusions. Again, a choice between stock Android and Samsung’s One UI could factor into your decision. And keep in mind that you get that extra year of software feature updates with Samsung.

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