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Google Pixel 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

In the market for a new phone but struggling to choose between Samsung’s Galaxy S22 and the Google Pixel 7? It’s easy to be tempted by Google’s latest, with its Tensor Gen 2 processor, beefy battery, gorgeous 6.3-inch AMOLED display, and top-notch cameras. But don’t discount the older Galaxy S22, with its powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, compact, pocket-friendly profile, 120Hz display, and Samsung’s market-leading updates promise.

Confused? Let us take the hard work out of choosing which phone to buy as we compare the Google Pixel 7 to the Samsung Galaxy S22.

Specs

Google Pixel 7 Samsung Galaxy S22
Size 155.6 by 73.2 by 8.7mm (6.13 by 2.88 by 0.34 inches) 146 by 70.6 by 7.6mm (5.75 by 2.78 by 0.30 inches)
Weight 197 grams (6.9 ounces) 167 grams/168 grams (mmWave) (5.89 ounces)
Screen size 6.3-inch AMOLED with 10-90Hz 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Screen resolution 2400 x 1080 pixels (416 pixels per inch) 2340 x 1080 pixels (425 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 13 Android 13 with One UI 4.1
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Processor Google Tensor Gen 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (Exynos 2200 outside the U.S.)
RAM 8GB 8GB
Camera Dual lens 50-megapixel wide, 12MP ultrawide rear, 10.8MP front Triple lens 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto rear, 10MP front
Video 4K at up to 60 frames per second (fps), 1080p at 60 fps 8K at up to 24 fps, 4K at up to 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.2 Bluetooth 5.2
Ports USB-C Bluetooth 5.2
Fingerprint sensor Yes, in-display Yes (in-display ultrasonic)
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,355mAh

30W wired charging (no charger included in the box)

21W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

 3,700mAh

25W wired charging (no charger included in the box)

15W wireless charging

Reverse wireless charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support Most major carriers All major carriers
Colors Obsidian, Snow, Lemongrass Phantom Black, white, Pink Gold, green, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet, Cream
Price Starting at $599 Starting at $800
Buy from Google Samsung, Amazon, Best Buy
Review 3.5 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Design, display, and durability

The Google Pixel 7 takes the already great design of the Pixel 6 and refines it, with its Gorilla Glass Victus rear panel sporting a glossy finish that can feel slippery in hand and a smooth aluminum chassis. Weighing in at 197 grams, it’s substantially heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S22 and feels weighty in hand, plus it’s not the most pocket-friendly option at 8.7mm thick. The under-display fingerprint sensor is shockingly inconsistent, though you can use Face Unlock, which is more consistent if a bit fiddly.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 boasts the same rounded corners, flat display, and top-notch build quality as its predecessor — in fact, it’s virtually indistinguishable from the Galaxy S21. With uniformly thin bezels, its pocket-friendly profile, and its compact form factor, weighing in at just 167 grams, make it a better choice for one-handed use than the Pixel 7. The glass rear panel is covered with Gorilla Glass Victus, and the 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD card slot are no more across both devices.

Onto the display: The Galaxy S22’s 6.1-inch dynamic AMOLED 2x display has a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, is HDR10+ certified, and packs an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Samsung states the refresh rate will only drop to a minimum of 48Hz, but in our review, we saw it sit at a stable 24Hz when the phone was idle. This is one of the best screens on an Android phone, with great viewing angles and perfect visibility even in bright sunlight.

The Google Pixel 7’s 6.3-inch OLED display has a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution and HDR10+ certification, but while the screen may be slightly larger than the S22, its adaptive refresh rate only goes to 90Hz. Though that’s a bit disappointing, any difference in smoothness isn’t really noticeable unless you enjoy playing the latest games on your phone. That said, the display’s refresh rate does drop as low as 10Hz, good news for battery life.

Both phones are protected with Gorilla Glass Victus covering the rear panel and boast an IP68 rating, so you can safely submerge them in freshwater up to around 10 feet for 30 minutes.

This round is close to calling, but the Galaxy S22’s compact, slim profile, 120Hz refresh rate, and array of colors pips the Pixel 7 to the post.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22

Performance, battery life, and charging

The Google Pixel 7 packs the latest Tensor G2 processor, more efficient and faster than the base Tensor chip. In reality, the phone is unlikely to struggle with anything you throw at it, from multitasking to the latest games. That’s backed up by 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of non-expandable storage. The Pixel 7 is fast and reliable to use, but we found that scrolling through apps wasn’t quite as smooth as on some more powerful phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. We also experienced games crashing fairly regularly, with titles like Asphalt 9 failing to connect to the server. The Pixel 7 gets warm to the touch around the camera sensor (and drains battery life quite heavily) after around 30 minutes of gaming, so if you’re a mobile gamer, it may not be the best device for you.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in the U.S. (the Exynos 2200 elsewhere), providing excellent performance whether multitasking or playing the latest games with settings maxed. The 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage are identical to the Pixel 7, but in our review, we noticed jitters and frame rate drops after playing Call of Duty: Mobile for around 40 minutes at peak graphics settings. We also noted that the camera’s shutter button occasionally became unresponsive after taking lots of pictures or high-res videos. Due to its compact profile, the S22 does get hot, which eventually chokes performance.

These two phones stand worlds apart when it comes to battery life. The Pixel 7’s beefy 4,355mAh battery is far larger than the relatively small 3,700mAh battery on the Galaxy S22. In fact, the Galaxy S22 has one of the smallest batteries in a modern smartphone launched after 2021 (with the exception of the iPhone Mini line). With the S22’s modest battery, you should barely expect to get past one day of use — in our review, we got around four to five hours of screen-on time.

The Pixel 7’s battery, in contrast, gave us around six to seven hours of screen-on time. With hard usage, expect a day of battery life, while moderate usage may push this to two. The Pixel 7 supports USB Power Delivery 3.0, with up to 30W wired charging. According to claims, it charges to 50% in 30 minutes. However, a full charge from empty takes almost two hours. Compare that to the Galaxy S22, which reaches 60% battery in 30 minutes and a full charge in around an hour.

It’s worth noting here that in our review, we expressed concerns about the Galaxy S22’s idle battery loss. This was almost 10% to 15% within a couple of hours, even with the adaptive refresh rate enabled. Though updates have improved this, it’s still an issue.

Both phones also support wireless charging — 21W for the Pixel 7 and 15W for the Galaxy S22 — and reverse wireless charging for your earbuds and accessories.

We’re calling this round a tie, as which phone you prefer really depends on your needs. If you’re into mobile gaming, the Galaxy S22 may be a wiser choice than the Pixel 7, despite the overheating and frame rate drops we experienced. Likewise, if excellent battery life is non-negotiable, the Pixel 7 might be a better choice for you, though you’ll need to contend with slower charging speeds.

Winner: Tie

Cameras

The Google Pixel 7's camera module.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

When it comes to cameras, the Google Pixel 7 has one of the very best cameras on a smartphone. Google’s camera experience has been excellent for a while, and you’re getting the familiar 50-megapixel main with optical image stabilization (OIS) and laser autofocus, plus a 12MP wide-angle lens. The lenses get a boost from the Tensor G2 for improved image processing. There’s also a 10MP selfie camera, which can lack detail and doesn’t always get skin tone right.

In contrast, the Galaxy S22 has a triple-camera setup with its 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. On the front, the 10MP selfie camera takes acceptable shots, though it tends to boost saturation and lighten skin tone too much.

Both phones produce incredible photos in all kinds of lighting conditions, with the Pixel 7, in particular, producing sharp, vibrant photos and Night Sight mode bringing out plenty of detail. The Galaxy S22’s main camera takes crisp shots packed with details and impressive colors that appear close to real shades, while the telephoto lens does an impressive job of capturing portrait shots. Night mode support for the S22’s three rear cameras also gives excellent results, even in very dark environments. The Pixel 7 supports 4K video capture at up to 60 fps, while the Galaxy S22 supports up to 8K resolution at up to 24 fps.

Google’s packed in an array of tools to change up your images, including Photo Unblur (though our results with this were pretty disappointing) and Cinematic Mode, which blurs out the background of photos.

Samsung’s features include Single Take, Super Slow-Mo, and Director’s View, which lets you capture a scene from the front and back using any of the three rear cameras.

We’re giving this round to the Google Pixel 7, as it’s hard to find a better camera on a smartphone right now.

Winner: Google Pixel 7

Software and updates

Android 13 logo on a Google Pixel 6a.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Both the Pixel 7 and Galaxy S22 run Android 13, though the Pixel 7 is the first device to run Google’s latest operating system out of the box. Samsung skins Android 13 with One UI 5, which is intuitive and easy to use, though some users prefer Google’s stock Android experience.

Google promises up to five years of security updates and three years of major Android updates for the Pixel 7. On the table from Samsung are four years of OS updates and five years of security updates.

While both phones are, therefore, a solid, future-proof choice, Samsung just pips Google to the prize with that additional year of OS updates.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22

Special features

The Google Pixel 7's screen, held in a man's hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S22 runs One UI 5, supporting dynamic theming with preset color options based on your wallpaper, plus features like text recognition in the gallery app, multiple user profiles, and widget stacking. Samsung Pay is on hand for online payments, and the app can now store movie tickets, car keys, and driver’s licenses (though availability may vary). The Pixel 7 packs Google Assistant and can suggest relevant emoji when you’re voice texting. You also get access to Google Pay for online payments. Neither phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack or microSD card slot, both of which have been removed from most flagships nowadays.

This round’s a tie, as it will likely come down to whether you’re team Google or team Samsung.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

The Google Pixel 7 is available to , starting at $599 for the 128G model. You can also trade in a qualifying device and get the Pixel 7 for free.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 starts at $699 on and , while on Samsung’s official website, you can grab the S22 for up to $700 off if you trade in an eligible device.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy S22

Though there’s plenty to recommend the Pixel 7, the Galaxy S22 is still a clear winner overall. With its powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, generous updates promise, slim profile, and 120Hz refresh rate display —  not to mention the wide range of colors to choose from — it’s our pick of the two phones. That’s not to say that the Pixel 7 isn’t also a great buy. If you’re not into mobile gaming and you’re looking for the best camera around, plus all-day battery life, the Pixel 7 is an excellent pick.

Editors' Recommendations